Archive for young adult vampire books
The final Sookie Stackhouse story. At long last the very much anticipated final chapter in the story of our favorite telepathic bar maid is out. It was released on May 7th and you can bet I have arranged to have Dead Ever After downloaded to my Kindle pronto.
I just rearranged all my review schedules so I can start on it this week, so watch this site for the lowdown along with my insights and comments on what Charlaine decided was the best way to approach the final catwalk for Sookie.
There has been so much talk about what she is going to include or not, that I am just about on my tippy toes in anticipation. I cannot wait to read it, though it will be sad to know it is the very last Sookie Stackhouse novel!
More Sookie Stackhouse to Come
Of course, it is not the last we are going to be hearing of Sookie Stackhouse. Nope – there is more yet to come even if it is not in novel form. As you may recall, we talked earlier here about Charlaine’s decision to do another book about all the characters, much like she did with the two companion books she put out back in 2011.
Her new addition to this type of information book will be called After Dead and will feature what happens to each of the characters after the end of the series. You can even pre-order it in either the Kindle After Dead or After Dead in Hardcover right here at our links.
So stay tuned folks. Man, I tell you the life of a fantasy and science fiction book reviewer is a hard one! No sooner do I get one fantastic fantasy book completed then BOOM there are three more lined up on my Kindle demanding attention.
Even with a great book like the final Sookie Stackhouse adventure awaiting me I know it will be rush! rush! to get to the next one. Not that I intend to rush this reading, I intend to savor it to the final word. See you with the latest Sookie Stackhouse fun soon.
Christopher Pike is the pseudonym for young adult fantasy author Kevin Christopher McFadden. The name itself is a bow to the influence of Star Trek for young fantasy fans, as it is the name of the original captain of the Enterprise before Kirk took it over. It is also how McFadden chooses to stay out of the limelight and so very little is actually known about him. But for all his need for privacy McFadden has, through his Pike identity amassed a fair amount of titles for a writer who could not initially get published in the science fiction field.
Christopher Pike and The Last Vampire
Perhaps the work he is most well known for is his The Last Vampire Series, which he began in 1994. The books were huge hits for him, selling half a million copies. They came out well before the Twilight/True Blood teen vampire hits and in fact were written to give mature readers an interesting story. Although he has written well over thirty young adult horror and thriller titles, the vampire series continues to be his legacy.
The story centers on Alisa, a vampire who is five thousand years old and was made by the very first vampire. Much of the mythology is East Indian, centering on Krishna and this gives the whole series a very interesting and exotic flavor. When her maker begins to hunt her down, she must find help and does in a human named Ray. In time their relationship becomes more than a friendship and she realizes she must do more to ensure both of them are protected.
The Last Vampire and The Thirst Series
The series went on for nine books and the early books were out of print and unavailable for a while. Recently they were repackaged, three to a volume and rereleased under the name Thirst. This actually makes it easier to get into the series, since the first two volumes of the Thirst series compile the first six books of the original The Last Vampire series.
This book compiles the first three stories from the original series: The Last Vampire, Black Blood and Red Dice. We meet Alisa, find how she came to become a vampire named Sita and see her life in today’s world. Her maker, who she thought dead, is now very much alive. Unfortunately, he also wants to kill her. She meets Ray, a human that she befriends with the intention of using his computer to get information she needs. Instead, she makes a friend and even soon falls in love with him. Together they must find a way to stop Yaksha, her original maker, from killing. But the trouble with this is – now Sita has a new reason for stopping Yaksha and far more at stake if she can’t. Available in Kindle or paperback .
This book reprints the next three books in The Last Vampire: Phantom, Evil Thirst and Creatures of Forever. For five thousand years Sita has roamed the earth as a vampire. What she has always wanted more than anything is to be human. Finally, she has gotten her wish. As Alisa she is vulnerable, emotional and more defenseless than she has ever been. With her past haunting her and the future unknown, she must find a way to strike a balance between what she was and who she has become. Can she overcome five thousand years of suffering to become truly human? Available in Kindle or paperback editions.
This book is actually the seventh book in the series: The Eternal Dawn. Five thousand years is a long time to spend alone and Alisa has been lonely. When she finds a descendant of her own family, Teri, she cannot resist the lure of companionship. She knows it is dangerous, to both of them, but still she reaches out. It turns out that it may have been more dangerous than she knew when a top-secret agency reveals they know Alisa’s secret. Will Teri become a pawn in an ancient game that forces Alisa to help their cause? Available in Kindle or paperback editions.
A repackaging of the eighth book in the series: The Shadow of Death. Thrust into the body of a newly-born vampire, Alisa faces unbearable thirst. But she must set that aside for now, as she discovers that the immortal Telar have plans that could spell the end for humanity. It begins to look like the only ones who could stop them are the mysterious and top-secret IIC. Alisa is all too aware that their agenda and hers probably don’t coincide. She could trust her dark side to triumph over all of these threats, but at what cost? Available in Kindle or paperback editions.
