Reviews of “Dead Red Heart”

The latest issue of Black Static has a review of Dead Red Heart, the anthology in which my story “Such Is Life” appears. The reviewer has words for every story, including mine, thus:

“‘Such Is Life’ by Jeremy Sadler is the first of two stories to give a vampire twist to the tale of outlaw Ned Kelly. In this one Kelly is a vampire, tricking another vampire to escape with his life, the story engaging enough, but with nothing much to add to vampire mythology.”

Dead Red Heart cover

True enough, I guess; I’ve never found myself to be a “deep” writer. Though I am concerned that the reviewer completely missed what the protaganist of my story actually is – he’s not another vampire, though I can see how that thought may arise. Was that my fault as the writer, or did the reviewer just not grasp it? I guess when you’re reading so many stories (and not translating phrases written in Latin) you can miss such details.

Personally I prefer Mario Guslandi’s review on

“In Jeremy Sadler’s “Such Is Life”, a disquieting tale full of chiaroscuro literary effects, the Ned Kelly myth blends with the vampire canon.”

Mario Guslandi

It’s nice to learn a new word and be pleased by its meaning:

chiaroscuro, (from Italian chiaro, “light,” and scuro, “dark”), technique employed in the visual arts to represent light and shadow as they define three-dimensional objects.

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “chiaroscuro”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 27 Nov. 2023, Accessed 9 December 2023.

These reviews just go to show how different people can view the same piece of work so differently. Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder.