Fresh Blood – there are other vampire books besides Twilight

Posted on June 30, 2010

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I’m a sucker for vampires. And not just the Cullen kind. It’s been in me for a while – ever since I read Anne Rice’s books back in the day. As any Team Edward twi-hard knows, there’s just something so irresistible about the undead.

I read vampire books because they are fun! I’m sure you’ve read the Twilight books (or at least seen the movies) but that’s not what I’m talking about – for to be sure, while I enjoyed Stephenie Meyer’s work – I don’t think she’s a great literary figure – more like a pop culture phenomena. I breezed through the books because the story was interesting though the prose not so much.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see that her writing has (IMHO) somewhat improved in “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner” To be honest, I don’t remember her from Eclipse but the author tries hard to get into Bree’s skin. She is a teen vampire in an army of newborns created by Victoria, Bella’s nemeses – and they are all preparing for an all-out war with the Cullens. Only fans of the series can appreciate this backstory because as written, Bree’s story is still rather shallow and ends abruptly. Incidentally, the title sounds too much like Pulitzer Prize winner “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz.

If you want true teen vampire angst written with clever language and an action packed plot — then you must read Christopher Moore! I recently read “Bite Me: a Love Story” and was truly captivated by the adventures of Abby Von Normal and the odd cast of characters including the Vampire Flood, Chet a huge shaved vampire cat, Steve the Love Monkey and the Emperor of San Francisco. It’s strange, it’s modern – it’s wickedly funny, romantic, even. Witty dialogue and cool characters. Can’t wait to read the rest of the Trilogy. Read chapter excerpts from Bite Me here.

Another take on teen vampirism – is Suck it Up by Brian Meehl. This time it’s like the TV show Heroes meets Xmen meets an MTV behind the scenes type show. In Suck it Up, we meet Morning McCobb as he graduates from the IV League (get it?) the International Vampire Academy, where students are schooled to live peacefully though secretly among mortals and subsist on animal blood. The tone of the book is more cute than dark so this is definitely one you can share with your tween kids.

You’re probably wondering where Sookie Stackhouse is in all of this – sorry I tried – I really did try reading Charlaine Harris– but just couldn’t get into it. But I’m nuts about the Show “True Blood” on HBO. It seems, Alan Ball has a better way of “sinking his teeth” into the characters and story.

Up next on my reading log — Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith.

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