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VINE VOICEon November 22, 2009
For the record, I really don't like the back cover blurb. It wouldn't interest me at all if I wasn't already a fan of most of the authors herein. Stories are reviewed individually as well as an overall comment at the end.

"Falling to Ash" by Karen Mahoney
Moth is a (fairly) new vampire returning home for her mother's memorial service. Unfortunately her sire, Theo needs her to do a job for him that involves reclaiming the ashes of a dead vampire master from a deadly vampire killer. I really liked Moth and her ways of handling the various situations thrown at her. I want to know more about her, read more about her adventures. The only part I wasn't too happy about was the end, after her run-in with Vamp Slayer Jr, when it handles her family. It was rushed and we're not really given a lot of depth to understand why it was as sorrowful as I feel the author was going for.

"Shelter Island" by Melissa de la Cruz
A young girl meets a former resident of her house and the danger that has kept him from leaving. This was short, sweet and entertaining. Hannah is a level-headed girl, not prone to hysterics (thankfully) and the vampire boy she meets and befriends has angst issues, but they're understandable and not annoying. The story flowed easily and didn't seem like it was in a rush. The end came when the end came, but it was a satisfying ending.

"Sword Point" by Maria V. Snyder
Ava dreams of training under the Italian fencing master Bossemi at his illustrious school. She does not, however, dream of vampires ending that ambition before it even begins. This is only my second taste of MVS's writing outside of the Poison Study/Storm Glass world and I found this one to be as engrossing as her others. Ava is a likable character and Jarett is a fairly likable guy (dressed all in black, which is a sure marker for hero designation I sometimes think when reading her stories). You get a real sense of Ava from the story and fair sense of Jarett as well--who they are, their motivations and ambitions. The vampires (vampiros) were gruesome, creepy and totally deserving of their ending.

"The Coldest Girl in Coldtown" by Holly Black
Matilda used to be a normal girl, until she was bitten and made Cold. Now as she fights to keep her humanity by saying perpetually drunk, the friends she left behind may need her help. This was a different look at vampires and vampirism. I liked that you could, in theory, not turn into a vampire if you could hold out from drinking human blood for 88 days. The idea of Coldtown, where the vampires lived and where humans could go and party by bartering their blood for life, was also an interesting concept. While I was rooting for a different outcome to the story, I found the ending to be...poetic. It fit perfectly.

"Undead is Very Hot Right Now" by Sarah Rees Brennan
All Christian wanted to be a rock star--he got his wish, but is being the vampire gimmick of a boy band really what he wanted? Alternatively I think this should have been titled 'I'm not a brooding vampire looking for his soul kthaxbai' This is a snarky, amusing and slightly wistful tale of a guy who just happens to be a vampire that's being exploited by a grasping manager. I felt so bad for Christian, its not that no one understood him, it was more that they thought they understood him better then he understood himself. There are a bunch of really witty one-liners in here and I think that the pamphlet that Christian has memorized needs to be updated since it didn't help him handle an idiot lead singer with idol aspirations, nerdy asthmatic bandmate so very scared of him or a stoner drummer who just does not get anything, ever.

"Kat" by Kelley Armstrong
Kat and her 'Aunt' Marguerite have been on the run from the vampires hunters for two years, but are they after Marguerite the vampire or Kat the unknown supernatural? This loosely ties in with Armstrong's 'Otherworld' books and her young adult series 'The Darkest Powers' (also set in the Otherworld universe). For me this was a win because it fits nicely within The Darkest Powers books (which features the Edison Group's genetic testing on supernatural teens extensively) which I adore to pieces. I don't think I would have guessed Kat's supernatural truth though it does explain quite a bit.

"The Thirteenth Step" by Libba Bray
Lauren takes on an assistant's job at The Angelus House, a Drug Rehab center that has amazing results. But what exactly are those amazing results and how are they achieved? Okay Buffy fans, when you see Angelus it should say something to you right away (whether the author intended it that way or not). Anyhow, meta-analyzing aside, I wasn't sure what to think of this story at first. The vampires here aren't perfect, but they do help people so that's the important thing right? Lauren's choice isn't easy, but from a pragmatic standpoint I think it was the right one.