The Last Vampire Series, book number nine is called The Sacred Veil. Alisa remembers all of the fifty lifetimes she has gone through as a vampire. Or she thought she did. But when dreams reveal lost memories, she begins to wonder. While searching for an artifact called The Veil that could save humanity she begins to question what she remembers – and has forgotten. And yet there was a time when her torture, by a madman, may have yielded unknown secrets. Secrets that caused the death of millions; or did they? Available in Kindle or paperback editions.
Meanwhile, rumors continue about the possible movie adaptation of this series. It’s been optioned, but so far no word from the studio. In the meantime, this doesn’t stop the rest of us from “dream casting”. Here is one person’s take – what do you think?
This start of a new series of young adult vampire books is an amazing read. It is hard enough to be sixteen, but to be sixteen without your mother is even more difficult. Julia knows her mother died when she was very young. She still misses her and wishes she could remember what happened, and why it feels so important to remember. She loves her family but there is something missing in her life.
What isn’t missing is emotion, particularly everyone else’s because Julia is someone with a gift, a gift of empathy that allows her to feel the emotions of those around her. But lately she has been aware that someone, or something, has been stalking her. She knows it isn’t an animal because she can sense its hunger. But when she meets the vampire hunter Nicholas she soon finds out there is more to life, because with Nicholas there is love.
Here is a well told story of forbidden love and some though not too much teenage angst. Yes, Julia makes some mistakes along the way, but who hasn’t? Still, all in all the story of their love and Julia’s awakening of her abilities is a great story and really well handled by newcomer Brenda Pandos. This is the first of a three part series of young adult vampire books, and I seriously suggest getting all three at the same time. They are fast reads, primarily because you get so engrossed in the story. You will want to jump straight from The Emerald Talisman to The Sapphire Talisman without a break.
Title: Here Be Sexist Vampires
Author: Suzanne Wright
Release:January 13, 2012
Genre: Urban Vampire
Sam Parker is a very different kind of vampire and she certainly doesn’t talk, act or even fight like the vampires you generally read about. She is one tough cookie, who finds dealing with “posh blokes” more than a little irritating. Even if they are the ones that come with messages from The Grand High Master of the Vampires himself. And this one has. It seems that Sam, a lowly Sventes vampire, may have attracted the notice of the most powerful vampire around. And he wants her for his personal army.
Now, before you roll your eyes and think this is just another vampire book, think again. I could not stop smiling and laughing as I read this one. Wright has a great ear for humor and she has brought that to this fun story that takes on all the many sometimes silly layers and conventions that vampire novels have evolved into lately.
There are the three levels of vampires, with the very appropriate names, the tough chick with a heart of gold (and not-so-flat chess, she will hasten to tell you) that is the heroine of our story. Then there is the messenger, that Sam figures is “blowing smoke up my arse” when he says she is wanted for the army. You get the picture.
Soon enough Sam finds herself head to head with an arrogant SOB who informs her that she might as well head home, because women didn’t join the Legion. The one she had just been invited to try out for, that is. And although she defeats Jared, the arrogant SOB who turns out to be her commander, in the end she is offered the opportunity to stay, as his co-commander.
Even though Jared may in his mind know he wants her like few others, there is the little problem of putting her “in her place”. Which just may be a bit harder then he imagines. Here Be Sexist Vampires, indeed!
It appears that vampires, and their ilk such as zombies, are infesting even the upper echelons of literature. When publications such as the LA Times review vampire-centric comic books like The New Deadwardians, a vampire meets Edwardian England style comic from the good folks at Vertigo, then we know that finally we are being met with approval.
Or so I thought, until I chanced upon an article in nothing less than The Atlantic that looked at the pervasiveness of horror and especially zombies. James Parker makes the case in Horror for Kids that soon all writers will feel an obligation to pen some type of horror, particularly one with zombies in it. He starts with Colin Whitehead’s top seller from last year: Zone One and then goes on to discuss one of the funniest titles for a zombie book I have seen a while. This is R.L. Stine’s entry into the mix: Why I Quit Zombie School.
But even with the upcoming movie from Tim Burton, Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter getting tons of press, I still wonder if vampires are in danger of being over-exposed. Hmmm- for a vampire that could be a very bad thing, indeed. And speaking of the new Burton epic, there are some very cool looking new pics out from the set. Check them out here:
And then, of course the other big news for vampire lovers is that Lestat is coming back in a new film version of Anne Rice’s The Tale of the Body Thief. It should be good, Imagine Entertainment is handling production and Rice sounds very relaxed about the whole thing. She says she feels no need to get involved, that she has no problems letting the production folks handle everything. Well, she does have that Werewolf book tour to do!
