4thofeleven: (Default)
Hey, everyone? I understand, everyone hates Twilight. I understand, nobody wants to see Twilight crap everywhere. However, in expressing your distain from the series, could you please try and avoid the following arguments:

- Complaints that Twilight vampires aren’t ‘real’ vampires, because real vampires aren’t sexy. Seriously? If you can find one of those ‘real’ vampires that isn’t portrayed as unearthly alluring, I’d be very interested to see it. Come on, people – ‘erotic vampire’ has a long and noble tradition. The element of seduction is practically the defining element of a vampire story. I’ll grant you, Edward and company are a little too domestic for my tastes – but then, they are portrayed as very much in the minority of the vampire population of their setting.

- Complaints that Twilight’s sexist. Hey, I’m not arguing, but a lot of people seem to be singling out Twilight in a way that isn’t really justified. Does it have some extremely dubious tropes? Sure. Is it any worse than the majority of pop culture? No, I don’t think so. Will it somehow corrupt an entire generation of young women with its messages on gender relations? You know, if the last few thousand years of western culture haven’t done that, I don’t think Twilight’s going to be the straw to break the camel’s back.

- Pointing out Stephanie Meyer’s Mormon. I see a lot of people abruptly mentioning this when complaining about the books, generally with no attempts to elaborate as to a, why this is relevant or b, why this is bad.

Remember, Twilight has a great many flaws; there’s no need to keep harping on these three points over and over.
4thofeleven: (Default)
Amused to notice while I was borwsing DVDs that the packaging for the 'deluxe' edition of Twilight actually sparkles.

(It might be threatening my reputation as a snarky critic to admit this, but I've got to say, the idea of vampires that sparkle in sunlight has never struck me as automatically absurd. Granted, Meyer doesn't really do anything interesting with the idea - and seems to forget she's established it occassionally - but the idea of vampires as modern fey, inhumanly attractive and alluring, doesn't strike me as that much of a departure from the basic concept...)
4thofeleven: (Default)
Covering a few things about the Twilight series as a whole in a rather rambling fashion…

Alright, so the wish-fulfilment aspect of Twilight is fairly clear: Suddenly the perfect guy comes out of nowhere to secretly watch you sleep and you get an awesome relationship without any effort on your point. I think a lot of the problems in the later novels regarding the Isabella/Edward relationship come from the problem of the wish-fulfilment scenario. If your dream guy comes out of nowhere and initiates the relationship, he needs to be a pretty assertive kind of guy. But it’s your fantasy, so you should be the one controlling the relationship. So we end up with a relationship where Edward is stalker-creepy, while at the same time it’s clearly Bella who’s driving the relationship. (One of the rather fun aspects of the series is that it’s Bella who’s constantly pushing for a sexual relationship over Edward’s objections. Granted, the sex results in the demon-child Renesme being unleashed on an unsuspecting world…)

I wonder if the real reason Meyer has abandoned Midnight Sun is realising that it’s pretty much impossible to write a wish-fulfilment series from the fantasy’s point of view. If nothing else, Edward really doesn’t have enough personality to sustain an entire book; his entire motivation is “Be Bella’s perfect man”, and in support of that, he really doesn’t have any independent goals of his own. What are his interests? What’s he been up to for the past century? Apparently, he’s been spending his whole life moping around and waiting to run into his perfect woman – which is perfectly fine, for a fantasy image, but if you actually think about what a person like that would be like in real life… well, Edward’s got creepy aspects to him already, you don’t want to write a whole book that does nothing but draw attention to them.

(Granted, Bella doesn’t have much of a personality either – but you can get away with that if they're the audience surrogate.)

Next point: I think it’s kind of funny how carefully the series avoids any mention of religion. We get maybe a page or two of Edward insisting he’s concerned he lost his soul when he was vampirised, which Isabella dismisses as ridiculous… and then, that’s it. Isabella doesn’t seem to be a member of any sort of church, neither is anyone else. It’s seems a curious omission for a series about vampires – but then, everything about the portrayal of vampires in Twilight is unusual. Bella isn’t too far off when she comes up with her theory that the Cullens are Spiderman-style superheroes; they might have a couple of the superpowers of traditional vampires, but they present no more of a spiritual threat than the X-men. I’m all for creative interpretations of classic monsters, but in this case – one has to ask how exactly are they still vampires? I don’t need to see them flinching from crucifixes or anything, but I do think they need to be portrayed as being somehow… removed from the natural order of things. Or at least, have someone somewhere act as if they are. The werewolves almost do, but their main concern about the vampires seems to be more that they’re a physical threat to their community, not that they’re unnatural.

