Tori Discusses: Emo Vampires Need Not Apply


Growing up, I loved the show Creature Feature. It introduced me to such wonderful horror flicks such as; The Mummy, The Wolfman, and Frankenstein. I remember sitting in a dark room with my cousins and being scared to death but loving every minute of it. As I got older, I fell in love with Buffy The Vampire Slayer and yes, Spike was my favorite. Not because of his looks (though they helped) but because he was a very bad boy. He acted how I thought a  vampire should act. He didn’t walk around all pouty and sulky like Angel, bemoaning that he and the love of his life would never be together. Blah Blah Blah. He killed, maimed, lied, and destroyed. Yet, he had a certain je suis ce que about him that made him more appealing. He made no promises about what he was and and asked for none in return. He had a moral code, skewed as it was, and it worked for him. And me.

As a reader of the supernatural, I like my characters to mimic the inhumane and deadly creatures that I watched all those years ago. Lately, I’ve been looking for more books that don’t romanticize or humanize the supernatural right off the bat. I want monsters who know they are monsters. They aren’t overly emotional or tortured over their inhumanity. They revel and celebrate it. I want the arrogant master of his domain. I want the alpha narcissistic who thinks he’s superior to the human race and has no qualms in acting this way. I want to see him relearn his humanity. I want them to find that one person who angers them to impossible heights over their continued defiance and unwillingness to surrender to their obvious superior nature.  Because soon, their anger turns to fascination and a love affair begins that defies everything.

I may have found what I wanted with D.B. Reynolds American Vampire series. I have had her series on my TBR for awhile but never made the leap into reading for unknown reasons. Wrong time. Not enough time. Wasn’t in the mood. Numerous reasons kept me from buying the first one. Amy, from Fiction Vixen, made some comments to me about it, wondering why we hadn’t read it. So, I picked up Raphael, book one, and was instantly engaged.



Blurb from the book:

Malibu, California-home to rock-and-roll gods and movie stars, the beautiful, the rich . . . and vampires.

Powerful and charismatic, Raphael is a Vampire Lord, one of the few who hold the power of life and death over every vampire in existence. Thousands call him Master and have pledged absolute loyalty on their very lives. But when, in a brazen and deadly daylight attack, a gang of human killers kidnaps the one female vampire he’d give his life for, Raphael turns to a human investigator to find his enemies before it’s too late.

Cynthia Leighton is smart, tough and sexy, a private investigator and former cop who’s tired of spying on cheating spouses and digging out old bank accounts. When Raphael asks for her help in tracking down the kidnappers, Cyn’s happy to accept. But she soon realizes her greatest danger comes not from the humans, but from Raphael himself.

Battling Russian mobsters and treacherous vampires, and betrayed by those they trusted, Cyn and Raphael find themselves fighting for their lives while caught up in a passion of blood and violence that is destined to destroy them both.

Raphael is a Vampire Lord, Powerful and likened to royalty; this man gets what he wants through whatever means possible. Not cruel but more arrogant and dismissive. He’s cold, assertive, powerful, and confident in his sexual appeal. He has hundreds of vampires under his command and he strikes fear in the hearts of every single one of them. He hires Cynthia Leighton, a private investigator, to help him find someone close to him who was kidnapped and the people responsible.

Fast pacing, non stop action, and two dynamic characters made this a quick and satisfying read for me. I loved Cynthia. She is not ashamed of her sexuality or desire for Raphael but isn’t a feeble minded heroine overcome by lust and goes willingly under his thumb. She is smart, resourceful, kick arse, and refuses to be just amusing bedsport. I enjoyed seeing a heroine who is built strong but with a vulnerable core. Not a damsel in distress. She is more than able to hold her own and her background is suitably designed for this realism. She’s not magical or imbibed with any super powers. She is human but this former cop has the knowledge and skills she needs to stay alive.

I loved Raphael because he is such an arrogant jerk. He has no lost love he’s pining for. He isn’t ashamed he was turned into a vampire and now has to live off human blood. He drained and killed an entire monastery full of monks who took him in after he was first turned and left to fend for himself. 0_o He is what he is and you can either accept it or not…he does not care. He doesn’t meet the love of his life and suddenly want to become a better man. Hell no. He’s at the top of the food chain and prefers to stay there. It’s good to be King.

