Category Archives: vampires

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness.

A continuation of the All Souls Trilogy also known as shadow of nightThe Discovery of Witches trilogy), this book continues to follow Matthew and Diana, as they travel to late 1500’s London (and around Europe as well). It’s an amazing read, though (like the first book) it is quite long.

Read Matthew Lachkovic’s review of A Discovery of Witches.

Availability: SMCM Library and COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Matthew Lachkovic
Rating: Highly Recommended

The Quick By Lauren Owen

The QuickIf you are looking for a good, old-fashioned vampire novel, look no further than Lauren Owen’s The Quick. For the first 150 pages, you may think that Owen’s novel (her first) will be a straightforward, conventional tale of orphaned siblings in Victorian England. Then, James Norbury finds himself a reluctant member of the Aegolius Club, a secret society for the wealthy (and undead). After James goes missing, his sister Charlotte travels to London to search for him. Like the heroine of any Gothic novel, Charlotte finds herself navigating a underground London populated by dangerous characters: child vampires, a pair of “Van Helsings,” and the mysterious Doctor Knife. Like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Owen plays with narrative and form to encompass the thoughts of both the (un)dead and the “quick.” Only the narrative of Charlotte, our virginal heroine, falls flat. Overall, however, Owen has written a dark, compelling story of the monsters within us all. No sparkly vampires in sight.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Kaitlyn Grigsby
Rating: Highly Recommended

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of WitchesMy gosh. Absolutely great, addictive book, but it is looong. Usually I can read a book in a few days, but this took me two weeks. I still highly recommend it as now I’m reading the second one in the series.

The book starts off with Diana, a witch who basically tries to avoid magic as much as she can, and yet it keeps coming back to her. Soon, she’s following by a family of vampires, a haven of witches, and the occasional daemon. Find out what these “creatures” (as the book called them) are up to in this very hooking initiative to a series.

“Witch and Yale historian Diana Bishop discovers an enchanted manuscript, attracting the attention of 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew Clairmont. The orphaned daughter of two powerful witches, Bishop prefers intellect, but relies on magic when her discovery of a palimpsest documenting the origin of supernatural species releases an assortment of undead who threaten, stalk, and harass her. ” (Publisher’s Weekly)

Availability: SMCM Library and COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Matthew “Him again?!” Lachkovic
Rating: Highly Recommended with Reservations

The New Deadwardians by Dan Abnett & I.N.J. Culbard

The New DeadwardiansAfter the war, zombies became an infection of the dead, and vampirism seemed to be a solution for only the highest class. George Suttles is an investigator for the murder division of the police department, but now murders are so rare he is the only one left in the department. One day, there is a murder… of a vampire.
Warning: Adult content enclosed.

Availability: SMCM Library
Review Submitted by: Andrew Lachkovic
Rating: Recommended

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen AngelsCity of Fallen Angels is the 4th book in the Mortal Instruments series. Having just finished the 3rd book I was looking forward to continuing the story. However, while the characters were the same and the writing was still great the book started off extremely slow. It did finally start moving along about half way through the book but it took a few hundred pages to get to that point. The story and characters were developed further and a few surprises happened along the way. The book ended with a bit of a cliff-hanger so it will be interesting to see what the 5th book has to hold.

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Mandy Reinig
Rating: Recommended

Read Mandy Reinig’s review of Cassandra Clare’s City of Glass.

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

City of GlassIt has been awhile since I have read any of the Mortal Instruments series and so it took me a little time to get back into the book since I was trying to remember what had happened that lead up to where they were in the story. However, this is a great series and the third book was no different. In City of Glass, the author develops the two main characters and several of the supporting characters even further. Additionally, you see several characters from the two previous books re-emerge. There is quite a bit of action and adventure as well as a little romance thrown which makes this book a great read for almost all types of readers. Overall, just as enjoyable as the others and can’t wait to start the 4th book.

Update from the editor: There is now a website for the Mortal Instruments film, City of Bones.

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Mandy Reinig
Rating: Highly Recommended

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire HunterI’d heard that the movie adaptation of this book was “so-so,” which led me to believe that the book was incredible and the movie did no justice. After reading the review on this site several weeks ago, I was excited to buy the book, since my library hadn’t had the book on the shelves for weeks. I wish I’d saved my money.

My frustrations with the book are two-fold. Firstly, I never felt drawn into the book at ANY point. The book switches between 3rd-person narration and entries from Lincoln’s “secret journals,” oftentimes changing with every other paragraph. Grahame-Smith’s style, while unique, never allowed me to feel like I was experiencing the story. I felt like an observer, and I desperately wanted to feel included.

Secondly, while the vampire twist was a unique idea, Grahame-Smith’s storytelling ability was lacking. The book reads like a history lesson, and basically every hardship in Lincoln’s life (i.e. deaths in the family) was blamed on vampires. When the vampires aren’t playing a role in the book, the author seems to get lost in his research and ramble. (And when they ARE playing a role, there is a severe deficit of description). Grahame-Smith lacks the ability of many historical biographers to draw readers in to peoples’ lives—he simply recounts anything I could have Googled and adds in some vampire-killing. Indeed, he acknowledges Google and Wikipedia at the end for the “help” he had with writing his book. He doesn’t cite one historian, Lincoln biography, or primary source.

I did enjoy reading about Lincoln’s life, but was frustrated by its execution. The best takeaway from my reading was that Lincoln had a life that doesn’t require vampires for it to be incredible. It has inspired me to go read a real Lincoln biography now. I have yet to see the movie (and may only see it when it comes out on DVD), but this may be one instance where the movie may actually be better than the book.

Availability: USMAI and COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jordan Gaines, SMCM Alum ’11
Rating:  Not recommended

Read Samantha Schwartz’s review of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.