Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Vamp Me, Kid: The Eternal Kiss

While waiting for Sarah Rees Brennan's next Demon book (Demon Covenant, next week) to come out, I saw she had a story in The Eternal Kiss: 13 Tales of Blood and Desire. Trisha Telep asked 14 women (two collaborated) to contribute a story about vampires and maybe some kind of a kiss. The result was a bit uneven, with some stories hitting my feminist buttons hard and others packing a nice twist ending. Sometimes the vampires are the protagonist, sometimes the love interest, sometimes the evil monsters that dim the night. Sometimes they are all at once.

Brennan's story, "Undead Is Very Hot Right Now" delivers her practiced snark, showing a new vampire in the latest boy-toy band promoted by a cynical and alarming producer. The scene where he discovers that she somehow has sewn his cape to his sleeve, forcing him to do "that vampire thing" when he tries to cover his eyes from the flashbulbs of the paparazzi, had me snorting my soda.

On the weak side, Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie's "Passing" was the worst example of idiot girls, a theme that recurred several times. After spending two years in an elite vampire hunter training academy, Jenn has apparently learned which boys are available and which ones are dating other girls. Jenn has been sneaking out to smooch the local vampire lord, but luckily Antonio helpfully points out that she doesn't really like that evil undead guy, she likes HIM, and the scales fall from her eyes and she joins with him and some friends in a brotherhood of vampire killers. There is no agency and very little action around Jenn.

I wouldn't hunt this book down, but the stories were fun to read and a nice way to dip a toe into all that vampire stuff. There are a variety of different takes on the legend, from different perspectives, which ends up being an interesting way to look at youth and whether growing old is a fate worse than undeath. B-

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