There are books you simply HAVE to read. Vampires Never Get Old was one of those for me. I first heard of the anthology ages ago, I think somewhere back in summer 2019 and have been anxiously waiting for it to come out – I admit, mainly because it contains V.E. Schwab’s first stand-alone short story. (Yes, I’m a fangirl, sue me) But this anthology is so much more than a single story – it is a diverse collection of stories reclaiming vampires from the Twilight craze of the early 2010s!
Thank you so much to Hear Our Voices for letting me join in the massive blog tour – check out the schedule here, and make sure to have a look at all the content produced by my wonderful co-hosts!
STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶
RELEASE DATE: 22/09/2020
SUMMARY: In this delicious new collection, you’ll find stories about lurking vampires of social media, rebellious vampires hungry for more than just blood, eager vampires coming out—and going out for their first kill—and other bold, breathtaking, dangerous, dreamy, eerie, iconic, powerful creatures of the night.
Welcome to the evolution of the vampire—and a revolution on the page.
Vampires Never Get Old includes stories by authors both bestselling and acclaimed, including Samira Ahmed, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker, Tessa Gratton, Heidi Heilig, Julie Murphy, Mark Oshiro, Rebecca Roanhorse, Laura Ruby, Victoria “V. E.” Schwab, and Kayla Whaley. (from Imprint)
OPINIONS: I fell in love with Vampires Never Get Old at first bite (well, first story). Book opener Tessa Gratton manages to seduce readers into the world of vampires, just as the bisexual protagonist of her story has to make the choice whether to let herself be seduced by the pair of vampires and the allure of eternal life or stay human. Every story is accompanied by a short commentary by the editors about central themes of the story, how they relate to vampire lore and what the editors particularly liked – which I really enjoyed, as it gives insight into their thought process about putting together this anthology.
As a whole, the anthology is incredibly strong and does not have any stories that are particularly weak – I did not love all of them but I didn’t dislike any. Vampires Never Get Old is also an incredibly diverse anthology, which is wonderful – I think every single story features marginalised characters in one way or another, doing so organically. And damn, we need more books like this. Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker did a wonderful job chosing the authors and stories and putting together a great anthology.
Interestingly, my favourite story of them all wasn’t one of the ones I was expecting, but the one by probably the least well-known author out of the bunch: Kayla Whaley’s “In Kind”. The story of a so-called mercy killing, where a father murdered his severely disabled teenage daughter – only for her to be resurrected as a vampire was harrowing and emotional and raised many moral and ethical considerations that society needs to reconsider. Incredibly well-written, the frustrations of disabled people struggling to be heard in today’s society become clear in “In Kind”. If you only read one story out of this anthology, make it this one.
Of course I also loved V.E. Schwab’s “First Kill” – a Romeo and Juliet-esque story about a vampire and a vampire-hunter falling in sapphic love. I don’t think the woman can write anything I won’t adore, to be honest. Two girls, doomed love, secrets, what more is there to want! There are many other stories in this anthology that are wonderful, looking at so many different facets of vampires and the vampire mythology of the past few decades – the stories do tend to be based on modern vampires rather than the concepts taken from Dracula or Nosferatu. I won’t go into detail about all the stories here, but do rest assured that Vampires Never Get Old is an anthology you shouldn’t miss!
So get out your garlic bread to ward off any potential vampires, add Vampires Never Get Old to your Goodreads here, and order a copy from your favourite retailer ASAP. In the UK you can get a copy from Portal Bookshop here and from Hive here.