With the release of Stephanie Meyer’s newest Twilight film, I thought it might be helpful to remind readers that there is a deliciously dark and dirty alternative. Originally copyrighted in 1997 as short stories in my 13-Taled Beast collection, then re-written into three full-length novels in 2008 and 2009, The Darkness and the Night trilogy is effectively the anti-Twilight. For Twilight fans, that might not be a big draw; however, for those who like their vampires scary instead of sparkly, murderous instead of “vegetarian,” and lustful instead of chaste, have I got the series for you….
Stephen King already covered that, and I’m not one to argue with the King. I have heard all about the series, however, and it seems to me that one either loves or hates Meyer’s work—with no in-between. For most die-hard horror fans, reading about vampires with “traditional” family values just doesn’t cut it. Mind you, I have nothing against anyone’s religious or family values. I just don’t think they mesh (at all) with stories about monsters spanning from a long history of blood-drinking, village-infesting creatures of the night. Bram Stoker surely turned in his grave when Meyer’s series got the greenlight. What’s next, “born again” zombies who moan prayers before eating pig brains?
Conversely, The Darkness and the Night offers readers a contemporary alternative to the coffin-sleeping denizens of lore without attempting to tame the beast. The storyline is dark and, at times, horrific. The sex is raw and uncensored. At times, there is raunchiness and there is gore. Would Stephen King approve? He’d likely call it dirty, rotten smut, then qualify that with a unabashed smirk. I dare not put words into the King’s mouth, however, so instead I leave you with a proposition of my own: While the YA crowd gears up to gawk at vampire sparkles, join the numbers of readers who have turned to the dark side for their vampire fix. Read The Darkness and the Night and follow the independent heroin Karen on her dark odyssey—from Stockholm victim, to self-realized monster, to suburban vampire mom—and make the comparison yourself.