Vampires Don’t Sparkle! is a collection of stories that have one thing in common: they all highlight the good old-fashioned vampire. The vampires here are evil, wicked, and glory in all the blood they can. There are no creatures that regret their existence, pine after mortals, or limit themselves to subsist on animal blood. These are the vampires of old, the vampires that make us humans crave the daylight and fear the darkness. Along with the twisted, fun, and Gothic darkness of these fifteen stories, a major highlight of this anthology is that a portion of the proceeds of the sales of Vampires Don’t Sparkle! are donated to cancer research as a tribute to a dear friend of West who lost her battle, as well as to his wife, who is a cancer survivor. Each story includes a bit of information on the author including their favorite vampires.
For this reviewer, these stories are the very best of the collection:
“Robot Vampire” by RJ Sullivan is totally original, inventive, current, and completely fascinating. This is the short that I would love to see developed into a full novel. You get a sense of the characters very quickly, and the setting is like nothing I have read in paranormal fiction.
“Beneath a Templar Cross” by Gordo Rollo is a vivid reimagining of the origin of a very familiar character in vampire mythology. We are introduced to several members of the defunct Templar Knights in the 1870’s, and a doctor who conducts some very curious experiments.
“Skraeling” by Joel A. Sutherland is a stark first-person narrative that is very compelling and beautifully put together. Sutherland has created a cold, unrelenting but intriguing landscape that sucks you into the protagonist’s story. This is a haunting tale that stays with you long after the last page.
There are a few stories that I feel are out of place in this anthology, but overall this collection caters to the reader who wants something darker from their vampires.
Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Seventh Star Press (March 12. 2013)