Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book 3: Vampires The Recent Undead

Vampires the Recent Undead edited by Paula Guran was an interesting mix of vampire stories that tried to present the different varieties of vampires and how things have evolved in the recent areas. There were some great contributions from authors which allowed for a good review of the book but at the same time, there were some authors that I never really could connect with.

This anthology had an ambitious goal. Show how the conception of vampires in the modern age is rather varied and possibly show how the genre will grow in the next decade. It really pulled from the current state of the genre: a vampire could be traditional, moody, kind of soft and squishy, or a monster.

The collection of authors are rather amazing. In the high notes, there is Carrie Vaughn, Tanya Huff, Kelley Armstrong, and Charles De Lint. These are my favorite authors in the genre aside from Patricia Briggs. Well Charles De Lint is more of an urban fantasy author but he crafts wonderful stories. Those writers and I knew and just loved. I read the story by Carrie Vaughn before but it’s the start of Rick. It’s a solid vampire story. I ended up really falling in love with “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” by Holly Black and Tanith Lee’s “La Vampiresse”. Both of those stories surprised me and I really enjoyed.

But the biggest problem with this anthology was that when there are that many high notes, you want every story to be amazing and great.  Unfortunately, there were several stories that were only eh to meh to downright bad. The book should end with a great story but “The Wide, Carnivorous Sky” by John Langan was one of my least favorite tales of all. It was cold and devoid of a lot of emotional connection which made it tough to read. When a story fell flat, it was usually of feeling cold and I didn’t care about the characters.

In the end, I do plan to share this book with a few of my friends do the quality of half of the book but I won’t call it an amazing read. It was an okay read that had high points and some duds.  

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