Sunday, September 7, 2008

DARK THIRST various authors

various authors
Pocket Books Fiction

I have read a hell of a lot of vampire books and a lot of them, to be perfectly honest, are terrible. But I am always interested in seeing if someone can breathe new death into the old vampire cliches. 'Dark Thirst' is a collection of stories by African American writers, some of them established romance writers. Although this is not a romance anthology it certain does have more than a pinch of romance and a large dollop of erotica.

My favorite story was 'The Family Business' by Kevin S. Brockenbrough. This story basically drags the vampires and werewolves up to date by writing a rapid fire, action-filled story. The author also slides in a point about the true nature of monsters.

A close second would be 'The Ultimate Diet' by Monica Jackson which riffs on the Buffyesque vampire cliches. Jackson's story has a couple or truly delicious characters who drift palpably apart with the arrival of a vampire in the neighbour. The ending is telegraphed way in advance but the execution is pitch perfect and highly entertaining.

These two great tales bookend four other stories that were fun enough at the time but difficult to remember in retrospect. 'Vamp Noir' by Angela C. Allen throws together a gorgeous vampire vixen and the mafia, but an idea that seems promising at the outset never quite gels. 'Human Heat' by the Urban Griot is about a gorgeous man who becomes a vampire, has some sex, and kills some people (I found italicised sound effects like Uurrgghh!, Eeeaarrrkkkk! and Blooommm! impossible to take seriously). 'Whispers During Still Moments' by Linda Addison is about a gorgeous vampire who is hunted by a half-vampire. 'The Touch' by Donna Hill is a nice enough but unsubtle story about a gorgeous vampire's quest to find redeeming love.

Overall I think this book is certainly worth the cover price as an addition to my extensive collection--but if all the stories had been as deft and diverse as my favorite two 'Dark Thirst' could have been astounding.


Anonymous said...

I love to read, but have to admit that I've never read a vampire novel. I think maybe it's time I change that! ;-)

Sultana said...

Hey there Emily, another fan of vampire novels here. My favourite authoress is Anne Rice for sure. Read nearly all her books. I love her novels because of the historical part.As you said many other vampire books are, sad to say, not as good imho. Will check out the book "Desmond". Saw that you rated it highly. :D

Anonymous said...

Not really my cup of tea, but a nice collection of book reviews

Anonymous said...

I use to read vampire novels a lot, but got away from it I will have to check these out.

Anonymous said...

Ya know I love vampire movies but I have never read any vampire books.

Anonymous said...

Glad you found a good read. I agree there are some really cheesey vampire stories out there. I would prefer to read those that are good versus evil, character studies, or classic monster stuff. I am not really into reading vampire stories that are basically "i had an affair with a vampire" stuff.

capybara said...

I have never read any Vampire books but your review has whetted my appetite. Sounds like a good book to get your teeth into LOL.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it odd that the best story in the collection is by a previously unpublished author? I can't seem to find anything else by Kevin S. Brockenbrough

Anonymous said...

Vampires are hard to write well without falling into a dozen cliches. The main one in my eyes is that people try to make them too cool.