School is out for the kids in this New England tourist town and Rocky is about to embark on a summer he’ll never forget. Rocky’s best friend Axle tells him he’s going away overseas for the summer with his family, leaving the young man devastated. That is, until he meets the girl of his dreams. November is a tall, dark haired bombshell. The two teenagers make the best of the every hot day they can until November’s older brother Gabriel finds the two together. Now, Rocky needs to figure out how he’s going to keep seeing the love of his adolescent life while avoiding her insanely jealous brother. Not only that but there is a string of disappearances in the tourist town that threatens to ruin the entire summer break. Rocky is about to find out just what happened to the missing townspeople while also discovering November’s dark secret, setting the stage for a story that is bound to end in blood.
This was my first time reading Glenn Rolfe’s work and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Until Summer Comes Around (2020) had a fresh perspective on vampires that I found incredibly interesting. The author writes of the vampire affliction and it read more of addiction horror than occult as the publisher indicates. What was really cool was that this book had all the slasher feels. Don’t expect to make it out of this story alive if you can’t follow the rules of surviving a horror movie. I’ve read a lot of reviews on this book and most people like to talk about the 80’s nostalgia which is great but I feel I need to mention how easy this was to read. I flew through this book very quickly. It had a lot to do with Glenn Rolfe’s writing style but the way the book is formatted certainly helped as well. This book is the perfect summer read for anyone seeking a toothsome vampire tale with everything a horror-loving heathen like myself desires.
The thing that stuck out to me the most is how you get a different perspective of vampires from the antagonist. The reader gets to see a transformation take place as the need for blood further afflicts the vampire. Generally, we read about thirst and how the vampire is addicted or desires blood because they need it. In Until Summer Comes Around when the creature drinks from a human it’s like watching a junkie take a hit. It’s not sustenance that drives them but the power it gives them. They don’t need it, they want it and the blood-lust becomes all-consuming.
This book has all the b-list slasher movie feels. All the rules of surviving a horror movie apply: You may not survive if you have sex if you drink or do drugs, and if you say “I’ll be right back”, “Hello?” or “Who’s there?” I loved this and let me tell you something, nobody follows the rules and the body count quickly racks up. On top of that, there are some pretty gruesome deaths present in this novel. Rolfe did an amazing job of describing the animalistic nature of vampires and the visceral effects of their hunger.
I flew through this book! Mind you it is only two hundred and forty-some pages but for some of us out there that needs to scrounge up any reading time we can, that length can take a bit of time. Not this book though. I attribute that to Glenn Rolfe’s writing style. Even though this is a throwback novel it reads like modern horror much like Grady Hendrix. I can also say that the way in which this book is formatted makes a difference. The chapters are short, mostly ten pages or less which helps build the tension and made for a thrilling read.
This 80’s throwback coming-of-age story will certainly satisfy your thirst for a grisly vampire tale. I think this is only the beginning for Glenn Rolfe, though he has already become a fan favourite in the horror community because of his earlier novels The Window (2018) or Blood and Rain (Blood and Rain). I feel this book is just a taste of what is to come and I cannot wait to see where he takes readers next!
Until Summer Comes Around by Glenn Rolfe is currently available at FlameTree Press.