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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Vampire Book Recs Desired, Please Hold the Angst and Sparkles

I'm finding myself with the urge to read a Vampire novel. A GOOD vampire novel. (Comics work too). I've nothing against Anne Rice but it's not really for me. (Too angsty. Except for David. He was the only character I could stand.) And well, less said about Twilight, the better.

I do love Barbara Hambly's vampire series (spies and unrepentantly awesome vampires!) as well as P.N. Elrod's Vampire Files (Prohibition-era vampire protagonists who can rationalize conventional morality with vampirism without wangsting idiotically!)

But I'm always a little skittish about starting a new vampire book. So can you guys recommend me some good ones?

26 Comments:

  • At March 12, 2010 7:46 AM, OpenID bookslide said…

    Fledgling by Octavia Butler.

     
  • At March 12, 2010 7:56 AM, Blogger Saranga said…

    try the discworld book, monstrous regiment by terry pratchett. or the truth, alsoa discworld book.
    not vampire books per se, but they do have good vampires in them.

     
  • At March 12, 2010 8:22 AM, Anonymous Jeff said…

    Dracula. Bram Stoker, 1897.
    Still holds up today. Poweful gothic horror. Might as well see where many of the ideas came from in the first place.

    Jeff

     
  • At March 12, 2010 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Holmes-Dracula File, by Fred Saberhagen. Suprisingly good. It's apparantly part of "The Dracula Series," but as it's the only one I've read it's the only one I can recomend. Works so well on it's own I didn't realise it was part of a series until years after I read it.

     
  • At March 12, 2010 9:40 AM, Blogger eatyourchildren said…

    The Ultimate Dracula, by various. A collection of short vampire stories form the mid to early nineties with not a sparkly vampire in sight.

     
  • At March 12, 2010 10:14 AM, Blogger LurkerWithout said…

    First off have you read Elrod's Johnathan Barrett, Gentlemen Vampire. A Revolutionary era trilogy prequel to the Fleming books...

    Then maybe Tanya Huff's "Blood" series. Also available in Canadian television format (though they left out all the bisexual stuff)...

    Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt books are vampire noir in New York...

    After giving up on LKH's Anita Blake books (too much sex not enough violence) I kept with Charlaine Harris (also in television format with "True BLood") and Kim Harrison's "Hollows" books (with witches and vampires and demons and werewolves)...

    Or go older and Kim Newman's Dracula series, starting with "Anno-Dracula" which is full of other fictional characters interacting like in Moore's LoEG. Or Nancy Collins graphic sex & violence "Sonja Blue"...

    Or for a lighter touch, Christopher Moore's "Blood Sucking Fiends" or A. Lee Martinez "Gil's All Fright Diner"...

     
  • At March 12, 2010 10:33 AM, Blogger Technocracygirl said…

    The Annotated Dracula by Leslie Klinger. I'm a bit put off by some of his theories, but overall a fantastic read (thoguh you'll get weird looks looks if you lug it to a coffee shop.)

    The Kitty books by Carrie Vaughn. Yes, Kitty is a werewolf, but she interacts more and more with vampires as the series progresses, and I love her take on 'jes peoples'. The first book is Kitty and the Midnight Hour, and the second (and vampire-heavy) one is Kitty Goes to Washington. She also has a couple of short stories starring vampires from the series.

     
  • At March 12, 2010 11:39 AM, Blogger Rich said…

    I second Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt series. Already Dead is the first.

    *Great* series of books!

     
  • At March 12, 2010 5:02 PM, Blogger Seangreyson said…

    I think someone else already mentioned the Sookie Stackouse books by Charlene Harris, but I just started them earlier this week and they've been pretty good.

    Advantages - they're quick to read, and generally fun.

    Disadvantages - at some point in every book they devolve briefly into Vampire porn.

    Weird aspect of the books: The author seems to have decided she didn't like the main vampire character from the first book, because he generally vanishes over the next four books and is replaced by a whole slew of others.

     
  • At March 12, 2010 5:52 PM, Blogger nika! said…

    I just want to give another bit of advice about Charlene Harris' books: they are INCREDIBLY predictable. Almost painfully so (well, at least to me).

    And in defense of the Anita Blake books: they are plenty violent and badass enough until about the 5th or 6th book, where Anita largely stops killing vampires and raising the dead... which, as the most interesting part of the series, turns the books which follow into unadulterated (boring) erotica.

