|Cause of Death||
John Quinn, simply known as Quinn, is the deuteragonist of The Chosen, the sixth book in L.J. Smith's Night World series. He is a made vampire, changed in the 1600s at age 18 in Boston, by the lamia vampire Hunter Redfern. He is the soulmate of Rashel Jordan, and later joins Circle Daybreak.
Quinn is always described as "compact" (average height) and pale-skinned, with black hair and eyes. Despite his height, he has a "lithe and flat-muscled" body. He is also depicted as having a generally soft voice, comparable to ice or fallen snow. Like all vampires, he has a high tolerance of the cold, although direct light to the eyes is unbearable. His eyes gain a predatory sheen and his canine teeth grow longer when hunting or about to feed. Furthermore, Quinn has a notable scar on his side from a fire-hardened stake, due to a past altercation with his birth father.
Quinn, who has only ever gone by his surname after his transformation, has been described as ruthless and cold, even by other vampires. His reputation as a skilled fighter and merciless killer is such that other Night People fear him immensely (with the noted exception of Ash, who appears to hold a strange kind of friendship with Quinn, although he is also aware of what Quinn is capable of and will not underestimate the elder vampire). When on his own or around other Night People, he is notably sardonic, bleak, humorless and brooding, and admits to having a love-hate relationship with the Redfern family he is part of.
However, around others, Quinn gives the impression of insane charm, often laughing madly or smiling in a maniacal way (this quality remains even after joining Circle Daybreak). Surprisingly, many humans are drawn by this trait, especially when coupled with Quinn's good looks. Despite his infamy, Quinn is highly honorable and is capable of a great amount of care and loyalty, as seen with Rashel and Hunter. His mind control is also exceptionally strong, as he is able to knock out or stun humans with a simple hand gesture; its strength was once compared to "a karate blow".
After meeting Rashel, Quinn slowly begins to 'thaw', so to speak; he finds himself unwilling fascinated by and drawn to the vampire hunter, and starts to feel guilt over his role in the slave trade. This finally culminates in Quinn being willing to let go of his bitterness and hatred, and helps Rashel stop the Blood Feast. He even becomes a Daybreaker with her, finding a new sense of purpose in his life and finally feeling that he can be happy and at peace for the first time in centuries. Although Quinn has a long way to go, Rashel mentions that while she was inside his mind, she saw there were light and beautiful parts of him "aching to grow" and Quinn's redemptive acts serve as his first steps to becoming a better person, with his positive traits of honor and loyalty becoming more prominent in particular.
Quinn makes his debut appearance in Daughters of Darkness. Meeting Ash above the town of Briar Creek, Quinn expresses doubts in Ash's ability to convince his sisters to return home, and additionally mentions how the Redferns seem to be having trouble with humans of late (citing Ash's great aunt Opal, great-uncle Hodge and cousin James as examples). Ash brushes off Quinn's concerns, and the made vampire reluctantly gives Ash a week to finish the job, otherwise the vampire council would be informed of the situation. Throughout the book, despite Ash's lightheartedness around Hunter's heir, in truth he appears to be intimidated of Quinn's political influence and strength, as he seeks to quickly convince Rowan, Kestrel and Jade to return home with him so as to avoid Quinn's interference.
At the conclusion of the book, when Quinn returns to check up on Ash, the wily vampire convinces an astonished Quinn that it would be better for the girls to remain in Briar Creek, especially after the incident with Jeremy Lovett and the murder of their great-aunt. Wisely, Ash conceals the existence of his soulmate, Mary-Lynnette, from Quinn, who departs the town satisfied with Ash's work.
Quinn is briefly mentioned by Blaise Harman (implying she knows him) when she suggests to Thea Harman the possibility of asking Quinn to kill Eric Ross to prevent the Night World from punishing Thea for falling in love with a human.
Quinn next appears in The Chosen, serving as one of the principle characters. Quinn is first seen coming in by ship to Boston, a place he mentions he hadn't been to in centuries, and where he had become a vampire during colonial times. He describes how, when he was a teenager, he enjoyed sailing, and states that his goals were to own his own fishing schooner, and to marry Dove Redfern, the beautiful and gentle daughter of Hunter; she is noted as the reason Quinn became a vampire. However, he does not initially give many details about the girl, despite her having soft brown hair and being delicate, although it is stated that Dove is dead. Reluctant to relive the memory, he decides to venture among the waterfront warehouses to distract himself.
