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The Vampire Diaries: The Fury, Part 11: I’ve never tried blogging while drinking, but I have this pill here…

July 23, 2010

Seriously.  I’m on this knock-out pill for dizziness that I swore I wouldn’t take again, until my doctor suggested cutting it in half and trying that instead.  So my head already feels heavy.  Maybe in an altered state, I’ll enjoy this book!

…Oh God, I’ve already corrected two typos in the previous paragraph.  This is going to be FUN.  And by fun I mean, hopefully amusing for other people.  My head’s already resting against the headboard like it’s a pillow.  It is NOT a pillow and um…it’ll probably hurt later.  But not now.  So that’s something.

Anyway.

When last we left Our Heroine, she was about to reveal herself to the men who had set a trap for her celibate boyfriend.  Except not, because before she decides to do something really stupid, Alaric comes up and defuses the whole situation.  Rather bumblingly, but he does it.  He tells the Mad Dads that he hasn’t had enough time to assure that Stefan was the attacker.  In fact, Meredith points out, doesn’t Damon Smith look a lot like Stefan Salvatore?  “Who’s Damon Smith?” everyone wonders.  INDEED.

The Mad Dads are all “There’s a wolf!” and Alaric’s like, “A wolf?  I saw a dog, probably a rabid dog.”  I swear to God, I cannot stop reading his dialogue in an English accent–and, of course, not just any English accent.  He gets a few smooth points, like second season Angel rather than first season Angel.  Well, until you get to his backstory, which is dorky as can be and only reaffirms my internal casting.  Sometimes I wonder if Joss Whedon read these books at some point.  I mean, I hope not, for his sake and all, but still.

Other things that happen: Stefan’s pretty injured, and he’s confused over his brother’s help.  Meredith says that these wouldn’t be the first vampire attacks, as–dun dun DUNNNN–her grandfather was attacked years ago.  Caroline must’ve heard it somewhere, so obviously Mr. Forbes can confirm, making him seem like an even bigger jerk.

Yup, I think that’s it.  See, I’m doing okay so far.

~*Elena*~ berates Stefan for not feeding.  He says he will, but “later.”  Since “later” isn’t a specific time, ~*Elena*~ realizes she’s been semi-tricked.  WTF, Stefan, JUST EAT.  If Meredith or Bonnie or whoever say it’s okay, it’s even VEGAN.  God, you whiner.

They all go to the history room, all dark and weird.  You ever wander around your high school at night when everyone’s gone?  Creepy.  Alaric gets everyone settled in and says one of Wesley’s catchphrases: “Well.”  (If he said “Quite” next, we’d have a lawsuit on our hands, but alas, he does not.)  Stefan gets on his case about how he obviously wasn’t a history teacher–hey, he could’ve been! but, you know, just a really bad one–and Alaric admits that no, he’s a psychologist.  The research-y, keep-publishing-or-you’ll-never-get-tenure kind.  A research psychologist from Duke, which I suppose makes sense.  He studies the psychological effects of psychic phenomena–or rather, he would have if he’d found anything but fakes.  But then he was pointed in the right direction, and once he knew what to look for, he found people.  People like Meredith’s grandfather.

See, the reason Meredith knew who he was is because she’d met him before–she didn’t remember at first, but he was someone who came to visit her grandfather in the mental hospital, which has been a long-held family secret.  This was when she was still in middle school, so her memory was a bit fuzzy.  He remembers her as a girl with, uh, previously skinny legs.  This does not please Bonnie, who would not mind spending some time with him and his Zener cards.  (They call them “Rhine cards” in the book.  I mean, I sort of see why, but it’s still inaccurate.)

But anyway, he’d never SEEN a vampire till he’d come to Fell’s Church, and now he has.  So now he’s an authority who actually has clocked field time, and is feeling a little smarmy about it till they ask about his hand-waving at the dog freakout.  He was trying to cast some spell, and they all pretty much roll their eyes at him.  They’re not in the Night World, you know.

So anyway, he was asked to come out here and even though he was completely without experience (but WITH published monographs!), he was psyched–heh–to do it.  Unfortunately, he didn’t realize he was signing up to be Alaric Saltzman, Vampire Hunter, so he had to, uh, bluff.

They tease him about ~*Elena*~ having been up in his attic while he was nattering on about “lairs,” and rightly so.  He tells them he definitely didn’t know about the set-up and Stefan tells him to choose a side.  He chooses the side with the supernatural creatures, of course, because it’s more interesting.  Wouldn’t you?

