Vampire Book Series
Vampire Books - Why We Love Them
Vampire books have been popular for over a century. They scare, delight and even seduce readers into the world of magic and eternal life. The best vampire books involve complex vampires that are more than just creatures who are seeking blood- they have a mixed nature that can be enticing to their prey.
Vampires of Eastern Europe weren't as complex in their natures as the ones in modern vampire books, but they were said to be irresistibly charming in order to lure victims close enough to bite them.
Romantic vampire novels use the dual nature of vampires, both their dark nature and their charming personalities, to create complex romantic figures that make the ladies (and girls) swoon. There are many modern vampire series that use this dual nature to explore the effect of this complex nature on the vampire's relationships and experiences.
Here are a few interesting vampire series that are very different from each other, even though they all have the dual nature and relationship themes at their cores.
Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles
The Vampire Chronicles was the first major vampire book series, bringing these dark creatures into the mainstream. While the occasional vampire novel written by other authors hit the market to moderate success, this vampire series was a huge success, appealing to people of all ages, genders and socio-economic groups.
These tales explored the lives of specific vampires that were acquainted with one another, and the humans that counted them as friends or acquaintances. The world of Anne Rice's vampire is extremely lush and detailed- it's a world that feels every bit like a place that you could visit at any time.
The characters are extremely complex, dynamic personalities that are explored in large volumes that revolve around dialogue, storytelling and setting. The settings themselves, usually New Orleans, has inspired many Anne Rice fans to visit or even move to the city to experience the charm and culture that the author describes.
Anne Rice told readers several times that a specific book was the last of her vampire books only to change her mind and write more. The last book in the series was also called the last, but we'll see...
The Twilight Saga
The Twilight Saga is a less complex set of vampire novels that explores teenage relationships among humans, vampires and werewolves. The saga is one of the most popular vampire series of all time, with a market driven not just by teenagers, but also by adult women.
The series is popular enough to have inspired everything from Twilight pens to Twilight tote bags. The last time I visited a bookstore, there was an entire Twilight accessory section filled with notebooks, bags, watches, stickers and t-shirts.
The actual merit of these books, given then simple syntax of the books, a setting and story line that doesn't ring true to many readers and the teen-angst feel of the books has made it a controversial series. But, the vampires from this series are seemingly everywhere, giving them a firm place in the history of vampire novels.
Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy Series
The Vampire Academy series is a young adult series that centers on teenage vampires who attend a private school that is exclusively for vampires and half-bloods. The series combines all of the angst of fitting in with the in-crowd and maintaining high school relationships that are often featured on young adult novels with the darkness and danger of vampire novels.
The series has not been as popular as the Twilight Saga or the Vampire Chronicles, but it is gaining popularity among high school students. The fifth book in this series is to be released in May, 2010.
Kim Harrison's Vampire Series
Kim Harrison's Hollows series is an extremely quirky look at the interaction between different types of vampires, humans, witches, pixies, fairies and elves. The series takes place after a plague-like virus wipes out much of the human population on earth, encouraging vampires and witches to stop hiding as they had when the human population dominated.
The book series gets stranger and stranger as each book progresses, and readers are always in for surprises. The series includes six Hollows novels, all of which center on a 20-something witch and her vampire best friend. The two, plus their pixy partner, run a sort of private eye service and come into contact with everything from living gargoyles to demons.
If you haven't read this series yet, I highly recommend it. It has more humor than other vampire series, but it doesn't sacrifice the character complexity that has always been what makes vampire novels work. It may not be as technically perfect and in-depth as an Anne Rice vampire novel, but the wild ride makes up for it and then some.
The series isn't actually that well written style wise, it certainly doesn't have the lyrical quality of Anne Rice's vampire novels, but what it lacks in style it makes up for in interesting, likable characters and an imaginative vampire universe.
top photo by african_fi
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