Follow TV Tropes


Literature / The Last Vampire

Go To

A series of nine books by Christopher Pike. There were originally six books which were first released in the early 1990's. Then with the resurgence of the 'vampire' in the teen fiction market, they were re-released in 2009/2010. A seventh book was released in late 2010. An eighth and ninth have also been released in 2011 and 2013 respectively.

The protagonist is the vampire Sita, who was the lieutenant of the first vampire, Yaksha, as well as the target of his affections. Thousands of years ago, Yaksha created a whole army of vampires and intended to take over the world, only to be stopped by the Messianic Archetype (Krishna), who made him vow to destroy all of the vampires as penance. The first novel begins with Yaksha's quest nearly completed, in modern times, with only he and Sita still alive. The novels show Sita's relationships with humans and battles with enemies that are more powerful than her. Though it all, she just wants to have a family, having lost her original family when she became a vampire 5,000 years ago. Each volume offers a mix of present day action, and flashbacks to previous eras in Sita's life (sometimes hundreds of years in the past.)


  1. The Last Vampire
  2. Black Blood
  3. Red Dice
  4. Phantom
  5. Evil Thirst
  6. Creatures of Forever
  7. The Eternal Dawn
  8. The Shadow of Death
  9. The Sacred Veil

This book series provides examples of:

