Lost Souls is about the South, Vampires, New Orleans, and Mardi Gras. It is about searching for happiness, numbing the pain with whatever your poison may be: blood, candy, alcohol. It is about those that can see beyond the usual realm of life; the realm of the dead and other people’s thoughts and feelings.
We begin in New Orleans with Jessy, a teenager who is, “looking for the vampires”. Little does she know the quiet, almost perennially empty bar she frequents is owned and run by a Vampire named Christian. On the last night of Mardi Gras, Jessy gets her wish as three vampires– Zillah, Twig, and Molochai– come in and the five party all night.
A month later, Jessy shows up at Christian’s. She is pregnant and moves into Christian’s apartment above the bar. Christian has lived as a solitary vampire for most of his 350+ years, and, despite knowing that the baby in Jessy’s womb will literally eat it’s way out of her, they begin a short romance of sort.
Jessy goes into labor and after she has died from blood loss, Christian drives and drives until he finds a home and places a basket on the stoop. The baby is wrapped in a blanket, and the note attached says, “His name is Nothing. Care for him and he will bring you luck.”
Fifteen years later, we meet the last three pieces of the puzzle. Steve, his best friend (and seer of people’s thoughts, emotions, the past, sometimes the future) Ghost, and Steve’s on-and-off girlfriend, Ann.
Now all we need is to fit the pieces together. At times, especially in the beginning, it is hard to tell what is happening as time seems to be fluid and we, the readers, don’t really know what is real and what is not. The order of events in the beginning is made more confusing by the ending. (I don’t want to do any Spoiler Alerts here, so you’ll just have to trust me.) After reading the book, and re-reading the first third again, I think that Poppy Z. Brite meant for a lot of what happens between Steve, Ghost and Ann to be symbolic. I’d say more, but this is an attempt to not give away the ending.
Overall, this book is an interesting read if you happen upon it, but it’s not worth going out of your way for it. Even with New Orleans and Vampires, which, as most of you know, will get an automatic extra star.
OVERALL RATING: 3.75/5 ,stars
(Without New Orleans and Vampires, 3/5 stars.)