Title: Late Night Partners: A Tale of Vampires and Twentysomethings
Author: Fennel Steuert
Genre: Fiction, supernatural
Where I got the book: I received a free e-copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: ★★★☆☆
Summary: Unfortunate old man Simon finds himself attacked by a vampire. As he struggles with the effects of the aftermath, his nephew Roger comes to stay with him. While Roger tends to his uncle, a young woman not considered human anymore, shows up at their door one night. Her name is Doris and she offers Roger a glimpse into the life she’s living. From there on we’re pulled into a world filled with vampires and ghouls, a world that becomes more and more broken as the earthquakes begin to shake it apart.
“Doris thought that in changing him she would give them both a gift. They would be so much more than all the limitations constantly, endlessly thrown their way.”
– Late Night Partners, Fennel Steuert
This is a short story set in an intriguing, somewhat dystopian world, and is packed with interesting characters, quite a bit of action, and several different relations you are left wanting to read more about. Everything unfolds under a general tone of darkness and eeriness. The writing is good all the way through – I enjoyed how naturally the dialogue sounds, and the way humans and supernatural creatures live together in this world is described very well. There are moments that are beautifully written and that evoke real sympathy for the creatures of the night, especially for Doris, and I liked that we through her see a parallel drawn between being black and the struggles of her new life where she’s simply not human anymore. The aspect of race remains for the most time in the background of the story itself but there are moments when it’s weaved in and I like the way it’s done.
As mentioned above this is a novella, divided into eight very short chapters, and I think it’s the format that made me unable to fully engage with the story – or maybe rather this particular story in this format. I personally felt there were many characters to relate to over such a short time, and I didn’t feel like I had enough time to connect with them, or sometimes even get a firm grasp on who’s who. Background stories passed by quickly, together with the relationship between different characters, and there wasn’t always the development I would have liked to see. With so many things happening, and with a problem that also had to be solved at the end, it was even harder to keep up. I felt like there were times where I lost my general overview of the story. Since a novella obviously lacks the length that a novel has, it’s important in my opinion to make the story as condense as possible to avoid too much confusion.
All in all I enjoyed this short story of humans and vampires. The writing is great, something which reflects in some characters and in the dialogue, but overall it’s lacking slightly in cohesiveness.