Summary (courtesy of GoodReads): Enter the nightmare world of Sonja Blue: an independent, strong, and beautiful woman who also happens to be a murderous vampire - and vampire slayer. To avenge herself on the monster who turned her, against her will, into one of the undead, Sonja Blue hunts the vampires who prey on unsuspecting humans. Wearing a leather jacket and mirrored sunglasses, armed with a silver switchblade, she haunts the shadows of the world's greatest cities, continually searching for her prey. Sonja's greatest enemy, however, is the Other - the demon that has shared her mind since her resurrection twenty years ago.
And here's what I thought: I originally posted a really short review of this book on Goodreads, saying, "I have worn out one copy already (damn that glued binding!). How many times have I read this? 8? 10? Never gets old. There's something about Collins' writing here that always draws me back to the story. Blue's character is fascinating, and Collins really tells some good stories. A perfect book to read when you're feeling like giving a sharp smile to someone." Recently, I felt like reading from my own collection at home, so I grabbed this the other day for a re-read. I suppose it might seem odd that I consider this a comfort read, but every time I read it, I enjoy it (and I know what to expect). I was introduced to this author a number of years ago by an ex-boyfriend of mine ("Himself"), and I've been hooked ever since. I've always liked the character of Sonja Blue. Maybe it's because she has this double-life, or double-personality. Maybe it's because I actually really enjoy the Other, who shares Sonja's mind and is a real ass-kicking, scary, make-no-excuses character (you could say the Other is an amped-up version of Sonja). I suppose part of why I like the Other is that even though she's really not very nice, I appreciate that she's completely true to herself. While Sonja sometimes struggles with the fact that she's not always comfortable with who, and what, she is, the Other completely embraces herself as a monster. She doesn't need anyone's approval.
I also like that Nancy Collins uses real settings for some of the stories. New Orleans, for example, is a backdrop sometimes, and while the exact locations (bars, etc) may not be real, they certainly have a real feel to them. I enjoy reading this book and imaging what it's like to see it as Sonja does, to see the Real World (monsters as they really appear: vampires, succubi, etc.). I also appreciate that there really is nothing romantic about the vampires in the stories. Sonja's pretty cool, but she's a sort of hybrid. The real vampires are pretty horrifying (which means, not romantic, and definitely not sparkly. Not that sparkling is a bad thing, but it's not happening here). Collins weaves in different kinds of elements, as well, balancing human stories against things you might recognize from folk tales. For me, it's the perfect combination of interesting characters and great storytelling that makes this a book I read again from time to time. Might not be everybody's bag, but if you're looking for a different type of vampire story, this might be just what you need.
Where I got this book: Personal collection.
And... this book fulfills some of my reading challenges: Flashback Challenge (book I re-read as an adult), Chunkster Challenge (book that is 450+ pages).