vampire books

Vampire Academy Reading Challenge

People, it’s June, can you believe it??!! Since we’re half way through the year it’s time to finish my biannual reading challenges. This year I done two 6 month challenges from Jan to June. Luckily most of the books I read suited both challenges.

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6 months

Bachelors Degree – 12 books 2 tasks per module
Masters Degree – 24 books 4 tasks per module
Doctoral Degree – 36 books 6 tasks per module

♱ Immortality & Resurrection
♱ Celestial Transitions
♱ Fangology
♱ Strigoi Studies
♱ Undead Politics
♱ Interspecies Relations

Doctoral Degree – 36 books Jan – Jun 2017

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Being a member of the Undead, living eternally
Read a book where…
1. a character is a vampire Carmilla 1/1/17
2. a character is immortal Dark Desires After Dusk 2/1/17
3. a character dies Claimed By Shadow 6/1/17
4. a character resurrected The Darkest Passion 27/1/17
5. there are zombies or ghosts Ghost Story 20/1/17
6. a character is over 500 years old Changes 16/1/17

Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu Dark Desires After Dusk (Immortals After Dark #6) by Kresley Cole Claimed By Shadow (Cassie Palmer, #2) by Karen Chance The Darkest Passion (Lords of the Underworld #5) by Gena Showalter Ghost Story (The Dresden Files, #13) by Jim Butcher Changes (The Dresden Files, #12) by Jim Butcher

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No more sun, life in the moonlight
Read a book…
1. that takes place during summer Darkfever 1/2/17
2. with werewolves Shiver 5/1/17
3. that has a blue cover (blue moon) Before Midnight 8/1/17
4. with a circular object on the cover Here There Be Monsters 23/1/17
5. from the sci-fi genre Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets 3/3/17 wouldn’t have considered this sci fi but over 1000 people tagged it science fiction so I’m going with it
6. with vampires that can go out in the sun (even if it’s for a small amount of time) Spider’s Bite 11/1/17 (hide spoiler)]
Section completed 3/3/17
Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater Before Midnight (Blood Prince, #1) by Jennifer Blackstream Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin, #1) by Jennifer Estep Here There Be Monsters (Iron Seas, #0.5) by Meljean Brook Darkfever (Fever, #1) by Karen Marie Moning Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) by J.K. Rowling

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Taking care of your fangs, biting for blood
Read a book…
1. with teeth on cover Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? 10/2/17
2. where a character is a dentist or doctor Angel in Scarlet 10/2/17
3. where a character drinks blood Halfway to the Grave 13/1/17
4. that has a white cover The Harlequin 21/2/17
5. with a British character The House at Cobb End
6. that is a ‘guilty pleasure’ Depravity 15/1/17

The House at Cobb End (Cassandra Palmer, #5.1) by Karen Chance Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1) by Jeaniene Frost Depravity (Beastly Tales, #1) by M.J. Haag Angel in Scarlet by Jennifer Wilde Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? by Max Brallier The Harlequin (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #15) by Laurell K. Hamilton

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Vampires through the ages
Read a book…
[1. from the Historical genre The Leopard Prince 18/1/17
2. a book that you find scary or something scary happens Cold Days 31/1/17
3. with vampires that cannot go into the sun Jabril 16/2/17
4. with several species of vampire Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files
5. with vampires that have special abilities Raphael 8/1/17
6. set in eastern Europe Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 12/4/17

Raphael (Vampires in America, #1) by D.B. Reynolds The Leopard Prince (Princes Trilogy, #2) by Elizabeth Hoyt Side Jobs Stories from the Dresden Files (The Dresden Files, #12.5) by Jim Butcher Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14) by Jim Butcher Jabril (Vampires in America, #2) by D.B. Reynolds Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4) by J.K. Rowling

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Vampire laws, sect communications
Read a book…
1. where some of the characters live in a sect/pack/group Devastation 17/1/17
2. with a governing body/lord/queen Small Favor 2/1/17
3. there is a war/fight between groups Refugee 22/1/17
4. a character goes rogue Shitty Beer 6/1/17
5. a character breaks the law Turn Coat 10/1/17
6. a leader is attacked The Professional 20/1/17

Devastation (Beastly Tales #3) by M.J. Haag Small Favor (The Dresden Files, #10) by Jim Butcher Refugee (The Captive, #3) by Erica Stevens Shitty Beer by Karen Chance Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, #11) by Jim Butcher The Professional (The Game Maker, #1) by Kresley Cole

