Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Vampire Taxonomy by Meredith Woerner + Contest!

Published November, 2009

Whether you accept it or not, the world is overrun with vampires - behind you in line at the store, "living" in the house next door, walking their undead dogs. Not content to live quietly in the shadows, they appear blatantly in every medium from television and movies to books and comics. With so many different species running amok, it's hard to know whether the next vamp you meet will want to marry you or have you for dinner. With this guide, however, you can easily identify which type of bloodsucker you're dealing with and how best to approach (or avoid) it by understanding:
  • Physical Attributes: Recognize each type of immortal with fang diagrams, dissections of the vampire anatomy, and other helpful classification tools.
  • Habitat: Does it venture out in the day (and look awfully sparkly when it does) or board up the windows in mysterious manor houses?
  • Demeanor: Is it a brooding loner waging a never-ending struggle against the temptation of human blood, or a carefree creature with a biting wit who views the world as its own personal blood buffet?
  • Weaknesses: Crosses, sunlight, cutting off heads - what will do the job?
  • Cultural Assimilation: Prime yourself with the appropriate response to any situation you may find yourself in with someone "long in the tooth."
Read this book and when the vampires come calling, be prepared with either your heart on your sleeve or a stake in your hand. (book back blurb)

What made this book stand out for me against all the other vampire guides out there was the fact that Meredith Woerner is a Lost Boys fan. Hello! When her publicist sent me Meredith's author blurb I pretty much went, "send me nao." Must read. I was hesitant, however, because of the mention of Twilight on the back of the book. But lo, how happy I would become as I actually cracked the book to read.

First and foremost, what I especially liked was how all the different vampire movies and books were classified as different vampires. It didn't lump everything into one fang and give you general guidelines on what to do with them. Not only are there the Romantic, Villainous and Tragic vampires (all three present in nearly every vampire story) but there are different species and various types of evolution as well. Like you have the bat-like vampires of The Lost Boys and then you have those ugly pseudo-Alien things from Blade II. Actually, those more closely look like Predator. But you know what I'm talking about, right? Anyway, Woerner is thinking like how I've thought for over a decade, in varying species, not just one set of vampires, and I love that. They all exist simultaneously and, like humans, they adapt to their various lifestyles. Great minds think alike and all of that.

Love number two, while Woerner was attempting to be impartial on the glittering aspect of certain vampires, I think (through my rather clouded eyes) that its fairly obvious that she's not keen to what she calls "The Sparkle Factor" -
As of late, there has been great debate surrounding the sunlight factor and its effect on the epidermis of a vampire: yes, we're speaking of the "real vampires don't sparkle" controversy surrounding the Twilight series.

So, do some vampires sparkle in the sun? Because most pop culture myths have some basis in historical fact, it's a possibility. But in the end it's difficult to say. There are no ancient myths of glittering vampires, although we do know that some species of vamps can freely stroll about in the daytime. The stance on sparkle is going to have to remain in the air until more than one pop culture outlet can agree that vampires have mutated, evolved, or always retained the glimmering ability.
AKA, only the Twitards actually believe that vampires sparkle (interpretation mine). Don't get me wrong. Woerner is a total vampire professional. There is no sparkle bashing of any kind in this book. In fact Twilight is cited numerous times and the Cullens (and Volturi and those nomadic vampires) do make appearances throughout the book for not only their appearance but for their demeanor. So please don't think this book is a knock on Twilight. Not at all. But I do think that the book does consider the "vampires" of Twilight kind of like the vegetarians that only eat fish. Not quite there.

Probably some of my favorite parts of the book (really, they're all my favorites) were the "Known Specimens" at the end of each chapter where it plugs true form pop culture references into the explanations that were given in that chapter. For example, the "Villainous Vampires" chapter breaks these evil doers down into varying degrees of villainy -

Big Bad (known from BtVS the TV show and which describes those vamps that want pretty much the total destruction of the human race) which has examples like Lothos (BtVS the movie), Max (The Lost Boys), Jon Valek (John Carpenter's Vampires) and Murlough (Cirque du Freak).

Anger-Issues Immortals are the trigger happy vampires that'll drink your blood from your cracked open skull in the middle of Times Square. They include Severen (Near Dark), David (The Lost Boys), James (Twilight) and Deacon Frost (Blade).

Beautiful But Deadly which is pretty self explanatory and those include Santiago (IWTV), Countess (Once Bitten), Diamondback (Near Dark) and Miriam Blaylock (The Hunger).

Perfectly Terrible Gentlemen include the likes of Bela Lugosi's Count Dracula and then there are the All-Around Undead Jerks wherein Amilyn from the BtVS the movie falls in.

