A ‘Christian vampire novel’?

I’m going to write a full-scale book review on this for Chalcedon’s print magazine, Faith For All of Life, but in the meantime I’d like to give readers of this blog a heads-up on Ellen C. Maze’s new vampire trilogy, starting with “Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider.” (TreasureLine Publishing, 2010)

Some of us have been wondering when the first “Christian vampire novel” would come along. Well, this may be it. In fact, Maze has already written a series of four “Corescu Chronicles” that might qualify.

What makes this book qualify? The “Christian element” of the story is not just tacked on; it is the story.

Some critics say C.S. Lewis beats the reader over the head with the Christian symbolism of his Narnia books, while some others say J.R.R. Tolkien buries Christian symbolism so deeply in his Middle-Earth books that nobody can find it. (Well, I say that.) Ellen Maze does something very different: her Christian element is overt, and the mainspring of the story.

To me, contemporary vampire fiction is the nadir of literature–and I say this as someone who has actually had a vampire book published (“Lifeblood,” Pinnacle Books, 1986). I was pretty much a pagan when I wrote that, and I can’t say “Lifeblood” reclaimed any ground for the Kingdom of Christ. But compared to all the “Twilight” knockoffs floating around today, “Lifeblood” wasn’t so bad. But “Rabbit” is a conscious effort to plant Christ’s banner in the heart of enemy territory, for which I applaud Mrs. Maze.

Rather than steal my own book review’s thunder, let me ask readers of this blog: What do you think a “Christian vampire novel” ought to look like? What should the author do, and what should he or she most definitely not do?

6 comments on “A ‘Christian vampire novel’?

  1. It’s wonderful to hear someone is at least trying to do this!

    I’m still wrestling with the issue of what would make a Vampire novel “Christian.” Not sure what conclusions I’ve reached quite yet. The Vampire is a natural and perfect symbol for the unregenerate – unable to choose anything but darkness. That’s a legitimate story to tell, if something of a downer.

    But Christianity is all about redemption too, so the natural question to ask would be: can vampires be redeemed? Can the saving power of Christ resurrect even the black heart of the vampire, if He so chose? Now there is a thematic question that a great novel could wrestle with.

  2. Well I like the thought of taking back ground for God, so long as that’s the main purpose. If the story’s just trying to ride on the Twilight and vampire high, I’ll just scoff and walk away. A lot of Christian books and clothes do that, and that’s the one thing that, to me at least, would kill a Christian vampire novel better than the sun.

    The other thing a Christian vampire novel might want to highlight is the struggle with the urges a vampire has. I mean, drinking blood is intense. That’s an issue. Taking a life and all that. It’s a good way to create a dynamic character, one that has flaws but really, really tries to strive towards God anyway. That would give any Christian vampire novel (if I read vampire novels at all, period) I read a huge thumbs up from me.

  3. I think you’re going to like Ellen Maze’s book, big-time–unless you decide she’s “cheating.” There’s a case to be made for that.

  4. Hi, Elisa–Mrs. Maze’s book is not a Twilight knockoff, so you can rest easy on that score. She does attempt to deal with the other issues you brought up, and not always in the way we might expect. Whatever else I might say about her book, having read it, I do say it’s a big step in the right direction.

    1. Wow-I have been blessed today when I saw this blog mentioning my book “Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider.” My heart is dancing.

      Lee (and anyone, as a matter of fact), please feel free to email me personally at ellenmaze[at]aol[dot]com. I would love to offer one of my books as a giveaway for your blog sometime.
      It is a pleasure to share these “babies” with the world.
      In Messiah

    2. Hi, Ellen, welcome to my blog–always great to hear from another writer, especially one in Christ’s service. I hope you’ll be a regular visitor. This is a new blog and I haven’t got the foggiest idea how to operate it, so I dunno how we would offer one of your books as a giveaway. (I’m afraid I might have misunderstood this, and thought you meant you wanted to give one away to me–most embarrassing.) Well, maybe somebody at the office knows.
      If you’d like a complimentary copy of one of my books, just say so!

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