Here’s my method of reviewing vampire books. My two golden rules are:
- I judge each book as a separate entity, even if it’s part of a series
- I will try to avoid major spoilers (unless they’re not worth covering up and anyone could guess them within the first few chapters).
I’ll judge each book by five categories which are:
- Are the characters interesting?
- Are the characters likeable/dislikeable for the right reasons?
- Are the characters human (in the psychological sense)? Do they make mistakes?
- Are the minor characters given any development?
- Do the characters develop over the course of the book?
- Are the female characters well-developed?
- Is there a healthy level of diversity in the cast?
- Has the author done their research on:
- The setting and its culture
- The history (if applicable)
- The vampire genre/mythology
- Does the author add something new to the vampire genre?
- Does the author invert/defy narrative clichés?
- Does the author poke fun at the clichés?
- Is the world an interesting one?
- Is it a believable one?
- How detailed is it?
- Does it explore different aspects – not just the pleasant ones?
- Is the story enjoyable?
- Does it have the right tone/pace?
- Does it hold your interest throughout?
- Is it just a good novel in general?
I give each category a score out of ten and, when that’s done, I’ll total up the score and give the book a blood group:
- O Positive: 0-15
- A Positive: 15-20
- B Positive: 20-25
- O Negative: 25-30
- A Negative: 30-35
- AB Positive: 35-40
- B Negative: 40-45
- AB Negative: 45-50
No offence is meant to anyone with O Positive, A Positive or B Positive blood. I don’t mean by that scoring system that those blood types are inferior, just that they’re very common and bad vampire fiction is sadly common and only 1 in a hundred vampire novels are really good, which is about the same odds of a person having AB Negative blood.