Vampires through the ages
When asked to name the first vampire novel, many people immediately cite Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897.) The first known vampire novel, however, was The Vampyre, written by John Polidori in 1819.
Early vampires were creatures straight out of nightmares—pale and gaunt with sharp fingernails and long incisors. They could adopt more human appearances when they chose, but their essence remained unchanged. They were monsters, remorseless predators of the humans they had once been.
Nobody wanted to be a vampire.
And then, Anne Rice came along.
Others before her may have painted vampires in more sympathetic terms, but Anne Rice created empathy for vampires where none had existed before. Lestat de Lioncourt wasn’t just gorgeous, his hair the color of the sunlight he was denied, but he was the sun—eternally dazzling and brilliant—in the lives of those around him. One could certainly make the point that he was as destructive as the sun as well.
His fledgling, dark-haired, green-eyed Louis de Pointe du Lac, was as beautiful and subtle as moonlight, and as soulful and melancholic as a Shakespeare tragedy. The love that drew Louis and Lestat together, and the hate that drove them apart, formed the core of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.
Anne Rice humanized vampires and endowed them with both strengths and foibles. More importantly, she romanticized them. Vampires still preyed on humans, but it was hard to feel sorry for the humans when death appeared to be more seduction than murder, and Louis wept over every kill.
A paradigm shift had taken place. It was suddenly okay to feel sorry for vampires. More importantly, it was okay to want to be one.
Vampires would evolve at least once more in fiction. After Anne Rice, vampires continued to morph ever closer to the humans who were once their prey. By the time Stephenie Meyer got to her version of vampires in the popular Twilight series, the vampires were no longer susceptible to sunlight and no longer drank human blood. In other words, vampires were no longer the bad guys. More importantly, it was a given that a vampire boyfriend was a far bigger catch (and ironically a better mate—eternal consequences notwithstanding) than a human boyfriend.
What’s the next evolution for vampires? Vampirism is already here. In my Double Helix series, the alpha empath, Danyael Sabre, was a victim of a live blood transfusion, wherein the circulatory systems of two people were joined. The brain activity in the young person decreased whereas the brain activity in the older person increased. It’s not entirely science fiction. The premise is based on a 2011 study conducted in Stanford University on mice.
I took a different tactic in my fantasy novel, Eternal Night. Yes, there are vampires, but the story isn’t really about vampires. It is instead about the icrathari, the vampires’ demonic overlord. In Eternal Night, humans are trapped in Aeternae Noctis, the domed city of eternal night, and preyed upon by the vampires and the icrathari.
But what if the situation isn’t what it appears to be? Jaden’s only goal is to protect his younger sister, Khiarra, from being taken by the vampires, but his chance encounter with Ashra, the icrathari queen, challenges him to step beyond his trained fear of vampires to uncover the truth behind the city of eternal night.
I hope you enjoy this new perspective of vampires and the night terrors in Eternal Night.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jade Kerrion developed a loyal reader base with her fan fiction series based on the MMORPG Guild Wars. She was accused of keeping her readers up at night, distracting them from work, housework, homework, and (far worse), from actually playing Guild Wars. And then she wondered why just screw up the time management skills of gamers? Why not aspire to screw everyone else up too?
So here she is, writing books that aspire to keep you from doing anything else useful with your time.
Her debut novel, Perfection Unleashed, spawned the Double Helix series which has won a total of seven science fiction awards, including first place in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2012 and the gold medal in Readers Favorites Awards 2013. She is also the author of Earth-Sim and When the Silence Ends, which placed first and second respectively in the 2013 Royal Palm Literary Awards, Young Adults category.
She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with her wonderfully supportive husband and her two young sons, Saint and Angel, (no, those aren't their real names, but they are like saints and angels, except when they're not.)
Alone for a millennium, since a human murdered her beloved consort, Ashra, the immortal icrathari queen, rules over Aeternae Noctis, the domed city of eternal night. Her loneliness appears to be at an end when her consort's soul is reborn in a human, Jaden Hunter, but their reunion will not be easy.
Icrathari are born, not made. If Ashra infuses Jaden with her immortal blood, he will be a vampire, a lesser creature of the night, a blood-drinker rather than a soul-drinker.
Furthermore, Jaden is sworn to protect his half-sister, five-year-old Khiarra. She is the child of prophecy, destined to end the eternal night and the dominion of the Night Terrors—the icrathari and the vampires.
As Ashra struggles to sustain her crumbling kingdom in the face of enemies without and treachery within, Jaden fights to defend his sister and unravel a greater mystery: what is the city of eternal night, and how did it come to be?
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Genre - Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating – PG-13
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