Obsession & Possession

Obsession & Possession
Review by Salieri, submitted on 18-May-1992

Obsession / by Lori Herter. New York : Berkley Books, c1991.
Possession / by Lori Herter. New York : Berkley Books, c1992. Greetings gentlebeings.

I have just had the dubious pleasure of reading Lori Herter's books Obsession and Possession, interesting blends of the romance novel and the vampire tale. They are - ah, how shall I phrase this? - quite unlike any other vampire fiction I have read, and the first of the other genre I have sampled (and may well be my last, I'm afraid).

Herter's vampires, David de Morrisey and Darienne Victorie, are mostly of the modernized traditional type: they have supernormal physical and mental powers, garlic and holy symbols have no effect on them, they can exist on human or animal blood, and the sun destroys them.No shapeshifting or flying, although Darienne (a consummate hedonist) likes to climb walls and buildings for the fun of it. David makes Barnabas Collins seem cheerful and well- adjusted as he moons about, lonely and depressed over his condition and looking for the perfect woman to spend eternity with.

A couple of new twists lie in the idea of "initiation" (taking human blood gives the vampire a mental bond with him/her and saps the victim of his/her free will), and in that both vampires are abnormal in their desire for physical sex. Darienne is insatiable (well, almost - David is the only one who can satisfy her), and David goes from affair to affair with mortal women. {Well, what do you expect, gentlebeings? This is a romance series, of course.} And being a romance series, naturally, there are many scenes of lovemaking with throbbing this-es and tumescent that-ses in that charming euphemistic style of the genre.If Ms. Herter were male, though, I'd call her a "chest man" for all the emphases on breasts. Don't these women like anything else besides their chests fondled? {flushing slightly} Forgive my directness - where are my manners? But, after reading the books one after another it did surface as a trend....

Another glaring item is that both vampires are described as "warm": warm arms, warm bodies, warm ... well, you get the idea. Whatever happened to deathly coldness as an un-dead giveaway of vampirehood? The only suspicious physical characteristics of these two are iridescent eyes when aroused (which is most of the time, apparently) and slightly-longer-and-sharper-than-average canine teeth.

At the end of Possession, there is a sample chapter from the third book in the series, Confession, promised to be "coming soon!" Can I wait? Perhaps. The first two were an entertaining read - certainly nothing at all deep or horrific - but not all that compelling to make me want to read the third. Of course, there is the problem of what to do when David's second mortal love returns with her decision whether to be made immortal and finds him with his third (or fourth, or fifth, or however many else he's racked up by then). Sure, he can move fast, but can he TALK fast? ;-)

Fanged Films

USA, 1978
It's Alive II
USA, 1957
Blood of Dracula

From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

Drawn to Vamps?