Trevor d’Laine’s sexy voice seduced her every night with his late-night radio talk show. So Kay Erikson couldn’t pass up the chance to be his personal assistant — despite his insistence that he was a vampire.
Vampires didn’t wear faded jeans. And they were dark and brooding, not vibrant and fun.
Not bad, huh? Vampire radio host with sexy voice and his personal assistant? Vibrant and fun? Could be pretty good. So check out the excerpt on the first page:
“I’m a happy vampire. Happier than you can guess. I like having time to read every book that ever interested me, time to visit every monument ever erected, time to sample every pleasure available to night people. I’m invulnerable to disease or accident. I’ll never age, never die. Why would I want to give that up?â€
Seriously, I am, or I was, so intrigued. Even with the heroine challenging his happiness with the idea that immortality and vampirism have their downsides, I was intrigued by the possibility. A happy vampire? Pleased with his immortality, and enjoying everlasting life and youth? Bring it on! Aren’t you a bit weary of the uber-emo vampire and his mournful, angsty self? I love paranormal stories, romance or not, even if I am vampired-out. A book about a happy, giddy vampire? Please. It’s so rare. Lately I’ve found myself looking for less-angstful vampires, and haven’t found many.
I tried, for example, one of the Argeneau books, and I had to stop reading it. One, the one I picked featured a heroine with absolutely no personality, who turned into a most irritating Mary Sue at the end (she adjusts to vampirism effortlessly and faster than most, and SURPRISE she’s a NINJA! Ok, not a ninja. A martial artist. But still. No conflict + Mary Sueism + Surprise Ninja? COME ON NOW.) And two, every time the explanation of vampirism was given by one of the vampiric characters, which, if you’ve read the books, is predicated on the existence of “nanosâ€ in the bloodstream, I had a most disturbing mental image: how DO Nanos fit in one’s capillaries? What about headphones or an attachment to play the Nano in your car? Or a case to keep it from getting scratched? What then? If your vampirism is based on millions of little iPods flying through your veins, wouldn’t that get a little painful? I love me some Macs, too. I’ve personally lusted in my heart for an iPhone, despite my unwillingness to tie myself for two years to a sub-par wireless carrier, and I’ve been a faithful Mac laptop user for years, but give my bloodstream over to Steve Jobs? I don’t think so.
And despite the presence of hippy colored iPods dancing through their bloodstream, it seemed, despite the comedy of the plot itself, many of the vampires in that series as well take themselves entirely too seriously. Hence I was light-my-panties-on-fire excited to meet a happy vampire. Gleeful undead! Whee!
In fact, I was SO eager to get me some giddy vampire action that I was willing to spend a healthy portion of my normal limitations of belief. Here is the receipt for my purchase:
No, I’m not kidding. Their quest: to seek the Crystals of Change. NOT because Trevor wants to return to mortal status, because he doesn’t — and has a marvelously sound reason for not wishing to do so. They seek the Crystals of Change because it would tip the balance of power in Trevor’s favor, as he is the current elected president of International Vampires, or IV, for short.
No, I’m not making that up.
If IV possesses the Crystals of Change, then anyone who doesn’t want to be a vampire, happy or otherwise, anymore can change back, presto crystally-like. I don’t know how it works; I didn’t read that far because once Trevor and Kay started jetting around the world questing after the Crystals of Change and staying at luxury hotels all over Europe, and Kay started putting her life on the line because she loves him, even if he won’t return to mortality for her, and they started saying “Crystals of Changeâ€ with great emo-rific earnesness, the whole damn illusion of happy vampire staked itself and crawled off into the sunrise to die in a sound of death that can best be described as “Pfft!â€ The minute they started Crystal of Change hunting, the emo, it was back. It was back and bigger and badder than ever. Gone was the silly air-guitar playing, the references to his ponytail, his joie de un-dead-vivre. It was emo-city, with dark, longing looks and much angst and I developed a major case of the “Oh, fuck itsâ€ and stopped reading.
It was almost like there were two books, one featuring an off-the-wall vampire who’s the administrative head of an international unifying body of vampires (one that makes them promise not to feed on mortals) and another featuring a questing emo-riffic vampire atoning for his own immortality and seeking the power held in the mythical Crystals of Change.
And COME ON NOW. Crystals of Change?! I was so willing to toss most of my insistence on at least a moderately close parallel to reality until the hokey name kept reappearing. What’s next, Skeksies and those loafy mammoth harmonizing creatures from The Dark Crystal? Does Kay have wings?
So needless to say, this book isn’t graded. However, even though I didn’t finish the book, I have been ruminating on the topic, and asking the types of questions I usually don’t presume to ask. Is it possible to have a character who is a vampire who isn’t maudlin, depressive, emo and angsty? Is a happy vampire possible, despite the necessary questions of immortality, bloodsucking, and the frailty of mortal existence? I don’t know. I’ve been pondering it, and maybe the idea of vampirism and an immortal life as a parasite is just too much emo to ever get over emotionally. As one character in this book says, vampires either outlive those they love, or out live the love itself.
However, I can’t give up my secret hopes for a happy, or at least mellow and positive vampire hero.