I pretty much avoid vampire novels.
For many reasons: too much sexual content. too much blood, some of 'em are pretty gross, and they're mean and nasty. Plus, I just don't like vampires.
However, I've been reading through Charlaine Harris' novels and I finished off everything except her vampire novels. So, there you go. I decided to try them.
I've read six of them so far, and I've enjoyed them very much. They are silly and light, for the most part. Except for the vampires, of course. They're pretty dark.
Harris avoids the dark nasties through most of the series by keeping the main character, Sookie Stackhouse, off the beaten track in a small LA town. Also, at first Sookie only knows two vampires. It's only when she starts getting involved with the vampires further up the food chain that it gets pretty raw. All Together Dead is about the North America Vampire Convention and all the queens & kings, plus their entourages get together, and it gets pretty nasty.
Sookie is a fun character. She's quirky, unique, and very Southern. She's a cute telepath which is why the vampires are after her, of course... I enjoy her sense of humor and her point of view.
My favorite part of the books are the weres and shapeshifters (duh- I'm a sucker for animal books), but I enjoy her treatment of fairies. Sookie has a fairy godmother, Claudine, who shows up every once in a while. Vampires are attracted to fairies kind of like cats are attracted to catnip. Pretty funny, actually.
Here's my complaint about vampire novels-
People are evil. This is a fact. If you don't believe it, take a look at the newspaper... I'd like to believe we're all good inside and getting better all the time, but it's not true. Here, on this side of heaven, we're just evil. We may want to do good, but we keep falling in the pit of selfishness, self-seeking and self-pleasure. All the good that we do is evidence of God and His grace.
Now, imagine living a long time in this evil. Like two hundred years or more. And your life is all about pleasing yourself, hurting others and viewing humans as food. With no hope of heaven, or God's grace.
Every vampire novel I've ever read reminds me of how evil we are, and how much damage we can do without societal constraints. Even if a non-vampire character starts out fairly naive, by the time she's gone through six vampire novels, she's pretty worldly wise. And if, like in Laurel K. Hamilton's novels, she starts out hating vampires by the time 6 novels have gone by she ends up heavily involved with two vampires at the same time.
I hate the loss of innocence. I hate the evil represented by vampires. I hate watching the characters get sucked in by that evil.
I end up angry and I feel a sense of despair at our fascination with evil...
Hmmm... Maybe I shouldn't be reading the Sookie novels, after all...
I knew I didn't like vampire novels, but I didn't realize that they make me so angry...