When the world fell under the spell of Stephenie Meyer’s TWILIGHT series, my jaw hit the floor in disbelief. I could not believe somebody was trying to make vampires romantic. These creatures are bloodthirsty and vicious, not sensitive and kind. So when this new craze in fiction and movies hit, I lost my appeal for the undead. Thankfully, the fine folks at Gallery Books decided enough was enough, and they set out to publish a book of short stories with teeth…fangs, to be more precise. The result is SEIZE THE NIGHT: NEW TALES OF VAMPIRIC TERROR. And although not every story within is excellent, the book is still crammed full of terrifying fun that fans of horror fiction will definitely want to be a part of.
If you are not familiar with SEIZE THE NIGHT, here is the book’s plot synopsis courtesy of Gallery Books:
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.
Ah…I have say it feels so good to read some hardcore vampire violence. I was certain the genre was headed for its ultimate demise when the glittery vamps entered the scene and started sweeping people off of their feet. This would have been a great setup, in theory…if the vampires seduced their victims and then took them home for an evening of slaughtering. Alas, that was not the case. But Gallery Books has come to the rescue.
The stories in SEIZE THE NIGHT are all written well and flow at a nice pace. Each author conveys a unique voice, and the majority reach the goal of terrifying the reader through prose. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, not every story is truly chilling. A couple of pieces do not highlight vampires as truly horrifying.
Surprisingly, one of these stories is Charlaine Harris’s “Miss Fondevant”. I was looking forward to this one, because Harris obviously knows vampires…however the toothy menace in this tale is very tame. The story is interesting, but it never elicits any emotion, particularly anything resembling fear.
But there are many great stories worthy of recognition. One of my favorites is “May the End Be Good” by Tim Lebbon. In this tale, a monk tries to help a couple find their daughter in the wilderness. Unfortunately, something else has found the little girl first. I love the dark atmosphere Lebbon creates in this story, and the final sentence will haunt you for a long time.
SEIZE THE NIGHT is a win for me, and I recommend it. While not perfect, it’s still a heck of a read, and I’m glad these writers could make vampires scary again. The book is available now in a variety of formats.