(I do find it amusing, in light of how the Cullens seem to be nothing so much as regular people with superpowers, that they apparently don’t actually have any real problems with vampires who still drink human blood, as long as they don’t cause problems. It’s rather appropriate that they call themselves ‘vegetarians’ – since their reaction to more traditional vampires is closer to the reaction of a vegetarian to a meat-eater than to the reaction of a normal person to a serial killer…)

Having read all the books, I’m wondering why Twilight, and to a lesser extent, New Moon, spent so much time detailing Bella’s school friends and their activities. I was assuming one of them would end up being threatened by evil vampires or werewolves or something, or maybe they’d start getting suspicious about the Cullens, and there’d be a whole bit with Bella trying to throw them off the trail. But no, they’ve pretty much vanished by the fourth book, having never done anything to affect the storyline at all. I dislike it when I waste time remembering the names of characters who turn out not to be important…

On that note, what’s up with Bella’s mother? Bella says she’s her best friend in book one, then they speak to each other maybe twice in the next four books. Granted, that’s more than she talks with her school friends, but still… Is she ever planning on letting her mother know what’s happened to her?

There’s a lot of potentially interesting characters introduced in the last section of Breaking Dawn, when the Cullens and the Volturi are both drawing together their allies. I like the two evil Romanian vampires who side with the Cullens because they’ve still got a grudge against the Volturi for destroying their vampire empire fifteen hundred years previously. The Egyptian vampire whose child can control elements is an interesting character too – I like that he always seems vaguely irritated by everyone around him. Still, I’m not sure if the last few chapters of a four book series is the best place to start introducing new characters – especially when you include so many characters that you need to provide a checklist of them in an appendix in the back…

I also think it’s a little odd that in practically the last chapter, the Volturi suddenly feel the need to announce that Jacob’s werewolves aren’t ‘real’ werewolves, they’re just shapechangers, and that they’re totally different to the ‘Children of the Moon’, a more traditional race of werewolves… which, I must emphasis, are not mentioned anywhere else in the series. It’s like Meyer suddenly went on a world-building binge just before she finished the series.

I have to admit, I ended up enjoying the series more than I thought I would – mainly because of the barely controlled insanity of the last instalment, but still…
4thofeleven: (Default)
What can I say about Breaking Dawn? I can say that it’s the only book of the series I’d describe as a ‘page turner’, and I can say that I didn’t hate it. I can also say that it’s possibly the most screwed up story I’ve ever read…

Alright, so you’ve got the first section of the book, which is Bella and Edward’s rather boring wedding and honeymoon. (It’s on a private island the Cullens own, off the coast of Brazil. Remind me again why these people are hanging around in small town Washington?) They have sex, which is apparently so totally awesome that Bella starts reconsidering becoming a vampire so she can keep having mind-blowing mortal/vampire sex. But Edward basically says “No, we’ve been dragging this out for three books already, we’re not going to end the series with you deciding not to become a vampire.” Then she gets pregnant.

And then we get the second part of the book, which is actually really good. Just… well, not entirely in the way intended. For some reason, after three and a half books from Isabella’s point of view, we now get a chunk of the book from the werewolf Jacob’s perspective. In addition, we get a sudden shift of genre. While the series so far has been entirely rather bland romance, suddenly we’re in the middle of a horror novel. A pretty good horror novel at that.

There was some earlier foreshadowing in the first part, about how a bunch of vampires created immortal vampire children, and that ‘You had but to be near them to love them; it was an automatic thing.” The vampire leaders destroyed them, and anyone who had a role in creating such things. Now Bella’s pregnant with a vampire baby – one growing at an accelerated rate, and is sucking the life out of her. Nobody expects she’ll survive the pregnancy; Edward wants the fetus destroyed. Most of the other vampires agree. The werewolves, now they’ve learned of the thing, have drawn up plans to eliminate the baby, even if it means destroying the Cullens and Bella in the process.

Now, a fair number of reviews have noted the rather strong anti-abortion message of Bella refusing to terminate the pregnancy, even at the cost of her own life. The thing is – if that’s what Meyer was going for, why don’t we get this section of the book from Bella’s point of view? Instead, this whole chunk of story is from Jacob’s perspective, and he’s just as horrified as anyone else. And why wouldn’t he be?

