So I picked out this book because the Amazon reviews all said things like what Kristin of Better Read Than Dead said about it: "It's been a while since I have read a really good YA vampire book. They have become so cliché that I often avoid them. Imagine my surprise when I picked up Ignite and fell in love with it by page 17." Or another review: "YES ITS DIFFERENT AND I THROUGHLY ENJOYED IT!! I'm a vampire lover, and enjoy any tale that is certainly unlike any other and that grabs and piques my interest. Ignite certainly did this." -- K.M. Whittaker
So imagine my surprise when the first quarter of the book was nothing more than a Twilight re-write?!
Opening scene… girl looking up at her new school: CHECK
First day (while at lunch no less) she sees a group of gorgeous otherworldly people (one guy in particular grabs her attention): CHECK
This gorgeous guy seems to hate her at first, but comes around little by little: CHECK
He saves her life: CHECK
Then she finds out he’s a vampire: CHECK
So to be honest I almost didn’t even make it to the quarter mark… I mean talk about cliché!! **YAWN** But, I kept reading mostly because all the reviews mentioned surprises—they couldn’t all be wrong, could they? That and the other big difference: Kira is no Bella!! This girl is self-confident and full of fire (no shy hidden blossom here!).
So, as to that “full of fire” thing… in the same scene that she discovers Tristan is a vampire, well—she also discovers that she can shoot fire out of her hands. Cool! Now things get interesting!
So it turns out that Kira is not your ordinary girl (duh, I just said she can shoot fire out of her hands). She is a descendent of a long line of vampire hunters. Two different lines actually: The Protectors and The Punishers. And the two are never supposed to marry and NEVER to have a child, but that’s just what happened with her. Her parents disobeyed that law and had her. Then when she was very young they were killed by vampires, leaving her to be raised by her aunt (who never got around to telling her about the vampires or even that she was adopted… confusing much?).
So now what to do? She’s already falling for none other than a vampire (and, no, these vampires can’t drink animal blood… gotta be human), but she has been born to fight them. But Tristan is different than other vampires, he’s more human and compassionate. He learned years ago to use blood banks so that he doesn’t harm humans. And he really does fall for her as well.
Of course the story wouldn’t be complete without the jealous ex that Tristan leaves behind to be with Kira. She is set on revenge and on turning Tristan back into a “true” vampire (leaving all the silliness of drinking from bags behind).
I do have to admit that after I got past the Twilight flashbacks of the first part of the book, it was pretty good. But what it really got me to thinking about was this: where do all these vampire myths come from and why is it ok for every paranormal series written to have its own set of “rules” for the mythical creatures? So I looked into the history of the Paranormal Romance. This info graphic was especially entertaining.
But even more research finally led me to the conclusion that it’s OK because paranormal is a sub-genre of fantasy. So basically its fantasy set in a more modern environment. And being fantasy means the rules are up to the writer. Sure there have to BE rules or the story falls apart and nobody is really interested, but if you can bend the laws of physics why would you let the laws of previously written vampires hold you down?
So if Stephanie Meyer wants her vampires drink animal blood and sparkle… great. And if Davis wants her vampires to be able to live off donated blood from a bag… cool. Who cares if Anne Rice would laugh? It’s all make-believe anyway.