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Vampire Book Search Mayhem?!

Hi fellow book lovers! The funniest/most frustrating thing just happened to me. After hearing a lot of hullaballoo about vampires and whatnot I decided to look into the genre and see if there was a vampire series I could get into. I had come across the Sonja Blue series in a post in this community a few weeks ago and finally decided to check it out. Thus, I headed to one of the local chain bookstores to try to find a very specific book, Sunglasses After Dark by Nancy A. Collins.

By way of back story: I had totally forgotten the title other than "Sonja Blue series," didn't write down the author and couldn't really remember what the book looked like, only that it was a book about vampires... Obviously this was not helpful AT ALL amidst the recent vampire/Twilight craze. Ugh!

After searching for 10 minutes on my own in the YA, Sci-Fi and Horror sections and not seeing anything that looked familiar I finally enlisted the help of the bookstores employees.

20 minutes later?

Any employee that wasn't at a register was scouring the shelves with me searching for the damned book. I had to leave because my ride showed up, so I went home and searched it via the mighty internet. The problem? It's a 1989 book that's not in print anymore!!! d'oh!!!!! (By the way, I called the store after my discovery to let them know... no, I'm not a weirdo, they actually asked me to call so it wouldn't drive them crazy, haha.)

So, after all that trouble, is it worth it to order a used copy online? I feel after that ordeal I owe it to the novel to order and read it- after all, I wasted a good half-hour trying to find the silly thing and sending all the book store employees on a wild goose chase!

Fun note: I ended up walking away with Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. I haven't read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but I wasn't feeling zombies at the time. I really wanted to take home a vampire book, dammit!!

Are there any other funny/humiliating/frustrating book searching stories that you folks have had?

Also, are there any other vampire series that you would recommend? I glanced at the first book in the Vampire Academy series and it didn't sound like something I wanted to read, I have reservations about the True Blue series, and the Anita Blake series seemed like it was trying too hard. Are my assumptions misguided? I just want to avoid cliches and cheesy stereotypes, if possible.

Thanks for reading!

ETA: I can't believe I didn't say this in my original post, but I have NO desire whatsoever of reading the Twilight saga, so any books that are comparable are probably not the types of books I'm looking for. Thanks!

Comments

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
goodgirlzero
Nov. 23rd, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed the sookie series. (true blood) It touches a lot more than the show does.
bella_fox
Nov. 23rd, 2009 05:35 am (UTC)
Well, if you don't mind the vampires being somewhat secondary, I would give Soulless (by Gail Carriger) a try. It's got vamps, werewolves, steampunk and a ton of humor woven through a really intelligent, well-written story. It's freaking brilliant, really, and a fabulous beginning to a new series for adults.



polish_pirate
Nov. 24th, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)
That sounds pretty fantastic. I might have to check that out!
stellamaris
Nov. 23rd, 2009 06:08 am (UTC)
I tried reading the first True Blood book and thought it was pretty stupid. I enjoyed the early Anita Blake books very much, but I was a lot younger when I read them. If you do decide to give them a try, I don't advise going past Obsidian Butterfly.

They start out pretty fun, as I recall...supernatural crime solving made up the bulk of the stories. Not sure what you mean by "trying too hard"...trying too hard to what?

Also, I do think the Sonja Blue books are worth tracking down. Just don't expect the angsty/cockblocky/romance stuff that litters the world of vampire fiction today.
polish_pirate
Nov. 23rd, 2009 06:18 am (UTC)
I meant "trying too hard" as they seemed a little cliche. Crime-fighting, badass vampire hunter didn't exactly suggest originality to me. The Sonja Blue books seemed a bit more mature based on the reviews (whereas the Anita Blake didn't), but perhaps I'm mistaken?
stellamaris
Nov. 23rd, 2009 06:43 am (UTC)
Well, the first book came out in 1993 so I'm sure that's before the whole Buffy thing. Also, she doesn't just kill vamps. She has supernatural powers of her own. I don't think I've read any other books where the MC was a professional zombie raiser by day.
num_nums312
Nov. 23rd, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)
if you are looking for a some YA vampire books i would try house of night and vampire academy and blue bloods
ryann827
Nov. 23rd, 2009 07:08 am (UTC)
I just finished "Vampire Academy" and loved it!!! It was so unexpected and was written very well! I bought all the books last Monday and finished all 4 by Saturday! I am hooked!!!! Please give it a shot! I was the same way! I picked it 8 different times.. Someone finally told me to just get it! And I am glad!

