I’m a big fan of anthologies, and also a big fan of horror, so when a book comes along that’s both horror and an anthology, I’m all on board!
“Todd Sullivan Presents: The Vampire Connoisseur” is an anthology about, you guessed it, vampires, by a variety of authors. Vampires, in one way or another, are featured in every story. Sometimes they appear as the quintessential black-cloak-wearing bad guy, at other times they’re depicted in a softer, more ambiguous light. But, bloodsuckers are the common theme that unites this collection of stories.
Like many anthologies, not all of the stories punch with the same weight (there were a number of stories I skipped over), but the stories that were great, were really great. The absolute standout highlight of this anthology was “The Sun Sets Nonetheless”, by Priscilla Bettis. This story was a breath of fresh air; a unique take on vampires – which is something quite difficult to achieve. Bettis knocks it out of the park with this atmospheric, gripping piece. Another favourite of mine, was anthology opener, “The Red Angel”, which again managed to capture a unique look at the vampiric condition. Author, Lisa Hario, creates a hauntingly beautiful story about a deadly creature, one that will stick with me for a long while. Other honourable mentions include, “A Fiend Indeed”, “Dissident”, “Splinters”, and the highly original, and weirdly awesome, “Parasites: A Tale of Route 66” by B. J. Thrower – talk about unique!
These gems certainly make up for the few clunkers in the anthology, and I would highly encourage anyone to grab this collection, even just for the stories listed above. Some of these will stick with you for a long time. At just $2.99 (US) you can’t go wrong.