Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Immortal: Love Stories with Bite

I love anthologies!  Especially when one of my favorite authors includes a short story related to the series I'm reading. So, how Immortal: Love Stories With Bite got past me, I do not know.  I love Rachel Caine and am a huge fan of the Morganville Vampire series, so why this anthology that includes a short story about Shane didn't hit my radar, I don't know.  Anyway, I'm glad I finally came across it because it has some excellent stories in it. 

First up is "Haunted Love" by Cynthia Leitich Smith, which features a very new vampire, a ghost and a not-so-innocent girl who is connected to both.  What I found interesting is the manner in which the new vampire is made--a modern twist.  The story is very interesting and the character of Cody is someone I would read about again.  Next is "Amber Smoke" by Kristin Cast.  This story features a vampire of mythological origin intervening with Fate to save a very special girl.  I enjoyed the mythological aspect of this story, it brought a different aspect into the story.

"Dead Man Stalking" by Rachel Caine is part of the Morganville Vampire series and features Shane, my favorite character from the series.  Anyone unfamiliar with the series may not enjoy the story as much because you really need to understand the history to appreciate the story.  However, if you are not familiar with the series, find a copy of  Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, Book 1) and get to reading!  In this story, Shane is 'contacted' by someone from his past & he has to choose between his past & what he believes is right.  It's a great story about Shane and shows a bit of maturity in his character.

"Table Manners" by Tanith Lee is a new kind of vampire story--at least, new to my reading experience.  I was introduced to Lelystra Draculian, only a distant relation, and some notions that the widely behold beliefs about vampires' powers and weaknesses are largely a self-fulfilling prophecy.  This story is followed by "Blue Moon" by Richelle Mead.  I haven't read any of her books, although I understand her Vampire Academy Collection is very popular.  This story isn't related to the series, it introduces an interesting character in Lucy Wade, a vampire born with the power to fulfill an ancient prophecy that will change the world--for real.  I liked this character and would read more about her if Richelle Mead developed this story into a full blown novel.

"Changed" by Nancy Holder takes place in a different New York--one devastated by vampires.  On Jilly's 16th birthday, vampires take over and destroy New York City.  What's interesting about this story is really that the vampires could have been anything--terrorists, aliens, whatever you prefer for your outside source of devastation.  The truth of the story takes place in Jilly's journey to maturity and adulthood, the vampires providing the catalyst for her growth.  Following "Changed" is "Binge" by Rachel Vincent.  I am a fan of Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series, as well as her Shifters series.  Although neither refer to vampires, there is enough overlap in the supernatural world to consider that either series would be referenced in this story.  But, this story was completely independent of either series and it was very, very good.  I don't even want to mention the story for fear of providing spoilers, but let me say that it is a very good story that does not develop in the direction I expected it to.  I loved it and would read more about Mallory anytime.  The final story in the anthology is "Free-A Story of Evernight" by Claudia Gray.  I have not read the Evernight series but the story is very interesting on its own.  It tells the story of Patrice, a young quadroon in New Orleans.  Patrice is an intelligent, independent young woman who is about to be introduced into 'society' for a wealthy white man to 'court' her to become his mistress.  However, even as Patrice seems to get in over her head, she uses her intelligence to not only escape the immediate situation, but to embark on a completely new life.  I may have to add Evernight (Evernight, Book 1) to my to-be-read shelf.

Overall, I enjoyed Immortal: Love Stories With Bite.  I also enjoyed P C Cast's introduction, waxing poetic about the attraction of vampires.  I was able to read offerings from authors I currently enjoy and found some new authors to look for in the future.

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