Tag Archives: Evolve

Evolve edited by Nancy Kilpatrick

Overview
Evolve

Title: Evolve
Author: Nancy Kilpatrick, Sandra Kasturi, Kelley Armstrong, Ronald Hore, Jennifer Greylyn, Mary E. Choo, Rebecca Bradley, Michael Skeet, Victoria Fisher, Kevin Cockle, Heather Clitheroe, Colleen Anderson, Sandra Wickham, Claude Bolduc, Claude Lalumiere, Rhea Rose, Gemma Files, Bev Vincent, Steve Vernon, Rio Youers, Bradley Somer, Natasha Beaulieu, Jerome Stueart, Kevin Nunn & Tanya Huff
In: Evolve (Nancy Kilpatrick)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Short story collections, Vampires
Dates read: 6th November 2018 – 1st April 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Edge
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: You are never in a hurry.

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Synopsis

New Vampires have evolved, and they are coming for you! Kelly Armstrong, Tanya Huff and twenty-two other dark fantasy and horror writers come together to re-imagine the future of vampires in this new collection of all-original short fiction – one of the most unusual and original vampire anthologies ever assembled.

Thoughts

This wasn’t my favourite collection of short stories. Maybe I’m not all that much into vampire stories, maybe because these are just the type of vampire stories that I really love. The only two tales I really loved in this were by Kelley Armstrong and Tanya Huff. They weren’t necessarily bad tales, just not ones that I was completely enthralled by.

If you like the more traditional and darker aspect of vampires, I think that this is for you. Some of the stories were a little contemporary, but they weren’t that romanticised, humanised version that we all know and love in modern literature. Maybe if I had have read some of the vampire classics such as Dracula before this, I would have been a little more intently interested. But as things stand, I found this collection quite… meh. Not bad, not great. Definitely worth reading, but not one I’ll be rushing to reread anytime soon.

 <- The Slowing of the World ReviewLet the Night In Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Quid Pro Quo by Tanya Huff

Overview
Evolve

Title: Quid Pro Quo
Author: Tanya Huff
Series: Henry Fitzroy #8.7
In: Evolve (Nancy Kilpatrick)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 1st April 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Edge
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Scent would have allowed her to pick them out of a crowd regardless of how good a look she’d got at them.

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Synopsis

Vicki is disturbed from her day-time rest one day by goons breaking into her house to find her. Later, she finds out that her cop lover and partner has been taken to blackmail her… is all hell about to break loose?

Thoughts

I struggled a little to get into many of the short stories in the Evolve collection. But, this, as a final ending to the anthology was just amazing. This was exactly the kind of short story that I love, and my biggest complaint is that it ended too soon. I want to find out more about Vicki and Mike and the ways in which they have each other’s backs. I also want to find out why Vicki seems to be different from other vampires…

This was a little bit sweet and romantic, but more so in the fact that the relationship described in Quid Pro Quo was far more realistic. Mike and Vicki sacrifice a lot for each other, and although the realisation at the end is that their relationship puts each other in jeopardy, it also highlights that they will do anything for each other. And that although the relationship could endanger them, it also makes them more human and in touch with the world around them. Something that we all need, vampire or not.

 <- The Sun Also Shines on the Wicked ReviewEvolve II Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

The Sun Also Shines On the Wicked by Kevin Nunn

Overview
Evolve

Title: The Sun Also Shines on the Wicked
Author: Kevin Nunn
In: Evolve (Nancy Kilpatrick)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Vampires
Dates read: 1st April 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Edge
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Perhaps he was drawn towards the gate with a thrill, excited by what lay ahead.

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Synopsis

Is the draw of sunlight worth the risk of death? Someone thinks so… and he’s about to risk it all just to get a little more tanned…

Thoughts

This was a cute, easy little read. Two vampires catching up, remembering the sunlight. One has found a way to enjoy it… but it’s an experiment, one that he needs help with.

Alright, so there isn’t a happy ending for the first vampire (that would open WAY too many stories to the idea of vampires who could handle a little sunlight). But it did remind me of issues of addiction, highlighted how the loss of something such as sunlight is kind of horrific, and no matter what you claim, it is difficult to fully let go of its power in your life.

Really, this story reminded me of just how much I love sunlight. And I sit here writing this review, with the morning sun streaming through my window and freshening up my house and my soul.

 <- How Magnificent is the Universal Donor ReviewQuid Pro Quo Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

How Magnificent is the Universal Donor by Jerome Stueart

Overview
Evolve

Title: How Magnificent is the Universal Donor
Author: Jerome Stueart
In: Evolve (Nancy Kilpatrick)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Vampires
Dates read: 1st April 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Edge
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: I would like to tell you about this donor; I’m going to need his records.

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Synopsis

His husband was hospitalised. Next thing he knows, he’s neck deep in a conspiracy that involves blood diseases and vampires…

Thoughts

Organic eating and healthy living is a huge fad lately. It is definitely something that my generation is obsessed with. So mixing this with another obsession of this generation was a really novel idea. And something that I kind of enjoyed. Conspiracy theories and all. There were just a few not-quite plot holes in this story that made me not enjoy it as much as the idea would have drawn me in.

Mixing medicine and vampires to stop a future plague and rescue a mass of peoples is a fun idea. Especially when those vampires are used as a filter… trying to rationalise their existence as something good and healthy. When, as the story closes, you realises that they are still the villains of the tale…

 <- Evolving ReviewThe Sun Also Shines on the Wicked Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Evolving by Natasha Beaulieu

Overview
Evolve

Title: Evolving
Author: Natasha Beaulieu
In: Evolve (Nancy Kilpatrick)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Vampires
Dates read: 24th March 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Edge
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Shanella grips his arm.

