Please don't get me wrong, I love my vampire fiction. I've read Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Vampire Diaries, the Night World series, Charlaine Harris's True Blood series, Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series, Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series and even ventured to try the Twilight saga and MaryJanice Davidson's Undead series (and a few others as well). And while I couldn't stand Dracula, Twilight or the Undead series, I did enjoy The Vampire Diaries, True Blood and Women of the Otherworld.
And I love my vampire movies and TV series. I mean, give me Underworld and I'm in heaven. I used to love watching Buffy, Angel and the short lived but entertaining Moonlight. I have even become absorbed in the Vampire Diaries TV series and have just started watching the BBC’s Being Human series. But I came home from work the other night and one of my housemates was watching the Vampires Diaries TV series and I couldn't help but think how similar it is to the Twilight saga and wonder whether or not vampires and werewolves have been done to death.
- Thinking back, most of the vampire fiction that I've read contains a few key elements:
- 1. A tortured vampire denying or hating his or her existence.
- 2. His or her beautiful but naive love interest who, after much investigating and exclamations disbelief and crises of conscience, eventually "discovers" his or her secret.
- 3. An evil “baddie” who can be cast in many different forms, be they vampire, human, werewolf or some other (super)natural being who is set on either keeping the two lovers apart and/or exposing said vampire. (Often this happens because the vampire and the “baddie” have some sort of history and the “baddie” may be missing the company of the aforementioned vampire).
- 4. A trusting (but generally mismatched) group of friends of the love interest who eventually find out the vampire is a vampire and the group then divides based off whether or not they choose to accept that their friend is in love with someone who wants to drink their blood.
- 5. A friend of the vampire who knows a large chunk of the vampire’s past and who the vampire confides in and turns to when need be, generally offering sage advice at the appropriate times.
- 6. Finally, because vampires on their own aren’t interesting enough, let’s throw in some more creatures from myth and legend, namely witches and werewolves.
Which brings me back to my original point: The majority of the books, TV series and movies all contain all of the above. Is there no new way to spin the story other than to use the above mentioned tried and true recipe? These days when reading vampire fiction it seems like a case of “vampires and witches and werewolves oh my!” The story and characters may be different, but the elements are the same. Having said all that, maybe the old saying “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” applies, despite how boring I’m finding this genre these days.
Have just started reading a new series (Rachel Morgan/The Hollows series) where a bounty hunting witch lives with a vampire and a pixie family. There is even a demon involved. Three books in and a werewolf has just made an appearance. Wish me luck.