  • Abduction Is Love: Yaksha kidnaps Sita and forces her to become a vampire. Later on, while she doesn't kidnap either Ray or Joel outright, her Emergency Transformation of them makes returning to their normal lives impossible.
  • Affably Evil: Yaksha at least in the present despite being the Big Bad is reserved and fairly polite to those he speaks to all of which is genuine.
  • The Ageless: Any and all of the vampires, whose bodies are frozen in time.
  • Ancient Astronauts: According to Umara, the Telar learned many secrets, including anti-aging teas that actually worked and irrigation systems, from spirits they communicated with via the array.
  • The All-Seeing A.I.:
    • The CII has information that the players are often denied until they reach certain levels.
    • Most of the nonhuman characters fit this trope.
  • Back from the Dead: Sita keeps doing this.
    • Averted in the second book, where she explains it is through Krishna's grace she survived a stake through the heart.
    • Averted again in the fourth book, where she says she never really died at all, and John's blood had healed her instead of Seymour.
    • Played straight finally in the fifth book, where a combination of John, Lucifer and Umara helps her return to life first in someone else's body and then eventually back to her own.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: The IIC and Telar are powerful enough to beat each other. And they do. The IIC's cradle/array are used to kill the higher Telar, excluding Umara, and the Telar's X 6 X 6 virus is kept and used to kill the array
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: The Last Vampire series explains that God created evil, because without it people were complacent and couldn't become truly good.
  • Being Watched: Sita in the IIC building, the first two visits.
  • Betty and Veronica: In "The Last Vampire", Ray is forced to choose between 'mousy', kind Pat (the Betty) and dangerous, beautiful Sita (the Veronica).
  • Big Damn Heroes: Matt rescues Sita when it looks like she's about to be killed by the Pulse, killing anyone who stands in his way.
  • Born from a Dead Woman: Yaksha was born after his pregnant mother had died and her corpse was possessed by a demon (and then slain again). He ended up becoming the progenitor of the vampire race because of the demonic influence on him as an unborn fetus.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: Played more or less straight with Ray and Sita. Platonic version with Seymour and Sita.
  • Burial at Sea: This happens in "Black Blood" with Yaksha and in "Creatures of Forever" with Sita.
  • Cartwright Curse: Anyone Sita is paired with romantically will die within two books of the pairing's start.
  • Compelling Voice: The Cradle compels its victims to kill themselves or others in gruesome ways.
  • Covert Group with Mundane Front: The IIC are supposed to be an investment company. Slightly averted in that they are, but that's only half the story.
  • Cradling Your Kill:
    • Sita has a tendency towards this, though whether it's kind or creepy depends on who she's killing and her mood.
    • Also shown (very creepily) when Yaksha turns Sita into a vampire - as the transformation kills her, he holds her in his arms, stroking her hair, kissing her, and whispering things to her.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: This happens to most vampires, in part as a natural consequence of their new instincts. Yaksha, in his early days, takes particular joy in doing this to Sita after he makes her a vampire.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Many.
    • Lisa takes a pen and stabs her own veins, then has to jump off the roof naked. This is relatively light compared to the others killed by the Cradle.
    • Two Telar die because the wife fed 40 tubs of chlorine into her husband's hot tub, then falls in because she thinks she is being pushed in by a giant insect, they both boil together in the chlorine as their skin falls off, and to top it all off one of them bumps the button so the cover of the pool covers them and they have absolutely no chance of getting out.
    • Numbria is skinned and then eaten alive by Cradle!Sita after being tied to a bed with a special alloy she cannot escape and having many broken bones. The worst part is, because Sita can't talk about what she's done, most of the details are left to the reader's imagination. Even worse when you think about the fact that the victim is Telar and can last an extremely long time without dying.
  • Cyanide Pill: The first Telar Sita comes across has a device implanted in his molars, that causes him to turn to red dust upon activating.
  • Dark Action Girl: Although she is the series protagonist, Sita fulfills this trope. So does her daughter, Kalika.
  • Daywalking Vampire: Sita and Yaksha, and probably any vampire that's been alive for thousands of years. Averted with newborns.
  • Dating Catwoman: Joel struggles with this idea after he meets Sita and becomes increasingly aware that she is definitely not normal.
  • Deal with the Devil: The basic premise of The Shadow of Death. Very nasty consequences for those involved
  • Deep Cover Agent: Two of the Telar are deeply ensconced in the UN, involved in helping the poor and educating children in poor countries. It is implied that this is a cover, although interestingly enough Sita never bothers to find out.
  • Deus ex Machina: When Sita is about to be killed by the Pulse, Matt is suddenly a fully-equipped, Telar-killing hybrid.
  • Depopulation Bomb: One of Sita's main problems with the Telar race of Egypt. If they hadn't threatened to do this, who knows if she might have simply left them alone.
  • Detect Evil: Sita can usually do this, especially in the later books. Of course, she is so confident in her abilities that it leads to disastrous consequences if she is wrong.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Played straight with Yaksha, but subverted with Kalika in that everyone only thinks she's evil - she actually has benevolent reasons for all her actions.
  • Dhampyr: Kalika is discovered to be one of these, though for all practical purposes she is a full-fledged vampire. Later on Matt is revealed as another, though his mother isn't a normal human.
  • Disappeared Dad: There are several instances of this in the series - Sita, Ray, and Matt and Kalika all lose their fathers after dad's death by violence.
  • Emergency Transformation: Several times, vampires - mostly Sita - must choose whether or not to let a loved one die or turn him/her into a vampire. Played straight in that, unless the transformee was willing, it usually doesn't end well.
  • Enfant Terrible: There are quite a few examples - Yaksha and Kalika are the straight-up vampire kind, while the children in the Array are more alarming for being human.
