Friday, July 11, 2008

Night Road by A. M. Jenkins

Finished this one right after ALA, but just haven't gotten around to posting. Since I promised that I would.....

Hemovores are humans who feed upon the blood of omnivorous humans. They do not call themselves vampires. Cole is a century-old hemovore who has wandered the country at night, avoiding sunlight and observing omnis (regular humans). He is strong, controlled and apparently, immortal. And he still looks eighteen.

Now he must mentor a new hemovore, taking him on the Night Road and training him to control himself. Gordon really is a teenager and doesn't fully understand or accept what has happened to him. If Cole cannot train him properly, Gordon will need to be disposed of as quickly and quietly as possible.

This was a very different look at vampires, focusing upon the Thirst and the need to control it, as well as the nature of humanity. It is a traveling story, a coming of age story, and even has a bit of romance. Cole is very likeable, even though he appears to be cold and aloof at the beginning. He is every bit as conflicted as the typical teenage boy. So is Gordon, who is a bit annoying at the beginning in his inability to get past the sexual nature of feeding and his refusal to accept instruction from the more experienced hemovores. He comes off as very human, working well with the distinction that these characters may eat differently, live differently and longer, but they are still in many ways just teens.

One of my favorite parts is when Sandor (Gordon's maker) is going out on a date and Gordon asks if he is gay:

Cole: "Oh. And you said?"

Sandor: "I asked him whether he meant gay in the sense of 'merry' or gay in the sense of 'enjoying sexual pleasure with men,' and he said the second one. So I told him that if he meant exclusively with men, then no, I'm not gay, but if he meant when the occasion arises, then yes, I am definitely gay."

Cole: "And what did he say?"

Sandor: "Nothing. He just got an uncomfortable look about him."

Cole: "Charming."

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