Saturday, October 08, 2011

The Temptation of Immortality by Marie Treanor

For me, this month is one of both celebration and sadness. Celebration because BLOOD ETERNAL has just been released  (Yay! Champagne!). And sadness, because  BLOOD ETERNAL is the finale of the Awakened by Blood trilogy, and this is where I say goodbye to Elizabeth and Saloman and the other characters of the Awakened by Blood series who’ve become almost like my family over the last two years.

Of course, I can’t prevent the story continuing in my head, so they’re more immortal than dead to me J. Which brings me to one of Elizabeth’s dilemmas in this final book. If you’ve read BLOOD SIN, the second of the trilogy, you’ll know that Elizabeth found herself wanting Saloman to offer to “turn” her, because it would prove the depth of his feelings for her. Although she had no intention of accepting, the offer would have meant a lot to her – only of course, Saloman, who is nothing if not unpredictable, never made it.
Nevertheless, in BLOOD ETERNAL, Elizabeth finds herself thinking again about the temptation of immortality, more especially as she’s suffering periodic burst of unexplained illness, and prophecies of her death lurk in the background. As readers, we imagine that the only real possibility of happiness between a human and vampire has to be found by the human “turning”. And yet, despite her love for Saloman, vampirism goes as much against Elizabeth’s beliefs as Saloman’s ambitions of world domination. But should she turn?

In the words of the Queen song: Who wants to live forever? Would you?
Obviously, while wrestling with Elizabeth’s dilemma, and how it affects Saloman, I’ve had to think a lot about the pros and cons to vampiric immortality. So here are some of my thoughts, first of all, in favour of “turning”.

As a vampire, you would stay young and healthy, gain experience, and the wisdom of the old with all the health of the young. How often have you heard an elderly person complaining that youth is too precious to be wasted on the young? Imagine enjoying the best of both worlds!
Then, if you find your eternal love, it really would be eternal. There would be no death to part you – always excepting the unforeseen stake through the heart! There is a romantic attraction to this concept that goes way beyond simply not dying. We want to believe our great love will live forever.
Finally, as a vampire, you have other gifts – in the Awakened by Blood world these include a greater sensitivity, more powerful senses, greater physical strength, telepathy and possibly other psychic talents. Imagine using such formidable gifts not for your own selfish ends but for the good of the world. Who needs more justification than that?

But then, of course, we have the cons to immortality, not least of which is, according to many, spiritual damnation. Extending your existence beyond death is surely a sin against God, religion and nature.
More practically, there’s the boredom element. After a couple of centuries, surely there can’t be much new to experience. Wouldn’t you get bored doing the same old stuff, going to the same old places, with the same old undead, time after time? It’s one of the downsides that Saloman acknowledges in the books, along with the curse of insanity, which stems from the same route and which was responsible for his Ancient race dying out.

Also, as you stayed young and healthy, you’d be doomed to watch the friends and family you love die. Not just the older generation, but those your own age and younger, possibly even your kids and grandchildren etc.
And finally, there’s the matter of vampire nature. To continue your existence, you’d be forced to drink human blood every night. Leaving aside the “ee-eew” reaction, this might prove a trifle inconvenient. One of Elizabeth’s concerns is the possibility of personality change with the “turning” – would you not grow ruthless and vampiric, with evil, selfish ends, totally unlike the human you once were? Would you really want that?

Well, I’ll leave it up to you J. Would you take immortality at that price? Any other pros or cons to add to my list?


Pat Cochran said...

Pros and Cons notwithstanding, there's
no way I would wish to be a vampire.
Imagine having to live through all the
different life and clothing styles &
having to work constantly for so long
to stay in shape. It's bad enough now,
but for hundreds of years? That's going
a bit too far for me!

Pat Cochran

Marie Treanor said...

:) Good point, Pat! I suppose it would be fine if you were in shape when you were "turned" - presumably you'd stay that way for ever :).

Lee, thank you for inviting me!


marybelle said...

I think being immortal would be exhausting. I plan on living a long time without it.

Marie Treanor said...

Excellent plan, Marybelle :).