They want him to stall any more hypnosis sessions with the attack victims, and also try to put the kibosh on the upcoming dance.  He’s not sure about that second one, because the principal is determined to go on with business as usual.  He also points out, QUITE CLEVERLY, that ~*Elena*~ seems to be the one the attacks are centered around: HER boyfriend, HER sister, HER funeral, HER car over the Winter River Waverly Bridge.  Gosh, maybe she should get out of town?

But no, because ~*Elena*~ doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of towns outside of Fell’s Church and, after all, what can anyone else do besides the Vampire Trio of Annoyingness?  Wave their hands?  She’s not wrong, but she isn’t RIGHT, either.  But Stefan makes her promise to attempt that outside world, since their cover’s been half-blown anyway.  She agrees (I wonder if she’ll take it back later?) and they make a plan for the night of the dance, which includes hiding in the history room in case anything happens.

It all winds up with a blast from the past: ~*Elena*~ asks Alaric about the mindset of former victims.  Why?  OH, YEAH, REMEMBER MATT?

Yeah, I barely did either.  And that’s not the half-a-pill speaking.

Next up: probably a dance.  There’s one at least every book.

Oh, by the way, see if you’re psychic, and let me know: http://www.hexatron.com/psi/index.html?

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. Megan permalink
    July 27, 2010 2:14 pm

    The new Vampire Diaries book is out! I read part of it at Target, then promptly screamed and ran away.

    There were magical flowers.

  2. July 28, 2010 8:43 am

    I wish I could. It was a magical bouquet, or, more accurately (from what I could tell before slamming the book shut), a regular florist’s bouquet with a magical flower in it. Magical.

    • July 28, 2010 9:47 am

      Le sigh. 21 more chapters to recap, then I’m done. Kidlet can read the new ones if she wants, but not me.

  3. Serena permalink
    July 29, 2010 3:12 am

    Years ago, when the internet was in it’s infancy, I used to belong to an L.J. Smith fan discussion mailing list thingy. And one of the rule they had (reason I left…too many damn rules stifling discussion!) was DON’T TALK ABOUT SIMILARITIES BETWEEN BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER AND THE VAMPIRE DIARIES! Because it had been discussed a *lot* and the mods were sick of hearing the same points brought up over and over (to hell with new fans/members who are just making the connection and are interested in talking about it, right?)

    Anyway, I think Joss knew about L.J.’s books… they *were* bestselling and I’m sure he did some research before starting to write about vampires. Elena/Buffy: blondes who start out shallow & only interested in popularity/social life, but get more serious & heroic … who get involved with 2 vampires who have a contentious relationship with one another (Stefan/Angel & Damon/Spike) … and has a childlike (to be kind) redhead witch-y best friend (Bonnie/Willow) … a “loser” Nice Guy who pines for her unrequitedly (Matt/Xander) … an even more shallow and bitchy popularity-rival (Caroline/Cordelia) … and an older mentor/teacher-type (Giles/Alaric … although I can see how Wesley works too. And I know Alaric isn’t as close to Elena as Giles is to Buffy…but still. )

    As for Meredith…hmm… can’t think of a BTVS parallel there… Nobody wants to include a Meredith type on their show, I guess. Not even the TV version of The Vampire Diaries. 😛

    Meredith reminds me of a more social Daria. Precious few Darias around either, mores the pity.

    • July 29, 2010 7:54 am

      The thing about that argument is that Spike wasn’t supposed to be a romantic lead–he was supposed to die in the church, so thinking that he was set up to be Damon doesn’t quite work.

      As many people have pointed out, there are tropes. Some are more time-related–the blonde thing rather than the brunette thing we’re more inclined toward as a society now–but some are time-honored, like linking red hair to witchcraft, having a mentor, having the comic relief pining.

      Although I don’t think Matt PINES, really. That is the one good thing about his DoorMatt-ness; he leaves all the irritating “She could never leave ME” to Stefan.

      Meredith’s a weird character. She seems fleshed out in the first book, becomes interchangeable with Bonnie in the second, then gets back to that personality in the third. I didn’t remember her being so bleh in the second book; I was really disappointed because I always liked her.

      • Serena permalink
        July 29, 2010 11:42 pm

        Ooops, forgot to respond to your first response to my first post in this thread! 🙂

        You’re right, Spike wasn’t originally intended as Buffy’s love interest… maybe the better parallel is Stefan/Damon and Angel/Angelus? But Angel and Spike’s bickering reminds me of S/D more. I know what you mean about common tropes though. I didn’t mean to accuse Joss of plagiarizing…just know he’s a pop culture savvy kind of guy… I recently discovered he acknowledged the movie Night Of The Comet, with it’s tough blonde valley-girl cheerleader fighting zombie-type-creatures-who-turn-to-dust, as an influence on BTVS. I guess he probably would’ve acknowledged TVD if it was an influence too.

