The Eternal Kiss: Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire

| 23 September , 2009 | Reply

Guest editorGuest Editor, Tina Gamble

‘There’s an allure to vampire tales that have seduced readers for generations. From Bram Stoker to Stephanie Meyer and beyond, vampire stories are here to stay. For those fresh-blooded fans of paranormal romance or for those whose hunt and hunger never dies, these stories have what readers want.\’

“& What else are you going to be? You\’re a vampire, Chris. And I\’m going to make you a star.” – Undead Is Very Hot Right Now, by Sarah Rees Brennan

Forget shadows and skulking, those times have past. These days, they\’re everywhere you look. Vampires. You can no longer walk into a bookstore without glimpsing some form of fang or blood lust.

The Eternal Kiss is no exception. Edited by Trisha Telep, The Eternal Kiss is an anthology of 13 very different vampire tales. In this book, you will find some of the biggest name\’s currently writing for young adults — Cassandra Clare (author of The Mortal Instruments Trilogy), Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine and Holly Black, just to name a few.

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When I first saw this book, I was a bit sceptical, although I\’m big fan of the paranormal and fantasy genre; in general, I tend to sit on the fence with anthologies. It always seemed to me, that for an author, these would be the hardest stories to write. With so little space, an author has to create a world, with characters and purpose that are totally believable to the readers. On top of that, the story has to be interesting enough to keep the readers reading.

So, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised when I read this anthology. The tales were well balanced out, though, as with most anthologies, some tales read stronger than others.

My definite favourites were ‘The Coldest Girl in Coldtown\’ by Holly Black, ‘Undead is So Hot Right Now\’ by Sarah Rees Brennan, ‘All Hallows\’ by Rachel Caine (a standalone story that draws on Rachel Caine\’s, Morganville Vampire Series) and the dark tale ‘Ambition\’ by Lili St. Crow, which will leave you a little startled at the ending.

‘In ‘The Coldest Girl in Coldtown,\’ Holly Black takes us to the near future, with her dark Vampire tale about a girl, who was bitten and infected with a poison, that has turned her ‘Cold.\’ To remain human, Matilda has to withstand 88 days without drinking blood. This becomes more difficult, when an old friend appears, informing her, her ex-boyfriend and his sister, who believe she\’s been turned, and have run off to be bitten. This story draws on the perception that becoming a vampire means parties, eternal life and total glamour; including some of the lengths people will go to get it.

While in Sarah Rees Brennan\’s, ‘Undead is So Hot Right Now\’, readers get a glimpse of the world of a rock star vampire. And his take on being the ‘gimmick.\’

And in Rachel Caine\’s, ‘All Hallows\’, be immersed into the world of Morganville, with a fast paced tale told from the point of Eve, and her attempt at a normal date, with her vampire boyfriend, Michael Glass. You don\’t have to have read the series to follow this story, Caine has written it in a way which will delight and intrigue many a fans and newbie\’s.

‘Ambition\’ by Lili St. Crow, aka Lilith Saintcrow, is probably one of the darker tales to be found in the group. It\’s an interesting read that briefly touches on peer pressure, friends and social hierarchy, and closes with an end that will leave you guessing.

Throughout the book, the readers will also be exposed to several varying views on the take of vampires; the good, the bad, the pretty and gruesome.

Although it would be hard to say that this is particularly a romance, it did provide readers with a varying degree of love, lust and desire, many of the tales acted like a teaser, and there were several characters and stories I wouldn\’t mind reading more about.

The last tale, ‘All Wounds\’ by Dina James, left me rather curious about the possibility of a love triangle. While many tales provided a good glimpse into the skill and form of each writer I would have to say Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan\’s stories definitely triumphed.

The Eternal Kiss was an interesting read that provided readers a quick glimpse at several of the big name author\’s writing styles and the differing views and perceptions, which can be used with vampires. I found many great tales in this novel that covered everything from adventure, romance, fights, some biting and, of course, a whole lot of blood. This book is a light and fast read which will easily delight many paranormal and young adult fans.

“So, mystery lady? What\’s it going to be? You\’re going to spend your short little life playing by their rules, or are you going to take your chance?” – Ambition, By Lili St. Crow

Available now:  Random House: RRP$18.95


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