June 14, 2006


I remember I went on and on and on about Robin McKinley's novel, Sunshine, and thought I would never like another vampire novel nearly as well. There are, frankly, too many of them just written flippantly, basing their storylines on Buffy -- still -- or on a collection of well known items about the undead. (Just writing that line makes me laugh.) Very few people know how to make a fairytale new. Anne Rice sort of covered a lot of stuff, and mostly what people write are just ...sequels.

I was pleased to review Stephenie Meyers' novel, Twilight, which was an engagingly modern tale of star-crossed human-vampire lovers, but with the added benefit of an exploration of vampire... familial structure? Not post-apocalyptic like McKinley's book, but a tale in modern times of the obsession of a predator, Edward... with his prey, Bella, the newest student in the high school purgatory where he is stuck. Can you make a love story out of that?

The haze of desire provoked by Edward's dazzling eyes and the scent a vampire breathes are a new twist on the vampire lore, and keep things interesting. The antipathy between Bella and Edward also keep things interesting, as he goes out of his way to avoid her, even as he obsesses. Romance is in the air, the novel has been optioned as a movie, and a sequel is on the way. This is supposed to be a trilogy, and you may wonder if anyone can keep the romantic tension that long. Well, a hint: vampires are made for eating fragile humans, not romancing them. What happens with all that brute strength is the vampire loses control?

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