  • Enter Stage Window: Sita frequently does this with Seymour, both for kicks and because she usually visits him at ungodly hours of the night.
  • Expansion Pack Past: Sita. Did Sita every tell you about that time she was in Ancient Egypt? Or Nazi Germany?
  • Express Delivery: This occurs in the 4th book of the series when Sita experiences a shorter than average pregnancy.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • Sita thinks Yaksha is dead at the start of the series, having heard back in the Middle Ages that he was accused of being a witch, hunted down, and burned alive in a castle. Obviously, she was mistaken.
    • Also happens in "The Eternal Dawn", where we learn that Yaksha actually had a child with a Telar woman, and that all three faked their deaths to escape the Telar, who disapproved of the union and the resulting child.
  • Femme Fatalons: Sita often uses her nails to open veins in her victims.
  • Fetus Terrible: Kalika initially seems to be this, gestating and aging at an abnormally fast rate. She is not adverse to killing to get her own way. She terrifies even her own mother.
  • Final Solution: Krishna orders Yaksha to destroy all vampires if he wishes to die with Krishna's grace. Since the love of Yaksha's life is the vampire Sita, this creates some angst.
  • First Law of Resurrection: When Pike decided to continue the series, this had to be invoked.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Ray definitely fulfills this trope. So does Yaksha, particularly since he doesn't seem to need to drink blood later in life, and becomes remorseful about the cruelties he committed in his youth. Sita embodies it to a lesser extent, in that she's capable of great kindness and compassion... though she never loses her love of violence and particularly murder.
  • Fully-Embraced Fiend: Most of the vampires reach this stage, at least to some extent. The most obvious examples are the young Yaksha and Eddie, the antagonist in "Black Blood".
  • Glamour Failure:
    • Sometimes Sita lets her age show in her voice/eyes, and humans are taken aback.
    • Telar and vampires have powerful heartbeats which unless carefully controlled can be detected by other vampires.
    • When Sita detects the witch is lying to her on the way to the Scales, she is in fact revealed to be much less beautiful than she first appeared to be.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Teri
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Yaksha in "Black Blood". This leads to a brief Broken Angel scene and prompts Sita to perform a Mercy Kill, at his request.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: Happens with Sita and Ray in "Black Blood", and Sita and both Joel and Arturo in "Red Dice".
  • Heroic Sacrifice: There are quite a few in the series: Ray and Yaksha in "Black Blood", Kalika in "Evil Thirst", Sita in "Creatures of Forever" and "The Eternal Dawn"....
  • Horror Hunger: Newborn vampires, especially what Teri!Sita did to poor Ken.
  • Hydra Problem: Sita with the Telar.
  • If I Can't Have You…: Yaksha forces Sita to come with him and become a vampire (and his wife/consort) by telling her that if she refuses, he'll kill her, along with her husband and daughter.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Most vampires in this series come to actively resent the vampire who made them, since most of them were turned against their will. Played more or less straight with Sita and Yaksha, but subverted in "Creatures of Forever" with Sita and Seymour - he wanted to be turned and adores his maker. Also notably averted with Ray, who loved his maker even though he hated being a vampire.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Arguably a large part of why Yaksha was attracted to Sita. From day one, she seems less than susceptible to the charm that makes all the other people in their village trust him utterly. She tends to defy him and run counter to his wishes.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: Yaksha and Kalika both age rapidly, then stop when they are physically in their twenties.
  • Jacob Marley Apparel: Sita sees a lot of people wearing the clothes they presumably died in on her way to the Scale.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: Sita mentions that she can make feeding a very pleasurable experience for her victim. Of course, if the vampires want them to, Vampire Bites Suck.
  • Last of His Kind: Sita is, for much of the series, the titular last vampire.
  • Leave No Witnesses: The main way Sita has remained alive for so long is that anyone who knows her secret and threatens to reveal it dies. Examples include Ray's father and the secret facility in "Red Dice".
  • Love Interests: Many, many of these. Joel and Ray were this to Sita. Sita, in turn, was arguably the Love Interest (or Lust Object) of her creator, Yaksha.
  • Love Redeems: Sita, Yaksha, Arturo... this happens a lot.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Happens with pretty much every romance Sita has, since she is a vampire and other vampires are quite rare. Emphasized because the Messianic Archetype made her take a vow to create no more vampires, so she can't turn any of her human lovers. Exacerbated by her Cartwright Curse.
  • Meaningful Name / Prophetic Names: Several instances in the series.
    • Yaksha is named for a class of nature spirit, which are sometimes benevolent but about as often evil.
    • Sita and her human husband, Rama, are named for the protagonists of the Ramayana. This is even more fitting (or prophetic) given that a major chunk of the Ramayana's plot is about Prince Rama's quest to rescue Princess Sita from the demon who has abducted her.
    • Kalika is named for the goddess Kali, who she is implied to be an avatar of.
  • Mercy Kill: Sita does this for several people, including a nameless Roman lover who developed leprosy and Yaksha after he was so badly wounded that even he couldn't heal.
  • Mind Rape: The Cradle can make the victim see apalling images and convince them to kill themselves and the people around them, usually by focusing on any hatred they feel and magnifying it.
  • Monster Progenitor: Yaksha, the first vampire, is far stronger than even the oldest and most powerful of his 'children'.
  • No Escape but Down:
    • Sita when escaping the witch on the way to the Scales, jumps into a chasm she can't really see the bottom of.
    • When the group jump out of a helicopter that is about to get shot down, into icy water. It is possible there is a more fitting trope for this scene though.
  • No Such Agency: At the beginning of The Eternal Dawn, it is mentioned that the IIC is illegally connected to many other companies, forming an umbrella organisation that doesn't have a name.
