Friday, February 11, 2011
Google Blood Heat, and one comes up with a lot of books not to mention other usages of the term. This is the one I just read. A year or two back I sampled Laural K Hamilton's Anita Blake, Vampire Slayer books. I found them to be about 70% conversations about relationships, 20% steamy explicit sex, and 10% action. I felt like I was reading in a thick soup. and after several of these, was ready for something more astringent.
Maria Lima's book tends to follow these tropes closely, except that the sex is not very explicit at all. The other tropes of this sort of dark urban fantasy, as the genre is called, all seemed to be in place. A feudal relationship between various clans of supernatural beings, vampires and werewolves being the most popular although other types of were creatures are assumed as well, establishes the basic culture, with vampires generally seen as being at the top of the hierarchy.
There is a strong(meaning a combat badass)female lead, who likes sex (often with multiple partners)a lot, is herself partnered with a bi-sexual Master of the City (a king vampire)who takes on the role of co-leader through this relationship, coupled with her own innate and potent set of magical skills.
I would point out that science fiction has a long tradition of galactic civilizations being conceived along feudal lines, Dune, anyone? And the ass-kicking female lead who can go mano a mano with with male antagonists is popular enough in superhero comic books. Both of these tropes contain dominance/submission themes that are popular in romance and pornography, and the pack structure of the werewolf clans overtly plays right into this.
As an aside, I wonder how many of these writers recognize that the wer term in werewolf is a cognate of the Latin vir, for man, as in virile. They tend to use it to mean animal shape-shifters, and it is convenient shorthand, but actually refers to the human component, rather than the beast, which their usage of the term suggests.
As a final note, I would add that most of these books are written by women, for women. ts a popular genre to judge by the shelf space and number of TV shows out there. next I'll be reading Faith Hunter's Mercy Blade as continue my research.