Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Vampire Books Timeline

August 5th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books

I notice ever since Twilight made it big people feel the need to compare almost any vampire book or young adult series to it.  It came up again when I was reading through‘ blog and I can’t remember who told me on Twitter that she saw someone state that Dracula ripped off Twilight.  Ummm…hello Dracula has been around forever!

After another interesting exchange on Twitter about L.J. Smith’s books I thought it might be fun to go down memory lane of some classics, favorite and on my to read list of vampire books.

1897: Dracula by Bran Stoker-I have to admit that I have not read this entire book.  I kept trying but just could not get into it.

Description from Count Dracula has inspired countless movies, books, and plays. But few, if any, have been fully faithful to Bram Stoker‘s original, best-selling novel of mystery and horror, love and death, sin and redemption. Dracula chronicles the vampire’s journey from Transylvania to the nighttime streets of London. There, he searches for the blood of strong men and beautiful women while his enemies plot to rid the world of his frightful power.

1954-I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

Description: Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth…but he is not alone. Every other man, woman, and child on Earth has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville’s blood.

By day, he is the hunter, stalking the sleeping undead through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for dawn.

How long can one man survive in a world of vampires?

1976-2002: The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice This is a series I keep meaning to read but have not gotten around to it yet.  Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe there were 9 books in the series.

Description: Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force—a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses.

1991-Vampire Diaries: Vol. 1-4 (vol. 5 was just published in 2009 & vol. 6 currently is scheduled for 2010) by LJ Smith-My favorite series when I was younger.  The tv series will be starting in September 2009.  If you have not read the book I heard My Friend Amy is going to be hosting a challenge to read them all. So keep an eye out!


A Love Triangle of Unspeakable Horror…

Searching for the ultimate thrill, she vowed to have Stefan.

Haunted by his tragic past, he struggled to resist her passion.

Driven by revenge, he hunted the brother who betrayed him.

The terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

1996: Night World-Secret Vampire by LJ Smith I have to admit I wasn’t as big a fan of the Nightworld books.

Description: The Night World isn’t a place.  It’s the world of vampires, witches, and shapeshifters who live in the human world—by their own rules.  And the first two rules of the Night World are simple: 1) Never tell any human about its existence, and 2) Never fall in love with a human.
Spunky, sassy Poppy has always been in the best of health.  Until today, when she discovers that she has a rare disease, and only weeks to live.  James, her best friend, and the coolest boy at school, is confronted with a frightening decision.  He can make Poppy a vampire like him, or he can let her die.  But telling Poppy about the Night World is almost as dangerous as letting her die of a human disease, for he’s broken both of the Night World’s rules, and fallen in love with her.

1996: Night World-Daughters of Darkness by LJ Smith

Description: Mary-Lynnette, seventeen, loves to watch the stars from her Oregon backyard.  Then one day, she thinks she’s witnessed a murder through her telescope.  She’s wrong: it’s only three vampire sisters burying their mysteriously-killed aunt.  Mary-Lynnette, by the laws of the Night World, must become kin to the sisters or be sentenced to death: a sentence that seems to be sealed when their brother Ash appears.  Gorgeous, lazy Ash has never dreamed that he could fall in love with a human, but it seems that Mary-Lynnette doesn’t want him on any terms because of his lurid vampire past.  Can a now-repentant Ash convince Mary-Lynnette to let him atone for his former sins and be his soulmate?

1997: Night World-The Chosen by LJ Smith There were other Night World books in between but not about vampires.

Description: Rashel Jordan lost her mother to a golden-eyed vampire at the age of five—and just barely saved herself by her wits.  She’s grown up to the age of seventeen as a vampire hunter—the best.  But when a group of hunters captures Quinn and decides to torture him, Rashel feels something in her soul twist.  Left alone with Quinn, she goes along with her mad impulse and allows him to escape.  But Quinn, a vampire with one of the darkest reputations in the Night World warns her not to expect him to return the favor.  Nevertheless, when Rashel gets herself chosen for a bloodfeast and finds that Quinn is in charge of gathering girls for the dark ceremony!  Enemies—and soulmates—what will happen during their final fight?

1997: Night World-Soulmate by LJ Smith

Description: Sixteen-year-old Hannah goes to a psychologist to understand the meaning of her the notes she keeps finding—in her own handwriting.  “Dead before 17,”  “He’s coming,” “Watch out.”  Only under hypnosis is their cryptic meaning revealed.  Hannah is actually an Old Soul, a girl who has been reincarnated many times and can remember her past lives.  And in every one of them, the fair-haired stranger appears—and Hannah loves him—and Hannah dies at age16.  Meanwhile, the leader of all the vampires of Circle Daybreak, all those who have human soulmates, Lord Thierry, is searching.  He’s looking for her—the girl he loved and accidentally killed thousands of year ago.  Who will find Hannah first—her vampire soulmate, or Maya, the first of all the vampires who has murdered Hannah a thousand times to keep her from Thierry.  And who will Hannah believe when they do find her?

