"The Vampire Stalker is smart, compelling, and touched with a cleverness that makes it a must-read. The characters are well drawn, the situations unique, and the stakes high – everything one could possibly want in a YA vampire novel."
— Quill and Quire
"Allison Van Diepen has written a novel which will please both avid readers and reluctant readers... Please, Allison, don't keep your fans waiting too long for the next novel!"
— Canadian Materials Magazine
"WOW! I LOVED this book! And after reading The Vampire Stalker, I wouldn't mind Alexander Banks coming to life."
— Books Complete Me
"The Vampire Stalker is a book for book lovers. You'll become immersed in the story within pages, because it's like reading about you and your friends. Well, at least if you and you're friends are as book-crazed as me and mine are!"
— Pretty in Fiction
"Great characters and an overall fun and unique story."
— The Story Siren
There was a festive vibe in the air that reminded me of the fourth
of July. Except I didn’t get this excited on the fourth of July.
Today was the day I had waited a whole year for. I was finally
going to get my hands on a copy of The Mists of Otherworld, a
book so hotly anticipated there’d been a whole news segment
about it on TV last night.
I stood in the line outside the Book Nook with my best friends,
Luisa and Katie. We’d been there since 7:45 am—brutal
for a Saturday morning, but worth it— wanting to get a good
spot in line before the store opened at 9. The atmosphere was
electric. Besides dozens of teenage girls, there were women in
their twenties, moms with strollers, even a few grandmas, and
a handful of teenage guys.
Luisa stepped away from the line and glanced ahead. “I
wish they’d let us in already!” she sighed, stumbling
a little and grabbing Katie’s arm for support. , Believing
that her shortness was a curse, Luisa insisted on wearing the
highest wedges Payless had to offer. The result was that she rolled
an ankle at least once a month.
“I just hope they don’t sell out before we get to
the front,” I said.
Luisa’s brown eyes widened. “Amy! They can’t
sell out—you pre-ordered for us, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, but I heard on the news last night that some of
the shipments were delayed,” I replied, feeling nervous
as I spoke the words. The idea that I would have to wait another
day to read about Alexander Banks—the gorgeous, fearless
vampire stalker—was too awful to contemplate.
am getting a book today, even if I have to body check someone
to get it,” Katie announced.
We laughed, because Katie would never hurt a fly—literally.
When I’d visited her at the camp where she worked over the
summer, she’d ushered even the smallest bugs out the cabin
door. However, she was five foot ten and the captain of the girls’
ice hockey team, so a body check or two wasn’t out of the
“All I know is, we have to read it by Monday morning,”
Katie and Luisa nodded. If we didn’t finish it by then,
we’d have to cover our ears in the spoiler-filled hallways
of our school. There had only been one book so far— Otherworld—in
the author Elizabeth Howard’s planned trilogy, but it was
a sensation and most people we knew had been sucked in.
I felt the cool breeze on my face, and looked around at the swaying
trees, appreciating the crisp, autumn weather. Some would say
it was a waste of a beautiful day, because I planned to spend
it inside reading The Mists of Otherworld. But sometimes it was
nice to read on a lovely day, especially when the world inside
the book was so dark and gloomy.
One of the coolest things about the series was that it was set
in my city, Chicago. But Otherworld Chicago was very different
from the Chicago I knew. It was a place where mortals stayed in
their homes after nightfall. A place where you didn’t trust
anyone who wasn’t your kin. And it was all because of vampires.
As the series told it, for centuries, vampires had existed in
isolation in northern Scandinavia, preying on the residents of
remote villages. Then in the 1920s, the vampires had decided to
leave seclusion and migrate all over the world, creating more
vampires as they went along.
Otherworld Chicago had been hit especially hard because one of
the world’s most notorious vampires, Vigo Skaar, had moved
there with his coven of several hundred vampires. Vigo, and his
vicious second in command, Leander, had been terrorizing the city
ever since. As a result, innovation had stopped completely, and
Otherworld had not made any technological advancements since the
The line surged forward, a sign that the store was opening its
doors, and there was a chorus of squeals and some jostling.
Luisa frowned at Katie. “It’s going to be a stampede.
I told you we should have come earlier!”
Katie shook her head, her blond ponytail swinging. “I don’t
wake up before six for anyone, not even James Banks.”
“How dare you, Katherine? And you think yourself worthy
of James!” Luisa made a show of hoisting her chin and turning
her back on Katie. A self-professed drama geek, she loved using
Otherworld’s formal language.
