Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In the Mood For a Little Vampire?

Status: Almost finished making grape juice. Yea!
Song: "Let Down" by Another Cynthia

My kids are so excited that it's almost Halloween. I haven't figured out any of our costumes yet, but that's another story. The stores are sporting Halloween decorations, Halloween costumes, and Halloween candy. So, I'm going to jump onto the Halloween bandwagon. What says Halloween more than Vampires? And, because I'm addicted to books, let's talk about some vampire books out there. And there are lots trying to ride the coattails of the Twilight phenomenon.

**Note: I will mostly talk about YA vampire books, because my experience with adult vampire books has not been fantastic. They run the gamut from gag-me gross to soft-porn with fangs. So--we're avoiding those. But if you have read some good adult vampire books that you're willing to recommend, then by all means, go ahead!

Here we go! Let's start with the big one:

1. Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

These books are vampire romances--heavy on the romance. I like them, but not necessarily because of the romance part, which sometimes smacks of a Harlequin paperback. I still devoured the books in a short period of time. Twilight is by far the best of the 4 book series (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn).

The story is based around Bella Swan, who falls in love with hundred year old vampire Edward Cullen (in a 17 year old body). The series goes through their relationship, as well as a feud with other vampires and werewolves. These are like literature junk food, but who doesn't love some potato chips and Nutty Bars once in a while? The movie based on Twilight will be out in November.

You can find out more about the series and Stephenie Meyer on her website.

2. Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead

These books boast a strong, female protagonist with excellent voice. Add a cast of well-rounded characters, good writing, and some new twists to the vampire idea, and you have a breath of fresh air on the vampire scene. The books in the series are: Vampire Academy, Frostbite, and Shadow Kiss (available this November).

The story is set in the wilderness of Montana, where young vampire aristocrats and their bodyguards go to a boarding school (to quote a review, it's the bloodsucking equivalent of Hogwart's). The main character is Rose Hathaway, bodyguard to vampire and best friend Lissa.

You can find out more about the books and the author at her website.

3. The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine.

Brainiac Claire has to attend a community college before her parents will let her go to an Ivy League school far away. Unfortunately, she doesn't realize until too late that the small college town is really run by vampires. This is another interesting premise, and a real easy read. I enjoyed the books, but be aware that there is some swearing.

The books in the series are: Glass Houses, The Dead Girls' Dance, Midnight Alley, Feast of Fools, and Lord of Misrule (will be out this January). I've only read the first two books of the series, but will probably read the rest.

You can find out more about the books and author at her website.

4. Vampirates by Justin Stomper

This series may have to take the cake for unique idea. It combines Vampires and Pirates in a brilliant smushed word: Vampirates. Grace and her brother Connnor are suddenly orphans, and decide to brave the sea rather than be adopted by a detested family in their hometown. They are separated and rescued after hitting a huge storm, and enter the world of pirates and vampires, who happen to be pirates, too. Besides a fun idea and unique characters, I found the books surprisingly well-written. (Why it was a surprise to me, I don't know.)

The series starts with Demons of the Ocean, followed by Tide of Terror and Blood Captain. You can find out more at the Vampirates website.

5. Den of Shadows Series by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

For those who may be tired of wussy, good-guy vampires, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes goes back to vampires who prey on humans with little remorse. I've only read one of these, Demon in My View, but have the others stacked up on my nightstand. These books are really short, so can be finished in just hours. These may be good starter books into the YA vampire scene. The books in the series are Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror, In the Forests of the Night, and Midnight Predator.

You can find out more about the books and the author at her publisher's website.

5. The Mortal Instruments Trilogy by Cassandra Claire

These aren't vampire books, but they do have vampires in them. They mostly involve demons and demon hunters. I'm just including the books here because I really, really like them. Sometimes when you read as much as I do you start getting tired of the same sort of thing. Well, these books are not the same sort of thing. And they are very well-written.

Teenager Clary discovers she can see supernatural beings that no one else can and gets drawn into the world of the Shadowhunters (teens who kill demons and monsters). It's creepy, thrilling, and leaves you eagerly reaching for the next one. City of Bones is the first, followed by City of Ashes, and ending with City of Glass (will be out March 2009).

You can find out more about the books and the author at her website.

There are a few books that really suck (ha ha) for your Halloween season. I know there are many more out there, like the Vampire Diaries (couldn't finish - I'd pass), Vampire Kisses Series (haven't read), and Cirque Du Freak Series (haven't read). Here's a site with more of a list.

Happy Reading!


Beeswax said...

You sure have read a lot of vampire books. Research for a career change, maybe? (No, not from non-fiction to fiction. From human to blood sucker.)

Anonymous said...

try reading the series of "House of Night" and "Vampire Academy"!!! They are pretty exciting!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry!! I just saw you have already listed vampire academy!! Also try the series "Blue Bloods"!!

Anonymous said...

I love the Vampire academy series. I just finished Shadow kiss and can't wait for Blood promise to come out this Summer. I also liked the twilight series but vampire academy is my number one. My favorite character is Christian Ozera.