Absolutely awesome, I say. Woerner cites heavily from the likes of The Lost Boys, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (moreso the TV series and the comic), Near Dark and older films like Carmilla and Nosferatu and it's a must for any vampire fan. It's perfect for that new-found vampire lover that may be looking to broaden their horizons on the fang front or the seasoned nocturnal nommer that'll squee with glee at all the old school love in this book. Really a great read, very funny, very snarky and damn, does Woener know her stuff. Not only does she cite pop culture at the drop of a hat but she knows her mythology as well. Wicked.

So if you're looking for some intelligent yet satirical vampire education, be sure to pick up this book. It may just save your life.

Contest Time!!!

The publisher has kindly offered up two copies of this fabulous book to two lucky readers! You want one? Here's what you have to do -

Comment with your email and answer the following question -

What's your vampire type of vampire and why? (ETA - You don't have to choose from a category above. Create your own or just describe your favorite type of vampire that you've come across if you like.)

No answer, no entry. Period.

+4 for current followers
+3 for new followers
+3 for telling me your favorite vampire movie and/or book and why
+3 for linking (up to 3 links for a total of +9)

This contest is open to US residents only and will end on Decembter 29th at midnight, EST! Good luck everyone!


Brooke Reviews said...

Not sure what type, probably a mix between Beautiful and Deadly and Perfectly Terrible Gentlemen...I find the PTG's to be quite funny :)

+4 current follower
+3 favorite vampire movie is probably, Interview with a Vampire. The vamps in Underworld are okay, but I hate those movies. LOL

titania86 said...

I like the Perfectly Terrible Gentleman because there is an allure there, but they're still evil.

+4 old follower
+3 favorite vampire movie is Interview with a Vampire. Everything is pretty much perfect in this film, including the music, the costumes, the sets, the acting, etc.
+3 sidebar link

CallMeKayla said...

I'm not sure what type I would choose! Can you even choose??? I mean, they are all so wonderul and alluring...

+4 for current follower
+3 for telling me your favorite vampire movie and/or book and why-

Kresley Cole's DARK NEEDS AT NIGHT'S EDGE. It was soo amazing to begin with, but her characters are too good to be true, they really are. Her vampire "hero" is a "Fallen" one of the phsco bad guys, his brothers try to redem him, but instead a whisp of a woman does; who doesn't love that? I want a big, 'innocent', hulking he-warrior/assassin vampire breathing down my neck! ...or munching on it. LOL
+3 for linking (up to 3 links for a total of +9)


so...a total of 7 entries :)


M.A.D. said...

Mary D
zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Twitards hahahaha ahem... ANYway lol

Being a romantic at heart, I've got to go with The Perfectly Terrible Gentleman :)

+4 Current Follower
+3 Fav vampire book/movie & why:

Here I'm choosing "The Covenant With The Vampire" by Jeanne Kalogridis. Well written, you suspend disbelief and feel like you've been drop kicked into the middle of a dark, sensual stage where the characters slowly close in around you.

As an aside ... Micheal Talbot's "The Delicate Dependency" is an older, sometimes harder to find vampire novel that is or should be a classic in this genre. The title sums things up nicely, and I cannot recommend this highly enough to all vamp addicts needing a good fix.

Mandyfish said...

Making up my own category here - I love the blonde, bad boy vamps....Spike and Eric being my t.v. favorites.

+4 current follower
+3 Favorite vamp movie/book - I'm in deep adoration with the book "Let the Right One In" which has a movie version titled "Let Me In". It's a deep, dark movie that has so many layers it is amazing, but on the surface it's a story about a young boy vampire who befriends an innocent human boy.

Melissa (Books R Us) said...

I love the mysterious and bad boys. I agree with Mandy. Spike is # one in my book.

+4 current follower

MommyGirl said...

Oh I LOVE the Bad boy type that are somewhat romantic!! It just does not get any better than that!!


Triskaideka said...

My favorite Vampires are the ones from Peeps by Scott Westerfeld. They make the most sense like some of them are normal and some of them are crazy.
+4 current follower
+3 My favorite vampire book is Peeps

Monica Corwin said...

My favorite type of Vampire's are the good vampires that fight the bad vampires...and of course rescue women in distress.

+4 for current followers
+3 for telling me your favorite vampire movie and/or book and why

My favorite Vampire series of books actually is the Sookie Stackhouse series...I love how the vamps live out in the open and are good and bad just like humans.

+3 for linking


Unknown said...

Yay! Contest!

My favorite kind of vampires are those that are not portrayed as monsters or the bad character

+4 for current follower
+3 for telling me your favorite vampire movie and/or book and why

My favorite vampire book is "Blood and Chocolate" because it first got me hooked on all things vampires

+3 for linking


booklover0226 said...