When he is held captive by a group of vampire hunters, he meets a then-concealed Rashel Jordan, a vampire hunter famous among others and referred to by Nightpeople as "The Cat". Patrolling warehouses along with a group of other vampire hunters, Rashel is able to knock Quinn unconscious with a wooden club when he surprises the others. Dragging him inside an abandoned warehouse and tying him up, Rashel convinces the rest of the group to continue patrolling, but her underlying motive is to give Quinn a clean death, as she is disgusted at the idea of torturing someone who is unable to fight back, even if that someone is a vampire. She attempts to stake him with her wooden sword, but hesitates upon discovering Quinn awake and watching her. When Rashel doesn't kill him, Quinn notices the vampire "handcuffs" around his wrists and assumes he is going to be tortured, although he reacts to this by, of all things, laughing. Rashel attempts a kind of apology, regarding this as the only conclusion when vampires and humans meet.
Surprisingly Quinn agrees with her, and compliments her for having "honor". Rashel questions him about his life, and Quinn reveals to her how he had been changed into a vampire by Hunter, without Quinn's prior knowledge, due to his wish to marry Dove, who had died before they could be married (although Quinn will not disclose how she died). He even reveals his first name to Rashel: John. Rashel, for once, is moved to sympathy, and, noting that he is almost free of the vampire cuffs (having twisted and bent the metal hinges) she decides to let him go, despite Quinn's threatening to kill her if she frees him. Once released, he and Rashel fight, but it is abruptly halted when the two touch for the first time, causing them to see into one another's mind. Quinn is able to grab Rashel and begin unveiling her, although he does not do so out of malice, but curiosity, compelled by the force connecting them. However, he is stopped by the returning vampire hunters, who separate them; Rashel allows Quinn time to escape the warehouse before he is recaptured, but it costs her the trust of the other hunters.
Quinn is greatly unnerved by his encounter with Rashel, and experiences more memories of his past. It is revealed that Quinn awoke in Hunter's cabin, under the watch of Dove and her elder sisters, Garnet and Lily. Quinn reacted with horror at what he had become and fled from the lamia patriarch. Dove follows Quinn, who manages to convince her to return with him to his father, a Boston minister. Dove ultimately agrees but, upon being faced with his transformed son, the minister reacts by grabbing Dove and, before Quinn's eyes, driving a stake through her heart, killing her.
Hunter, Garnet and Lily rescue Quinn and bring the two back, where Hunter comments that Dove was "too gentle" to live in a world of humans. He then asks Quinn if he thinks he can "do any better". This sentence galvanizes Quinn's decision to embrace his vampirism and indeed survive among, and hunt down, humans. However, upon meeting Rashel, Quinn begins to feel differently about his views, and wants to find her. Ultimately Quinn decides it's better that he can't find Rashel, as she is a vampire hunter, as his own father once was, in addition to being a human. His thoughts turning to the concept of life and death, Quinn heads for the Crypt club, in order to continue to gain young girls for a human slave trade that had been established by himself and his foster sister, Lily.
At the club, Quinn acts erratic and manic, yet is able to gather a following of girls, many of whom are from negligent families, to whom he preaches his views regarding death and darkness. These teens are fascinated with and fawn over Quinn's musings, as they come from terrible backgrounds and death is, in a sense, a way to escape for them, having seen the worst of life. While there, however, he encounters Rashel again, under the pseudonym "Shelly", and his initial psychotic cheer begins to drain; Rashel notes that he begins to look "tired and sick". However, with aid from Daphne Childs, an escaped victim of the slave trade, Rashel is able to convince Quinn to chose her and Daphne to meet with him the next night. However, upon meeting with him, Quinn appears confused, as if he's almost able to figure out who Rashel really is. Despite this, Quinn does not appear to make the connection, and uses mind control to knock out first Daphne, and then Rashel, bringing them both to the warehouses.
Lily notes Quinn's moodiness and odd behavior, during which Quinn reminisces with Lily about how he punched a man who attempted to recruit Quinn to sell black slaves during the 1600s (yet ironically Quinn is now doing almost exactly that). His harsher behavior continues when Ivan, one of the slave overseers, attempts to bite Rashel in retaliation for her insulting him the night before. Quinn furiously demands that Ivan let her go; despite her suspicions Lily agrees with Quinn, citing that the girls need to be in perfect condition. Quinn departs soon after.
