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Darkness, I: Third in the Blood Opera Sequence Hardcover – January 1, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The darkness that permeated the first two novels of Lee's Blood Opera Sequence (Dark Dance and Personal Darkness, both paperback originals) becomes nearly impenetrable in this third book of the Scarabae, an ancient vampire clan. The family diaspora forced by the fratricidal rampage of Ruth, the "bad seed" born to Rachaela Day in Personal Darkness, continues here, with several Scarabae roaming the English countryside in the guise of bikers while Rachaela settles down in London with the androgyne Althene Simon to give birth to their child, Anna. Physically and mentally precocious, Anna looks like an adolescent at age two, and manifests unhealthy signs that she is a reincarnation of Ruth. While other Scarabae seek unobtrusive niches in the world, Anna is abducted to a subterranean mock-up of Egypt by a mysterious patriarch named Cain, to act out the centuries-old power struggles that have shaped the clan. Although filled with mystery and foreboding, the story takes too long to gel. Lee spends much of the tale cataloguing the quirks of the Scarabae, who grow younger as they age, and describing their clothing and meals. The result is a narrative mired in a decadence that impedes forward momentum. The author is still the undisputed queen of contemporary gothic fantasy, but this novel leaves a taste of reheated Rice in the reader's mouth.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In broad daylight young Anna is kidnapped while her mother watches helplessly and her father lies nearby severely wounded. But Anna is Scarabae, one of an ancient family of vampires who live like much of the rest of humanity but differ in that their lives extend for centuries. Also, they have an occasional need for human blood. Her abduction sparks old feuds and strange alliances among various family members. It is no secret that the mastermind behind Anna's kidnapping, as well as that of other children, is Cain, the most ancient vampire of all. Lee mesmerizes the reader with her exquisite rhythm as she tells a complex tale of adventure permeated with surreal and erotic images. This book follows Dark Dance (Dell, 1994) and Personal Darkness (Dell, 1992). Although part of a series, it can be read and enjoyed on its own.?Patricia Altner, Information Seekers, Bowie, Md.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Press; 1st U.S. ed edition (January 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031213956X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312139568
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,456,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"Tennebrae sum.
I am the darkness. Darkness, I"
"Darkness, I" is the third continuing story of the Scarabae. The child murderess, Ruth, has been killed and now her mother, Rachaela, is pregnant with another daughter, Anna, named for one of the Scarabae women Ruth had killed in Dark Dance. Anna is similar to her dead older sister--she, too, ages quickly and is just as bright and intelligent as Ruth, yet her temperament is not as violent.
And as before, with her first pregnancy, Rachaela is extremely detached from her child, growing jealous every day of Anna's kinship with Althene, Rachaela's longtime lover and "father" of Anna. Rachaela knows the Scarabae are very incestuous, and she believes she'll be overlooked by Althene for her daughter.
This everyday Scarabae family drama ends, however, when Anna is kidnapped, along with several other children, and brought to an ice pyramid as "guests" for Cain, an outcast vampire of the Scarabae family. Althene, as well as Malach (who is seeking the reincarnated Ruth), search for Anna, while, in the meantime, she is gradually transformed into Cain's child bride, Ankhet.
Until I read "Darkness, I", I thought this series was perfect. However, "Darkness, I" makes a drastic change to the storyline, one that's not very consistent or expected after reading the previous two books. Maybe if Cain or the Egyptian vampire myths had been mentioned before, I wouldn't have had such a hard time accepting this plot.
Despite my slight disappointment in "Darkness, I", I would love to see another sequel published, especially considering how this book ended. But I hope it's more like "Dark Dance" (#1) or "Personal Darkness" (#2). "Darkness, I" is a fair effort to the Blood Opera Sequence, but it's not a very good conclusion to this series.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By scottjp@cris.com on February 7, 1998
Format: Hardcover
DARKNESS, I is the third in a series of books revolving around the family of Scarabae: powerful, ancient and occasionally vampirish. In this story, Rachaela's second daughter, Anna, is kidnapped by one of it's earliest progenitors, Cain. It mixes gothic horror with both Egyptian and Biblical mythology.
I found it a letdown from the first two installments (DARK DANCE and PERSONAL DARKNESS), which I loved. This volume is painfully slow, and nothing much happens. I hate to admit it but I found much of it actually boring. I do recommend the previous novels, however...and it seems that another one is possible.
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