Nights of Blood 2: More Legends of the Vampire
Edited by Elyse Saltpeter and Bob Nailor

23 House Publishing
ISBN 0980185041
228 pages $18.95
Review by Kent Knopp-Schwyn

Before Brian Keene and 28 Days Later put Zombies back in the limelight and before Buffy made Vampire Hunting into a snarky teen sport, Vampires were the horror monster/villain of choice. Richard Matheson with I am Legend and his TV script for Dracula set a truly modern tone for the Nosferatu as the loathsome, undead monster of great power and terror.

Today, on the heels of the Twilight phenomenon and the undead appearing on multiple lines of romance novels, a vampire is more likely to appear as the next boyfriend/lover of a startlingly intelligent and fabulously beautiful heroine than as a hideous and nearly unstoppable monster feared every night when the sun goes down.

Nights of Blood 2 cannot clearly be slotted into either of the above categories; rather it presents the reader with a wide variety of stories from up and coming horror authors at what may be deemed a somewhat steep price of admission.

Nights of Blood 2 is uniformly well edited, the stories are all well written and entertaining but none of them really add anything new to the vampire mythos or move the vampire back to its monstrous roots. Instead they adopt multiple different styles to suit the needs of the individual authors. Thus the reader is presented with the Vampire working alongside magicians as flawed and powerful as Harry Dresden (“Burden of Proof” by Jennifer Graham and “Defender” by Gary Ward), the undead killing off the future of mankind (or are they really{?} in “Days and Nights” by Elyse Saltpeter) a modern Vampires humorously taking a trip to the old country to revisit their glory days (“Tales of the Vampire” by Mitchel Whitington) to name just a few.

One true standout tale in this anthology is “Barney” by James R. Cain wherein a Vampire hides in plain sight as a Vaudeville style performer. The Vampire generally enjoys his un-life in the limelight until he has stayed on too many years and can no longer hide the fact that he doesn’t truly age then he moves on to another location. Populated with stagehands, private detectives and potential new loves, Barney has mystery, humor, horror and pathos rolled into a tidy and emotionally touching package.

For Vampire junkies or short story lovers willing to pay the relatively steep price, Nights of Blood 2 offers something for most every taste. Readers looking for more traditional Vampire fare or who require stories by the “big” names would be better served by other recent small press offerings with a similar or somewhat lower cover price.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This