Sonja Blue, previously known under the name Denise Thorne, is a fictional character. She is a Vampire Slayer/Vampire heroine from a self-titled series of novels written by Nancy A. Collins. Sonja Blue is considered to be the archetype of the tough, vampire female in leather within supernatural-themed literature. She could also be considered a direct forerunner of Buffy Anne Summers (a young woman with the power of a demon, who stalks and kills supernatural beings, particularly vampires), and the world she inhabits bears many direct similarities to the Buffyverse, full of demons blending into human society, and taking on many human attributes in the process. The specific type of vampirism represented in the Sonja Blue novels is extremely similar to that depicted in the Buffyverse, in terms of both propagation and effect. The Buffyverse character Faith seems very reminiscent of Sonja at times.
Within the setting, Sonja Blue is considered the bastard child of the Enkidu, the predominant types of vampires. The Enkidu are in turn, part of a larger group of non-human creatures known as Pretenders, who hide among humanity to better hunt them.
Sonja herself is regarded as a 'living' vampire, whose mind is constantly in conflict between her living mind and the vampiric thing in her brain known as 'the Other'. Normally the vampires of the series die during their transformation, spending a period of varying length surviving only on instinct from the time they spend essentially brain-dead. During this time the demon-symbiote merges with the host's brain, largely subverting the mind towards baser urges and feeding its own id. Sonja, as a glaring exception to that scenario, was found and hospitalized before she could die, allowing her the chance to fight against her vampiric half and eventually to begin hunting vampires.
Books 1-3 are anthologized in the trilogy entitled "Midnight Blue", and are:
* Sunglasses After Dark (1989)
* In The Blood (1992)
* Paint It Black (1995)
Following these novels is the fourth Sonja Blue episode, The Darkest Heart.
There is also a short story collection featuring the character entitled Dead Roses for a Blue Lady (Borealis) and a spin-off/crossover into the setting of Vampire: The Masquerade under the title A Dozen Black Roses.
All the Sonja Blue novels are currently published by an imprint of White Wolf Publishing, the creators of the World of Darkness, in which the Vampire: The Masquerade took place.
Sunglasses After Dark has also had a comic book adaptation published by Verotik Comics.
Sonja Blue is many things, but it is easiest to call her a vampire. She shares many traits with vampires. She can move at unnatural speeds, has incredible strength, can re-grow lost body parts, and has some psychic powers. She can enter dreams and shape them as she sees fit. She radiates power, hostility, and predatory danger, and triggers instinctual responses in the primitive minds of human observers. She can withstand incredible damage, but destruction of her skull or spine will kill her. Her eyes are red, with oversized pupils, her hair is black, and she appears eternally twenty-four years old. Her upper canine teeth are sharp, retractable fangs. She is nocturnal, and needs to drink blood to survive. Barring death in combat, she is immortal.
Strictly speaking, however, Sonja is not really a vampire. Vampirism in the series is somewhat like a supernatural disease. Vampires are born when a minor demon enters the corpse of a human that was killed by another vampire, in the process receiving enough of the sire's saliva or other bodily fluids to facilitate the change. The human typically dies, then rises with a new personality: effectively a demon in a humanlike disguise. Some brain damage inevitably occurs during the death of the "host," and it can take decades for a vampire to regain the same level of intellect (and centuries to surpass it). Vampires gain power with age as they recover their mental abilities.
Sonja is unique. She is the result of modern medicine tampering with the vampiric birth cycle. Attacked and discarded by a powerful vampire, she reached a point close enough to death to allow the transformation to begin. However, she was immediately found dying on the street and was rushed to a hospital, where, thanks to modern technology, she was saved from death.
Since she never really died, Sonja's transformation was incomplete. Right out of the hospital, she seemed to be nothing more than a raven-haired, abnormally pale sixteen-year-old girl. It took until she was twenty-four for her vampiric traits to completely manifest. However, she is no weak half-breed.
The results of her human heritage are all awesomely beneficial. She can function in daylight with nothing more than a headache, rather than burning to ashes as a normal vampire would. She does not suffer the ravaging effects of silver, which affects regular vampires like a violently necrotizing poison. Holy water does nothing to her. Since she didn't die, her brain was undamaged, so speaking in terms of power level, she is centuries ahead of other vampires her age, and even many of the older ones. Thus, Sonja has all the strengths of vampires and none of their weaknesses. She can heal massive amounts of damage, and her only weak points are her skull and spine, which do not supernaturally heal. She is a terrifyingly effective predator and a stunning example of hybrid vigor.
