Monday, October 18, 2010

Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Insatiable by Meg Cabot is a novel about Meena Harper who can foresee when people will die and who has been smitten by the Prince of Darkness himself, or rather his son who has attained the throne after his father’s own death at the hands of a secret group who go around hunting vampires and other similar demon types.

The book has so much promise from the beginning.  Meena Harper is a clever play on the name Mina Harker, Dracula’s primary paramour in the Bram Stoker novel.  Meena lives with her unemployed brother, Jon, which plays off the fact that Stoker’s Mina eventually marries Jonathan Harker.  There are some sarcastic jokes made at the expense of the recent vampire phenomenon, how the general media panders to the vagaries of public tastes, etc.  And simply suggesting that vampires are monster misogynists is chuckle worthy.

Unfortunately, the sarcasm and socio-satire is too sparse to make this much more than what this novel truly is–a very typical romance novel but somehow because it has a vampire I felt I might actually enjoy it.

I didn’t.  I did not, however, loathe it as I have some other vampire romances I could mention.  Nor did I find it as disappointing as I did yet another vampire novel (mostly because I esteem Block’s writing and am unfamiliar with Cabot’s work).

I can see how easily this novel could be made into a movie.  In fact, one could argue that the novel would make a great movie but a great movie doesn’t necessarily mean it makes a great novel.  The plot is predictable and offers a climactic face-off complete with a vampire war.  Oooh . . . perfect for Hollywood and the big screen and . .

utterly tedious to read for me.  I just don’t get it.  What perverse part of me thinks that a book that looks like a romance novel and sounds (based on the blurb) like a romance novel will be anything but a romance novel just because it has a vampire in it?  I don’t like romance novels.  I don’t read romance novels.  So why do I torture myself with them?

Because I keep hoping someone will stop this vampire nonsense by offering something truly interesting and literary.  My expectations run too high for the publishing industry but I know that somewhere out there is a writer who is creating a truly compelling vampire novel, one that has depth and relevance.  And still, with all that said, I have to say that at least the main character’s relationship with her vampire lover is more healthy than what I read in that other book.  At least it had that going for it.  However, faint praise considering how I feel about the other book.

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