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Daughter of Darkness [Hardcover]

Steven Spruill
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 19 1997
Dr. Jenn Hrluska is young, beautiful, and everyone's choice for best intern at Washington, D.C.'s Adams Memorial hospital.  When she finds the freshly killed body of a stranger on her doorstep, her initial shock turns to an irresistible thirst for the blood surrounding the body, for Jenn is a hemophage: her life depends on feeding on the blood of "normals."  Until now, Jenn has survived by transfusing blood from sleeping victims, harmlessly.  With bone-chilling certainty, she recognizes that this body has been left as an invitation to reclaim her destiny of taking blood by deadly force.  And only one person would have left the body for her--her father, Zane.

Jenn's grandfather, Merrick, sealed Zane in a tomb ten years ago to end his murderous rampages.  Since then, Jenn has pursued her life, ignoring her true nature.  But now Zane has escaped and begun to insinuate himself into Jenn's world.  Beginning with cruel pranks to remind her of his powers, Zane soon commits a murder that brings Jenn to the brink of exposure--or death.  Unjustly imprisoned for murder, and facing the possibility of dying without a supply of fresh blood, Jenn decides she must escape and use her unearthly powers to defeat Zane once and for all.

As father and daughter confront each other, however, Jenn realizes that the love that links them might just be as imperishable as the deadly curse they share.

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Product Description

From School Library Journal

YA. Fans of both the horror and medical suspense genres will enjoy this tale. Dr. Jenn Hrluska, a beautiful, talented intern at a Washington, DC, hospital, is a hemophage: a genetic defect requires that she feed on human blood to survive. In this sequel to Rulers of Darkness, Spruill tells the riveting story of Jenn's affection for her grandfather, Merrick, who raised her to transfuse blood harmlessly from sleeping victims to feed her hunger. He has decided that he no longer wishes to live the immortal life of a hemophage, so he takes special transfusions that will allow him to grow old with his present wife. As a police detective, Merrick hunted the deadly hemophages, including his own son, but now he is no longer a match for Zane's powers. When Zane escapes from his father's underground prison and vows revenge, Jenn must choose between them. YAs will enjoy this fast-moving variation on the traditional vampire tale and its many subplots. One of Jenn's young patients is dying of leukemia; a fellow intern plants drugs in her locker to get her fired; Jenn's new boyfriend experiences odd hallucinations that make her fear he may be "phage" as well; and an overly curious television reporter stalks Jenn and almost reveals her family's secret to the world. Perhaps, most of all, YAs will identify with Jenn's emotional turmoil as she untangles her complex feelings for a father who asks her to return to a "natural" but deadly life with him; and a grandfather who believes that she can transcend that life and care for the children of the world.?Pat Bangs, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This sequel to Rulers of Darkness (LJ 7/95) focuses on Jenn Hrluska, a young resident physician in Washington, D.C., who is a "hemophaege"?an immortal being with human strength who must subsist on human blood. Jenn's father, Zane, from whom she inherited the gene that allowed her transformation from human to hemophaege, turned her into this vampiric being. With the help of her grandfather, a retired police detective (and fellow hemophaege), she chooses to take blood through a transfusion process that does not harm mortals. But Zane wants her to be like him and most other "phaeges"?a killer who enjoys the thrill of taking human life through drinking the victim's blood. Much of this novel revolves around the bitter contest between Jenn and Zane, but the tension that made Rulers of Darkness such fast-paced reading is less strong here. The first part of the book moves slowly, although things pick up toward the end. Recommended where Spruill is popular.?Patricia Altner, Information Seekers, Bowie, Md.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific combo of horror/medical thriller July 16 1997
By A Customer
A decade has passed since former Washington DC detective Merrick
Chapman, a ten century old hemophagia locked his five century old son Zane
in a vault in order to stop the serial killing that threatened to reveal
the family secret of vampirism. Instead of starving to death, somehow,
Zane escapes and he plots revenge on his sire. Zane's plan starts off
quite simple. He will recruit his own daughter, Jenn Hrluska, a medical
intern, as his accomplice. However, Jenn, who siphons off blood to control
her need, refuses to become a killer like her father. Instead, she prefers
to save lives like her grandfather.

This minor setback does not bother Zane, who will do anything to
destroy his father, including using his own daughter as bait. He commits a
murder and sets up the evidence so that Jenn is accused of doing it. He
performs other acts to raise her blood hunger to a feverish pitch,
expecting her to eventually go out of control. Merrick knows that he must
risk his life to stop his son from destroying his granddaughter.

DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS is an interesting blending of the vampire tale
with a medical thriller. The novel is a superb sequel, though not quite as
excellent as RULERS OF DARKNESS. Steven Spruill brilliantly turns the
vampiric condition into a clever medical condition so that readers will
find themselves believing in the reality of bloodsuckers. This is a great
book that fans of both sub-genres will enjoy.

Harriet Klausner
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4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining series June 16 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really like this book, and the whole series. It grips your imagination, the hemophage idea actually seems believable. You'll find yourself wondering if you really did see something out of the coner of your eye...Other times you'll be envying the strength, beauty and wisdom of the phages. Jenn is a worthy heroine, struggling against her nature, and not at all helped in this struggle by Zane, her father, who wants her give in and become the cold-bloded killer he feels their kind are supposed to be. I am currently re-reading the third book in the series, "Lords of Light". It isn't as believable as the other two, but in turn is more of a romantic, almost feelgood story that has some paralells with "Romeo and Juliet".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Thriller Aug. 16 1997
"Daughter of Darkness" is the second book by Steven Spruill concerning this disfunctional vampire family. It is a medical thriller, a suspenseful vampire horror story and a heartwarming story of a dysfunctional family. The relationships, the centuries of anger and pain, the love that will not die, make this one of the best books I've read in any genre. Spruill gives the reader an emotional ride that they will not soon forget. If you love a great medical thrillers, great vampire books and great stories of undying love, you have found the perfect book.

Erma Arthur, Reading Forum Assistant, MS
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic sequel June 2 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The whole idea of hemophages is such a brilliant explanation for vampires that I'm sure the author could write about 10 more in this series and I'd read them all!
The story picks up 10 years after where Rulers of Darkness left off. Jenn is now an intern, studying to save lives, despite the call of her nature. Grandfather Merrick helps her control her urges, together they make a great team. Then one day Zane, Jenn's father and Merrick's son appears, altering Jenn's life and urging her to accept what she is, a killer.
This is a sequel which is just as good as the first!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent characters and intriguing story. Aug. 20 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am a die hard vampyre fan, but often you only find books to terrify, not entertain. By page 15 of this book, I had my husband look up "Rulers of Darkness" so I can get it ordered. I try to stay away from sequels, but not this time!!! I have to read them all!! I'll be sharing this one with my friends and I'm sure I'll read it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Fine Work by Steven Spruill! Nov. 20 1998
By A Customer
Steven Spruill has done it again, with a gripping book the reader can't put down. My first Spruill novel was PAINKILLER, and I haven't been disappointed since. I always look forward to his next book. Rumor has it that it's called LORDS OF LIGHT, and I'm ready!
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