Title: Blood Gothic
Author: Nancy Holder
In: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 (Trisha Telep) & By Blood We Live (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Mental health, Vampires
Dates read: 18th October 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: She awoke from these dreams drenched in sweat and feeling exhausted.
She’s been dreaming of her vampire lover for years. Now she just has to wait until he finally comes to claim her. But, things may not be quite as they seem when she finally returns from her trip to Transylvania.
I really wouldn’t call this a romance. And I would not have expected to find such a story in a collection of vampire romance stories. There is just nothing romantic about this tale. Obsessive, yes. Vampiric, kind of. But romantic? Nope, nope, nope. And if someone reads this thinking that it’s romantic… they need to sort their brains out a little better…
Ever since Twilight came out, I didn’t really understand the vampire obsession. After all, vampires feed on humans. In the last few years, I’ve read some stories that are romantic and lustful, but that teenage, angsty attachment and obsession? Still really don’t get it. This short story kind of feels like it echoes that. This woman is completely fixated on the idea of a vampire lover that visits her in her dreams. But I’m not sure that he’s actually real. Her obsession turns to a sickness of some kind and I kind of like to believe that the end of the story is actually a gentle way to say that it is the end of her life. Completely due to a weird obsession and an inability to find the reality in the world.
In a book of romantic, lustful tales, this short story leaves you with a somewhat uncomfortable feeling. It’s a bit huh, a bit weird, and a complete reminder of the idea that sometimes we need to stop and look at our obsessions. Pause so that we can take a step back and fix our own mental health. Or at least, that’s what this story reminded me of.