What are the attributes of a "real" vampire? Can they fall in love? Must they be repelled by garlic and killed by a stake to the heart? Should they be able to go out in daylight............and should they sparkle??
With the explosion of vampires in literature (both YA & adult) come new twists on the old stories which leads to the inevitable backlash. Vampires can now go out during the day, fall in love & sometimes even have families, work with and care about humans and other things that stretch what vampires should be like.
Nothing seems to get people as fired up as Stephanie Myers making her vamps sparkle! Blasphemy!! Personally, I enjoyed the series and didn't have a problem with the sparkle aspect. I thought it was different from what I've read before. (I did have other issues with the series - but sparkly vampires wasn't one of them) I've read many blogs by vampire purists going off on True Blood and all the vampire romance books out there because it's not how "real" vampires act - they are predators and should not be having romances.
Same can be said of the crop of zombie books coming out. Instead of brain eating shamblers they now have social lives and relationships while still rotting away.
It's also funny that we don't react to the new takes on werewolves/shifters or the fey. Is it because they still retain human qualities so we can accept the human traits and therefore stretch the boundries these supernatural creatures?
The reason I like two of may favorite series - The Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost and the WVMP Radio Vampire series by Jeri Smith-Ready - is because they both have an original slant on vampires, giving them complex personalities while still retaining the ruthless qualities that make them the predators that we should fear.
For me vampires aren't real, they're fiction. There can't be any rules to break. We may have our own taste and that's fine. I can also see the argument that if we humanize (or de-fang) vampires too much, there comes a point that you have to ask "Why is the character even a vampire?" except to hop on a trend and sell books.
So what do you think? Do you accept some stretches to the rules but draw a line at some things or is anything ok as long as the writing is good? Or maybe you're a purist and think vampires should only be of the 30 Days Of Night / Salem's Lot variety? Or did Twilight just go too far with the sparkle??
I'd love to hear what you have to say so leave a comment!
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