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Say No to Sparkles is a fully illustrated anthology of quirky, spooky, comedic, and outrageous vampire stories– one of the world’s oldest myths told with a fresh voice. It features vampires that are blood-sucking killers, mothers, CEOs, and are killed by sunlight. This book is completely devoid of perfect smiles, haunted looks, shirtless werewolves, and sparkles. (www.matterdeeppublishing.com)
When you think of the state of modern vampire fiction, what do you see? You see young love. You see melodrama. You see SPARKLES. I know, you guys. I know there are millions upon millions of girls and boys that are just fine with those genre elements. I can’t pretend to understand the appeal, but I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that it exists. Say No to Sparkles by Kyle and Carly Strickland sees it another way.
Say No to Sparkles, a clever short story collection, remembers the good ole days where the blood-sucking vampire fiction of yore wasn’t relegated to the last five pages of an overlong Romeo and Juliet knock off where Romeo would attempt to kill himself by removing his shirt in front of hundreds of EVIL ROMEOS. The main author of Sparkles, Kyle Strickland, knows how those literary moments make us feel, so he re-installed the bloodletting and all of the creepy personalities we truly miss from our vampire fiction. His illustrator, Carly Strickland, captures his vision in some truly fantastic artwork between the pages.
Some might say this collection is a few sequels too late, but I say it is time to gear up to battle against the next round of Twilight sequels. I definitely recommend this to anyone who remembers how you felt the first time you saw the bumper stick that reads, “I drive like a Cullen,” or “I rather be in Forks.”
+ Great short fiction that will keep you entertained throughout
+ Artwork is top notch from a very talented local illustrator
+ Real Vampires are back!
- It may have come too late in the game
Thomas William Shaw is an author and stage actor from Birmingham, AL. He lives with his wife, Lauren, their children, and their cats in a quiet place. Occasionally he will post about it.