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Interacting with other creatures i.e. werewolves, witches, demons, etc.
Read a book…
1. with werewolves or shifters Kitty and the Midnight Hour 29/1/17
2. with angels or demons Skin Game 12/2/17
3. with humans that have abilities Web of Lies 6/2/17
4. with witches Embrace the Night 22/2/17
5. with fae/elves (includes goblins, brownies, dryads, etc.) Grizzly 31/1/17
6. with any other supernatural creature e.g. mermaids, dragons, unicorns, banshee, etc.) Deceit 16/1/17

Deceit (Beastly Tales, #2) by M.J. Haag Kitty and the Midnight Hour (Kitty Norville #1) by Carrie Vaughn Grizzly (The Realms, #1) by Bonnie Bliss Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin, #2) by Jennifer Estep Skin Game (The Dresden Files, #15) by Jim Butcher Embrace the Night (Cassandra Palmer, #3) by Karen Chance

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Duration 6 months
18 Books

Top 5 Vampire Characters

Man, this was one hard list to write!

While I was thinking about who to include I realised I have a variety of favourite vampire fiction from several genres. I enjoy horror, gothic classics, paranormal romance and urban fantasy and the vampires in each of these tend to be quite different. A PNR vampire has very different goals to a horror vampire! I also noticed I’ve read very few books with female lead vampires. Terrible stuff!

I thought about including the vampires from The Dresden Files but no single member really stands out to me. They are more interesting as a whole (to me anyway). Carmilla and Eli also didn’t make the cut because I found the story they’re in more interesting than them as individuals.

So here’s my list of Top 5 Vampire Characters.

1. Kit Marlowe
Kit Marlowe

Kit Marlowe is one of the main characters in Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer and Dorina Basarab series. He tends to be more active in the Dorina books. Based on the Elizabethan playwright, poet and apparent spy for queen Elizabeth, Chance’s Marlowe is one shady character. He runs the Vampire Senate’s spy network getting up to god only knows what! He is cunning, mysterious, charming, and often quite funny. Marlowe has his own short stories which are available for free on Chance’s website.

2. Mircea Basarab

MirceaI know I know I’m terrible choosing two characters from the same series (although technically it’s two series). Mircea is an integral character in both the Cassie and Dorina series and one of the most intriguing vampires out there. It’s very hard to know what’s going on behind those seductive eyes but you know he’s got a plan. Mircea, a former prince and current vampire senator, could sell salt to a slug! He is persuasive, suave, seductive, ambitious, and maybe…just maybe…. a little bit manipulative. But there is a lot more to Mircea than it seems. He doesn’t reveal everything up front (if at all). You have to peel back the layers of this Wallachian to get to the squishy centre. Mircea has a novel all to himself as well which really helps  you understand his motives.

3. Gallowglass de Clermont

Gallowglass first appears in the second book of Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy. He is a big burly part Scot part Norse vampire. Full of honour and very protective of his family (*swoon*). He has a bit of a tough time during the trilogy but you can’t keep this guy down! I really really wish Harkness would write a book all about Gallowglass. I WANT MORE!!

4. Claudia

Claudia is one of the main characters in Interview with the Vampire from Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. Turned as a child by Lestat (another awesome vampire) as a manipulation over Louise, she fully embraces life as a vampire. Fiendishly playing with victims and manipulating those around to her own selfish gains. She’s one of the most interesting characters I’ve read.

5. Merit

Merit is a newly minted vamp introduced in Some Girls Bite book 1 of  Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neil. (I’m only up to book 4 in this series so I’m not sure how I will feel about her come book 13 but as of now I am a fan.) She is the protagonist of the series, turned against her will to save her life. Merit is a rare combination of the warrior woman and every woman archetypes. She came from a relatively normal background to the often violent world of vampires. Despite this drastic change she manages to stay true to who she is while embracing her new life.

Honourable Mention

How could I write a list of vampire characters without mentioning the main man himself Dracula! I’ve read so many versions of this guy it’s hard to keep his character straight in my mind. But it’s great his legend is so powerful people just can’t get enough of him. That is a strong character!

Agree or disagree with any of my choices? Think I’m an absolute nutjob for including Claudia instead of Lestat? Come on like, she was a little brat, right?… Who would you put on your Top 5?