Thursday is my reviewing stuff day. Because, like all good westerners, I love to consume, and watch stuff on the internet.
Somewhere in the last year, I got into reading trashy vampire novels and I couldn’t stop. I’ve chomped my way through the whole Sookie Stackhouse series, and now I have started nomming it though the Anita Blake-Vampire Hunter series.
I am on book 4 of Anita Blake. I have heard tell it gets decidedly saucier and more nekkid from here on in, but so far I cannot comment on that.
I love both of them. In my mind, small, wiry, brunettes with lots of scars trump over sometimes naievely polite busty blondes. (That may be because I am a small wiry brunette who would love to be cool enough to beat up vampires and summon zombies and stuff).
But I have discovered something.
When writing a book series about vampires, I think writers get to a place and they get stuck. I will explain this in dance terms, as this is how I understand these things.
You can watch a performance by a highly technically skilled dancer, who is, if you think about it, really awesome, but you are too bamboozled by the non-stop technique marathon and the unstoppable playlist of cool moves to actually enjoy it properly. I’ve heard it described as dance masturbation. No pause for the audience to breathe and take it in, no contrast, and no balance. JUSTSTUFFALLTHETIME.
This is what a few books into a vampire series seems to look like.
A few nicely paced novels, and then you begin to notice there is a new murder every second chapter, and the character is always just escaping from being killed. Always. Then she gets herself into another highly charged situation, where she just avoids being killed.
Murder begins to loose it’s literary shock – “Oh, another murder. Sigh. How many parts was it chopped into this time?” *cue weary page turning*
The constant heightened drama begins to look like dance masturbation – there’s no pause, and frankly, it’s tiring.
But, still, I can’t put them down. What can I say, I’m a sucka for female heroines + vampires = book series.
I guess they do all the dull bits, like boring days at work where nothing happens, chatting on the phone with their mates, and laundering blood out of their clothes on their days off in between books.
(Even more on this: I will say that Sookie has the edge in this, as what I love about her is that she’ll be busy doing all this crazy violent vampire drama stuff, then she will spend three or four pages telling us how she spent her day off sunbathing, weeding, and doing her taxes. I dig it. I guess she’s a bit pacier to read, as she has a normal job underneath all the Vampire stuff. Being that Anita’s job is a zombie animator, I guess she doesn’t have that nice, normal, boring pace of life to fall back on.)
Seriously though chaps, don’t be put off by my whinging. Get thee to thy local library and rent thou the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris and the Anita Blake books by Laurel K Hamilton and witness the awesome.