Everything old is new again – which includes the undead.
"Twilight" fans eagerly await the Tuesday release of Stephenie Meyer’s long-promised "Midnight Sun" (Little, Brown, $27.99). First teased more than a decade ago, it’s a version of the blockbuster series’ first book from the perspective of eternally teenage vampire Edward Cullen (brooding Robert Pattinson in the films) instead of Bella Swan (brooding Kristen Stewart).
Meyer says the time was right to finally unveil the companion novel. "Right now, books are my main solace and happiest escape," she wrote in a May blog post announcing the release. Fans have been rewatching and live-tweeting the movies and poring over "Midnight Sun" quotes parceled out via social media as a preview. Sample: "Did she think I was so sure of myself? Could she not guess how entirely out of my wheelhouse all this was?"
Meyer will make national virtual appearances through the Books-A-Million chain Aug. 10 and on Barnes & Noble’s Facebook page Aug. 14.
Until then — and afterward — the Cullen clan members are far from the only fictional vampires you should be reading. Here are a few smashing tales for your to-read list, including new titles, forthcoming ones, and a couple you might have missed.
"The Beautiful" and "The Damned," Renee Ahdieh
Renee Ahdieh sets her lush, immersive vampire story in 19th-century New Orleans. Seventeen-year-old Celine flees Paris and settles in the Crescent City during Carnival season, linking her future with mysterious Sébastien, who leads the underground La Cour des Lions. Bastien has some secrets to hide (fangs), and the new sequel "The Damned" follows the pair as they grapple with warring supernatural factions, New Orleans’ chief detective and lost memories. Originally planned as a duology, Ahdieh’s publisher recently announced that there will be two more titles in the series, expected in 2021 and 2022. (First two books out now)
"The Fell of Dark," Caleb Roehrig
Roehrig’s novel is not your usual vampire tale, as is clear from its opening line: "The only thing worse than living in a vampire town is having to take Algebra 1 for the second time." Roehrig, whose past books include "Last Seen Leaving," about a girl’s disappearance and her boyfriend’s secrets, here introduces us to Auggie. He’s worried about that algebra class, but he really laments not having any other guys in town to date. That quickly falls by the wayside when a cute vampire contacts him, and together they need to repel a cabal of evil forces that are targeting Auggie’s hometown. (Out now)
"Crave," Tracy Wolff
The Austin author’s foray into paranormal romance follows teenager Grace as she moves from sunny California to gloomy Alaska after the death of her parents so she can attend a posh boarding school her uncle runs. Enter Jaxon Vega: aloof, mysterious and, as it turns out, a vampire. Fans of "Twilight" will find much to enjoy here, but Wolff’s novel skews more "Buffy" with its strong female protagonist. Released in April, "Crave" is the first in a series, and Universal Studios has already optioned it for film. (Out now)
"Tantalize" series, Cynthia Leitich Smith
Before her award-winning young adult novel "Hearts Unbroken," and before HarperCollins tapped her to lead the Heartdrum imprint focused on Native stories that debuts this fall, Austin’s Leitich Smith wrote the "Tantalize" series. The series showcases a variety of supernatural beings, including werewolves, angels and vampires, and melds action and world-building with plenty of smart humor. The first book spotlights teenager Quincie, who works at a downtown Austin vampire-themed restaurant, Sanguini’s. (Four books, as well as the spinoff "Feral" series, available now)
"Vampires Never Get Old: Tales With Fresh Bite," edited by Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker
Cordova, whose Brooklyn "Brujas" series draws on Latin American witchcraft, and Parker, author of the "Seafire" trilogy, teamed to edit this forthcoming anthology. It comprises 11 tales from diverse slate of authors, including "Belles" series creator Dhonielle Clayton, "Internment" author Samira Ahmed, and the prolific fantasy writer Victoria/V.E. Schwab. The fresh stories range from Mark Oshiro’s blogging vampire to Ahmed’s take on a guidebook for new desi-vampires. (Available Sept. 22)
"Certain Dark Things," Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Moreno-Garcia’s new fierce, feminist horror tale "Mexican Gothic" is a New York Times bestseller. Back in 2016, though, her latest was "Certain Dark Things," set in Mexico City and centered on a young garbage collector who meets a vampire. Atl is descended from Aztec creatures of the night, and at first, Domingo just looks like prey. But together, they go on the run from narco-vampire gangs pursuing Atl. "Certain Dark Things" made multiple best-of lists the year it published, including NPR’s, but went out of print despite its critical acclaim. Mexican Gothic’s success has led to a resurgence of interest in Moreno-Garcia’s work, and publisher Tor/Nightfire announced in June it will bring the book back in spring 2021. (Coming May 2021)
"Blue Bloods" series, Melissa de la Cruz
The prolific de la Cruz also penned "Disney Descendants" and the "Witches of East End" books, as well as several stand-alone novels, in addition to creating the "Blue Bloods" series. The books imagine that several of Manhattan’s elite families are vampires who came to America on the Mayflower. De la Cruz, who has also gone on to helm the annual YALLWEST teen book festival, just inked a deal with Disney to promote new writers through her Melissa de la Cruz Studio. In tandem, the publishing juggernaut will start releasing new novels in the "Blue Bloods" series next year, starting with "Blue Bloods: The Return." (Past books, available now; new books, slated for 2021 publication.)