Two days later, on the boat heading for a Nightworld enclave where the girls are being taken, Quinn, upset and even more disturbed by Rashel, whom he remarks as being "so lovely that it was almost too bad she was certifiably insane", concludes his memories of the past; he recalls how Hunter, to protect them all, decided to hide his family on an enclave island near the East Coast. He cites Hunter as being the one who came up with the idea of using islands for enclaves, but Quinn tells him that it would not be safe due to local fishermen.
In reply, Hunter informs him that he can get a witch to enchant the enclave to keep humans away and, upon Quinn questioning why a witch would do so, Hunter reveals that the witch who would do it would be Garnet and Lily's mother, Maeve Harman. Maeve indeed returns and casts the spells, but Quinn notices that she does not appear to like Hunter, and kept their youngest daughter, Roseclear, away from him. Quinn becomes a formal member of the Redferns, although he does not marry into the family; Lily remains unmarried and Garnet, who seemed to have feelings for Quinn, gave him up and married another lamia vampire instead. The girls are being brought to the same enclave the Redferns had inhabited centuries before.
Once she learns that the girls are not being taken for a slave trade, but a bloodfeast, Rashel concocts a plan to help the girls escape the island. Upon escaping the cellar of the enclave's summer house, Rashel becomes caught up in a fight with the werewolf Rudi, but is saved by Quinn, who, upon then fighting and being defeated by Rashel himself, finally realizes she is the vampire hunter who released him from the warehouse. Once again, Rashel cannot bring herself to kill him, despite Quinn's insistence that she do so, as after seeing her face, he cannot "stand the sight of [himself] in [her] eyes". In response to her reluctance to kill him, Quinn calls her an idiot, and Rashel knocks him out with the hilt of her knife, afterwards tying him up and allowing the other twenty-three girls to escape.
Rashel inflitrates the house, intending to identify and kill the eight made vampires who are participating in the bloodfeast, but she is prevented by the liberated and now conscious Quinn, who drags her into a bedroom. He reveals that he loves Rashel but, as humans and Night People cannot be together, he decides to change her into a vampire, but this is something Rashel vehemently does not want. Despite her assertions that she will kill herself if he completes the action, Quinn bites her, but is prevented from carrying out his plan due to the Soulmate Principle, which allowed their minds to merge. The two finally learn that they are soulmates, and, being able to see into one another's minds, they come to a mutual understanding. Rashel views dark places in Quinn's mind, along with "rainbow places that were aching to grow", and "parts that seems to quiver with light, desperate to be awakened". Determined to help, Rashel mentally injects positivity and comfort into Quinn's soul, although he amusingly claims that she is killing him as a result.
When the two finally come out of the reverie, they recall the danger of the situation outside and Quinn decides to report the bloodfeast, which is illegal by Nightworld law, to Hunter Redfern. However, upon confronting the made vampires, Quinn is stunned when it is revealed that Hunter himself, with Lily as his contact, had organized the bloodfeast. Furthermore, Hunter is shown to be the vampire who killed Rashel's mother and aunt, and nearly killed her when she was five. To crown his dark workings, Hunter had also changed Rashel's four year old friend, Timmy, into a made vampire, trapped physically at age four but chronologically age sixteen, and feeding the boy his own philosophy about humans. Rashel also suspects that Hunter specifically twisted Timmy's mind against her. When Rashel confirms that Hunter killed her mother, Quinn visibly stands against Hunter, and tells him that he is leaving the enclave with Rashel, his soulmate. Hunter at first disbelieves Quinn, but upon seeing the seriousness of Quinn's words, reacts with superficial regret; it's hinted that Hunter is going to allow the made vampires to kill Quinn and Rashel.
However, they are interrupted by the scent of gasoline and then smoke; a disturbed vampire hunter, Nyala, who had been captured for the bloodfeast, had remained behind and was setting the house on fire. Rashel and Quinn manage to escape with a resistant Timmy but, upon realizing Nyala is still inside, Quinn returns for her while Rashel reconciles with the child-vampire. Quinn reemerges with a nearly unconscious Nyala, and the four of them escape the enclave on Hunter's boat, Quinn looking extremely disheveled.