"Blue Bloods" was good, but nothing great. It got better in the 4th book. I still liked the series but a lot of people haven't
cweb
Nov. 23rd, 2009 07:58 am (UTC)
Imho, the best stories about vampires are the St Germain series by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro...

http://www.chelseaquinnyarbro.net/saint-germain.html
polish_pirate
Nov. 24th, 2009 03:57 am (UTC)
Hm... looks interesting, although I'm not sure the whole romance part of it sounds that appealing to me, although the tie back to historical fiction sounds neat.
soho_iced
Nov. 23rd, 2009 10:03 am (UTC)
I bought the Sonja Blue series on impulse and loved it, though I get the impression it was a bit of a cult success if anything. It's more on the horror side of the genre than most of the urban fantasy type vampire series being written today, so expect a fair amount of gore and very little romance, but it certainly avoids cheesy stereotypes.
polish_pirate
Nov. 24th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC)
Oooh... gore. Hm. I still would like to check the series out because it seemed "harder" than a lot of the other vampire stuff out there, and again, wanted to avoid the cheesy. So much to consider. Doesn't help that I don't usually read occult novels...
soho_iced
Nov. 24th, 2009 10:29 am (UTC)
If you ever watched Buffy, that gives a fair idea of what a lot of vampire series are like (I don't mean that in a bad way). Another series that's a bit 'harder' is Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: the first few volumes are ok imo but they get better an better. There are quite a lot of vampires, although they're nearly always the villains.
im_writing
Nov. 23rd, 2009 02:10 pm (UTC)
I have a vampire book (singular) that is good. Peeps by Scott Westerfeld is AMAZING. However, the sequel is lackluster, so I recommend just the one.

I enjoyed Anne Rice up until a point. I think it kind of goes down hill after Memnoch the Devil. Same with Anita Blake. Good up until Obsidian Butterfly.
(Deleted comment)
polish_pirate
Nov. 24th, 2009 04:01 am (UTC)
Huh, that definitely sounds different! I'll have to read some summaries or reviews and see what I think!
(Deleted comment)
polish_pirate
Dec. 8th, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC)
Awesome. This is going to sound dorky, but it sounds similar to R.A. Salvatore's world-building (the Drizzt series)- not nearly as... ancient, I suppose, but that sounds like something I'd want to read. Thanks!
craving_vintage
Nov. 26th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
Such books would be the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward where the vampires are really more of a different species created by a different goddess-like being with their own hidden society. The Brotherhood are a few chosen vampires who are the protectors of all the others, led by the king (Wrath). Those who hunt them are people who were once human, but turned into hunters by the goddesses brother who hates her for being their father's favorite. I don't know if I'm summarizing this in an appealing way. Basically, the male lead characters are badass mutherfuckers who are not all high and mighty like old-school vamps, they're very modern, listen to rap music, play video games, etc. There is some sexing up in the books, so fair warning

I hear about this series all the time, and I'm thinking about checking it out.

I noticed that Lover Avenged is in paperback, but I know it's not the first book though, and I almost picked it up.

Would you recommend starting from the beginning?
(Deleted comment)
craving_vintage
Dec. 2nd, 2009 01:43 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)
craving_vintage
Nov. 24th, 2009 06:07 am (UTC)
Also, are there any other vampire series that you would recommend? I glanced at the first book in the Vampire Academy series and it didn't sound like something I wanted to read, I have reservations about the True Blue series, and the Anita Blake series seemed like it was trying too hard. Are my assumptions misguided? I just want to avoid cliches and cheesy stereotypes, if possible.


~Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
Cat Crawfield, she is half vamp/human
1st book Halfway to the Grave

~Bloodline series by Maria Lima
Keira Kelly, she comes from a long line of supernatural people, so she's not completely human and there are shapeshifters and vamps in the books
1st book Matters of the Blood

~Persephone Alcmedi series by Linda Robertson
Persephone A. is a witch and there are weres and vamps
1st book Vicious Circle

~Vicki Nelson series by Tanya Huff
Vicki Nelson is human but there are vamps/weres and other paranormal stuff
1st book Blood Price

~Guardian series by Keri Arthur
Riley Jensen, half werewolf/half vamp and there are weres/shifters/vamps
1st book Full Moon Rising

~Cin Craven series by Jenna MacLaine
Cin Craven, vampire
1st book Grave Sins




(Deleted comment)
craving_vintage
Nov. 24th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
I highly recommend the series. It's my favorite series in the urban fantasy/paranormal romance genre.

