The 30 Days of Night is one of my favorite new vampire stories. It originally started out as a series of graphic novels. It's a fantastic series that showcases the more gruesome side of vampires that we don't see all that often anymore. It was also adapted into a couple of movies later on.
My personal preference is in the 30 Days of Night novels though. They're written by the team of Jeff Mariotte and Steve Niles. There are two books by Tim Lebbon, but I haven't read those, so I can't give an opinion on them.
30 Days of Night started as a story taking place in Alaska where there is a time that has 30 days of straight darkness. What better place for vampires to hunt down some food? A group of vamps decides to attack a town in Alaska where they would have free reign for weeks.
Humans are absolutely slaughtered. The vampires don't do the typical, "two puncture wounds in the neck" thing. These vampires are brutal. Their entire mouths are lined with razor-sharp teeth. They'll cut people to pieces and drink from those pieces and slit your throat and just drink you dry.
The town sheriff, Eben Olemaun, fights the vampires with his wife, Stella. They defeat the invading vamps when Eben injects vampire blood into his own body, turning him into a vampire. Eben decides he doesn't want to live as a vampire, so he stays in the sun when it rises, turning him to ash. That's just the original graphic novel/movie.
The novels that follow have many more adventures. Stella and other vampires fight against Vicente and Lilith, the vampire "elders". Agent Andy Gray of the FBI is turned and fights for his own goals against an ex-friend, turned vampire. The FBI creates a classified branch to join the war as well.
Stella finds a way to bring Eben back. She exchanges proof of vampire's existence in return for his remains to try and bring him back from the dead. Some vampires are fighting to show themselves. They want to be out in the public and massacre any human whenever they want. They believe they are the superior race and that they should show it.
Other vampires want to stay in the dark and continue circulating crazy vampire stories to remain myths. They believe they are the superior race, but should lay low since that is what they have always done. This causes plenty of contention between the two groups.
The 30 Days of Night novels are really exceptional books. I remember they induced real fear and paranoia in me as I read them. I even felt sick when certain gruesome events took place. I highly recommend the 30 Days of Night series to any and all who are a little tired of the romanticized versions of vampires we've been seeing for a while now.
"One thing vampire children are taught is, never run with a wooden stake." -- Jack Handey