Friday, July 2, 2010

Dracula: The Undead

Dracula the Un-Dead (Thorndike Basic) Dracula the Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dracula: The Undead

By Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt

When I saw news about this book, Dracula, The Undead online, I knew I had to read it. The line on the book cover was: He returns . . .

What?! Dracula wasn't dead and he's coming back? I was into it. Great marketing on the publisher's part. This book is a direct sequel to Bram Stoker's Dracula and a member of the Stoker family was part of the writing process (more on that later).

Let me say, I'm a huge Dracula fan. I loved the novel by Bram Stoker, and have loved so many of the movies. In college I entered an MTV sponsored contest sending in 25 postcards for the chance to visit Romania and see Vlad Dracula's castle in Wallachia. I didn't win, but my interest in Dracula only grew. The historical figure was a true monster, and the fictional Vlad was another kind of monster. Sexy, cool, and so powerful. Vampires have always fascinated me, espeically the Anne Rice type of vampires, like Lestat, and the True Blood HBO series vampires.

This novel was a lot of fun. The intro features a letter from Mina Harker telling her son, Quincy, that she may have been killed by a vampire, and reveals that a lot was kept from him over the years. The letter is genius, and Dracula's fangs were in my neck right after I read the letter from Mina--I mean the literary hook was solidly set into my brain. I wanted to know more.

It's set during the early 1900's and had a very Victorian feel to it. I didn't fly through the novel, but found it quite entertaining, though predictable. The best thing about it was that the original Bram Stoker story was turned on its head. We find out that the events recounted in the novel by Bram Stoker were not represented accurately. Yes, it really happened, but not as Stoker described.

All the survivng characters from the book are back, and they are so messed up and flawed. Dark and gloomy would be an understatement. It was like a car crash you couldn't look away from. Ian Holt and Dacre Stoker did a pretty good job portraying the characters and keeping the plot moving, but by skipping into so many points of view it lessened the impact for me.

The idea of the novel was to weave historical events into the narrative, and though I found that interesting, I didn't think it was totally necessary. I can see why the authors took this tactic, but I would have rather had "the Prince" be the main focus, rather than the extremely famous murders that acutally happened in London.

I would recommend this book to any fans of Bram Stoker's original novel. It was cool to see what the greatest living Dracula fan (Ian Holt) and a descendent of Bram himself (Dacre Stoker) would do. Reading the very long Afterward about the writing of the book was possibly the best part of my reading experience.

Bram Stoker's widow went through terrible times regarding the copyright of the original novel, and now we Dracula fans have a chance to help the Stoker family get back some of what was stolen from them so long ago.

And we get to read the direct sequel to the original classic! What else can I write except: He returns . . .

Paul Genesse
Author of The Dragon Hunters

View all my reviews >>

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