“Whatever she was seemed ungodly – maybe as ungodly as those who had enslaved her, if she could be reduced to craving blood.”
Today I’d like to bring your attention to a lesser-known book that I think some of you might really enjoy that’s a little different from the stuff I usually talk about. It’s entitled Late Night Partners: A Tale of Vampires and Twentysomethings.
It’s written by Fennel Steuert who was gracious enough to give me a promotional copy of the book for my review. It is not, in the strictest sense, a horror novel – but it does offer an interesting take on some of the most popular creatures of the night.
This review is Spoiler Free and 100% safe to read.
A lot of you know that vampires are not my favorite monsters to read about. A lot of that is because I got a little tired of so many of the tropes following a certain sparkly surge in their popularity. The limited amount of vampire fiction that I do recommend leans toward classics or modern takes of the darker variety.
Late Night Partners doesn’t really fall into any of my usual categories, and yet there was something very refreshing about it.
While the vampires are not the inherently evil interpretation that I tend to prefer, the balance of human and inhuman traits were approached in a way that was interesting. The moral implications of losing one’s humanity doesn’t cross the line into the brooding vampire trope, and Doris is able to fight for the world without the over glorification of the undead.
The book was able to highlight different sides of the situation, different perspectives of the characters, without becoming lost entirely to that argument.
There are a lot of things to like about this book, quirky characters, memorable themes, a good balance between new takes on vampire lore and honoring the original mythos – but I think what stands out to me most is the representation. Considering how popular vampires are in the media, it’s appalling how rare it is to see vampires of color. Doris fits into that category, but that’s far from her defining trait. She’s intelligent, caring, and a huge step in the right direction for speculative fiction protagonists.
There were moments where the dialogue felt unpolished, and the formatting is a bit unorthodox, but with those being my largest complaints about a novella that is intriguing, well-paced, and obviously a labor of love, this title definitely falls under the category of things I’m glad to have read.
I haven’t yet changed my stance on vampire fiction as a whole, and after this my recommendations in the sub-genre are likely going to return to psychologically disturbing, but this was a surprisingly nice break from the darker side of undead literature.
I know a lot of my followers are more vampire-friendly than I am in any case, and for you I would recommend you give this one a shot.