A while back I read Stoker's great-grand-something's sequel, Dracula: The Un-Dead. I really enjoyed it. Mostly. And while I couldn't get beyond the first few pages of Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper, I did find Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford fairly entertaining. A little silly, but I wanted to keep reading it, so I think that says something. Even more surprising to me was how much I actually liked Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith (he of the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which I am still resisting on principle). I thought this would be silly, but it was actually a pretty good story. I liked the historical aspect, Abe's battles and partnerships with vampires, and how the history of slavery is tied in with vampirism. Clever and entertaining.
As for the werewolves, I tried Soulless by Gail Carriger, but again could not get past the first few pages. It was pointed out to me that this is a romance (which I don't really like), with werewolves added in. Just because it's historical and has werewolves does not change the fact that it's a romance. So maybe it wasn't the best choice for me. I'd like more highbrow werewolf literature. Any suggestions?I really wanted to avoid the zombies. After all, aren't they just walking dead bodies looking for flesh to feast on? They aren't intelligent and cunning like vampires. How interesting could they be? But Max Brooks's World War Z was an incredibly good read. The novel tells the stories of the survivors of the Zombie War. Really smart and engrossing. And the audiobook is narrated by a very talented cast. I highly recommend this one.
And although magicians don't fall into the category of the undead, they still kind of fit into this "paranormal" genre, I think. I was so looking forward to Lev Grossman's The Magicians. Young kid gets accepted into a school for magicians. Like Harry Potter, right? Well, no, not really. He does go to a school for magicians, but that's about all they have in common. The book starts off pretty good. But he lost me about halfway through. Just...weird. As disappointing as Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Listen up book reviewers: when you review a book about magicians and you liken it to Harry Potter in any way, you are treading on very thin ice. I recall reading the words "Harry Potter" in reviews for both of these books, and I can tell you neither of them reminded me of Harry Potter in any way, other than the fact that the main characters were magicians. This does not automatically make them good for Harry Potter fans. When you use that phrase, you set a very high expectation, which can lead to big disappointments. With that being said, I will tell you about a book about magicians I recently read and enjoyed. Although magicians are the main characters in this story, Heart's Blood by Gail Dayton is nothing like that book about you know who. It is, however, a pretty good historical/paranormal/romance. I liked the historical setting and details, the strong female characters, the wizardry, and the spicy romance.
So there you have it. I've found some disappointments, but I'm happy to say that I've found some pretty good reads. And I know a lot more about vampires. While I'm not going to be reading Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, I am looking forward to finding more good reads in this genre.