Monday, December 31, 2012

The Vampires of 2012

One of my reading categories this year was vampires.  I am not a huge fan of vampire stories, but there is so much out there now I wanted to get aquainted with what there was (sadly I didn't even get to any of |Anne Rice's works which I have heard are quite good).  I don't seem to have found a lot of great vamp books to read this year, the limit was twelve but there were only three that really stood out for me, the rest (which I won't mention because that would just be mean), were pretty mediocre, predictable, and what I had expected of the new craze/fad for most stories about vampires these days which must include some sex, violence (preferably at the same time) and some gore (perhaps in an attempt to mimic Charlaine Harris or to emulate Stephanie Meyer had she wanted to take things that extra adult step).  Not everything is created equal.
For starters I began this year with Bram Stoker's Dracula.  It was about time.   I have seen the movies  and had been very scared of them when I was a little girl. I loved the movie Van Helsing with all it's steampunk gear and sexy star actor (Wolverine with long hair grroowwl).  I chose it to read after finishing The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Volume 1 by Alan Moore.  Mina Harker was one of his characters and I thought it was time I finally got to the true story because I was pretty uncertain about what happened to Mina in the movies I saw.  Did she divorce her husband like Alan Moore wrote, or did she actually turn into a vampire like in the movie loosely based on Moore's graphic novel (which is a favorite of mine even though Moore has disassociated himself from it).    I honestly had expected it to be a bit dry and possibly boring (old stuff can be that way), and was surprised in a very good way.  I loved the story telling format of letter writing in the first part, the underlying fear and suspense was brilliant and I was very worried for Jonathan Harker's sake.  When we are moved to England and into the second part it does not disappoint, it's full of flowery language on Van Helsing's part ( I thought he was really gabby), and full of action and certainly not dry and boring!  The ending was very satisfying (after all of that suspense). 
My second favorite was unexpected.  Abraham 
Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith.   I had been ignoring this book simply
because of it's popularity and because it seems the style in recent years to make these mash-ups and odd pairings.  I don't have anything against them, I'm just a very busy reader and they were low on my list of thing to read.  I'm glad I had a look at this one, it was fabulous.  A nice break break from the stories I had read so far.  I have always had a tremendous respect for Abraham Lincoln, so it just seems to make perfect sense that he would kick ass if he had to fight such an adversary (certain other people from around that time in history made cameos in this story too, I won't say who, they just belonged in the story and added to the historical fiction).
 Some photos that have been making the rounds on the internet have provided me with many moments of laughter, especially this one (if I could have a t-shirt made, I would!)
 Last but not least is The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks (Australian!).  Not your regular run of the mill vampires.  It was another refreshing change, and I got a kick out of imagining this group of vampires out and about in Sydney,  Australia.  I can even picture the television movie they'd make of this book.

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