Friday, April 5, 2024

Have you been touched by his tentacle appendage?

 Book two of the Renquist Quartet, Darklost, picks up with the colony just having moved to Los Angeles. The new residence sits off an unmarked road in the hills, isolated from just about everything. However, isolation doesn't mean that the world isn't about to get involved in the Colony's politics. 

With the move, the colony is now using blood bags as backups, preferring to feed from live people rather risk another outbreak of Feasting. Renquist is still mourning Cynara, but everyone else in the colony seems to be adapting well, with even Segal the Grotesque riding with a motorcycle gang most nights. However, Victor gets roused out of some of his isolationism by seeing something bad rising from Beverly Hills. 

Mind you, Julia, who spent most of the first book playing secondary anatagonist, in this one becomes something more of an independent ally. Her own hunting trip leads her to find a psychic who resembles an overweight psychic Stevie Nicks, who's scan reveals she knows Brandon Wales (near as I can tell, a cypher for Marlon Brando). This sets off a plot line for Julia working with Dahlia (the child vampire) to bring Brandon over and restore him to his handsome youth. 

Victor and his second, Lupo, on the other hand, get sucked into investigating the strange aura, which leads to The Apogee, basically a pseudo-religious organization run by Three people with their own internal problems, not the least of which is that Marcus De Reske, who prefers the occult to the scam, has found the Necronomicon made some sculptural decisions, and the stars are aligning for the return of Cthulhu, whom he is convinced will give him Dominion over the Earth.

And we also have Elaine Dance, who was one step from being brought over by Cynara in the last book, now working as a professional domme in LA, and getting back to the colony via following broadcast commands via Julia and Victor. 

So, there's quite a bit going on here, and by the end, at least one eldritch tentacle has crosses between the dimensions. 

We also see Julia and Victor's "DNA Dreams" exploring what Cthulhu was to the Original Beings, who evolved into modern nosferatu, which includes more information on the Nephillim, the ancient aliens who in turn created the original beings and tampered with human DNA. 

When this series was first being written, this is the book I found and read first, drawn in by a B movie plot of Vampires vs Cthulhu. I find reading the first book first helps the much more involved plot of this one make much more sense. It's still a B movie plot, but every character in here understands the absurdity and also acknowledges that absurdity doesn't negate the dangers of interdimensional sushi looking to eat humanity.  

Honestly, it's held up better than I remember it being. Fun read.

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