Just because I don't read a lot of vampire fiction doesn't mean I don't like it. I have been reading about vampires since I read Interview with a Vampire decades ago. I have read Bram Stoker, the Vampire Diaries, Twilight and many others in between. I remember when finding a book with vampires as main characters was hard to do – thus most that you did find were just really well done novels with engaging stories, great characterizations and worth involving yourself in.
The Dark Series
By Christine Feehan
Two types of vampires populate this series: the alpha males who seek their true mate to hang onto their souls and the soulless beings they can become if they lose those souls. The series combines a wild mixture of passionate, soul-searing love with mindless, bloodsucking terror. The horror and romance combine to make a heady mixture of tales with a real kick.
Interview with a Vampire
By Anne Rice
Rice's vampires are unique, in large part because they were first in many ways, but unique because they are not caricatures. They are good. They are evil. They are tragic. They are wicked. Louis' self-loathing combined with Lestat's hedonism take you on an exotic journey through a world where the vampires are aliens who live among us.
The Southern Vampire Mysteries
By Charlaine Harris
So much to love in this series that mixes deep woods sensibilities with gothic darkness. The series has more than just vampires, but the premise began with them and Eric (vampire Sheriff) remains one of my top favorites. With ten books in release and another three on the way, a television series and more – what's not to love about the steamy, southern gumbo that is the life of Sookie Stackhouse in the little town of Bon Temps, Louisiana.
The Last Vampire
By Christopher Pike
Suspecting the detective she killed in self-defense is stalking her, a vampire becomes a high-school student to befriend the detective's son, with whom she falls in love. Sita is an ageless vampire who brings a unique perspective to her story. Written more than fifteen years ago, the series embraces vampire mythos with a depth of passion and feeling. Sita's return to high school is marked by her self-awareness that takes her beyond the typical high school dramas.
By Poppy Z. Brite
Brite wrote this novel when she was 19 years old and I rank it among some of the best that I've ever read. A book packed with teen rage, violence, drug abuse and darkness speaks to the angst of the teen soul. In the novel, Nothing (the character's name) goes to New Orleans to learn about himself and his vampire family. The tale is a thrilling combination of fear and horror that engages you with the dark and brooding tone.
Those Who Hunt the Night
By Barbara Hambly
Hambly is one of my favorite fantasy authors and this vampire novel is one of those sleeper hits that you almost forget you have on the shelf until you stumble across it in the middle of the night looking for something to read. In Edwardian London, someone is hunting vampires during the day while they sleep – defenseless and killing them. The vampires bring in an Oxford professor named James Ahser to help them whether he likes it or not. The former agent for the British government is strong-armed by the vampires who threaten to do away with his wife if he doesn't - so what is the man to do? The tale is exquisite and definitely worth reading repeatedly.
Undead and Unwed
By Mary Jane Davidson
More chick lit than vampire novel, this book is laugh out loud funny. Betsy is an out of work secretary who is flattened by an SUV and wakes up a vampire. The woman's complaints coupled with her unique place, as a prophesied vampire queen is so ironic that even when you are gaping in shock, you can't stop laughing.
The Blood Books
By Tanya Huff
Take an ex-cop with an eye problem turned private detective, her former partner on the force and a vampire who just happens to make his living writing bodice rippers and you have the perfect ingredients for a noir series that tempers humor and romance with horror. The novels were actually turned into a TV series for a while which was as enjoyable as the books themselves!
By Dakota Cassidy
I love humor, Cassidy always delivers on the humor quotient with a good dose of romance, and you have to read it to believe it fun. Nina Blackman is a dental assistant who is bitten by a patient and wakes up to find out she's a vampire. Makes you wonder what kind of medical insurance covers that!
By Bram Stoker
Of course he makes the top ten, he did it first. What I love about this novel is that many of the mythos we associate with the vampire are founded in this book. What most don't seem to recall is that Stoker's vampires could move by day, they just didn't have their powers or very much of them. The novel is a must read for anyone who loves the vampire, the passion and the darkness.
Did your favorite vampire novel not make the list? No worries, I haven't come close to reading them all and I've gotten a lot pickier about what vampire novels I will read as time goes on. So feel free to share what your favorites are or even your own top ten!