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5 Vampire Novels You Probably Haven't Read

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published October 2nd 2017
For fiction with bite
Most people will have at least heard of, if not read, the most famous vampire novels, like Bram Stoker's Dracula and Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. Here are a few lesser known, underrated books about bloodsuckers.

Day Boy, Trent Jamieson, vampire novel, vampire story set in Australia

Day Boy- Trent Jamieson,
Published: 2015

In the near future, Australia has been conquered by the Masters, who rule over small communities of the remaining humans. Mark is a Day Boy, chosen to serve his Master during the day when he is vulnerable. Luckily for Mark, his Master, Dain, treats him well, but Day Boys can serve their Masters for only so long. As Mark comes of age he will have to make a choice. He could undergo the change and become a Master himself or find another path.

Day Boy
is a beautiful, distinctly Australian story about fathers and sons and becoming a man.

Lost Souls, Poppy Z. Brite, vampire novels

Lost Souls Poppy Z. Brite
Published: 1994

In the French Quarter of New Orleans, a trio of vampires, Zillah, Mollochai and Twig enjoy the good life, to the annoyance of the taciturn vampire bartender, Christian. A teenager called Nothing, who has run away to find a place where he can belong, finds himself drawn into Zillah's deadly circle. Ghost, the lead singer of the band Lost Souls, sees the danger Nothing is in, but isn't sure whether he should interfere and whether trying to will do more harm than good.

This novel is very '90s, the era of The Crow movie and The Hunger TV series, and like much of Brite's work is a love song to the City of New Orleans. It's strange, intense and quite graphic in parts, but also wonderfully descriptive. For people like me who were teens in the 90s, it's a fun nostalgic trip to read (or reread) it now.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black, vampire novels

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown- Holly Black

Tana is an ordinary teenager who has grown up in a world with places called Coldtowns, quarantined ghettos full of vampires who mingle with humans at an eternal party, broadcast live on television 24/7. Once you pass through the gates of a Coldtown you can never leave. Tana wakes one morning after a party to find that her fellow party goers have been slaughtered during the night. The only survivors are Tana, her ex-boyfriend who is now infected, and another boy she doesn't know. Anyone infected, or suspected of being infected is supposed to surrender themselves to the authorities but Tana isn't one for always following the rules.

There is a good deal of gore in this one, and definitely no sparkling, but there is a teenage love triangle. It plays with ideas of fame and the things people will do for it.

Iron and Velvet, Kate Kane, Alexis Hall, vampire novels

Iron and Velvet- Alexis Hall

"My name's Kate Kane, and when an eight-hundred-year-old vampire prince came to me with a case, I should have told her no. But I've always been a sucker for a femme fatale."

Kate Kane is a private eye who has been hired to investigate the murder of a werewolf just outside the Velvet, the nightclub owned by her girlfriend, the vampire prince. Her investigation sees her dragged into a war between the vampires and werewolves of Britain, with faeries, a living statue and a celibate incubus thrown in for good measure.

This is the first book in the Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator series. It's a little like Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake books might have been if they had had a lesbian hero, were set in Britain, and were funny. There's some nice world building, cool monsters, playful digs at the tropes found in other urban fantasy and mystery novels, and a bit of woman on woman action. Don't take it too seriously, just sit back and enjoy the ride.

vampire books, Peeps, Scott Westerfeld, vampire fiction

Peeps - Scott Westerfeld

Published: 2005

Young university student Cal discovers to his horror that his ex-girlfriend Morgan left him with a permanent reminder of her. He has become infected with a parasite which turns people into vampire-like ghouls, or "parasite positives" ("peeps" for short). Cal himself has no symptoms but is a carrier who can infect others. Now with the help of an organisation called the Night Watch, he must hunt down and capture the other girls he has since unknowingly infected.

Peeps has an original twist on the vampire genre focusing on biology rather than the supernatural. The explanation for the plague actually makes sense, and the absence of melodramatic teen romance makes a refreshing change from other vampire tales aimed at young adults. It has plenty of action and moments of true creepiness.

If you can think of any other undiscovered gems in the way of vampire novels please share your suggestions in the comments.
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I'll put in a plug (as I always do when the subject comes up) for Tim Powers 'The Stress of Her Regard' and its sequel 'Hide Me Among the Graves'. The first book uses vampires as a device to explain all the weird stuff that the Romantic poets got up to in real history, and the second builds on the mythos.

Be warned, the vampires in the series are definitely not your standard bloodsuckers, but that makes them all the creepier in my view.
by Gamer (score: 0|4) 740 days ago
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