Sunday, August 28, 2011

Teeth: Vampire Tales Book Review

Title: Teeth: Vampire Tales
Editors: Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 5, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0061935145

480 pp.

Reading copy via local library

This anthology of 17 vampire short stories (and 2 poems) isn't part of the Debut Author Challenge since many of the contributors are well-established authors such as Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix, Melissa Marr, and Tanith Lee. But it was sitting so seductively on the shelf that I had to read it.

I'm glad I did.

I totally missed the Twilight bandwagon, and I wanted to see what other authors had to say about vampires. And this collection has all kinds of vampires. Funny vampires, gay vampires, creepy vampires, psychotic vampires, and regular teenage angsty vampires.

I'm just going to list my top five favorites stories, but almost all stories are extremely strong (only one did I find a little clunky and I wasn't that interested in the two poems that are included).

"Things to Know About Being Dead" by Genevieve Valentine
Suyin dies and finds out she's undead, or jiang-shi, and her Grandmother helps her cope with her new reality. At least for awhile.

"All Smiles" by Steve Berman
A gay kid runs away from a boot camp and hitches a ride with a couple of strangers. Yeah, it's gonna get worse before it gets better.

"Sit the Dead" by Jeffrey Ford
Luke meets a girl from an unusual family. Maybe a little too unusual. Manages to be funny and creepy at the same time.

"Sunbleached" by Nathan Ballingrud
For the me, the saddest and creepiest tale in the anthology. Joshua hides a vampire under his house, waiting for the right moment to invite him in.

"The Perfect Dinner Party" by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black
Told from the POV of a perpetual 14 year old vampire, she describes how she and her brother ended up hosting a dinner party.

I would recommend this anthology to anyone who is a fan of paranormal fiction.

Bonus Video: Contributing authors talk about whether they'd want to be a vampire for a month


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