"All Hallows" by Rachel Caine
One Year after the horrific Dead Girl's Dance Morganville hosts another Halloween dance--but will this one turn out any better for The Glass House crew? The most interesting thing about this story was that it was told from Eve's POV, whereas the books are told from Claire's, and Eve has a distinctly different view of the world. More assured and confident in herself, Eve notices little things and remarks about other things that would otherwise not be mentioned in the series proper. The 'prophecy' that Miranda (the town's resident psycho-seer) says at the end, I'm not sure of the implications, but I'm definitely interested and hope to see how it plays out in the book series soon.

"Wet Teeth" by Cecil Castellucci
Miles has been a vampire for sixty years, but hasn't felt human for a single. When meets Penny he thinks that maybe things can change, and they do, just not how he expected. Sad, sad story. I had hope, because Miles isn't a bad sort, but sometimes happily ever after doesn't exist. I would have liked to know if this Penny was related to the Penny he knew, when he was a human. I fancied she was that Penny's grand daughter and that's why he felt so comfortable with her, but we're not told one way or another.

"Other Boys" by Cassandra Clare
Jennifer wasn't allowed to go out with boys, but when the new kid Colin--a self proclaimed vampire--draws her interest she suddenly finds the determination to be someone different. This was an all right story, though I probably wasn't as surprised as I should have been since a similar plot point is important to one of my favorite young adult vampire trilogies. I was however pleased with Jennifer reaction at the end.

"Passing" by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
As a young vampire hunter's graduation begins, she reflects on vampires, comrades and the coming battle that could mean her death. This story surprised me in that much of what the narrator was saying, later turns out to be misleading and there are surprises that come at you rapid fire at the end. I've also always been a sucker for those romances that have one of the leads 'against my better judgment...' sort of feelings. I kind of want more of this and would have adored this beyond measure if I had read it as a novel instead of a short story. I'll cross my fingers and hope!

"Ambition" by Lili St. Crow
Told in first person narrative--the charity case at a rich all-girls' Catholic school, a nasty trick by her oldest friend starts her on a path towards a darker tomorrow. The story was a little confusing, because sometimes it would be in in past tense and sometimes it would be in present tense. I related with the narrator strongly and the ending is sort of a 'Lady or a Tiger?' situation leaving it up to the reader to decide if Johnny came back or not and what her reaction was. There was less of a 'vampire' presence in this story then any of the others and the narrator never clarifies if he is or isn't. "I don't know what Johnny is. There's not a word for it." (page 371, US trade paperback), but contextually that's what he seems to be.

"All Wounds" by Dina James
A young girl gets a late night visitor from a classmate in need and learns that some interesting things about herself and her the grandmother she's been taking care of. According to the author blurb this story is the start of a new young adult series the author is working on. GOOD. I really want to see what sort of hijinks Becky gets into as a healer-in-training and what sort of snarky banter her and Sydney engage in. That being said, the story made me tear up because I would give (and do) anything to have had more time with my grandmother when she was cognizant of her surroundings.

I don't think you can rightfully call these romance, or at least not most of them in the Harlequin sense. Certainly some of the stories deal with that sort of romance, but all of them look at vampirism from a romantic standpoint--the mystery, the darkness and power. The allure of the unknown right? Each author took a different view of what it means to receive a vampire's 'kiss' and depicted the consequences thereof.

I honestly enjoyed all of the stories, revisiting some of my favorite series (Morganville and Darkest Powers), reading new fiction from some of my favorite authors (Snyder, Bray, Black and Brennan) and being introduced to new authors (Mahoney, and James) made this anthology a great buy and a recommended read for the post-Twilight crowd.
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The Eternal Kiss: 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire is a short story anthology containing tales by some of today's most well-known paranormal young adult authors, including Kelley Armstrong, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, and Rachel Caine, among others.

Just like other short story anthologies, this book was a great way to sample multiple authors, both those who are popular and those who are lesser known. Within the collection, there were some very strong stories, most notably Libba Bray's "The Thirteenth Step." Though chilling and disturbing, this story of a special kind of rehab and the mood it created has stuck with me for months after reading it. Other standouts included Sarah Rees Brennan's hilarious send-up of vampire obsession in "Undead is Very Hot Right Now," Holly Black's cautionary tale in "The Coldest Girl in Coldtown," and Melissa de la Cruz's sadly romantic "Shelter Island." Rachel Caine's story, "All Hallows," also provided a good introduction to the style of her Morganville world. With a conglomeration of fourteen authors writing thirteen stories, this anthology showcased a variety of approaches to defining the "eternal kiss" and employed a range of styles, from romantic to horrific.