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Synopsis

Anton has always wanted to be a vampire. But, what if he is already evolving into one? Does he have more power than he realises?

Thoughts

I’m a scientist. So I kind of loved the idea of a story in which somebody evolved into another version of themselves. Another version of a vampire.

This was a somewhat slow tale, and not one that really felt like it had a beginning, a middle and an end. Rather, it was almost like a bit of a character bio and introduction. You got to know Anton intimately, but there wasn’t much else happening around him. Or at least, that’s how it struck me.

 <- Bend to Beautiful ReviewHow Magnificent is the Universal Donor Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Bend to Beautiful by Bradley Somer

Overview
Evolve

Title: Bend to Beautiful
Author: Bradley Somer
In: Evolve (Nancy Kilpatrick)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Vampires
Dates read: 23rd March 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Edge
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: So trapped.

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Synopsis

He’s bought a tragically beautiful man home, but what they both get out of the interaction is far more than they had bargained for. It might be time to bend to beautiful.

Thoughts

When I started reading this story, I thought that it was just another tale of a vampire seducing someone and taking them home. It felt a little different because it was about two men, but it still kind of felt same, same. Until about halfway through.

Halfway through the tale, my perception started to change. I wondered if the narrator’s voice was really the predator, instead of the prey. And just who was hunting who. Which was kind of nice. It provided a little bit of something new to a pretty typical story.

Reading this short story was quite fun, it was just easy and simple. Slightly unexpected, but nothing that will haunt me in the future. Just simple, comfortable and kind of fun.

 <- Soulfinger ReviewEvolving Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Soulfinger by Rio Youers

Overview
Evolve

Title: Soulfinger
Author: Rio Youers
In: Evolve (Nancy Kilpatrick)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Vampires
Dates read: 15th March 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Edge
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Blind Willie McTell.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

A journalist is on the trail of Soulfinger, a talented musician. But what he ends up finding may be far more than he anticipated.

Thoughts

I’ve been really enjoying short stories that jump around. There is something about the movement through time and quickly changing perceptions which I find enjoyable. The ability of the storyline to whisk you from one story to another completely draws you in. It also makes it a little confusing and difficult to keep track of what is really happening, but it is still incredibly fun.

This story had a great seedy underbelly feel. The partnership of what is (I’m fairly certain) a vampire, clubs and musicians works really nicely. And the discussion interspersed throughout of souls matches really well with the themes and naming of this short story.

As much as I enjoyed this story, it was completely forgettable. I found it fun in the moment, but as soon as I turned the last page, I wasn’t really sure of what I had just read.

 <- The Greatest Trick ReviewBend to Beautiful Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

The Greatest Trick by Steve Vernon

Overview
Evolve

Title: The Greatest Trick
Author: Steve Vernon
In: Evolve (Nancy Kilpatrick)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Politics, Vampires
Dates read: 3rd March 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Edge
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: He didn’t have that much in his wallet.

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Synopsis

We all know that politicians are blood suckers. But what happens when a vampire wants to become one too?

Thoughts

I’m not really into politics. Or politicians or really anything of the sort. I think that I should be a little more involved, but realistically, it’s just not going to happen. Which made it kind of fun to read a story about a bloodsucker going into politics. Literally.

The entire way throughout this story I was waiting for the punchline. There had to be some kind of evil, ulterior motive to a vampire running for office. Which there is. In the very final paragraph. And it led me to heave a sigh of relief and gratitude when I turned the final page. There just wouldn’t have been something right about this story if there wasn’t any kind of punchline…

 <- A Murder of Vampires ReviewSoulfinger Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

A Murder of Vampires by Bev Vincent

Overview
Evolve

Title: A Murder of Vampires
Author: Bev Vincent
In: Evolve (Nancy Kilpatrick)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Vampires
Dates read: 22nd February 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Edge
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: You’ve got to help me.

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Synopsis

When vampires came out of the closet (so to speak) all hell broke loose. And it just keeps getting worse, with a human murderer on the prowl, hunting vampires…

Thoughts

This had a very crime, noir theme and atmosphere to this story. The call in the middle of the night, leaving a comfortable bed. The idea that a murder down a dark alley is being investigated.

The scene setting in this story is brilliant and it draws you in very quickly. But, I just didn’t really feel overly attached to the characters. I didn’t even query who was killing the vampires. Which is odd for me, since I always like to figure out the angles and the whys of crime. But I just didn’t really get involved in this. At all. In the slightest. Which is why I rated it a 3 out of 5 stars. I still enjoyed the storyline. But I didn’t really get very involved within it.

 <- When I’m Armouring My Belly ReviewThe Greatest Trick Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

When I’m Armouring My Belly by Gemma Files

Overview
Evolve

Title: When I’m Armouring My Belly
Author: Gemma Files
In: Evolve (Nancy Kilpatrick)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Vampires
Dates read: 20th February 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Edge
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: “Smells like us, specific, ’cause we just got done rubbing ourselves all over him.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Sometimes you want to be a part of something bigger than you. But when it’s vampires doing all kinds of untold things to your body… is it really worth it? Or is it more intriguing to become something far more?

Thoughts

I was a little eh about this story. It wasn’t horrible and stomach turning like some of the short stories that have come before. But it also wasn’t the kind of tale that I’ll remember for a long time. Even writing this review is a little difficult because it is already starting to feel a little faded.

The part of this story that I enjoyed the most was the fact that the lead was a dhampir. It gave them a whole other level of strength and mystery. One that I didn’t quite figure out until the end. But then I can’t quite remember why either…

 <- Alia’s Angel ReviewA Murder of Vampires Review ->
Image source: Goodreads