They Thirst is a horror novel, published in 1981 by Robert R. McCammon. The story follows a group of people in Los Angeles who are called by "dark forces."
The novel includes examples of:
- Action Survivor: Gayle Clarke, a woman tabloid journalist; Father Silvera, an old priest who is slowly dying; Wes Richer, a stand-up comic; and Tommy Chandler, a young Genre Savvy kid who loves horror movies, count since they're just regular people who manage to survive the vampire onslaught.
- Aerosol Flamethrower: One of the weapons a minor character uses to fight the vampires.
- All Bikers Are Hells Angels: Of the most murderous sort.
- Anyone Can Die
- Badass Biker: Several, including Kobra, Viking, and Dicko.
- Badass Boast: Prince Vulkan gives one to the heroes near the end of the story about how better men have tried to kill him but failed.
- Badass Preacher: Father Silvera, with a heavy dose of Religious Bruiser, given that he beats up heroin dealers and kills vampires while rescuing a little girl definitely counts. He also braves the city, filled with vampires and enveloped by a sandstorm, to rescue people with nothing but a crucifix and sheer willpower.
- Big Bad: Prince Conrad Vulkan, the Master vampire himself, who is actually in service to....
- Bigger Bad: ....The Headmaster, who is heavily implied to be Ol' Scratch himself, provides Vulkan with all sorts of black magic, including a golden urn that causes a massive sandstorm.
- Decoy Protagonist: Rico Esteban while not necessarily being presented as the main character, was given a lot of chapters devoted to him early on. However he ends up getting killed in the middle section of the book. His primary purpose seemed to be a way of getting Father Silvera (a major character) involved in the story.
- Evil Albino: Kobra. Much like the Dan Brown example, an unlikely villain as he's shown riding a motorcycle at night and has wicked aim. Most albinos in real life have very poor eyesight.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Wes in a last ditch effort against Vulkan fires his gun at him and ends up getting beaten to a pulp by Vulkan and then gets shot in the head by Kobra. However when he fired his gun, he manages to shoot Vulkan's golden urn which Vulkan was using to control the weather. By destroying that urn Vulkan loses control of the sandstorm he created which plays a big factor in the climax.
- Father Silvera not long after Rich is killed, gets one. When LA starts to fall apart and sinks to the ocean (see above), Vulkan tries to escape but Silvera (who is already dying of Lou Gehrig's disease) grabs hold of him and after a long struggle is able to send him and Vulkan crashing through a building where a tidal wave comes and kills both of them.
- Solange attacking Kobra gets her killed in the process but also ends up indirectly leading to Kobra's death. When they were fighting they roll into the fire place and after Kobra gets up and is about to shoot Palatazin and Tommy, the gun overheats and ends up exploding which blows Kobra"s head off.
- Magical Negro: Solange, who is half-Japanese, half-African (Bantu) and a practitioner of some sort of voodoo.
- Most Writers Are Writers: Gayle works for a tabloid called The Tattler.
- Our Vampires Are Different : The word "vampire" isn't mentioned until over 100 pages into the story.
- Also, they don't seem to need to be invited into homes.