I haven't liked a vampire novel since Bram Stoker's Dracula. Haven't liked a vampire movie since Lost Boys. I would rather be trapped in a room with ten thousand pages of Harry Potter meets Firefly fanfic than pick up Meyer's Twilight series, let alone anything by Laura K. Hamilton. I've wondered why people are gobbling up vampire stuff so rabidly.
Somebody wrote up a plausible commentary on the topic. Here's the relevant bits:
"Here lies one of the unique pleasures that the vampire romance can provide for its female readers: the opportunity to enjoy an 18th- or 19th-century courtship while remaining a 21st-century woman.
"The problem with historical romances is that if you want a man who behaves like Mr. Darcy, you have to live within the constraints imposed upon a woman like Elizabeth Bennet; in addition to the lack of voting rights, credit cards and any chance of pursuing a profession, there is the fun-squashing little matter of virginity taboos. In order to bask in the chivalry of a Regency-era gentleman, a modern woman can be magically transported back to his time (another popular romance device), but she'll still be stuck in a society where she hasn't mastered the rules and her freedoms are severely curtailed.
"Make the gentleman immortal and he brings with him into her modern world not only his ancestral estate and fortune, but an anachronistic understanding of how to treat a lady. Replete with old money, the vampire hero has plenty of leisure time to embroil himself in politics (fictional vampire societies tend to be complex and conspiracy-ridden hierarchies) and to woo the heroine."
I find all this a little creepy, and very sad. What does it tell us about the American sexual-industrial complex that women feel a need to fantasize about undead blood-feeders in order to imagine a courtship in which men are less, well, predatory than they seem right now?
A little creepy? Sad? Me thinks so too.