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Slay: Stories of the Vampire Noire Paperback – October 13, 2020

4.6 out of 5 stars 56 ratings

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Mocha Memoirs Press (October 13, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 450 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1735219541
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1735219547
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.39 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.98 x 1 x 9.02 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 56 ratings

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
56 global ratings

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Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on October 13, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Revolutionary Horror Anthology Representing Black Voices #OwnVoices
By Sadie Hartmann on October 13, 2020
I have pages and pages of notes as well as a bunch of new authors to follow on social media/support and start buying their books. Wow! What a collection. Thank you to the publisher, Mocha Memoirs Press for sending a digital review copy for consideration.

SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noir is an anthology celebrating vampires of the African Diaspora. And since I enjoyed doing some research and educating myself on words and phrases that were new to me, I thought that I would pass on some of the information I learned without assuming every reader comes to a book fully informed on all things. (wink)
Diaspora: Historically, the word diaspora was used to refer to the involuntary mass dispersion of a population from its indigenous territories.

So right away, I encourage reviewers to read this book with minds and hearts open to hear unique and diverse voices. I love that there was a strong adherence to the theme represented in all of the stories. There's intentionality among the authors to be united with one purpose but also remarkably unique.
All of this being said, I want to highlight some of my favorite stories, amplifying the ones that stood out among the others but also making it clear that there was something special about every offering to the vampire noir genre as a whole.

The first story, DESICCANT by Craig Laurence Gidney is the perfect jumping-off point. Short and sweet, Gidney's characters reminded me of the vibrant cast of the show, POSE. A clever vehicle for vampirism represented in this 'red dust' that freaked me out! The descriptive language was so cinematic--I could "see" everything as it was happening. The ending left me wanting more from both the characters and the world-building. I could see this as a transition into a longer novel or series.

LOVE HANGOVER by Sheree Renee Thomas is one of my favorites. Thomas uses music/song and the club scene as a backdrop for unrequited love and the lengths someone will go to just to get attention (negative or positive) from the object of their obsession/worship. Delilah and Frankie are a sexy queer couple that I loved reading about. I immediately asked the author if there were more stories from this world because I wanted to know more about Delilah and her sisters. (surprise, the answer is yes!)

THE DANCE by L. Marie Wood- Fans of erotic horror will love this sensual story of a woman attracted to another woman on the dance floor but isn't ready to be "seen". The sexual tension was off the charts. I loved the ending.

DIARY OF A MAD BLACK VAMPIRE by Dicey Grenor- Another story that made me want more. Ashanti is a mature vampire seeking a long time companion and she finds a young woman that makes her feel alive and youthful again. Tetra might be a little more than Ashanti bargained for and they embark on a dangerous game. Readers will recognize all the red flags that Ashanti seems to be ignoring--the climax/ending is everything.

ENCOUNTERS by K. R. S. McEntire- I was addicted to this story. A woman is in an airport when she sees her husband who has been dead for 20 years. They board the same plane and the woman confronts this man resembling her diseased husband who is traveling with a very young, beautiful woman. He makes an offer...
This was compelling as hell! I didn't want it to end.

NO GOD BY HUNGER by Steve Van Samson- Vampire plague. Apocalyptic. "Civilization was a dangerous thing." Predator World, where "blood brings blood". This was an exhilarating short story. Nico and Mirelha traveling across the savanna before the sun goes down. There was a lot of world-building here that felt extremely well-developed and I wondered if this story was part of a larger narrative like so many of the other stories in this antho (surprise, right again! This story is connected to the author's book THE BONE EATER KING)

There are a few stories in this anthology that did not have an author attributed to it, but maybe that was my own Kindle edition being formatted incorrectly? In any event, I enjoyed almost all of the stories here, apart from a few that I skipped because the writing just wasn't there for me or I couldn't get invested. It's my recommendation that this is a revolutionary anthology and one that I would like to see more of in the future. I'm excited to pick up some of the novels from the authors that contributed.
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