They leave the island, Quinn and Rashel concerned that the vampires might have survived, but the pair also console one another and decide to ultimately join Circle Daybreak, at least to give the circle a fighting division as well as to get help for Timmy and Nyala.
Quinn and Rashel make a guest appearance in the novel Soulmate. When Hannah Snow arrives at Thierry's home, the witch Thea Harman introduces her to the soulmate couples of the other books, all of whom have joined Circle Daybreak. When introducing her own soulmate, Eric, as a human, Quinn readily quips "Just barely". Hannah notes that Quinn has a "beautiful" but "slightly unnerving" smile.
Quinn is mentioned along with Rashel by Jez Redfern, as the two Circle Daybreak members helping hold off operatives of Hunter Redfern and the Night World Council on the East Coast. The couple manage to rescue Jez's uncle, Bracken Redfern, and remove the rest of Jez's gang from San Francisco to safety.
Quinn and Rashel feature prominently in this short story; now living in the Circle Daybreak sanctuary of Harmony, Rashel is alerted of a dragon's presence by Keller, who sends out a telepathic call to Galen that Rashel is somehow able to pick up. Prompted by his soulmate's urgency to go to Keller's aid, Quinn goes with her to the sanctuary's paradise park, meeting up with Galen. Upon finding Keller and the dragon, Quinn telepathically urges the panther to run; he himself then proceeds to fight the dragon, Whitcombe, taking out one of the dragon's eyes and biting at one of the horns. Whitcombe attempts to immolate them, but Keller is able to successfully kill him.
In the hospital ward, Quinn and Galen watch over their respective soulmates. They then ask basic information from Rashel and Keller. Galen tells the others about how Keller was abandoned as a baby, and Quinn draws forth a letter Rashel had found a little before joining Circle Daybreak, addressed from her father to her mother, Melisande Jordan; Rashel had always assumed her father had been a Marine who had died overseas.
The letter describes Rashel's father as leaving the family, with their "darling little misfit" (a possible second child), and how he feels conflicted regarding how Melisande truly sees him. As such, he decides to leave her and return to his "own people". Intrigued, Keller asks for the letter; when placed with her own note left with her as a child, which she had always kept since, the letter and the note match together perfectly. It is deduced that in fact, Keller's father, a shapeshifter and Melisande Jordan's husband, had taken Keller, born in a half-and-half form, and abandoned her, unable to cope with being unable to shapeshift for his family's safety, as well as the shame having a shapehshifter husband and daughter might have brought upon his wife. Rashel and Keller are in fact fraternal twin sisters, explaining how Rashel could hear Keller's mental call.
After Thierry Descouedres arrives and thanks them, prompted by Quinn, the twins begin having a friendly argument over who is the elder of them.
Quinn makes a brief appearance in this story; when Ash and Sarah Strange argue over who should have Thierry's private helicopter, Quinn cuts in and insists they flip a coin for it. He also comes to Ash's defense when Sarah is horrified at the description of Ash's home (the former enclave he and his sisters had come from) and how they used to have human servants. Furthermore, as Ash launches into his description of Mary-Lynette, Quinn interrupts to tell him Sarah has allowed him the helicopter to find her.
Quinn is not pleased about making the Change. He's been eighteen for four centuries and is still bitter. Quinn is turned into a vampire by Hunter Redfern, who believes that he has no living sons and is desperate for Quinn to become his heir. Although Quinn does not bear the Redfern last name, he is considered to be a full-blooded Redfern and sits on the Elder Council.
- He hated almost everybody, humans in particular, until his meeting with his future soulmate, vampire hunter, Rashel Jordan.
- The name "John" in Hebrew origin means "the grace or mercy of the lord".
- The surname "Quinn" in Celtic origin means "wise" and in Gaelic means "intelligent".
- Quinn shares some similarities with the character of Thierry Descouedres. Both are made vampires who were changed by members/relatives of the Redfern Family (Maya and Hunter Redfern) respectively. Each of them has a human soulmate and were former Elders until defecting to Circle Daybreak.
- According to LJane Smith's Facebook page, by the time of Strange Fate, Rashel and Quinn have married.