Vampire fans, sink your teeth into this satisfying collection.

VAMPIRES NEVER GET OLD

TALES WITH FRESH BITE

Fresh takes on a perennial paranormal favorite from leading YA authors.

The classic vampire archetype—“white, cisgender, straight, and able-bodied”—makes way for a diverse reimagining of the blood-drinking immortals in this anthology. In Tessa Gratton’s “Seven Nights for Dying,” an anonymous narrator is given a week to consider an offer while grappling with furious grief. A lonely teenage Latinx vampire makes an unexpected connection through his blog in Mark Oshiro’s “Mirrors, Windows & Selfies.” An Eternal woman and a Shadow Baron make a wager in Dhonielle Clayton’s “The House of Black Sapphires,” set in a dazzling alternate version of New Orleans. A gay Native teen summons an urban legend in Rebecca Roanhorse’s “The Boys From Blood River” but gets more than he bargained for. Themes of power, transformation, and agency weave through these 11 tales, which also feature a 19th-century grave robber, a cheerleading vampire slayer, and an Instagram-savvy elder vampire. The tone of the stories ranges from the playful narration of Samira Ahmed’s “A Guidebook for the Newly Sired Desi Vampire” to the simmering rage of Kayla Whaley’s disabled protagonist in “In Kind.” The cast, living and (un)dead, includes characters who represent multiple dimensions of diversity. Each story is followed by a brief commentary and thought-provoking questions from the editors.

Vampire fans, sink your teeth into this satisfying collection. (editors' note, author bios) (Paranormal fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-23001-0

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Imprint

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s.

GRIS GRIMLY'S FRANKENSTEIN

A slightly abridged graphic version of the classic that will drive off all but the artist’s most inveterate fans.

Admirers of the original should be warned away by veteran horror artist Bernie Wrightson’s introductory comments about Grimly’s “wonderfully sly stylization” and the “twinkle” in his artistic eye. Most general readers will founder on the ensuing floods of tiny faux handwritten script that fill the opening 10 pages of stage-setting correspondence (other lengthy letters throughout are presented in similarly hard-to-read typefaces). The few who reach Victor Frankenstein’s narrative will find it—lightly pruned and, in places, translated into sequences of largely wordless panels—in blocks of varied length interspersed amid sheaves of cramped illustrations with, overall, a sickly, greenish-yellow cast. The latter feature spidery, often skeletal figures that barrel over rough landscapes in rococo, steampunk-style vehicles when not assuming melodramatic poses. Though the rarely seen monster is a properly hard-to-resolve jumble of massive rage and lank hair, Dr. Frankenstein looks like a decayed Lyle Lovett with high cheekbones and an errant, outsized quiff. His doomed bride, Elizabeth, sports a white lock à la Elsa Lanchester, and decorative grotesqueries range from arrangements of bones and skull-faced flowers to bunnies and clownish caricatures.

Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s. (Graphic classic. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-186297-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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Heart-pounding.

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CEMETERY BOYS

A gay, transgender brujo with burgeoning powers seeks answers about his cousin’s death.

Sixteen-year-old Yadriel also wishes for acknowledgement from his community but unexpectedly finds himself entangled in the unresolved wishes of a strong-willed, good-looking spirit. He descends from a long line of brujx who have been granted magic power by Lady Death to heal the living and to guide spirits into the afterlife. Although he’s grown up surrounded by a close-knit community, Yadriel feels alone, excluded indefinitely from a sacred rite of passage because he is transgender. When he senses that his cousin Miguel has died suddenly but the family can’t locate him, Yadriel sees an opportunity to prove to everyone he’s a true brujo by solving the mystery and releasing his cousin’s lost spirit. His plan quickly falls apart, as he accidentally summons the spirit of Julian Diaz, a boy with unfinished business who died the same day as Miguel. Both the romance and mystery burn slow and hot until the climax. Stakes begin high, and the intensity only increases with a looming deadline and a constant risk that Julian might lose himself, turning maligno. The cast of characters represents a diversity of Latinx identities sharing a community in East Los Angeles. Julian is Colombian while Yadriel is Cuban and Mexican. Their romance provides joyful, ground-breaking representation for gay, transgender boys.

Heart-pounding. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-25046-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Swoon Reads/Macmillan

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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