Book Reviews

(Review) Seize The Night edited by Christopher Golden

by Brian Keene, Charlaine Harris, Christopher Golden, Dan Chaon, Dana Cameron, David Wellington, Joe McKinney, John Ajvide Lindqvist, John Langan, Kelley Armstrong, Laird Barron, Leigh Perry, Lucy A Snyder, Lynda Barry, Michael Kortya, Rio Youers, Robert Shearman, Scott Smith, Seanan McGuire, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Tim Lebbon
Published by Simon and Schuster on Oct 6th 2015
Genres: Dark Fiction, Dystopian, Horror, vampires
Pages: 544
Format: eARC
Buy on Amazon

A blockbuster anthology of original, blood-curdling vampire fiction from New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors, including Charlaine Harris, whose novels were adapted into HBO’s hit show True Blood, and Scott Smith, publishing his first work since The Ruins.

Before being transformed into romantic heroes and soft, emotional antiheroes, vampires were figures of overwhelming terror. Now, from some of the biggest names in horror and dark fiction, comes this stellar collection of short stories that make vampires frightening once again. Edited by New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden and featuring all-new stories from such contributors as Charlaine Harris, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Scott Smith, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Michael Kortya, Kelley Armstrong, Brian Keene, David Wellington, Seanan McGuire, and Tim Lebbon, Seize the Night is old-school vampire fiction at its finest.

You know an anthology is going to be special when 1) the stories are all new and written for said anthology; 2) the editor has stated his intention to ensure that all the tales will feature vampires that are evil, nasty, ravenous and do not sparkle (I may have added that last bit), and 3) that editor is excellent-writer-in-his-own-right, Christoper Golden.

With those lofty expectations in mind, I’m relieved to report Seize The Night most definitely does not disappoint.

With 20 tales comprising its mammoth 544 page length, a review of each of them would result in a write-up almost as long as one of the stories included within these pages. So I’m just going to single out a few and summarise the rest with my overall reactions.

After opening with the longest and one of the more languid tales of the collection, UP IN OLD VERMONT by Scott Smith, Seanan McGuire (who also doubles as Mira Grant) blew me away with her beautifully written and exceptionally sad SOMETHING LOST, SOMETHING GAINED. Imagine my delight then, when Michael Kortya upped the ante ever so slightly with his contribution, ON THE DARK SIDE OF SUNLIGHT BASIN, combining Native American folklore with vampirric legend to captivating effect.

Thematically, viruses that turn the infected into vampires resulting in the end of the world as we know it linked two of my favourite stories within this anthology. WE ARE ALL MONSTERS HERE by Kelley Armstrong and THE YELLOW DEATH by Lucy A. Snyder both feature strong female protagonists trying to survive in post-apocalyptic landscapes that are both similar and very different. Both of these shorts deserve full length novels of their own, such is the richness of the worlds outlined within.

SHADOW AND THIRST by John Langan combines elements of cosmic horror with his take on vampires and is one of the more imaginative tales within Seize The Night; while Leigh Perry’s DIRECT REPORT is ingenious in set up, builds steadily, and features one of the more satisfying endings to be found here. PAPER CUTS by Gary A. Braunbeck wins the award for the most creative version of a vampire conceived for this collection, and BLOOD by Robert Shearman is the most disturbing of the tales for reasons not related to its take on vampires.

The collection also ends well with stories by Rio Youers, John Ajvide Lindquvist and David Wellington all delivering the goods in very different ways.

Though there were a few other tales that did not quite resonate with me, I would suspect they will for others. Even MRS. POPKIN by Dan Chaon and Lynda Barry had its moments, though I remain mystified by some of what was implied within this subtext heavy outing.

Overall, Christoper Golden is to be commended on wrangling such a diverse and high quality collection of new stories from some great names within the horror and paranormal sub-genres – including, in addition to those noted above, Charlaine Harris, Laird Barron, Tim Lebbon and Brian Keene.

Quite simply, if you are a fan of vampires, do not miss this one.

4 Throbbing Carotid Arteries for Seize The Night.

The preceding review was based on an advanced review copy obtained via Netgalley from Simon & Schuster.

About Christopher Golden

Christopher Golden is the New York Times #1 bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of such novels as Snowblind, Ararat, Of Saints and Shadows, and Tin Men. He co-created (with Mike Mignola) two cult favorite comics series, Baltimore and Joe Golem: Occult Detective. As an editor, he has worked on the short story anthologies Seize the Night, Dark Cities, and The New Dead, among others, and has also written and co-written comic books, video games, screenplays, and a network television pilot. A frequent lecturer and speaker at libraries, schools, and conferences, Golden is one-half of River City Writers (with James A. Moore), providing writing workshops, seminars, and editorial services, and one-third of the pop culture podcast Three Guys with Beards (with Moore and Jonathan Maberry). He was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he still lives with his family.

About Laird Barron

Born and raised in Alaska, I did time in the wilderness. I raced in several Iditarods. Later, I got the hell out and migrated to Washington State where I devoted myself to American Combato and reading guys like Parker, Ellroy, and McCarthy. At night I wrote tales that smash up noir, crime and horror.

I currently reside in Upstate New York and am writing a novel about the evil that men do.

About Tim Lebbon

I”ve been published for over fifteen years and have written over thirty horror, dark fantasy and tie-in novels, including Coldbrook, The Cabin in the Woods, the Noreela series of fantasy books (Dusk, Dawn, Fallen and The Island), the NY Times Bestselling novelisation of the movie 30 Days of Night, Alien: Out of the Shadows, Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi – Into the Void, and several books with Christopher Golden, including The Map of Moments and The Secret Journeys of Jack London. I’ve also written hundreds of novellas and novels. I’ve won several prestigious awards, and some of my work has been optioned for the big screen.

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