Archive for best selling vampire books
If you have been following the Black Swan series you will know that everything that has happened in the first two books, My Familiar Stranger and The Witches Dream leads to the events in The Vampire’s Confessor. This sizzling story of loves won and lost weaves a tale of magic, mystery and intrigue with each individual book telling its own love story.
The Vampire’s Confessor Takes the Characters Deeper
But to get the true insight of each character, I really recommend starting at the beginning. This is especially true when looking at the gestalt of the whole group and how they interact. The relationships among them are vital and frankly what makes this series so enjoyable. The first book sets the tale with our introduction of our main characters (right down to the dog) and the next book brings in secondary characters to add flavor to the plot. This third book mixes them to just the right amount for a wonderful series filled with intelligent, caring and often humorous beings.
Baka Gets His Turn
For those of us who have been following the series, you will be pleased to find out that in this book we follow Baka’s story. A bit darker than the previous two books in the series, it lends just the right sense of gravity and yet brings us more intimately into Baka and his life story. For many of us, this is the story we have been waiting for, and are more than amply rewarded here.
For this is one vampire who has a story to tell of the man he once was and how he came to be the character we met in My Familiar Stranger. As usual with all of Danann’s stories, the sensual is nicely balanced with the human touches to make us all feel like these are characters we know and care deeply about.
Okay so it isn’t Halloween yet and I am way too early for the top of the month reviews. But there are some great vampire books out there you can pop onto your kindle and read to get you in the mood for Halloween. Check these guys out!
Title: Mortal Touch (Vampires of New England Series)
Author: Inanna Arthen
Release: July 2007
Genre: Urban Vampire
Regan Calloway got more notoriety than she could handle seven years ago when she used her gift of psychic touch to help catch a brutal child murderer. When a string of bizarre assaults strikes the mill town of Sheridan, Massachusetts, Dr. Hiram Clauson persuades Regan to use her abilities to help him interview the victims. As the investigations take an unsettling turn, Regan’s lifelong friend, Veronica Standish, begs her to try to find out more about a new man in town, Jonathan Vaughn.
Regan and Jonathan’s first meeting triggers an escalating series of disasters, for Jonathan Vaughn is one of the rare and scattered group of men and women known as vampires only to those few people whom they trust. In the chaos that follows, Regan struggles to hold on to everything she thought she could never bear to lose. As friends and associates turn into ruthless adversaries, and allies appear from unexpected places, Regan is forced to make choices she never dreamed she would have to face.
Title: One Grave At a Time: a Night Huntress Novel
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Release: August 2011
Genre: Urban Vampire
Having narrowly averted an (under)world war, Cat Crawfield wants nothing more
than a little downtime with her vampire husband, Bones. Unfortunately, her gift
from New Orleans’ voodoo queen just keeps on giving-leading to a personal favor
that sends them into battle once again, this time against a villainous
This is an amazing series that you can jump into anywhere. You won’t regret it as Ms. Frost has built a believable world that makes you want to return to book after book.
Title: Vampire, Interrupted (the Argeneau Family)
Author: Lynsay Sands
Release: October 2009
Genre: Urban Vampire
After seven hundred years of life, Marguerite Argeneau finally has a career. Well, the start of one, anyway. She’s training to be a private investigator, and her first assignment is to find an immortal’s mother. It seemed simple enough, until Marguerite wakes up one evening to find herself at the wrong end of a sword. Now she realizes she’s in way over her head.
Julius Notte wants to protect Marguerite, and not because someone just tried to take her head off. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s his lifemate and he’s determined to woo her. It’s been over five hundred years since he last courted a woman, but surely the techniques haven’t changed. Now if only he can keep her alive—so to speak—so they can have that happily-ever-after.
There have been several articles lately about how a certain segment of our society is worried that the rising popularity of vampires has gone too far. Some stories of teenagers having satanic rituals where they drink blood and claim to be reborn as vampires or werewolves have started showing up in a wide variety of publications. But what is really going on with this new popularity of vampires?
The truth is that the concept of vampires have been around for ages and there always seems to be some sort of connection between what we need in our world and what kind of monster our current vampires seem to be.
Laura Enright is the author of Vampires Most Wanted a title that looks at the most popular incarnations of vampires throughout time. She has seen a pretty wide range and finds it fascinating that this is one creature that we almost seem to need to have around. She talks about it in a recent interview.
“But it was during the researching that I discovered the variety of vampires out there,” she said. “The legend, movies, novels. I found it fascinating how many forms this creature had taken. Brutal, dangerous, hideous, sexy, romantic, heroic. It’s really cool that this character can be retooled so often.”
