The Five Best Books Ever!
1) The Stress of Her Regard: Tim Powers. A rich novel based around the lives of the Romantic Poets, The Stress of Her Regard explores and capitalises on the gaps in what we know about Shelley, Byron and Keats' lives. With vampires unlike any you'll find elsewhere the novel is both fantastic, and terrifying.
2) Rats and Gargoyles: Mary Gentle. Urban Fantasy set about a massive, alien city where the gods dwell in an unholy 'fane' in the centre of the metropolis. The novel follows a conspiracy to force the deities to withdraw from the world, while in the darkness of their temple, the God of Noon and Midnight seeks to unravel the very existence of the soul itself.
3) American Gods: Neil Gaiman. Set in America, this novel follows Shadow, an ex con, as he takes a job with the mysterious Mr Wednesday. In doing so he steps into a world of madness, magic and mystery, where the old gods are real and at war with the new ones.
4) Anno Dracula: Kim Newman. Dracula has taken the throne of Britain. He controls the British Empire and has ushered in a world where vampires walk the streets openly. But all is not well, Jack the Ripper works in the shadows, killing vampire prostitutes, and as Charles Beauregard and the vampire elder Genevieve Dieudonne investigate the killings they discover a Pandora's box of troubles.
5) Lost Souls: Poppy Z Brite. A vampire novel with a difference, Lost Souls takes place in the dark, quiet places of America. Focusing on a boy called Nothing, and his quest to reach New Orleans, the novel pits him against the dangers of the world, and against those of his own blood, literally. Lost Souls brings the dark sensuality of the Goth subculture to the novel.