Living with Vampires

Posted in Books, TV

This post deals with the two series that started my reading frenzy of the past few weeks.

I recently got sucked into the whole craze surrounding the
Twilight Saga. I started the book series just to understand what all the buzz was about surrounding the movie. I knew that teenagers, and girls of all ages, were devouring the books and were salivating for the movie. I figured I’d give the series a shot – if it helped me understand the entertainment buzz an no more, that’d be fine. But I got sucked in. I believe I even termed it a “sickness” on Twitter.

The Twilight books were written by Stephenie Meyer and involve a love story between young Bella Swan and teenage vampire Edward Cullen. The first book was made into a movie, with star Robert Pattinson becoming an instant teen idol. It’s quite crazy. But back to the books. I really was sucked in.

I started reading while I was sick, so I had plenty of time to devour all four books in a matter of less than a week. I can’t explain the series better than this: it’s like being a teenager in love all over again. Vampires and supernatural worlds aside (the series goes into more than just vampires), the series has the crazy emotional pull of being a teenager. Plus, it’s written in a way that keeps you going and going, with very few natural breaks to stop. It’s more of a romance series than a Sci Fi series, and it’s quite far from pretentious. But it nonetheless has the power to come to life as you read it.

The first book was my favorite, with perhaps the fourth winning me over again. I was at first a little annoyed at the introduction of other supernatural creatures, and the flippant play of emotions and obvious easy “outs” that are built into the plot. But I enjoyed it quite a good deal anyway. There is a fifth book in the series that was started and was leaked online. Author Stephenie Meyer was disappointed with this and chose to put the novel on hold, but released the partial draft on her website. It was my favorite of the series, by far. It’s essentially the first book re-told from Edward’s perspective, which was fascinating.

Keeping in the theme of vampires, I decided to pursue the series that inspired the HBO drama True Blood, which was my favorite new series of 2008 (and that’s saying something). The Southern Vampire Mysteries, now known mostly as the Sookie Stackhouse Series was written by Charlaine Harris and involves 8 books so far, with another slated for release in May of 2009. This story follows Sookie Stackhouse, a barmaid telepath living in a small town in Louisiana. She has the reputation of being a little crazy, but is a lovable spunky character. Her whole world changes once a vampire, Bill Compton, comes to town (in this series, a synthetic blood product allowed them to ‘come out’ in society a few years ago) and she finds that she cannot read his mind. Drawn to his peace, she has a relationship with him, and becomes quite involved in his world.

Unlike with Twilight, it’s more of an ‘adult’ story (particularly as the series progresses), with a great deal more murders and gruesome details. Charlaine Harris has written many murder mysteries, and the Sookie Stackhouse Series is no exception. Just like with Twilight, however, the supernatural world is made up of more than just vampires. As the series progresses, we meed werewolves and shape shifters, for example.

Although not as ‘addiction’ as Twilight from the emotional draw that I can’t logically explain, I still managed to devour the entire series in less than two weeks. They are well written and the stories and characters are vivid and likable. The first season of True Blood did a beyond-fantastic job of capturing the essence of the first book. A few things were changed, and the changes became more apparent as the season unfolded, but so much stayed true to the vision.

So, for several weeks, I lived with vampires. If you need to escape for a while, I’d recommend reading either series (or watching True Blood!!).

4 Responses to “Living with Vampires”

  1. carolbrowne says:

    I haven’t read the books, but I really loved True Blood. I can’t wait for the next season.

    I’ve been resisting the books, though because up until True Blood, I had no interest in vampires. But now, hmmm…

  2. Arieanna says:

    I didn’t have a huge interest either, I do admit it. But if you loved True Blood, the books won’t disappoint. I’m SO looking forward to seeing what they do with the rest of the series on HBO!!

  3. Sherry says:

    I loved the Twilight series so much, I’ll have to try the Sookie Stackhouse series too now.

  4. Cheril says:

    I love True Blood and was wondering if reading the books was worth it. Sounds like it is. I too want to see what all of the Twilight hoopla is about — so maybe I’ll get those books after I read the Sookie Stackhouse series.



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