Vampires, Myths, Mystery and Stories

Ok, so I’m going to admit it… I’ve been sucked into the Edward and Bella vampire hysteria. Well, maybe not hysteria. But, in the past week I read all four of the Twilight series books and I have to admit I really liked them (clearly if I read all of them in a week I more than liked them, but I’m trying to not to sound too ridiculous or fanatical). Hehe.

So, if you know anything about me you know that I love stories. I enjoy reading non-fiction books, I can enjoy watching stand up comedy occasionally, and I do enjoy shows like John Stewart and Steven Colbert, but none of those forms of entertainment can really capture my attention and after a while they bore me. But, stories… that’s another story. I get caught up in stories. You could even say that I get a little bit addicted to stories. Not too long ago I was so wrapped up in a show that Bryan and I were watching that I started hyperventilating when one of the characters died – seriously, no exaggeration – hyperventilating. I know, pathetic, right?

Anyway, Twilight and the books that followed didn’t cause me to hyperventilate or anything, but they did sweep me away into another world for a time and any story that does that get’s my recommendation. I can’t say that Twilight was really an exquisite piece of literary work or anything, but I can say that it was well written, in a fun and relatable tone that made it a enchanting account of young love, desire, temptation, heart break, free will, choice, good vs. evil and the sometimes not so clear distinctions between the two.

Maybe part of why I loved it wasn’t just that it was an appealing story, but also because secretly (or maybe not so secretly) I really love stories about magic and myths and all that. I was first introduced to magic and fantasy and fairy tales through George MacDonald and JRR Tolkien when I was probably no more than 7 and I’ve loved anything having to do with that sort of thing ever since. I’ve always been intrigued by stories of fairies, and elves, and witches, and dwarves, and goblins, and vampires and even aliens. As proven by many of my book choices throughout the years, and the many hours I’ve spent watching Star Trek with my dad, and X-files with friends, and vampire movies with my brother, and on and on. Yes, I admit it, I’m really a geek.

I think some of why I liked that sort of story was that I grew up in a modern scientific age, and a modern church – there was very little mystery, mysticism, or ritual in my normal life, but I always knew that there was something “other” in the world, that not everything could be explained clearly and concisely and I longed for that which was “other” and mysterious. What’s someone who’s a bit of a mystic at heart to do in an age where mysticism is generally shunned?? Turn to good fantasy stories, what else? Hehe.

So, if you like me, are intrigued by magic, myths, superstitions, fairy tales, and the paranormal… or if you just take a little guilty pleasure in sappy romance at times… then I recommend that you check out Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn – the story of a girl and a vampire who fall in love and the drama that follows.

On a side note, it’s pretty impressive that Twilight was the author, Stephenie Meyer’s first book. She started writing it in 2003 after having a dream about the idea. Now just a few years later she has four books that are top sellers and a movie made from the first book – pretty impressive.

Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman

PS - Alan Knox has an interesting post about Twilight here.