Literature / Laura Caxton
Laura Caxton is the heroine of David Wellington's Laura Caxton
vampire series. The pentalogy includes 13 Bullets
(2006), 99 Coffins
(2007), Vampire Zero
(2008), 23 Hours
(2009), and 32 Fangs
(2012). Although Laura is an attractive young woman and a lesbian, this is not a sexy vampire series. Vampires in this world are creepy, hairless albinos with pointy ears and more sharklike teeth than can fit in a human mouth. They're more likely to rip off your arm or head to drink your blood instead of piercing your neck daintily with a couple of enlarged canines.
Since you're unlikely to survive being eaten intact, it's fortunate (for the vampires) that vampirism isn't transferred by blood. Instead, the curse is transferred psychically through the silent ritual. Some people can fall for it instantly, but others like Laura can resist for hours. In either case, the victim has to commit suicide to rise as a vampire the next night. You kill them by destroying the heart, though you don't need a Wooden Stake
to do so. In fact, there's almost no hope that a wooden stake could pierce a vampire's chest in this series.
The series features a mix of fantasy and real-world elements, as Laura employs the aid of magic charms and psychics in addition to her use of guns and other modern devices.
Tropes found in the series:
- Bloodier and Gorier - Bloodier and gorier than most vampire fiction.
- Blood Lust - All vampires have it. Few vampires can stop themselves from feeding if there is human blood available, a fact which Laura uses to save herself more than once by driving an intelligent foe into an unthinking frenzy.
- Decoy Protagonist - The prologue to 13 Bullets features Jameson Arkley exclusively, as does the summary on the back cover. One would almost suspect Laura of being this, given that she plays Robin to Jameson's Batman through most of the book.
- Face-Heel Turn: Jameson Arkley becomes a vampire for noble reasons but embraces the beast completely before long.
- Lesbian Vampire - Laura's partner becomes a vampire in 13 Bullets.
- Looks Like Orlok
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family - Vampires have mouthfuls of sharklike teeth. Older vampires may have lost or broken some, but even after centuries of undeath, they have more than enough to bite off your limbs.
- Our Vampires Are Different - Vampires die at dawn, rotting away to a pool of deliquescent flesh, which is why they need a coffin or another container. While in this state, their heart can be removed and destroyed easily. If the heart is removed without being destroyed, it can be replaced later (over a century later in 99 Coffins) and the vampire will be resurrected as normal at dusk. Vampires are at their strongest on the night they rise and also become weaker as they age, requiring more and more blood to maintain a lifelike body. The primary antagonist of the series, Justinia Malvern, is over 300-years old, and spends most of the books as a skeletal corpse in a coffin, barely able to move a finger to communicate by typing (her larynx has rotted away.)
- Staking the Loved One - Laura has to do this more than once.
- Tear Off Your Face: When a vampire brings a victim Back from the Dead, the psychological trauma of the event causes the revived person to rip their own face to shreds.
- The End... Or Is It? - At the end of the fourth book, 23 hours, it's heavily implied that who they thought was Malvern is really one of the inmates turned into a vampire.
- Vampire Bites Suck
- Your Vampires Suck - Vampires are ridiculously tough. The first vampire kill is done by trapping it under a ditch witch, then using a jackhammer to break through its chest and destroy its heart. The more blood they drink, the stronger they become, healing wounds instantaneously, though they do become slower if they gorge themselves.