The Smoke Trilogy begins with, Smoke and Shadows and I hope continues for a long time. So what is an old guy like me doing reading books aimed at a largely far younger audience?
Well, I have this eleven year old granddaughter who is writing a vampire story. I just thought reading a bit of the genre wouldn’t hurt too much.
In fact when I picked up the book I was quickly delighted by the fact that Huff has captured the weirdness and clarity necessary to write interesting fantasy novels. She is capable of populating them with characters that ring true under the wildest circumstances imaginable. I have no limits on what I will read if the author will just make the characters believable. The angst and fury of saving the world with the help of a prince of a vampire falls on a young man, Tony Foster. Ms. Huff populates the world around him with vivid and lively characters.
Tony is working in Television on the set of a vampire series while developing his career interest in TV production. He meets a wizard, works out the nature of the problem threatening our world, engages the help of his vampire friend/lover, a real prince of a fellow and, well, read the book!
Remember this was a research project for me. But in doing it I gave my granddaughter a gift of a new author, something we can never have enough of in life. I also understand her fascination with the whole Goth thing and the vampire genre as well a great deal better now.
I’ve liked Huff as an author since she broke into the SF/Fantasy scene sometime in the 1980’s. I have up to now ignored her vampire books. Now I find myself buying them all not just to give to my granddaughter but to read for my own enjoyment.
If you want to understand a culture read its literature in the native language. The subculture that fascinates this particular grand-daughter right now is Goth. The literature is populated with wizards, and warlocks and vampires and other interesting human and nonhuman types. Certainly that would have interested me at her age. It still does! I find that is true much to my amusement and gratification.
Give it a try, what’s a little bloodletting among friends?
In 1991, a new series soared into the fantasy firmament with the publication of Blood Price, the first novel in Tanya Huff's acclaimed five-volume masterwork, which followed the exploits of Vicki Nelson, private investigator, and vampire Henry Fitzroy.
Together, Vicki and Henry faced and survived perils ranging from demons, werewolves, and mummies to zombies and restless spirits crying out for revenge. In their trials they were aided-willingly or not-by an assortment of allies. Among these allies was a street kid named Tony Foster. Claimed by Vicki as a reliable snitch and by Henry as "one of his own," Tony found himself rescued from his dead-end existence and given a chance for a better life.
Relocating to Vancouver with Henry, and forced to get his act together, Tony embarked on a career in Vancouver's burgeoning TV industry, landing a job as a production assistant at CB Productions. In an example of art echoing life, the syndicated TV series Tony worked for was "Darkest Night," a show about the adventures of a vampire detective.
Except for his unrequited crush on the show's handsome costar, Lee Nicholas, Tony was pretty content, at least until the day everything started to fall apart on the set. It began with shadows-shadows that seemed to be where shadows didn't belong, shadows that almost seem to have an existence of their own....
Tony tried to ignore it, to tell himself it was all in his imagination-until he found Nikki Waugh's body... and felt the shadow's touch....
And when shadow appeared to cast its claim on Lee, and a crash stunt went wrong for no discernible reason, Tony could no longer ignore what was happening. He had to find out what was threatening everyone on the "Darkest Night" set. And, of course, he needed Henry's help.
It wasn't long before the trail left to CB Productions own special effects wizard, Arra Pelindrake-and a frightening explanation which only a young man with Tony's unique background could accept. But knowing what he faced was only half the battle-finding a way to survive the unsurvivable, and defeat the undefeatable-that was the real challenge!