My fiance decided recently that he wanted to start playing the game Warhammer, a strategy game that involves very tiny figures as your playing pieces. I'm sure you've all seen it, it comes from a company called Games Workshop but is often sold at other locations.
I was slightly familiar with the game, my older brother had played when we were young and had also spent many years painting the figures with an airbrush. My fiance decided that he wanted to play the fantasy branch of the game, using Dark Elves as his primary army, and I thought from observing I may pick up some ideas for new characters and creatures in my own writing.
We went into the local retail shop and I was surprised when I saw that there was a vampire army in the fantasy branch. Warhammer has vampires? Since when? And, and, they had a figure that looked like my Gigi!
So I started looking into the Warhammer vampires, how long they'd been around and what their stories are, and I was pleasantly surprised.
Now, from reading my fiance's Dark Elves book I had a taste of just how elaborate and detailed the background for these characters really was, and I was amazed at just how elaborate the vampire world was. And this was just the stories that came in the rule books for the specific armies. I didn't discover until our second trip that there were novels set in the same universe.
The first vampire book I looked at was Bloodborn by Nathan Long, the first in his Ulrika the Vampire trilogy. Reading the back I was intrigued, but it wasn't until I returned home and began reading reviews online that I was sold. This specific vampire novel was a return to what made vampire novels great; violent, blood thirsty creatures who still had some human personality traits left in them, but they were real, honest to God vampires. None of this sparkly nonsense that has come up in vampire novels lately, which I am just saying to the world that is not really a vampire, and they were apparently very well written.
So, the next time my fiance went to the local shop without me he picked up Bloodborn and the third in the series, Bloodsworn, and we would look for the second later. I couldn't wait until I could crack it open, and when I did I was once again surprised.
I am still reading it, I will post a review when I am finished, but I am thoroughly enjoying it. When I really got into it I really wanted to jump up and cheer! A real vampire novel with guts, I wasn't sure they existed anymore. And not just guts, but a story. An honest to God story, with character's that aren't animals or too tame. My faith has been renewed, and I am excited for the vampire genre again.
So, dear readers, those of you who are looking for a real, honest to God vampire book, check out the Ulrika the Vampire series, and the Black Library site, which is the publishing arm of Games Workshop. I'd love to hear if you had the same feelings I did!