Friday, October 23, 2009

Marked and Anita

Jana and Bethann's recent postings on Kellerman and Evanovich inspired me to review a couple of series I've recently read part of . . .

I'd like to think I'm just not the demographic for the Young Adult novel anymore, and that maybe I never was. I fancy myself too cynical and jaded. Admittedly, I read the entire Twilight series. I'll even cop to staying up all night to read the first one and seeing the movie with my Twi-hard co-workers. It was a nice diversion, but in the end I wanted more biting and fighting. I vowed to move on.

But, here I am again in the middle of another too young vampire series--the House of Night novels. Initially, the moralizing asides against pot smoking, underage drinking, and sex was pretty annoying. Fortunately, this seems to abate as there series gets rolling. The mother/daughter team of P.C. and Kristin Cast write from the first-person perspective of Zoey Redbird, a 16 year-old girl marked as a potential vampire with unusual powers for a "fledgling." She is shipped off to the House of Night, a vampire boarding school in Oklahoma for training, nocturnal living and the usual trials and tribulations of high school life. The stories themselves are zippy and move best when Zoey is exchanging lively quips with her friends. The matriarchal vampire society is a nice touch, and the relationships between vamps and humans, friends and enemies, is growing in complexity without being too melodramatic. By the end of book 2 the action is hopping with a nice mix of--dare I say--Buffy-esque humor and friend power. Book 3 beckons. Maybe this is my demographic.

I did look for more adult vampire adventures in Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. Blood Noir started out interestingly enough with Anita having sex with two hunky young werewolves for FIVE CHAPTERS. However, the incessant (and exhausting) sex scenes were interrupted by waaaay too many issues. Admittedly, I came into the series in the 16th book, but as the narrative was fairly non-existent, I still have no idea what the heck. In short, Anita agrees pose as the girlfriend of one of her lovers to visit his dying father. What ensues is a mess of mistaken identity, sex with random stripper werecreatures (yes, stripping werewolves and weretigers), TMI on the post sex clean-up, and talk, talk, talk, talk about sex and feelings and feeling bad about the sex. Oh, Anita also has some "metaphysical ardeur" that needs feeding with sex (Aristotle is feeling bad about abuse of the term "metaphyscial" in this book). Ugh! I leave with an excerpt that captures the essence of it all: I just held up the pills. "Guess."
He looked stricken, like someone had hit him in the gut. "Mother of God."
I nodded. "I had sex with three men for two days and I've missed the pill."
"You didn't use the condoms?" he asked.
My body chose that minute to remind me that what goes in comes out. I shook my head. "We were all metaphysically mind-fucked, so no, we didn't take precautions. I need some privacy."
"I need to clean up, Richard, okay?" I fought not to cry or scream at him. I wasn't mad at him. I was too confused to be angry with anyone.
P.S. No vampires were hunted or slayed in this novel. One vampire was briefly talked to on the phone.

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