Authors: Genevieve Gornichec, Cassandra Khaw, Caitlin Starling
Narrators: Nell Kaplan, Xe Sands, and Erika Ishii
Series: Vampire: The Masquerade #1
Publisher: Harper Audio
Released: June 16th, 2020
Warnings: Depression, gore, animal death
Walk Among Us is a collection of three short stories based in the world of Vampire: The Masquerade. Since that is a roleplaying game I love/d, I’m thrilled to see the world being brought back to life here.
These are three dark tales about the deadly and political nature of vampires. These are not the pretty or friendly vampires found in romance novels. No, these are the sort that are more likely to get you running, if you had the bad fortune to come across them.
To my knowledge, this collection is an audible exclusive, at least for the moment. That means it’ll only be available as an audiobook for now, but it’s still absolutely worth the listen to. Especially if you’re an avid fan of the franchise.
Included in this collection are three tales. The first is titled A Sheep Among Wolves. Written by Genevieve Gornichec and narrated by Erika Ishii, it follows a young woman who found herself in a world beyond her imagination.
Cassandra Khaw’s Fine Print is next. Narrated by Neil Kaplan, this is a political story through and through, but not for the reasons you might imagine. It shows the darker side of making a deal.
Last, there’s The Land of Milk and Honey. Written by Caitlin Starling and narrated by Xe Sands, it follows a totally different perspective on vampire life – the concept of sustainable farming and everything it entails. All three shorts will be reviewed in further depth down below.
A Sheep Among Wolves by Genevieve Gornichec and Erika Ishii
Warnings: Depression, anxiety
A Sheep Among Wolves is an absolutely fascinating tale, especially as you try and sort out what is truly happening. It is a tale of depression, radicalization, and the tending to of humans with high potential.
This is one of those stories that doesn’t go at all how one might expect. It gets dark, naturally, yet the twists are truly surprising. Likewise, it is a story full of suspense. All the more so thanks to the main perspective, who shows what it must be like to be a human going through the grooming process.
Fine Print by Cassandra Khaw and Neil Kaplan
Warnings: Gore, graphic depictions, torture, imprisonment
Fine Print was a shocking read/listen, especially following the events of A Sheep Among Wolves. If any of the stories can be taken as a cautionary tale, let it be this one. Read the fine print. Treat others with basic respect. Use common decency. All that, and more.
This is the darker side of making a pact. You can think you’re making the best deal in the world until you get to that fine print. Even then, the fine print can seem drastically different, depending on the context.
This one really did do an excellent job of portraying the darker sides of White Wolf. Not just of vampires in general, but of humanity as well. There really are no punches pulled in this story, but that is fitting.
The Land of Milk and Honey by Caitlin Starling and Xe Sands
Warnings: Gore, animal death
The last story in this collection is titled The Land of Milk and Honey. It follows a different side of living as a vampire. Actually, that’s not quite accurate. It shows one vampire’s way of coping and feeding – a way that is different from what is normally depicted.
Out of all the stories in this collection, this is the one that’s going to get you thinking. It raises questions of ethics, morality, and the differences between humans and animals. This is a world where humans are the renewable resource, and sustainable farming allows for a specific cultivation of traits.
Understandably, it gets dark – though perhaps not for the reasons you might assume and expect. That it comes with several points to be made makes the story all the more chilling and impactful.