On my thirteenth birthday my life changed for ever. That’s when I learned the shocking truth: I’m a half-vampire.
Think that sounds cool? Think again! I’ve been attacked by an evil vampire bat. Had huge cravings for my best friend’s blood, and nearly died from eating a pizza (half-vampires aren’t great with garlic). Writing my secret blog is the only thing that’s kept me from going completely crazy.
As if life couldn’t get any more complicated, there have been some vicious attacks in the local woods. Vampire-mad Tallulah (definitely not my girlfriend) thinks a super-vampire is behind them – and she’s desperate to prove it – with a mysterious chain that’s supposed to glow red hot when a vampire is close by.
I have a horrible feeling the chain’s going to turn red-hot any day now.
Shortlisted for Southampton’s Top Five Favourite Book Award.
"The Vampire Hunters is very exciting and I was very sad when it ended. THE TWIST AT THE END IS GREAT." Thomas Bilton (Age 11), THE SUN
"THE VAMPIRE HUNTERS is a light-hearted, quick-paced read that is perfect for teens and tweens but that I even enjoyed myself as a grown-up. It’s a great mixture of excitement, humour and slightly scary bits." MADHOUSE FAMILY REVIEWS
"THE VAMPIRE HUNTERS is perfect for reluctant boy (and girl) readers. As with many of Pete’s other books the stand-out element of his writing is the humour." THE BOOK ZONE (for Boys)
"Nicely woven into this adventure story is an excellent treatment of boys and girls during their formative years. This can only enhance the experience of young readers." Bookbitz.co.uk
"The Vampire Hunters is another fantastically written book by Pete Johnson. Packed full of adventure, comedy, laughs, intriguing characters and a little bit of blood, this is a must read!" Scribbler
"I cannot recommend The Vampire Hunters highly enough. It is an absolute delight to read and it ticks all the right boxes for its targeted audience: exciting, funny, a bit scary, current.
"I can only hope that’s not the last we have seen of Marcus. So cross fingers, this series will be a trilogy at least." Library Mice
"One of my favourite parts was when Marcus flitted on his own. Bat-tastic. I happily give this vampire book 9/10" Nayu’s Reading Corner
"A series that has been a wonderful concept from start to finish, a character that readers can associate with, which when backed with some cracking twists that many won’t see coming and it’s a story that really was a lot of fun to read." Tatty’s Treasure Chest
(searching for Gems within Young Adults/Children Literature)
"The plot of The Vampire Hunters is entertaining and the characters are well developed. There are enough twists and turns to make the story unpredictable and compelling. A really nice addition to the vampire genre, geared to the Middle Grade age group. A PERFECT ADDITION TO THE SCHOOL LIBRARY."
Book Angel Booktopia
Reading Group Questions for The Vampire Hunters
Look at the way Pete begins the book.
Pete Johnson says he aims to pull you into the story on the first sentence.
How does he try and achieve this?
Look at his second extremely short sentence. What impact does this have?
Chapter One switches to Tallulah’s website. Does this work?
What impression do you gain of her?
Pete Johnson says he wanted to ‘really develop’ the relationship between Marcus and Tallulah in this story. Look at their argument on (p124-127)
What is Marcus so annoyed about?
Why does he change his mind on (p.128?)
The book ends with a big scene between Marcus and Tallulah (p.254-265) and then Marcus makes a major decision.
What does this tell us about his feelings for Tallulah?
Were you expecting this ending?
Is Marcus right to act in this way?
What would you do?
Look at the horror events in this story. For instance the attack on p.136.
Do you find this spookier than Marcus’s nightmare (p.74-77)
Then there are the comedy moments, such as the disastrous blind date (p 110-116) which many see as the comic highlight of the book.
Do you like this mix of horror and comedy?
Which works best?
If you’ve read ‘The Vampire Blog,’ compare the two books.
Which one is spookier?
Which one is funnier?
Would you agree with the author that ‘The Vampire Hunters,’ is a stronger book?
The book introduces Gracie as a half-vampire girl. Look at the scene in which she first appears (p.95-103)
What does she add to the story?
Who do you think Marcus likes best – Gracie or Tallulah?
Some readers like Gracie best of all the characters in ‘The Vampire Hunters.’
