• Natasha

Books with Bite: Vampire Books To Sink Your Teeth Into


Nothing has captured our imaginations quite like the Vampire; the night stalking, blood drinking figure that has beguiled and brought terror in equal measure. Over the years these fearsome creatures of the night have become the darlings of both literature and the silver screen.

But it wasn’t until Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight that I began to take notice.


Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed watching vampire shows and movies as a kid (The Little Vampire was a household favourite and was played non stop by my brothers and I.) But it was the romanticised portrayal of the vampire and the vague concept of immortality (and that star crossed, doomed love between vampire and human) that really drew me in.


I eventually devoured that entire series (both the books and the movies) and became for a brief moment in my teens, a Twilight fanatic (though nowhere near the status of a Twihard.)


Now, as an adult I can see the not so romantic aspects of the series but, my love of vampire fiction still holds strong.. With a bit of a vampire revival in recent years (via Renée Ahdieh and Tracy Wolff) I thought I’d share with you some great books including a few of my personal faves, both old and new that should definitely satisfy even the most fervent vamp lovers out there.


Dracula



The book that started Hollywood’s obsession with vampires, Bram Stoker’s Dracula wasn’t the first to bring this blood drinking creature of folklore into English literature but it has been the most definitive (and iconic) portrayal of vampires since it’s publication in 1897. I guarantee even if you’ve never read it, you’ll have seen at least one adaptation in some form or other be it a fictional retelling or one of the hundreds of Hollywood movies or tv show adaptations that exist. I’d definitely recommend reading this one.



The Coldest Girl In Coldtown



Anyone who’s followed me on social media for a while will know that Holly Black is one of my all time favourite authors so when she originally released her own unique tale on vampires, based on her own short story of the same name back in 2013 (2014 for us UK folks), I knew in my little vampire loving heart it was fate. This is actually my favourite YA Vampire book and I definitely urge you check this one out of you like vampire/YA fiction or Holly Black.


The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black follows Tana who having woken up after a raucous house party finds herself one of only three survivors to a brutal and bloody massacre. The other survivors are Tana’s ex boyfriend (who’s now infected and on the verge of turning) and a mysterious boy with a terrible secret. All infected are urged to hand themselves over to Coldtown’s, the walled off cities where vampires live like kings and humans seeking immortality are lured by the decadent parties and gorgeously deadly predators they see televised 24/7.


The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave…



The Drake Chronicles



Alyxandra Harvey’s vampire centric series is one of my all time favourites and not just because the villain in first book, My Love Lies Bleeding (also called Hearts At Stake in the US) happens to share my first name.


It’s got the perfect blend of paranormal dark fantasy and humour that you’ll definitely want to binge read this series. Yes, there’s plenty of teen angst but also seven undeniably sexy vampires to choose from with the Drake brothers—with each book focusing on a different one. There’s plenty of action and even some forbidden romance between Solange (the youngest Drake) and a hunky vampire Hunter called Kieran. Not to mention Lucy (Solange’s human best friend) who’s definitely my favourite character with some of the best witty remarks and one liners.


There are six main books to the series: My Heart Lies Bleeding (or Hearts At Stake), Blood Feud, Out For Blood,Bleeding Hearts, Blood Moon and Blood Prophecy and I thoroughly recommend checking these out if you love YA vampire books.


From Blood and Ash



From Blood and Ash series by Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of the newer series involving vampires (called Vampry) that I’ve read and completely fell in love with. The romance is spicy and the paperback is over 600 pages so I know it’s probably not gonna be for everyone but if you like your vampire romances hot and bloody then you should definitely check this one out.


The first book in the series Follows Poppy Balfour, a Maiden who’s life is destined to be solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to… and never to experience pleasure. But, waiting for her ascension (when she’ll find out if the preparations have made her worthy of the gods) fills her with nothing but dread. She’d rather be fighting the with the guards and holding back the evil that destroyed her family.


Though the choice has never been hers, for the future of the entire kingdom rests upon her shoulders—some thriving she’s not even sure she wants. For when golden eyed guard Hawke (honour bound to ensure she ascends) enters her life, destiny and duty become entwined with desire and need. Inciting her anger, making her question her own beliefs—tempting her with the forbidden.


But with a fallen kingdom arising once more with nothing but violence and vengeance on their minds, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. For Poppy’s not only on the verge of losing her heart but also her entire life, as her world begins to unravel around her one bloody thread at a time…

The Beautiful



Renée Ahdieh’s sumptuously swoon-worthy series is set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight. This richly detailed and atmospherically dark YA Fantasy has started a bit of a revival into Vampire fiction, serving up a tantalising Anne Rice worthy feast of murder, mystery and forbidden romance….


In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead, but to 17 year old Celine Rousseau it’s a safe haven having been forced to flee her life in Paris. Enchanted by the vibrancy of the city—from its music to its extravagant soirées and even it’s danger as she becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld and a group known as La Cour des Lions.