The conflict balances well with the burgeoning romance. Though, the book ends with Cyn and Rachael at an impasse and going their separate ways. The conflict and resolution is delightfully bloody and menacing. Reynolds doesn’t hold back and her vampires act and do as I would expect them to. There is no forgiveness or pity. Either you are with them or against them. They are all very cold and I found it worked for me. There are small hints given to how vampires are made-think virus-but permission is given from a higher source and it is given sparingly. I look forward to reading more of Reynolds world and the vampires that inhibit it.

The next book in the series is Jabril. I am told it’s darker and more action packed than the first one and Cyn and Raphael’s relationship is decided in here. There are seven books in the series so far with the 8th book being released this year. I think anyone who is looking for a series where vampires act like vampires and not emo love struck saps…then Reynolds may be what you’re looking for.

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    • says

      I have glommed this entries series-reading Aden right now-and completely hooked. I do believe Reynolds is a very unappreciated author.

  1. Mandi says

    Annnnnnd just bought book one. I LOVE it when supernaturals act – supernatural-ish. And violent. And powerful.

  2. Amanda says

    I wonder how many of us just read the words Emo vampires and thought Angel. He was the definition of a moody broody vamp.

    Whether its vampire, shifter, or some other monster I do like them to be that and not feel pages with “woe is me” mentality. I have been rereading Nalini Singh’s guild hunter books I love the fact that both the Angels and Vampires aren’t trying or wanting to be human. There tough dark creatures and they are unapologetic about it.

    • says

      Heh. Angel was such a whiner.

      I love Singh’s Guild Hunter’s series. They never lose that killer edge, even after they fall in love. The danger is still there for all to see.

  3. says

    I still getting the hang of your new web design, so I haven’t read the other comments, but I wanted to say I appreciate this post


    I just found this series and read Jabril yesterday, and I liked it enough to keep reading more of the series. BUT the Raphael appearing in the 2nd book doesn’t sound like the Raphael you describe. (I didn’t read Book 1.) Definitely got an emo vibe from him (ooooh forgive me Cyn. I lurve you). This is precisely my only criticism of book 2. Cyn is total awesomeness. But the book 2 Raphael is just eh.

    Can’t wait to hear your reactions to Jabril.

    • says

      I’m reading Aden now. lol I zoomed through the series. Read book one-Raphael. Yes, in book 2 he softens towards Cyn but in book one…such an arse. lol And we see in the rest of series and he’s just as bad arse.

  4. Lindsayb says

    American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout (I hope I spelled that right) should be right up your alley. The male and female leads are pretty bad ass and unapologetic. Reading that was the first time I read a book with a pretty evil lead character and actually liked it.

  5. Olivia says

    I’m very interested, but at $7 bucks a-pop? I can’t justify that for an e-book. Paperback, yes, but not e-book.

  6. Helyce says

    I was right there with you and definitely preferred Spike to Angel. That season where him and Buffy get all hot and stuff and break buildings with their sexing…the very best! I hope to give this series a try! Paranormal is my absolute favorite to read and it has been hard to find a really good vamp story!

  7. says

    LOVE this series. What D.B. does with her vampires (or perhaps doesn’t do) is what makes this one of my favorite vampires series. I love the “real” feeling of the series and her characters. I REALLY WISH more people would read it.

  8. Angela Louise McGurk says

    I’m going to have to read these now. I need a new series to get into until the next Chicagoland Vampire book comes out.

  9. says

    Great post Tori, I have had this series on my TBR for years as well, I keep promising to read it. One of my favourite blogs loves it, and I see their posts time and again, and still…
    Have you tried Lynn Viehl?

  10. Jurisha says

    I love this post! Vamps should have cajones. What do you think about Anne Rice going back to Lestat? I’m hesitant but can’t help also being excited. Prince Lestat expected October 28, 2014.

  11. Suzy says

    I read your comments about this series last week, I think it was. Bought it yesterday and can’t wait to dig into it this weekend!
    LOL, I also just added Buffy the Vampire Slayer to my amazon streaming watchlist as I seem to be the only person I know who never watched it. PLUS I’ve listened to James Marsters (Spike) read The Greyfriar books and holy crap! what a great voice!

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