Let’s look at what we know. We know that vampires can control minds, influence people’s emotions. We know that people ‘automatically’ loved the old vampire children; that their creators died alongside them rather than sacrifice them to the Volturi. As the story develops, we find that the creature in Bella’s womb already thirsts for human blood. And then it begins to communicate telepathically with the other vampires. It is, apparently, already sapient, already able to communicate its goals and desires. Would not the first goal of such a creature be survival?

In that light, the sudden switch away from Bella’s point of view comes across as far darker than intended. It feels as though Bella, as a character, has been lost – that she has come under the control of her monstrous child, that it is not entirely her choice to sacrifice herself for the creature growing within her.

And this isn’t just my crazy reinterpretation. The story seems to want to draw attention to the creepyness. We get Jacob discussing how screwed up the werewolf ‘imprinting’ is – literally saying that it takes away your free will. It’s not my interpretation – the story wants to put the idea into your head that some of the characters are no longer acting of their own volition! Then we get a discussion that the werewolf imprinting is designed to ensure that the strongest werewolves reproduce; that those that don’t imprint are ‘genetic dead-ends’. So now we get the idea of a natural survival instinct that overwhelms the will of those involved pointed out to us.

And to be fair, I like the way this part of the story is written. It’s damn atmospheric; there’s a real sense of impending doom as Bella grows weaker. There’s some truly insane bits in here – at one point, Edward convinces Jacob to try and talk Bella out of having this baby. Edward’s idea? That if she’s so intent on having kids, she can have them with Jacob. It’s a bizarre development, but it’s also one of the few emotionally powerful sections in the series; you can feel how desperate Edward is to find a solution that will save his wife.

And then we get the twist ending – of a sort. Jacob’s given up; he’s gone off into town to try and find a woman he’ll imprint on. It’s written in a way that, if I didn’t know better, I’d assume was attempting to evoke the idea of committing suicide. Anyway, he can’t find any woman to bond with, so he heads back to the Cullens. The baby thing is about to be born, and it’s tearing Bella’s body apart; it had already cracked her ribs and pelvis, now it breaks her spine. Jacob has to be called in to rip the baby of her chest with his teeth – seriously, this is some sort of stealth anti-teen pregnancy propaganda, right?

And then it looks into his eyes. And he is lost.

That’s right, he imprints on the half-vampire child. Quote: “Everything inside me came undone… all the lines that held me to my life were sliced apart in swift cuts… everything that made me who I was… my love for my father, my loyalty to my pack… my home, my name, myself – disconnected from me in that second – snip, snip snip.”

I’m not making this shit up. Just look at this demon-child, and your entire identity is destroyed, erased, replaced with a overwhelming desire to love it, to please it, to serve it. I don’t see how this is anything but a horror story. And – well, like I said, I rather enjoyed it. It’s well written, atmospheric – and it takes some skill to write a series where vampires and werewolves are rather mundane and dull, but the old cliché of ‘love at first sight’ is treated as being equivalent to assimilation into the Borg hive…

And then we get part three, and a return to bland romance. Nah, it’s not too bad. Bella survives because Edward turns her into a vampire just before the childbirth killed her. But the vampire elders have heard about the demon-child (Bella names it “Renesmee”. As names go, it’s no Nyarlathotep or Shub-Niggurath, but it’s up there…), and begin massing their forces to destroy it. The Cullens draw together an army of vampires of their own, hoping that if enough vampires witness that the child is no threat, they’ll be able to convince the elders to let it live – and if not, they’ll go down fighting. Bunch of stuff happens, the two armies meet and debate various things, and after some tense negotiations and a demonstration of Bella’s amazing new vampire Mary-Sue powers, the elder vampires are convinced to let the issue drop. It’s not as good as the second section, but there’s a lot of tension, some interesting new characters, and a decent enough resolution of the various plot threads.

Like I said, I didn’t hate the book. It’s insane, but entertaining.

Random notes:

- Bella’s baby being a nightmarish mind-controlling demonspawn isn’t really played up much in the last third of the book. Still, here’s a few fun quotes from part three about little Renesmee:
“He said her name… the way devout people talk about their gods.” – p. 396
“Charlie was just as helpless against her magic as the rest of us. Two seconds in his arms, and already she owned him.” – p. 515
“No-one keeps her out… No-one can doubt the truth of her thoughts.” – p. 664

- On awakening as a vampire, Bella “could see each colour of the rainbow… and an eighth colour I had no name for.” That’s pretty cool – I didn’t know vampires could see Octarine…
4thofeleven: (Default)
A random observation: It occurs to me that I imagine Twilight’s Isabella Swan looking and sounding exactly like A Game of Throne’s Sansa Stark. Of course, there’s some fairly major differences between the two characters – for example, Sansa is becoming less clueless and naïve as the series goes on, while Isabella seems to be regressing.