1997: Night World-Huntress by LJ Smith I’m going to have to go look for this one and the next two. I don’t recall if I read it or not.  This is when I went to college so my reading time was severely limited between school and working.

Description: Jez, with flaming red hair and silvery blue eyes, is the epitome of the wild teenage vampire, riding her motorcycle and chasing skinheads through the woods.  She and Morgead regularly challenge each other for leadership of the gang, and Jez believes—naturally enough—that the handsome, dark-haired vampire hates her.  But suddenly the world changes for Jez.  She discovers that she has no right to the Night World, because one of her parents was human.  Now Jez has turned into a vampire huntress, and one with a special job: find one of the four Wild Powers who can fight off the Apocalypse, the end of the world.  To do so, though, she must challenge her dearest enemy once again for the leadership—knowing that she has only half-vampire Powers.

1998: Night WorldBlack Dawn by LJ Smith

Description: Maggie is the picture of an ordinary human teenager.  Yet when her brother’s lovely girlfriend reports that he has been killed in a mountaineering accident, she knows it is a lie.  The chase leads her to discover an entire community of human slaves ruled by vampires in the hollow of a Washington mountain.  There also, she finds Delos, the second of the Wild Powers, the vampire ruler of this kingdom where she is a slave—and her soulmate.  Her modern clothes cause the other slaves to hail her as a messiah come to bring them freedom. Can even level-headed Maggie deal with her arrogant soulmate and an entire kingdom to be freed?

2005-?: Vampire Kisses series by Ellen Schreiber The 6th book in the series just came out in 2009. Do not know when the next is due out.  I read up to book 4 and meant to get back to it.

Description: The mansion on top of Benson Hill has been empty and boarded up for years. But a new family has moved in. A family that never ventures out during the day. Who are these creepy people; especially the handsome, dark, and elusive Alexander Sterling? Or rather, what are they? Could the town gossip actually be true? Are they vampires? Raven, who secretly covets a vampire kiss, both at the risk of her own mortality and Alexander’s loving trust, is dying to uncover the truth.

2005-2008: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer I think everyone by now has heard of this 4 book series.  There is a wide variety of people who loved it and hated it.

Description: A seventeen-year-old teenager, Bella Swan, moved from Phoenix to Forks, Washington to live with her father. She meets a ‘boy’, named Edward, who, after much internet research, she discovers is a vampire. Once Edward gets over being a vampire and Bella a human, their worlds collide. Although everybody else thinks that it’s weird that Edward is finally dating, Bella and Edward simply don’t care. But their fairytale can’t last forever, and one baseball game changes everything. Suddenly, it’s a race against time, and fate, and it might not end happily ever after…

2006-?: The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine Currently 6 books in the series are out with the 7th due out in November 2009.  I only read book 1 but heard it gets much better as you go on.

Description: It’s a small college town filled with quirky characters. But when the sun goes down, the bad comes out. Because in Morganville, there is an evil that lurks in the darkest shadows – one that will spill out into the bright light of day.
Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. The popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks on the school’s social scene: somewhere less than zero. And Claire really doesn’t have the right connections – to the undead who run the town.
When Claire heads off campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Hew new roommates don’t show many signs of life. But they’ll have Claire’s back when the town’s deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood…

2006-?: Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz The first book was a little slow for me but by book 2 I was hooked.  Book 4 is due out October 2009.

Description: When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society. The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a girl from her school is found dead . . . drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn’t know what to think. Could those vampire legends really be true?

2007-?:Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead As of today my all time favorite vampire series!.  Book 4 is due out August 2009.

Description: St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

2007-?: House of Night series by PC & Kristin Cast. I have to admit I’m not crazy about this series although many are. I will still be checking out book 6 due out in November 2009.

Description: The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird’s world, vampires have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire – that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampire Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampire friends.

2009-Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange. I enjoyed this take on vampires meet Pride and Prejudice.

Description: The wedding day is magical but when Elizabeth and Darcy embark on their wedding tour, Elizabeth discovers that Darcy has a secret . . .

This list is by no means comprehensive and is primarily focused on YA series but just a note to people that Twilight didn’t start the vampire genre :)

And I know for sure I’ll get some comments if I don’t mention series like the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris (the True Blood tv series is based off of these), the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward and Katie MacAlister’s Dark series.

What are your favorite vampire books/series?

Posted in Books

22 Responses

  1. Carrie K.

    The only vampire books I’ve read are the Twilight series, and I liked it. I’m going to give the Sookie Sackhouse series a try next.

  2. Leslie

    i have to agree with you about the vampire academy books they are my all time fav series right now =)

  3. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    My challenge post is going up in 27 minutes!

    I love the Vampire Diaries b/c that’s where it all started for me. :)

  4. Book Chick City

    What a great post! I love questions like these.

