I really loved this book. It was the first I read of Jefferson’s vampire series since Fangoria’s magazine recommended it. I read the others and thought they were great. However, when I compared each one to the other, I personally thought this book had a lot of depth to it. Most of that is due to the careful attention Jefferson gives to Orfeo’s settings and situations. She practically paints the beautiful world of ‘Fiend,’ with a heavy arsenal of vivid words and descriptions, before our eyes. Even more, she keeps Orfeo consistently in character from start to finish, from one book to the next (unlike other characters Ariane and Daniel).
I know a lot of people will compare ‘Fiend’ to Anne Rice’s ‘Interview with a Vampire’, but this is loads better. It’s actually fun to read, from beginning to end and delivers in the sex department. These boys get down and dirty. Enough said. Sure, people can get put off by it, but you definitely have to give Jefferson credit for having the balls to put it all out in the open. It’s rare to find a writer who isn’t coy and tentative.
Some may find Orfeo as a self-loathing creature who whines too much. I don’t think so. While characters like Daniel have to scream and holler to get attention, Orfeo has a beautiful and subtle approach. You have to be a good reader to realize the many layers his character possesses. In short, he’s a major head case. One moment he’s singing Hail Mary’s, the next… he’s having a jolly good time with his psycho lover. Even in the other novels, he conveys this sense of dualism. Boy, do I love what a hypocrite he can be sometimes. And yet, he retains some type of innocence. His faith, however strict and odd it is sometimes, keeps him sane and alive. In short, Orfeo is a brilliant character, more so than Rice’s Louise, whom people tend to compare him to. If these two were to engage in mortal combat, I’d put my buck on Orfeo. He’s more interesting. I mean, really, how many vampires do you know had an infatuation with their sibling, fed on children on the night of transformation, kick estranged lovers right in the family jewels, and attend Mass every Sunday?