Seize the Night is a great collection of twenty vampire stories by best selling authors. I liked some more than others, but they were all well written. There are mentions of rape, drugs, violence, swearing and, of course, lots of blood. If you don’t like reading about those things, you might not like this book.
The editor, Christopher Golden, starts the book off with “Reclaiming the Shadows” An Introduction.” In it, he mentions that vampire myth and legend has expanded a lot since Dracula and touches on some of the vampire legends of various ethnic and religious groups.
“Up in Old Vermont” by Scott Smith is about a woman who’s down on her luck until she gets a job offer from an elderly couple and moves in with them. Things are going well for her until one night when everything goes wrong. I like the ending of this one. It’s a great start for the book.
“Something Lost, Something Gained” by Seanan McGuire is a completely different take on vampires.
“On the Dark Side of Sunlight Basin” by Michael Koryta is based on a Native American legend and features a camping trip gone wrong.
“The Neighbors” by Sherrilyn Kenyon is about a curious young boy spying on his neighbors. What he finds terrifies him. I thought this one was fun and it has a nice little twist at the end.
“Paper Cuts” by Gary A. Braunbeck is another completely new approach to vampires. This one is about a woman who gets more than she bargained for at her local used book shop. I really liked this one. The backstory is interesting and the monsters are nothing I would’ve ever thought of.
“Miss Fondevant” by Charlaine Harris is about a sixth grader who’s trying to find out what her teacher is up to. This one has some good suspenseful moments.
“In a Cavern, in a Canyon” by Laird Barron is told by a woman who is facing a monster from her youth. This one was ok.
“Whiskey and Light” by Dana Cameron is about a community who fears a demon who lives on a rocky hill. Each harvest season, a priest comes to bless them and keep it at bay, but what happens when the priest doesn’t come one year?
“We Are All Monsters Here” by Kelley Armstrong is about a college student trying to survive a mass wave a vampirism. This one was good. I like that the main character was smart and strong.
“May the End Be Good” by Tim Lebbon is about a Monk trying to survive the vampire apocalypse, but it’s the humans that might be the real monsters.
“Mrs. Popkin” by Dan Chaon and Lynda Barry is about a boy named Todd who lives an isolated life with his bipolar mother until some new neighbors move in. I felt bad for Todd and Cecilia. This one has magic and monsters.
“Direct Report” by Leigh Perry is about a woman who is looking for work after the company she previously worked for went out of business. She gets more than she bargained for. This one is a pretty messed up, but then ending was good.
“Shadow and Thirst” by John Langan is about a creepy tower and what evil secrets it holds. It’s a weird and sad tale.
“Mother” by Joe McKinney is about a man named Ed Drinker who makes documentaries and writes non-fiction books about murders, chupacabras and debunking legends of backwoods monsters, until he comes face to face with one.
“Blood” by Robert Shearman is about a high school teacher from England who falls in love with one of his students and brings her with him on a vacation in Paris. They do all the touristy stuff and then have dinner at a strange restaurant. I didn’t really like this one. It ended abruptly and it was just weird.
“The Yellow Death” by Lucy A Snyder is about a tough woman trying to survive the vampire apocalypse after her fiancé goes crazy. When she is reunited with her sister, she thinks everything will be ok, but all is not as it seems. I like the way vampires can be detected in this one.
“The Last Supper” by Brian Keene has a lonely vampire as a main character who is wandering around North America looking for companionship.
“Separator” by Rio Youers is about a man working for a development company in the Philippines who should have listened to the local legends.
“What Kept You So Long” by John Ajvide Lindqvist also features a vampire as a main character and takes place in Sweden. He is a truck driver who picks up hitchhikers for food. The woman he picks up on this trip is a little different from the rest.
“Blue Hell” by David Wellington is the last story and was a good way to close out the book. It wasn’t scary, but it was good.
My favorite stories were “Up in Old Vermont”, “The Neighbors”, “Paper Cuts” and “Miss Fondevant.” My least favorite was “Blood.” I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good vampire or horror story.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.