Sunday, August 17, 2014
Vampires ... light on the romance
I was asked recently for suggestions of vampire themed fiction by someone who was not overly keen on the romance angle. Of course she had read I Am Legend by Richard Matheson and, naturally, Dracula and wanted more ideas. Here is what we came up with.
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
"In this riveting debut of breathtaking scope, a young girl discovers her father's darkest secret and embarks on a harrowing journey across Europe to complete the quest he never could -- to find history's most legendary fiend: Dracula. When a motherless American girl living in Europe finds a medieval book and a package of letters, all addressed ominously to "My dear and unfortunate successor..." she begins to unravel a thread that leads back to her father's past, his mentor's career, and an evil hidden in the depths of history. In those few quiet moments, she unwittingly assumes a quest she will discover is her birthright: a hunt that nearly brought her father to ruin and may have claimed the life of his adviser and dear friend, history professor Bartholomew Rossi." publisher
The soon to be published Prince Lestat by Anne Rice
"A stunning departure, a surprising and compelling return…From Anne Rice, perennial best seller, single-handed reinventor of the vampire cosmology-a new, exhilarating novel, a deepening of her vampire mythology, and a chillingly hypnotic mystery-thriller. "What can we do but reach for the embrace that must now contain both heaven and hell: our doom again and again and again…" -from The Vampire Lestat. Rice once again summons up the irresistible spirit-world of the oldest and most powerful forces of the night, invisible beings unleashed on an unsuspecting world able to take blood from humans, in a long-awaited return to the extraordinary world of the Vampire Chronicles and the uniquely seductive Queen of the Damned("mesmerizing" -SF Chronicle), a long-awaited novel that picks up where The Vampire Lestat ("brilliant…its undead characters are utterly alive" -New York Times) left off more than a quarter of a century ago to create an extraordinary new world of spirits and forces-the characters, legend, and lore of all the Vampire Chronicles." publisher
Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton which begins the Anita Blake series.
"Anita Blake may be small and young, but vampires call her the Executioner. Anita is a necromancer and vampire hunter in a time when vampires are protected by law--as long as they don't get too nasty. Now someone's killing innocent vampires and Anita agrees--with a bit of vampiric arm-twisting--to help figure out who and why. Trust is a luxury Anita can't afford when her allies aren't human. The city's most powerful vampire, Nikolaos, is 1,000 years old and looks like a 10-year-old girl. The second most powerful vampire, Jean-Claude, is interested in more than just Anita's professional talents, but the feisty necromancer isn't playing along--yet." publisher
You Suck by Christopher Moore
Being undead sucks. Literally. Just ask C. Thomas Flood. Waking up after a fantastic night unlike anything he's ever experienced, he discovers that his girlfriend, Jody, is a vampire. And surprise! Now he's one, too. For some couples, the whole biting-and-blood thing would have been a deal breaker. But Tommy and Jody are in love, and they vow to work through their issues. But word has it that the vampire who initially nibbled on Jody wasn't supposed to be recruiting. Even worse, Tommy's erstwhile turkey-bowling pals are out to get him, at the urging of a blue-dyed Las Vegas call girl named (duh) Blue. And that really sucks." publisher
The Quick by Lauren Owen
"London, 1893: James Norbury is a shy would-be poet who takes up lodgings with a young man from the upper echelons of society and soon finds love where he least expected it. Just when it seems he is on the cusp of true happiness, James disappears. His sister Charlotte, who lives quietly near the crumbling country estate where they grew up, is determined to find out what happened. Charlotte is horrified at what she discovers, but love spurs on her efforts to save her brother from an unthinkable fate. Her quest leads both to the mysterious, centuries-old Aegolius Club, and to a crowded, chaotic neighbourhood where she encounters unforgettable characters, including a female rope-walker turned vigilante and a former slum priest who share a heartbreaking secret, and a young American who chooses decency, or perhaps something more tender, over his own safety. With them, readers are caught up in the breathtaking climax to an ancient battle being fought within a secret world hiding in plain sight, in the middle of the great city of London itself. As emotionally gripping as it is suspenseful, The Quick heralds Lauren Owen as a dazzling new literary talent." publisher
Stoker's Manuscript by Royce Prouty
"Joseph Barkeley has a gift. Without the aid of chemical testing, he can accurately determine the authenticity and age of any document, seeing details within the fibers the way a composer picks out the individual notes of a symphony. But rarely does Joseph get a job this delicate and well-paying. A mystery buyer has hired him to authenticate the original draft of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. When he travels to Transylvania to personally deliver the manuscript to the legendary Bran Castle, Barkeley, a Romanian orphan himself, soon realizes that his employer is the son of the infamous Vlad Dracula. Imprisoned in the castle and forced to serve “the Master,” Barkeley must quickly decipher cryptic messages hidden within Stoker’s masterpiece to find the Master’s long-lost bride—or risk wearing out his welcome. But as he delves into the history of Dracula and his own lineage, Barkeley discovers that his selection for this job was based on more than his talent with rare books. Now, he has a perilous decision to make—save his life with a coward’s flight, or wage a deadly battle with an ancient foe."