Are you surprised I am reviewing this? Really? Well than you are new to Kriss’ world because in my world, vampires… THEY DON’T SPARKLE!!! I will hold back because there are tons of new readers this week and promise to keep most of my normal diatribe free of my colorful vocabulary.. promise. On that note, vampires were the first monster my father handed me in a book and my grandmother had me watch with her in a movie and have always terrified me. I mourn for the terror they used to bring into our lives!
What caught my eye when I saw the announcement of this new anthology at the beginning of the year was the title and it’s promise to back the night. Also who the editor would be and later the list of authors I got even more excited. It is now almost June and I have read it through and through more than a few times and fallen a little more in love with it each read.
Some of my favorite comments and quotes from some of these deadly creatures and their hunters:
“If your victim didn’t die, you might as well be drinking water.”
“Al liked to wait a bit before disposing of his empties, just in case they turned.”
“My official title is ‘occult detective’ and yes, I wear a trenchcoat and fedora. Some clichés are just too good to mess with.”
“Van Dyck? Van Buren? Van… who knows? Don’t worry… I’ll come up with something.”
“…if Jesus loves him as much as those bumper stickers say he does, then he can shovel that stuff down himself.”
“As the sun rises, the fiend dies before our eyes, its body bound by the twinkling lights of a Christmas Angel. “Huh,” Sarah says, “I guess sometimes vampires do sparkle”
Oh dear, there are so many more, wonderful sound “bites” and these are just from the a small amount of stories Top stories? I do not want to taint it. I was drawn first because it is an SSP title, second because Michael West as editor, Tim Waggoner whom I adore from his Nikropolis – Michael Richter series and I was really curious what RJ was going to pull with a robot vampire! The rest, all of them have a little for everyone’s “tastes” (I slay me.. oh.. oh hehehe)
If you thought the circus was creepy because of the clowns? Think again! That tent in the back? You may not want to go back there, really I don’t think you should. Oh dear and dancing robots whose AI gets an upgrade? Be careful what you wish for … “When the machines take over” means something completely different in this story! Marrying an ancient terror with an unknown techno wonder(?) who knows what will happen! Sprinkle some humor with a tad bit of a Harry Dresdon and John Taylor flavored hard-boiled fun filled with snark (and I love my snark)! Add some beautiful esoteric and allegorical content plus a story from my neck of the woods and you have a complete meal delivered to you in a 16-course feast which will have you going on a secret run to the hardware store and buying a nightlight, a wooden garden stake and possibly sneaking in the local Catholic church with your Nigene bottle, just in case!
I want to say one thing, just a tiny one. I believe those who have created these sparkly vampires have possibly fallen for what Stoker was trying to get through with in a symbolic nature those gothi writers of old liked to throw at us. Evil doesn’t have to be in your face, ripping you to shreds, hanging you on meat hooks and grabbing your ankles from a storm drain. Evil can be a gentile creature, ask to be invited in and make you blush. Evil can tempt you to bare one of the most intimate parts of your body which protects your lifeline and as a vessel of light (since let’s face it the vampire myth is steeped in Christian mythology), your vessel which is full of blood… blood… *cackling maniacally*
All of this aside, the basic thing we keep forgetting about the vampire myth is this creature has been cursed, denied true death and rest because of some irreconcilable sin or religious taboo. So I will let these glitterfied authors slide, for now, because they have been glamored, after all. In this anthology, the only thing sparkling is the brilliant new shine on an ancient iconic monster.
To wrap this up, vampires were never meant to be moody century old creatures of the night who hang out in high schools and fall in love with jail bait! They are not threatening to become a martyr because they decide to try being Emo when they are about 150 years too old for Emo, by throwing themselves in to the sun where… get this.. OK … THEY SPARKLE!! You like them sparkly? That is fine! But you probably won’t like the true vampire mythology of blood sucking fiends! Awww *patting your glitter covered hair* I bet you cannot even remember what a real vampire is about! You should take a chance and check it out, you can read a sample on Amazon.
Michael West’s introduction to these sixteen stories shares two important things, one of a literary concern and one of a personal one which affects so many in our lives. Michael dedicated the book to Sara and his wife Stephanie. Proceeds from this collection and those to come will be going to support the fight with a donation to the American Cancer Society
“For two of the bravest women I have ever known, Sara and Stephanie. Promises to Keep.”
One lost her battle with breast cancer and his wife, Stephanie has won just in this last year. Having watched his passion being part of the Seventh Star Press group on Facebook (Seventh Star Sound-off, new minions err members welcome plus when you join you get an entry in the giveaway) and on his fan page it is evident how much this master of horror is passionate about all aspects of his life. He wants to bring the kinds of horror we love back into our lives and eradicate the real horror of cancer from it! Way to go Michael, and thank you!
Crap, I promised I was not going to go there.. I know………. I know but Michael said it first, so from the book, and I support this statement:
“Stephenie Meyer stole this monster from Bram Stoker. We’re stealin’ it back!”
Michael West edited an incredible collection of amazing tales with something for every real vampire lover. It is time to take back the night, people because these vampires don’t sparkle.
FIVE stars overall (THOSE STARS SPARKLE!)