The Dark Heroine – Characters
I was busy cleaning when I came across a book I thought I had thrown away and then remembered that I was supposed to have written another review of it, about 3 months ago. Since then I’ve been away on holiday and have been kept busy with guests as well as I’ve sort of been working on a story, (or a few), of my own. I’ll state right here that I’m not a natural, or a good writer, (as if that little bit of information hasn’t made itself blatantly clear already), but I have do have a lot of stories that keep popping up in my mind, and with them the desire to share them.
These stories never seem to travel well from my mind to paper, and I think what is part of my problem is that I tend to rush into them without taking the time to flesh out the characters and give much more thought to the plot and it’s ending, I never seem to figure that out.
This book, the Dark Heroine, Dinner with a Vampire, has made me think more about the plot, story and character development in a novel, and how to avoid the mistakes I found in this book.
I’m putting all this onto my blog to share, and to see if anyone else agrees, disagrees with what I think. Intelligent, constructive criticism only please, the Trolls can stay under their bridges.
So here I go, I’m going to list each character and their plot points, and discuss my likes and dislikes, (warning there will more dislikes as there were few truly likable characters), as well as their contribution to the story.
Again, the warning, here be spoilers, many spoilers.
The Family, Lee
Violet Lee: the star of the show and at first she doesn’t come across as annoying as she later becomes. She seems like your usual well off London teen on a night out, on her own, and waiting at Trafalgar Square when she could just go to the restaurant she agreed to meet up with her friend. But then she would have missed out on the Vampire/Hunter rumble, and suddenly an image of West Side Story dance fight comes to mind.
And I digress, Violet is kidnapped moments after she is heard whispering the word, “jerk.” Because that’s what you would say after witnessing thirty odd men being ripped to pieces by some other men who seem to defy the laws of gravity. These other men are Vampires but it takes Violet a while, despite being told a few times, to realise this.
For the rest of the novel, she really doesn’t do much except, (as the only human), try to piss off a very large house filled with vampires, do her best Bella, (Twilight), impression while brushing off Kaspar’s rape attempts as his way of saying he really likes her. Occasionally she thinks of her family, after she watches them on the news begging for her return, a brief phone call and when finally her sister and father actually show up at vampire headquarters, but after a good cry they’re forgotten once more.
She’s stroppy, even after witnessing her kidnappers commit violent murder she seems to think it’s a good idea to be as belligerent as possible because she’s supposed to be a strong, intelligent teen with “better than you” morals. While entering a lust triangle with two vampires, she remembers she’s kissed a lot of boys and men, and her brief sex scene with Kaspar shows she’s experienced, yet she spends much of her time “slut-shaming” every women who does or wants to do the same as her. I find it odd when a female writes female characters that are well, misogynist.
Now, I despise the word “slut,” it’s a word of ignorance, fear, hatred and violence to name a few, but it’s a word that most will understand which is why I’m using it.
At first she spends most of her time sleeping at Varnly Manor, (Vampire Headquarters), a Buckingham Palace of the undead. She’s given what I imagine is a really nice room, equipped with a lovely comfy bed but instead she chooses to sleep by a window with her face plastered against the glass, which just seems like a really uncomfortable position to sleep in.
Early in the book, she figures out that her father ordered the murder of the vampires beloved Queen, this is immediately after hearing a very short story about how she died. The vampires were given an inside tip about the murder, Violet’s father has clearly made himself clear about his hatred for vampires, and so many, many clues have been given to them, yet the vampires remain ignorant to the culprit.
Midway through and she’s finally given into Kaspar’s charms (?), and after an awkward, drawn out, and juvenile, (I suppose it could be called), foreplay and has sex with him. It’s very quick, but surprisingly well written. After the sex they’re separated by the King, for some reason or other, so she’s very sad, and she cries a lot, and I mean a lot. At yet another Vampire Ball held at the manor, within seconds she manages to soak the front of her dress with her tears.
Towards the end her father’s crimes have become known, (finally), and so the vampires decide to kill, her execution is thwarted however when it’s revealed what she is, (yes it’s there in the title). At the end Violet and Kaspar are united again with the Kings’ blessing because they’re “tied.” I have no idea what that means except I’m getting a strong Twilight vibe. Oh and as Violet is about to be killed, where is Kaspar? He’s there but he walks away, apparently he couldn’t deal with watching her die because he loves her so much. Yeah, and she took him back after that.
Violet is a delusional, petty, spoiled, annoying, self-centred, Mary Sue. I tried to like her, but there was just too much about her to despise.
Lily (Lillian) Lee: Violet’s younger sister, who Violet cares so much for, when she has time to recall that she has a sister, or when it becomes a plot point, Lily is very ill, suffering from leukaemia and during a news report where the Lee family plead for Violet’s safe return, she seems to have just days left. However, by the end of the book she shows up at Varnly Manor she’s been cured. She doesn’t contribute much to the plot, except at the end where she half-heartedly tries to convince her sister to leave the vampires and return home. I find it odd how accepting she is about accepting the fact that there are indeed vampires when it seems like she probably was only told about this recently. Throughout the book she’s mentioned occasionally.
Greg Lee: Violet’s dead older brother. He died of a heroin overdose few years prior, he’s mostly forgotten, dragged out occasionally for an excuse for Violet to be sad and cry. In order of importance to Violet’s family he’s second to last.
Michael Lee: Violet’s father who is the Secretary of State for Defence, and he’s a dick. It’s later stated that he knows all about the vampires, knows where his daughter is being held and yet does nothing for months when he’s invited to Varnly Manor. He brings along his youngest child, Lily, to help talk Violet into leaving the Vampires, which she could have done from the start as by the end of the book there really wasn’t any reason for her to stay in the first place. In the end the animosity between Michael Lee and the Vampires is a mute point as he accepts what his daughter is, and something about travelling with her to another world. By this point I wasn’t all that interested in him, though Violet continues to care for the selfish control freak, well, when the mood strikes.
Mother Lee: She doesn’t have a name, least not one I can recall, she’s rarely mentioned, and her biggest moment is the news report where she is seen holding her husbands hand. She’s so insignificant that she’s ignored throughout the rest of the book.
And some more humans.
Ruby Jones: not a member of the Lee family, but she seems to be Violet’s best, if not only friend, and it’s a wonder why she is. Ruby is mentioned a couple of times at the beginning of the book when she leaves Violet waiting at Trafalgar Square while she shags one, or perhaps both of the boys they picked up earlier. She’s later mentioned in a news as the person who discovers the bodies of the Hunters the Vampires killed. So at least she eventually kept her word and showed up to meet with Violet, only a bit too late, and then she’s forgotten completely.
Joel: the ex-boyfriend that Violet is still pining for at the beginning of the book despite the fact that he’s a complete Chav, not particularly bright, or good looking, and 8doesn’t even have a nice personality going for him, as we discover midway through the book when he inexplicitly shows up at Hamleys, a toy store. Also, he keeps calling Violet “babe,” it’s almost as bad as Kaspar’s name for her.
The Vampires, the Royal Varns and their hangers on.