Out of the Darkness

Out of the Darkness
Review by The Mad Bibliographer, submitted on 25-Feb-1995

Adapted from "Vampires in Print," The Vampire's Crypt No. 11 (Spring 1995, slated for March 1995 publication)

Review by Cathy Krusberg

Lynn Erickson. Out of the Darkness. Harlequin Superromance No. 626; Harlequin Superromance Showcase; Harlequin, 1995; $3.50/$3.99; ISBN 0-373-70626-X

Miguel Rivera y Aguilar meets nurse Karen Freed, rescuing her from would-be muggers in Central Park. He not only rescues her; on impulse, he asks her on a date. After five hundred years of longing to destroy himself and fearing the agony of sunlight; of pursuing his nemesis Baltazar, the cruel vampire who transforms the best of humanity solely to pervert it; of moving from place to place every decade so his unchanging appearance will go unnoticed: Karen Freed, in her innocence and simplicity, is something new.

Karen, accustomed to just scraping by, doesn't know what to make of this man who takes her to French restaurants, an art show, the opera--but never by day. Miguel responds to Karen's hurt puzzlement by telling all--and concludes by telling her to leave him before his Hunger, his unending bloodlust, overpowers them both. Karen, however, is made of sterner stuff: she feels certain there must be a cure for Miguel's condition. And indeed Miguel remembers another vampire who sought such a cure, decades ago in Finland....

Karen's very normal middle-class family doesn't know what to make of her going on a cruise to Finland with her new, extraordinarily well-to-do boyfriend. Karen is as thrilled as Miguel is apprehensive; can he trust himself so near her for so long? But a worse fear appears en route: Baltazar himself is on board the same ship, ready to take advantage of his old enemy's new vulnerable spot--Karen, the woman Miguel loves.

Despite Miguel and Karen's tribulations, Out of the Darkness is a book of warm fuzzies. The threats never seem great: some are evaded; others neatly vanish by themselves. Perhaps this is to be expected from a romance--_Out of the Darkness does not pretend to be a horror novel, after all. Authors Carla Peltonen and Molly Swanton (who form the pen name Lynn Erickson) make no bones about the much-used subject of their story: "a tortured vampire who earns our human sympathy, and a good woman who finds him worthy of love." Sure enough, the protagonists have believable if mundane doubts and fears, their expression interspersed with lovely moments of Karen adoring her man and Miguel almost effortlessly endearing himself to her. It's a guilty pleasures, hurt/comfort, delightfully unpretentious book.

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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  

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