Vampires. Blood-suckers. Children of the night. Strigoi. Whatever you choose to call them, there’s no denying the dark magic of a good vampire story. Vampires transcend genres and are often the main characters in everything from paranormal romance novels to horror stories. I’ve heard people say the popularity of the Twilight saga ‘killed vampires’ or turned readers off to them, but that’s silly.
Real fans know you can’t kill the undead.
Son of Saints introduces Seth, a character with a bit of a spin on classic vampire lore–but not in a sparkly way. Because I’ve spent so much time with Seth lately, this week I thought I’d share a few of my favorite vampire tales. I avoided the classics (Anne Rice, Dracula) in hopes of introducing you to a few fresh tales. Check out these nine unique takes on children of the night!
Do you have a favorite vampire book or series? Is it an injustice I left Vampire Academy off this list? Leave a comment and let me know!
Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler
Octavia E. Butler’s work deserves all the praise it’s garnered and then some. Fledgling was the first book of hers I dove into, and some of the prose still haunts me years later. Butler offers a fresh and unique spin on some of the classic vampire myths, but that isn’t all. Her descriptions are good enough to make you squirm, and she handles heavy topics with a delicate but honest touch.
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Take a trip to Mexico City for a refreshing, lively take on the age-old legend. Certain Dark Things has a moody, noir feel with gorgeous descriptions and intricate world-building. The story is fast-paced, and the ending left me breathless.
Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Before the infamous Dracula, there was Carmilla. First published in 1872, Camilla is a short read that I devoured with my morning coffee one Sunday. Camilla tells the story of a beautiful vampire who establishes a legion of female lesbian vampires. What’s not to love?
Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Admittedly, I saw the movie before I read the book. Neither disappointed me. There are no clear lines between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ in this tale, and the horror of the vampires is almost overshadowed by the real monsters: humans, and their capacity for cruelty.
The House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
This series reminded me a lot of Harry Potter, but with vampires! The series has a very ‘YA vibe’ that makes it a fun, fast read.
A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
This book reminded me a lot of Twilight. While Sofia took a while to grow on me as a character (as did Bella), by the end of the series I found myself invested in the outcome of her romance with Derek. A cute, fun read if you like your vampires a little less bloody.
Born in Fire by K.F. Breene
Kick-ass vampires aside, this is easily also the funniest book on this list. The dialogue is witty and sharp, and I wanted to be Reagan’s best friend by the end of the first book in the series. The snark is strong with this one, but if you’re looking to laugh until people on the train shoot you strange looks, this is the vampire book for you.
Enter, Night by Michael Rowe
Rowe’s debut novel reminded me a lot of Stephen King’s earlier works. The prose is both elegant and bold, and the plot grips you by the throat and refuses to let go until you’ve finished the book.
Moon Dance by J.R. Rain
The most recent vampire series I’ve dove into, Vampire for Hire offers humor, intrigue, and a thrilling mystery. I loved Rain’s take on vampires with Samantha Moon, and how well-developed the entire cast of characters felt. I’ve got my fingers crossed this one will get turned into a TV series someday.