Dear Dan,

We’ve been dancing around this vampires vs. zombies thing for a few weeks now. Back and forth, blaming each other for the audacity to defend one another’s tastes and anti-Canadian sentiments; anything really, to pull ahead in the poll. As of yesterday, vampires were winning, taking 53% of the popular vote. So, now that we’ve spent the last few weeks slinging mud, I want to take it back to the books. You know, the whole reason we’re here in the first place. One thing I’m not going to state outright is that one book is BETTER than the other; I’m simply going to compare and contrast the villains, namely the zombies and the vampires.

1. For the most part, the zombies in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (P+P+Z) are secondary to the story. Sure the “unmentionables” make a few appearances but, for the most part, they’re off screen. They’re hiding in the bushes and moaning in the hills. There’s no “main” zombie character (except for Charlotte; and even then, I’d call her a secondary character). Sure, there’s a lot of talk about how to fight them, where you were trained, and the unfortunate reality of living in a world where they exist.

1.5 And while the vampires in The Strain are similar in the sense that they’re something humans are fighting against, there’s a master villain who sets off the entire situation. Ancient, strong and essentially the whole reason the scourge starts in the United States, this vampire is bad-ass. Something you can truly fear. Like David Arquette floating outside your window in the original Buffy movie freaky (am I remembering that correctly?).

Score: Vampires

2. (SPOILERS) Both books have main characters who rile up an emotional response when the inevitable happens. In P+P+Z, it’s Charlotte. In, The Strain, it’s Eph’s wife. As I think it’s kind of unfair for poor Charlotte, who everyone realizes is plain and ends up with the insufferable Mr. Collins, to also be inflicted by the horrors of turning into a zombie, I’m going to give this round to P+P+Z.

Score: Zombies.

3. The heroes. It’s impossible to compare Eph to Darcy. I mean, Darcy is DARCY, the quintessential male hero in all of romantic literature. That said, of course Darcy fights the zombies with aplomb. I mean, he’s from the upper classes, had all that great training in  Japan and eventually needs to win his way back to Elizabeth’s heart. But honestly, whatevs, to an extent. It’s a story we know (and love) well. In The Strain, Eph not only has to fight the strange vampire/zombie hybrids, but also convince the entire world that there’s a major epidemic. See, Darcy doesn’t have to make anyone believe that there are unmentionables, he’s got it easy, I’d say, all he has to do is grab his sword and start beheading. Eph’s got to discover the problem, convince everyone there IS a problem and then fight the problem. Also, the vampires in The Strain are damn scary. DAMN SCARY.

Score: Vampires

So, it looks like the vampires are still coming out ahead. Whatcha got now?

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