Monday, October 12, 2009

The Eternal Kiss: 13 Tales of Blood and Desire An Anthology

Would you trade your life and sunlight for a single kiss? Vampires are all hot right now, but would you really want to become one? These tales examine life and love from the perspective of a vampire.

"Falling to Ash" has vampire Moth returning home for her mother's funeral. While she's there, her vampire sire asks her to retrieve an urn of vampire ashes that a hunter has stolen. Rejected by her family for what she has become, where else can she turn for the affection she needs to live?

"Shelter Island" has Hannah meeting an unusual boy, one hiding from someone who wants him dead. At first, she thinks he's a ghost- because he is almost translucent. But he's a vampire, and he hasn't fed in a very long time. Can Hannah give him what he needs to escape?

"Sword Point" introduces us to Ava, a girl who is training for the fencing competition for the Olympics. She is attending a new fencing school, said to be one of the best, if not the best, in the world. But with her entrance to this new world, she is attracting attention from a new crowd of people- a very pale, scary crowd. What are they, and why do they want her?

"The Coldest Girl in Coldtown" has Matilda, a vampire trying to cure herself by going cold Turkey from blood. But when finds out that the sister that she abandoned when she ran away from home is trying to become a vampire and enter Coldtown- the place where the vampires are quarantined- can she save her sister from her own bad choices- and can she even save herself?

"Undead is Very Hot Right Now" introduces Christian, a vampire who has become part of a manufactured boy band. But will the band's success change that underneath, he's still just an unsure kid who has no idea about anything about women?

"Kat" is a human girl who lives with a vampire. She was part of an experiment, taken away from her parents and used for research, until she was rescued by Marguerite. But when the hunters come for them both, will she be able to survive?

"The Thirteenth Step" introduces us to Lauren, a young woman who get a job at Angelus House, a halfway house. But there is a place she is forbidden to enter, and the screams and cries from there are unearthly. Can she survive finding out what secrets Angelus House holds?

"All Hallows" gives us Eve, a human girl dating a vampire named Michael. They are going to a Halloween party together, along with her roommates, but he needs to leave for a fast meal. But when he's kidnapped by a group of jocks working for a girl who also wants to be a vampire, it's going to be up to Eve and her roommates to save Michael... and maybe herself as well.

"Wet Teeth" follows vampire Miles as he meets a girl in the park. When she finds out what he is, she's scared, but as time passes, she overcomes that feeling. Is it possible that Miles could make a real friend, or is that a forlorn hope, when he is what he is?

"Other Boys" has Jenny meeting a boy named Colin, who says he is a vampire. The other girls at school think he's weird and a goth, but Jen can't take her eyes off him. Her mother tries to warn her off, to tell her there will be other boys, but Jen is bound and determined to see him. Can her family prevent a tragedy from occurring?

in "Passing" we meet Jenn, a vampire hunter competing to become the premiere Vampire Hunter along with her 17 classmates in the school for Vampire Hunters. But Jenn has a secret, a vampire named Jack who makes her feel safe. But will he save her on her last night in school- when she and her classmates must fight vampires, kill or be killed?

"Ambition" tells the story of a Catholic School girl who is poor and going to school on a scholarship. All the other girls around her are rich and look down on her, except for her friend, Gwyn. But when Gwyn betrays her at a house party, and the girl meets a handsome young boy, will she give up her erstwhile "friend" for a taste of eternity?

"All Wounds" brings us Becky, a young girl looking out after her grandmother, who has Alzheimers and no longer remembers her so well. But when there is a horrible accident and people are injured, Becky finds out some interesting things about her grandmother, and herself. How will that knowledge change her life?

Well, this was an interesting book. Not all the stories really interested me, but they were rather intense. They kept my attention, but all felt really young to me. Not mature- or not very mature- and don't think I mean that in a sexual way, either. They felt authentically teen, like they were written by teens rather than just having teenaged protagonists.

I did like the spectrum of stories, from the Vampires as protagonists, vampires as antagonists, and vampires that were a mix of both. I tend to like stories where the vampires are protagonists, or at least have a chance of being friendly, but my favorite stories in this volume were a mix of both types. 'Undead is Very Hot Right Now" kind of made me laugh, because I could just see it happening, especially with the Twilight Craze happening now- an irony not lost on me as this book seemed put out just to cash in on that, so it was very slyly humorous. My other two favorites were "Sword Point" and "The Coldest Girl in Coldtown"- they were ones I long remembered after finally putting the book down.

This book is somewhat teenagery and juvenile, but that adds to the sense of this book going after the same crowd as Twilight and all the other Vampire series they dredged up after Vampires got hot again. Night World (which I read when it first came out- I still have some of the old covers), Bloodlines, and so on. Not to mention the other series that will probably be re-released The Vampire Twins, Christopher Pike's The Last Vampire and some of Amelia Atwater-Rhodes's works. This book had some good and interesting stories, but the others were pretty much forgettable. You might want to read it at the library before spending money on it.

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