Tag Archives: Vampires

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

Overview
Dark Lover, The First Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J. R. Ward |  9780451468109 | Booktopia

Title: Dark Lover
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
Rating Out of 5: 2.5 (Readable, but not worth reading again)
My Bookshelves: EroticaParanormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 29th August – 5th September 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: Getting him out of a facility against medical advice was always a struggle.

Synopsis

The only purebred vampire left on the planet and the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who killed his parents centuries ago. But when his most trusted fighter is killed – orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate – Wrath must put down his dagger and usher the beautiful female into another world.

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn’t there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of the Brotherhood and blood frighten her. Yet his touch ignites a dawning new hunger – one that threatens to consume them both…

Thoughts

I really, really wanted to like this novel. It’s got such a good rep and I’ve heard it spoken of multiple times… but I just couldn’t quite get into it. I gave it my nor.al 150 pages before realising that I had absolutely no inclination to read anymore. Which rarely happens, normally I’ll at least skim to see how the story turns out.

For me, a big part of not getting super involved in this story was the fact that I just couldn’t feel attached to the characters. Beth and Wrath did not having anything about them that drew me in. I didnt dislike them, I didn’t like them, I just nothinged them.

In the future I’ll probably give this book another try. But for now… no strong feelings either way.

<- More J.R. WardLover Eternal ->

Image source: Booktopia

In the Future When All’s Well by Catherynne M. Valente

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: In the Future When All’s Well
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 31st August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: It’s all random.

Synopsis

Vampirism has become a daily occurrence – there are those in the high risk, those who just break the rules… but eventually a whole lot of people get turned. The future is showing us a whole new reality.

Thoughts

I liked the idea of this future world in which vampires are running free. And that they’re just kind of the next, logical evolutionary step to the pyramid. The fact that it’s also written all around the perspective of a teenager just works all that much better. After all, all of the stories at the moment surrounding vampires seem to be very young adult centred.

One of the aspects I liked most about this story was the idea that those in the “high risk” category were considered different and amoral. It’s the same fear mongering that you see again and again throughout society. Which made me smile. A great reflection on society as we know it.

All in all, I really enjoyed this short story. It was a unique idea, but one that I felt kind of had merit. After all, there is definitely scientific support for the idea that we are all evolving into a new version of “humanity”, who’s to say it isn’t going to be as blood suckers?

<- BabyTransition ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Baby by Kathe Koja

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Baby
Author: Kathe Koja
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Horror, Vampires
Dates read: 18th August 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: I was pretty scared, and pretty mad, when I got home.

Synopsis

She’s growing up and leaving the past toys of her childhood behind. But in this case, that’s a little bit more difficult and dark than expected…

Thoughts

I find dolls creepy (I hope to god I don’t have a doll obsessed kid)… and, once I realised that the vampire like creature in this was, in fact, a creepy doll.. ick.

Honestly, I didn’t really love this story. I didn’t hate it… but it wasn’t my favourite. Probably the doll thing. There is just something about them that is… nope nope nope. Especially ones with glass eyes.

I did like the take on vampires, magic and familiars in this. It was a little dark and twisty, kind of convoluted and not what I expected at all. Which is what I truly love in a short story.

<- SunbleachedIn the Future When All’s Well ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Sunbleached by Nathan Ballingrud

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Sunbleached
Author: Nathan Ballingrud
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 15th August 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: That’s why it’s so easy for us to seduce.

Synopsis

Josh thinks he has the perfect plan – he’s got a vampire trapped, he’s going to be immortal and he’s going to get rid of his mum’s annoying boyfriend. But, as with all teenage plans, things just don’t quite go to plan.

Thoughts

I always want to yell at the silly children in vampire stories who make a deal with, well, a vampire… I mean, come on! Haven’t you read the stories? Don’t you understand that it NEVER TURNS OUT WELL?!?!?

This story was no different. I spent the whole time metaphoriy banging my head against an imaginary wall… I mean, seriously Josh? You expected any of this to end in any other way? Silly, silly boy…

Alright, even though I was constantly finding Josh frustrating and seriously silly in this… I did also enjoy the story. It was one of those that you knew things would end bad, but you kind of wanted to see HOW they would end badly…

<- Sit the DeadBaby ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Sit the Dead by Jeffrey Ford

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Sit the Dead
Author: Jeffrey Ford
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Horror, Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 6th August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: “Let’s go in.”

Synopsis

All he wants is for his girlfriend’s family to accept him. Even if that means sitting next to the dead with the weird uncle that barely speaks English. But, as it turns out, that is the least of his troubles. They’re just about to begin…

Thoughts

I really like the way that this uses the hint of old world traditions and practices to build the storyline. The fact that it is written from the point of view of a boy that just wants to be with his girl… well, it all works out well.

Sometimes the open endedness of short stories is kind of irritating. But, I liked the way that this one ends. It’s open… but with a hint of more action and a life to continue living in the future. And more potential for romance.

This story was great. But, it does make me leery about coffins and dead people… the imagery throughout this is just far too intense and realistic.

<- Best Friends ForeverSunbleached ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Best Friends Forever by Cecil Castellucci

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Best Friends Forever
Author: Cecil Castellucci
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 5th August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: She didn’t want to, it just happened, in an alley in New York City.

Synopsis

They met by chance – the dying girl and the one who was already dead. But that’s not what cemented them together in friendship.

