Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “anne rice”

Blah Blah It’s a Gift, It’s a Curse, Blah Blah Kill Me

TODAY’S BREW: Sexy chocolate cherry coffee.

by Julie

Twitter was all aflutter today with my irritated musings about reading The Wolf Gift  by Anne Rice. Enough so that I realized it was madness not to do a post on it.

Though possibly not as mad as the fact that I will probably finish this book.

Find me a vampire novelist who isn’t an Anne Rice fan. I parted ways with her when she became too stretchy with the Vampire Chronicles, when it became repetitive and gratuitous. Then the Jesus thing happened, and I was totally out. When I spotted The Wolf Gift, I was so excited to see classic Anne Rice back.

It is becoming apparent that what is classic is sometimes just dated. This is no exception, though it was only published last year.

The premise of the novel is pretty cool! (SPOILER ALERT) A priveleged young reporter becomes a werewolf, and can smell evildoers, and wants to kill the hell out of them. He maintains his human consciousness the entire time. When the transition occurs, Reuben welcomes it every time; it’s an orgasmic experience and he loves the power it gives him.

But long, long descriptions slow down the pace of what should be a very intense novel, making it just dull to read. That’s all there is to it, just dull.  Well written primal scenes of slaughter and transformation are far too infrequent, and even these lack fast paced writing. It all feels too steady, not like a man teetering on the brink of a new reality. If the old lady in Titanic were telling the story it would be more enthusiastic.

Reuben has three different lovers in the first 200 pages. Fun, yes? NO. His fiance is cold, dull, and absent. The older woman whom he has a one night stand with dies immediately, but he, of course, is crazy in love with her from the get-go. Until he finds a middle aged weirdo in the woods, Laura, who he should be having explosive werewolf sex with. Instead we are faced with sentences that dilute phrases like “naked and pink against him” with the nightmare of “her nipples like petals.”

How the fuck are nipples like petals?

TWO pages of describing the house in the sex scene. Really? Then, the morning after, when there should be interaction and a bit of freakout, he is immersed in thought about the wraparound porch that he isn’t even looking at or sitting on. What the holy shit? I mean, you lost me at flower nipples, but I ran screaming with descriptions of tables when we should be talking about screwing.

We hear as much from the caretaker about the maintenance on this huge old house as we do from Reuben’s family, and trust me, that’s too much. What is this, the frigging Shining? Your house issues have no relevance here.

I am halfway through this sad state of affairs, and will finish it, it seems. Anne Rice is a classic, but she is also OLD and I am sick and tired of all her lies. Well, maybe just her description of lies and houses and streets and weather and hair and bullshit that doesn’t matter. The end.

 

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Vampire Evolution

Today’s Brew:  I may or may not break into the Seasonal Nog, and I may or may not doctor it with some Kahlua.

When I began writing Immortal Dilemma, I needed to come up with a mythology to back up my undead darlings.  While the reading masses want originality, it seems like too much originality is frowned upon.  After all, real, masculine vampires do not sparkle in daylight, right?

What makes a unique yet compelling vampire story?  What are we willing to accept, and what will always be true?

Julie has done some amazing posts on vampire myths and legends around the globe (see below for linkage).  Mari Wells writes a compelling column exploring common vampire traits every Wednesday on her blog.  I am reading an anthology of vampire accounts and stories from the 18th through 20th centuries.  What strikes me most about these tales are the common themes, especially in the ancient myths.  They didn’t have the luxury of Google to compare their stories against those on the other side of the world.  But yet, they are all eerily similar.

Most vampire legends seem to stem from the unfortunate practice of burying people before they were dead.  We didn’t have the scientific explanations that we did today about aging and disease.  People just knew that their fellow villagers were getting sick by the boatload.  They didn’t have the sophisticated medical equipment to detect heart beats, or medicine to make all of it just go away.  So when people appeared to be dead, their loved ones did the Christian thing (if indeed they were Christians) and buried them.  Unfortunately, some of them weren’t dead, and they weren’t ready to spend the rest of eternity in a coffin.

Our medical and scientific knowledge has evolved, why can’t vampire mythology evolve as well?

In early lore, vampires were zombie like beasts, attacking innocents for blood.  But now, thanks to Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris, and Stephenie Meyer, vampires are beautiful creatures to be desired.  With familiarity and allure comes a comfort level.  Would you be frightened to find out someone was a vampire, or just simply intrigued?  They no longer rank with murders, thieves, or even charlatans.  Would they be more fearful if they weren’t attractive?

I’m thinking survival of the fittest here.