Who is your favourite character – and why?
MARCUS HAS NOW CHANGED OVER INTO A HALF-VAMPIRE BUT THERE IS STILL PHASE TWO. SOON HE WILL HAVE AN ATTACK OF BLOOD FEVER AND SO MUST CARRY A BOTTLE OF BLOOD WITH HIM AT ALL TIMES. THE ‘BLOOD FEVER’ OCCURS AT, OF ALL TIMES, WHEN HE’S ON A BLIND DATE AT THE CINEMA!
Friday November 9th 8.51pm
Sitting in the back of the cinema with Julie, I had no idea of the terrible events which were about to unfold.
We’d let the girls choose the film: a dismal sounding romantic comedy. But I didn’t care. I was at the cinema with a very pretty girl who liked me. What more could I ask from life?
Joel already had his arm around Katie. I decided to make my move after the trailers. The first one was for a new horror spoof which looked promising. And then up on the screen I saw it: BLOOD. Instantly my whole body just gave a massive lurch. I couldn’t believe it. But suddenly blood was all I could think about. I told myself not to be stupid. The blood on the screen wasn’t even real – just tomato sauce or something. But it didn’t matter. The need for blood pounded through me so strongly that I was actually sweating. And my heart was pounding away just as If I’d been running really fast in a race. Blood had to fill my mouth now. So I reached into my pocket for my little bottle of ‘medicine.’ I figured I only needed to drink a few drops and then this blood fever would pass. And provided I wiped my lips thoroughly with my hankie afterwards, Julie would never guess what I’d been doing.
So I started fumbling about for my bottle. Only it wasn’t there. Then with a stab of horror I realised I must have left it in my school trousers. I’d been so busy styling my hair and covering myself in deodorant, I’d forgotten all about the ‘medicine.’ Now I was starting to panic. So what could I do? Absolutely nothing, I’d just have to sit here until the end of the film and think about other things, like Julie.
She was so pretty and had a great personality and even laughed at my jokes and she … but it was no good. I couldn’t shake off the blood fever which kept rising up into my throat. I bared my teeth in total frustration. That’s when Julie whispered. ‘You can put your arm around me if you like.’ I wanted to do just that. Only not right now. So I hesitated.
‘But only if you want to.’ Now Julie sounded a bit offended and upset. The very last thing I wanted.
‘Of course I want to,’ I whispered. ‘But it’s such a big step, isn’t it?’ What was I babbling on about? I didn’t know. I just knew my whole body was throbbing with my need for blood.
I had to do something, anything to distract myself. ‘Popcorn,’ I shouted to Julie, ‘let’s have some shall we?’ She looked just a tiny bit alarmed now. I smiled suavely at her, and then I tried to open the box of popcorn in an easy-going charming way. But that’s impossible when your hands are shaking so much you can’t even hold the box steady and you send half its contents flying on to the floor. Popcorn dived all round our feet and disturbed Joel and Katie.
‘Hey, Marcus, what are you playing at?’ groaned Joel.
‘Sorry about that,’ I said.
‘Oh it really doesn’t matter,’ said Julie. ‘Anyway there’ still some left though, isn’t there?’
I tried to reply but instead this funny little roar just escaped out of my mouth.
Julie giggled. ‘You’re in a crazy mood tonight, aren’t you?’
She had no idea
But I laughed and so did she. ‘Actually, I’d heard you were a bit mad,’ she went on, ‘but I like boys like that.’
‘You’re going to like me a lot then,’ I said. We were getting on so well. And she was brilliant, but I couldn’t sit still because every second without blood was total agony. I’d have to leave her and ring Mum.
Mum said she’d rush over when I got a blood fever attack and she could probably get here in a few minutes. Then I’d meet her in the foyer, gulp up the blood and then race back to Julie and the others. It wasn’t an ideal solution at all but what else could I do?
So just as the main film was about to start I sprang up and whispered to Julie. ‘I’m going to get us some more popcorn.’
‘Oh, don’t worry about that,’ said Julie.
‘No, it’s not right to have only half a box. Why, you’ll be through that before the credits. I’ll be back before you know it,’ I added optimistically.
Joel was staring at me too. ‘Where are you going?’
‘Popcorn,’ I muttered and then sped off.
