Because I’ve got a bit too much on my plate right now (trying to get back to writing my novel, while trying to get a new job), I’m going to give some very brief reviews of recent vampire books I’ve read, which I’ll hopefully expand on later:

Varney the VampireVarney the Vampire

This was a difficult read, for many reasons (I wasn’t able to finish this one, because the copy I got from the library was falling apart). Many of Stoker’s flaws are represented in abundance: two-dimensional characters, meandering narration, outdated humor, etc. The plot, being a serial got away from itself almost completely by the time I stopped reading. Suitable for die-hard vampire literature fans.

Dracula, My Love
Dracula, My Love: Syrie James

In case you couldn’t guess from the title, this is Mina/Dracula fanfic. Once you accept that premise it’s a pretty faithful adaptation of Dracula as the love affair only occurs “behind the scenes” of the original narrative. There’s also a bit of a twist at the end which gave me a great deal of satisfaction. Suitable for romance readers and those who can tolerate sympathetic vampires.

The Bloody Red Baron: Kim Newman

The Bloody Red Baron

To compare this sequel to Anno Dracula to its predecessor isn’t quite fair. Separating itself from Victorian England both geographically and temporally (it takes place on the front lines of WWI) Baron still brings you into Newman’s fantastically-realized world of vampirized literary and historical characters. The plot isn’t as strong as the original, nor is the ending, but still, I recommend this to any fans of Anno Dracula or even similar works like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. If you haven’t read Anno Dracula yet, do so now. 

The Vampyre: John PolidoriThe Vampyre

The first vampire novel in English and the first aristocratic vampire. It’s a lot to live up to. Overall I was disappointed with the writing and with the character of Ruthven himself. As was pointed out to me, it was a hastily-written, recreational work, but the criticism stands. Like Varney, I’d say it’s suitable for die-hard vampire literature fans.

Books I need to re-read and review:
Anno Dracula: Kim Newman

The Historian: Elizabeth Kostova

The Strain Trilogy: Del Toro & Hogan

Salem's Lot: Stephen King

The Diaries of the Family Dracul Trilogy: Jeanne Kalogridis