Hi Paranormal Unbounders! Author Holly Hunt joins us today to chat about recent trends in paranormal fiction. Enjoy! — Celia
The Monster Evolution
by Holly Hunt
Anyone else noticing that the comic-movie industry is trying so hard to keep paranormal movies relevant that they’re trying to adapt the old monsters into heroes (whether dark and brooding or just plain misunderstood)? I guess pop culture really only started doing this with Anne Rice (That I can remember, anyway), but those vampires were still dangerous predators, even while portrayed as hardcore sex gods and rock-and-roll personalities.
But I think people began to look too far into the whole ‘sex god’ side of it, and began to twist the monsters (not just vampires – we’ll get to that in a second) into some kind of stylised, sexy being whom you would not want your children around for entirely different reasons.
Think of every ‘monster’ you can name that was at least the main character in its fictional universe. Dracula has been saddled by the recent Dracula Untold movie, which is meant to humanise him more and make him more empathy-inducing.
Underworld did the same thing to vampires, and began to build on it with werewolves. Want sexy aliens? Star Trek (Gaila, the green Orion woman Kirk sleeps with), Star Wars (The entire Twi’lek slave-race), Total Recall (‘Three tits, awesome.’), Guardians of the Galaxy (Go on, look me in the eye and say Gamora and Nebula were not sexy as hell)… You pick a popular sci-fi movie: those aliens aren’t a threat – they’re the object of the main characters’ lust!
The monsters of yester-year have been chased off by the sexed-up versions of themselves. Paranormal is now automatically followed by ‘Romance’, unless heavily corrected by the author/marketer – and even then, most people don’t believe you.
We need to take back our monsters, people. I want to read the DC Comics-style gritty reboot of these monsters. I don’t want Twilight, I want The Dark Knight – death, action, no redemption, nothing human about them except their outward appearance (sometimes).
And I am starting the revolution with my werewolf-apocalypse story. No romance, just action, adventure and blood.
Paranormal lovers, let’s claim our monsters back!
Join The Discussion
Thanks for the excellent food for thought, Holly! Okay, Paranormal Unbounders, your turn: what do you think? Do you like love in your paranormal? Or do you prefer pure grit? Or both?
About Holly Hunt
Holly Hunt is the author of 7 paranormal books , including a comic series, ranging from werewolves to vampires, shapeshifters and Egyptian mummies.
Find out more: Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Web Site | Blood Moon | The Devil’s Wife
I have been complaining for some time about the way PNR takes vampires and turns them into superheroes – but without the grand moral dilemmas of superheroes. So we end up with awesomely hot male vampire billionaires with superpowers, very few morals, and negligible weaknesses…
… and completely absurd story lines where logic and consistency are sacrificed in the pursuit of hot sex and eternal love with the soul mate that destiny has chosen.
I read Scorched by Erica Hayes recently and I loved the way love and romance were blended with a plot that was fundamentally about superheroes, human nature and morality. I like vampires (and other monsters) becoming heroes, but making them faultless superheroes robs the plot and characters of any realism.
To take a monster and make them a hero by saying, ‘Look, they’re not really a monster, they’re just perceived that way,’ is a little lazy; just as saying, ‘Okay, they’re a monster, but I can overlook the bad things they do,’ raises serious questions about the morality of the character who says that.
The trouble, of course, is that so many readers want their heroes to be morally faultless.
Yes, as a reader: give me romance, but also give me real dilemmas and flawed heroes with legit weaknesses. I don’t mind fated mates, but I want some realistic “trouble in paradise”, some real conflict, too.
Exactly! And stuffing the stories to the gills with romance drama that would make a teen roll their eyes just makes it worse! Huzzah!