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Karen E. Taylor returns with a surprise for both the fans of her "Vampire Legacy" series and the unindoctrinated. "Fangs and Angel Wings," her first collection of short stories, proves her to be the Mistress of Horror with no peers. These stories echo the themes she has etched into her novels - devotion and betrayal, desire and revenge. She creates these stories like complex, delicate origami, in contrast to the towering sculpture that is the "Vampire Legacy."
This collection has something for all fans of the macabre. From the erotic poem, "Angel," to the cruelly, feminist story, "Contacts," Ms. Taylor shows that she is a highly intellectual and provocative storyteller, and that sets her above and apart from the pack of horror writers who rely upon gallons of blood and body parts by the pound to supplement their meager talents. The warmth and charm of her brief anecdotes, which introduce each chilling tale, showcases her abilities in the same, sly way that a master magician uses misdirection. First, she pats your hand, and then she sends shivers down your spine!
There isn't a mediocre story in the collection. She travels effortlessly from the hypnotizing and surreal in her Bram Stoker Award nominated, "Mexican Moon," to the eerie and futuristic in "Freedom." Karen E. Taylor is just as easily at home in prose or poetry, as she proves in the wonderful, tender and compelling, "Dancing at the King Stag's Moon" or the vampire poem, "The Debt." She even manages to be outstanding in a work that defies description. "The Calling," a work commissioned to be read during a symphonic performance of Camille Saint-Saen's "Danse Macabre," can only be considered an invocation. And a right terrifying one it is!
After reading these tales of terror and the supernatural, Ms. Taylor's casual reader will become her fervent fan, and all of her fans will wish that she published new books on a monthly basis.
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on November 18, 2003
Karen E. Taylor is one of my favorite authors. This collection runs the gamut from vampires to ghosts and other restless spirits. The subtly nuanced tales are to be savored. My personal favorites in the collection are Mexican Moon and Blood of the Rose. In my opinion, this is a must have book for affianadoes of the genre. Sultry, Haunting and horrific.
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