That’s right darklings, you’ve got a double dose of awesome today – a review AND a book giveaway! Woot! “Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead,” a collection edited by Nancy Kilpatrick of 23 short stories and 1 poem, has been declared one of the 5 top Barnes and Noble Vampire releases of 2010, an incredibly impressive accomplishment considering that there were over a thousand vampire books published in 2010 (seriously). After reading Evolve myself I can honestly say the honor is well deserved, it is hands down one of the best vampire anthologies I have ever read. But now I am getting ahead of myself.
Evolve is a collection of short stories that any fan of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” would applaud. It keeps true to the traditional vampire ideals, while giving readers something completely new all at once. You won’t find the same old cliché plotlines in these tales, but mesmerizing stories of the new undead with a classic touch.
I have read countless anthologies and the thing that’s great about them is if you don’t like one story you can move on to the next one. Chances are you’ll always get a story you love, if one bores you then you simply skip over it. With Evolve I didn’t have to skip over a single story, each tale was well written and captivating. From Ronald Hore’s “Chrysalis” about a pubescent vampire to Victoria Fisher’s darker tale “The Drinker” each story hooked me and delivered an excellent vampire story. You often find that many authors simply can’t write short stories, they’re unable to successfully write an entire story in just a few pages, and when they try you get a mess of rambling nonsense that doesn’t go anywhere – that was not the case with any of Evolve’s authors. Every story had a solid plot and excellent characters, they were exactly what a short story should be – a full story in just a few pages. Some so well written that they left me craving more.
I can’t end this review without giving major props to Nancy Kilpatrick for assembling such a stunning collection of stories. It takes an incredibly talented editor to piece together an anthology this well done.
Overall, Evolve gets 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend it to any vampire fan – from those that prefer classic vamps to those of you that dig the modern ones. There’s something for everyone.
To enter into the giveaway all you have to do is send an email titled “Evolve” to email@example.com and on January 18, 2011 I will pick one random winner for a copy of Evolve (US residents only).