Christopher Pike's The Last Vampire (1994) came out a little late for me to have read it in my Christoper Pike phase. I did, however, have enough remembered love for him that I rescued it and three other Pike books from the recycling bin at the bookstore where I worked in high school and college. And thank God I did, as they are now fueling my personal Christopher Pike re-read-a-thon.
The Last Vampire introduces us to Alisa Perne (aka Lara Adams aka Sita). She is a very rich and very beautiful young woman who also happens to be a 5000 year-old vampire. When she finds herself blackmailed by a private detective who seems to know too much about her background, she quickly neutralizes the situation by killing him, then later realizes that she needs his password to get into his computer and find out who hired him and put him on her trail. To access the files, she uses her connections to have herself enrolled at the high school that the detective's son attends. Her plan is to seduce him, access the files, and then deal with whoever is on the other end of the threats.
Everything goes as planned except that Sita finds herself falling deeply in love with the detective's son, Ray. He reminds her so strongly of her husband (who she married before she was turned into a vampire and who is the only man she ever loved) that things become way more messy for Sita than they have for centuries. To add to her troubles, a dark force is on her trail and it means business.
You know, this book was actually pretty good. I like vampires, so that might have a lot to do with it, but adding the supernatural elements really enhances Pike's often goofy dialogue and overly dramatic descriptions. I particularly liked Sita's backstory -- which also happens to cover the origin of all vampires everywhere, and which has a neat twist of Hindu mythology built in.
The Last Vampire is the first in a six book series. It is probably doubtful that I would buy any of the other books in the series on purpose, but if I ever come across them, you know they will go right on top of my guilty pleasure reading pile.
Okay, I couldn't resist sharing just a bit of the goofy Pikey descriptions that I love so well:
His face has a depth his father's never imagined. He is cut in the mode of many handsome modern youths, with curly brown hair and a chiseled profile, yet his inner character pushes through his natural beauty and almost makes a mockery of it. The boy is already more man than boy. It shows in his brown eyes, soft but quick, in his silent pauses, as he takes in what his classmates say. He reflects on it, and either accepts or reject it, not caring what others think. He is his own person, Ray Riley, and I like that about him.