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Shapeshifters vs. vampires

 
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AndyR



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 111
Location: Central PA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:07 am    Post subject: Shapeshifters vs. vampires Reply with quote

I fall into the werefolk fan category. Recently I realized I don't own a single vampire romance book. I've read some but have kept none, and I had to Google for a list of vampire books to remember any authors I've read. (Maggie Shayne, the Hendees Dphampir hunter, a Klause YA book among others). I've never been good at self-analysis so I can't say why--vampires just don't raise my kite. Maybe another shapeshifter or vampire fan out there is more insightful about their reasons?

LLB I want to thank you for introducing me to Running Wild in your ATBF. I found a copy at Waldenbooks and will be reading it soon.
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sssspro



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know Andy, I never thought of myself as enjoying vampire stories. Who wants to read about the DEAD right? I was a sci fi/paranormal fan from WAY back. 20 years before it became popular. You took what you could get back then...late 80's early 90's. Susan Krinard was just about the ONLY author who did were's and romance (and she did Prince of Dreams which was sort of vampire too). I read whatever paranormal I could get my hands on and happened across a couple of very good vampire books. Susan Squires first 2, Sacrament and Sacrilege and of course, someone mentioned Maggie Shayne. All those books got me hooked into vampire stories fairly early. There was also, (I think) a Missie Creswell book that had a vampire theme that was VERY well done. made Vampirism into a virus/alien parasite theme and was such a different take on the same old same old, that I was fascinated.

I like them both, vampires and were's. The problem today is that they are a dime a dozen. I want a "new" or inventive world, not the same old same old and that is becoming almost impossible to find. There are some great series out there (especially in the e-book world) but I am getting bored with them.


Last edited by sssspro on Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 4708

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a problem somewhat the opposite - I have only one keeper werewolf book (Bitten by Kelley Armstrong) and many more Vampire keepers. I've always been a fan of both but somehow most every werewolf author I've read just falls short in some way of what I had hoped for.

Linda
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bbmedos



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 274
Location: Western Kentucky, USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Shapeshifters vs. vampires Reply with quote

AndyR wrote:
I fall into the werefolk fan category. Recently I realized I don't own a single vampire romance book. I've read some but have kept none, and I had to Google for a list of vampire books to remember any authors I've read. (Maggie Shayne, the Hendees Dphampir hunter, a Klause YA book among others). I've never been good at self-analysis so I can't say why--vampires just don't raise my kite. Maybe another shapeshifter or vampire fan out there is more insightful about their reasons?


Most people tend to focus on the blood-drinking vs. the non-blood-drinking but since there are vampires that don't drink blood and shifters that do, I have another theory. After reading a lot of romances featuring weres, i.e. animal shifters, of all types I starting seeing a pattern to the way they are portrayed as distinct from vampires.

You can almost look at it as the contrast between the Scarecrow and the Tin Man or more simply lover and thinker characteristics. Weres tend to be more instinctually driven and therefore more emotional even if they won't admit it, while vampires are almost always written as without emotion and more often than not seeking it in some way, shape or form. Not so much driven by logic like an android sci-fi character but pretty close some of the time.

The first couple of times I noticed this contrast, I honestly thought I was imagining it. Then I started watching for it in stories and it's pretty consistent. It's really noticeable within universes where both exist together, which is quite often. Vampires are almost always the brains and weres, generally werewolves, are the brawn.

And it doesn't always work out well for them, either, because it puts them in tension with each other. It's probably part of the reason they've ended up so linked in folklore through the years, too. Opposites attract and all that.

None of which means that writers can't do an average if muscular vampire or a wimpy yet super-smart were but, honestly, how many of those has anyone run across? They would definitely be the unique stories not the norm.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:18 am    Post subject: Re: Shapeshifters vs. vampires Reply with quote

bbmedos wrote:
After reading a lot of romances featuring weres, i.e. animal shifters, of all types I starting seeing a pattern to the way they are portrayed as distinct from vampires.