And retooled it has been indeed. If we are now fascinated and at the same time repelled by the romanticized but also violent and highly sexual vampire that could be walking down the street or attend our local high school, what does that say about us? Are we a culture that is afraid of viral young men and so must demonize them to make them something we can accept?
This isn’t the first time that Hollywood brought us a vampire to know and remember. Many of us can recall Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula, and yet he only made two films with that character. If you read the books the character is based on, Legosi’s interpretation is far more personally sinister than in the original books. That he was able to turn his portrayal of the Vampire Count Dracula into a calling card for the rest of his life is a testament to the staying power of the image of the vampire. The era of the films of Lugosi were hard, as Count Dracula was made in 1931 during the height of the depression. Vampires at the time were royalty and their isolation was a symbol of the nation’s struggle to regain its lost power. In one of the classic biographies of Legosi, The Immortal Count: The Life and Films of Bela Lugosi author Arthur Lennig describes the character as “a harbinger of evil from a world of shadows.” For those of us who remember the films, they were our introduction to the concept of a vampire as the undead who drink blood and live forever.
It wasn’t until Anne Rice brought back vampires into a whole new light with her Vampire Chronicles series that the modern version of vampires was born. This new vampire had a sexual nature that others had barely touched, and for many young women (including myself!) it was hypnotic. Interview with the Vampire was read and discussed at length, with many midnight sessions of college girls in dorm rooms talking in hushed voices as Lestat was dissected. But it was the ability of the narrator to discuss the nature of evil, and the perception of death that truly changed the way we were to look on vampires and make them the more sympathetic creatures they have become.
Is it any wonder that this first step towards building the rebirth of the enduring character from its 18th Century beginnings to its 21st century starring roles in several television shows should have its roots in the questions of faith and death? Perhaps that is the reason we turn again to vampires to be our symbols as we live in a society that needs symbols and has lost the old ones it once relied upon. Can the turning away from old beliefs and the embracing of a new more vibrant symbol of rebirth be the very thing that is bothering these tale bearers of teenage witch covens and hidden powers amongst us?
What do you think? Are you bothered by the sudden popularity of all things supernatural? Or is it just that we now have the technology to make a witch do more than wiggle her nose on TV? I for one find this fascination with the living dead simply an extension of what most women yearn for – the unattainable man who needs us in the most elemental of ways, to sustain his life. It is not a relationship we actually want, but it has a certain allure that seems to be timeless.
Title: Black Magic Sanction (Hollows)
Author: Kim Harrison
Release Date: December 28, 2010
Genre: Urban Vampire
Rachel Morgan has fought and hunted vampires, werewolves, banshees, demons, and other supernatural dangers as both witch and bounty hunter—and lived to tell the tale. But she’s never faced off against her own kind . . . until now.
Denounced and shunned for dealing with demons and black magic, her best hope is life imprisonment—her worst, a forced lobotomy and genetic slavery. Only her enemies are strong enough to help her win her freedom. But trust comes hard when it hinges on the unscrupulous tycoon Trent Kalamack, the demon Algaliarept, and a lowlife ex-boyfriend-turned-thief. Follow Rachel’s latest adventure in Black Magic Sanction.
When the last True Blood episode ended, Sookie was just waking up from a coma and she started screaming when she saw her vampire fiancée standing there. This week starts with her calmed down enough to tell Bill that they can never be together – it’s just to dangerous. He’s devastated but he knows she’s right and with bloody tears falling down his face, he leaves.
The nuptials are over for Russell and Sophie Ann and it’s time for the newlyweds to move in together. The new living situation is not sitting well with Talbot but Russell has other things to deal with. Debbie is in the library, insane with rage and frustration, because she wants to kill Sookie but Russell says no – he needs Sookie. But he will allow some play time for Debbie with Sookie when they capture her. Talbot is still complaining about Sophie Anne and an irritated Russell tells Eric to keep his vampire boyfriend company for him while he is gone.
Sookie’s at home resting and being protected by her wolf bodyguard, Alcide. Jason and Andy show up ready to fight – they want Sookie to have Bill arrested for the draining event but she refuses and Jason leaves, incensed enough to think he will kill vampire Bill himself. Alcide receives news that his ex, Debbie, has burned down his sister’s salon and he rushes off to Jackson. This leaves Sookie all alone…
Lafayette returns home to find his mother Ruby waiting, spouting her doom and gloom about his future. She wails about vampires coming to take him and how he is going to die. Thankfully Jesus gets there before she goes too crazy and he takes her back home. It is the first time they have seen each other since Jesus found out he was a drug dealer and Lafayette is very happy to see him. He promises he is never dealing V again and that earns him a kiss.
