Monday, March 1, 2010

Bad Guy Heros: Blood Memories

I read another vampire book, Blood Memories, by Barb Hendee. She's written a Noble Dead series, which I think is about other vampires, but I haven't read them. These vampires drink blood to survive, and each has some little trick that helps them -- they cause fear, or look helpless, or something. Our narrator, Eleisha, is the helpless one. She finds her victims by looking pathetic until she attracts either a nice guy looking out for her, or a nasty guy trying to take advantage. She prefers the latter, so she doesn't have to feel as bad when she rips out their throat and drains their life, soaking up their memories with every gulp. Ew. Luckily Hendee doesn't spend a lot of time gloating over these icky scenes.

At first I thought it was interesting how the viewpoint narrator was obviously the evil creature that needed to be defeated. We slowly learn about the methods of the vampires through a police investigation of Eleisha's friend Edward, who committed suicide by cop. Unluckily, he picked two psychic cops, one who absorbs memories by touching objects and one who bonds telepathically. Touchy-feely Dominic decides to hunt down the vampires, because he's a good cop and these guys have been killing people for centuries. Go Dominic! He's the bad guy. Cop #2, Wade, likes to swap memories with Eleisha and help her out. He feels sorry for her because she never wanted to be a vampire, but was forced into it.

After finishing the book, I'm deeply confused. Did Hendee not realize that her cute protagonist was a serial killer? Yes, she mostly killed people who weren't all that nice, but her standards were laxer than Dexter's, for crying out loud. Mild regret does not make it OK. I was rooting for Dominic all the way, but I'm fairly sure I wasn't meant to, that his maniacal devotion to killing vampires was supposed to be bad. The writing was slightly better than most vampire literature (not a huge bar), but the ideas seem very muddled. There is a sequel, and the teaser makes it seem like Eleisha slows down on the mass murder thing, but I prefer a slightly higher moral standard. Even Vlad Taltos (a fictional assassin) doesn't take death this casually. C

PS. I think there is a vampire challenge out there. I may go join retroactively, because I'm still on a vampire kick.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

If there's not a vampire challenge, there certainly should be! I'm going to stick only to Christopher Moore's vampires from now on. His I like. The rest leave me cold.