Tag Archives: vampires

The Immortal Ones by John F. Ferrer

The Immortal Ones by John F. Ferrer: Derek lives a life of horror-movie fantasies until he meets a girl at a club and those horror movie monsters turn out to be real. Overnight his life is turned upside-down. Though there is a fair bit of action, the love polygon is the backbone of the story. Werewolves love vampires; vampires love humans; humans love werewolves; it’s all just a mess. There are definitely echoes of Twilight here, but with more sex and less angst. The vampire and werewolf mythos are a little different from the traditional as well. Like in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, vampires look like ordinary (though beautiful) humans until they get angry or hungry, at which point their faces “crack” and the fangs come out. Werewolves are pretty much hairy vampires: they also wolf out under stress, live forever, and drink blood. Both species can learn to keep their respective transformations under control. Both have a preference for human blood but can survive on the less tasty blood of animals. Werewolves, however, like vampire blood best of all, and are arguably the only thing (besides the sun) that can kill a vampire. (Whether or not a werewolf can be killed remains to be seen.) The other twists are more subtle: gold (not silver) hurts werewolves, and vampires (but not werewolves) are weakened by wolfsbane. (To be fair, Dracula was kept out by wolfsbane.)

Like many self-published books, this one is in desperate need of a good editor. The author clearly has a basic misunderstanding of punctuation. For most of the story I felt less like I was reading a story than having one described to me. The main characters were all fairly interchangeable in terms of personality, but I did enjoy a couple of the minor walk-ons, like Hank from the jazz club and Emma from the bookstore. I could easily see and hear them in my mind. So would I recommend this particular book? Well, no, but I do see promise in Ferrer. He has good ideas, and proper execution can be taught. I look forward to seeing what he can do with time, training, and a really good editor.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant: I’d heard this movie was pretty bad, but when you’re on a fourteen-hour flight your movie-watching standards tend to go through the floor. But you know, it was actually a lot better than I’d feared. Two teenage best friends – one the perfect son and student, the other a trouble-making son of drunken and abusive parents – attend a freak show called Cirque du Freak. The perfect kid is obsessed with spiders; the troublemaker is obsessed with vampires. This isn’t brought up early enough in the film, and is in fact presented like an “oh by the way” to explain things that have already happened. Anyway, spiderboy steals freakshow spider, spider bites vampireboy, spiderboy has to make a deal with vampire to save vampireboy, serious rift forms between spiderboy and vampireboy. What saves this from sinking into cliche hell is that it is extremely self-aware. The teenagers and the freaks all know about horror movie stereotypes, and make some great comments that save the moment from turning to complete melodrama. The only unforgivably silly element is the vamp factions: the ones who drink blood without killing people are called vampires, and the ones who kill their victims are called vampaneze. Yes, it’s true to the book, but every time they said it I was all, “Really? I mean, really?” So while it was more than entertaining enough for a long flight, it’s not the sort of thing I would go out and rent. I am, however, interested in reading the books now.

The Trouble with Vampires

So after yesterday’s discussion of romance novels it occurs to me that maybe I really am a generic trend-follower and the real draw for me, regardless of genre, is vampires. Case in point:

  • Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles: These ate my brain* for a while during college. Interview with the Vampire (and the associated movie) remains my favorite, perhaps because of an affinity for Louis that Rice herself obviously did not share. (In an intro to the IwtV DVD, Rice referred to Lestat as her “dark lover.” Um.) The books declined in quality as time went on, and eventually I gave up without reading Memnoch the Devil and only bothered with a few of the spin-offs (The Vampire Armand, Violin, and Pandora, if I recall correctly).
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula: I actually rather enjoyed the book (to which the movie was reasonably true), but it didn’t have a whole lot of Dracula in it. (More detail at my post on the Dueling Monsters Read-a-long.)
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The film was fairly forgettable, but I really liked the series, to the point where I was perfectly happy watching back-to-back-to-back episodes during much of graduate school.
  • Van Helsing: Silliness to the extreme and felt more like fanfic than homage, but I loved it for what it was.
  • Twilight: Oh god, don’t get me started. Short version: this horribly-written series totally ate my brain* for several months in 2009.
  • Count Duckula: Probably my favorite recurring guest star on Dangermouse, but I’m not sure that has anything to do with him being a vampire.

So I guess this means I would probably enjoy The Lost Boys, Underworld, Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, Hellsing, Cirque du Freak, and Vampire Hunter D. The question is: where to start?

*ate my brain: overwhelmed my psyche, to the point where I was thinking about it practically nonstop and could not get enough of it. See also: short-term obsession. (To be fair, this also happened when I read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. So there’s that.)

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