Mentally and emotionally, Sonja is not sure who she really is. She has a human personality inside the body of a vampire hybrid. However, she is not the same person she was before her transformation. She retains details about her human life, but does not remember actually living it, recalling it as if she had watched it happen to someone else. She makes her best effort to do well and avoid harming humans, and rarely kills for blood, preferring to obtain it bottled on the black market. She tries to be unobtrusive and harmless to innocents, even defending them from other monsters. However, Sonja gets angry and frustrated as do all people, and beyond the danger of getting angry enough to lose control while possessing extraordinary destructive potential, she must contend with the influence of her vampiric side: the demonic personality she calls "the Other."
Sonja is extremely human in many ways. She craves contact, friendship, and love, and shows an inclination towards caring for others in an almost motherly fashion. However, her presence makes most humans uncomfortable, so she lacks the companionship her human side desires. She is often lonely, but is afraid to get too close to anyone, since anyone she cares about could easily become a target for the Other.
Around humans, especially those to whom she feels any degree of attachment, Sonja acts ashamed of what she is. She always wears dark or mirrored sunglasses to hide her chilling red eyes, and while they are a necessary disguise for her to blend in with humanity, the sunglasses also serve her as a sort of security blanket, shielding her true self from others and their inevitable rejection. Since her fangs are retractable, her eyes are her most obvious non-human feature, and she seems to regard them as a badge of shame that she prefers to keep hidden. If Sonja ever deliberately removes her sunglasses for someone, it is either to frighten them away for some reason (which hurts her, but is effective), or, more rarely, to demonstrate her trust. Seeing Sonja without her glasses is seeing her at her most emotionally vulnerable. A comparison must be made to the Other, who often removes the sunglasses while in control, as it feels no shame in its demonic appearance and enjoys the terror it evokes.
Besides her omnipresent sunglasses, Sonja wears a black leather motorcycle jacket that she sometimes manages to keep in good repair, but more often patches with electrical tape. She usually wears dark colors, favoring jeans and t-shirts (either plain or advertising various punk bands). Her usual footwear is a pair of old, scuffed engineer boots that are tough enough to keep up with her. Her hair is usually around mid-length and unruly, although this can vary (at one point she had a punk haircut), and it often stands up or otherwise moves when her power fluctuates. Her face is quite expressive even with the empty gaze of her glasses, and she could generally be considered attractive although most humans are too frightened by her aura to notice. She is of small-to-average build, lithe, athletic, and muscular. Her skin is very pale and crisscrossed with scars in places. She doesn't care one way or another about her looks, but seems not to have much faith in them, and sincere compliments of any sort—or even the simple lack of complete revulsion—take her completely by surprise.
Sonja has found her calling in the slaying of other vampires. She hates them with a passion and kills them whenever she can. Her unusual powers and hybrid features give her quite an edge over most of her prey. She also hunts and kills other supernatural creatures, such as werewolves, but her primary concern is the elimination of vampires. For this purpose she carries a weapon: an exquisite switchblade knife. The handle is shaped like a dragon, and the blade is silver, which allows it to deal incredible damage to vampires and other prey. She carries it in her right-hand jacket pocket.
She has a mildly sarcastic, slightly sullen sense of humor. Pain and bitterness have made her cynical, and she rarely laughs with more than a gruff chuckle, but on the rare occasions in which she is truly enjoying someone's company, she can be much more animated and charming. She is known to appreciate a good, cheesy joke. She is genuinely grateful for, and always surprised by, every act of kindness directed her way. Despite the tendency of most humans to shy away from her, she seems to get along fine with children, who are perhaps more perceptive of her benevolent side. Truly, Sonja has a good heart. But, that said, she is also confused, unstable, volatile, standoffish, and prone to outburst of rage even while the Other is recessive. She is utterly ruthless in her persecution of hated vampires, sometimes to the point of extreme (yet arguably justified) cruelty.
Sonja definitely has a mean streak. Sometimes she acts without remorse, or gets caught up in battle and completely disregards the innocent bystanders she had intended to protect. Sometimes, she can't bring herself to care about them at all. At other times, she is overcome by guilt for her actions and even for her very existence. It must be noted that not all the evil in her comes from the Other. The human in Sonja is just like any other human; multifaceted and contradictory. A great deal of her flaws comes from her human side, and that makes her all the more real.