Monday, July 26, 2010

Vampires - Better Off (Un)Dead?

Every so often in the media and the blogosphere there'll be a headline :-

The Vampire Genre is Over!

I know given the recent hype over Twilight it may be hard to believe (lol), but there's nothing like familiarity to breed contempt.

I have to say though, it's not something I can ever see happening. Vampires have been around in one form or another for a very long time. I think they're here to stay.

However, what I will be happy to see the back of is the emo vampire, the castrated version of the creature of the night - a vampire more suited to staring moodily out of a moonlit window, yearning for the lost days of its humanity, angsting about how terrible his life is. Really? I think someone's missing the point. (Yep, I'm not really a fan of the overly romantic vampire).

Let's check - you're walking along a dark alley at night (first of all - What are you thinking!) when at the other end 'your' vampire appears. Do you:-

a) Run...away of course, but he'll catch you anyway.
b) Freeze, it's pointless to run, maybe he hasn't noticed you.
c) Whip out your cross/stake/holy water - the only reason you'd be walking through a dark alley at night is because you're a vampire hunter.
d) Run...towards the vampire because your true love will save him!?

Remember, this is a creature who exists solely to feed on your blood. He is going to rip out your throat. Forget the romanticized version and try to imagine that it IS a predator waiting for you. Forget Edward think Eric (True Blood version). should be running away from the vampire. :)

The perfect vampire for me is a burning cauldron of sexuality repressed underneath a layer of cold logic and indifference - think volcano within a glacier.

I'm not saying that I don't think it's possible to reinvent the genre, turn it on its head. The vampires in Ilona Andrews, Kate Daniel's series take it in a completely different direction, the vampires are de-evolved humans who immediately bring the word skitter to mind. (I doubt they spend any time moodily staring anywhere).

So, my favourite vampires.

Lynn Viehl's Darkyn. Yes, perhaps they are a little broody, but there should always be an exception that proves the rule.

Jonathan Varga from Jordan Castillo Price's Hemovore.

D.B.Reynold's Vampire Lords - a modern feudal vampire.

The vampires from Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson series. The scene of the vampire with his death filmed eyes crawling after Mercy is one that stays with you.

The early BDB books by J.R.Ward, the early Anita Blake books.

So are you still in love with vampire genre? Or is it better off dead? And if you still love it, who are your favourite vamps?


Jessica said...

OK, I still love vamps. All of them, with a few exceptions of course. Glittery vamps need not apply, yuk!

Bones & friends, in the Night Huntress series Jeaniene Frost.

BBD guys,Jean Claude and crew are over the top. Lynn Viehl is worth the time to read. Lynsday Sands took a cool twist on the vampires, I like her stuff. Christine Feehan also had a neat twist to vamps.

I don't think the genre is out of style. It might have peaked with Dracula, and waivered a bit, and built again. Peaked with Twilight? Naw, it's still going strong.

Lea said...

Ooooh great post!

I still do like vampires, and I agree, in the paranormal and UF genres I think they are here to stay.

I'll second the early Ward books and LKH's early Anita stories. The later books - um - not.

I loved all the Darkyn stories by Lynn Viehl.

One of my favs is half vamp/demon Wraith from Larissa Ione's "Passion Unleashed".

Devereaux from Lynda Hilburn's "The Vampire Shrink" is one of my all time favorite vamps..

And, yes I'm with Jessica - icksnay on the glitter. lol

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

Well, I for one are not ready to give up on the Vamp genre. Christine Feehan and Lynsay Sands weaned me on their books and are still putting out a new one or two a year that are on my must buy list. Lynn Viehl are also a favorite of mine. These authors have developed worlds and cultures that are totally fascinating. Oh, and did I mention J Frosts' Bones. Nope, don't think it's going out of style just yet.

Tracy said...

Oh I love your description of your perfect vamp. Very nice.

I loved the first few BDB books - those were my fav.
I love Bones from the Jeaniene Frost series as he loves Cat but he can be a right bastard. :)

Chris said...

Eric in True Blood (yummy picture!).

The early Black Dagger Brotherhood, before the wimp out books (ghost?!).

Adam from AM Riley's Immortality Is the Suck.

B said...

I've always liked vamps, but just watchin' em...Spike was hilarious, True Blood's Franklin Mott and Eric Northman, Pam and etc are wonderful, and Stefan from the Mercy Thompson series has this careless manner and gallantry with an undercurrent of danger that's very appealing.

But upon reading the Mercy Thompson and Sookie Stackhouse books, I'm liking weres a lot more. I think I'd have a blast with a roomate like Samuel or cursing with Ben.

Romance Reviewer said...

Thanks for this :) I've been on the ledge about vampire novels ever since they exploded onto the romance shelves -- your article convinced me I should at least give them a shot!

LesleyW said...

Chris - I'm with you on the glittery vamps.

Lea - The later books - not. Totally agree. But every so often I break out my copy of Guilty Pleasures and remember why I got hooked on the series. And I'm reading The Vampire Shrink this week as my DIK book. :)

LesleyW said...

Lisa R - I think that's the way to go - for each author to make vampires and worlds that are somehow unique. Not just following a trend. And Bones seems to be very popular. :)

Tracy - thank you. Yeah, the first three BDB books remain three of my favourite vampire books ever.

LesleyW said...

Chris - love the picture too. lol. And Immortality is the Suck is one of those stories I have GOT to get round to reading.

B - how could I have forgotten Spike? And Tuesday will be werewolf day.

Romance Reviewer - Hope you pick a great first vampire novel to try.

Jenre said...

Yes, I still love vamps, very much so. Although I have to say I haven't read one for a while - are they really going out of fashion? Certainly there haven't been many newly released vamp books recently.

I think a mix of different types of vamps is good, so one day I'll be in the mood for emo Wild Bill from the Channelling Morpheus/Sweet Oblivion series, and the next I'll want some cold hearted killer who sends a shiver down my spine.

My favourite vamp is Vayl from the Jennifer Rardin Jaz Parks books. He's just delicious, a mix of old fashioned manners and morals in the body of a vamp who can kill once provoked. Marvellous.

LesleyW said...

Jenre - I think there are trends but I don't think vampires will ever be out of fashion for long.

I can't believe I forgot about Vayl, he's definitely a vamp worth reading.

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