This well-written, intelligent approach to the paranormal features an opera-singing vampire and her werewolf assistant. Rich in operatic detail, the tale alternates between the present and various time periods throughout the past several centuries. In an interesting twist to the conventional creation-of-vampires story, memories of those bitten live on through the shared blood.
Octavia will be singing at the Milan opera house, where she first sang more than 200 years ago. Just as rehearsals start, Ugo, her assistant and procurer of nourishment, disappears, forcing Octavia to resort to the bite. The tragedies of their early lives in Italy and the loneliness of their existence caused them to bond when they first met during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Now they’re under attack by those who seek to force Octavia to share her blood, which has been mingled with Mozart’s. Although the ancients do not want any new vampires made, they do want to preserve this precious blood connection. (KENSINGTON, Jul., 422 pp., $15.00)