Top 5 Wednesdays: Books About Vampires (On My TBR)

It’s funny how well the topics I’d chosen for my Top 5 Wednesdays for the month have lined up with the books that I’m reading at the time. Last week, I posted about witches while reading an anthology of short stories about women and witchcraft. This week, I’ve chosen vampires, and I’ve also just started the second half of the Mortal Instruments series, which features a major character who is a vampire! This was completely unintentional, but somehow, it works. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not usually very interested in vampire stories, but that’s because so many of the ones that I’ve found have been along the lines of Twilight. What I tend to look for and love about vampire stories is all the mythology and lore that comes along with them. Vampire books definitely seem to be making a comeback right now, so I’m excited to see how some of these authors tackle the story!

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

42265183I’ve had Renee Ahdieh’s books on my TBR for a few years now, but have not yet picked up a single one! I’m hoping to at least read the Flame in the Mist duology before the end of this year. The Beautiful is her latest book, which just came out this week, about a girl named Celine who is taken in by a convent in New Orleans, along with six other girls. Celine soon becomes involved with the city’s underworld, including the group’s leader Sebastien Saint Germain, but when one of the other girls from her convent is found dead, she starts to harbour suspicions. As more people die in a series of unsolved murders, Celine decides to take it upon herself to find out what’s happening, leading her to discover a long-running feud that also reveals the truth about her. I’m a bit nervous about this one because I’ve seen extremely mixed reviews from the reviewers I follow who have already read it. Most confusingly, I’ve seen a comment saying that for a book about vampires, it didn’t actually contain much about vampires. I suspect that’s because there a sequel, The Damned, which has already been announced for next year, but it’s still a bit of a weird comment to see about a vampire book.

2) Empire of the Vampire (Jay Kristoff)

43728380. sy475 This book is still nearly a year away, so there is no cover art for it yet. I loved Jay Kristoff’s writing in the Illuminae series, and I’m very interested in trying his other series as well. It is about a man named Gabriel de Leon, who is the last member of a destroyed holy order, imprisoned for murdering the vampire king. Gabriel tells the story of his life, which begins from his youth and spans to the betrayal that saw the end of his order, and his discovery of the Grail, which may end the eternal night that has already lasted 27 years. Through his journey, he also bonds with a teenage street urchin, Dior, who holds the secret of the Grail. This sounds like such an interesting concept for a story and I’m especially intrigued because it has so many plot elements that I tend to really enjoy. It’s going to be such a long wait before I can finally read this one, but at least I have Jay Kristoff’s other series to catch up on in the meantime.

3) Vampires Never Get Old edited by Natalie C. Parker and Zoraida Cordova

42594473. sy475 This is another book that is not due out until next September! It is a YA fantasy anthology featuring stories about vampires, and it includes authors like V.E. Schwab, Mark Oshiro, and Julie Murphy.  Unfortunately, considering this book is nearly a year away, there really isn’t much detail about it yet. It’s really only in the past year or so that I’ve started to branch out and read more anthologies. In general, I tend to prefer full novels because there is more room for the characters and the story to develop, but I’ve read some very good ones. Usually, an anthology will catch my attention because of the theme or because of the authors involved, and in this case, it was both. I’ve read at least one book or at least short story by several of the authors involved here, and many of the others are on my TBR. It sounds like this collection will be a lot of fun to read, and I’m very excited to try it.

4) Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

43763I have neither read this book nor seen the movie yet, but I’m very interested in doing both. Aside from Dracula, this is probably one of the best-known vampire classics, although I’ve been a bit hesitant to pick it up because it was first published in the late 70s, and I often find the style of older books is harder for me to get into. This story is told from the perspective of Louis, who is talking about how he first became a vampire, and his alliance with Claudia, who becomes a vampire that is trapped in the body of the young child she was when she died. Together, they travel to find somewhere they might belong and find others who are like them, and eventually come to Paris, where they meet Armand, who introduces them to an entire society of vampires, with its own dangers. I actually have a copy of this book that I’ve been tentatively intending to read for years as part of my reading challenges, but somehow keep putting it aside. I have a feeling it will be the same next year: I’ve already thought about including it as part of my challenges next year, but still feel a bit indifferent about trying it soon. I feel like the longer I push it off though, the less likely I am to actually try it.

5) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

345627I think this is one of the few remaining very popular series that I discovered through the online community that I have not tried yet. This is the first in a six book series, about a mortal vampire princess named Lissa, who has unusual powers. Her best friend, Rose, is dedicated to preventing the powerful and immortal Strigoi from coming after Lissa. After running away, the two of them return to St. Vladimir’s Academy, where Rose resumes training with Dimitri to learn how to be Lissa’s protector. To be honest, I don’t know that much about what this series is about aside from those basic details, and I’ve seen some pretty mixed reviews for it. I’m still pretty interested in reading it at some point, but it’s another one that I keep pushing aside in favour of many other series that I want to read more. It’s also another case where I feel like if I don’t read it soon, I’ll either keep pushing it off or completely outgrow it. As it is, YA paranormal series tend to be hit-or-miss for me, especially ones that were written around the time that this series came out. I’d still like to give it a chance at some point, or at least the first book.


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