Vampires Never Get Old give us vampires done right

Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bites edited by Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker. Image courtesy Macmillan Publishers
Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bites edited by Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker. Image courtesy Macmillan Publishers /

Vampires Never Get Old is the vampire book we’ve been waiting for.

The vampire trope is alive and well in 2020 and thank God for that. We can’t have Twilight be the one and only vampire story people think about when they think of the blood-sucking creatures. We need better stories and luckily, we are finally getting them. if you’re looking for a variety of stories in one book, you need to check out Vampires Never Get Old.

It’s edited by Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker and features authors like Dhonielle Clayton, Heidi Helig, Tessa Gratton, and Mark Oshiro.

Since I first heard about this, I’ve been dying to read it. I never got into Twilight when it came out, so I felt like I missed the “let’s obsess about vampires” stage of my life. But now with books like Vampires Never Get Old and The Fell of Dark by Caleb Roehrig coming out, I get a to have my own vampire fest!

What’s so great about Vampires Never Get Old is that it explores different parts of the vampire legend.

Tessa Gratton’s story, Seven Nights of Dying, goes into the creation myth and why apparently teenage girls” make the best vampires.

Mark Oshiro’s Mirrors, Windows, and Selfies talks about the reflection myth (vampires can’t see their reflection). It’s formatted into individual Tumblr posts which I LOVED and will make anyone who feels invisible feel seen.

In Dhonielle Clayton’s The House of Black Sapphires, she shows off what she does best and gives us an extravagant world of debutante-like vampires. Her story explores where vampires go to rest. Do they need a coffin? Or dirt from where they were buried? Or will something else work?

The Boys From RIver Blood by Rebecca Roanhorse will scare the crap out of you, but you won’t be able to stop reading and/or thinking about it. I made the mistake of reading this at 1 a.m. and ran from my couch to the bedroom, hoping no one was following me.

Julie Murphy explores the vampire slayer trope with her Senior Year Sucks except this time the vampire and slayer are negotiating terms and they aren’t shaking hands to seal the deal. They kiss!

The Boy and the Bell by Heidi Heilig goes into different burial traditions and made me actually think that putting a string in a coffin that’s connected to a bell above ground is a good idea. You don’t want to accidentally bury someone alive, right?? We just have to make sure they’re actually alive and not an entitled vampire.

Kayla Whaley’s story, In Kind, might be my favorite of the anthology. It follows Grace, a 17-year-old disabled young woman who is killed by her father. He thinks she “deserved to finally have some peace,” AKA he thought because she was disabled that she was better off dead than alive. But don’t worry, Grace and Seanan, the vampire who saves her, get revenge. *smirk emoji*

A Guidebook for the Newly Sired Desi Vampire by Samira Ahmed is an incredibly fun read. It answers all the questions a new vampire could ever have but also introduces these newbies to Vampersand, an app that “has been connecting baby vamps to the community since 2014.”

The story also goes into the metaphor of the vampire and how imperialism and racism can have a role in the metaphor. This whole story is a great exploration into the way we can see vampirism in our own world.

Beastiary by Laura Ruby is another amazing story. It follows Jude who was turned into “something” against her will and how, after being turned,  she finds comfort with the animals at the zoo where she works. The vibe of this story is so cool. I can’t explain it but this story gives off a 90s grunge feel.

Vampires Never Say Die by Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker is another fave of mine. It’s split into two different points of view: Brittany, a vampire, and Theolinda, the girl Brittany talks to over Instagram and who plans a surprise birthday party for Brittany. But when Brittany doesn’t show up, Theolinda is, unknowingly, surrounded by vampires who are more than willing to take a bite out of her. The bond between these two is beautiful to read.

First Kill by V.E. Schwab is expertly written. Schwab weaves a story of a vampire, Juliette, and a vampire hunter, Calliope, that reads like the beginnings of a love story until you get the whole picture.

The slayer/vampire relationship is always an interesting dynamic but it’s rarely been done like this. I know I keep saying this, but this story is another favorite and it finishes off the anthology on a distinct high note.

Sometimes, anthologies can have a few stories that are outstanding and a few that are just meh, but this is not that. All the stories in Vampires Never Get Old are extraordinary, scary, and fun in their own ways. It’s a must-read.

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Vampires Never Get Old edited by Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker is available in hardcover and ebook formats.