Last year I read and reviewed the vampire anthology Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead and absolutely loved it, it was hands down the greatest collection of vampire stories I had ever read! So when I got a surprise package from Edge Publishing with a copy of Evolve 2 in it I instantly let out a girly squeal of joy and started reading on the spot with the hopes that Evolve 2 would be just as great as the first – and of course, I wasn’t disappointed.
Evolve 2: Vampire Stories of the Future Undead contains 22 short stories written by some of the greatest paranormal authors out there. Like the first Evolve, this collection of stories looks forward instead of back, it gives readers a new insight into the world of vampires, a fresh and unique take on our beloved blood drinkers. Unlike the first edition, this one is split up into three sections – pre-apocalypse, post-apocalypse and new world order. Due to my creepy obsession with vampires and apocalypses, I really loved seeing that.
Like the first edition, Evolve 2 contains a wide variety of tales, no story is like the one before it, every author has their own voice and it’s really shown off here. I would go from reading something mysterious or comedic, to something dark and terrifying.
As for the stories themselves, I was highly impressed with many of the authors in this book, such as Ivan Dorin, who penned the incredibly deep and intellectual story “Nosangreal.” The story was one that really made you stop and think, it was one that I read through multiple times in order to grasp all that was presented. Sandra Wickham's "Outwitted" was also a great story about never underestimating your opponent. I also enjoyed Michael Lorenson’s “Six Underground,” which took vampires to a futuristic courthouse of all places. The world he created was one that I would LOVE to see more of. The entire world living in an underground labyrinth – who wouldn’t want more of that? The goodness didn’t end there, the stories got better, like William Meikle’s “Out With the Old” which was a glorious classic vampire horror story set in post-apocalyptic world. Loved it! And I I’ll stop now before I gush over every wonderful story I read.
However, it wasn’t all good, there were a few duds thrown in there. Some of the stories were surprisingly bland and unoriginal and I had to force myself through them. Fortunately those stories were limited, and the majority of the book was incredible. That’s the great thing about anthologies, if you don’t like one story you just move onto the next.
Overall I loved Evolve 2, I am madly in love with vampires in an apocalyptic setting, and this book gave me everything my dark heart could desire. I highly suggest checking it out, as well as the first one.