Tough Travelling“Tough Traveling” is a weekly Thursday feature created by Nathan at Review Barn where participants make a new list each week based on The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones. This hilarious little book cheerfully pokes fun at the most prevalent tropes in fantasy. All are welcome to take part, and there is a link up over at his site. Join in any time!

This week’s trope is VAMPIRES:

VAMPIRES are increasingly rare on the TOUR.  They have been attracted over tot he Horror Tour by offers of better pay.  Where they appear, you will find up to date Vampires wear expensive sunglasses and wish to drain you of energy rather than blood.

Vampires are much maligned these days, but I actually tend to like them – as long as they aren’t perfect! I’ve compiled a list of vamps with unusual abilities, genealogy, and weaknesses to add some freshness to the world of vampires. Go on…sink your teeth in.

Nice Girls Don't Have FangsMind Wiping – Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs by Molly Harper 

Gabriel Nightingale, resident vampire of Halfmoon Hollow, can wipe people’s minds and implant fake memories (handy skill for a vamp). Unfortunately, it isn’t a foolproof system: he gets caught out when he makes a Doctor Who loving, football hating dude believe that he spent all day Sunday watching “the big game.” Yeah, he knew something wasn’t right…

Clean Sweep Aliens?! – Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews 

Not really an ability so much as a curiosity, but the vampires in Clean Sweep are not supernatural creatures at all: they’re an alien race. Aliens who drink blood and have super-strength, but aliens nonetheless! These vamps definitely retain the whole “smooth, suave perfection” trope.

The Reformed Vampire Support GroupDecomposing Weaklings – The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks 

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, we have vampires who are anything but smooth: they’re undead and it shows, big time. Besides the whole decomp issue, vamps are physically weak and have been forced to reform to avoid being hunted down and staked. Not exactly having the time of their (after?)lives, these ones.

SoullessImpeccable Style – The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger 

If you’re thinking to yourself that having amazing fashion sense isn’t a special ability, you and me are gonna have a problem (kidding…kind of). In this steampunk comedy of manners/urban fantasy spectacular, vampires are the creme de la creme of London’s fashion elite. Lord Akeldama is a particularly well-known dandy whose additional ability is cutting down people with no style whatsoever.


    • nikki

    • 7 years ago

    Ha, the title “Reformed Vampire Support Group” def made me laugh. But is it worth a read?

    I haven’t read any of the book vampires on your list. My list is here if you’re interested:

    1. Honestly, the idea is way better than the execution – at least in my opinion. I’d give it a pass.

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    • 7 years ago

    Loved Lord Akeldama! I feel ashamed for having forgotten him. Great picks!

    1. UGH isn’t he just the best?! I want him to be my BFF.

  1. I read Soulless! And nothing else. And I forgot the vampire aspect of Soulless. Actually, I forgot most the book. Which is weird because I did like it.

    1. You know what that means…re-read time! Or time to continue on with the series. 🙂

    • Laura @ Half-Strung Harp

    • 7 years ago

    Nice list! There should definitely be more decomposing weakling-type vampires around. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Laura! I think so too. Nothing wrong with a little bit of vamp sexiness, but it’s always nice to have a look at the other side of things.

  2. Interesting list! I’ve been meaning to read Soulless. I’m not a vampire fan on the whole, but I do love what Deborah Harkness did with them in the All Souls Trilogy.

    1. Soulless is honestly the most charming, hilarious, and delightful book! Actually, I kind of feel that way about all of Gail Carriger’s books – I just started her YA series and I’m enjoying that one too. I’ve not read Deborah Harkness…clearly I’m missing out!!

  3. Impeccable style IS a superpower, no argument there 🙂 (One I don’t possess, sadly…) I’ve seen gret reviews for Carriger’s novels.
    But any mind-bending ability is actually quite scary – I would murder him if I discovered he’d tampered with my mind.

    1. YES, thank you! 🙂 I do okay, but that’s only because I just try to recreate what I see online and in magazines, haha. I definitely don’t possess Lord Akeldama levels of style.
      Too true! I’d be livid and freaked the hell out. The nice thing is that his ability doesn’t work on other vampires, so he can’t use it on the protagonist.

    • Lynn Williams

    • 7 years ago

    Ahh, Lord Akeldama – I would have put him on the list but I thought I was getting a little silly! You have to stop somewhere after all.
    Lynn 😀

    1. He’s the BEST! Hahaha, your list was pretty damn impressive Lynn, not gonna lie. 😉 There are probably thousands of examples of vampires out there!

  4. Hey, no Tamora Pierce today! Loved the inclusion of Soulless…it almost made my list, but I read it so long ago I couldn’t think of anything to write in my description. THEN I wanted to include Prudence too because Akeldama plays quite a big role in the story, but it’s not out yet. 😛


    1. I know! She doesn’t write about “paranormal” creature types, so I can’t use her books for weres/shifters either. AHHHH tempting me with Prudence!!!! I cannot wait to read that one. I’ve got it pre-ordered…did you like it? 🙂

      1. I did! It’s VERY good, I liked it a whole lot more than Soulless too…but then I didn’t think Soulless was really a book for me, so take my fangirling with a grain of salt 🙂


        1. EEP! I want it so badly now. I loved Soulless, so if Prudence was an improvement then I’m guessing I’ll be gaga for it. I’ll definitely let you know what I think of it!

  5. Great list, Danye. I am ridiculous b/c forgot Clean Sweep. I forgot another obvious (for me) choice from one of your other TT posts, and I’m seriously hoping that it wasn’t an Ilona book, or I might have to return my fangirl card . . . WOE. *snickers*

    1. LOL Danye. It’s like my thug hip hop personality, a la Kanye West. 😉 Best typo ever!
      Clean Sweep is so good…I’m not reading book 2 online because I’m too impatient, but as soon as it’s released I’m gonna snatch up a copy! Don’t worry, I think your fangirl card is safe…for now. 😉

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