I was catching up on one of my favorite authors, Richelle Mead (of Vampire Academy and much more) to see what she was up to the other day. She has been kinda outta the circuit these days what with the baby boy to take care of and all. You can send her congrats and stuff at her blog here. Her blog is always a fun site and she is one busy lady so if those nasty ex-KGB spies haven’t absconded with her yet, you just might want to check it out!
Meanwhile, I thought I would check out a very fun site that she often does a guest blog for, The League of Reluctant Adults. It is such a well-named blog, made up of fantasy writers who just chat together. Having hung out with fantasy writers most of my life, (hi Len!), I know that most of us are indeed reluctant adults. It is sometimes a wonder we get anything done!
Nicole Peeler was chatting about her latest release, Something Wikked This Way Comes, and it looks like a bit of pure fun. It will be a digital short story (sorry, no old school books for some of us) and feature our old friends Capitola, Shar and Moo from Tempests Legacy. We will be checking this out for a review very very soon. Especially since it is coming out January 17th – hey wait a minute that was a few days ago! Well, you will see it very soon. I promise! Heck- I just checked and our friends at Amazon don’t seem to carry it. Well, no worries. We will see what we can find, but be sure to see her very fine Tempest line to see what Moo and the crew are up to.
Until that time, I found a very funny little post by Allison Pang, the gal who inspired me to check out Hello Kitty a little more seriously. She is such a blast. She posted this picture of what she calls “Unicorn Poo” . Watch for her latest fantasy book A Sliver of Shadow, out now. Very cool tale of faeries the way I always imagined their lives might be. The girl can tell a tale!
And finally, Ellen Schrieber who writes those delicious Vampire Kisses books is on tour, even now as we write. She is doing a Dark Days of Winter Tour with Veronica Rossi creator of Under the Never Sky and Tahereh Mafi who penned Shatter Me. They are heading to warmer climates like California and Arizona (who can blame them?) and may be coming your way! Check out the schedule here for more info.
That’s the news for now folks- more later!!
Author: R.A. Nelson
Release: January 10 2012
Genre: YA Horror
Emma is having a bad day, a very bad day. The teenager has been struggling with her epilepsy that she calls her curse and even more with her so called friends who never seem to tire of treating her like shit. But today, was the worse. For this time when she wakes from lost time, it isn’t just a seizure that robs her, it is a vampire. He attacked her and if she hadn’t gone into a seizure she would have been one of the undead, like him. But she wasn’t.
Strangely she begins to discover that she has received many of the benefits of being a vampire with none of the drawbacks. She doesn’t need the nightly draws of blood, or even the night. But the monster that made these changes in her life will be back to finish the job. So she does what she can to remove her family from the danger. And with the help of the ever practical Sagan she hopes to find a solution.
This is a wonderful fast-paced vampire story with plenty of darkness from the evil Wirtz, drawn very much from the old Germanic vampire tales. The saving grace is Emma’s gutsiness in the face of it all and the wonderful character of Sagan, her new found boyfriend whose work at NASA makes a great grounding for the reality of the story. And the climatic end will take your breath away.
There has been a lot of talk lately about what our fascination with vampires really means. The recent popularity of the film “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” along with the on-going popularity of shows such as True Blood have many questioning if this sudden interest in vampires is a reflection of our culture. Could we be in love with the undead because of a sudden need to deal with the fast paced nature of the world around us? While much has been said of the inherent sexual nature of vampires, and the “bad boy” aspect that even Anne Rice admits is a part and parcel of her vampires appeal, does it go beyond that?
Vampires and Buddhist Thought
A recent interview on the Huffington Post with poet and feminist writer Rebecca Housel brings an interesting concept up – that we are attracted to the undead because our own lives are so changing and transient. Everything around us changes at such a rapid pace, and we begin to look for ways to deal with how impermanent it all is. She points out how in Buddhism we are taught to accept that impermanence as part of our practice. But if today’s pop culture makes that harder than ever, the other answer is to reject this acceptance and romanticize it with a figure like an immortal being such as a vampire.
So – does this mean that a vampire is in essence the basic Buddhist concept of ultimate enlightenment? Obviously you would have to put aside the violence that is part of the vampire culture. This then begins to feel as if vampires could be the basis for a new religion. Or are they already?
Okay – well I hope I haven’t offended anyone but the thought was so mind-shaking I had to share it with you. What do you think is the possibility that some people use this fascination with vampires to replace the lost mysticism of religion? Is it a bedrock of undead with which to anchor our human ship? Or am I waaaay off base here? It is an intriguing thought, that the whole fascination with vampires could be because we live in an unstable constantly changing world and we need a larger than life rock solid being that we feel emotionally will be there even if we are gone. An undead being to relate to in a different way.
Thoughts anyone? Have I gone too far this time? Hey – it wasn’t me it was this poet who came up with the idea, I just got fascinated by it and took it the next step.