Hello Master of Shadow fans,
Whilst I have to say that I am over the moon about the imminent completion of Initiate's trial (woo hoo!) I have a couple of queries about a couple of current trends I see today:
1) Vampire novels
Seem everywhere these days. Or is it me? I've read Dracula (and was surprised that it was written as a diary and quite unusual :-). I've read McKinley's Sunshine (which is also very good) but am wondering about the likes of "Twilight" etc. Anyone read any of these and can recommend or warn me away?
2) Smart phones
I am resisting Apple's iphone marketing as though they are necromancers after my soul...but have to say that I like the "HTC desire" (I mean "desire?!?) being released in the UK. Again anyone tried either of these HTC or iphone products? Any comments? Might be fun to hear from people who do not write reviews on gadget website or Amazon.
Oh, and did I say I was excited about the imminent completion of Initial's trial...?
I am no enthusiastic fan of vampire novels, however: Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly was astonishingly good.
I've read the Twilight trilogy and found it disapppointing.Couldn't recommend it at all.
I generally try to avoid vampire novels like the plague. As the "it" thing these days, vampires seem an easy way to sell substandard stories. Which is not to say all are bad, just that it's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.
However, I did enjoy Soulless by Gail Carriger, which is a lot of fun. It will never be mistaken for high literature, but it excels as junk food for the brain.
I'm probably going against the popular flow here, but I actually really enjoyed the Twilight series, particularly books 1 and 3. I thought the writing was much stronger than people give it credit for and the teenage-angst impossible-love theme was very well done. BTW, Meyer's follow up book HOST also makes for a great read, although it's not a vampire novel, but more sci-fi.
As for other vampire novels, I'm not generally a fan, but the Sookie Stackhouse series (HBO's True Blood is *very* loosely based on these) is enjoyable in a pulp fiction sort of way. A series of throw-away novels that don't require much mental engagement and therefore can be read anywhere (i.e. beach, planes, distracting times in one's life).
My favourite novels with a Vampire theme thankfully have no teen angst and are unlikely to be made into dumbed down popcorn flicks. The novels in question are Brian Lumley's Necroscope series, especially the Vampire World series. Link here - http://www.brianlumley.com/books/necroscope/
Series deals with Earth and the link through to an alternate, vampire world where the humans are the cattle to the vampires and the battles between the vampires and human resistance. Compelling reading.
I personally think Apple is evil. I dislike what they have become since the first computer my dad ever brought home for me to play with. You can't even change out your own batteries. So I would personally say no on the iphone. But I have a friend who loves his, so I guess it just depends on your ideas on free software and being able to program your own device. They control everything on your phone, and you cannot install third party programs unless they get "approved" first.
As far as the Vampire books go, I was not impressed by Twilight. They did the whole love story well enough, but I dislike any book where the main character is totally flawless. Not only is the main vampire flawless, he is also one of the most powerful vampires in existence. Just ask Shakespeare, every main character needs a tragic flaw to make them interesting. The entire series revolves around the love story, with little to no other depth to the book, and hence no real plot. They do what they were intended to do well though, which is make the person reading the book feel like they are Bella, and everyone wants to be wanted that much. However, because it is a young adult book, there is no subtlety, everything necessary for the storyline is said outright, without needing to read in between the lines. For someone used to reading Janny and George RR Martin, it got boring after a while. You don't need to pay strict attention to everything going on to understand the story.
Barbara Hambly is my 2nd favorite author
Other vampire novels I really enjoyed were the Blood Price, Blood Pact, Blood Bank books by Tanya Huff.
I've read the Twilight series and found it aimed at highschool students. I am all for anything that makes people read or even listen to stories on tape!! Especially if it makes teens read. But for vampire and werewolf stories [not my favorites anyway] but I recommend Patricia Briggs 'Mercy Thompson series. I am surprised at how enjoyable they are. The stories are original and the characters are likable. Not to compare to my favorite swords and sorcery but worth a one time read.