My evocative post set me to thinking about my favorite books, particularly my favorite vampire novels. I love so many books that they are all favorites really, but then there are those particularly special books that still make my reading heart butterfly and I’ve read them over and over. Their delight never fades for me.
The Vampire Chronicles, particularly Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice and oh yes The Vampire Lestat. Before I discovered Interview with the Vampire, I’d read only two other vampire novels, Dracula by Bram Stoker and I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Didn’t surface for days while reading Interview with the Vampire.
Twilight Forever Rising, by Russian writer Lena Meydan. Despite its title, similar to Meyer’s, this was one hell of a good vampire novel. A thriller, It tells the story of vampire Darel Ericson of the Dahanavar clan caught in the machinations of the other vampire families and particularly targeted for death by one clan’s ambitious scheme to bring war to the vampire Houses and gain free reign over humanity. Somewhere I read a sequel had been published in Russia. I hope it gets translated and distributed.
Hotel Transylvania by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (a new release of the first of the Saint-Germain chronicles with a new cover). Love the entire series. Count Ragozcy Saint-Germain, a vampire thousands of years old, has the remarkable quality of compassion. He most certainly has a soul. (Original cover, published by Saint Martin’s Press, hard cover, 1978.)
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (I enjoyed all four books (and all five movies), but the first book is my favorite. It may not have been ideally written, but it told a compelling story.) People sneer at Meyer’s glittering vampires (don’t know why given the great variety of vampires to be found in today’s books and movies, like vampires who eat solid food and use the bathroom), but I think she found a great way to solve the problem of daywalking vampires (no bursting into flame) by giving them stone skin that glitters in sunshine (and marks them as non-human and supernatural) and connects to the canonical view of a vampire’s skin as extremely white and highly reflective (yes, like Lestat’s). I don’t find the Cullens and the Volturis at all “like rainbow ponies and fairies.” And they bite. And their bite is torturously painful with none of that romantic ecstasy found in other vampire books and movies.
The Five of Cups by Caitlin Kiernan. Favorite line from this book, “Sunrise was still a long way off, and Gin’s heels clicked down the Atlanta sidewalk like castanets played slow.” Can’t you hear the rhythm of her stroll? I loved this book not only for the high quality writing, but also because it encompasses the Gothic, the ragged urban reality, and mid-nineteenth century history in a fascinating tale of vampires in the contemporary world.
This list is but the tip of the iceberg!