Bites is a short anthology of two stories: Last of the Blood and Demonica.
Last of the Blood is narrated by its main character, Damon William Blackwood. A poor orphan turned elite soldier scout, he is selected by a trio of vampires to be the first in the Covenant they are forming.
1. an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified.
2. Law . an incidental clause in such an agreement.
3. Ecclesiastical . a solemn agreement between the members of a church to act together in harmony with the precepts of the gospel.
Or, in this case, vampires.
Gabriel Maygrove, Lady Lavinia Rinaldi(“Italian aristocrat and man eater”) and Gerome Les Saints are the vampires who seek Damon. He is special and they want him. He accepts their offer of immortality and they change him. He gains the power to read the minds of man (and vampire) with the change, as well as the increase in his natural talents.
A life of decadence blood follows, as a small family, forever seeking fulfillment in a celebration (and destruction) of “everything that is mortal.” Then Gabriel falls in love. Countess Nataliya Petrova is a power hungry little skank, if you’ll pardon the word.
But Gabriel, struck by her delicate beauty, falls for her and spends a century following her around as she builds a massive army of vampires.
Her human husband, Count Petrov, is one of the most disgusting characters I’ve ever had the delight to envision. In my mind he is approaching his sixties, bald with beady eyes, a red nose, a large handlebar mustache and equally large beard, both stained by food and wine. Perhaps he was handsome in his youth but life and overindulgence have made him awful.
So dangerous is the mind of Nataliya that our hero fears her even before her change. As Gabriel changes the Countess, Damon leaves the room. Hunger assails him and he finds a young girl, one he encountered at the party – pretty, tempting, young and soft. In his hunger he kills her then leaves to wander alone.
A century passes and Damon once again finds his way to his maker. Nataliya has made the world a horror and her long dead husband, who at first sought the man who took his wife, left a legacy that is now devoted to hunting and killing the vampires she has created.
I love this story. The ending, which I shall not give away, has a poignancy that touched me.
Demonica is a fantastic view of the way Light and Dark work, on the creation of man and the battle of Good and Evil.
Irina, the girl with the flaming red hair, pale skin and brilliant green eyes, lives in Eden. It is the Garden the Gods created when they first created Adam. It lies in the space between mortal and immortal. On one side lays the view outside of Irina’s bedroom window: Palazzo Inferno, home of Lylith and her children – Succubi, Incubi, Weres and Vampires. On the other side of the Garden is the home of the Gods and Angels, Isola dell’Angelo.
Every year the Daemon from Palazzo Inferno and the Angels come to the Garden to choose the best of the teens to join their court. Most in the Garden aspire to Isola dell’Angelo. Not our Irina. She wants to be a part of the Palazzo. She wants to experience life among the Daemon of Lylith’s court.
On her 16th birthday she gets her wish.
It seems that Irina’s arrival was foretold. She bears the Mark of Lylith on her shoulder and it is she who will bring the weapon from Isola dell’Angelo to aide the Darkness’s side against the Light.
And so she does. She brings Lucifer and the Fallen Angels. The Light retreats, hiding within itself, waiting for the final war.
I love creationist stories, I love it when people take the never ending battle between Good and Evil and make it their own. Who knows what the truth is? I don’t, do you? Perhaps Ninfa is correct, or at least has some things right. It doesn’t matter, really, but she does make you think.
Ninfa weaves compelling stories (so compelling I finished the book in less than a day). Her characters are clear, defined and you immediately create an emotional attachment to them. The plots are divine, unique and the stories follow the plot lines smoothly.
Fanciful, wonderfully dramatic, I would recommend this book to anyone. And you can find more of Ninfa here.