Anyway, Eclipse is where I start to see where the hate for this series is coming from. Twilight and New Moon are largely inoffensive. I’ve mentioned that I find Edward creepy as hell, but it was possible to ignore his stalker behaviour or dismiss them as the result of inept plotting. Here, Edward seems to have jacked his creepy factor up by an order of magnitude. Before he was ‘only’ a creepy stalker. Now, he’s a full on controlling bastard, intend on restricting or eliminating Isabella’s autonomy wherever possible. He sabotages her car to stop her visiting her friends, and when that doesn’t work, he gets the other vampires to imprison her in their house. “It wasn’t so bad, except for the fact that I was being held against my will.” Isabella comments, apparently willing to accept this situation as regular ‘boys will be boys’ behaviour.

Adding to the creep factor, we get another detail about the vampires – one of them can control or erase the emotional states of others, and is pretty casual about doing so. So you really can’t trust the actions of behaviours of anyone in this series, since they could all be brain-washed puppets of the vampire cabal…

Oh, extra creepy message while where here: Isabella’s strongarmed persuaded the other vampires to vampify her. Now a few of the vampires aren’t too happy about this, and try and talk her out of this. One of them decided to tell Isabella the story of how she became a vampire, to convince her that she’s better off remaining human. The story is that she was gang-raped as a human teenager and then left for dead in an alley. She would have died there, had the head vampire not found her and made her a vampire, gifted with eternal life and the strength to bring bloody vengeance to those that had harmed her. Um. And that’s why Isabella shouldn’t want to be a vampire. The only possible message I can get from the story is that she’d have been better off dead than raped, unless the point of the story was “vampires like to tell stories that undermine the point they’re trying to illustrate”…

Anyway, moving away from the creepy aspects, I think this book still allows for my “Isabella only cares about immortality” reading. See, all the books are written from Isabella’s viewpoint. Up until this point, Edward’s been a little creepy, but hasn’t manifested any of these sorts of outright abusive behaviours. The two of them seem to be barely on speaking terms at the start of the book, and they’re arguing almost constantly. Did he suddenly turn into a jerk? Or does he just now seem less perfect to Isabella, now she’s got a date set for her vampification, and he’s no longer a symbol of her potential apotheosis? She seems horrified by the idea of marrying him, though she later explains that that’s just because she doesn’t want the bad reputation that would come with being married as a teenager. Of course, that’s really not much better – if he’s really her one true love, should she really value her reputation over him? Besides, once they’re both vampires, they’re planning on disappearing into Alaska anyway – the people who’ll look down on her marriage won’t be a factor in her life for more than a month or two…

Isabella gets to show a bit of her creepy side in Eclipse as well. Back when I read Twilight, I was thinking that it was a real shame that the final showdown between Edward and the evil vampire happened off-screen; it struck me that that really should have been the dramatic centre of the storyline. Can Isabella still love Edward after seeing him kill a man by tearing him apart then burning the – possibly still living – remains? Well, in Eclipse, we get the answer, as Isabella witnesses the death of another evil vampire at Edward’s hands. Not only is she unphased, she seems baffled as to why Edward would be concerned about her seeing him at his most brutal.

I know I’m going to be disappointed, but I can’t help but feeling that the most logical ending for the series would be if Isabella went mad with power on becoming a vampire, destroyed most of the Cullens and exterminated the town of Forks in her bloodlust, forcing a last-ditch alliance of Werewolves and the Volturi to band together to stop her…

Other notes:

- The stuff about vampire history in Latin America is interesting; I’d rather like to see more information about that. Were there vampires in the Americas pre-Columbus? Have the brutal Mexican vampire gang-wars attracted the attention of mortal vampire hunters? Do native Mexicans have werewolf powers too? Hey, Meyer? Stop with the boring romance - I want Aztec werewolves battling the vampire hordes of Latin America!
- Jacob ‘jokes’ about Isabella and Edward that ‘[he] saw this story on the news about controlling, abusive teenage relationships’. How do you write a sentence like that without pausing and realising that the relationship you’ve written really is a controlling abusive one?
- Of course, Jacob isn’t a great guy either; he’s the archetypal Nice Guy, and spends most of the book apparently annoyed that he wasted all that time being friends with Isabella when she’s going to insist on dating someone other than him. It’s a sign of how creepy Edward is in this book that Jacob comes across as the sympathetic character.
- We get, I believe, the first use of the word ‘creepy’ in the books themselves! P. 176, Isabella thinks it’s creepy that one of the werewolves has ‘imprinted’ (read: fallen in love with) a two year old. And… yeah, that’s pretty creepy. On the other hand, at least its acknowledged as being creepy by everyone, unlike everything else in these books…

