Deadly Ever After

Suggested Vampire Reading

Today’s Brew: back to Mudslide. Julie tells me there is a K Cup store in Hyannis, but the Cape is too much of a pain to navigate in the summer time, with all the tourists bumbling about. With fall just around the corner, we are going to have to make a pilgrimage.

Julie’s Pick: SUNSHINE by Robin McKinley

I don’t want to say this is “recommended” by me—you could very much hate it. I’m not sure I didn’t dislike it. But I have never forgotten this book because it’s totally unique, definitely weird, and it’s voice is strong.
There’s a lot of talk of baking in this book. I liked it, and yet I couldn’t help but think, “isn’t this an awful lot of baking in a vampire book?” But I love the feeling that talk of baked goods gives a book, and I’ve got to say this is a point for Sunshine.
There’s a weird alternative dimension. It was a little too much, even for me. Now I like weird, so that made me mad.
The vampire main man, Con, is so mysterious, it’s hard to say if he’s cool or not, but I think he is. He is elusive like no other vamp I’ve read. I kept waiting for him to open up, but he never gave it to me. I don’t know if I like that or not.
I have to mention the line that I have never forgotten since I read this book years ago, and it scared the shit out of me: “My cunt ached like a bruise.” What? She went there! Robin McKinley said it, and it totally took me by surprise.
All in all, I mention this novel often, and I am aggravated to have lent it out never to be seen again. (Thanks a lot, Candy, if you’re reading this. I know you have it, and now I am going to have to find it from another source—Kristen) Because I need to read it again, to see how I really feel.
Sunshine is very entertaining at times, and totally nuts at others. People have said this of me also, and I would suggest hanging out with me, so I also suggest Sunshine.

Kristen’s Pick: The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series by Laurel K. Hamilton

A friend of mine who I’ve sadly lost touch with recommended these books to me years ago. Like more than ten years ago. She would shout from the rooftops how much she loved this series to our online chat group, and we didn’t listen. Finally, on vacation in Las Vegas, I would up picking up one of these books out of curiosity. I’d read my vacation pick totally on the plane and needed something to entertain myself with by the pool. The first thing I did when I had internet access again was apologize to Jany for not listening to hear sooner. Once I came home, I told my friend who I shared a part time job with at the mall how much I was enjoying the series. The next thing I knew, everyone at the mall was reading Anita Blake and loving it. It’s all we talked about. Jany was a mix of pissed and proud. What she’d been trying to do for years I’d accomplished in a matter of weeks.
Anita is pretty much a bad ass. She is necromancer and an animator, being able to call life like zombies from the grave to help solve crimes. She’s a federal marshal on the preternatural crimes unit and is usually packing an extraordinary amount of heat…guns, knives, you name it, she’s got it. She is also a vampire executioner, which causes a little bit of a problem when she starts hanging around with Jean Claude, who is the vampire Master of the City of St. Louis. Later, she meets and becomes engaged to Richard, a werewolf. Anita, Jean Claude, and Richard form a triumvirate of power. Richard quickly becomes a whiny dickhead and Anita winds up back with Jean Claude. And Asher. And Nathaniel…Anita acquires a vampire power called the ardeur, which allows Anita to draw power through lust but she must have sex several times a day to keep it under control.
And that’s when things get weird.
It’s funny how as readers we’re willing to accept vampires, zombies, and werewolves, but there still comes that point when you just have to sit back and say whoa.
The Anita that starts the series wouldn’t recognize the Anita that ends the series. The books get away from the mystery and hunting and veer almost exclusively into sex with a little plot in between. Around book eleven or so, I couldn’t read much more of it. Bestiality is what pretty much ruined this series for everyone I talked to. Still, the series is worth a read from the beginning as far as you can stand it. It’s a great primer for vampire and lycanthrope societies. There is a basic set of rules that we as paranormal writers all abide by, and Laurell K. Hamilton does a great job at clearly giving a good explanation of who is who and what is what. Even when she caves into complete whoredom, Anita is a smart, sassy main character who is worth reading.

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