Vampires are Back: 17 Books to Read to Re-Enter Your ‘Twilight’ Era

written by ALYSSA DAVIS

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It’s been nearly 20 years since the world fell unconditionally and irrevocably in love with Edward Cullen, but if you’re anything like me, time’s passage hasn’t lessened your affection for the brooding, sparkly vampire—or the world of Twilight at large. With the fandom still very much intact, there’s no denying Stephenie Meyer’s hit saga is iconic in a way few other book series are. But as fun (and nostalgic) as it is to re-read the swoon-worthy story for the gazillionth time since taking that first cliff-dive into the books as a teenager, you might be thirsting for new vampire tales to satiate your appetite. Lucky for you, vampires are the fantasy book genre’s next big thing (dare we say, the reign of A Court of Thorns and Roses’ fae characters might be coming to an end?). From dark fantasies and sexy romances to chilling thrillers and playful rom-coms, sink your teeth into these vampire books to read that’ll have you re-entering your Twilight era faster than you can say, “Where the hell have you been, loca?”

Stephenie Meyer
Midnight Sun

What better way to re-enter your vampire era than by reading Stephenie Meyer’s highly anticipated Twilight retelling from Edward Cullen’s point of view? Published 15 years after the first installment of the iconic saga, Midnight Sun transports readers back to the very beginning of the century-year-old vampire’s tormented yet irresistible attraction to human Bella Swan. Told from Edward’s eyes, the long-awaited companion novel sheds new light on his life after becoming a vampire and why his harrowing journey makes his relationship with Bella the most significant struggle he’s ever faced.

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Rachel Caine
The Morganville Vampires

Rachel Caine’s 15-book “Morganville Vampires” series was the first vampire series I read after falling fangs over feet for the Twilight saga, and it still holds up as one of the best vamp stories I’ve read over a decade later. The opening novel of the collection, Glass Houses, introduces meek college freshman Claire Danvers as she moves from her mean girl-ridden dorm in Morganville, Texas to an off-campus house occupied by three young locals. While her new roommates are an improvement from the unrelenting bullies she was dealing with on campus, they’re also oddly distant—that is until Claire discovers Morganville is not the type of place to wander around alone due to a certain bloodthirsty demographic that secretly runs the college town. Horrified as Claire learns what Morganville is, she’s also shocked to find she might feel more at home than ever thanks to an unexpected bond with her ragtag band of housemates—and maybe even a vampire or two along the way.

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Carissa Broadbent
The Serpent & The Wings of Night

Twilight girlies, who also dabbled in The Hunger Games fandom, rejoice: The first installment of the “Crowns of Nyaxia” series, The Serpent & The Wings of Night, involves both ruthless vampires and a deadly competition. Human Oraya was found as a child by the vampire king of the House of Night, and he makes the extremely unorthodox decision to adopt her as his own. Having grown up as an outsider in a world of brutal vampires, Oraya desperately wants to prove her worth, and to do so, she decides to enter the Kejari: A vicious tournament held by the goddess of death once every century. To rise as the victor, Oraya must defeat her cruel and bloodthirsty rivals, including merciless vampire killer Raihn. As the Kejari unfolds, he becomes Oraya’s unlikely ally and unexpected source of solace. But in their cold-blooded world, there’s little more dangerous than love—or trust.

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Carissa Broadbent
Slaying the Vampire Conqueror

Set in the same world as Clarissa Broadbent’s “Crowns of Nyaxia” series, Slaying the Vampire Conquerer follows Sylina, an orphan-turned-assassin for the Arachessen, a cult of the Goddess of Fate. While her focus has long been on ridding her kingdom of its tyrannical ruler, Sylina is tasked with a new mission when vampire conqueror Atrius arrives on Glaea’s shores. The menacing warrior is determined to carve a path through the kingdom with the aid of his army, and Sylina’s task is to infiltrate his forces, earn his trust, and end him. But when she becomes Atrius’ seer and glimpses visions of his troubling past that remind her all too much of her own, Sylina’s dedication to her duty begins to waver. As Glaea’s king incites more bloodshed and her forbidden connection to Atrius grows stronger, Sylina is forced to reckon with her vows to the Arachessen and her heart’s true calling.

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Jennifer L. Armentrout
From Blood and Ash

In a world full of vicious creatures, including vampyres, Craven, wolven, and more, Poppy is saddled with the responsibility of being her kingdom’s Maiden, a role she was chosen to fulfill at birth. Destined to never be touched, spoken to, or engaged with, Poppy must act as the demure and timid savior—but the suffocating responsibility of the Chosen is one she feels at odds with. When she meets Hawke, a guard charged with ensuring her ascension, Poppy’s commitment to her lonely prophecy is strained more than ever. While battling her forbidden attraction to the guard, a fallen kingdom reawakens in the name of reclaiming what they believe to be theirs. With violence and vengeance threatening her kingdom as she wars with duty and desire, the threads holding Poppy’s world together begin to unravel in the most life-shattering ways.

