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I received this book as a gift as its known what a fan I am of the original classic tale.Some people expressed disappointment with the sequel but I really enjoyed the story.It has the original characters from Dracula and basically explains where they are living and how they have turned out since the end of Bram Stokers book.There is also a short history of the Stoker family which is almost as interesting as the story itself!Without giving anything away the events that take place at times are quite disturbing and I feel the ending was perhaps left open for a further book to be written.Dacre Stoker did much research and has written a good novel with more than a passing nod to Bram and the great gift that was the Dracula story.
Whenever we walk past my local Waterstone's store, my darling husband insists that we go in and see if he can treat me to any new vampire book out to add to my collection, hence this review!
The book I will now review is - Dracula, the un-dead - by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt".
After reading an watching the original Bram Stockers "Dracula" I jumped at the chance to own and read this book, with it stating on the front that this is the official sequel, being written from the many note's that were left by the original afore mentioned author Bram.
The tale begins with a letter that has been written by Mina Harker to her son Quincey, this letter is to be held with her solicitors and should not be read unless she succumbs to an untimely and unnatural death.
The letter is more a way of explaining everything that happened in the original story, with the excuse that as he died, Dracula promised to return, so Mina feels that in her death she would be leaving her son exposed and without any knowledge on how to defeat the evil spirit.
The story then begins -
Quincey is the son of Mina and Jonathan Harker, (from the original story). His father is a straight laced man whom has eventually inherited the law firm ha has been working at for years, this being the case he feels that Quincey should train to follow in his footsteps, taking law as his profession.
Quincey has other idea's, his passion is for acting and feels this is where his future lies, this of course causes friction between himself an his father resulting in Quincey being estranged from his family.
At the same time Jack Seward, one time doctor at Carfax Abbey and in love with the fateful Lucy (see original book), has finally reached the end it seems. Completely addicted to morphine Jack is on some sort of crusade, working on behalf of a mystery benefactor. Between getting high and searching for newspaper cuttings of Jack the rippers victims, he is hunting what you are led to believe is the resurrected Dracula, or is his intended subject much more evil?
Abraham Van Helsing also feels his life is at an end, suffering from chronic heart problem's, his body feels frail and Helsing feels that his quest to rid the world of evil is over, that is until he hears of Jonathan Harkers brutal murder, and in the method of a man or creature he once hunted, he now feels that this maybe his last chance to prove to God he has a purpose in being on earth.
This book is a mish mash of theme's and stories, with the supposed and suggested return of Dracula being at the centre of all the different stories.
There around five or six different stories told from the different characters points of view, with the eventual culmination happening about a chapter from the end of the book.
There is the update of all the characters from the original book, which have been very realistically written, with the Harker's marriage being on the rocks due to Mina's infidelity with Dracula, an Jonathan's inability to deal with it, leading him towards drink and prostitutes.....yes, I know double standards!
There are then the plethora of other characters from the original book, and how they have progressed with time, mostly with great guilt at having to kill Lucy, Mina's best friend that was changed into a vampire, again in the original.
There two new main characters in this book, that due to the time this book is supposedly set, have very definite theme's to deal with, that in fairness do tie into the whole vampire theme....eventually!
The first is inspector Cotford, he was the inspector at the time of the Ripper murders, and due to him tripping on a kerb whilst chasing the Ripper, managed to lose him an in turn his whole reputation, ending with him being a joke among his fellow police officers.
The second is a clever invention from history. Many people know that the character of Dracule was based originally on Count Vlad, a Slavic prince who killed so many people in a certain way, that he became known as "the impaler". This new character was also based on a person from history, who is fairness put the original Vlad to shame, making him look like a care bear in comparison!
The next character is Countess Elizabeth Bathory. In the book this is a vicious and evil vampire descendent of Dracula, though her connection the Dracula is much more complex.
Her character is written to emulate her crimes in reality, due to fact that she enjoyed violating, torturing then bathing in the blood of young women, she is claimed to be one of the most prolific serial killers of all time's.
In the book she is explained as to why she is the way she is, but the way she kills her victims before bathing and drinking in their blood, is at times quite stomach turning!
The book is a complete amalgamation of themes from history, spun with just the right amount of imagination, this really is a fantastic book.
Though I won't spoil the ending of the book, needless to say it is left open for many different scenario's, though I am unsure whether anything will be written to follow on.
Price wise this will cost you £4.99 from www.amazon.co.uk
If you were a fan of the original Bram Stocker story you will thoroughly enjoy this, recommended!
Thanks for reading x
My husband bought this book for me, knowing that I am a huge fan of the original Dracula novel by Bram Stoker. I was desperate to like it, and I wasn't disappointed.
