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Sabella Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 1980
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
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Beautiful writing, an interesting story, but the end was completely ruined for me when she finds god and assumes a submissive, child-like role in relation to her dominant male lover. Icky.
Sabella is the definitive sci-fi vampire classic. It is laden with Lee's usual rich and evocative imagery; she makes you see what she is talking about in your mind's-eye very clearly, no matter what the subject.
In this case, Mars has been colonized by humans long ago, and all of the original Martians have been dead for centuries. Or ARE they....? Lee borrows heavily from Bradbury's vision of Mars, and this is just all right with me. Does science fiction and vampirism sound like an odd mix to you? Lee makes it work perfectly.
For years afterward I looked for the proper materials to make my own Bloodstone necklace out of, but I could never find quite what I wanted. Sabella's [sparse] neighbors want to know what that girl who never comes out in the daytime and always wears dark glasses is REALLY up to, out there on the edge of town.... and about two sentences into this, you are going to want to know too. Enjoy this classic, because they don't make 'em like this any more. Five stars!
The story really starts here, when Jace, Sand's brother, comes looking for him. Will he uncover what Sabella really is? Will he believe it? Will he take revenge for his brother's death? What was Sabella's aunt up to when she left her money, especially considering she considered her niece to be damned. Just when you think you know what is going on and where it is heading, Lee unveils a couple of plot twists and an ending that is unexpected, if a bit too pat. But then this is a rather short book, more of a novella than a novel, and it would have worked better, I think, for it to be part of a collection of stories based on Novo Mars and not a stand-alone one. I was left wanting to know more about the original inhabitants...
This book is not nearly as good as Lee's Flat Earth series, but its still interesting. I find I prefer her out-and-out fantasy stories to her science-fiction ones.
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That said, this was the first of Tanith Lee's books that I ever read. The setting is another world, Novo Mars, and the main character is a vampire. This is an incredibly well written book, with descriptions so lush and rich that you can feel them yourself. Tanith Lee's writing is seductive: you'll want to live in that big house on the plateau and listen to the music that Sabella puts into the tape deck, watch the dust dance in the air, pull the long blinds closed to blot out the sun, drink pomengranete (sp?) juice, bleach you hair and run wild at night with the young boys that can't say no to her exotic beauty, and discover what you REALLY are... Get this book if you can! A fabulous tale of love, lust, intrigue, and self-discovery. Amust for any fan of Tanith Lee, vampires, or science fiction tales.
There IS a reason Tanith Lee got nominated so many times for World Fantasy Awards... :)=