Wouldn’t a race of vampires that could go out in sunlight be stronger than those creatures of the night that lost half the day worrying about burning to a crisp?  Stephenie Meyer had a dream about a sparkly guy.  He became Edward Cullen.  Dreams, as interesting as they can be, are not evolution.  After all, we evolved from a race of hairy cave dwelling beasts to become the awesome species we are.  Dracula didn’t burn in sunlight. Even some of Anne Rice’s characters aged to the point they could withstand the sun.  I have not been able to find an explanation why the sun is vampire kryptonite.  Why do we have such a hard time accepting ‘Daywalking’ (which is even the proper term for it) vampires?

Now let’s move on the blood.  In days before CSI Las Vegas, New York, and Miami, vampires had it made in the shade, so to speak.  When Big Brother wasn’t all over our collective shit, it was pretty easy to make someone disappear.  Just ask the Mafia.  Now, we know the minute someone is missing and we almost immediately begin tracking that person down.  If they’re found dead, science can trace back to the exact time it happens and they’ll probably be able to figure out the body is missing all of it’s blood.  If vampires have DNA, they are so screwed.  At the very least, the four, five, and six o’clock news are going put a rash of neighborhood vampire attacks on blast.  There’s no place to run, no place to hide for our friendly bloodsucker.  Drinking blood is no longer an efficient means of vampire survival.  You just can’t get away with these things like you used to.  So unless we let vampires feed on death row criminals or they somehow can line up some willing kamikaze type victims, they’re up the creek without a paddle.  Charlaine Harris introduced Tru Blood, a synthetic blood substitute that everyone seems to accept, but again, the poor Cullens get their asses handed to them for only feeding on animal blood.

As someone who is scratching at the door of the paranormal writing community, it interests me to find out why people are willing to accept certain liberties to legends while we reject others.  After all, we’re talking about stories about dead people doing very human things.  That has become accepted in mainstream culture, so why do we resist their changes?

Julie’s Vampire Mythology Series:
The Japanese Do It Right: Gashodokuro & Hagoromo Gitsune
The Reason NYC is The City That Never Sleeps
Vampires, Eh?  What’s That All Aboot?
Bonjour!  French Vampire Mythology and Sightings
The Rhode Island Vampire Girls

Kristen’s Supernatural Stamp Of Approval

Today’s brew:  Seasonal Nog.  It’s soy “egg” nog and quite delicious. It’s amazing with Kahlua, but it’s Monday for the love of God and I have to be up at 4:30 AM. You need to know when to say when.

Since Julie told you about all the supernatural things I hate yesterday, I thought it might be wise to to follow up with the supernatural creatures that send my heart pitter pattering, or at the very least, don’t make me roll my eyes in disgust and say “not again!”

1.  Vampires.  Big surprise here.  I will never get my fill.  I prefer my vamps to be dark and a little scary. For me, some of the lure of vampires is that they are those dangerous creatures you just can not resist.  There are so many different legends to pull from, but at the core they all hold certain similarities.  There’s also many unique ways to interpret these legends while staying true to tradition.

2.  Witches. Let’s face it, witches kick ass.  It helps if you have some supernatural talent, but anyone can learn to be a witch.  Get a spell book and the proper supplies, and believe.  It’s like a religion.  I would love to see a witch who really just sucks at her witchness, and watch the mayhem and foolishness ensue.

3. Gods.  Greek Gods, Roman Gods, Chinese Gods.  All fascinating.  I recently read Kylie Chan’s White Tiger and found the Chinese mythology to be far more intriguing that the romantic plot.  Just because of that, I would be interested in reading the further in the trilogy.  I’ve also read some of Anne Rice’s Christ the Lord which is rich a thick and fascinating.

4. Historical Figures.  File under the same category as Gods.  Education was wasted on me when I was young.  My mind wasn’t ready.  Set any of these figures in any historical period and I’m interested.  I admire anyone who tackles the historical research needed to get it right.

5.  Astrology.  No one loved Vicki Pettersson’s Signs of the Zodiac series as much as I did, and that’s your loss.  I loved the thought of the astrological signs holding powers and having significant events shape the signs of the Zodiac.  I was so sad when these books ended after only six signs of the Zodiac.  I was down for twelve of these books. Are you listening Vicki?

6.  Rock Stars.  Sigh.  Okay, so I know they’re mostly mere mortals, but they have the ability to hold us in a supernatural spell.

7.  Real People.  If you can get me to fall in love with a character who’s just plain old human, then you, dear author, posses super powers all your own.

 

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