Friday, November 16, 2012

Currently Reading: The Last Vampire; Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter; and Alex Van Helsing: Voices of the Undead

At the moment I’m working on three different books.  Unlike other times when I’ve tried to tackle more than one book at a time, I’ve been reading out of each fairly evenly.  Also for some reason I’ve been in a bit of a vampire kick recently.  If anyone knows any good vampire books out there, I’d love some suggestions for what to take on next. 

Title:  The Last Vampire (Amazon, Amazon [as part of Thirst No. 1], GoodReads, The VampireLibrary, Wikipedia)
Author:  Christopher Pike (Simon & Schuster, GoodReads, Facebook, Amazon, Wikipedia)  

1994’s The Last Vampire is the story of a 5,000 year-old vampire named Sita.  Originally from India, Sita appears to by 18 and discovers that someone wants her dead. 

Amazon’s Book Description (from the Thirst No. 1 entry) –
 At five thousand years old, the vampire Alisa thought she was smart enough to stay out of trouble. But when her creator returns to hunt her, she must protect herself by befriending Ray, the boy who may be her only chance at finding her maker. When she begins to fall in love with Ray, all of a sudden there is more at stake than her own life. Originally published in 1994, this series netted more than 500,000 copies as individual titles and later as bind-ups. This hot new repackage will revive the series for today’s teen.

I’m about a bit over halfway through this book and have really enjoyed it.  One of the coolest things about the story is the inclusion of Hindu deities/characters into the story.  I’m a sucker for books that mix mythology into modern fantasy stories, so the use of Hinduism in The Last Vampire has been great. 

The Last Vampire was the first book in the series by the same name, which was later repackaged and re-released as the Thirst series.

Title:  Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (Amazon, Facebook, GoogleBooks, Wikipedia)
Author:  Seth Grahame-Smith (Official, Twitter, HatchetBook Group, GoodReads, Amazon, IMDB, Wikipedia)

Despite having been released only last year, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter has become a huge hit and spawned a movie adaptation.  I’m not quite halfway through the book, but so far it is really freaking good.

Amazon’s Book Description –
Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."

"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

Title:  Alex Van Helsing: Voices of the Undead (Official, Amazon, HarperTeen)
Author:  Jason Henderson (Official, Facebook, Twitter, HarperTeen, Wikipedia)

The second book in the Alex Van Helsing series picks up right where Vampire Rising left off.  I’m not quite a quarter way through the book, but so far it is just as good as the first one in the series.

Amazon’s Book Description –
Now that Alex is in the know about the deadly vampires that live--and hunt--clustered around his boarding school, everything is different. Putting his talents to use, Alex is training with the Polidorium to become a vampire hunter, just like his Van Helsing ancestors. Sure, he's only fourteen, but c'mon, this runs in his blood.  Meanwhile, Alex's arch-nemesis Elle, a vampire whose youthful appearance and blond hair disguise a vengeful rage, is out to get him before a powerful leader called "Ultravox" arrives on the scene. Ultravox specializes in assassinations, but who is he targeting? Dodging Elle's attacks, Alex is on a mission to uncover Ultravox's deadly plan before his friends and his school become collateral damage. There's no time to report back; innocent lives hang in the balance, and it's up to Alex to act now--or else. 

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