The second of two novella collections published by Kensington Books, Midnight Thirsts features four stories.
The Nightwatchers by Greg Herren
One of the best stories of the collection, Herren weaves a wonderful tale following two pairs of characters. Vampire Gunther falls for Philip, who he hopes will replace a lost love. At the same time, Philips friend Rachel is confronted by nightwatcher Nigel who wants Rachel to protect Philip from the vampire. The story ends happily, with at least one new vampire.
The best line from the story: “His canine teeth began to ache, his gums aflame with raw pain. He slid his tongue over his canines. They were longer, sharper. Pointed.”
Carnival by Michael Thomas Ford
A mysterious Mr. Star brings his exotic cadre to a traveling carnival; proprietor Joe becomes increasingly suspicious of Star but is drawn to a young man in Star’s employ who harbors a dangerous secret. Dark, erotic and steeped in fantasy, Carnival is well-written and filled with beautiful prose, but lacks the exact take on vampirism I prefer.
The Vampire Stone by Timothy Ridge
An antique box brings vampire Rocceres and antiques dealer Roland Weir together, but Roland’s decision to become a vampire reveals a startling secret about his lover.
Vampire, Inc. by Sean Wolfe
Christiano is new to Denver, a vampire traveling the world alone meets Chance, a boy he soon comes to love, and Chance brings up memories of a much early love, Bernhardt. Denver has a large underground vampire community which Christiano soon finds himself embroiled in, stepping on the toes of the powers that be, putting Chance at risk. The story is heading to a wonderful conclusion but is side-tracked near the end with an unfortunate twist followed by an odd and seemingly random epilogue that deviates from the storyline.