Real vampires don’t sparkle.

Vampire fiction has been the rage lately. However it did exist prior to Twilight.

Amongst the fiction that features sparkling vampires and forbidden love, there have been some worthy reads that have been overlooked and dare I say lost in the sparkle.

So if your like your vampire stories more along the lines of the original vampire stories like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Anne Rice’s Interview with a vampire and Joss Whedon’s Buffy the vampire slayer then check out the following:

The passage by Justin Cronin.

“Fans of vampire fiction who are bored by the endless hordes of sensitive, misunderstood Byronesque bloodsuckers will revel in Cronin’s engrossingly horrific account of a post-apocalyptic America…[Cronin] manages to engage the reader with a sweeping epic style.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Justin Cronin’s The Passage would be easy to lump in with countless other post-apocalyptic novels, falling somewhere between the literary, high-diction prose of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and the hard science-fiction storyline of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend. But, Cronin takes the pieces that work best from both ends of the spectrum and adapts them to suit his own predilections. In particular, he’s able to develop complex familial themes and relationships, which can often take a backseat in genre fiction, but never at the expense of a tightly wound plot, one that rarely eases the tension over its 700+ pages.” Nathan Weatherford, Powells.com

Department 19 by Will Hill

Jamie Carpenter’s father is dead, his mother is missing, and he was just rescued by an enormous creature named Frankenstein. Now Jamie is pulled into a secret organization responsible for policing the supernatural, founded more than a century ago by Abraham Van Helsing. . . . Department Nineteen takes us through history, across Europe, and beyond – from the cobbled streets of Victorian London to prohibition-era New York, from the icy wastes of Arctic Russia to the treacherous mountains of Transylvania. Part modern thriller, part classic horror, it’s packed with mystery, mayhem, and a level of suspense that makes a Darren Shan novel look like a romantic comedy – Powells.com

“Gripping, gory, and violent, this isn’t for the faint-hearted – but it’s also clever, and moving, and wittily done. I can’t wait for the next installment.” -John Connolly, bestselling author of Every Dead Thing, The Reapers and The Book of Lost Things”Plenty of high-octane action, groovy specialized vampire-fighting equipment, buckets of gore, intriguing historical side trips and even a little romance … these vampires don’t sparkle.”–Kirkus

Eighth grade sucks (Book 1 The chronicles of Vladimir Tod) by Heather  Brewer

Thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod really hates junior high. Bullies harass him, the principal is dogging him, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vlad has a secret: His mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he faces a much bigger problem: He’s being hunted by a vampire killer. Powells.com

“‘Eighth grade Bites’ had me on the edge of my seat. It’s a great piece of fiction. It drops you right into the action, grabs you by the throat (pun intended), and won’t let go. Vladimir Tod is a truly sympathetic character cursed with an existence not of his own doing, but doing his best to do the right thing. It’s part ‘Goosebumps’ mixed with ‘Harry Potter’ and a dash – no, a heaping tablespoon – of Stephen King. If you’re in eighth grade, or a vampire, or an eighth grade vampire, ‘Eighth Grade Bites’ is a definite must read!” ~ Butch Hartman, creator of Nickelodeon’s THE FAIRLY ODD PARENTS and DANNY PHANTOM

Peeps by Scot Westerfeld

A year ago, Cal Thompson was a college freshman more interested in meeting girls and partying than in attending biology class. Now, after a fateful encounter with a mysterious woman named Morgan, biology has become, literally, Cal’s life. Cal was infected by a parasite that has a truly horrifying effect on its host. Cal himself is a carrier, unchanged by the parasite, but he’s infected the girlfriends he’s had since Morgan. All three have turned into the ravening ghouls Cal calls Peeps. The rest of us know them as vampires. It’s Cal’s job to hunt them down before they can create more of their kind. Bursting with the sharp intelligence and sly humor that are fast becoming his trademark, Scott Westerfeld’s novel is an utterly original take on an archetype of horror. (from Publisher)

“Both medical thriller and science fiction, this fast-paced, captivating modern vampire story is enriched with biology and history….Entrancing throughout — but squeamish readers beware.” Kirkus Reviews

Funny vampire books

Bloodthirsty by Flynn Meaney

Some vampires are good. Some are evil. Some are faking it to get girls.

Awkward and allergic to the sun, sixteen-year-old Finbar Frame never gets the girl. Until he notices that all the female students at his school are obsessed with a vampire romance novel called Bloodthirsty. Finbar decides to boldly go where no sane guy has gone before—he becomes a vampire, minus the whole blood sucking part… (from Publisher)

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

Think vampires are romantic, sexy, and powerful? Think again. Vampires are dead. And unless they want to end up staked, they have to give up fanging people, admit their addiction, join a support group, and reform themselves. Nina Harrison, fanged at fifteen and still living with her mother, hates the Reformed Vampire Support Group meetings every Tuesday night. Even if she does appreciate Dave, who was in a punk band when he was alive, nothing exciting ever happens. That is, until one of group members is mysteriously destroyed by a silver bullet. With Nina (determined to prove that vamps aren’t useless or weak) and Dave (secretly in love with Nina) at the helm, the misfit vampires soon band together to track down the hunter, save a werewolf, and keep the world safe from the likes of themselves. The perfect anecdote to slick vampire novels, this murder-mystery comedy of errors will thrill fans of Evil Genius. (from Publisher).

“Jinks offers some wry vampire-centric twists on mystery conventions…and when the humor hits its mark, this can be laugh-out-loud funny.” Booklist

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