    Dracula by Bram Stoker is probably my most favourite book of all time, above everything else I have read, so I would say that’s the best vampire novel ever written. Obviously that is just my view. I really enjoyed the Twilight series but I enjoyed the Anita Blake series more (Laurell K Hamilton). I also loved I Am Legend, what a terrific book! I think it’s really hard to compare these books as other than the vampire bit they are all so very different. I haven’t read the Vampire Academy series so will look into that. There are a lot of books in your list that I haven’t heard of over here in the UK, so thanks! :)

  5. L. Diane Wolfe

    I’ve read the first three.
    I’d also recommend The Light at the End by Skipp & Spector if you can find a used copy – sadly it’s out of print.

    L. Diane Wolfe

  6. dsuzuki

    Carrie-the Sookie books were pretty good although I found the first book the slowest for me.
    Amy-I think TVD was my first vampire books too (or maybe Christopher Pike’s vampire books. Can’t remember which came out first).
    Book Chick City-yes it’s hard to compare and I really don’t think we should try since vampire stories vary so widely. I couldn’t even begin to try and compare I Am Legend with Twilight. It just wouldn’t make sense.
    L. Diane-I’ll have to look that one up! Thanks!

  7. Michelle

    This is a fabulously comprehensive list!

    I have no idea who though Twilight was the creater of all things vampire in literature but…yea, not so much. I’m reading the Sookie series and enjoying it (and the tv show) a great deal. I’ve purchased, but haven’t gotten to read, the first Vampire Diaries book. I was hoping to do so before the show starts but don’t know that I’ll have time to get to it with other obligations ahead. I have seen I Am Legend (one of my favorite movies) so so so many times!

  8. velvet

    great post! i like seeing all these in one place as i’m starting to work my way through YA vampire books. just wanted to mention the Evernight series by Claudia Gray and Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey are good ones too.

  9. dsuzuki

    Michelle-I haven’t seen the I Am Legend movie but I heard the ending was different from the book.
    Velvet-I forgot about those. Jessica’s Guide was fun and quick. I can’t wait for the next Gray book to come out!

  10. Kayla

    I am THE BIGGEST Twilighter, but I know that Twilight is Twilight and other books are other books. I know that they are separate entities and I try to remember that when I read different books.
    Thank you sooooo much for the list of classics! I’m bookmarking this so I can refer back :D

  11. Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)

    I really love the list you’ve compiled. You should also check out Tanya Huff’s Blood Books, starting with Blood Trail, which I think was published in 1992

  12. dsuzuki

    Glad to help Kayla!
    Serena-thanks. I’ve seen some Tanya Huff books but didn’t know she had a vampire series.

  13. Deanna

    Great vampire timeline. I liked reading the descriptions – very helpful.

    My favorite? I am not sure I really have one but I will say…I did enjoy Interview with a Vampire which is far different from most of the vampire books that I do read as it was dark and well…scarry(could not watch the movie). I also liked Sunshine by Robin McKinley (seems that this one is hit or miss with folks).

    Currently, I am enjoying The Night Huntress Novels by Jeaniene Frost, the last book Destined for an Early Grave was good as well as the first three in the series.

    Another good Vamp series is Dark Days by Jocelyn Drake..Mira is the heroine and a vamp.

    Hmmm…when I read Twilight I really liked the books. I fear if I read them now I would find them to bubblegum and Bella may possibly bother me as I have evolved to liking my heorines strong, smart and independant.

    One thing that I have come to know…different Vampire books means different type of vampires as the authors give their own twist to what makes a vampire, how they survive and whatnot.

  14. dsuzuki

    Thanks Deanna! Lots of new books to check out. I like when authors do their own take on vampires. It makes thing less predictable and some good ideas come out (although I didn’t care for the whole sparkle thing in Twilight.)

  15. Brianna

    I read Twilight and the Sookie Stackhouse series. One series I do not see mentioned, so I’ll mention it, is the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J. R. Ward. I’m on the 7th book in the series. I love this series!

  16. Brianna

    Ok I missed it. BDB was mentioned at the very end of the post. It really is a great series :)

  17. dsuzuki

    I have another BDB book in my TBR pile. I read Zsadist’s book and wasn’t that interested but so many people rave about it I have to give it a second chance.

  18. Elena

    Christopher Pike’s vampire series was my favorite growing up. The main character was kick ass, took no crap and was seriously scary at points. I was so upset when I lost my copy of the series since they went out of print and were going on ebay for $50 at one point! I’m so glad to hear they are reprinting them now!

    P.S. Great book blog! I always enjoy your reviews and suggestions.

  19. dsuzuki

    Thanks Elena! I need to reread that series again. I actually saw book 5 at half priced books this past weekend but didn’t pick it up since I may just get the omnibus. I can’t believe the originals were going for so much!

  20. Lindsey

    You have no idea how sick I am of Twilight fans claiming that everything vampire is a rip off of Twilight… as if Twilight is the 1st piece of vampire literature to be published! Thanks so much for posting this list. I actually found it while I was trying to prove to one such vampire-crazed-teen that Twilight came AFTER Vampire Diaries. *shakes head*

  21. dsuzuki

    I know what you mean. There were Twilight books before Twilight and they weren’t always romances in which the vampires were the good guys.

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