Reviews by marshd
Mostly Predictable
I didn't find the majority of these short stories to be anything particularly special. A few were the same old vampire tales redone. However, I was very much intrigued by a few--oddly enough, by the authors whom I had never read before. The best, I thought, by far was "Best Friends Forever" by Cecil Castellucci. It was unexpected and actually seemed to be about something much more than vampires. "Sunbleached" by Nathan Ballingrud was probably the most "horrific", which I found fantastic, since most of the stories aren't really horrors. Lastly, I enjoyed "History" by Ellen Kushner, mostly because it seemed to be exactly what I would imagine my encounter with a vampire would be. Most of the stories portray the vampires as protagonists, often those who don't have to kill to live, which I found annoying, because that is one of the things that really gives the vampires with human emotions some really difficult internal conflict.

If you like vampires, though, I'd at least give the book a try. Like me, you might find at least three or four out of the nineteen stories really interesting or enjoyable.
Shamelessly Perfect
A perfect ending for both the book itself and the entire Shamer series. The book itself was hard to put down, and you really bond with all the characters, even the ones you might not have liked at first. The ending is strong, and not necessarily the happily-ever-after ending you would expect. Loved it.
Dark and Light
It started out slow, but once you really get into all the turmoil and plotting, it's captivating. And funny. And sometimes, after all the darkness it presents, it even makes you beam.
Ghosts & Growing Up
A very cute take on growing up. The elements of fantasy and reality are blended so well, that sometimes you have to wonder if the story could be true. Though, at the same time, it leaves you with so many questions, that it's hard to tell exactly what happened.
One of my favorite Decemberists songs is on this album, though, overall, I don't think the album is nearly as good as The Crane Wife. Still, "The Mariner's Revenge Song," "On the Bus Mall," and "The Engine Driver" are some of their best songs. "The Infanta" makes me laugh every time with its puns, as well.