Thirst No. 4: The Shadow of Death
Author: Christopher Pike
Release Date: August 2011
** spoiler alert ** Volume 4 of the Thirst series continues Seta, Matt, Shanti, Charlie and friend’s struggle to stop both the immortal Telar who are on the verge of releasing a virus that will decimate the world population by billions, as well as Cynthia Brutran’s trillion dollar company that possesses a psychic weapon capable of predicting the future as well as taking away a person’s free will. To cap all this off, our main character is stuck in an another person’s body at the beginning of the book and is incapable of doing most of the things she has done with ease throughout the first several books in thes series.
The stuff that worked the best for me in this book generally involved the lack of control for Seta to stop her vampiric cravings; this started with an unfortunate feeding and evolved into an extensive coverup which created additional problems. All of this was great and took place near the beginning of the book which drew me in quickly for the rest of the story. I also enjoyed the greek afterlife segments and use of riddles, though I’d argue the answers like a good attorney were I in the same situation.
Unfortunately a lot of this book was very predictable by both vampire and science fiction standards. The traitor in the group’s midst could be seen a mile away, and the method for developing a supernatural psychic power was about as generic as one can imagine (think about the opening testing sequence in Ghostbusters, which is a real test, and assume they it just discovered psychic ability nobody else had found before).
The final confrontations with the Telar and Brutran’s company happen fast and fierce, and the threat left behind in their collapse just doesn’t seem as interesting or intimidating at either adversary in this novel. With only one more book to go in the series I’m still definitely planning on seeing the resolution, but at this point it could go either way on whether the series benefited from this added coda 15 years after the original ending.