Thursday, January 12, 2012

Stars of...Vampires

The "Stars of..." series is a new feature I'm doing here at Epic (Chocolate) Fantasy to highlight the best books in different areas of the fantasy genre. Say you want a book about shapeshifters or wizards or mythology, or maybe you want to read some political fantasy or sword and sorcery. Stop by here every Thursday for the foreseeable future, and I'll have recommendations for you! Click on the book covers for links to the first book in the series and on the series name for a list of the books in it on Goodreads.

If you think there's something I missed in this category, feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments! I haven't read everything out there, obviously, and I'd love some recommendations myself.

Series are alphabetical by author.

Stars of...Vampires

Vampire. The very word might conjure anything from unbridled lust to outright contempt to visceral fear. There are many varieties of vampire legend, but the one thing they all agree on is that vampires drink human blood. We have a fascination with that concept that surges every few years, so there are plenty of vampire books out there, good and bad. I've done my best to find the stars for you.


Keri Arthur
Riley Jenson, Guardian
9 books, completed

Riley and her twin, Rhoan, are half-vampire, half-werewolf, and working for the Directorate of Other Races keeps both halves plenty busy. I was hesitant to pick up this series at first, because it sounded like a constant sex-fest, but it's actually much more; Riley gets involved in some very dangerous and exciting situations, and I've actually really enjoyed what I've read of this series so far.

Karen Chance
Dorina Basarab
2 books, ongoing

Dorina controls her dhampir bloodlust by killing the vampires who break the Senate's rules. When her father asks for her help recapturing her escaped uncle Dracula, she reluctantly agrees. But working with master vampire Louis-Cesare may be even tougher than catcher Dracula. Dorina is a great character, and this series, which is set in the same world as the Cassie Palmer books, is fun, sexy, and action-packed.

Jeaniene Frost
Night Huntress and Night Huntress World
6 and 2 books, respectively, ongoing

Night Huntress is a very fun series. It's definitely light reading, but it's very enjoyable. Cat is a half-vampire who hunts down the creatures of the night in order to make up for her existence, until she meets Master vampire Bones, who inducts her into the vampire world and shows her what she's really fighting for.

Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter
20 books, ongoing

While there are a lot of books in this series, really only the first eight or nine are worth reading, in my opinion. But those are pretty good. Anita is a vampire executioner and a necromancer who finds all her assumptions about vampires turned upside down when she's forced to work for them. Anita isn't one of my favorite characters, but the books, at least from 2 or 3 to 8 or 9, have some good stories and are generally quite fast-paced.

Charlaine Harris
Sookie Stackhouse
11 books, ongoing

From the popularity of this series and True Blood (which I must confess I never could watch), I'm guessing you already at least recognize these books. Sookie Stackhouse is a pretty good series that incorporates all sorts of legends. While it's not a favorite of mine and the last couple books haven't been very good, I definitely think it's worth a read or two!

Robin McKinley

If you've been around here a while, you probably already know that Sunshine is one of my favorite books, since I mention it in every other meme. It's very different from most vampire books, mostly because the vampires in it are not misunderstood heroes. And Sunshine's not trained in any martial arts or combat magic – mostly just baking. I really, really love this world, and all the characters have great depth. As a huge fan of McKinley's writing style, I'd have to say this is one of her best books. I only wish there were more to go with it.

Chloe Neill
5 books, ongoing

Chicagoland Vampires is another one that, while it shouldn't be taken too seriously, is quite fun and a great read. Merit, turned into a vampire to save her life, isn't exactly pleased about her new life. But when she realizes that someone is trying to harm the people she's starting to care about, she'll do whatever she can to stop it. Merit is a kickass heroine with definite sarcastic impulses.

Kalayna Price
2 books, ongoing

This one could go in either vampires or shapeshifters. It's fairly different, but I quite like it. On the run from her home world of Firth, cat-shifter Kita Nekai hides in our world, where she's attacked and changed into a vampire. Suspected as the origin of rogue shifter attacks, she must find the culprit or her own life is forfeit.

Anne Rice
The Vampire Chronicles
10 books, completed

I'm going to assume you've heard of this one as well. While it's in a rather different style from most of the current urban fantasy out there, and the first book is a bit slow, it's certainly worth checking out, if only for some background on the subject.

Dianne Sylvan
Shadow World
2 books, ongoing

Miranda Grey, slowly losing her mind to the emotions of those around her, finally finds help with her gift – from vampire Prime David Solomon. With a dark, emotional story, the Shadow World books are captivating. Sylvan imagines a complex, regimented vampire society and vivid characters.


Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Den of Shadows
5 books

I first read these books a long time ago. As in, I was probably eleven. But as much as I enjoyed them then, I still think they're pretty good. They're very short and quick, but the stories and characters are quite interesting. They revolve around a rather depraved vampire society, telling the tales of those who get caught up in it for one reason or another.

Rachel Caine
Morganville Vampires
11 books, ongoing

MVV is a dark and exciting series about a sixteen-year-old who goes off to college and winds up in a town full of vampires. It's a really great series with a lot of suspense and action. And don't worry, romance fans, there's plenty of that as well.

Richelle Mead
6 books, completed and 1 book, ongoing, respectively

Rose is a dhampir, a mix of human and vampire. Her duty is to guard Lissa, the last of the Dragomir family, from the evil Strigoi and anyone else who wants to harm her. And there are plenty of those. VA is definitely one of my favorite vampire series. The spinoff, Bloodlines, features a lesser know part of Moroi (vampire) society, the Alchemists, and it's an excellent read as well. Richelle Mead can tell a great story, filled with action, love, and friendship. If you haven't read these yet, put them on your TBR list!

Books that have vampires in them, just not as the main characters
Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews (Adult)
Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong (Adult)
Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs (Adult)
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Adult)
Cassie Palmer by Karen Chance (Adult)
The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare (YA)
Elemental Assassin by Jennifer Estep (Adult)
The Hollows by Kim Harrison (Adult)
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (YA)
The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne (Adult)
Johannes Cabal by Jonathan L. Howard (Adult)
Jolie Wilkins by HP Mallory (Adult)
Georgina Kincaid by Richelle Mead (Adult)
Guild Hunter by Nalini Singh (Adult)
Victoria Nelson by Tanya Huff (Adult)
Kitty Norville by Carrie Vaughn (Adult)
Jazz Tremaine by Linda Wisdom (Adult)

Put your own favorites in the comments! 


  1. Excellent Idea!! :D
    Love the suggestions. I have Sunshine and plan to read it soon :)

  2. Hi kate! I am following your blog now. Great idea this new feature! Which supernatural creature is next?

    1. Thank you! For those who didn't see my response to this question on GR, I'm alternating UF and traditional fantasy themes, so next week is political fantasy.

  3. omg Kate this is such a great feature! Looking forward to next week's post! I didn't even realise Sunshine was about vampires!

    Just to add, I also like the Strange Angels books which are predominently about vampires. They are amazing. If you ever get chance you should defo give them a read!

    1. Thanks Ali! I think Strange Angels is on my TBR list. I'll definitely have to read it soon!


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