Only one more of these things to get through!
4thofeleven: (Default)
Yeah, I’m a masochist. If there’s a book in my house, I’m going to read it, regardless of my expectations of quality.

Anyway, New Moon’s a hell of a lot better than Twilight – if nothing else, there’s a lot more story here, and we get some vampires actually acting like vampires. In the first couple of chapters, we get a room full of ‘friendly’ vampires be overwhelmed by bloodlust as Isabella accidently cuts herself, followed by a conversation about souls, and whether the vampires still have them. That’s pretty much my two largest complaints about Twilight taken care of right there.

Now, that’s not to say the story’s perfect; Edward Cullen, our romantic lead, still has no discernable personality traits. Every other vampire character comes across as far more interesting that him. It doesn’t help that what personality traits he has are increasingly creepy – and I’m still not entirely over the whole “He’s 100+ years old, but fakes being a high school student” thing. Sure, he looks seventeen, but surely he could fake being nineteen or something, and could have avoided having to go to school over and over again if he wanted to… then again, that brings us right back to “Why would a group of immortal un-aging vampires decide to hide out in a small town where everyone knows everyone, rather than in the anonymity of a large city?”

As for Isabella, our heroine – I find myself liking her despite myself. See, here’s the thing: She’s supposedly head-over-heels in love with Ed. But Edward doesn’t have any real personality – so the impression I get can’t be “She loves him because he’s charming/funny/whatever.” Instead, the impression I get is “She loves him because he’s the key to her achieving immortality.” The first few chapters, every time they’re together, she’s badgering him to agree to vampify her. She’s horrified at her birthday that another year has passed and she’s still aging. During the climax of the novel, her and another vampire are racing to Italy to rescue Edward from his poorly thought out suicide attempt – and on the plane, she’s trying to turn the conversation away from “How do we rescue my beloved without drawing the wrath of the vampire elders?” and towards “Say, you’re a vampire too – how about letting me on that action?” And then, having finally gotten the vampires to agree to vampify her, she seems far more excited by that outcome than by her being reunited with her one true love who has, by the way, just proposed to her.

It’s an unusual – and probably not entirely intentional – choice of characterisation, but as I mentioned in my Twilight review, it’s not like there seem to be any actual downsides to being a Twilight vampire. Why wouldn’t you make every possible effort to gain immortality once you learned of the possibility? Yeah, yeah, yeah, sparkly vampire boyfriend, who cares about that when I’m still subject to the forces of entropy and decay? In her position, I'd be just as determined to achieve immortality.

Granted, there’s the whole section where Isabella becomes suicidally depressed because her vampire buddies have decided to go into hiding (and stolen her car stereo), but again, since there’s nothing specific about Edward himself she’s missing, I think it’s a defensible interpretation that she’s not too concerned about him, she just doesn’t see the point in continuing her life now she’s doomed once again to inevitable decay and death.

Of course, it also occurred to me during this section that the reason she’s so depressed once the vampires leave is that they don’t feed on blood after all – they feed on human emotions or souls; she’d been in a state of heightened emotion and ecstasy while she was around them because they were drawing out her emotions in order to feed on them. Now they’ve used her up, cast her aside, and she’s left a soul-less husk, her ability to feel true joy or happiness entirely consumed by them. So, yeah, maybe I’m just trying to come up with a more interesting interpretation of events than the book is actually offering me…

Still, at least this volume actually has enough happening to spark the imagination somewhat, whereas Twilight had literally nothing happening for the majority of the book. I’m actually vaguely interested to see where the story’s going next, so that’s a big improvement.