Thoughts

This was actually a ridiculously sweet vampire story. There is something about friendship and that depth of love that I think gets missed in stories a lot. But Castellucci managed to capture it perfectly.

I love how this story took you on the adventure of forming an everlasting friendship. Not just that moment of connection… but also that moment when you realise that that friendship you’ve formed… its something special.

I loved this story about friendship. But what I loved the most was how it ended. It was kind of sad. But seriously sweet, all at the same time.

<- The List of Definite EndingsSit the Dead ->

Image source: HarperCollins

The List of Definite Endings by Kaaron Warren

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: The List of Definite Endings
Author: Kaaron Warren
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 27th July 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: With the thought of Joel a dull ache and Ken very much on her mind, Claudia walked down to the seawall, enjoying the wind on her face and the smell of the salt.

Synopsis

Claudia never really fit in when she was human… now that she’s a vampire… well, she still doesn’t quite fit in. But at least she has her list.

Thoughts

This was a nice, easy duck out of water kind of story. I’m still not totally sold on the vampire fad. But stories like this are kind of fun. I loved all the ways that Claudia didn’t fit in. Because it was probably some of the same reasons I felt that way at nineteen.

A lot of information was packed into this very short story. Not only did it give Claudia a great characterisation. Buy it also told of her relationships, friendships, turning and morals in life. A whole heap of information in very few pages. But told in such a fun way that I couldn’t help but smile.

I’ve read a few short stories by Kaaron Warren. And honestly, I’ve enjoyed every one. They’re light, easy, but with a great moral core at the very centre of the story. Even when the story features a vampire out of water.

<– Late BloomerBest Friends Forever ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Late Bloomer by Suzy McKee Charnas

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Late Bloomer
Author: Suzy McKee Charnas
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 26th July 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Writing verses (what was he thinking? Now he was really going to be killed in the boys’ bathroom) – with Freaky Frye!

Synopsis

Josh is from a family of artists and creators. He’s spent his whole seventeen years trying to figure out what his “talent” is. The moment he finally discovers it… well, it might just be too late.

Thoughts

I found Josh to be a bit of a whiney fool throughout this. So wrapped up in his ideas of being “great” that he didn’t stop and smell the roses. But, he kind of got his poetic justice / karmic justice in the end. That made me happy.

I did enjoy the idea of brain chemistry being unchanging when turned into a vampire. Particularly the fact that as a teenager, the brain is not fully formed. And being turned as a teenager? It means that you’ll be forever not fully formed. It’s a bit disturbing when you truly think about the consequences… but it was a very cool and dark idea. One I seriously enjoyed.

All in all, I pleasantly enjoyed this story. It may not have been a ground-shaking, earth-quaking tale that I’ll necessarily read again. But it was fun and unique. Which, honestly is all I want in a short story some days.

<- Vampire WeatherThe List of Definite Endings ->

Image source: HarperCollins

The Master of Rampling Gate by Anne Rice

Overview
Image result for by blood we live book cover

Title: The Master of Rampling Gate
Author: Anne Rice
In: By Blood We Live (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: GothicHorror, Vampires
Dates read: 30th June 2021
Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: “What have they done to me?” he whispered.

Synopsis

Two siblings were left with strict instructions of their father’s death – destroy Rampling Gate. But a visit to find out what they are to destroy has them questioning everything.

Thoughts

This had a very gothic / Dracula feel to it. But just not quite as horrifying and twisted. Actually, it had kind of surreal sort of happy ending. Not one that I necessarily went head over heels for. But one that I enjoyed nevertheless.

I like that there was a mystery and a feeling of family traditions and horrors throughout this tale. It wasn’t overly dark in and of itself, but that potential lingered throughout the tale. And it left me feeling very happily intrigued as I flicked through the pages.

I’ve heard of Anne Rice many times. I mean, who hasn’t when you like anything paranormal? So it was fun to know what her writing is actually like. I’d definitely be intrigued to buy one of her novels now…

<- Snow, Glass, ApplesUnder St. Peter’s ->

Image source: Fantastic Fiction

Pattern Recognition by Dana Cameron

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Pattern Recognition
Author: Dana Cameron
Series: Fangborn #0.4
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy, Vampires, Werewolves
Dates read: 30th June 2021
Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: And her brother; apparently he’d taken on Cesar’s men when they broke into the apartment.

Synopsis

Siblings Claudia and Gerry are fangborn, and when one of Claudia’s patients rings her with an odd experience… they realise that things are starting to enter the mythological realms of prophecy and ruin.

Thoughts

I know I’ve read a fangborn short story before. And I know that I enjoyed it enough to add the series to my wish list. And I remember that I loved the idea of Gerry and Claudia… werewolf and vampire siblings. This story was just as enjoyable and surprising.

I wasn’t quite surprised to find a story like this in the Murder and Mayhem in Muskego book. I wasn’t really expecting a paranormal story in here. I’m not really sure what I was expecting expecting be fair as this is only my second story of the collection… but still. I like that there is a paranormal tale in here. Its incredibly fun and left a huge smile on my face.

I really liked the mayhem throughout this story. It didn’t quite touch on murder as much as I expected. But I really enjoyed all of the mayhem. And the blood. And the fact that there was impaling of the bad guys… I’m not bloodthirsty at all!

<- Hollywood LanesSlider ->

Image source: Amazon