. . . Weres tend to be more instinctually driven and therefore more emotional even if they won't admit it, while vampires are almost always written as without emotion and more often than not seeking it in some way, shape or form. Not so much driven by logic like an android sci-fi character but pretty close some of the time.

The first couple of times I noticed this contrast, I honestly thought I was imagining it. Then I started watching for it in stories and it's pretty consistent. It's really noticeable within universes where both exist together, which is quite often. Vampires are almost always the brains and weres, generally werewolves, are the brawn.


I have to agree! Very Happy This makes me the opposite of AndyR, though: I started my Paranormal reading with a preference for vampire heroes over werewolf heroes. During a discussion with a friend who likes Kresley Cole's Lykae (werewolves) better than her Forbearers (good vampires), I said that vampires seem more civilised to me, while I find werewolves more unpredictable. More of that cerebral vs. emotional dynamic.
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JEM



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:09 pm    Post subject: I've shifted from vampire to shifters myself Reply with quote

I used to really like vampires and the like, but I noticed a few years ago that I had switched my allegience to weres and shifters; and that was even before I started reading any paranormal romances.

I used to love the vamp movie and rooted for the vamp if they were up against the were as in Underworld with K. Beckinsale. But now I see the shifter as more "earthy" and "gritty" and it appeals to me far more than the "cool, sophisticated " vamp.

That being said I have strict restrictions on the type of paranormal/shifter/Were book I will pick up so I don't read too many "new" books and I end up keeping most of the ones I buy unless they are of unusually poor quality.
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LLB



Joined: 21 Mar 2007
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Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Shapeshifters vs. vampires Reply with quote

AndyR wrote:
I fall into the werefolk fan category. Recently I realized I don't own a single vampire romance book. I've read some but have kept none, and I had to Google for a list of vampire books to remember any authors I've read. (Maggie Shayne, the Hendees Dphampir hunter, a Klause YA book among others). I've never been good at self-analysis so I can't say why--vampires just don't raise my kite. Maybe another shapeshifter or vampire fan out there is more insightful about their reasons?

LLB I want to thank you for introducing me to Running Wild in your ATBF. I found a copy at Waldenbooks and will be reading it soon.


Andy -

I hope you enjoy Running Wild. In my recent review of Master of Wolves, I mentioned that I've decided I'm a shapeshifter person far more than a vampire one. Here's the reason for me...I think: Werewolves are in-between human and animal, which means they don't conform to human rules. Neither do vampires, but they are dead, or undead, and don't give off body heat. Not something I've decided it would be fun to snuggle against at night.

Back to werewolves...they are animalistic in terms of possessiveness, and then there is that whole funky, dirty sex thing. Not to get all disgusting, but we all know how dogs greet each other. Which translates, werewolf sex-wise, into a total lack of inhibition. And their possessiveness ties into the whole male/female dynamic. In romance-land, male werewolves tend to end up "mated" with pretty strong women, which pushes the whole Alpha "mine" thing into the forefront, allowing for some great conflict as the navigation that is natural among all couples is magnified.

I'm sure there's more to it, and indeed, I may come up with more to say, but in a nutshell, I think that's it.

Finally, I'm moving this to the Potpourri Forum; I think it belongs better there.
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bbmedos



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
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Location: Western Kentucky, USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Shapeshifters vs. vampires Reply with quote

LLB wrote:
Werewolves are in-between human and animal, which means they don't conform to human rules. Neither do vampires, but they are dead, or undead, and don't give off body heat. Not something I've decided it would be fun to snuggle against at night.


The body heat comment reminded me of something I was thinking of the other day and forgot to post on this topic. I've often thought that one of the original, well, novelties of Feehan's Carpathians was that they're a blend of both vampires and weres. Because they're not vampires yet at the same time they have a lot of were traits. I have yet to decide whether I think the combo ultimately hurts the stories or not.

As to weres being in-between human and animals, we as humans have always been fascinated by that very concept, coming both from our love and fear of the animals surrounding us. It's something that's featured in some of our earliest folklore and mythology on every continent. Shifting is the ultimate secret identity costume, even if it's only a shaman mask. Wink

What's changed in recent years is that romances are exploring so-called "animal passions" that they wouldn't dare touch before. And I mean that on several different levels. There are some electronic erotic romances that have pushed some boundaries but it will be interesting to see just how far the print publishers will go along those lines.