Jason is at home desperately looking for one of his old vampire killing weapons. Just as he starts to leave, Crystal shows up looking like she’s run for miles. She tells Jason that she does not want to marry Felton and she had to leave home to get away from them. The moment is a perfect for a quickie and that is exactly what he gets.
Arlene is interviewing new waitresses and the latest one seems to have simply “known” that she was pregnant. It creeps her out but she overlooks it – they really need help in the bar. Tara is crying in the office as she remembers the good times with Franklin – perhaps she regrets smashing his head flat. Tommy gets in a bar fight with Hoyt over Jessica so Sam tries to give him some brotherly advice about how to handle his future but, as with most advice, it does not go over well.
Eric knows where Russell has gone so he sends Hadley to warn Sookie. As Hadley is warning her about the danger, she suddenly stops and tells Sookie that she is so sorry and just leaves without saying anything further.
Crystal’s family comes to Merlotte’s looking for her. Sam and Tommy smell something funny about them while her family appears to immediately know that Sam and Tommy are shifters. Sam tells them to leave and the tension is released. When Calvin and Felton arrive home, they find Jason sneaking around. He lies and says that he is with the police, investigating a case and they had better back off of Crystal. Calvin does not hurt him but warns him there will be more to come.
The werewolf pack is at Sookie’s place attacking her house with Debbie in the lead. She chases Sookie upstairs as Bill and Jessica show up to help. Sookie seems to be more than a match for Debbie as she stabs her in the face with a pair of scissors and Debbie escapes just as Bill and Jessica finish off the other wolves downstairs. Things seem to be under control until Russell comes out of nowhere and puts Jessica in a choke hold that even a vampire cannot escape. Bill begs him to spare her life and Russell decides that he will kill Bill instead. Just as he was about to deliver the death blow, Russell can feel the pain of his true love, Talbot, as Eric murders him back at the mansion. Russell forgets everything and flies back to Jackson to find Talbot, who’s now a gruesome pile of blood and goo on the floor. Bill races upstairs to check on Sookie and finds her safe. But, they are both so amped up from the fight that they come together and begin a serious love fest that knows no end as episode eight of True Blood ends.
Author: Claudia Gray
Afterlife is the fourth book in the New York Times bestselling Evernight Vampire series from author Claudia Gray. This is also the fourth book of the series which pretty much wraps up the dark and romantic ventures of Bianca and Lucas. If this is the first of Gray’s books you are contemplating, then I would suggest starting with the first book of the Evernight Vampire series titled Evernight. The second and the third in the series are Stargazer and Hourglass respectively.
Of course, it’s not necessary that you begin with the first book. There is enough action in the book that you can enjoy without even knowing Lucas and Bianca’s romantic and dark history together. The development of Gray’s characters, the pace of events (not to mention a touch of humor) is sure to keep you glued to those pages.
Here is a brief summary of the book:
“Destiny awaits Bianca and Lucas . . .
Bianca and Lucas have always believed they could endure anything to be together. When a twist of fate not only transforms Bianca into a wraith but also turns Lucas into a vampire—the very creature he spent his life hunting—they are left reeling.
Haunted by his powerful need to kill, Lucas can turn to only one place for help . . . Evernight Academy. Bianca is determined to remain with him. But with the vampire leader of Evernight waging a war against wraiths, her former home has become the most dangerous place she could be, despite the new powers her ghostly transformation has given her.
A battle between wraiths and vampires looms, and Bianca and Lucas face a terrifying new reality. They’ve overcome every obstacle life has thrown at them, but is their love strong enough to survive the challenges after life?”
Gray’s adroit writing style, the storyline’s logical flow and the fact that it is told from Bianca’s point of view give this story, a story that might seem clichéd, a fresh new twist. It gives you some great insights into her character that make you want to know more about the others. I tell you, it can be addictive! In all, Afterlife by Claudia Gray is a great read!
Title: Confessions of a Vampire’s Girlfriend
Author: Katie MacAlister
I turned 26 a few months ago, but I still enjoy reading books geared at young adults. I suppose I’m still a teenager at heart! I also love books with a bit of humor in it, so I had high hopes when I picked up a copy of Katie McAlister’s Confessions of a Vampire’s Girlfriend.
Confessions of a Vampire’s Girlfriend is two books in one: Got Fangs? and its sequel, Circus of the Darned. In Got Fangs?, we meet our heroine, Fran, for the first time.
