A paranormal A-Z wouldn’t be complete without a V for vampire section 🙂
I don’t write about vampires. I’m not sure why, because in the past I’ve read vampire books voraciously, and fallen in love with any number of impossibly gorgeous vampire hero’s. There are already a number of best vampire book lists around, but not one by me!
I haven’t read any of the earliest vampire literature, famous works such as Polidori’s The Vampyre Varney the Vampire, or Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla.
But I read and loved Bram Stoker’s Dracula – the first time was a library borrowing when I was about 11. It terrified me. Though not enough to deter me from reading more books along the same lines 🙂
Since then, what have I liked and why?
Here is my short, and definitely not definitive list:
I think it was Laurel K. Hamilton’s excellent Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series that got me back into the vampire genre. I devoured the first eight or nine novels in a matter of weeks. The series continued, but with increasing violence and less of the fascinating relationship glue that made the first books so entertaining. John-Claude is probably one of the sexiest vampire heroes ever described, and Anita Blake as the kick-ass vampire hunting heroine is perfect.
Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series kept me entertained to the end. It’s a little different, in this series Claire Danvers moves to the college town of Morganville and discovers that it’s run by vampires. I don’t always like teen reads, but Claire and her friends Shane, Eve, and Michael are beautifully drawn.
Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series is amazing! Harry Dresden as a down and out professional wizard who gets caught up in vampire and fairy business. Every book is a fabulous fast-paced mixture of paranormal, mystery, suspense and horror, with a hint of romance thrown in.
By accident I discovered Sookie Stackhouse in Charlene Harris’s books. I love the wicked blonde Viking Eric as much as the moody dark-haired angst-ridden vampire Bill. The series is a fabulous blend of romance and fantasy with a huge serve of humour and compassion.
I laughed my way through Mary Janice Davidson’s Betsy Taylor books. She’s killed in a car accident, wakes up to realise she’s undead, and quickly finds out that she is a prophesised vampire Queen. The hero Eric Sinclair is as sexy as John Claude and as funny as Viking Eric. The books are huge fun.
I’ve also enjoyed Jeaniene Frost, J. R. Ward, and P. N. Elrod. Stephanie Meyers Twilight series is a great read – I’ve no issue with sparkling vampires (They are all just made up after all!)
Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot scared me witless, but then again a lot of his books do 😀
Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian seems to attract raving fans or the exact opposite. I loved it. It’s different to most vampire stories, slow and intriguing rather than what we’ve become used to in the genre.
Lastly I have to mention John Ajvide Lindqvist’s critically praised vampire story Let the Right One In. It’s about the relationship of a 12-year-old boy with a 200-year-old vampire child, and is a truly disturbing read. I couldn’t put it down.
I’m sure I’ve missed out many great authors and books – if there is something outstanding that I really must read, please let me know in the comments!