But when a body is found in their lair, Celine is forced to battle her attraction to the groups leader, Sebastien Saint Germain as well as her suspicions about his guilt alongside her own secrets.


As more bodies are discovered, New Orleans becomes gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—and they seem to have Celine in their sights. But when she takes matters into her own hands, Celine finds herself caught up in an age old battle between the darkest creature of the night, where the price of forbidden love is her life.

The second book in the series,The Damned is already out and the third, The Righteous is out 7 Dec 2021


Crave



If Renée Ahdieh’s series The Beautiful is this generation’s answer to Anne Rice, then Tracy Wolff’s paranormal romance series is the Gen-Z alternative to Twilight— and I personally loved it! The protagonist, Grace was incredibly likeable and as the series progresses is far less a damsel than she first appears. I won’t spoil it but the revelations in Crush (book 2) were an absolute shocker!


There’s nothing normal about Katmere Academy, or the students in it. Although Grace is reluctant to attend her uncles exclusive and secretive boarding school located in Alaska, after her parents untimely deaths she’s left with no choice.

Soon she realises she’s entered a world like nothing she has ever known. Dragons, werwolves, witches and vampires all existing in uneasy cooperation—the only thing Grace is sure of is that she doesn’t belong.


Then she meets Jaxon Vega, a vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But something in him calls to Grace—something that might get her killed.

The fourth book in the series, Court is expected to be published in 2022.


The Deathless Girls




The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave is a sinisterly sensuous YA reimagining of Dracula but from the perspectives of his brides. This intoxicatingly feminist and breathtakingly gothic romance is not to be missed!

On the night before her divining, seventeen years old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar and taken far from the traveller community they called home. Forced to work in the garaging and unwelcoming castle kitchens Lil befriends Mira, a fellow slave she fees drawn to in a way she doesn’t understand. But she also learns about the dragon the terrifying figure of legend who takes girls as gifts.


They may not have had their divining day, but the girls will still learn their fate…



Morganville Vampires



The Morganville vampires series is the longest series on this list with a whopping fifteen books! I actually stumbled upon this series by chance back in 2010 and was instantly hooked, though I do have to warn anyone planning to read these that some of the later books get a little crazy and start to veer away from the vampire centric plot-lines I initially loved.


The series follows Claire Danvers a student at Texas Prairie University and her housemates in the vampire run town, Morganville. Though the mayor is human and a small population of local residents know about the vampires, the vast majority of the town made up of college students and tourists who are completely unaware that vampires walk amongst and for the most part, govern them.


There are some intriguing concepts such as the humans paying their monthly taxes in blood instead of money and legalised racketeering in which some locals pay their blood to a vampire protector to ensure their safety from other vamps.


Certain Dark Things



I did previously mention this one in my spooky books roundup which can be found here.


This is a really interesting take on the vampire genre and the inclusion of Mexican folklore was really interesting. With an unconventional romance and a tragically flawed protagonist in vampire Atl, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Paranormal Crime Noir is definitely an interesting reinvention of the genre and one that certainly shouldn’t be missed.


The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires



Grady Hendrix’s paranormal, Steel Magnolias meets Dracula style Thriller is an exceptionally unique take on the vampire genre; I loved how well the disaffected housewife trope was depicted and then subverted turning these sweet and neighbourly southern housewives into vampire hunting badasses who will go to any lengths to protect their babies—the blend of Horror and dark humour is great too!


The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires is set in the ‘90s and follows the members of a women’s predominantly True Crime Bookclub as they prepare to do battle with a mysterious newcomer to their small town, who’s sudden appearance coincides with the disappearances and strange occurrences that begin to take place.


TW: Gore, Mutilation, Suicide, Alcoholism, Mental Health, Racism and Rape.


Empire of The Vampire



Gothic Horror fans are going to absolutely love Jay Kristoff’s brutal, bloody and vividly immersive new adult fantasy series—the format pays homage to Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire but the action packed plot twists are pure Kristoff!

It’s set in a world that hasn’t seen daylight in decades, where vampires have waged war on humanity creating a vast and bloody empire, following the imprisoned Gabriel de León last of the Silversaints (a holy order whose sole purpose was to ride the world of vampires.)


As the last of his kind, Gabriel is forced to tell his story, of legendary battles, forbidden romance and the quest for humanity’s last remaining hope: The Holy Grail…


Midnight Sun



Fifteen years after Twilight hit shelves and subsequently took the world by storm Stephanie Meyer returned to Forks, Washington (and the bestseller lists) with her long awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun. It’s Twilight but from the perspective of Edward and through his eyes it’s a far darker tale. It’s a must read for Twilight fans if only for the nostalgia but if Meyer’s previous books weren’t to your liking then your really not going to enjoy the Edwards’ dark inner monologues, but on the plus side you do get more insight into the Cullens.



I hope this list helps you to find a heartstakingly good book to sink your teeth into this Autumn

21 views4 comments

Recent Posts

See All