Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: Teeth: Vampire Tales Anthology

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Sink your teeth into these bite-sized tales exploring the intersections among the living, dead, and undead. Features stories by Neil Gaiman, Melissa Marr, Cassandra Clare, Garth Nix, and many more.
My Thoughts:
Things to Know About Being Dead by Genevieve Valentine
 Interesting and dark, I thought the inclusion of the rules was fun.

All Smiles by Steve Berman
I liked this one.  Especially the idea that a tattoo of holy script would sour someone's blood for a vampire.

Gap Year by Christopher Barzak
Another one that I liked.  I was hoping for more of a happy ending as things moved along, but I loved the look at how friends grow apart and move on as they grow up.

Bloody Sunrise by Neil Gaiman
I love Neil Gaiman's writing but I'm not a big fan of freestyle poetry.  Or any poetry, really.

Flying by Delia Sherman
I wasn't sure about this one when I started it, but it really picked up and ended up being interesting.

Vampire Weather by Garth Nix
This one was interesting in the "I'd really like to read more about this" sort of way.

Late Bloomer by Suzy McKee Charnas
I liked the idea here that once you've died you can no longer create.  You can mimic, you can copy, but you can't make something original.

The List of Definite Endings by Kaaron Warren
The life of a vampire who chooses only terminal patients to feast on.  Sad and weirdly sweet.

Best Friends Forever by Cecil Castellucci
Huh.  A dead vampire and a dying girl.  One wants to die and one wants to live.  I liked the revelation Amy had that maybe she was one of the mean girls when she had been in school and how the two girls found a way to be best friends despite their differences.  Overall, though, it wasn't one of my favorites.

Sit the Dead by Jeffrey Ford
Old World vampires where the disease is passed down family lines through the blood.  Interesting.

Sunbleached by Nathan Ballingrud
Another dark one.  No cuddly vampires here.  I liked this one just because of the brutality of what was done.  What can I say?  Sometimes I like my vampires bloody.

Baby by Kathe Koja
Definitely more on the creepy end, but that might just be me having issues with little kids and vampire-like creatures.  Is that weird?  Don't answer that.

In the Future When All's Well by Catherynne M. Valente
I loved the disjointed musings of this story, how one thought bled into the next. I was totally confused over some of the mythology that was presented but it was a damn fun ride while it lasted.  Totally random, totally amusing - "I heard about this one guy, like, two towns over, who was a seventh son with a unibrow and red hair and was born backward, and he just turned by himself."  Like I said, random and amusing.

Transition by Melissa Marr
Absolutely stunning story about betrayal, resurrection and the lengths one will go to to set themselves free.  My favorite of the bunch.

History by Ellen Kushner
Sad and oddly sweet, this story has a slow, melancholy feel to it.

The Perfect Dinner Party by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black
Wonderfully creepy with a dark ending.  Now, I do tend to love everything that Cassandra Clare and Holly Black write, though, so I might be prejudiced in their favor.

Slice of Life by Lucius Shepard
A dark look at life on the edge of poverty in a dying town that happens to house a vampire.  I'm not a huge fan of when authors use non-standard writing conventions- in this case there were no quotation marks used during conversations just a dash to indicate that someone was talking.  It didn't detract from the overall story, but it distracted me while reading.

My Generation by Emma Bull
Once again, poetry isn't my favorite medium so this one didn't do much for me.

Why Light? by Tanith Lee
I liked the overall feel to this one.  It showed us a woman on the verge of losing everything she's ever known in her life and how she lets it build these pre-conceived notions of those around her.

Final Thoughts:  I had a really tough time with this anthology.  It wasn't that the stories weren't entertaining or anything bit I found myself putting the book down and having a hard time picking it up again.  Here's the thing, short stories are always hit or miss with me.  Especially if they're not part of a larger series.  That might not make sense but it's how I feel.  I enjoyed most of the stories in an abstract way and I thought several of them were wildly imaginative and well-written but I'm not deeply obsessed with the book overall.  I think a large part of it is the size of this anthology.  There's a lot of stories here and by the time I worked my way to the last one ( I read them out of order, btw) I was ready to put the book down and be done with it. On the other hand, I love the cover.  Pretty.

Standout stories:
In the Future When All's Well by Catherynne M. Valente
Transition by Melissa Marr

Reading challenges: The Vampire Challenge

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