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Katee Robert
Court of the Vampire Queen

Half-human and half-vampire, Mina has always lived between two worlds without fully experiencing either one. Forced to live under the thumb of her father, she loathed to find herself as a pawn in his latest political game when he gifts her to vampire ruler Malachi Zion. With a monstrous reputation for ruling ruthlessly, Mina initially fears her captor—but the more time she spends around Malachi, the more she discovers his character may not be as sinful as it seems. As the two become entangled, Mina is introduced to a whole new world that includes not just the love of Malachi but also that of his two closest friends. With three powerful vampire men lifting her to new heights, Mina may be ready to show her father that using her was the biggest mistake he ever made—and she just might relieve him of his crown in favor of taking it for her own.

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Scarlett St. Clair
King of Battle and Blood

Isolde de Lara is getting married, but she might as well be selling her soul to the underworld—and in a way, she is. Betrothed to merciless vampire king Adrian Aleksandr Vasiliev, Isolde must marry the undead ruler to put an end to a years-long war. Exchanging vows isn’t her only task, though—Isolde’s true mission is to kill the king. When her assassination attempt goes awry, Adrian makes a blood-chilling promise to raise her as the undead if she tries to end him again, and faced with the possibility of becoming the thing she hates most, Isolde is forced to navigate surviving the ruthless vampire court. Terrifying as the court is, they’re not her biggest fear—Adrian is. Though every fiber of her being wants to hate him, she can’t deny their chemistry. But more perplexing than their unexpected connection is why the savage king chose her as his consort—and the answer will burn her world to the ground.

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Renée Ahdieh
The Beautiful

Forced to leave behind her life as a dressmaker in 1870s Paris, Celine Rousseau flees France for the safe haven that is New Orleans—a city ruled by the undead. After finding a new home with the sisterhood of the Ursuline convent, Celine finds herself entranced with the city’s underworld run by Sébastien Saint Germain—and with the vampire leader himself. But when one of the convent’s sisters is found dead in Sébastien’s lair, Celine must set aside the attraction she feels for the vampire due to her suspicion that he’s involved with the ongoing murders targeting women in the city. Celine may not be so innocent, though, as she’s desperate to keep her own terrible secret in the shadows.

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Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti
Eternal Reign

From the authors of the “Zodiac Academy” series comes Eternal Reign, the first installment of the “Age of Vampires” collection. Twin sisters Callie and Montana grew up in a dangerous post-apocalyptic world in which humans are nothing more than livestock for vampires. When the sisters attempt to escape the annual testing that leads to ominous disappearances, Montana is taken by an original vampire while Callie is saved from capture by a vampire slayer. The two sisters are at the mercy of the men they’re tangled up with, who just so happen to be playing a game with one another on opposite sides of an ancient war. The vampire and slayer may think they can use Callie and Montana as pawns, but the clever and resilient sisters—trained by their dad to fight and survive—each have a vengeful plan of their own.

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Ali Hazelwood

For Twilight fans who’ve been Team Jacob since Taylor Lautner bared his impressive abs in the film adaptation of New Moon, Ali Hazelwood’s Bride is right up your path to the rez. Misery Lark is the sole daughter of the most powerful Vampyre councilman of the Southwest, though she’d prefer a life of anonymity among the humans. Those dreams are dashed when she’s forced to act as collateral—a role she’s all too familiar with—in the historic peacekeeping treaty between the Vampyres and their mortal enemies, the Weres. Misery is offered as the Vampyre bride in a marriage of convenience with the Alpha of the Weres, Lowe Moreland. Though it’s been deemed her duty to uphold the political partnership, Misery has a plan of her own to take back her life—even if it means forsaking her people in favor of the Were.

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Isabel Cañas
Vampires of El Norte

Though Nena is all too familiar with human monsters in 1840s Mexico due to her father’s ranch frequently coming under threat from Anglo settlers, something much more sinister and bloodthirsty prowls near the property at night. The sharp-teethed creatures lurk so close that Nena herself was attacked by one nearly a decade ago—and her childhood sweetheart, Néstor, believed her to be dead. While Néstor has spent the past nine years running from his grief and drowning his sorrows in drink after long days working on ranches as a vaquero, Nena has been contending with her sorrow and rage toward Néstor’s seeming abandonment while working as a curandera to avoid being married off by her father. But when the pair are unexpectedly reunited on the road to war with the United States, they must work through their past and face the future together to survive—because a vampire has crossed their path once more.

