Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Book Review: Vampires Don't Sparkle edited by Michael West

Vampires Don't Sparkle by Michael West

Publisher: Seventh Star Press, LLC
Pages: 246 (Paperback)
Published: March 12, 2013
Source: Mobi
Disclaimer: Blogger received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was awarded.
ISBN-13: 978-1937929602
Genre: Horror
Author: Twitter | Website | Facebook

Synopsis: What would you do if you had unlimited power and eternal life?

Would you…go back to high school? Attend the same classes year after year, going through the pomp and circumstance of one graduation after another, until you found the perfect date to take to prom? Would you…spend your days moping and brooding, finding your only joy in a game of baseball on a stormy day? Or would you…do something else? Anything else?
The authors of this collection have a few ideas; some fanciful, some humorous, and some as dark as an endless night. Join us, and discover what it truly means to be “vampyre.”

Edited by Michael West
Foreword by Michael West
“A New Life” by J. F. Gonzalez
“What Once was Flesh” by Tim Waggoner
“The Darkton Circus Mystery” by Elizabeth Massie
“Robot Vampire” by R. J. Sullivan
“Beneath a Templar Cross” by Gord Rollo
“The Weapon of Memory” by Kyle S. Johnson
“The Excavation” by Stephen Zimmer
“Skraeling” by Joel A. Sutherland
“Dreams of Winter” by Bob Freeman
“Dracula’s Winkee: Bloodsucker Blues” by Gregory L. Hall
“I Fuck Your Sunshine” by Lucy A. Snyder
“A Soldier’s Story” by Maurice Broaddus
” by Douglas F. Warrick
“Vampire Nation” by Jerry Gordon
“Curtain Call” by Gary A. Braunbeck

I've had the esteem pleasure of being on the Seventh Star Press Blog Tour for Vampires Don't Sparkle a new anthology edited by Michael West. In a world which has become oversaturated by creatures of the night, this anthology brings the topic of conversation back to the monster, back to the old-fashioned vampire of lore. The vampires in this collection are meant to be terrifying, to cause suspense, to enthrall you rather than make you squee like a teenage Twihard. There are no vegetarian vampires in this book.

There are fifteen stories in this Vampires Don't Sparkle and each piece of this collection adds a new layer to the vampire mythos. Whether its by reimagining old tales or looking toward the future, these stories fit together in a brilliant tapestry with the common thread of the classic, fearsome vampire. I think that the stories flowed together quite well and I liked to see different themes within the book including the vampire hunter, which in my opinion is a very important part of the vampire mythology. Where there is a creature of the night there will (most likely) be someone who wants to figure out what makes them work and put an end to the terror.

For the purposes of this review, I wanted to briefly touch on two stories in the collection which stood out as my personal favorites: Robot Vampire by R. J. Sullivan and Beneath a Templar Cross by Gordo Rollo. Firstly, I think that Robot Vampire was a truly unique idea. There was a quick pace to the story, but the different parts were brought together so well that everything fit together nicely. The author presented us with a short prologue which linked very well to the main story. Sullivan even presents us with a good villain. It's easily my favorite of the collection.

I really enjoyed Beneath a Templar Cross as well. It's a unique origin story with an interesting twist. Though brief, I did very much like the characters. The 1870 setting was quite brilliant and a reimagining of the Knights Templar was inventive. The story was told using letters and flashbacks with flashforwards to the present time. I was a bit confused about the timeline at first, but I caught on to what Rollo was doing to build the story. In the end I was extremely satisfied. I would love to see both of these stories continue on as a longer novella or full-length novel. I was definitely able to see both of the stories playing out in my head and I was easily able to imagine the characters, which I think is a mark of great storytelling.

That is definitely what this anthology is. Great storytelling, plain and simple. If you're a fan of horror and vampires in general, this is the collection for you.

Many thanks to Seventh Star Press, Stephen Zimmer, and Tomorrow Comes Media for allowing me to be a part of the blog tour for Vampires Sparkle. Check the blog for my involvement in upcoming tours!

Here is the remainder of the Vampires Don't Sparkle tour!

Vampires Don’t Sparkle! Tour Segment:
May 16  MikesFilmTalk       Guest Post
May 17 Come Selahway With Me    Guest Post
May 18  A Girl and Her Kindle   Review
May 20  Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews   Interview
May 21   Kentucky Geek Girl   Review
May 22 Strange Amusements   Promo/Spotlight
May 23  Book Den  Guest Post
May 24  Beagle Book Space  Promo/Spotlight
May 26 Armand Rosamilla, Horror Author   Review
May 27  Bookishly Me    Review
May 30  The Cabin Goddess Review
May 31  WTF Are You Reading?   Review
June 3  Book in the Bag   Review
June 4  The Dan O’Brien Project  Guest Post
June 7  Bee’s Knees Reviews   Review
June 11 Darlene’s Book Nook  Guest Post
June 16  Jess Resides Here   Top Ten’s List
June 17  The Witchy Contessa   Review
June 19  My Seryniti   Review

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