And to think it was only 1997 when REJAR caused such a stir. Amazing what can happen in a decade.
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Maggie AAR
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the great things about fantasy is that the tale can be woven however you wish. Meyer had the Twilight Vampire's able to be out all day long. In Barbara Hambly's books the Vampires are warm and have natural coloring after they have fed for the night and they can go days without feeding. Betsy from the Undead books lives under different rules than Sookie from Harris's "Dead" books. And of course Wards books. For me it just really depends on how well the author wrote her world. Does she sell me on the idea of a romantic vampire? In the cases above, they did.

That said, I also love werewolves and other shifters. I like Singh's series, loved Jacob et al from Twilight, loved Liu's shifters, like Davidson's weres, Lucien from the "Underworld" movies was actually my favorite character -- the list could go on and on.

So for me, I just want a good story that contains a great sales job on the part of the author. Did you convince me this supernatural character was worthy of a romance? That's all that matters in the end.

maggie b.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not read very widely in the paranormal subgenre, but I've been thinking about the differences between the Vampires and Lykae in Kresley Cole's Immortals after Dark series--not just the differences between the characters, but those between the kind of books they get.

The Lykae have more character development in their stories, while the Vampire books have more puzzles and problem solving.

LLB wrote:
In romance-land, male werewolves tend to end up "mated" with pretty strong women


That doesn't seem the case to me in the IAD series. The Lykae's mates are strong enough, as resilience goes, but they're not fighters and are insecure about their place in a world full of fighters. They seem to actually need an alpha male's protection. In contrast, it is the Vampires' "brides" who are tough and uncompromising "alpha females."
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maggie b. wrote:
So for me, I just want a good story that contains a great sales job on the part of the author. Did you convince me this supernatural character was worthy of a romance? That's all that matters in the end.

maggie b.


You've nailed it here Maggie, good post! :)

Linda
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LizJ



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linda in sw va wrote:
maggie b. wrote:
So for me, I just want a good story that contains a great sales job on the part of the author. Did you convince me this supernatural character was worthy of a romance? That's all that matters in the end.

maggie b.


You've nailed it here Maggie, good post! :)

Linda


There's one more thing I need from the author, whether her world building includes vamps, weres, or any other kind of paranormal creature - are you giving me a new twist in your world building or does your book depend too much on recycling ideas from other authors?
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finished Christine Feehan's Dark Prince last night and was completely taken out of the story when the vampire hero shifted into a wolf. Laughing

Well, okay, he's not technically a vampire; he's a Carpathian. Still, he drinks blood to survive, can't bear the sunlight, and has to be buried alive to regain his strength. His ability to shift into whatever animal he likes is part of his and other Carpathians' connection to the earth; but he never had the emotional quality Bbmedos has pointed out and that I tend to expect (and like) in my werewolf characters. Cerebral all the way . . .
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schola wrote:
I finished Christine Feehan's Dark Prince last night and was completely taken out of the story when the vampire hero shifted into a wolf. Laughing

Well, okay, he's not technically a vampire; he's a Carpathian. Still, he drinks blood to survive, can't bear the sunlight, and has to be buried alive to regain his strength. His ability to shift into whatever animal he likes is part of his and other Carpathians' connection to the earth; but he never had the emotional quality Bbmedos has pointed out and that I tend to expect (and like) in my werewolf characters. Cerebral all the way . . .


Better than shifting into a bat though, yes? LOL

I enjoyed Dark Prince - actually that was the book that got me hooked on vampire romance. However, looking back now I think CF was kind of feeling her way with this one. There are some little classic vampire references that she doesn't continue on with other books such as at one point I think Mikhail must get Raven to say she's entering his home of her own free will or something like that.

Even though CF's Carpathians can shift into animal form they are still more vampires in characterization rather than the emotional earthy werewolves.

Linda
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