Even with this array of authors and approaches, only a few of the thirteen stories were memorable more than a few hours after reading them. Readers may also expect the book to contain a lot of vampire romance, based on the title, but only a few stories have a strong romantic element. Some stories didn't even include any kissing, or when they did, it wasn't romantic kissing, just biting. Some notable editing mistakes, like a change in the main character's name midway through Holly Black's story, were also distracting and drew me out of the reading from time to time.

Even with these things that bothered me, I found that picking up a copy of THE ETERNAL KISS was a great and inexpensive way to sample multiple authors at once. Though the majority of the stories didn't grab me, it was definitely worth the $9.95 cover price, even if just for Bray's story alone. I'm looking forward to reading the companion anthology, Kiss Me Deadly: 13 Tales of Paranormal Love, which features a wider range of paranormal creatures other than vampires.
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on July 31, 2009
It often takes a while for me to get through short story anthologies. Short stories aren't my favorite, but I do enjoy them when they are done well.

The thirteen stories in Eternal Kiss: 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire are all done well. Sure some of them pleased me more than others but I thoroughly enjoyed each one.

I liked seeing the different takes on the whole vampire thing. Some had a very negative view on the vampire condition and others did not. Some vampires could come out in the day and others were burdened by the curse of not being able to withstand the sun.

There is a lot of variety here despite the common theme.
Some of the stories were heavy with the horror theme while others were a bit lighter.

It is hard to pick favorites here because I really did enjoy all of them. The stories that had stayed in my head the most after finishing the book several days ago are: Falling to Ash by Karen Mahoney, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, Undead is Very Hot Right Now by Sarah Rees Brennan, Other Boys by Cassandra Clare and Ambition by Lili St. Crow.

*Yes there are 13 tales here, not 12 like it says on Amazon.
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on July 8, 2013
There are a number of different stories in this book, of varying quality. There are some other reviews that give a specific look at the stories, so I am going to look at the stories as a part of a series (or not)

"Falling to Ash" by Karen Mahoney
This is a story about Moth, one that ties in with the longer story in the "Falling to Ash" novel and the short story "The Spirit Jar" in Kiss Me Deadly. Many of the complaints with the short story are addressed in the longer novel, which is out and available. I have not read the longer book, but I would expect that this is the prequel story. Overall, an enjoyable read - 3 ½ stars.

"Shelter Island" by Melissa de la Cruz
This is a different sort of vampire story, partially a ghost story. This would probably tie into the other books by this author (she has several series, including ones about vampires, werewolves, and witches), but I did not see one that was specifically the same characters. An interesting book - 3 ½ stars.

"Sword Point" by Maria V. Snyder
I have liked other stories by this author, and enjoyed this one. However, this book does not take place in any of her normal alternate worlds. Instead Ava seems like a normal girl, from our world, who just happens to discover some interesting things about her school. Good character development - 5 stars.

"The Coldest Girl in Coldtown" by Holly Black
This story about Matilda should not be confused with the full length book (also by Holly Black) that is set in the same world (the full length novel is about a girl named Tana). I really enjoyed this story, especially the fact that it does not portray a perfect world, but a world where everyone is struggling to find their way. 5 stars.

"Undead is Very Hot Right Now" by Sarah Rees Brennan
There are many interesting books by this author, but this appears to be the only story about Christian, the want-to-be rock star and his bandmates. The characters are slightly underdeveloped (not unusual for a short story),but overall an interesting read - 4 stars.

"Kat" by Kelley Armstrong
As you may have read elsewhere, this is associated with the 'Otherworld' and 'The Darkest Powers' (young adult books set in the Otherworld universe) series. A great fun story, that continues in the Kisses from Hell story "Hunting Kat". 5 stars.

"The Thirteenth Step" by Libba Bray
This is a short story about difficult choices, and the consequences of the path you choose. A good story, with a few twists on the whole vampire clan/gang, but it doesn't appear to be directly related her other stories. 4 stars.

"All Hallows" by Rachel Caine
This is another Morganville vampire books, although told from the perspective of Eve (rather than Claire). Rachel Caine writes well, but I just have trouble with the fact that her stories come across to me as one long soap opera. 3 stars (5 if you love the Morganville stories)

"Wet Teeth" by Cecil Castellucci
The story about Miles is interesting but sad, and she does not appear to have written any more about Miles or Penny. The author has written some other stories (both short and novels), most of which are primarily rooted in "our" world. As a side note, Cecil Castellucci also is an indie rocker and you can purchase some of her music online. I give this story 4 stars.