Other quibbles:

- Isabella’s non-supernatural friends still don’t seem to have any actual role to play in things. Why do they keep getting so much attention directed at them? They don’t even qualify as “comic relief’. (I don’t mean they’re not funny – I mean they’re not even meant to be funny. They’re just bland – even blander than the protagonists, if such a thing is possible.)
- The werewolf plotline really didn’t seem to go anywhere. What’s the origin of the ‘vampires and werewolves are mortal enemies’ idea, anyway? At this point, it’s practically a cliché. I want to see a setting where they work together for once…
- I like that vampires are apparently loners in this setting. The vampire elders in Italy are the biggest vampire organisation in the world; they’ve got almost a dozen vampires living with them! Explains why vampires have never taken over; they don’t work together well enough to organise anything large-scale. Plus, it’s a good contrast with the werewolf pack structure.
- Is Stephenie Meyer a mechanic in real life or something? These books seem to have far more details about different types of cars and auto repairs than I’d expect from the genre or audience.
- Alright, so Edward’s going to commit suicide by elder vampire. He’s going to wander into the sunlight at midday in their capital city, because he knows they’ll kill him first lest he ruin their secret. Here’s the thing – Twilight vampires don’t combust in sunlight. They’re not hideous Nosferatu monsters either. If they step into sunlight, they sparkle. I’m not entirely sure anyone seeing a sparkly figure emerge in a city square on the feast day of that city’s patron saint is really going to think “Holy shit, vampires are real!”. It might draw in more pilgrims than the vampire elders want to deal with on a regular basis, but since their food supply appears to be ‘clueless tourists’ anyway, it doesn’t seem like Edward’s really causing them much of a problem…
4thofeleven: (Default)
Alright, so it seems everyone on earth is familiar with the Twilight series except me. There’s four books and a movie already – how did this completely escape my notice until now?

Anyway, a friend of mine has the whole series, so I borrowed the first book to read. Hey, vampires, right? How bad can it be?

Here’s the thing – Twilight isn’t actually that bad, but only in so far as not enough actually happens to criticise. The book is bizarrely slow-paced. Out of five hundred pages, more than two hundred pass before it’s revealed that, yes, the mysteriously handsome young man who appears to have superpowers is, in fact, a vampire, a shocking twist to everyone who hadn’t read the back cover blurb. We then continue for another two hundred pages before we get anything resembling an antagonist, an evil vampire who rather ineffectually menaces our heroine for the remaining couple of chapters until he’s dispatched off-stage.

Padding out the book are detailed descriptions of the logistics of how various characters are getting to school, which car they’re taking, how fast the car can go, and how the protagonist is going to retrieve her jacket after accidently leaving it in a friend’s cars. (Spoiler: She gets her jacket back!)

This isn’t too bad, because it means less time being devoted to the least menacing vampires in literary history. I say with no exaggeration that I find the Count from Sesame Street infinitely more terrifying than any of these losers. How un-menacing are they? Well, they don’t drink human blood, instead hunting animals to survive. Well, sure, I hear you say, lots of vampires survive off animal blood, but surely they’re still tempted by human blood? Yeah, not so much here. The head vampire here? He works as a surgeon. I mean, yeah, you get a few lines here and there about how the heroine’s boyfriend is scared of losing control – but he never actually seems in any particular danger of doing so. He is, apparently, especially tempted by her scent when he first meets her, but then he spends a few days alone in Alaska, and after that he seems fine. These guys seem to be less "Terrifying predators of an ignorant humanity" and more "Like a good steak every now and then."

Oh, and they can walk around in daylight, cross running water, eat food if necessary, and don't have to hide from the sign of the cross. Being a vampire always sounds like more fun than being a regular human, but in this case there doesn’t even seem to be a token downside to becoming one of the undead. Being Superman seems to have more drawbacks than being a Twilight vampire.

And on that subject? Isn’t the main thing about vampires that they’re soulless living corpses, returned from the grave in a blasphemous parody of the resurrection of Christ? Sure, you can write a vampire novel without assuming an explicitly Christian cosmology, but shouldn’t the religious issue come up sometime? Vampires are, traditionally, a violation of the natural order. You leave that aspect out, and you’ve pretty much written out the ‘supernatural’ from your supernatural romance.

Granted, the main vampire character does come across as kind of creepy – I’m not sure it’s intentional though. The author doesn’t seem to have actually considered the implications of a ninety-year old vampire masquerading as a seventeen year old high school student and dating a teenage girl. Oh, and he’s got supernatural seduction powers. It’s unclear if the protagonist falls in love with him purely because of his sparkly beauty, or because of the effects of his vampire seduction power, but this seems to be less of an intentional ambiguity so much as due to the characterisations being paper thin, and therefore determining motivations being an exercise in futility.

So yeah. Not recommended.

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David Newgreen

June 2017

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