I’ve spent a year reading vampire fiction. It’s a wild, wild world out there. And after “H” and a bit of Canadian content, I’ll get right to some teen vampire fiction I think is worth reading.
H is for Henry Fitzoy, from the Canadian TV show Blood Ties, which premiered in 2007 and ran for two seasons.
The story, which is based on Canadian author Tanya Huff‘s Blood Books, does one of the things I love about vampire fiction: it brings a real historical figure into modern times as a vampire.
Here, the story centres on Vicki Nelson, a former homicide cop turned private investigator and Henry Fitzroy, a 470 year-old vampire, who helps her solve supernatural crimes.
Henry, of course, is the 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset and the illegitimate son of Henry VIII of England and his mistress Bessie Blount. Born in 1519, the real Henry Fitzroy likely died of consumption in 1536. The premise in the series is that the real cause of his illness and death was a vampire bite. He now lives in Toronto, where he earns a living writing romance novels (in the books) and graphic novels (on the show).
I like this video montage for those looking for a bit of a taste of what that show was about:
Then, for those interested in some more of the history, as well as another fictional rendition of Henry Fitzroy, I offer you this:
I is for IVLEAGUE.US, the website of the International Vampire League, the secret organization of vampires hoping to come out and be recognized as just another minority with special needs.
Welcome to Suck it Up and Brian Meehl’s vampire universe.
Published in 2008, this teen fiction book stars Morning McCobb, a vegan vampire who drinks a soy-blood substitute called Blood Lite, is obsessed with comic books, forever stuck at 16 and awkward, and who believes staking should be a hate crime.
He has just graduated from an Ivy League school for vampires and has been tapped to be the first vampire to out himself to the general public and show they world they a) exist and b) are nothing to be frightened about.
He’s matched with a publicist, falls for her daughter, and high-jinx of all kinds ensues as the Leaguers prep for Worldwide Out Day – currently slated for October 1. The Loners – the BAD vampires – want to stop them, and the Lifers are in for the shock of their, well, lives.
It’s a fun and unique take on the vampire genre.
If you like the first book, Meehl came out with a second in 2012 – Suck it Up and Die.
Keeping in the teen fiction genre, J is for Jane Jones, Worst Vampire Ever, Caissie St. Onge’s 2011 teen fiction debut.
She’s a 90-year-old, forever awkward teen. She and her family were turned during the depression and have been moving every four years ever since.
And being a vampire kind of, well, sucks. Jane is not beautiful, not rich, has to deal with an overprotective mom and a blood intolerance, which means she survives on small shots of a very rare and expensive type of blood, and never seems to fit in with the cool vampire kids at school OR the human ones.
Until suddenly at her new school not one, but two boys – one human, one vampire – take an interest. She also has to deal with a mysterious history teacher and her vampire love interest might hold the key to finding the cure for vampirism, which given she can’t drink blood and is facing a life forever awkward, sounds GREAT.
I struggled through this book, as I found the plot got confused at times and characters other than Jane were underdeveloped. But I really liked the idea behind it and the Depression era focus, which I hadn’t previously found in vampire tales. Also, aside from a feeding scene at the start, there is no real violence, and no sex. Younger tween or teen fans of the genre should enjoy it and it would be a good introduction to the genre for younger readers. And the cover is, well, pink.
K is for Kingsley Martin, from Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Bloods series.
I referenced this series in yesterday’s post when we discussed the Four Hundred Ball.
I first discovered Kingsley when I picked up 2014’s Vampires of Manhattan, the first book in the New Blue Bloods Coven, which had me (giggling) at its description as “hipster horror”. I realized after picking it up that it was the start of a second series based on a previous vampire teen fiction series (which I then went back and both read and enjoyed).
I couldn’t find a photo of Kingsley, which was a shame because he was one of my favourite characters, so you will have to use your imagination.
To help you with that and give you a bit of the lore from de la Cruz’s world, Kingsley is a Silverblood Enmortal and a venator.
Well, he’s a reformed Silverblood – they’re the bad vampires: the fallen angels who have remained loyal to Lucifer and aren’t trying to get back into Heaven like the Blue Bloods.
Enmortals are vampires who have chosen to live eternally, rather than most vampires in this world who “cycle” in and out for different lifetimes (which they remember once they hit their teens).
Lastly, venators are the secret police of the Conclave – who govern vampire life.
Anyway, Kingsley falls in love with Blue Blood Mimi and given their different loyalties all sorts of …. ridiculous tension results. It’s the stuff of great teen fiction!
And given we’ve spent a spot wallowing in teen fiction today, I thought I’d leave you with an interview with Blue Blood author Melissa de la Cruz. It’s from 2010 and not one of the flashier ones, but I love what she has to say about the ongoing fascination with vampires in our culture, noting that Dracula is the 5th bestseller of all time. She also hints at the lore around Kingsley at about 2:45 in.
So that’s where we end things for today. Here’s what we’ve covered to date:
Tune in tomorrow for L through N!