On the rosy sands of a distant Earth colony, Sabella lives a quiet life in her isolated home—carefully hiding her vampirism from society.
Sabella may not be undead, but she is painfully allergic to sunlight, possesses supernatural strength and speed, and feeds on fresh blood. In her youth, Sabella seduced a number of men, killing them all for fear of discovery. But with age comes control, and Sabella has sworn off of drinking human blood.
After four years of staying clean, Sabella receives an invitation to her Aunt Cassi’s funeral—along with several thousand credits to ensure she attends the reading of the will. But when Sabella arrives at the funeral, she discovers that the funds were a ruse. Before her death, Cassi—a devout Christian Revivalist—discovered the truth about Sabella and tasked her manservant, John Trim, to hunt Sabella down. Trim hires private investigator Sand Vincent to get close to Sabella and suss out the truth.
But Sand is only human—and Sabella anything but. As Sand becomes enthralled by Sabella’s charm, Sabella must combat her own instincts to keep him alive—and society’s suspicions away.
I read the gothic space opera Sabella by UK author Tanith Lee as part of a gothic literature course.
Sabella lives an isolated life in a house just before the true wilderness of canyons, deer and wolves take control. It is literally the end of the road. Sabella is a vampire and her isolated life is self-chosen because of her inability not to kill her lovers..
The death of her aunt and the formal request of her presence at the reading of the will is requested and orchestrated by her aunt who hated her. Reluctantly, Sabella attends only to receive a paltry sum of money and a curse. Aside from the cursed cabinet which Sabells leaves behind, she is followed by Sand – a man she met on the space ship who is fascinated and intoxicated by her.
Sabella engages in a sexual relationship with Sand but can’t control her feeding. As true as any curse, she kills Sand and within days his brother Jaice appears looking for him. Jaice is bold, brutal and unrelenting. When Sabella escapes him and the darker urges of her hunger and feeding become insatiable, she loses control. It is Jace who rescues her from herself.
Jace also reveals the stranger secret that bind them from investigations of an underground tomb for the original inhabitants of Neo Mars. It is that secret which Sabella and Jaice share their vampiric natures.
Sabella was a truly thought-provoking read which beyond the science-fiction and horror, dealt with the core of human natures and the sexual deviancy that is so commonplace in the gothic literature. It is skilfully written, unique and blazing characters.
Sabella was a great read. A blend of science fiction, horror and fantasy into a gothic masterpiece. A perfect read for lovers of the gothic, bizarre, a well-written story and a new take on the vampire tale.
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