While my Otherworld crush—well, more like obsession—was
Alexander Banks, Katie and Luisa loved James, Alexander’s
golden-haired cousin. Alexander was dark and brooding, and determined
to hunt down Vigo, who had murdered his family when Alexander
was only six. Meanwhile, James was a philosopher who wanted to
bring peace to the Otherworld. James was in love with Hannah Skaar,
Vigo’s sister, a vampire whose beauty and feistiness were
only matched by her undying love for James.
James was nice to read about, but he was no Alexander. I preferred
a guy with some grit.
“I wonder if Alexander is going to fall in love in this
book,” Katie said as we inched closer to the door. “It’s
about time, don’t you think?”
necessarily,” I said, feeling a blush burn my cheeks. I
wasn’t sure I wanted a love interest for Alexander. The
thought of being jealous of a character in a book was silly, but
I couldn’t help it. Alexander Banks was the closest to perfection
that any guy could ever be. What girl could measure up? “He
isn’t the romantic type. Alexander’s too focused on
revenge to fall in love.”
“Good point,” Luisa replied. A few eager fans were
now leaving the store, books in hand, bumping into us because
they’d started reading already. “But you never know.
If he kills Vigo, he’s going to need a new storyline.”
Just the mention of Vigo gave me chills. There was no doubt in
my mind that Alexander would kill Vigo. It was a question of when,
Finally, it was our turn. As we stepped over the threshold into
the Book Nook, Luisa, Katie, and I clasped hands. I couldn’t
help but think of how lucky I was that my friends shared my passion
for Otherworld. It was actually our love of books that had first
brought us together, in the ninth grade. Katie had started a high
school book club and Luisa and I had been the only ones to show
up. I’d just moved to the east side of Chicago after my
parents’ divorce and didn’t know anyone. Within weeks,
we’d become a trio of awesomeness, as Katie put it. Most
people we met thought we’d been best friends forever, not
just for a couple of years.
Thankfully, the three copies I had preordered were there, waiting
for us. I picked up my book, hugging it to my chest like a long-lost
friend. It was extremely thick, longer even than the first, and
that made my heart pound: the more of Alexander to read about,
the better. Katie and Luisa were busy exclaiming over the cover—it
had been revealed online months ago, but it was still amazing
to see it up close and for real.
The three of us left the store, breathless with triumph. There
was no talk of hanging out afterward. We caught the bus and grabbed
seats, reading the whole way. When I got to my stop, I reluctantly
tucked the book under my arm (since I hadn’t mastered reading
and walking like Katie had), and waved goodbye to my friends.
My building was called Courtyard Place, a name that made it
seem posh when it was anything but. I wouldn’t have any
complaints about where we lived if it weren’t for the fact
that my dad and his girlfriend—the one he’d left Mom
for—had managed to buy a bungalow in the suburbs. If he
could afford to live in a house, why couldn’t we? I pushed
those thoughts away, determined not to stew in bitterness. Besides,
nothing could shake my good mood today. I had a date with Alexander
Banks, after all.
I had to remind myself of that when I got inside the apartment
and saw my younger sister, Chrissy, and her best friend, Madison,
in the living room.
“Hey,” I said.
Chrissy grunted and Madison said, “Hello there.”
Madison had a way of talking down to people that made me clench
“Hope you got your vampire book,” Chrissy said, and
I caught the isn’t she pathetic? glance she and Madison
Madison and Chrissy were often mistaken for sisters because they
used the same blond hair dye. They were in eighth grade, but probably
looked older than me, and I was a junior. On any given day they
dressed like they’d just walked out of a dance club with
their skintight camis, low-slung jeans and heavy makeup.
you looked closer, though, Chrissy and I did look like sisters.
We were both fair-skinned and green-eyed, with slightly upturned
“snob” noses, as Madison had once pointed out. She’d
also pointed out, right in front of me, that Chrissy and I were
like Before and After makeover pictures. I didn’t have to
ask which one I was. My long, straight hair was the same mousy
brown as Chrissy’s roots and I didn’t wear makeup
most of the time— both capital crimes, in Madison’s
I grabbed a Coke from the fridge and a crumpled bag of trail
mix and went to my room. Kicking off my shoes, I sat back against
the pillows, ready to lose myself in The Mists of Otherworld.
Hands tingling with anticipation, I opened the book.