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Best vampire books to read before the 'Vampire Academy' movie release date

With the "Vampire Academy" movie release date coming very soon -- Feb. 14, 2014 to be exact -- fans of the vampire books series and of vampire fiction in general will begin re-reading the tales of Rose Hathaway and friends. And, if you're one of those fans who has gladly read the whole series and want to devour more (pun intended), here's a list of the best vampire books to read to tide you over 'til the film comes out.

Vampires and Famous Shape Shifters in Vampire Fiction

Some of them are undead romance novels. Others are more academic in scope that help to put the whole myth of the blood thirsty into perspective, including why some authors like Franz Kafka are included in the canon of vampire literature though he never wrote a V-book in his career. Still others are just plain good vampire fiction.

While you may not agree with every book here, there should be at least one or two books on the list that will be reading enough until you can see "Vampire Academy" in the theater on or after its release date.

Best Vampire Books for Fans of the "Vampire Academy" Book Series

"Vampire Academy" Series

It's probably good to start with the books in the "Vampire Academy" series by author Richelle Mead if you haven't read them. It's gotten good reviews, and one of the standout features of this book series of vampire fiction is that the author has done her homework about Romanian folklore and Catholic saints, which would make sense. She got an MA in Comparative Religion, which just goes to show that the best writers write what they know.

Get the Vampire Academy book series

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

One of the things that struck me as I watched the "Vampire Academy" movie trailer was how much Rose reminded me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While true enough, one fights to protect vampires while the other to slay them, they both have this sassy attitude that makes them fun to watch. This was especially noticeable to me when I re-watched the original "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" movie trailer.

True enough, being that my first name is Buffy -- really, it's not a nickname -- I got drug to the original film. Right away, I could see the real appeal of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters and from then on, I was hooked. And with the awesomeness of Joss Whedon at the helm, these stories still count as some of the best vampire books to read anywhere.

Vampire History Books by Charlotte Montague

If anyone has a vampire fiction writing career that I could envy, it would be writer Charlotte Montague. While she herself has not written any tales of the undead, she is one of the people I admire the most, who is writing about the undead. It is because of her book "Vampires: From Dracula to Twilight" that I got a good grasp on why we so love vampire romance novels and how this mythical creature evolved. (Hint: Not all creatures in the history of vampires were actually vampires in the sense that we know them today.)

If you're hankering for a real history lesson about the undead before the "Vampire Academy" movie release date, then Montague's book should go on your list of the best books about vampires. She also writes books on the history of angels, demons and pirates, so she's an author you gotta love!

"Vampires: From Dracula to Twilight" by Charlotte Montague

The Mortal Instruments

Another series to go on my best vampire books list is actually "The Mortal Instruments" series. What I like about these books is that vampires aren't the main dish. Rather, author Cassandra Clare makes them a part of a whole world of creatures. I loved her imaginings of how these people all fit together in the same world. They're like vampire fiction books told from another point-of-view.

The beings in her books owe much to the angels, demons, witches, warlocks, fairies, werewolves and shape shifters in mythology. On an interesting side note, "The Mortal Instruments" series began originally as a bit of "Harry Potter" fan fiction.

The Mortal Instruments book series

I'm ending the list of the best vampire books to read before the "Vampire Academy" movie release date with these four books/ series. Before the film hits theaters on Valentines' Day, I'll follow up with more recommendations, so if you didn't see your favorite books here, stay tuned!

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