The book I'm reading just took a TRULY funky turn. Beyond blood, psychics, and drug use, we now have father/son incest, without either of the participants knowing that they're related. Whoa, those freaky vampires!
Still not as ultimately disturbing as "Temple of Night" by S.P. Somtow. That book made me shudder with it's imagery, but it kept drawing me back to read more of it. The concept of the Crow has never been taken to more hellacious depths. The only other Somtow book I've read, "The Vampire's Beautiful Daughter," wasn't nearly as frightening as "Temple of Night." Geared toward a younger audience, maybe.
Speaking of vampires, Laurrell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake books are really good vampire (and other beasts that go bump in the night) books, but sometimes I feel the blatant eroticism of the most recent books detracts from the blood and guts too much. My favorite of those is still "The Lunatic Cafe," which is actually more about the werewolves (and other lycanthropes) than vampires.
One novel that is very much in the same vein as the Anita Blake books, with vampires as a recognized part of modern society, is "Dead Until Dark" by Charlaine Harris. It should read like a cheap knock-off of Hamilton's books, but it really doesn't. In some ways, I like Sookie better than Anita.
"The Madness Season" by C.S. Friedman puts a wonderful sci-fi twist on the vampire concept, with a lone vampire hold out against the alien invaders ultimately acting to save humanity and the aliens themselves.
And we can't leave out the Sonja Blue books by Nancy A. Collins. I reread those, plus her Sonja Blue/World of Darkness crossover, every few years. She does the best angry punk vampires!
I don't care greatly for P.N. Elrod's detective noir vampire, but I enjoy his Jonathan Barrett series a lot. Great historical parts combined with a wonderful character.
My favorite of Anne Rice's novels is "The Vampire Lestat." I didn't care for "Interview With A Vampire" at all and I could never get into "Tale of the Body-Thief." "Queen of the Damned" was okay. The movie, though, looks iffy at best. From the commercials I've seen, it has a MTV-ish quality to it that turns me off. Oh well. And I've not read any of Rice's other vampire novels. Although, "Vittorio" looks interesting.
It only vaguely qualifies as vampire, but Meredith Ann Pierce's Darkangel Trilogy is really good. Bioengineered life on a post-apocalyptic Moon where high technology has become magic. Really cool stuff. Classic key scenario quest story, too, with a female protagonist.
Er, why am I writing this long journal entry on vampire novels? To get my mind off the incest thing in my current book. It's actually not bad. It's one of the ones viridian5
recommends at her site. I like it anyway.
Hmm, I think I'll get out "The Vampire Gallery," which I got as a present for this last Christmas, and take a look.... wow, Meg Tilly as Carmilla Karnstein is kind of hot! (pg. 220) Yes, I'm just looking at the pictures. But Marie in "Innocent Blood" (played by Anne Parillaud) with always be my favorite movie-vampire-chick. Her eyes change color depending on her mood....