We’re looking forward to a day of Halloween fun over here! But first, here’s the last four features in our series.
W is for The Winners, the rock band from Suck, the 2009 Canadian rock-and-roll vampire comedy.
The movie follows the struggling and aging rock band as they tour with their incompetent and alcoholic manager.
Things are looking pretty dire until one night, Jennifer, the bass singer and ex-girlfriend of lead singer Joey, is turned into a vampire.
Suddenly people are coming out to shows. Jennifer turns other members, Joey struggles with the … trade-offs required to become famous, and the band parties hard while being chased by groupies and a vampire hunter.
Cameos by rockers Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins and Alex Lifeson of Rush add to the awesome.
The book starts with 15-year-old vampire fiction fan Xanthe Jane waking up in a coffin and discovering she’s ACTUALLY a vampire.
The book goes on to deal with all sorts of stereotypes from teen vampire fiction in hilarious ways. She has a glamorous sire who may or may not be evil, an annoying younger brother who is pretty sure she’s actually a zombie and lover of all things Steampunk (so Victorian vamps are the bomb), a country bumpkin vamp posing as an moody emo brooder to win her over because he’s studied her fanfic, super supportive parents eager to support her new lifestyle and bringing home all types of food, including a goldfish that she accidentally turns into a vampire (her brother names it Brains) … I could go on, but you should really just read it.
In addition to funny, the plot and mythology is solid. Keeble gives her vampires some fun powers, like seeing through the eyes of other vampires in their bloodlines, as well as some interesting issues, like serious OCD.
This was easily one of my better discoveries this year.
Y is for Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, another addition to this year’s list at the suggestion of a reader of last year’s A to Z.
She, of course, is the author who brings us the legendary vampire Le Comte de Saint-Germain.
The first book in the Saint-Germain series (there’s 27 of them, not including a few short spin off series) was published in 1978 and featured the vampire Saint-Germain in 1740s Paris. He is the perfect gentleman (except when he be bodice-rippin’), and in this book rescues young Madeline from a group of Satan worshippers.
Yarbro’s historical fiction uses the “vampire as a metaphor for humanism.” She’s been compared to Anne Rice but leans more towards the romance genre.
The Comte was also based on a historical figure. The real Saint-Germain lived from around 1712-1784 and was a European courtier with interests in science and the arts. He used a variety of names and titles, which was apparently an accepted practice amongst royals and nobles at the time, and works well for the vampire genre.
If you have 20 minutes (just to warn you) here’s a video on just how awesome the actual historical figure was (I love when rival player Casanova calls him out about 5 minutes in … then, should you not want to watch the whole thing, might I suggest skipping to 20 minutes when host Leonard Nimoy summarizes quite well):
But getting back to Yarbro’s character, the fictional Saint-Germain requires only a small amount of blood to live and generally gets it from female victims voluntarily. Unlike traditional vampires, he is discomforted by direct sunlight and running water, but is only damaged by them when seriously weakened. He keeps a layer of his native earth inside his shoes to allow him to navigate these hazards.
Vampire Saint-Germain was born about 4,000 years ago in Transylvania. Son of his tribal leader (hence, a prince by blood) he first died when his tribe was destroyed by an invading tribe. He then has 27 books to go through history, spending much of his early existence in Egypt, but later moving on to Nero’s Rome France under Charlemagne and Louis XV, Russia during the reigns of Ivan the Terrible and Czar Nicholas …. I could go on, but you could also just start reading the books and report back in a few years when you’re done.
That brings us to Z. I thought I’d end where vampire fiction currently mainly resides: teen fiction.
Zmey, meaning serpent, is the Russian nickname for Ibrahim (Abe) Mazur, Rose’s father.
He’s Moroi, these are the mortal vampires from Romanian folklore, and the “good” vampires in this series. They are generally protected by their Dhampir guardians (Rose is one) against the Strigoi, the evil immortal vampires.
He’s introduced in Blood Promise, the fourth of the six book series, and also appears throughout the Bloodlines series, Mead’s six book Vampire Academy spin-off series which follows alchemist Sydney Sage, who is also introduced in Blood Promise.
Blood Promise finds Rose leaving school to chase Dimitri to Russia. She meets Abe, a mysterious Moroi in Dimitri’s home town of Baia. Very powerful and wealthy, he trafficks in illegal goods likely including vampire blood. He tries to force Rose to leave Baia and is eventually successful.
It isn’t revealed until the end of the book that he’s her father.
Throughout the series, he is always blackmailing someone and “protecting” his family through less than honest means, but is revealed to have Rose’s – and later Sydney’s – best interests in mind. Thug daddy with a heart. All told he is an entertaining addition to Mead’s cast of characters, also allowing her to delve into the relationship between Rose’s parents and perceptions in the book of Moroi/Dhampir and Moroi/human relationships, which becomes important for the main characters.
And with that? We have arrived at the end of our second Vampire A to Z here on the blog. Here’s who we covered this year:
And for those interested in comparison, here’s last year’s list:
Did we miss anyone or anything you love about Vampires? Let me know! We might just find enough entries to do this again next Halloween!
Either way? Draculaura, please take a bow:
And Happy Halloween everyone! Hope you enjoyed my annual geek out as much as I did.