Allow me to repeat what I said about A Vampire Christmas Carol by Sarah Gray years ago in this rant:
PIECE! OF! SHIT!
No, seriously. This book deserves to be called that. Now, I have nothing against parodies or adding vampires, zombies or anything like that as long as it is pulled off well. That’s the key phrase here, pulled off well. There is nothing well, good, great, funny or anything positive about this book. I’ll try my best to make this version of the rant much more cohesive and calm.
First, why put vampires in A Christmas Carol? It’s an odd choice of literature. Yes, there are ghosts but these ghosts represent certain aspects of humanity. Marley, Past, Present and Future show how a person can be evil and suffering, young and innocent, an adult who loves life and then it all ends in death (yes, that’s why the Ghost of Christmas Future is pretty much death.) Putting vampires really makes no sense except “they’re cool.”
As for the book itself, all you have to do pick up a normal copy of A Christmas Carol and add vampires every now and then. Yup, Gray basically copy and pasted the entire book while making some minor changes here and there. I did call it lazy in my rant, but the more I think about it it’s more along the lines of being a bad fan fiction writer.
In fact, the few original scenes Gray does put in read like bad fan fiction. First off, there’s one scene where Isabelle (Scrooge’s girlfriend who left him) asks Marley to help Scrooge. Yup, and this is despite the fact that Marley tried for years to talk to Scrooge and it only worked this one day because he was dying. Gray says the reason Marley can help Scrooge is due to, get this, the power of love. Many of you are probably gagging right now.
The other scene she has is when the Ghost of Christmas Past sends Scrooge back to the day he was born. Gray makes it so that he and his younger sister are actually twins and are born on Christmas Eve (yes.) Oh, and their wet nurse is one of the evil vampires. And instead of milk this wet nurse feeds them vampire blood which makes his sister sick and Scrooge evil. I hear wrists getting slit now.
Some other things Gray added were vampire minions cleverly called minions, Cratchet and Scrooge’s nephew are vampire hunters and Scrooge is some kind of vampire slaying messiah called “The Scion of the Great Culling.” I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean.
Let’s talk about the villains. Yes, Gray felt this story needed a villain. The are the king and queen of the vampires Wahltraud and Griselda. All we know about them is that they’re the king and queen of the vampires and they’re evil. That’s it. They are about as generic evil as you can get. There is a way to make evil characters with a lot of character development and a reason for them doing what they’re doing. This case, they’re just something for readers to boo.
There are also two characters that serve no purpose to the story. There’s Disgut who we’re told has been Scrooge’s Clerk one week after Marley dies. He’s also a minion, something the reader can figure out the second he is introduced. Also generic evil. Then there’s Cratchet’s sister who replaces Mrs. Cratchet because she was killed by vampires. She’s EXACTLY like Mrs. Cratchett. There’s really no reason for the change except for a reason for Cratchet to be a vampire hunter. It’s a bad and lazy reason at that.
Now, I don’t mind taking classics and adding supernatural monsters to them. It can be great if it’s done correctly and, preferably, as a comedy. A Vampire Christmas is done seriously and reads like very poorly written fan fiction. Charles Dickens must have doing cartwheels in his grave when this book was published. This book should be boiled in its own pudding and buried with a stake of holy through its heart.
Oh, and have a wonderful whatever holiday you celebrate this December and a happy new year.