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Collins, Nancy A.
omni,w/new-to-book: 1995
cvr art:
cvr price:
(Tall) Hardcover
Thom Ang

Book= near-Fine
Dustjacket= VG+ to near-Fine

Book is tight and square with the usual bumped ends to spine; slight overall wear. Dustjacket has no tears; light wear to corners and ends of spine; 1/2" scratch at left side of front cover next to spine (2" from top) that goes through the cover (may not show in scan.)

Midnight Blue: The Sonja Blue Collection - an omnibus of: Sunglasses After Dark (1989) + In the Blood (1992) + Paint It Black (1995.) That last book was original to the April 1995 White Wolf trade paperback of this omnibus (the true first edtion), and it was reprinted in Britain in May 1995 in paperback - making this SFBC August 1995 reprint (matching the earlier White Wolf edition) the first hardcover appearance. (The SFBC did a reprint in 2003, with a different ID number.)

[Edward Bryant reviewed this in LOCUS - here are his comments about the set]:

"White Wolf has committed a major public service by printing all three of Nancy Collins's Sonja Blue novels in an omnibus...

Sonja Blue is the often provocative, always entertaining, portrayal of a consummate odd woman out. Twenty years ago, Sonja was Denise Thorne, a callow and unhappy young woman, who was vampirized and turned into a creature ol the night by Lord Morgan, the most powerful of all the vampires. Unfortunately for Sonja, and in this present volume for Morgan, the integration of human and vampire personas never quite took. Sonja, still all too human but with deadly supernatural powers, has become a vengeance-driven predator who preys on those of the horrific persuasion.

Collins postulates our world as one in which We Are Cattle. We humans are constantly being preyed upon by the Pretenders, all manner of vampires, shapeshifters, ogres, angels, and other more-or-less sentient magical critters who do their best to prowl among us undetected.

Sonja Blue alone stalks the borderline, her brain inhabited by both a human sensibility and the Other, the seductively violent vampire nature. And considering how violent Sonja acts when she's reasonably sane, the conflict with her darker side generates considerable fireworks..." [-Edward Bryant, February 1996]

Sunglasses After Dark - Nancy Collin's first novel (and beginning of the "Sonya Blue" series.) With very self-consistent logic, Nancy Collins has created a world of vampires, ogres, seraphim and others who walk unseen among us. Edward Bryant gave this book a very favorable review in LOCUS when it came out. Because his summary was so succinct, I'll quote from that review:

"Sonja Blue is a vampire. She is also still partly - was once fully - human. She is a rogue, incredibly dangerous, and she has a real attitude problem with the undead. She kills them whenever she can. Unfortunately for Blue, when the novel opens, she has been captured by her arch-nemesis, televangelist Catherine Wheele, and lies sedated in a mental institution where all she can do is let the darker aspect of her personality invade the dreams of staff and patients alike... Collins provides a seemingly endless fountain of imaginative delights, sometimes grim, mostly perversely funny... Collins always knows how far to push toward or over the edge. Her control is sure... an impressive achievement in a first novel." [-Edward Bryant]

This book hooked me on Nancy Collins - my favorite moment in it comes when a telepath hands her a mirror and she gets an idea of just how powerful she has become.

[From Edward Bryant's review in LOCUS]:

"Paint It Black continues Sonja's saga, wraps up some loose ends, frays others, and generally comes across as a more personal, somewhat (emphasis on that qualifier) less melodramatic narrative.

This is the account of Sonja's final confrontation with the vampire who started her on this road of blood and destruction. It is also a fragmented narrative in which we again meet Sonja's peculiar attempt at a nuclear family: her iover Bill Palmer and her "adopted" young daughter, Lethe. Of course Palmer is not your average Joe - he's a reincarnation of a pre-Columbian Maya wizard-king whose sidekick is Lefty, a mummified but still perambulatory six-fingered severed hand that once belonged to his earlier avatar. He's also "... an ex-private investigator, pardoned felon, a telepath, and proprietor of a successful specialty export business." As the book opens, he's living in the Yucatan with Lethe, a sweet three-ycar-old who's just about to encase herself in a mysterious chrysalis. Not your average family, but perhaps only a slight exaggeration. Lethe, as we discover, has her own destiny to pursue, one which ultimately suggests a complementary role to Sonja's own self-appointed task as agent of death and destruction.

But all is not blood and mayhem, though both manifest abundantly. In between such wonderfully realized atrocities as the New York club featuring human chandeliers, Paint It Black treats the nature of dysfunctionality in relationships both romantic and family, and does thai affectingly. As well, Collins seems fascinated, much like S.P. Somtow in the Timmy Valentine novels, with the whole nature of personality integration.

There are just enough touches of Jung and Graves and Campbell here to reassure finicky readers that they aren't slumming by reading a vampire novel. But it's the sheer raw energy of Collins' inventive writing that ultimately carries the day. The author goes for that dark, nasty, manic, hyperdrive gusto and ultimately, perhaps just barely, snags it.

Ultimately all of us readers, male or female, are convinced that Sonja Blue is definitely a creature to die for."[-Edward Bryant, February 1996]

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