The Blurb on other People’s Words – Vampires Aren’t Pretty

April 9, 2012 at 8:55 pm (horror, Reviews, writing) (, , , )

Vampires Aren’t Pretty – Edited by T. W. Brown

Vampires are trendy and, in my opinion, overdone at the moment. You can say the same thing about werewolves, thanks to books like Twilight, and zombies are everywhere too (a guilty pleasure of mine, because I find them funny and darkly appealing no matter how prevalent they are.) I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy these stories as a result, despite their promise to return to the darker nature of the vampire. The monsters of old have become overly humanized in modern day tales, glossy and suave, with less of a bestial nature than one would expect from blood-sucking monsters.

I’ll begin by saying that all of the stories were well-written and I found them entertaining, but I didn’t find the vampires as monstrous and terrifying as I was hoping to see, based on the premise of the anthology. Many of the vampires were physically pretty and their ugliness was more one of spirit, cruel and sinister. I wasn’t surprised to see Twilight satire, considering the “anti- sparkly vampire” vibe of the book, but I would have liked to have seen it kept to a single story, rather than two focussing significantly on that series.

As with all anthologies, some of the stories stood out more than others. The ones I liked the best, and stood out for me were:

Tempest in a Sewer by Gail McAbee – The opening story managed to capture the scary old school vampire feel despite presenting it in a modern age setting. The main character was colourful and spunky and there was a dark, foreboding ambiance throughout the story. And it had bats – I like horror stories with bats when you are trying to evoke that classic vampire feel.

Vampire Ritual by Greg Austin – A futuristic tale with teeth (pun intended). The vampires here were vicious and horrible, with lipless twisted mouths and fangs that dripped brown ooze. This story gave me a good case of shivers, as well as a satisfying round of “ewww-yucks!”

Dark Carnival by Mary Parker – I loved the way this story combined the eerie carnival mystique with the traditional monstrous vampire. I wish more of the stories had been just as chilling in their approach to focussing on the frightening blood suckers. The response of the crowd watching events unfold was priceless – and more bats.

While I do recommend this anthology, and all of the stories have something worthwhile to offer, I don’t think it met the mark it was aiming for 100%. I think if you look at this as an interesting assortment of vampire tales, each with their own special flavour, you’ll probably enjoy it more.



  1. elisabethtilton said,

    Didn’t know you were doing reviews now. At some point fb really messed things up so that I rarely see posts from my favorite authors. In any case, glad I caught this one and took the time to read. Might help me if I ever get in the mood for a vampire book again. Kind of all Vampired out anymore.

    • chantellyb said,

      I do reviews almost every Monday (I skip the occasional one if I haven’t finished what I’m reading in time – life happens.) I’ve been doing reviews for quite some time now.

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