Continuing with The Eternal Kiss anthology, edited by Trisha Telep, I just finished the seventh story, The Thirteenth Step by Libby Bray, who happens to be a new author for me. While her story was okay, it really didn’t make me want to rush out and pick up any of her full length novels.
The story behind The Thirteenth Step is pretty simple. The main character, Lauren, gets this job working for a halfway house as a day admin. She’s not really sure what goes on there, but she’s not overly curious either, at least not until the end. Then she gets more than she bargains for.
Bray’s vampires are definitely different. There’s something about them that is not like a lot of the vampire mythos going around lately, but you really don’t find out about them until the end. In all honestly, they really seemed more like a gang of street urchins than any kind of supernatural because there wasn’t any development for them. The entire story focuses on Lauren and what she was going through. Yes, the vampires ultimately have a role in what happens to Lauren, but until that point, they are more like background noise than any real part of the story. Even the relationship Lauren has is muted. For me, Lauren was a little over-developed.
Overall, The Thirteenth Step was okay. There were times that I thought Bray really didn’t write her story with a novella in mind, but a full length novel and then ended up having to chop it to pieces in order for it to be included in The Eternal Kiss. I could be wrong, but…yeah. Even the supernatural element really didn’t seem too thought out since the vampires are always alluded to. You really don’t seem the evidence, or presences, of them until the end.
Other stories reviewed from The Eternal Kiss:
Falling to Ash by Karen Mahoney
Shelter Island by Melissa de la Cruz
Sword Point by Maria Snyder
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Undead Is Very in Right Now by Sarah Rees Brennan
Kat by Kelley Armstrong
All Hallows by Rachel Caine
Wet Teeth by Cecil Castellucci
Other Boys by Cassandra Clare
Passing by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
Ambition by Lili St. Crow
All Wounds by Dina James
Also reviewed by: