A Light to Starve By
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A Light to Starve By

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  15 reviews
A dark novelette, set in near-future Paris, where vampires and werewolves are hunted like rabid dogs and put down just as quickly. Their existence is common knowledge, the army and police patrol the streets looking for them, families barricade themselves at night, and even the Catholic Church has its own task force. The majority of the population has been vaccinated, makin...more
Kindle Edition, 27 pages
Published April 2011 by Rotten Leaves Press (first published February 21st 2011)
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When this book came to me from the author with a request of review I thought he must be brave. A quick look through my reviews and you'll notice that while I love short stories, I also hate when they are done badly. Let's face it, most are done very badly. It's not enough words to get that deep into the story or the plot and I usually walk away feeling nothing for any of the characters.

Bored one day and in kind of foul mood, I decided to start this "novelette" and hope for the best. Less than ho...more
Axel Taiari shows here exactly how to innovate within the vampire subgenre of paranormal thriller/horror. This story has a great fresh idea how to make a sympathetic monster who is still a monster while telling a compelling story. The concept is fresh, the action is truly thrilling, and the overall story has only one flaw: it is over way too soon. Great stuff! I can't wait to read more by Tairi!
Paul Eckert
Axel Taiari’s A Light to Starve By is set in a modern-day Paris where vampires have run out of places to feed. Most vampires have joined one of the many clans that have popped up since the civil war, but our unnamed narrator claims no affiliations, a loner who is slowly starving to death like most others.

Life is tough for these vampires. If they’re not fighting each other, they’re running from hunters who ruthlessly scour the city in search of the undead.

I really liked the unique twist on this...more
Bob Pastorella
Axel Taiari’s A Light To Starve By is the epitome of Vampire Noir. We are at once thrust into a nightmare set in the near future in the world’s most beautiful city, Paris, France. Vampires and Werewolves are common knowledge. They rule the night. The Church goes military, developing a vaccine to keep the humans safe, and training mercs to take down the vampires any way possible.

Axel knows he’s not reinventing wheel with these vampires. He just maxed the horsepower and peaked the torque on that w...more
Edward Rathke
Axel Taiari's vampire novella is a visceral linguistic assault. Punchy sentences thick with metaphor and imagery detail a world in which vampires, werewolves and so on are real, but humans have begun to fight back and vampires are facing mass starvation as humans immunise themselves to their predators.

It's a haunting and gritty look at Paris and it was nice being familiar with that city, knowing where the story took place. Of course, this isn't really the Paris I lived in.

At times the thickness...more
Chris Deal
Vampires have existed in mankind's nightmares for thousands of years, going back to demonic entities such as the vetala of Hindu mythology, the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet, and the Mesopotamian Lilitu, who would go on to enter Hebrew mythology as Lilith, the first wife of Adam. In the 18th century Polidori, a contemporary of Lord Byron, would birth the romantic vampire with the short story The Vampyre. This idea would be further developed by Varney the Vampire by Rymer and then Dracula, the novel t...more
It seems vampire tales are everywhere these days. Sometimes they are almost like “one of us” (maybe even prime boyfriend or girlfriend material), while others they’re the enemy of humans. In "A Light to Starve By" they are the enemy, yet it is much different because the protagonist is a vampire, setting the reader up to sympathize and root for him – not because he is, or despite him being, a vampire, but due to his human qualities. Taiari does a great job in quickly acclimating the reader to his...more
Christopher Novas
Axel Taiari’s A Light To Starve By is an incredible example of what the vampire story should be: dark, violent, and grim. Set in Paris, France it encompasses a world where vampires, werewolves, and psychics are common knowledge. The creatures that go bump in the night are hunted to near extinction, where the story’s vampire survivors coalesce into clans, staving off hunger & trying to stay alive. These creatures will stay at the forefront of your nightmares.

In twenty-nine pages, Axel create...more
Jun 19, 2011 Robb rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
This is what short fiction should aspire to be.

In the brief span of 29 pages, Axel creates an entire world - set in the near future - where those creatures that go bump in the night exist and Vampires are on the brink of starvation due to a human vaccination that makes their blood poisonous to Vampires.

ALTSB is dark, violent, and grim. An original take on vampire fiction - it will shock you how much Taiari packs into such a small amount of space.

Probably the best short story I've read in years.
Nicholas Karpuk
As a Facebook friend, I am of course going to give Axel the five stars. I have established my bias here. But I will say that the idea of vampires starving in Paris because of a new vaccine is a pretty darn interesting set up for this e-book. Definitely worth what is essentially pocket change on Amazon.
Michael Gonzalez
An all-too-brief foray into a dark world. Vampires exist here as an apex predator that humanity has finally learned to contain, leaving the remnants of their society in an impoverished state. I'm hoping this short work is the beginning of something much greater.
Top notch short story, Taiari creates a fascinating world filled with compelling characters. It's really a unique piece of vampire fiction and well worth the read.

Short but with its poignant parts, this is an enjoyable read.
A very good story. It left me wanting more.
Joseph Patchen
My full review is on Lurid-lit.com.
Karen Zieman
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Aug 21, 2014
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Axel Taiari is a French writer, born in Paris in 1984. He studied screenwriting and modern literature. His writing has appeared in multiple magazines and anthologies, including 3:AM Magazine, 365tomorrows, Dirty Noir, and many more. His short story Death Juggler opened the Warmed And Bound anthology (Velvet Press), and his e-novelette A Light To Starve By spent a few weeks in Amazon's Kindle Best...more
More about Axel Taiari...
Bastion Science Fiction Magazine: Issue 4, July 2014 Warmed and Bound: A Velvet Anthology The Booked. Anthology Eternal Night: A Vampire Anthology Solarcidal Tendencies

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