"Other Boys" by Cassandra Clare
This is an interesting story, set in a different world from the shadowhunter stories the author is known for. The writing seemed very young adult, but I enjoyed the story so much I am going to give it 5 stars.

"Passing" by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
I loved this story, the way it twists and turns such that you really aren't sure how it is going to end. I wish there was more to it, but as of right now the authors have not written a second story in the series. However, they have both written a number of other stories - "Kiss of Night" (by Debbie Viguie) seems to be the closest to the world they created together. 5 stars.

"Ambition" by Lili St. Crow
I didn't get completely invested in this story, though the premise was interesting. The writing was just a little too choppy for me to really enjoy. Overall, this was the story I liked the least in the book. 2 stars.

"All Wounds" by Dina James
This seems to be early chapters for the "All Wounds" novel, which is the first book in the Stranger Things series. Overall, very interesting premise, but the story is slightly incomplete (as it is the first part of a novel). So I am going to give the short story 4 stars (the novel is 5)

Overall, the stories were a light enjoyable read. I liked some enough to order other books by the authors, and thought that other people might be interested in information I gathered.
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on April 25, 2014
Definitely purchased this for Melissa de la Cruz, Kelley Armstrong, Cassandra Clare, Rachel Caine, and Nancy Holder (she rang my Buffy bells), but the most memorable short story was Moth's story, "Falling to Ash" by Karen Mahoney. I remember years after reading it (from my local library) and bought it more recently as a prelude because I just learned her series had launched in the US. If only they could get their act together and offer the revised edition of Moth's story for us American readers. If you can find this book at a good price, I'd definitely recommend reading it.
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on June 4, 2010
The authors can, with regards to me, be put into three different categories.

The first is authors I have already read and enjoy and it contains Sarah Rees Brennan, Rachel Caine, Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié, and Maria V. Snyder.

The second is authors I am aware of but, for one reason or another, have not read. Authors in this category includes Kelley Armstrong, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Melissa de la Cruz, Karen Mahoney and Lili St. Crow

And the third, naturally, is authors that are entirely brand new to me, and it includes Cecil Castelluci and Dina James.

This was my first anthology and it was definitely an enjoyable experience (for the most part) and I will be making a point to read more anthologies in future. In this case The Eternal Kiss had some great stories, some okay ones, and one dud. I think it would make a nice addition to a vampire collection, or perhaps someone wanting to discover new authors. I've definitely found a few here that I will be checking out in future.

Falling To Ash, by Karen Mahoney: I liked this one, although if it had been a full-length novel I think I would have enjoyed it more. I liked the characters and the set-up, although the ending scene caused it sort of flounder somewhat at the end - some things seemed lacking there, and the excess detail at the start might have been better put to use there. 32 pages. 3.5/5

Shelter Island, by Melissa de la Cruz: I liked the concept here, same with the writing, but unfortunately the ending felt very abrupt. This was the shortest story of the lot, and I think it could have benefited from a little bit more in there. However, I do admit that I was at a disadvantage here, as I am not familiar with her Blue Bloods series - however I liked the writing and characters enough to add Blue Bloods to my list of books to check out. 16 pages. 3/5

Sword Point, by Maria V. Snyder: I liked this one - it had some elements that are very classic to vampire fiction, but blending those with original aspects, interesting characters and good writing it became something really enjoyable. I'd like to read more about these characters, but it also had an ending that leaves me satisfied regardless. 49 pages. 4/5

The Coldest Girl In Cold Town, by Holly Black: I liked the idea of the infection, and the wait period before it burned out. The same went for the government reaction and the Coldtowns - their history and their current state. The payoff was excellent, very fitting for the characters and the rest of the story. 29 pages. 5/5

Undead Is Very Hot Right Now, by Sarah Rees Brennan: I love, love, love Brennan's sense of humour - I laughed all the way through this one. This story has a great voice and is filled with great characters. Sweet yet serious, and with interesting looks at music, gimmicks, and fans as well as fangs. 40 pages. 5/5

Kat, by Kelley Armstrong: I think this is another case of me being at a disadvantage for not having read the author's full-length fiction. I liked the main characters and the idea of government getting involved and genetic experiments on supernaturals in an attempt to control them, but without having read the novels I did feel a little lost at times. 39 pages. 3/5

