The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance – Trisha Telep (ed.)

Although I do a hell of a lot of internet shopping, due to its choice and convenience, sometimes you can’t beat going into a good old-fashioned book shop. Browsing the horror section in Waterstones, I came across this little baby. Or should I say, mammoth baby? I’d not previously heard of it, and spotting the names of some authors I like on the cover, I bought it.

The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance contains tales from some of the most famous supernatural authors around, including: Karen Chance, Keri Arthur and Lilith Saintcrow. That alone was enough to make me buy it. I’m a huge fan of Karen Chance, in particular. Anyway, I digress. The book contains 25 short stories on the theme of – yes, you’ve guessed it – vampire romance. You’d think it was a pretty niche theme that wouldn’t give much scope, but this book proves otherwise. The stories are wildly varying and told from both sides of the fence, or mortal realm, whatever you like to call it. And to be honest, the quality of the stories varies wildly too! Some of the stories are marvellously told, containing the sexy and seductive vampires we know and love, and giving them a more human element, because they’re not all bad guys.

However, on the flip side, some of the other stories failed to light my fire. They were flat and uninspiring. I didn’t believe in or care about the characters at all, and for me, that’s crucial to my enjoyment! It’s a shame, because the good stories are in there, but the bad ones have obviously dampened my appreciation of the book as a whole. In its defence, I’d say the good stories definitely outweigh the bad – and the good ones are excellent.

Overall, I wouldn’t dissuade any avid vampire fan from buying this book – I’d just tell them to be aware that there are some bad apples nestling between the sexy covers of this anthology. But I suppose that is the very nature of an anthology, and people’s opinions vary. On the whole, it’s still worth buying, but if you get it discounted, all the better, because that’ll make up for the rubbish stories!

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