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Karina Halle
Blood Orange

If you’re a girlie who craves the classics, this spicy Dracula retelling will get your blood pumping. Dahlia Abernathy’s parents were killed by a vampire when she was a child, and she’s spent the years since training with the Witches Guild to become a vampire assassin. With a glamour spell in place to disguise her identity for her latest mission in Venice, Italy, Dahlia must pose as a music student to ultimately kill her professor, Valdu Aminoff—the vampire who inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula. But Dahlia doesn’t remember that Valdu is the love of her life, nor is he aware that the woman he’s grown obsessed with is a reincarnation of the woman he loved and lost not once but twice before. With the odds stacked against their favor, the fated lovers just might lose one another again—or overcome all odds to find each other in every lifetime.

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Geneva Lee Albin
Filthy Rich Vampire

Julian Rousseaux is a wealthy, eligible bachelor who just so happens to be a vampire, and unluckily for him, it’s matchmaking season in high society. Though he’d volunteer to be staked through the heart before courting women to be his future wife, he’s expected to find a spouse by the end of the season regardless of his feelings on the matter. And when he meets Thea, a human cellist, at a gala, she’s far from the ideal candidate—but after her eyes are opened to his world, she’s no longer safe from his fellow fanged-toothed friends. Thus, an idea comes to Julian: provide Thea with protection and a way to get out from beneath her mother’s medical debt in exchange for posing as his lover. Unable to turn down the offer, Thea agrees—despite the terrifying threats of Julian’s world, including his filthy rich vampire family wanting her out of the picture. But the more time Thea and Julian spend together, the more difficult it is to deny a forbidden attraction—and the mounting danger and secrets that could sever their connection at any moment.

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Tracy Wolff

Heralded as one of the best young adult vampire series to follow Twilight, Tracy Wolff’s “Crave” collection kicks off with its namesake novel. When Grace tragically loses both of her parents, she relocates to Alaska to live with relatives and attend her cousin’s academy—which just so happens to be full of mystical and monstrous creatures. Though there’s plenty of animosity among the supernatural factions, one thing is certain: They hate her humanity more than anything else. Jaxon is no different—the vampire hasn’t felt a single emotion in a century, but Grace can’t deny feeling drawn like a moth to a flame to the broken part of him that reflects her own splintered soul. And when his cold, dead heart starts to thaw for her, death threatens to knock at Grace’s door once more.

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Grady Hendrix
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

Patricia Campbell’s sanity is being tested—her husband is married to his work, her teenagers are busy doing their own thing, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and as soon as she checks one box on her to-do list, three more tasks get piled on. Her true crime book club with a group of Charleston women is her one source of solace. But when she’s violently attacked by an elderly neighbor after a book club meeting, Patricia’s life takes on the qualities of the true crime stories the group loves so much. Introduced to the neighbor’s handsome and charming nephew, James, Patricia begins to feel things she hasn’t felt in years. The connection is stilted when children begin to go missing in town, local police write off the deaths, and Patricia has a blood-chilling inkling that James is at the center of it all. But this is no ordinary true crime tale because James is more than your average human monster.

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Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Certain Dark Things

In this mafia meets vampires tale, garbage-collecting Domingo is struggling to survive the heavily policed streets of Mexico City when he meets Atl, a beautiful vampire descendant of Aztec blood drinkers. Atl is on the run from a rival vampire clan that’s breathing down her neck, and though her escape plan was always a solo act, she and Domingo quickly form a partnership as cops and crime bosses start closing in. But the more the danger mounts, the less likely it seems either Atl or Domingo will live to see another day in a city out to drain them both of life.

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Linsey Hall
How to Fake Date a Vampire

If you love to sink your teeth into a good rom-com, get ready to take a bite out of How to Fake Date a Vampire. Emma, an orphaned witch who’s desperate to prove her worth to her coven, needs to find a place to host their annual ball if she wants to become an official member. Blackthorn Estate would be an unforgettable venue—the only problem is, it’s owned by a reclusive vampire duke. Alaric has problems of his own, namely his beloved grandmother’s desire to see him in a relationship. So the pair settles on a deal: Alaric will allow Emma to host the ball at the estate if she pretends to be his girlfriend. No flirting, no sex, just a mutually beneficial facade. But when the pair start to develop genuine feelings for one another, Alaric must decide if he can overcome a past heartbreak, and Emma must reckon with the fact that dating the duke—for real—would cost her the anonymity that keeps herself and her coven safe.

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