Please note, the book links take you to FatBrain.com, where you can purchase them if you want. I selected FatBrain for two reasons. First, because a search at a couple of sites showed it as the most inexpensive place to get the books. Secondly, because it isn't Amazon. I dislike Amazon and their use of patents to attack other companies. Especially when Amazon, while being a 'darling' of the business world, has yet to actually make a profit.
And if you're curious, I don't get anything for it. I don't have any 'referral' thing setup or anything like that. If you can find them cheaper elsewhere (specifically the second of the Coldfire trilogy, When True Night Falls, which seems to be the only one not well discounted) then get it there. ;-)
I have finish an excellent book recently. It is a vampire novel, but it adds some very unusual new twists to the vampire myth. Especially when their origin is revealed.
The first of the trilogy (The Shadow Saga) is Of Saints and Shadows, by Christopher Golden. As with most trilogies, the first one is prolly the best, but the other two were definitely worth reading, in my opinion (The other two in the tril are: Angel Souls and Devil Hearts, and Of Masques and Martyrs)
I'd strongly suggest checking them out. ;-)
Okay, this one is a little more off the wall. It isn't exactly a vampire specific book, and in fact, going by strictly traditional definitions of vampires, this prolly wouldn't count. ;-)
However, I would be willing to bet almost anything you choose that if you read it, you won't mind at all.
The book is Black Sun Rising, by C.S. Friedman. It is, quite simply, one of the best books I have ever read. It is also the first book in the Coldfire Trilogy, which is one of the best trilogies I've ever read. The second and thirds books are, When True Night Falls, and Crown of Shadows, respectively.
I've told you what these books are not, traditional vampire novels, so now I'll tell you a little bit about what they are.
Black Sun Rising is a fantasy book, with a science fiction background to it, and a dose of gothic horror large enough to please anyone. It actually takes place well into the future, about 2000 year as I recall, and on an alien planet. However, due to some very odd properties of this planet, technology is nearly worthless on it.
You see, this planet has something called the fae. An almost living force which is capable of manifesting human thoughts. Due to human nature, this tends to be a bad thing. Imagine having a nightmare about a demon attacking you, only to wake up and find that demon *actually* attacking you. This is a gross oversimplification, but it hints at the books reality.
The strongest thing about Black Sun Rising and its sequels, however, is the character development. As they react, interact, and change through the story, you really come to know, understand, and feel for them. There is some great theological questioning to the story, as well. The characters that finish the trilogy are not the same characters who started it, even where the name remains the same.
This trilogy also differs from most others in the fact that it doesn't start out really strong, with a decent second book, and a disappointing third. If anything, it actually gets stronger, and better, through out the trilogy. The first book is amazing, the second one is excellent, and the third a perfect complement and finish.
If you read only a single book, from everything I end up recommending in my entries...well, I'll consider you a fool. However, I would also make a strong argument for this being the one. I can't say it's my favorite book...After reading over a thousand books and owning over 700, so far, I don't know that I can choose a single 'favorite'. Black Sun Rising definitely has a place near the top, though.