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Some vampires suck more than others

June 12, 2007
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Ah, vampires. Some people love ’em. Me, not so much, unless they happen to be in a YA book. My ambivalence toward Twilight aside, I’ll willingly, even eagerly, pick up a YA novel with vampires in it. But adult books with vampires, particularly romance novels? Unless your name is Meljean Brook (since I just bought and read Demon Moon), I avoid them like the plague.

So what’s the difference? I think it’s partly that vampires tend to be angst-ridden and moody, something a lot more, er, palatable in YA books and much less appealing in adults, since teenagers at least have an excuse for being angst-ridden and moody. Also, the vampire universes in YA books are more novel, more exciting. Vampirism as an STD? Vampires coming to America on the Mayflower? Actually being the bad guys instead of the hero/heroine? So much more appealing to me than some random person who just happens to get bit by a vampire. And just as I have a hard time getting into adult fantasy and science fiction, even though I do read YA fantasy and science fiction, I just don’t find vampires in adult books interesting in general. There’s more, but I’m having a hard time articulating exactly why this is.

Just out of curiosity, why are there so many rich vampires? They never seem to work, yet they’re all millionaires, even though they’ve been alive for hundreds of years, which must be expensive, what with having to constantly move because you don’t age. Because they don’t die so don’t have to pay estate taxes? That sounds like a bad joke, but I’m genuinely curious. Anyone?

Anyway, the first vampire novel I remember reading that really stuck with me was The Vampire Diaries. Okay, so that’s a series of four books, not one book, but whatever. It’s so good! (Even if Stefan and Damon are millionaire vampires.) And now they’re being reissued! cover of the reissued The Vampire Diaries Volumes I and II by L.J. SmithI still have the books myself, but I need to buy them for my library to give to all those Twilight fans. I thought Volumes I and II, now combined in one edition, was supposed to be published in August, but either the date was moved up or I’m remembering things wrong, because it’s actually coming out on June 26. But what’s with this cover? I like that logo thing with the title and author, but that guy is just so creepy looking. Isn’t Stefan supposed to be hot? It could be someone other than Stefan, but weren’t all the other vampires beautiful people, too? (Another question: why are vampires always attractive?) I suppose part of my dislike is because Elena was on the cover of the original editions and seeing some dude on the cover makes me nostalgic. Or maybe it’s just shock that we’re actually seeing a real head on the cover of a book. Even if it’s only half a head. How Scott Westerfeld.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. hiyalibrarian permalink*
    June 12, 2007 10:25 pm

    Have you noticed also that they’re hyper-intelligent? Who wants to read about an unattractive unemployed bum of a vampire? Now a vampire on MTv Cribs would be cool. Vampire: “Check out my lair. I’ve been chillin’ here goin’ on fifty years now. Almost time to move on now because the neighbors are gettin’ suspicious.”

  2. June 13, 2007 6:57 am

    Okay, now that I think about it…

    Maybe vampires are real estate moguls — I mean, you can buy a piece of property in a crap piece of town (or, heck, buy the whole town), and then, say, in a hundred and fifty years, it’s on the nice side of the tracks, and you can charge a lot of rent… and move people out, er, precipitously, if they don’t pay taxes or tribute to your Lordship, etc. etc.

    And then there’s the shape-changing… why just be a bat when you can go into bank vaults as a mist… and come back out with stuff. OR, maybe vampires bump off rich people and assume their forms?

    Maybe vampires are so long-lived they know where all the good stuff’s buried… since they either buried it themselves or bumped off the pirate who did. I think they’re just really oooold thieves.

    Seriously? The answer to this is “I don’t know,” but that’s really never stopped me from answering before!

  3. June 13, 2007 6:58 am

    PS – I just got Tantalize — and share your ambivalence about Twilight, so we’ll see how THIS goes…

  4. June 13, 2007 2:50 pm

    Gayle, yeah, why are they always so smart? Wouldn’t you think that it would be easier to turn a dumb person into a vampire? Unless you get smarter after you become a vampire, since you can keep accumulating knowledge?

    TadMack, re: Tantalize, I hope you like it. I didn’t finish it, but that was mostly because of my aversion to were-creatures. Shapeshifters I can handle, were-things, not so much. Because shapeshifters consciously choose to transform while weres generally have no choice.

  5. Jolene permalink*
    June 14, 2007 5:31 pm

    Odd looking vampires? I think of Jim Carey in “Once Bitten,” a vampiric comedy. Also as far as real estate goes I would refer to “An Interview with a Vampire,” and “Underworld.” Plus don’t the ugly vampires always turn evil or get killed by the better looking vampires? (Oh yeah just like real life.) If you lived that long I assume you would learn how to play the stock market and invest in real estate.

    Re Gayle: As far as MTV cribs visits a vampire I would refer Marilyn Manson cribs episode. As I recall he had the ol’ coffin/coffee table and black curtain combo going on. (Oh yeah and there was some mention of the barcardi bat. Cliche Cliche Oh Yeah!)

  6. Jill permalink
    May 24, 2008 4:40 am

    I love Scott Westerfeld! My Favorite Author! Try Peeps (by Scott Westerfeld) if you like vampire novels. Best book ever!

  7. Jill permalink
    May 24, 2008 4:40 am

    ^^ oh and it has some romance too. all of his books do

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