I know, I know. It’s not Halloween yet. But I can’t help it if my collection of Vampiric Novels keeps getting bigger… And whilst Certain Dark Things isn’t out yet, and Empire of the Vampire is still only on my Twitter Feed, there are LOADS of Vampire books you could add to your shelves today. Here’s a list of 7 of them, and why they’re worth a read!
The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
First on my list is one of my new favourites of 2021: The Deathless Girls. Perfect for Fans of Naomi Novik and Laini Taylor, this is a tantalising retelling of Dracula’s Brides. Retold from the perspective of a young traveller woman, who is captured and taken to Dracula’s castle, the vampires in this novel are insidious and malicious. Powerful, dark and strong. And if that’s not enough to tempt you, it has great BIPOC and LGBTQ+ Rep, great tension, and an adorable bear you’ll want to keep for yourself. I gave this book five stars, or five vamp-bites if we want to keep it thematic. I can’t recommend it highly enough. The world-building is wonderful, and the characters are empathetic, charming and cruel. Just how I like them.
Soulless: The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
Ever imagined Buffy the Vampire Slayer set in ‘Victorian England’? Would you like to? This is a classic vampire romp of the campest kind, with overly ‘English’ dialogue and a myriad of shenanigans; but it is a good time. And if you’re looking for an easy vampire-themed read you can’t really go wrong with this series. The first book, Soulless, introduces our protagonist who doesn’t have a soul and uses her magical ability to bring down rowdy vampires who just don’t understand good etiquette: oh, and who also want to take over the world.
Mina and the Undead by Amy McCaw
Mina and her sister love horror movies, vampire flicks, and murder mysteries. But now they’ve been reunited in New Orleans (the home of the first vampire, and a menagerie of other occult mischiefs) they’re about to get first-hand experience what it is like to be in one. TW for copious amounts of blood and gore, jump scares and tension. Are vampires real? Or are they just creeps really into the nightlife? You’ll have to read Mina and the Undead and find out.
Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bite
This anthology brings something a little different. A collection of well-loved, well-known authors have brought a little bit of themselves to the vampiric mythology, playing on tropes we love and each stylistically different. If you’re looking for a palette cleanser, but with more bite, this is the one for you. Authors on the roster include V. E. Schwab, Rebecca Roanhorse, Tessa Gratton and Dhonielle Clayton. Not to be missed.
In the Ravenous Dark by A. M. Strickland
Every now and then, a novel comes along and completely reinvents the mythology; and In The Ravenous Dark does this so expertly, it deserves to be on this list. Rovan is a blood mage, a secret she has kept her entire life. From the moment her family was brutalised, and her father taken to the castle as a traitor, she has suppressed her magic. But when her secret is revealed there’s little she can do to stop what the fates have in store. This book is action-packed from the first page, compelling characters, excellent world-building and honestly – I’d have read another 500 pages of this story without a single complaint. Another favourite from this year, and a must-must-must read.
NVK by Temple Drake
Described as a Horror and Paranormal Romance, this book intricately balances everything dark and gruesome about vampires without making it feel sleazy or overdone. In the bustling world of Shanghai, NVK wraps affairs, betrayal, secrets and high-octane prose into a few hundred pages. It’s a wild ride, and totally worth the read.
Vampirates by Justin Somper
I love ending a list with a total wild card. Vampirates is part vampire story, part pirate story, part Twelfth Night retelling. After their father dies, and their home (the lighthouse) is taken from them, twins Connor and Grace escape to the sea. But when a storm rips them apart, their fates are sealed. One finds safety in a pirate ship, and the other finds danger among the pirates who sail by night, surrounded in mist and mystery. Vampirates has just had a new cover release, so they look stunning, and they’re the perfect read for fans of Skulduggery Pleasant and other Middelgrade Fantasy Mysteries.
What was the last vampire book you read? Any more you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below!