Christopher Pike is the pseudonym of Kevin McFadden. He was born in New York, but grew up in Los Angeles, where he lives to this day. Prior to becoming a writer he worked in a factory, painted houses and programmed computers. His hobbies include astronomy, meditating, running and making sure his books are prominently displayed in his local bookshop! As well as being a bestselling teen horror and thriller writer, he is also the author of numerous titles for adults. Other well-known works include: The Last Vampire series and the Remember Me series.
A queasy blend of grisliness and New Age unctuousness characterize Pike's latest offering. Terminally ill teens Kevin, Ilonka, Spence and Anya meet each midnight to spin fantastic tales in the candlelit study of their luxurious private hospice. Much of the novel, in fact, is devoted to the Club's stories, which resemble abbreviated versions of over-the-top Pike titles--one sample begins ``Dana was blond and delicious but she'd had a strict upbringing. . . . ''). Most of the stories feature star-crossed lovers Kevin and Ilonka in a variety of different situations and incarnations (Ilonka is convinced that she and Kevin have known each other in many, many previous lifetimes). Ilonka's theory is borne out by her dreams, in which she receives wisdom from an enlightened soul known as the Master. Everybody dies, but not before Ilonka works out her karma. Trivia-obsessed fans of the pseudonymous author (real name: Kevin) will relish the Paul-is-dead, Abbey Road -esque intimations in the novel's dedication, ``To Ilonka.'' Ages 14-up. (Feb.)