January 2011



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Book Recs: Vampire Novels, Part Two

Book Recs: Vampire Novels, Part Two (Part One)
All summaries are mine and are in no way official, unless otherwise indicated.

Last Updated: 9/4/08

Teen/Young Adult
As in those without explicit sex.

The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer (author’s website)

Four titles (on-going)

Isabella Swan has been living with her mother in Phoenix, Arizona, but, when her mother's new husband gets a spot on a Minor League baseball team, she decides to head out to her father's place in Forks, Washington. While there, she meets Edward Cullen (and his family). She is instantly intrigued (and attracted to) Edward. But there is something different about Edward (and his family) and she determines to figure it out. She discovers that Edward (and his family) are vampires. How will Bella handle this? And what happens when she meets the Volturi? Or what about when she learns of the existence of werewolves--and the bloody history between the vampires and werewolves?

Note: I haven't read the fourth book, Breaking Dawn yet, so I can't comment on it.

Warning: The protagonist of this series may induce vomit, screaming fits, and other violent urges.

Overall Rating:

Peeps and it's sequel The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld (author’s website)

A new take on vampirism: it's a virus. In the first novel (Peeps), Cal Thompson contracts the virus after a one-night stand. Fortunately for Cal, he's only a carrier and has avoided getting worst of the symptoms. Unfortunately, since this one-night encounter, he's infected every girl he's kissed since. That's right, the disease is transfered through saliva, sort of like mono.

The second novel, appropriately titled The Last Days, deals with rock music and the apocalypse, with only five teenage New Yorkers to stop it.

Note: This is by far the most unique take on vampirism I've ever read. And, really, I'd love it for that reason alone, if it weren't for Scott Westerfeld's amazing gift for captivating the reader.

Warning: There is some science talk. Ok, a lot of science talk, but not so much as to turn the non-scientific away.

Overall Rating:

Got Fangs? by Katie Maxwell (author’s website)
summary from Katie Maxwell's website

All sixteen-year-old Francesca Getti wants to do is have a normal life where she's one of the crowd, blending in so no one will know just how much of a freak she is. Dragged to Europe by her mother to join GothFaire, a travelling band of psychics, magicians, and assorted other oddities, Fran has to cope with not only the normal angst of always being a fish out of water, but also with her own fate as a psychometrist.

Enter one Moravian Dark One (referred to by most people as vampires) named Benedikt who claims Fran is the key to redeeming his soul, a mysterious horse who seems to have an involved past, an immortal friend who remembers what Mozart was like, and a demonologist who thinks he's Elvis, and you can understand why Fran despairs of ever fitting in.

Note: It's not insanely memorable, but it's a quick read and good for road trips. Also, it apparently has a sequel, Circus of the Darned, but I haven't read it (though now that I know of its existence, I'd like to...).

Warning: One word: carnies.

Overall Rating:

The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine (author’s website)

Four titles (on-going)
summary from Rachel Caine's website

For Claire Danvers, high school was hell, but college may be murder.

Bad enough she got on the wrong side of Monica, the meanest of the her new school's mean girls ... but now she's got three new roommates, all with secrets of their own. And the biggest secret of all isn't really a secret, except from Claire: Morganville is run by vampires.

It's a good thing Claire's friends have her back, and Claire herself is the smartest 16-year-old advanced placement student the town's ever seen. She's going to need all the advantages she can get to survive Morganville ... much less manage a degree.

Warning: The author is not afraid to screw with her characters. Just like with J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, no character is safe. Also, her teenagers are real, in that they do want things like sex and beer.

Overall Rating:

The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause (author’s website)
summary from the back of the book...

Zoë is wary when, in the dead of night, the beautiful yet frightening Simon comes to her house. Simon seems to understand the pain of loneliness and death and Zoë's brooding thoughts of her dying mother.

Simon is one of the undead, a vampire, seeking revenge for the gruesome death of his mother three hundred years before. Does Simon dare ask Zoë to help free him from this lifeless chase and its insufferable loneliness?

Warning: Angst, angst, and more angst. But still worth a read...it even has a creepy vampire kid (who isn't really a kid...he just looks like one).

Overall Rating:

Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde (author’s website)
summary from Vivian Vande Velde's website

When 16-year-old Kerry helps a young man escape from a group of men who claim he is a vampire, she finds herself faced with some bizarre and dangerous choices.

Warning: A little bit of violence, quite a bit of blood, and vampires who are assholes (but cute).

Overall Rating:

The House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast (website for the series)

Four titles (on-going)
Summary from the first book, a la Amazon.com.

In 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres not only exist but are also tolerated by humans. Those whom the creatures "mark" as special enter the House of Night school where they will either become vampyres themselves, or, if their body rejects the change, die. To Zoey, being marked is truly a blessing, though she's scared at first. She has never fit into the human world and has always felt she is destined for something else. Her grandmother, a descendant of the Cherokee, has always supported her emotionally, and it is she who takes the girl to her new school. But even there the teen stands apart from the others. Her mark from the Goddess Nyx is a special one, showing that her powers are very strong for one so young. At the House of Night, Zoey finds true friendship, loyalty, and romance as well as mistrust and deception. She realizes that all is not right in the vampyre world and that the problems she thought she left behind exist there as well.

Warning: Some sex (non-descriptive sex), language, super!protagonist, and a bit of see-through intrigue (and betrayal)

Overall Rating:

The Night World series by L.J. Smith (author's website)

Nine titles (on-going)
Series summary from wikipedia.

The term Night World refers to both the title of a series young adult fiction novels by L. J. Smith and the secret society in the series. The series (9 published novels with 1 remaining) takes place in a universe very similar to reality, except that there are many supernatural races or species that have secretly existed alongside humanity for thousands of years. These supernatural races, collectively known as the Night World, include vampires, witches, werewolves, and shapeshifters, each of whom have their own histories, society, and relationship with the others. Humans greatly fear Night People and have a history of violence towards them (e.g., witch huntings in the Middle Ages). Because humans far outnumber Night People, the latter are forced to live in secret, despite their (general) attitude that they are superior.

Note: Many of the novels have gone out of print, but are being released in omnibus editions of three or four novels apiece. Because of this, I haven't been able to read all the novels yet.

Warning: Some cliched characters, asshole to fluffy puppy transitions, and happy-ending plots

Overall Rating:

The Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith (author's website)

Four titles (on-going)
Summary from Amazon.

Elena: the golden girl, the leader, the one who can have any boy she wants.

Stefan: brooding and mysterious, he seems to be the only one who can resist Elena, even as he struggles to protect her from the horrors that haunt his past.

Damon: sexy, dangerous, and driven by an urge for revenge against Stefan, the brother who betrayed him. Determined to have Elena, he'd kill to possess her.

Collected here in one volume for the first time, volumes one and two of The Vampire Diaries, the tale of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

Note: Many of the novels have gone out of print, but are being released in omnibus editions of two novels apiece. Because of this, I haven't been able to read all the novels yet.

Warning: Some cliched characters, plots, and situations. May enduce the urge to scream profanities.

Overall Rating: