Jacqueline Lichtenberg,
Those of My Blood
(St. Martin's, 1988;
BenBella, 2003)

Jacqueline Lichtenberg's Those of My Blood is a reprint from 1988. The people of Earth have discovered the wreck of a spaceship on the moon and have decided to try to make contact with the alien nation. What they do not know is that the aliens are vampires, known as the Blood or Lurens. The Earthlings also do not know that a few of these vampires are already living among them.

A group is being sent to the crash site to complete the transmitting station and send the message out into space. If the message gets through, the vampires will invade Earth and have a feeding frenzy. Dr. Titus Shiddehara, an Earthling that was transformed into a vampire by one of the Lurens, has been sent to stop the transmission from getting through. He represents the good vampires, the ones that feed on a synthetic blood substitute, that are trying to save the people of Earth.

Meanwhile, a Luren vampire posing as an electrical engineer and computer architect, Dr. Abbot Nandola has been sent to make sure that the Lurens on Earth attach their own SOS to the signal to alert their home planet to the feast awaiting their arrival. The first complication for Titus is that this Luren is the one that transformed him into a vampire -- a much stronger and experienced vampire. Under Luren law, Titus cannot harm his father. He can only win through a subtle mental chess game.

The second complication occurs when Titus runs face-to-face with the woman he was supposed to marry before his death.

At the time of its initial release, this was a cutting-edge book with the technology, but most of the details are so common today that you do not even notice them as being different or forward thinking. We see these things on television all the time, so it is easy to envision the scenes that Lichtenberg creates.

It is promoted as the best explanation for vampires on Earth, but many vampire fans will quickly disagree. Many of us appreciate horror that is deeply rooted in, well, horror and not science fiction. We like our vampires to be of and from Earth.

I enjoyed this book, in spite of the fact that I prefer earthly vampires and hate romance for the sake of romance. This is an interesting read with a nice blending of all the elements. There is plenty of suspense and intrigue, conflict and resolution, and romance to keep most readers enmeshed in the story. The character development is strong and drives the reader forward through the story. It is especially notable.

The ending is supposed to be a surprise, but it was not and I was not caught off guard. All conflicts were resolved and stasis is achieved.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 26 June 2004

Buy it from Amazon.com.