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Jesse Jameson and the Vampire Vault    by Sean Wright order for
Jesse Jameson and the Vampire Vault
by Sean Wright
Order:  USA  Can
Crowswing, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This fourth episode in the popular Jesse Jameson series moves at supersonic speeds, as our young heroine and her lengthening trail of cohorts race against time, in an attempt to save her beloved grandfather Perigold from becoming a vampire slave. Jesse, now both a soothsayer and shapeshifter, chases the evil Skaardrithadon, the 'New Master of Darkness', in her dragon shape, accompanied by her wimpy friend Jake, the Dragon Hunter, wizard Trondian-Yor, tracker Kumo Diaz, and (my series favorite) Iggywig, who makes quaint utterances like 'Fear be our enemy.' We learn early on that one of Jesse's companions is a traitor.

In addition to being the hunters, Jesse's group is also hunted. Skaardrithadon uses part of his own evil glow to create a 'Brood' of vile creatures, which he sets on their trail. And Jesse's old enemies, the witches and warlock Driths (Gwendrith, Dendrith, Kildrith and Jagdrith) track them as well, sending monstrous wasp/locust 'stingers' swarming ahead (you'll love the way Jesse deals with these particular critters). Not to mention that there are horrid creatures following them underneath the desert sands. Pursuers and pursued all end up in a bizarre land called Naargapire, solely populated by 'blood-sucking vampires' (though they do come in different degrees). Jesse learns that she has to get to the 'Vampire Vault', which unfortunately is filled with powerful Vampire Lords.

Naturally, the good guys walk into a trap with fearful odds against them. It doesn't look promising for them and it isn't, as Sean Wright writes his way to another dire cliffhanger of an ending, that will leave fans very worried about what's coming next. As usual, Jesse Jameson and the Vampire Vault was a treat of imagination, but this time, the heroine becomes a little more 3D, as readers share some of her feelings - of frustration with her youth and inexperience, guilt over being unable to help her grandfather, and a growing confidence in her powers.

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