Fangs for the Fantasy's Reviews > The Taste of Night

The Taste of Night by Vicki Pettersson
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Aug 09, 2011

really liked it
Read in August, 2011

When we last left Oliva/Joanna she had rooted out the spy in the light, met the Tulpa and come to terms that are life had changed forever. In The Taste of Night, Oliva/Joanna must live with the results of her decisions. Though she has developed an attraction for Hunter, her heart still belongs to Ben. The fact that she belongs to shadow and light continues to cause friction between her and the shadow warriors. She fears that they will never trust her. Within the turbulence of all the conflicts, chief among her concerns is to seek vengeance for the rape that she just barely survived at the tender age of fifteen.

There was a lot of world building in this book, but it did not slow down the action in the slightest. We learned how the comics are made which document the actions of the Shadow and Light warriors. We learned that it is possible to kill the Tulpa and that we are quickly approaching a time when Oliva/Joanna will bring light to the world if she manages not to shift to the dark side. In some ways the play between the dark and the light reminds of Star Wars and the Matrix. Of course, even when this approach was taken in Star Wars, it was not new, because it very much is a spin on the bible. What makes Pettersson's Zodiac books different, is that this time, the chosen one is a woman. I find this transgressive, because 'woman' has always been constructed as the downfall of man, rather than the savior.

Despite the fact that the book is set in Las Vegas, there continues to be a decided absence of GLBT people. There is however a suggestion of a male on male rape perpetrated by a shadow warrior. It is absolutely problematic to remove any and all suggestion that two people of the same sex can love each other and then include a same sex rape. It suggests that sex between men can only be violent and predatory. The other reference to GLBT people occurs in passing when it is mentioned that GLBT are dying in a plague in the Las Vegas area. Unfortunately, the plague is spread by kissing. When you think of how many GLBT people have lost their lives due AIDS, this plague is absolutely problematic.

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