"Supernatural forces and desires come alive in these thirteen vampire tales. Like love, the adventures are never safe and hungers never die. And chances are taken. If you are seduced by the mystery of the heart, beating for a destiny unknown, you will helplessly follow the characters' in this collection - longing for one to call their own. Featuring several New York Times Bestsellers, connect with the pulse of the talented Eternal Kiss authors..."
Anthologies are odd things. Sometimes they're great and you can find several new authors to try, and sometimes they're not so good and you wish you could just buy the stories by authors you already know and love, without the rest. This book falls firmly in to the former category. Here's a short review for each of the 13 stories, in order:
1. Falling To Ash by Karen Mahoney. Rating: 9/10
Fantastic short story about a teen vampire called Moth. One tiny flaw, there is not nearly enough here!! Good news is Ms. Mahoney's just been given a deal for 2 books in this world, the second of which I believe carries on Moth's story. Fingers crossed they're out sooner rather than later!!
2. Shelter Island by Melissa de la Cruz. Rating: 6/10
I've never read anything by Ms. de la Cruz before but I quite liked this story. It didn't really have an ending to it, which was a shame, I would have liked more, but it was still a decent short story.
3. Sword Point by Maria V. Snyder. Rating: 9/10
Fantastic short story! Follows fencer Ava who wants to learn from the very best. But the new Academy she's attending is not all it seems. This is the first thing by Ms. Snyder I've read, but after this, I'm desperate to check out her other work!
4. The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black. Rating: 6/10
I really like the premise of this story. Rather than another flu the latest infection to be taking out hundreds around the world, is vampirisim. It's a decent short too. Not my favourite here, but nicely written.
5. Undead Is Very Hot Right Now by Sarah Rees Brennan. Rating: 6/10
There is a vampire in the latest boy band to hit it big. *gigglesnort* Oddly, I liked this. It wasn't great, but it was funny and kinda cute which helped.
6. Kat by Kelley Armstrong. Rating: 7/10
A YA short set in Kelley's 'Otherworld'. This sits outside her Darkest Powers trilogy, with different characters, but has ties to it. You don't need to have read any of the Darkest Powers books for this though. It's a good short and I'd like to see more of the characters in the future, but it didn't grab me like some of her other work. Kat has been on the run for 2 years with her vampire companion, but now the people chasing them have found them again. The question is, why were they being hunted in the first place?
7. The Thirteenth Step by Libba Bray. Rating: 7/10
A drug rehab center in NYC is not all it seems. I liked this short, a lot, but it doesn't get 4 stars because I was a little disappointed by the ending. It made sense, I guess, but I would have liked it to go a different way. Still, good solid story.
8. All Hallows by Rachel Caine. Rating: 6/10
Set in Rachel's Morganville world, after book 6 Carpe Corpus, but from Eve Rosser's POV rather than Claire Danvers'. Things have been better in Morganville for the friends of late, but it's Halloween and almost nothing goes to plan in Morganville and Eve finds herself in serious trouble once more. A good solid story, but rather like the rest of the Morganville series, it left me feeling like there was something missing. It's a good series, just not entirely for me I think.
9. Wet Teeth by Cecil Castellussi. Rating: 2/10
The only story in the book that I truly didn't like at all. It's just a bit strange and the ending was...unpleasant. Didn't enjoy it at all.
10. Other Boys by Cassandra Clare. Rating: 6/10
A teen girl who's lived a sheltered and restricted life suddenly finds herself getting attention from the hot new goth boy in school. Who claims to be a vampire. A decent story, easy reading, but the end was a little strange. I think it could have done with being a bit longer to show more detail, but otherwise, it was good. Will probably give her Mortal Instruments series a try after this.
11. Passing by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie. Rating: 9/10
This is another one where the only flaw is that it's far too short!! A bunch of teenagers are about to start on their final 'exam' to become vampire hunters. Fantastic short, loved the characters, the detail, the plot...would love to see more in this world from these authors. I'm planning to get the first in the 'Wicked' series which they wrote together too, to see if it's just as good.
12. Ambition by Lili St. Crow. Rating: 8/10
Really good short story about a very poor girl living in a rich girls world. The ending is frustrating, it makes sense, but leaves too much open! Would have liked a little more, but I still really enjoyed it. I gave up on one of Lili's adult series' as I couldn't strange the protagonist, but after this, I'm willing to give her YA series, Strange Angels, a try, which I otherwise wouldn't have.
13. All Wounds by Dina James. Rating: 8/10
Intriguing world. Vampires, healers and (albeit unseen) hellhounds just for starters. It felt slightly choppy, like maybe it had been cut down to length a little harshly, but other wise, really great story and I'd love to read more in this world. Fingers crossed Dina can sell it and get it published sooner rather than later!
Overall, a fantastic collection of short stories. I've added several books to my 'to buy' list as a result, and I'll be watching for books from a couple other too. Great book, and great value! 9/10