3 out of 4 stars
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How difficult is it to be a vampire? The varying emotions, the people who always try to get rid of them, and the need for blood are only some of the ways that it is burdensome to be this supernatural creature. Author Viktoria Faust cleverly depicts these struggles in her compilation of short horror stories, It’s Hard to Be a Vampire.
Throughout the nine short stories, there were ones that piqued my interest very much so, while others not as much. The “Gallery of Wonder” and its sequel, “The Painting Strikes Back,” were among my favorites. Both dealt with emotional and psychological issues as the protagonist painter, Jan, uses a unique type of “paint” to create his art and then readers follow the result of one of Jan's paintings, many years later. They were both disturbing and fascinating to read.
On the other hand, I found some confusing and unsure if they actually dealt with vampires. For instance, “Quietly they Rise from the Fog” spoke of a consuming fog, where individuals disappear. Another story that was a bit puzzling was “Behind the Door,” in which the characters did not know if there was an enemy or ally on the other side of a knocking door. Both felt somewhat choppy and abrupt.
Due to the nature of short stories, it is often difficult to have well-developed characters and plot. Luckily, there were some stories that portrayed the characters and plot extremely well, such as, “The Gallery of Wonder,” “The Painting Strikes Back,” and “The Bloody Useless Bloodless Body.” These were stories where I felt for the characters, wanted to learn more about them, and wished their tales were longer. On the other hand, there were others that were lacking in character and/or plot development, such as, “Narcissus,” in which an abrupt murder happens, and “The Invisible Ink,” in which one person writes with specific ink that mysteriously keeps disappearing. In addition, “Do Vampires Dream of Slaughtered Sheep?” lacked names of characters, which was most likely intentional, but I prefer when every character are given names.
Themes of suicide, death, murder, mental health, and even God were woven into these pages. These strong themes may be a bit much for some, but there were interesting ones to explore and read.
Several of these dark stories were both entertaining and fascinating. I would love to see some of these made into lengthy novels and explored more deeply. However, due to the fact that some stories seemed to be off the topic of vampires and there were some errors, I am rewarding It’s Hard to Be a Vampire a 3 out of 4 stars. Those who enjoy horror-based short stories will most likely enjoy It’s Hard to Be a Vampire, while those looking for sweet vampire love stories may want to steer clear.
It's Hard to Be a Vampire
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