The moment I reached the foyer I rang Mum. I said hoarsely, urgently. ‘Mum, I’m still thirsty,’ and then added. ‘I forgot my medicine too.’
Mum let out a sharp intake of breath and then cried. ‘I shall move with all speed. So where are you?’
‘Just inside the cinema.’
‘Right,’ and then added: ‘Are you very thirsty?’
‘Never felt more thirsty! It’s agony, Mum.’
Don’t worry,’ she cried and clicked off.
Then I noticed the woman in the box office watching me very curiously. ‘You can’t hang about here,’ she called.
‘I just need some medicine,’ I explained, ‘and then I’m going back into the film.’ Then I let out another low but this time extremely fierce roar. Again, it just came out of nowhere. And the woman’s mouth opened very wide as if she was going to scream. She didn’t, but she never said another word either.
Now hurry up Mum.
BUT THE DATE AT THE CINEMA IS ABOUT TO GET FAR, FAR WORSE …
***** TO ADD TO MARCUS’S PROBLEMS TALLULAH HAS DISCOVERED AN OLD LADY (CALLED ELSA) WHO BELIEVES A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS VAMPIRE KNOWN AS A SUPER –VAMPIRE IS HERE IN THE VILLAGE. THEN SHE PRESENTS MARCUS AND TALLULAH WITH SOMETHING TO HELP THEM.
Elsa opened the first drawer and for a mad moment I thought she was going to offer us a gun. But instead she held up a gold chain.
‘One of my husband’s most valuable possessions – oh not valuable in terms of money – but what it can do. If ever you are near a vampire, this chain will, within seconds become scorching hot. It’s the best vampire detector I’ve ever seen.’
She presented it to me. But I had a sudden fear that the gold chain might react to half-vampires too. So I swerved right away from it and said. ‘No, Tallulah is the leader of this merry expedition.’
Of course Tallulah pounced on the gold chain and was, for once, practically gushing. ‘But this is wicked, brilliant. Are you sure you can spare it?’
‘Oh yes,’ said Elsa, ‘what good is it locked away in a drawer? No, you use it my dear, but please be very careful. The thing to remember about deadly vampires is that they are utterly ruthless. Nothing or no one must stand in their way. So I’ve got one very important piece of advice for you. If you should locate the vampire leader, whatever you do, don’t look directly into his eyes.’
‘In case he hypnotises us, you mean.’
‘He may do that,’ says Elsa, ‘but much more likely …’ she hesitated for a moment, ‘well, if you let him, a vampire will try and get right inside your head and pick things up from you, such as your secret nightmares. And then they will use this information – to torment you.’
And suddenly I was filled with terror. For, I’d had a really terrible nightmare which just followed me about for years. It always started with me lying in bed, then feeling this totally massive spider climbing up my body. It’d go scuttling over my arms, legs, face. And I could never stop it, so in the end it did something so horrible I don’t even want to write it down. I’ll just tell you I was shaking all over.
But those nightmares are long gone now and could never return. I kept telling myself that until I noticed Elsa looking at me very anxiously. ‘Are you all right my dear?’
‘Oh yeah,’ I began, in a low, trembling voice. I swallowed hard. ‘Never better, in fact.’
But Elsa went on looking right at me as she said. ‘Do not forget what I’m telling you. Never look straight into a vampire’s eyes.’
‘And Elsa, when we find this vampire …’ said Tallulah impatiently.
‘I wouldn’t trust such vital information to the email or phone, or even to your wonderful website, so please come and tall me here.’
‘But what …’ I began. Then I hesitated, worried my question might sound rude.
But Elsa nodded. ‘What can I, a very ancient lady indeed, do against a vampire? Well never forget, all vampires live by a creed which can be summed up in four words: Pride lost – all lost. So if we mere humans uncover their secret identity, the humiliation would be too much for them to bear and they’ll vanish for a very long time, at least.’
She smiled suddenly. ‘And if we achieve that, we’ll have saved the entire human race from something very dangerous indeed.
THE VERY NEXT DAY MARCUS AND TALLULAH MEET SOMEONE WHO THEY BELIEVE COULD BE THE SUPER VAMPIRE. AND THEN MARCUS’S MOST DREADED NIGHTMARE RETURNS …