Francesca Ghetti is a 16-year-old girl going through the pangs of young adulthood. Fran describes herself as a “freak.” She’s impossibly tall, and, to use her own words, “built like a linebacker.” She also happens to be able to read minds just by touching a person with her bare hands. As a result, she wears gloves all the time.
Fran’s father is getting married again, so he foists Fran off on her mother, who is a witch. Fran’s mother is part of Gothfaire, a travelling troupe of magicians, psychics, demonologists, mediums, and other people with odd occupations, and Fran is left with no choice but to follow her mother and the troupe around Europe.
Fran meets all sorts of interesting people along the way, including Imogen, a 400-year-old woman who reads palms, and Imogen’s younger brother, the ridiculously sexy Benedikt who, like Fran, has a few powers of his own. Benedikt is a Dark One, a vampire under a curse that stripped him of his soul through no fault of his own. The only way to break the curse is to find his Beloved, and, upon finding her, love her, protect her, and take care of her. Benedikt discovers that the person he is looking for is Fran. Fran suddenly finds herself in a romantic relationship with an ancient vampire and has no idea what to do next.
The plot is fairly simplistic, and the book scores points mostly on the merits of its humor and endearing characters. Teenage girls and adult women alike will be able to identify with Fran, with her self-esteem issues and her ability to get herself out of one scrape only to fall headlong into the next.
In Circus of the Darned, Fran is still following her mother around as they travel from Hungary to Sweden as part of the Gothfaire, and still trying to fit in with the motley crew of oddities she finds herself surrounded by. In Sweden, the Gothfaire joins up with a group called “Circus of the Darned.” There, Fran befriends a wizard named Tilbot, and helps him gain possession of an enchanted necklace. Unfortunately, she manages to resurrect several ancient Viking warriors in the process and now she has to find a way to send them all back to Valhalla. To top it all off, Benedikt is back, and Fran has no idea what to wear for their first date.
There is no sex in both Got Fangs? and Circus of the Darned, as the book is marketed towards teenagers. However, the lack of racy scenes is a plus, as we get to focus more on the story and thoroughly enjoy the funny bits without getting distracted by paragraph-long descriptions of rippling abs and straining bodices (not that there’s anything wrong with that of course).
Confessions of a Vampire’s Girlfriend is a fun, light read. Although McAlister eschewed more in-depth character development for the sake of keeping the book short enough for teenagers to actually want to read, the primary and secondary characters are all well-written, and the chemistry between Fran and Benedikt is so palpable that it had the teenager in me screaming with glee.
Title: The Radleys
Author: Matt Haig
This novel has all the right ingredients needed to stand out in an overflowing world of vampire novels. Not only is the novel an extremely entertaining tale but it is also quite unique – in the way the author has imagined the world – and very witty. The Radleys from author Matt Haig is a must read!
The novel narrates the experiences of a regular family – a mother, a father, a son and a daughter. The only irregularity is that they are vampires! They live in a normal human community in Bishopthorpe, England. The parents – Peter and Helen – have skillfully managed to hide their real nature from the community (and even from their own children – the kids don’t know they are vampires!) and are doing everything they possibly can to stay normal.
They even go to the extent of abstaining from sex because the love making will eventually lead to mutual blood sucking. And without the blood sucking, sex is “just a hug in motion”; “a bloodless piece of body friction” says peter (I absolutely loved Matt’s sense of humor!) The Radleys are that determined to have nothing to do with vampires!
Matt Haig’s descriptions of their blood less lives are not only a refreshing change from regular vampire novels but it also pokes fun at our human existence and all its complications that you cannot help but smile and enjoy his satirical point of view. The teenage children – Clara and Rowan – suffer from weakness, insomnia, nausea and “photodermatosis” as a result of the lack of the much needed blood. Needless to say then that they are extremely unpopular in school owing to their geek like exteriors!
One fine day Clara is attacked, by a rather big burly boy, out of the blue and in the process she accidentally finds out her true nature. And there begins the crisis! It is that this very hour that Peter’s reprehensible, yet fascinating brother decides to pay them a visit. The brother is portrayed as a morally loose person that does all the exciting things that the family has been abstaining from all these years. Thus, the stage is set for a story of moral conflict and tensions of everyday life which Matt tactfully develops.
Matt Haig in The Radleys not only makes you laugh out loud with his wit and humor but he also make you think deeply about our own lives and relationships and he develops each character and their relationships with each other. Matt sure has mastered the art of engaging storytelling!