A toothsome blend of speculative fiction, Mesoamerican myth, and horror, the third and concluding installment of Dr. Don W. Hill and Tom Cavaretta’s Vampiro trilogy wraps up this grand-scale narrative of a vampire outbreak in the Southwest and its potential connections to ancient civilizations.
Set in the 1980s, the narrative is essentially numerous intertwined storylines. Former housekeeper Lorena Pastore—after abducting her boss’s young son when he transformed into a vampire—has left the U.S. and fled to Mexico. Possessing two ancient obsidian blades used to kill vampires and believing she’s the new queen of the Mayan people, Pastore aims to reestablish the Mayan Empire and seek bloody retribution for the tens of thousands of Mayan descendants killed in the Guatemalan Civil War.
Meanwhile, archaeologist Birdy Marshall and love interest Dr. Parker Coxswain flee government goons after they discover irrefutable evidence of human vampirism in the form of ancient Navajo skulls with massive canine incisors. And as ruthless drug cartels battle for supremacy in lawless Mexico, gangs of vampiric youth and a cult of bat worshippers begin a meteoric rise in power.
There’s much to like here. The intertwining storylines unfold at breakneck speed and the diverse viewpoints—from a rogue vampire to an imprisoned leader of commando killers to a Navajo elder—give the narrative a three-dimensional feel. Additionally, the plot features some innovative twists to the vampire mythos, like the sickle cell trait being anathema to vampires.
The violence, however, is sometimes gratuitous, such as the numerous gory wood chipper scenes. And many characters have strangely similar political views. Lorena cites “Liberal Democrats from the United States, amongst other white idiots who drive Volvos, wear Birkenstock shoes, and are perpetually filled with self-loathing, environmental guilt…” Others note: “He must’ve been a useless progressive Democrat on the county dole…”; “he’s a fucking Democrat,” etc.
Such flaws aside, this is an unapologetically violent, highly entertaining vampire saga that should satisfy thirsty fans of blood-sucking fiction.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.