Sunday, April 26, 2009

Vampires and Souls

Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed a vampire saga could engross me the way the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer did this past week. I literally could not put the books down... it too me one week to read the 4.5 gargantuan books. While they are not exactly for the faint of heart, they present an overwhelming number of themes, wonderful character development, spiritual undertones and a great storyline to boot! I was completely drawn in, and agree that the movie did not do the book justice. Some interesting things I've been pondering/processing while reading them....

The idea of losing one's soul is a common thread throughout each of the books. Obviously, in the world of vampires and werewolves this is already a bizarre theme, but it still brings up questions about the journey of the soul in alignment with the conscious choices between good and evil in respect to your "lot in life", so to speak. Intriguing!

T called me from Catalyst West to share a few thought provoking ideas, such as the suggestion by Deb and Alan Hirsch that the nuclear family is the idol of ... the Western World? (I actually can't remember if it was the western world or the evangelical church???) Anyway, I was curious about that idea and am looking forward to reading more about it in their new book... but that idea combined with this vampire stuff got me thinking.... is "human nature" also an idol for Christians? Can we not fathom life beyond earth, or eternal life, enough not to covet our life on earth? Just a thought. It's a theme that is integral to the entire series I read, as Bella appears to be the first "mortal" who will willingly choose to become "immortal"... and for love.

Also, I had to chuckle throughout the books at the amazingly adept character and group mentality development this author wove throughout the saga. I was already seeing the potential for T to be personality typing each character, guessing their strengths and analyzing how well they worked as a team. A bit of fun for those types out there!

Finally, there is a bit of a redemptive theme as well involving the character patriarch of the "good" vampires, Carlisle. The son of a minister, who hunted down evil vampires until he was struck down by and transformed into one... (Paul...?) He then spends hundreds of years perfecting the very compassionate practice of being a "vegetarian" vampire, feasting only on animals, not humans. He is by far the most compassionate and gentle of the family, always erring on the moral high road in all vampiric affairs (LOL).

There are so many other subplots and themes throughout this book, it would be impossible to share each of them. I can only say that for me, it was well worth the read. While I would love for there to be more to the story (given their immortality, ingeniously this saga could continue forever!), I'm not sure my feeble little mind can absorb much more for now. I would highly recommend this whole series for anyone who has a week where they can devote hours of time to reading. =) Such as, a week where your husbands decides to go to LA for a conference! (perfect timing!) Enjoy!

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