    • July 29, 2010 1:03 pm

      Was this the Nightworld mailing list by any chance? Where you were also not allowed to talk about the similarities between Labyrinth/Phantom of the Opera and Forbidden Game?

      • Serena permalink
        July 29, 2010 11:43 pm

        Well, I didn’t want to name names and offend anyone who might be a member (or mod)… but since you asked…

        Yes. 🙂

  4. Serena permalink
    July 29, 2010 3:20 am

    P.S. Too bad you won’t recap the new TVD books… I’m sure they’d inspire tons of snark. I hear they’re terrible – so bad I won’t waste money on ’em and don’t even care to borrow from a library ’cause they’d be such a chore to read – but I would read your recaps of them. 🙂 I realize they’d be a chore for you to read too…I’m just being selfish. 😉

    • July 29, 2010 7:50 am

      I just can’t. I’m so burned out on recapping the same series for the past few years. When Megan and I were doing Night World, I at least felt like I could “take a break” with something else, but now I feel pulled toward finishing up. I don’t remember the 4th book nearly as well as the first three–I think because I didn’t enjoy it a much as the first three–so that might be more interesting to recap or it might be a horrible chore, I have no idea. But I’ve committed to it, so I’m sure it’ll take me at least another year at the rate I’ve been going.

      : /

      After that, I’m going to be looking at romance for a while–specifically, late ’80s and early ’90s Harlequins and their effect on shaping my views of relationships. I figure I’ll lose my entire audience with that level of self-indulgence, but that’s okay. 😀

  5. Serena permalink
    July 29, 2010 6:39 pm

    That’s okay…no pressure! (I wonder if you’ll buy Elena’s sorta “redemption” in book 4 …I did, as a kid, but your take on it might make me wanna re-think that. 😉

    I’ve never read a Harlequin, but I’m sure your analysis will be interesting.

    • July 29, 2010 10:08 pm

      I know that the fourth book disappointed the heck out of me, and it felt completely different. I keep wondering if it has more of a Night World feel to it than the first three books, but I won’t find out for another five chapters….which I will recap when I’m not on new medication. ZZZZZZzzzzzz…

      • Serena permalink
        July 29, 2010 11:52 pm

        I liked the 4th book at the time… didn’t even realize it was an originally-unintended continuation of the series/cash-grab thingy. But I’ve read so many people on the internet saying they were disappointed in it… I’m getting curious to re-read and reassess. It’s kinda fun to take another look at something you enjoyed as a child… although sometimes illusions are shattered and you hang your head in shame. 😛 For instance, I made my parents rent “Annie” a zillion times when I was young (catchy songs! plucky orphans! Classic Hollywood movie homages!) … and then I saw it again as an adult and cringed. (Although I’ve gotten over my embarrassment and come back around to liking it as a guilty pleasure anyway and bought, like, 4 different DVD editions of it, but that’s another story. ;))

  6. July 30, 2010 9:04 am

    This thing craps out on nested comments after a couple of times, I think.

    Buffy wasn’t attracted to Angelus, though, so the Angel/Angelus thing doesn’t work. I don’t think much of the dialogue between Stefan and Damon is clever, although I did when I was twelve or thirteen. But that might be BECAUSE I’ve seen things like Spike/Angel done since then–so many times since then.

    We’ll just have to send someone to a Comic Con to ask him. 😀

    Really? You didn’t like rewatching Annie? I did. I’d missed a LOT since I’d watched it (I think I was like 9 when I started watching it, so…) So much stuff about the Depression, who Beau Brummel is, etc–and I had no idea Miss Hannigan was a drunk, because I was THAT sheltered of a child. (Actually, to this day I’m terrible with figuring out if people are drunk.)

  7. Serena permalink
    July 30, 2010 10:32 pm

    Oh I like re-watching Annie now… just the first time after a long time, I cringed a bit. Probably because the acting’s over-the-top and Annie herself is …unbelievable? Too schmaltzy even for a cornball like me, raised on Disney? 🙂 I enjoy Carol Burnett’s character and performance much more now. I love movies set during the Great Depression, and being older got more of a sense of the tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood and classic musicals. (I always loved old movies/musicals, but back then I just accepted Annie as another one of them, not being aware of when it was actually made. Silly me.)

    • July 31, 2010 9:09 am

      I haven’t seen it in years. I remember almost having a panic attack because my daughter wanted to watch an updated version. If she were still into that thing, I could now say “But it doesn’t have the grandfather from Gilmore Girls!” and probably win her over.

      Aw, man, I gotta get her to watch Lost Boys because of “the grandfather from Gilmore Girls”!

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