  • Not Quite Saved Enough: Ray, Joel, and Teri all suffer this fate - even turning them into vampires isn't enough to save them.
  • Off with His Head!: How the main villain of Black Blood is finally dealt with. Also Shanti
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Yaksha was born from a dead woman who was eight months pregnant, after her corpse was possessed by a demon called a yakshini. (It is suggested that he IS the yakshini, taking human form.) As such, vampires are, like yakshini, sort of snake-like: they are sensitive to electricity and cold, and prefer to feed on the living. Their strength is determined by their age and how closely descended they are from Yaksha. (For example, if A is a vampire created by Yaksha, and B is someone turned by someone who was turned by Yaksha, A will be the stronger vampire.) All vampires are super strong, fast and have healing factors. They have none of the traditional vampire weaknesses except for sunlight (which only weakens them), decapitation, cardiac impalement or fire. They can also be killed if you can drain them of enough blood. They have very sharp senses, and have a small degree of psychic powers. They do have to drink blood to survive.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: By book 6, Sita really only kills to protect her identity/life. However, if said character is a rapist..
  • Really 700 Years Old: All of the older vampires fit this trope. Averted slightly with Arturo, who looks to be middle-aged but is, in fact, about seven hundred years old — he made himself a vampire-human hybrid, which slowed his aging.
  • Reincarnation Romance: A major plot point of the first book is whether or not Ray is the reincarnation of Sita's husband, Rama.
  • Soft Water: Subverted in 5. Evil Thirst. When someone gets thrown off a 10-story(ish) building into a deep swimming pool, they die. Effectively being pulpified in fact. The thrower, apparently finding this amusing, proceeds to get rid of all her opposition in the same way. The main character only survives because she's a vampire, though she's still very badly injured. Good thing she can heal.
  • Stages of Monster Grief: This is seen prominently in two characters: Ray and Sita. Sita's case is shown in the most detail and is the more extreme of the two. She goes so far as to try and starve herself to death, while Ray merely keeps feeding to a minimum. Averted with Joel and Seymour, both of whom adapt to vampirism fairly easily.
  • Staking the Loved One: Arguably what happens to Yaksha after Krishna makes him take a vow to "destroy the evil he created" - i.e., all the vampires he's made, including Sita. Also, Sita herself is forced to do this in to Arturo in "3. Red Dice" and to Kalika in "5. Evil Thirst" (although James beat her to it).
  • Stalker with a Crush: Yaksha does this to Sita, who in turn does it to Ray. Sita also does a platonic form of this with Matt, Teri, and Seymour.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Sita and Rama - she encounters his soul more than once, and each time loses him in a year or less.
  • Stronger with Age: Vampires get stronger as they age - their senses become sharper and they gain physical strength. Averted in that we see some vampires become very strong, very fast, by drinking the blood of another, stronger vampire. Subverted entirely with Kalika, who is the youngest vampire in the series, but also the strongest.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Including Sita's house in book The Eternal Dawn as well as Matt's fort.
  • Super Window Jump: Averted. Both Sita and two Telar pretend to jump out of windows by throwing furniture out of them to deceive each other into thinking they've left. It doesn't work.
  • The Team Normal: Seymour Dorsten, unless you count the fact that he has a psychic bond with Sita. Seymour also fulfills the role of The Smart Guy.
  • Title Drop: Sita quotes "the last vampire" quite a lot of times, especially considering that there are very few vampires left on earth.
  • Undeath Always Ends: Many vampires in the series are killed.
  • Unrequited Love Lasts Forever: Seemingly played straight with Yaksha and Sita, until we find out (a) she really did love him, in a way and (b) that he never stopped loving her but still fell in love with another woman, married, and had a kid.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid:
    • Played straight with Sita (who was a perfectly normal housewife before she became a vampire), but subverted with Yaksha and Eddie - it's implied they've ALWAYS been evil.
    • Subverted with Shanti.
  • Vampires Are Rich: At least, the older ones are. But then, if you'd had thousands of years to rack up money, you would be, too.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Most of the vampires are described as being very good-looking, and having eternity to work on your performance in the bedroom means that the older ones in particular make excellent lovers. Many of Sita's lovers who knew (or suspected) that she was inhuman found this fact an incredible turn-on. One of them, an artist who knew that she was a vampire, loved to paint nude portraits of her with blood all over her face.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Sita will drink the blood of people she has to kill because, well, why let it go to waste? But, she has the power to control people and wipe their memories, and will avoid killing them if possible - drinking only some of their blood, then wiping their memory. Partially averted, though, by the fact that she actually LIKES killing people - she just usually doesn't bother because, according to her, the consequences would be a waste of her time.
  • Warm Blood Bags Are Everywhere: For newborns, and certain old vampires in newborns' bodies, this poses a problem.
  • Was Once a Man: Averted with Yaksha, played straight with everyone else.
  • Weakened by the Light: Vampires in this series are weakened in the sunlight. For at least the first few centuries, they find any sun exposure excruciatingly painful.
  • You Remind Me of X: Variation three - Sita tells Ray that he reminds her of her dead husband, Rama.
  • Younger than They Look: Both Yaksha and Kalika fulfill this trope, since their born-not-turned vampirism makes them age more quickly until they reach maturity.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: the primary way the Cradle seems to kill people.
  • Your Vampires Suck: Sita possesses few of the traditional weaknesses. She sometimes has the "what about crosses, garlic, running water, coffin?" conversation with humans she reveals herself to. She can even stand the sunlight, though she explains she couldn't really do this until she'd aged a few THOUSAND years.