Favorite Literary Vampires (part 1)

One of the Yahoo groups I belong to featured a class on building a brand, even (or perhaps especially) for non-published authors.  One of the parts talked about what tags you use with your blogs, what you want associated with your name, and so forth.  And so, in that bent over the next couple of weeks I’m going to be tweaking the blog’s format a bit, try to have a bit more regular (and topical) posting, and try to either talk less about the upcoming Shrimpettes or found a new blog where I put all of that lovely self-absorbed information. 🙂 

So – today’s topic (maybe the next couple) will be on vampires in books, exploring the mythos of them.  I wanted to start off by discussing favored vampires in books.  Now I do not claim to be an expert or to have read every single vampire book out there, but I know what works for me.

“Traditional” Vampires
We all know the so-called ‘traditional’ vampires and their strengths/weaknesses.  Can’t tolerate sunlight, garlic, running water, don’t cast a reflection (because they have no soul, I believe is the explanation usually touted), and so forth.  And of course, they’re ageless.  They’re controlled by holy water, holy symbols (some say crosses, but others have expanded beyond that).  They’re killed by a stake through the heart and/or removing the head.  Some legends talk about stuffing the mouth full of garlic and burying the now-really-dead vampire face down.

Thankfully, the creative authors have expanded the boundaries what with the explosion of both paranormal romance and urban fantasy.

Sherrilyn Kenyon
First off, disclaimer here, I absolutely adore almost every single book of hers I’ve ever read.  Surprisingly, Fantasy Lover (the first Dark-Hunter book) was not really in my “love” category.

I love her Dark-Hunters and Daimons.  Both are night walkers with fangs, but very different purposes in life.  The DH are brought to immortality thanks to Artemis (love the character), and watched over/protected (somewhat) by the uber-powerful Acheron.  They’ve got fangs and can’t really deal with daylight, but they also can chow down with the best of them on junk food or anything else that really interests them/appeals to them.

The Daimons came from a cursed race called the Apollites (this is pretty common knowledge, so no spoiler), who were the chosen race of the god Apollo many thousands of years ago.  After his consort/one of his children got killed, he cursed the entire race of people who’d sent the assassins.  Either they die painfully (one book goes VERY much into just how painful this death is…youch), over the course of 24 hours on their 27th birthday, or they learn to take souls and thus turn from being Apollite into a Daimon.  The Dark-Hunters exist to hunt the Daimons.  The Daimons…well, some of them are just trying to survive, others are quite happy with their murderous needs.

Neither of these two “vampire-like” races have problems (that I recall anyway) with holy water, crosses, etc.  They have reflections.  They’re immortal, but both have fangs, so they’re classified as vampires.  However, they are still (mostly) hidden from the human view and go to great lengths to keep their non-human nature a secret from the humans.

Next time
Because this post has already gone on too long, I shall continue it later.  Next up: Kim Harrison’s Hollows and Keri Arthur’s Riley Jensen vampires.  Both ladies chose to create/share worlds where the non-humans are a part of society (whether entirely welcome or not).

When I move on to another non-human race, many of these series will be revisited b/c the wonderful ladies have built entire worlds populated with many different non-human races.

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