I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Gallery Books on October 6th 2015
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A blockbuster anthology of original, blood-curdling vampire fiction from New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors, including Charlaine Harris, whose novels were adapted into HBO’s hit show True Blood, and Scott Smith, publishing his first work since The Ruins.
Before being transformed into romantic heroes and soft, emotional antiheroes, vampires were figures of overwhelming terror. Now, from some of the biggest names in horror and dark fiction, comes this stellar collection of short stories that make vampires frightening once again. Edited by New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden and featuring all-new stories from such contributors as Charlaine Harris, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Scott Smith, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Michael Kortya, Kelley Armstrong, Brian Keene, David Wellington, Seanan McGuire, and Tim Lebbon, Seize the Night is old-school vampire fiction at its finest.
Every once in a while I feel it’s a great idea to read an anthology on your favourite genres because it opens you up to not only new authors, but also new ways of looking at a particular story type. Christopher Golden’s Seize The Night definitely delivers a great mix of horror with focus on the vampire legends. We read about insect inspired vampires, classic vampire types and even vampire books utilized by Nazi’s for power. I really enjoyed taking a break from the usual romanticized version of vampires and returning to the base, fear inducing instincts of the mythological creature Vampire.
The twenty one authors of this anthology wrote 544 excellent pages of fear, death and blood that will satisfy every type of horror lover (not just vampire enthusiasts)! I do have to admit that there were a few stories I didn’t understand because they ended prematurely..
UP IN OLD VERMONT by Scott Smith. Ally, a down on her luck waitress, is invited to move in with an elderly couple struggling with the wife’s Alzheimers. The vampires come from unexpected places and pull on Native American legend of the skag to write a chilling account of vampirism in modern America.
THE NEIGHBORS by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I didn’t understand this one. The short story is about some kids spying on the new neighbours. Over the course of this adventure they discover their neighbour’s secret that they very well could kill to keep. I just didn’t think it fit with the anthology at all, but you be the judge.
PAPER CUTS by Gary A. Braunbeck. Probably my favourite from this anthology because it’s so different and features an exciting version of vampirism. The inclusion of Nazi Germany, a young Jew’s struggles in a concentration camp and an ancient entity living in the least expected places makes for a very unique and unexpected read. I’m going to be reading more Braunbeck.
IN A CAVERN, IN A CANYON by Laird Barron. A creepy and frightening take on vampire lore that takes all the classics and adds just enough insect to the tale to give me nightmares for days. A woman struggles years later to understand whether her father walked out on her family or was taken by a sinister creature of the night.
MOTHER by Joe McKinney. Although this one didn’t resonate with me, the execution of Joe, a man on the search for evidence of the existence of the chupacabra, stumbles into a very dangerous and exciting revelation about a small town’s missing children. Hint: It’s not a chupacabra.
BLOOD by Robert Shearman. I didn’t get this tale either; it ended abruptly or was too subtle for my palate. Two lovers travel to Paris, but not all is as it seems between the couple, or the strange experiences they encounter.
SEPARATOR by Rio Youers. Rio’s tale is brutal and unapologetically gruesome. A man travels to the Philippines and comes face to face with the mananangga, a member of the Aswang family. A nice cultural addition to a largely American anthology.
WHAT KEPT YOU SO LONG? by John Ajvide Lindqvist. A trucker catches an interesting STD and learns that sometimes you have no control over your fate. This one isn’t very scary, but it is interesting and rather thought provoking with a clever twist.
In the end, Golden delivered what he promised at the very beginning of the anthology that “once upon a time vampires were figures of terror…And they can be again.”
I honestly had nightmares reading this anthology, which is a first for me, and found the writing samples to be strong and powerful tales that twisted an already frightening lore. I definitely recommended reading Seize The Night as a Halloween novel.
This book will appeal to readers who enjoy horror, frightening tales, anthologies and short stories, gruesome and violent vampires. I would wholeheartedly recommend reading Seize The Night if you are a horror fan or a supporter of real, gritty vampire novels without the romanticism and moral questions.
Complete list of Contributors
Scott Smith (Up in Old Vermont)
Seanan McGuire (Something Lost, Something Gained)
Michael Koryta (On the Dark Side of Sunlight)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (The Neighbors)
Gary A. Braunbeck (Paper Cuts)
Charlain Harris (Miss Fondevant)
Laird Barron (In a Cavern, In a Canyon)
Dana Cameron (Whiskey and Light)
Kelley Armstrong (We Are All Monsters)
Tim Lebbon (May the End Be Good)
Dan Chaon and Lynda Barry (Mrs. Popkin)
Leigh Perry (Direct Report)
John Langan (Shadow and Thirst)
Joe McKinney (Mother)
Robert Shearman (Blood)
Lucy A. Snyder (The Yellow Death)
Brian Keene (The Last Supper)
Rio Youers (Separator)
John Ajvide Lindqvist (What Kept You So Long)
David Wellington (Blue Hell)