I like the loner vampire who ends up finding love!

+3 I'm a new follower

+3 My favorite vampire movie is Dracula starring Frank Langella. He made Dracula sexy and handsome and not scary and ugly.

Tracey D
booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

Jamie said...

I like the traditional bloodsucker who hates his curse of immortality. I also like the vamps who only drink from their mate.

Anonymous said...

I like the bad boy vamps. Beautiful but haunted by dark pasts. That's the vamp for me!

+4 I am a follower via twitter @LisaMBasso

My favorite vamp movie is Dracula. Book: Living Dead in Dallas

StephTheBookworm said...

I'd have to say my favorite type of vampire are the romantic but tough ones. They know how to woo a girl, but also how to fight.


+3 new follower
+3 My favorite vampire book is Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. I love it because it's hilarious and adorable. It was my first vampire book! Lucius is who inspired my description of favorite vampire type. :)

Jason said...

My favorite type is the crazy ones, most notably Drucilla from Buffy/Angel


+4 current follower
+3 Favorite movie/book: Queen of the Damned, I was really impressed with Stewart Townsend and Alliah's performances, and while it doesn't cover everything the book (I really, really liked the twins) it gives enough to make me happy

Stacey Brucale said...

I like the beautiful but deadly vampires...looks can be decieving.

+3 new follower


justpeachy36 said...


I had to come up with my own vampire category. The Brooding Vampire. That vampire who wishes he wasn't a vampire. The one who tries to be different than regular vamps and I don't mean "Edward Cullen" different lol...

+3 New follower
+3 Favorite vampire book is After Midnight by Teresa Medeiros.

Andrea I said...

Beautiful bu Deadly. You always have to remember you're dealing with a blood sucker.

Current follower.

Favorite vampire book is Adrian Phoenix's A Rush of Wings.

Raving Witch said...

Lover of Life:
Even though I am a vampire I have not come to grips with my mortality. I sometimes view my gift as a curse but enjoy the rush of the blood of my victims. It is very similiar to Louie in Interview with a Vampire. Melancholy but curious on how my unlife will turn out. But don't tick me off or you shall rue the day.


silverhartgirl said...

It is so hard to chose
If I had to pick It would be Beautiful But Deadly.I love the beautiful vampires

Karly said...

I'd have to say the tormented vampire, like Angel, or the vampire who rules (but seems to have quite a bit hidden underneath) like Eric.

kalynnick said...

My favorite type has to be Alpha ones.

kalynnick AT yahoo DOT com

Unknown said...

Mandy has it perfectly right! Eric and Spike are definitely my favorites! Okay Angel can be third :)

+4 current follower

+3 My favorite vampire movie is Let the Right One In because it really is the best vampire movie ever. :) I'm scared, so very scared about the remake.

+3 linked on sidebar at:


Anonymous said...

follower +4

I enjoy the dark and deadly. No romanticizing it though. They can be beautiful but it's a nice change when they aren't. Like the Buffy version and Anne rice version.


Misusedinnocence said...

Tragic vampires are my favorite. :)

+3 for new followes. :)


Julie S said...

New follower. I kinda like the compassionate vampire that's troubled with the fact that they are a killer but do it anyway. One of my fave movies is Interview with the Vampire. juliecookies(at)gmail.com

ck.twilighter (Chasity) said...

Wow.... I am so hot for funny, dangerous, and unpredictable Vampires. Some what tortured (adds a complicated layer) to a point but not enough to mess them up!!

+3 for new followers

+3 for telling me your favorite vampire movie and/or book and why
My favorite book is Jeaniene Frost's Vampire Huntress series. Bones is to die for. He fits the bills above. He is hilarious and dangerous.... of and HOT!! That helps, right?

+3 for linking (up to 3 links for a total of +9)

Grand total: 9

Mahalo for hosting this contest!!=) Best wished to all the entries!!!

Cindy said...

My favorite type of vampire is the "classic"-ish type. By that I mean, Bram Stoker's Dracula. Scary and evil. Mwahahaha :)

+4 already a follower
+3 Favorite vampire movie: Interview with a Vampire


Linda Henderson said...

I like the vampire who still cares about humanity and not just his or her next meal.

+4 Old follower
+3 Favorite vampire book, any of The Calling series from Caridad Pineiro. She has characters (vampires) that seem more humane that a lot of them. They are likeable characters.

seriousreader at live dot com

ReaganStar said...

I think I would have to go with beautiful but deadly, I mean charm being you best friend and all... would be quite fun catching people off guard.

+3 New Follower
+3 Favorite Books is actually the Chicagoland series by Chloe Neill
Some Girls Bite, Friday Night Bites and the newest one Twice Bitten coming out this coming year

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