cover image Vamps: Fresh Blood

Vamps: Fresh Blood

Nicole Arend. Atria, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-66801-378-6

Arend’s sexy, dark academia-tinged debut skirts the line between adult and YA fantasy to follow a group of 18-year-old vampires enrolled in an elite prep school “nestled in a valley high up in the Swiss Alps.” Dillon Halloran has no idea that he is a dhampir—half human, half vampire—until, at the request of a mother he’s never met, he’s sent to the prestigious VAMPS academy. The only dhampir ever admitted to VAMPS, Dillon struggles to adjust to life among his superhuman and supernaturally beautiful classmates. It’s an uphill battle: Dillon knows nothing of his vampire mother beyond that she came from a powerful bloodline, and he himself has never consumed human blood, meaning his vampire side lies dormant. When Dillon is unexpectedly chosen to assume the leadership position of Vampire Elect for his class, he faces opposition both within the academy and without as enemies plot first to oust him from his position—and then to kill him by framing him for a capital offense. Dillon works well as an everyman point of entry into Arend’s dark world of temptation, desire, and, of course, hunger. Fans of non-horror vampire stories and Olivie Blake’s The Atlas Six should put this on their radar.(Jan.)