Hi and hello, welcome to my blog 🙂
Today I bring to you a review of Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bite, an anthology collection edited by Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker that re-examines and re-imagines popular vampire tropes under from a point of view that is not that of a white, cisgender, able-bodied, straight man.
Publication Date: September 22nd 2020
I haven’t read many anthologies. I think this might actually be my first non-Shadowhunter related bind up so I don’t have much in the way to compare it to and so I’m just going to go through the 11 short stories individually and say what I thought 🙂
Seven Nights for Dying by Tessa Gratton – ⭐⭐
Plot: Teenage artist
(I don’t remember her name. Did she have a name?) meets a mysterious (and in my opinion creepy) vampire who offers to Turn her and so we follow her over 7 days as she begins the ritual become one of the un-dead.
My thoughts & feelings: Eh. I barely remember anything, including the main characters last name. Although I did really like the idea that sunlight is deadly to vampires as it “breaks the magic” meaning they age and the wounds that killed them return.
The Boys from Blood River by Rebecca Roanhorse – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Plot: Hardcore blood pact with some Vampire Cowboys. Yes you read that right. Vampire. Cowboys!
My thoughts & feelings: Hands down my favourite of the lot. What else is there to say? I wrote down in my notes that “I like the Vibes™”. I don’t know what that means exactly, it’s been a few days and I still agree. I would happily read a whole novel about Vampire Cowboys without complaint.
Senior Year Sucks by Julie Murphy – ⭐⭐⭐
Plot: Plus-sized Vampire Slayer turned cheerleading captain meets a new fanged “friend” on the ride back from a football game.
My thoughts & feelings: This was kinda boring but I gave it an extra 1/2⭐ for the plus-sized rep and the f/f themes no matter how small. This story did feature my favourite quote of the collection though:
“Turns out vampire slayers don’t need to be fat or skinny or any particular thing at all as long as they kick ass
The Boy and the Bell by Heidi Heilig – ⭐⭐⭐
Plot: Set in Victorian times a budding transgender doctor saves someone from being buried alive and they return the kindness by trying to eat him.
My thoughts & feelings: yesssss, behead the transphobes.
A Guidebook for the Newly Sired Desi Vampire by Samira Ahmed – ⭐⭐⭐.5
Plot: This was basically a “so you’ve been turned into a vampire …” info pamphlet for recently Turned, underage, desi vampires.
My thoughts & feelings: This one was a whole lot of fun and a treasure trove of funny and witty quotes and one liners such as:
“What should you eat? Your colonizer”
In Kind by Kayla Whaley – ⭐⭐
Plot: A girl gets her revenge after her dad tries (and fails) to kill her.
My thoughts & feelings: Interesting but I barely remember anything about it.
Vampires Never Say Die by Zoraida Cordova & Natalie C. Parker – ⭐⭐.5
Plot: Theo just wants to throw her online bff a birthday party but instead she ends up in the middle of a vampire clan civil war. Be careful who you chat with online kids!
My thoughts & feelings: This one is told from two characters perspectives and I really liked them both. I hope they’re out there living their best life.
Bestiary by Laura Ruby
Plot: I don’t even know my dudes. There was a zoo ???
My thoughts & feelings: This one was … weird. Weird!!! It has a sort of dystopian feel but I genuinely had no idea what was happening. However I was interested. My thought process was basically “I am confusion … but Imma keep reading”.
(If you’ve read this let me know what you thought. Let me know if you knew what was happening).
Mirrors, Windows & Selfies by Mark Oshiro – ⭐⭐.5
Plot: This story was told through what seemed like Tumblr posts from the child of vampires writing about his life in isolation. Basically a Gen-Z Renesmee but sadder.
My thoughts & feelings: This was another odd one and buy this point my brain was a bit: 🤯🥴 but I was interested and pretty entertained by this. I really liked how the “Tumblr” posts gradually got more notes and interaction with each one.
The House of Black Sapphires by Dhanielle Clayton – ⭐⭐.5
Plot: A cute and kinda flirty first meeting between “sworn enemies”, an Eternal and a Baron.
My thoughts & feelings: Cute. Love me a good vampire family.
First Kill by V.E Schwab -⭐⭐⭐⭐
Plot: Juliet and Calliope are crushing on each other and when they get put in a closet together at a party they’re hoping to be each others Firsts … first kills that is.
My thoughts & feelings: Again proof that Schwab has been blessed by the writing Gods. I especially liked the ending to this one but I can’t talk about that cause #spoilers.
Overall Thoughts & Feelings:
Overall I thought this was an enjoyable collection with new takes on classic vampire tropes, but I don’t thin it was something I totally loved.
My favourite was definitely The Boys from Blood River by Rebecca Roanhorse because COWBOY VAMPIRES. I genuinely cannot express how much I loved this premise.
Like I said, this was my first anthology experience (Cassandra Claire doesn’t count) so I think maybe I wasn’t used to the short story format but it did keep me entertained.
If you’ve read this collection I’d love to know what you thought! Thanks so much for reading!