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The Last Vampire (Annals of Alchemy and Blood #1) Mass Market Paperback – June 24, 2008

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The Bone Clocks
David Mitchell's hypnotic new novel crackles with invention and sheer storytelling pleasure. Learn more

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (June 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345501047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345501042
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,438,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Patricia Rosemoor writes about dangerous love–she’s the author of more than fifty paranormal thrillers and novels of romantic suspense. She has won a Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America, and Reviewers Choice and Career Achievement awards from Romantic Times Book Club. In her other life, she teaches in the fiction writing department of Columbia College Chicago.

After years as an award-winning advertising copywriter, Marc Paoletti decided to focus his energy and passion on fiction of a different sort. He is the author of Scorch, a novel that draws upon his experience as a Hollywood special-effects pyrotechnician, and his short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies. He was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He loves his family, horror movies, and apple pie. A native of Detroit, he now lives in Chicago.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

Louis Armstrong International Airport, New Orleans, 2010

The white airline catering van lurched to a stop.

Captain Scott Boulder crouched in the dim, hot cargo area behind the driver’s seat with the three other members of his assault team. They wore black tactical hoods, fatigues, Kevlar vests, and combat boots, and carried MP5s and flexicuffs. The bare minimum so they could move. Fast.

Scott spoke into his headset, “Team Ultra to base. We’ve reached the target.”

“We read you, Team Ultra,” came the crackling reply. “Spotter reports four, repeat, four hijackers aboard the aircraft.”

Men of unknown nationality had hijacked an Airbus A320 on the ground and demanded the release of military prisoners from Guantánamo Bay. How the assholes got AK-47s and grenades on board was anybody’s guess. Officials had three hours to meet their demands or the hijackers would start killing a passenger every fifteen minutes.

The U.S. government didn’t negotiate with terrorists, at least not directly. More often than not, they sent a team like Boulder’s to do the “talking” for them, to fight fire with fire. In a situation like this, it was the only realistic response.

“Where are the hijackers now?” Scott asked into his headset.

There was a pause before the answer came back. “Locations remain unchanged. One in the cockpit. Two in the forward galley beyond the main door. Another in the passenger cabin. Execute in thirty seconds.”

“Thirty seconds, on your mark,” Scott said into the headset, and felt a deep weariness in his muscles, his bones. He’d seen many people die at the hands of fanatics like these. Too fucking many. Innocent civilians and men he’d served with . . . their bodies torn apart by bullets and bombs, their families left behind to suffer. He’d proudly protected his country for the past eighteen years, but lately he felt like he was drowning in blood. He should have quit months ago when he’d had the chance, but he’d enlisted for one more tour of duty. And now he had to live with that decision.

Scott forced himself to concentrate. He didn’t have the luxury to indulge his fatigue. As always, success today would depend on control . . . on his controlling the team, and on the team wresting control from the hijackers.

The latter wouldn’t be easy. Airplane incursions were a tactical nightmare. You had tight quarters, sharp corners, interrupted lines of sight. Not to mention every row of seats was a potential barricade for the bad guys to hide behind. It didn’t help that his team had been assembled only six weeks ago. They’d been successful thus far, but lacked the cohesion of a team that had spent real time together in the field.

Then again, they had a few tricks up their sleeves that other teams didn’t.

“Let’s do this by the numbers,” Scott said.

The two men across from him nodded to indicate they understood. Scott traded places with them, positioning himself in front of the van’s sliding door and gripping the handle, ready to throw it open when the time came. If the hijackers expected water and peanuts from this catering van, they were in for one hell of a surprise.

Scott glanced at the third man on his right, who was making a last-minute adjustment to his gear. “You okay?”


“Sure about that?”

The man glared, amber eyes flashing. “I said I was.”

Scott wasn’t convinced. Eric had been acting strangely these past few days. Distracted, contentious. This was just more of the same. “I never asked you to look out for me,” added Eric.

“It’s my job to look out for you,” said Scott, suppressing an urge to bounce his younger brother from the mission right then and there. Eric’s disrespect to a superior officer notwithstanding, the action would hardly be appropriate minutes before go time. He had to make sure Team Ultra maintained discipline and focus, acted as a unit. But Eric was still obviously in pain, and as his older brother, that meant Scott felt some of it, too. “What the hell is up with you? This is a mission.”

A look of pure resentment crossed Eric’s face. “Why not worry about yourself for a change?”

Scott was about to reply when the voice in his headset returned. “Ten seconds.”

“Ten seconds,” Scott repeated to his men, and made a mental note to bring up the personal issues with Eric later. He had to keep his mind on the matters at hand. “Remember, fire only if necessary and at what you can see. Drew and Jonas, you’re up first. Eric, you’re with me. By the numbers, gentlemen, do you hear me?”

Eric flashed him another “fuck you” look. Scott glared back in reply—You’re on thin ice, little brother—and then it was time.

“Mark,” came the voice on his headset.

“Mark,” Scott said, then wrenched open the side door; it slammed open with a rolling bang. Sunlight and swampy New Orleans air flooded the back of the van as Drew and Jonas leaped past him onto the tarmac. Scott moved to follow, but Eric rushed past him. Scowling, Scott let the transgression go. He didn’t want to break the rhythm of the team in the middle of an op.

Outside, the airbus loomed, its aluminum skin gleaming in the morning sun.

“Cockpit!” Scott yelled to Drew.

Drew sprinted beneath the nose section, and looked up at the cockpit’s side window. Earlier, one of the hijackers had shot it out and stuck out his arm to wave a pistol around, demonstrating that the pilot was no longer in control of the airplane. A stupid move.

