Whenever I start reading a book about vampires, I immediately begin to wonder what these vampires will be like. Vampires are one of the most versatile supernatural species across the genres and until you get familiar with a series you don’t know what to expect (especially since Twilight really broke the mold). To name three popular differences I’ve encountered:
Food and Blood: While all vampires I’ve read technically CAN eat, their enjoyment of and need for food varies considerably. Merit of Chicagoland Vampires not only needs to eat, she eats a lot and loves every bite. Blood for her is almost like water for humans. Ivy – a living (and thus still bearing a soul) vampire of The Hollows – doesn’t need blood, though she’s a considerably nicer when she drinks it. Then you have Jane of Jane Jameson who, much like the very un-vampire like Twilight vampires, hates the taste of food and can live off any variety of blood, human and animal.
How to become a vampire: So I think this one is about as consistent as the daylight. Most vamps are created through an exchange of blood, with the person becoming a vampire having to be pushed to the limit and then drinking the blood of the vampire to change. The two biggest diversions to this that I’ve read are, once again, the Twilight series and The Hollows. Twilight vamps just bite you and, if they don’t kill you, after three days of agony you’ll wake up a vampire (three days does seem pretty consistent for the time the change takes). The Hollows is spectacularly complex, with living vamps born with the virus (high-blood) and doomed to become undead at death versus humans infected with the virus after birth (low-blood) and doomed to die a human death unless a undead vamp is around to change them at the moments of death.
So I’ve just picked the three differences that I notice most and that seem to matter most to me. In the end, all vampires seem incredibly hard to kill (with incredibly varied abilities) and sexy as hell, which seems to be the most important truths. In the end, while I enjoy all varieties of vamp, I think I prefer a vamp who isn’t afraid of a little sun and loves his blood (maybe because Bones is my favorite vampire right now?)!