I admit that when vampires first started being written in the early 1990’s, I enjoyed them very much. I even had a vampire in my Halloween story, Some Enchanted Autumn. And even now, I do occasionally find one that I enjoy but that’s a rare thing. Very rare. Mostly, I just sigh and put the book back on the shelf. Really? Another Vampire book.
So why the protest on this obviously popular and lucrative type of book?
Part of it is the forever young motif. While I can see the appeal of never getting cancer or ill, scars signify our errors and mistakes. We learn from them and they remind us of those lessons. So without those marks, it’s doubtful anyone will remember the past and we’ll never evolve or improve ourselves or our world. (And I’m completely ignoring the fact that everyone would be in their early 20’s–if you’ve forgotten what that’s like go sit on a college campus and eavesdrop.) So what is gained from this immortality? Nothing that benefits either humans or Vamp. Oh but they’re always rich. Of course, it’s not greed. It’s the boredom of living forever that helps them acquire such wealth.
Not that they endow the arts with their largess, help spread their knowledge and experience to recreate the world for the better. They don’t really care about humanity–their food source. And this trait is certainly featured a lot. The old Vamp forgets what it’s like to be human and sees everyone as walking blood warmers–his/hers for the taking. They become evil and depraved. Rabid animals that their own kind must hunt and put down for the sake of the Vampire species. And we’re supposed to magically believe that the hero/heroine won’t degenerate into this in another century or two?
Ah but that’s where the human blood warmer comes in. She/he will save them. Given that all Vamps have some sort of Glamour how can he/she save the big, bad vamp when this magic overrides her free will? How can love without a choice to not love be true love? I understand the need for the Glamour. After all the vast majority of people don’t find themselves attracted to corpses. Right, the Vamps can turn this on and off. Sorry, I’m not buying it. They may be able to mute it but it has to be an integral part of them, after all this is part of their hunting ability and they need it to survive. It can’t completely go away. A lion’s teeth and fangs don’t disappear when he’s lounging on the Savannah.
Ignoring the whole free choice thing, we come to the increased sexual appetites. Yes I know that erotic material is all the rage and that sex sells, but this seems more like a gimmick to get a sex scene on page 50. And this seems to be done at the expense of the romance, the wooing and taking the time to get to know her and him.
But my biggest bone of contention is that the human savior becomes a vamp so they can live happily forever after. Which given that most Vamps don’t have a life span, is indeed forever unless, of course, one or the other gets killed. So here is where instead of feeling that happy, happy, joy moment–I get sad.
1-The original vamp didn’t change much. He only loves her. He still needs to eat. Humans are still food. How soon until the newbie vamp looses her humanity and becomes the next villian?
2-Given the divorce rate among humans, how can we think they’ll really stay together forever? And don’t forget the mind reading. Do you really want your significant other in your head all the time? That would become old. Quickly.
3-Lastly, and more disturbingly for me, is the acceptance of total defeat. Humans do get divorced at a high rate. So writers have given up even trying to get readers to believe that humans can love one another for the rest of their short lives. You need supernatural beings for that and what’s more you need to become one for it to last. (And no, I’m not going to talk about how some books have injected the whole Pantheon of supernatural beings now.)
I’m not sure when mortality became vilified, when our human failings stopped being something we needed to have the courage to overcome and forgive, and when love became the only virtue we possess (but not strong enough to keep us together).
Then again, maybe I’ve over thought the whole thing.