Like many readers, I went through a vampire phase. I’m happy to admit it and some of these books, if truth be told, remain as firm favourites. I was originally going to frame this article as a look at my top three favourite vampire series, but then I kept remembering another one and another one, and there was just no way I could narrow it down to three, because while in the grips of this supernatural yearning that seemed to have taken hold of me eight years ago, I burned through a lot of series, both YA and adult. I figure it’s probably better to just revisit them all individually over time, but spaced apart, because you know – vampire overload!
My absolute favourite, top of the lot, is the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s a little intro along with the list of fifteen titles:
An isolated West Texas town. An unsuspecting young transfer student. And a town full of creatures of the night …
When Claire Danvers, brilliant young freshman, arrives in Morganville, she expects her toughest adjustment to be the killer classes … but this town’s got more bite. It’s owned by vampires, and if you want to live, you’d better either cooperate with them or contribute to the blood bank, or have friends with excellent survival skills. Luckily, Claire’s come to the right off-campus housing: the Glass House, where Michael Glass, Eve Rosser and Shane Collins live in their own little screwed-up fraternity of rebellion against the status quo. With mean girls out to get her, vampires out to use her, and a whole town against her, she’s going to need all the help she can get.
- Glass House (October 2006)
- The Dead Girls’ Dance (April 2007)
- Midnight Alley (October 2007)
- Feast of Fools (June 2008)
- Lord of Misrule (January 2009)
- Carpe Corpus (June 2009)
- Fade Out (November 2009)
- Kiss of Death (April 27, 2010)
- Ghost Town (October 26, 2010)
- Bite Club (May 3, 2011)
- Last Breath (November 1, 2011)
- Black Dawn (May 1, 2012)
- Bitter Blood (November 6, 2012)
- Fall Of Night (May 7, 2013)
- Daylighters (November 5, 2013)
What was it about this series that made it stand out in a market place crammed full of vampire books? Well, for a start, they’re scary. The vampires are mean and terrifying and there is definitely no sparkling or falling in love and overcoming evil as a team – so right up my alley! And then there’s Myrnin.
Myrnin is an ancient alchemist vampire searching for a cure to the vampire disease. He loves bunny slippers with fangs as well as flip-flops, silk vests, pirate boots, and old Victorian ensembles. Oh, and he’s bipolar. Yes, a bipolar vampire. The character creation with Myrnin is truly sensational and makes for some very entertaining as well as truly heartbreaking moments throughout the series.
Another reason for loving this series so much is for Claire, the main protagonist. Graduating from high school early and attending university at the age of 16, she is one of the youngest characters in the series, but is exceptionally intelligent for her age which causes many people (especially vampires) to take a special interest in her. She’s Myrnin’s assistant and they become close friends because of their similar intellectual interests; although their relationship is strained at times by Myrnin’s impulsive, uncontrolled conduct due to both his vampire nature and the effects his mental illness. From the beginning in Glass Houses (book 1), Claire is somewhat naïve, but as the series moves forward, she quickly shows herself to be tough and clever – sometimes slightly reckless – assimilating herself into Morganville’s vampire-ruled world better than most of the other human population. In short, she’s a fantastic role model, feisty and super smart, loyal to her friends and not willing to take any crap from anyone. For all fifteen books, I loved her and never once got sick of her – testament, I think, to Rachel Caine’s excellent characterisation.
There are a whole host of other characters, both friends and enemies, who all work to make this series so sensational. While I was sad to see it all come to an end, it really did so on a high, which was better than seeing it dwindle down into ‘there’s just been too many books’ territory. I stumbled upon this series quite by accident, but how glad I am that I did! If you like a bit of paranormal reading that doubles up as being a little bit scary and a fair bit thrilling, then check out Morganville. After you’ve finished the first, you’ll be so glad that there’s another fourteen thereafter!