No Dominion: A Novel
by Charlie Huston
Review by Gayle Surrette
Del Rey Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 0345478258
Date: 26 December, 2006 List Price $13.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
In No Dominion, Joe Pitt has settled down a bit since Already Dead (also reviewed by our UK Editor John Berlyne). The jobs have been few and far between but he's been doing okay -- except his stash is down to 3 pints, his girlfriend's HIV is getting worse, and she's wants to know what Joe does for a living. But that's just background as Joe's face is getting pushed through safety glass by a vamp hyped up on drugs. This is no small thing since the vyrus doesn't let vampyres get more than a light and fleeting buzz from drugs. So what's the drug that can get a vamp high? Who's making it? And where the heck are all these new vamps coming from?
No Dominion is noir squared. Joe Pitt is a vampire Sam Spade. Joe's a cynic but he can't help trying to do the right thing even when it means it might cost him everything he is. Vampyres are all about politics and territory. To learn what the new drug is and who is making it, Joe must travel out of his territory, and to do that he has to have the help of Terry, who wants to control him, and Daniel, who believes Joe should take his place when he dies. Joe is a holdout not beholden to any clan but picking up jobs and living free by Terry's whim.
Pitt might not be a mover and a shaker in vampyre politics but he knows when he's being used and, even knowing, he allows it to get the job done. But in the end it just might cost him more than he's willing to pay. Huston continues to develop the character and the story unfolds allowing us to see how it works -- there are no winners here. There are those who are used and those who don't realize they are being used and those who make a choice for a better chance for others.
The style is a bit different as dialogue is tagged with a dash at the beginning of the line but you don't even notice after the first chapter because by then you are so engrossed in the story that you won't put it down anyway. While you could probably pick this book up without having read Already Dead; there's a lot of backstory given in the first chapters to help out with the set up. However, the first book is excellent, so give yourself a treat.
There's no happy ending, just a visit to a place that's got to be worse than where ever you are now and that's got to make this world and this reality look better just by comparison -- and a nifty mystery to boot.