I bought the s1 dvds but still have to get s2. I haven't watched them yet though. Still finishing up with another vamp tv show, Moonlight.
(Deleted comment)
craving_vintage
Nov. 26th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
I know right! And especially now with how popular vampires are and vampire tv shows. Oh, well!
evrythgcnhapn
Nov. 25th, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
second this:) I haven't seen the show (i know i know. i don't have tv), but the books are great:)

Also Butcher's Dresden files are really good urban fantasy/paranormal:)

And, i did a similar thing as you: last time i was at Indigo, i was gonna get a book for me, but decided at the checkout i was spending enough on presents, *and* i have a lot of books. So i left it, but wasn't smart enough to write down the title, author, anything:P i looked for it when i went back yesterday, but it wasn't in the same spot (of course), and all i remember is it's grey (i'm pretty sure) and the plot synopsis from the back:P
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - evrythgcnhapn - Nov. 26th, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
aeryanea
Dec. 8th, 2009 09:17 am (UTC)
(warning: This is a long post. I apologize ahead of time. Bolded words at the end are books I recommend).

Book-searching stories... well I have two stories. But it's not ME searching for them, but other people and I'm involved.

In a nearby town there's a Chapters bookstore and I was about 14 at the time, maybe 15. I was just browsing the teenage book section. I'd been there for an hour because my parents ditched me there to go shopping
Some guy in his 40s comes up to me, asking if I knew where I could find the section with this book title I can't remember now. I told him 'I have no idea; I don't work here, sorry'.
He looked at me all funny, then realized what I meant and was like 'oh, sorry! I thought you worked here'.
Fast forward to last month (2-4 years later). I'm in Coles, Chapters' counterpart, quickly browsing books with a friend. We were killing the last 15 minutes we had in the mall, and talking about the books on the shelf and what sounds cool, comparing the sound of this story's summary to other books we've read, yadayada...
This woman has been like, looking between us and the books for some time. She finally looks right at me and says, "Excuse me, do you know where I could find the Vampire Diaries books?"
I point to where they are - I'm rarely in the store because it wasn't in my town, but I just saw them. She goes about her business, I keep talking with my friend, but she's like "Excuse me?" again so I'm like "Yeah?".
She then explains that she has this 14/15 year old girl she has to buy a present for and she asked if the Vampire Diaries were any good.
Me: "I've only read the first two, but they're really good. It's not exactly a light read or really fluffy, it's pretty dark..."
Her: "Well this girl LOVES Twilight. Have you read that?".
Me: "I've read all four! I read them before the Vampire Diaries."
Her: "Did you like them?"
Me: "I enjoyed them, yeah. I'd recommend the Vampire Diaries to anyone whose interested in Twilight. It's got the same idea with vampires and love, but there's more action and there are differences in the vampires themselves".
Her: "So its a series? Is this the first one?"
Me: "No, that's the second book..." *reaches around her* "These are the first two novels condensed into one. There's this one, there's that one..." *points to novel in woman's hand* "And there's the newer, third one that's hardcover."
Her: Perfect! Thank you. *walks away but comes back to grab the 2nd novel* There's a third, right?
Me: Yeah, but it's hardcover so...
Her: Oh, ok. These'll work fine... thanks!

So apparently I'm more of an approachable person about books over my friend. And I'm often mistaken for someone that works at the stores... yet my clothes rarely look like the store uniform. Lol xD
MY FUTURE PART-TIME JOB IS DECIDED!


My vampire story recommendation for you?
It's not a vampire SERIES really, but it's a vampire book. Good standalone, potential sequel.
Check out Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey. It's confusing for most of the book but it ALL makes sense in the end, all loose ends are tied and whatnot. I think it came out in 2006, so it's before the insanity of Twilight but after the release of the story. I prefer Jessica's Guide over Twilight and I've read (and own) the entire Twilight Saga...

An actual vampire series... have you read The Vampire Diaries by L.J Smith? There are 5 books altogether, but they've been republished and now there are two books... the first one is the first two books condensed into one. The Awakening & The Struggle. Book 2 (aka stories 3 and 4) are The Fury & The Dark Reunion, and just recently the newest installment The Return: Nightfall. It's hardcover so if you get into it and read the series fast, just be warned its more expensive.
And if you watch that T.V series... it's not THAT far off but there're quite a few differences. I still recommend reading it if you like vampire love series. It's not fluffy-love and abusive-boyfriend-pathetic-'save-me'-main-character like Twilight is.

Dude, reading over all of this... this is almost close to how I speak at book stores with friends (only you hear way more comparisons between two different novels). No wonder people keep asking me for help...
polish_pirate
Dec. 8th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
haha. Don't worry! I've actually been asked a few times for help in book stores. Maybe we're giving off bookworm vibes and the other customers are attracted to it like pheromones, hahaha!

I actually REALLY appreciate your in-depth story. Sometimes people are vague with book recommendations. Again, I'm not sure sure I'm into the whole "vampire love" thing as much as I'd like to read a vampire book or series that plays with the idea of vampirim in itself or twists it in a new way.

By the way, I don't have any intention of EVER reading Twilight. I officially boycott Stephenie Meyers in general, lol.
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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