Juliet Capulet has a problem. She's about to turn sixteen, which means she's on the brink of becoming a full-fledged vampire like the rest of her clan, but doing so entails killing and draining an innocent human- something the newly crowned Prince Radu has expressly forbidden after decades of violence between the undead Capulets and vampire-slaying Montagues.
If she doesn't, however, she'll die. Naturally, this makes things even more difficult when she meets Romeo Montague at a ball intended to introduce her to the vampire Count Paris, whom her parents intend to marry her off to. It's love at first sight for both fledgling vampire and slayer-in-training.
Romeo and Juliet marry in secret, but Juliet's transformation is already beginning and her bloodthirsty family have other plans for Romeo- and indeed, all of humanity. What's a girl to do?
Another installment in the Literary Mash-Ups genre, Romeo and Juliet and Vampires was likely intended as an obvious goodie for Twilight fans, but beware: there are no sparkly vamps to be found here, only monsters straight out of the uncanny valley.
This book contains examples of:
- Alternate History: Vlad the Impaler hired vampires as mercenaries and rewarded them with privileged existences.
- And I Must Scream: Juliet is conscious during the time she appears dead thanks to Friar Laurence's potion, unlike in Shakespeare.
- Body Horror: Juliet's gradual transformation.
- Downer Ending: What were you expecting with Romeo and Juliet? It's done with a twist, however: Juliet ends up turning Romeo into a vampire too, and while they run off together to live as vegetarian vampires in the Hungarian wilderness, harming no one, Juliet's family disperses over Europe as a result of their punishment from the prince, leading eventually to vampiric world domination.
- Expy: Tybalt is portrayed as a beautifully cherubic-looking (at least when he's not game faced), auburn-haired vampire lad who appears all of sixteen but is also rather ruthless when it comes to dealing with enemies and has strict ideas of proper vampire behavior. Older readers will recognize all of these traits from Armand.
- A Lighter Shade of Gray: It's hard to see the Montagues as anywhere near as bad as the Capulets in this one, as Juliet appears to be the only one who's not Always Chaotic Evil. A family beloved by the other mortals of Transylvania for destroying monsters intending on enslaving humanity? That makes them straight-up heroes.
- Our Vampires Are Different: They reproduce with live births, who live as ordinary humans until they turn 16, when they must kill and feed on a mortal or die. Once transformed, they remain young, but have red eyes, prominent fangs, clawlike hands, monstrous tongues, no reflections, and the ability to levitate.