Drew stood ramrod straight with his arms at his sides, cutting a lean profile, and then the entire surface of his body—flesh, clothes, equipment—began to whirl, colors and textures mixing, until the framework of flesh and bone fell into itself with an implosion of gray mist.

The transformation took less than two seconds, and never failed to make Scott a little queasy. Seeing Drew’s body evaporate was too fucking weird.

The gray cloud stretched and flowed up through the side window as quickly as a waterfall in reverse, then a scream issued from the cockpit. From the sound of it, the hijacker holding the pilot found the transformation disturbing, too. A Special Forces commando materializing from thin air is not something they prepare you for in terrorist school.

Scott turned to see Jonas already at the top of the air stairs that had been wheeled into place earlier under the pretext of delivering food and water. Jonas had anticipated his order. Good. With each mission, the team’s cohesion was improving.

“Stay on my six,” he said to Eric.

“Go to hell,” Eric growled, and rushed past him up the stairs, taking them two at a time.

Not completely improving, Scott thought grimly, and followed. He no longer cared about what his brother was going through; this was crossing the line.

At the top of the stairs, Jonas punched his fingers into the metal seam on either side of the locked forward main door, and pulled. With a screech of rending metal, he ripped the massive door from its mooring and pitched it over his shoulder. Scott ducked instinctively as the door passed over his and Eric’s head with a slipstream whoosh, and crashed onto the tarmac below.

Two hijackers with AK-47s waited inside the forward galley. They were young, probably mid-twenties, and wore dirty white T-shirts with American logos on them, blue jeans, and tennis shoes. Red bandannas covered the lower halves of their faces, but their confused eyes said it all: What just happened?

Scott felt much the same way. Jonas was a tall, lantern-jawed Swede who was thick with muscle, already plenty strong, but his enhanced strength was downright scary.

Jonas grabbed the hijackers by their shirts and knocked them together. Hard. They crumpled to the ground, and then he rolled them onto their stomachs and pressed a knee into their backs to make sure they didn’t get up again.

Barely nine seconds had elapsed.

Scott followed as Eric ran headlong past Jonas through the greeting area and took a hard right, leading with his MP5. Scott glanced into the cockpit as he passed and saw a reconstituted Drew hog-tying his hijacker with flexicuffs. A grenade lay harmlessly on the floor. The pilot appeared uninjured, and sat wide-eyed in his seat, staring at Drew. Apparently, the pilot had witnessed Drew’s transformation, too.

Scott moved smoothly into the main cabin behind Eric. Eighty-two passengers stared at them, faces frozen in uniform terror. The sharp scent of urine wafted into Scott’s nostrils. Some of the passengers had no doubt wet themselves in fear.

The remaining hijacker was in the aisle about ten rows away, using a woman as a shield. Pressing a gun to her temple, he yelled in a thick accent, “Get back! Get back!”

“Drop the gun!” Scott yelled. “Now!”

Scott knew there was no way the guy would comply. He was too freaked out that his comrades had been taken down in less than ten seconds; freaked out that Team Ultra was more than human. He was about to pull the trigger, and there was no way any of the team could draw a safe bead on him before he did.

“Hey!” Eric yelled. The hijacker looked at him, finger tightening on the trigger. Eric stretched out his right arm as though he were trying to touch the man across the rows that separated them. “Put down the gun.”

The hijacker frowned, obviously confused at Eric’s audacity, then his eyes went completely white, like they’d been replaced with cue balls. Scott didn’t kn...

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matthew J. Rose on August 29, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Scott Boulder Captain of a Secret Military Squad, enhanced through the use of Genetic Splicing of a Corpse onto Highly trained military squad. From page 1 the book starts with the use of these abilities in a real life situation, then moves onto a highly charged, action rollercoaster. Told from the point of view from 4 main characters, this book keeps you interested no matter whose eyes you are viewing through. If you like vampire novels or action movies, then you will like this book. Hopefully there will be more
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anne "Book addict" on October 19, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The storyline is interesting and well thought out but the characters were lacking which let the book fall flat, IMO.

I've read about a LOT of too stupid to live heroines, I think this is the first too stupid to live hero I've ever read about. The author seems to have wonderful ideas, for the author's sake lets hope her next book is better thought out. But I won't most likely won't be reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 20, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book's write up seemed interesting. However, this book was a chore to finish. The main characters were flat and unbelievable, with interactions relegated to awkward sex scenes and being "unexplainably drawn towards each other," "never felt like this towards another," "instant trust" and other trite phrases. I read it to the end, in the hopes that maybe the ending would salvage the story line. It didn't.
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A pretty good Urban Fantasy/Horror Light/Paranormal Romance. In this book Vampires are not your typical "sexy, misunderstood" characters but are vile and evil creatures who love to kill. The heroine, Leah, is a sort of "anthopoligist/good witch" who is kinda a female Van Helsing. She's devoted her life's work to fighting against Vampires after a creature she believes to be a Vampire kills several of her family members as a child. The hero, Scott, is part of a Government military "Special Ops" type unit that is experimenting with creating a group of "supermen" from the DNA of a mummy the Government found in a Texas cave. Really bad idea as the mummy is actually a unawakened super powerful Vampire that by taking him from the cave, they now awaken him.

The action was a B+, the characters about a C+ (Leah was a little weak but she will hopefully improve in book 2) and the Romance was a C-. Don't read The Last Vampire if your looking for typical Paranormal Romance, as the romance is only a secondary issue. Do read this book is you like action and horror with a little romance thrown in.
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I think this novel deserves one read. It manages to mix many different elements of horror together and while the main premise of the novel is'nt very believable, it still manages to keep you hooked onto the very end. I liked the theme of bringing middle aged gothic styled horror to the modern era. Somehow it worked for me.

Definitely not the best book ever and certainly not the worst.
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