Vampires Never Get Old edited by Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker
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I was sent a copy of this novel by the publishers to review, however this has no bearing on my rating or review.
In this delicious new collection, you’ll find stories about lurking vampires of social media, rebellious vampires hungry for more than just blood, eager vampires coming out―and going out for their first kill―and other bold, breathtaking, dangerous, dreamy, eerie, iconic, powerful creatures of the night.
Welcome to the evolution of the vampire―and a revolution on the page.
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Vampires Never Get Old is a fun and fresh anthology of unique vampire stories written by a host of talented YA authors. As with any anthology, there were some stories I preferred over others but there were also new authors I discovered and loved. After each short story, Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker discussed the main themes and events of the tale which I thought was brilliant, I loved hearing their thoughts on each one.
The anthology started well with a strong opening story, Seven Nights for Dying by Tessa Gratton, which explored the transition from human to vampire and how within the story the human must feed on vampire blood for seven nights to complete the transition, allowing the human to potentially change their mind. The second story, The Boys From Blood River, was equally as amazing and also discussed how humans could transition to a vampire, however Rebecca Roanhorse’s story depended on a violent sacrifice and your ability to attract vampires with an old jukebox song!
Julie Murphy’s story, Senior Year Sucks, was one of my absolute favourites, it’s an explosive enemies to lovers story between a fat and fierce slayer girl who meets her match in a vampire girl. The Boy and the Bell by Heidi Heilig didn’t make much of an impression on me, unfortunately, the story was enjoyable but not memorable. Another favourite in this anthology was A Guidebook for the Newly Sired Desi Vampire by Samira Ahmed, I loved how the author took the comparison of the infection of vampirism and colonialization and created a brilliantly humorous guide for new vampires!
In Kind by Kayla Whaley left me speechless, it’s an incredible story that puts it’s middle finger up to ableism and magical cures within fantasy stories, it’s a tale that makes a stand for disabled people and those who have chronic illnesses, it broke my heart. An online friendship is at the heart of Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker’s story, which also discusses the ability to influence others as vampire or human, I loved the friendship element of the story but otherwise it wasn’t particularly striking. Bestiary by Laura Ruby was another story that didn’t stand out for me.
Mark Oshiro’s story, Mirrors, Windows & Selfies, was cleverly written as online diary posts with occasional commentary by it’s readers as the main character tried to discover more about their existence, the story built up constant momentum to reach a satisfying peak. I love the premise of The House of Black Sapphires by Dhonielle Clayton, with a coffin reimagined as a magical apothecary but the story wasn’t executed well enough for me to fully enjoy it. First Kill by V. E. Schwab was a disappointing end to the anthology as the story wasn’t as striking as many of the others.
A mix of excellent and disappointing stories, but I thoroughly enjoyed every new imaginative take on vampirism and I look forward to rereading this anthology in the future.
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