I have been a longtime fan of Nancy Kilpatrick’s, for her work as both a writer and an editor (best vampire anthologies ever!), so I was thrilled to get an ARC of her upcoming book Vampyric Variations. Coming out October 15, Vampyric Variations consists of short stories and novellas written by the award-winning author herself.
“Award-winning author Nancy Kilpatrick unlocks the crypt’s door to reveal the Undead as you’ve never experienced them–merciless, sensuous, intelligent, loving and cruel. The short stories and novellas in Vampyric Variations shine light on a myriad of hidden agendas, deliciously exposing humanity’s favorite predator–the Vampire.”
The majority of the stories in Vampyric Variations were previously released in other anthologies, anthologies I have already read, so many of the stories weren’t new for me. But these sensuous tales of horror and darkness are always worth a second read. Nancy Kilpatrick writes with intelligence and depth, her stories both innovative and captivating. She writes short stories masterfully, giving you everything you need to be thoroughly entertained within just a few pages. What I find most impressive in her tales is how brilliant and emotionally driven they are. I imagine Kilpatrick’s home to be full of books on history and philosophy. She’s definitely a knowledgeable woman.
There were many tales I adored in this collection, and among my favorites is The Vechi Bărbat. As someone who lives and breathes vampire folklore and legends, I loved this story of a woman caught between superstition and logic. The story Bitches of the Night was also an entertaining read, although I did feel bad for poor Istvan. Being tormented for eternity by a group of wicked female vampires would be a lot for anyone to handle. There were many more stories I enjoyed, but I’ll let you read them yourself.
Overall, I adore Nancy Kilpatrick’s stories and recommend Vampyric Variations for anyone in search of vampire tales that are a bit darker and more twisted than others out there. My only complaint would be the lack of original stories, I would have liked more new stories mixed in with the old. Other than that, Vampyric Variations is an excellent collection of haunting stories of the undead.