The Thirteenth Step, by Libba Bray: I learned after finishing this one that The Thirteenth Step wasn't the longest story in this anthology (Sword Point has that title) but it definitely seemed like it. The beginning dragged like a bit and there were a few minor aspects that had me raising my eyebrows - and not in a good way. When the point of the story started to show up things improved and even became interesting, but that couldn't make up for the original drag and a few moments of confusion. 46 pages. 2.5/5

All Hallows, by Rachel Caine: I'm a big fan of the Morganville Vampires series, but this is my first experience with a Morganville short. Still it was very interesting to see this, and having it in Eve's voice was a real treat - I loved her narration especially. The ending has me very worried for the characters in the future though. 36 pages. 5/5.

Wet Teeth by Cecil Castelluci: Short and sweet (just not in content) and very powerful; goes to show that you can say a lot with a little (this was the second shortest story in the collection, and only by a page). Castelluci has quite a way with words, and some of the descriptions are amazing (and disturbing). 17 pages. 5/5.

Other Boys, by Cassandra Clare: There was nothing new or interesting in here. The whole twist was much like a Goosebumps novel - I kept feeling that I had read this story before, and that there was nothing in this one to help it stand out from others. 26 pages. 1/5.

Passing, by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié: This was one of the darker stories, and it did a good job at detailing a world at war between the living and the dead and its history in a short amount of space while still having the main story be the focus. A few nice twists and tricks were in here, and it's a nice starting point to get people (like me) excited for the upcoming series. 27 pages. 5/5

Ambition, by Lili St. Crow: This had a promising start, and had promising bits in the middle and the end, but it also got confusing at times. Certain conditions and events are not told, and it leaves the story feeling off-kilter and not in a good way. I liked the open ending, for the most part, but the whole story would have been far better if the deliberately hidden factors had been mentioned. 37 pages. 3.5/5

All Wounds, by Dina James: This was another wonderful springboard story for a world of more than just vampires - although, of course, vampires do have a starring role here given the subject of this anthology. It's a very great start while also being pretty self-contained. 37 pages 5/5

Overall rating for The Eternal Kiss, based on the average of all the stories in it: 3.88 stars. Let's just make it a nice round four stars, shall we?
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on January 20, 2016
I couldn't put this book down for a second, making me very exhausted for work the next morning, but well worth it. It is a page turner that kept me interested to the very end and dreading the last page that had come. I am unsure if a few of the stories in here are simply short, but I hope a few turn into, if not already are, books or series of their own. An amazing work and excellent selection of choices.
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on September 17, 2010
Consisting of action-packed, sexy, and haunting vampire stories, Eternal Kiss is an anthology of short stories of vampire lovers shouldn't miss. Because not all vampire stories are always about the romance. Always with a hint of danger and that temptation of immortality - in exchange of exploring your darker side.

What actually got me interested to read the story are the list of authors contributing in the anthology. Black, Brennan & Clare? Those three are enough to get me buying it! Just don't expect that it will be anything like their novels. This are vampire tales. No fairies, magicians, & demons. But their stories are not just the stories I loved. Each stories have different feel to offer - from sexy to haunting. There were some stories that I badly want to continue. Try Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie's, it was a surprise for me. And there is also All Wounds, which was a good story end-er for the book.

Some of the authors I still haven't read any of their works. I was excited with Libba Bray's story because I have heard good stuffs about her. So her story here was my first encounter of her writing. As well as for the rest of the authors.

A must for every vampire story lovers and even twi-hards. This will awaken you that, it might not be the only one but a vampire's true desire is blood.
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on January 4, 2010
My daughter is dyslexic and these short stories were just the right mix to draw her in and keep her interested.
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on August 14, 2009
I bought this anthology for the short Morganville story by Rachel Caine. I was not disappointed. Almost all the other stories were over too fast though. I felt like their was a lot of build up in them and that they ended very suddenly. Most of the time I was just left with the feeling of "Okay, next one" which is not what I should be feeling. None of these stories made me want to go check out the authors' other work (with the exception of Caine). A few stories had interesting premises but perhaps were limited by page/wordcount. Buy it if one of your authors are in their, it's only 10 dollars and I felt that Caine's story was worth it. If you like any of the other authors in here, I'm sure you'll feel the same.
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