Publisher: Hodder’s Children’s Books
First published in UK in 1995
Alisa and her partner, Joel, are vampires. But Joel is also an FBI agent, and someone inside the government has discovered their secret. The government wants their blood, to study it, to duplicate it. They send a massive manhunt after Alisa and Joel. But using skills and abilities developed over 5,000 years, Alisa manages to elude the hunt. Unfortunately Joel is caught, and taken to a top-secret base in the Nevada desert. Now it is Alisa's task to free him.
I read the first two books in The Last Vampire series earlier this year and had planned to read the rest, but other books distracted me and I’ve only just got around to it. Red Dice picks up exactly where Black Blood finished with Alisa turning Joel into a vampire to save his life. From there we are plunged straight into an explosive escape as the LA police attempt to capture the two of them. When Joel is caught, Alisa has to search her past for the clues in how to free him from the government who are looking to use their blood for evil.
Despite the high stakes (no pun intended) and many action scenes involving guns, leaping from skyscrapers, helicopter chases, Las Vegas nightlife and heavily armed secret bases, Red Dice lacked the elegance of the first two books. Perhaps because of them. Alisa is alone for most of this adventure – there is no Ray, little Seymour and no Yaksha for Alisa to open up to so I didn’t connect with her as much this time round. However, the writing is easy to fall into and compared to recent YA there are less than 200 pages so it doesn’t take a long time to read. I still like Alisa – she is different from other vampires in YA with supreme confidence in her abilities and it really does feel like she has 5,000 years of knowledge behind her. This is still a tasty snack of a book – like an oatmeal cookie.
Recommended for fans of LJ Smith and Isobelle Carmody. 6 out of 10