     
  • At March 12, 2010 6:30 PM, Anonymous Jeff R. said…

    Considering that you were blogging about A Song of Ice and Fire a few posts back I probably shouldn't have to mention GRRM's Fevre Dream, but just against the off chance that you haven't read it...

     
  • At March 12, 2010 6:39 PM, Anonymous renniejoy said…

    Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has the long-running St.Germain series. Basically historical fiction with a vampire main character.

     
  • At March 12, 2010 7:03 PM, Blogger Your Obedient Serpent said…

    'Salem's Lot, by Stephen King. King's second novel, IIRC, and it's not about brooding emo seducers. King's vampires aren't romanticized at all.

     
  • At March 13, 2010 12:07 AM, Blogger Anna said…

    Soulless by Gail Carriger is a romance novel with vampires and werewolves set in an alternate history Victorian London. The heroine is a plucky bluestocking. Very light and fluffy book, but I thought it was fun.

     
  • At March 13, 2010 1:37 AM, Blogger Tom Foss said…

    I haven't read Fledgling, but Butler's other stuff is great, so I think I can second Bookslide's recommendation.

     
  • At March 13, 2010 5:29 AM, Blogger The Pretentious Fool said…

    Sunshine by Robin Mckinley

    It starts out slow, very slow. But if you can get past the start with no vampires and a lot of talk about cooking cinnamon rolls, it gets really good. Plus, it has a very interesting setting.

     
  • At March 13, 2010 8:47 PM, Blogger dmarks said…

    Fevre Dream by George R R Martin. I discussed it in this blog post a little while back.

     
  • At March 14, 2010 10:03 AM, Blogger Empath said…

    I second Saranga's recommendation of Terry Pratchett. But the book you want to read from the Discworld novles is Carpe Jugulum.Plus I have a feeling you might like the Lancre Coven.

    You could also try Blade's books and the Captain Britain and Mi:13, it was short lived but the Vampire State arc was pretty much filled with Vampires.

     
  • At March 14, 2010 1:07 PM, Blogger Saranga said…

    oh yeah, carpe juggulum is all about vampires :o it wasn't one of my favorite discworld books but is def a different take on vampires.

    the lancre coven constitute some of my favourite characters ever, def worth a read.

     
  • At March 14, 2010 10:34 PM, Blogger Canton said…

    I want to recommend Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler, but technically the vampires are actually fey who have inspired vampire stories. But they don't sparkle and they don't angst, so there's that. Eh. Close enough. :)

    There's also not a lot of action, but it's a fun book with a likeable heroine.

     
  • At March 18, 2010 3:06 AM, Blogger Rob S. said…

    Wicked Game and Bad to the Bone, by Jeri Smith-Ready. A con artist winds up working to save a radio station run by vampires. (The vamps are all psychologically "stuck" in the time they died, making them perfect late-night oldies deejays.)

     
  • At March 18, 2010 8:09 PM, Blogger Empath said…

    I just came across this link re: vampire recs
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/j/catherine-jinks/reformed-vampire-support-group.htm

     
  • At March 21, 2010 2:38 PM, Blogger MCGCo said…

    I invite you to check out my book, "Carmella Jackson: Manifest Vampire." You can read excerpts, etc. at http://carmellajackson.blogspot.com. I would love to hear if you like it.

    Thanks!
    Michael, the Author

     
  • At March 22, 2010 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Besides the already mentioned Dracula, I would suggest "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova. It's a very good book. It has Dracula and Ottomons and looove (but not with vampires; there is a Luke i am your swineherd moment though).
    Besides that, you could read Polidori's "Vampyre" and "Varney the Vampire or the Feast of Blood" for the sake of history

     
  • At March 22, 2010 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I loved the mean, nasty vampires in David Wellington's Thirteen Bullets - he published the first novel on-line at http://www.brokentype.com/thirteenbullets so it costs nothing to try and if you like, buy the next few in the series from your bookstore.

     
  • At March 22, 2010 7:25 PM, Blogger LurkerWithout said…

    Kalinara I can not emphasize enough AVOIDING 13 Bullets. Total crap. When you can't win me over even with lesbian vampire killers who shoot stuff? Thats a sign of a terrible book...

     

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