The author, Dacre Stoker (a descendant of Bram) skilfully weaves real life events into the plot, which contributes to the realism of the story. So, Jack the Ripper is at large, adding to the sense of menace and many of the characters are based on real people: e.g. Oscar Wilde, Henry Irving. The original 'Dracula' had similar historical references.
I enjoyed the way that Dracula was portrayed as a sad figure worthy of pity - this built on some of the themes in the original 'Dracula.' I liked the implication that there could be 'good' vampires and 'bad' vampires.
Yes, some poetic license has been taken with the chronology and I agree with its detractors that some of the geography is vague, but come on! It's a novel, not a text book! I also agree that some of the scenes are a bit "Hammer House of Horror" (lesbian vampires et al.) but it's all good fun.
Is it great literature? No. Is it an enjoyable, page-turning romp? Most definitely.
This book is based on Bram Stoker's own notes and is an authorised sequel. The author Dacre Stoker is a direct descendant of Bram Stoker and is a well known Dracula historian. I bought it in Asda for £3.99 but the RRP is £7.99.
Dr Jack Seward - from the original story. He is now a morphine addict living in a stale room in Paris. All his friends think he has gone mad as he has become obsessed with hunting vampires including Countess Bathory. He is still grieving over the loss of his love, Lucy (Arthur Holmwood's fiancée as she chose him over Jack), who had to be staked in the original Dracula story.
Quincey Harker - Son of Jonathan and Mina Harker from the original story. He is an up and coming actor who wanted to go to America to make a name for himself but was packed off to Paris by his father to study law at Sorbonne University.
Countess Elizabeth Bathory - a 300 + year old vampire of great beauty. She is followed by her 2 helpers, the women in white."
Basarab - a great Romanian Shakespearean actor and Quincey's idol.
Mina Harker - Quincey's mother. She has started having premonition dreams that Dracula is back. Her husband doesn't believe her. She hasn't aged since the original story; she still looks the same as she did.
Jonathon Harker - Father of Quincey and husband of Mina. He is still a solicitor but he is the only one left in the firm. He has grown to hate his wife for not aging and for her passionate encounter with Dracula in the original story and he has turned heavily to alcohol.
Inspector Colin Cotford - Since investigating the crimes of Jack the Ripper and narrowly missing catching him, his career has headed downhill. He drinks too much and only gets given mindless cases to solve. This all changes when he feels the need to open the Ripper case files.
Sergeant Lee - An aspiring policeman who believes in Inspector Cotford and goes out of his way to involve him in the new suspected Ripper cases
The book starts off in 1912 with a letter written by Mina Harker to her son Quincey explaining all the things that happened in the original Dracula story after her solicitor husband Jonathon went to Transylvania to help Prince Dracula conclude the purchase of a monastery in Whitby. She goes on to tell him about how the couple along with their friends Quincey Morris, Arthur Holmwood, Dr Jack Seward and the doctor's mentor Dr Abraham Van Helsing chased Dracula back to his castle in Transylvania and killed him. Mina now believes that something evil is after the family. The letter was only to be given to Quincy after the sudden or unnatural death of Mina.
It then moves on to tell you about Dr Jack Seward and his decline since the attack on Dracula and his slide into morphine addiction. He is obsessed with hunting vampires and travels to Marseilles to hunt down Countess Bathory. After watching her kill and innocent woman, he disturbs the Countess and she escapes to Paris with the women in white. Jack follows them to the theatre where Bathory is to watch the great actor Basarab in Richard III. The Countess seems to know Basarab and the book begins to tell of Bathory's history and I began to feel sorry for her. The women in white are ordered to kill Basarab but they get more than they bargained for with Jack. But how does the Countess know the actor? Quincey finally manages, after overcoming financial desperation, to meet his idol before tragedy strikes.
Quincey goes home to see his mother to try and gain her support to quit his schooling. He gets a job at the Lyceum Theatre which has been left to Bram Stoker by Sir Henry Irving. Stoker is trying to produce a play about his original works but things are not going to plan. Quincey goes back to see Basarab to convince him to play the leading role and reads the story himself on the journey. He is surprised to find his parents as lead roles in the play even though Stoker ensures him that they are fictional characters. Is all as it seems?
The book leads you on a twisting and turning gothic horror story that I thoroughly enjoyed. The story weaves a rich tapestry of detail that is so good; you can imagine walking down the street with the characters. The historical detail is really good and you can really imagine how life was back then. The book follows the lives of the surviving characters of the first book who have all suffered irreparable damage in their professional and personal lives since their encounter with Dracula. The present lives of these richly described characters help to shed more light onto the original story. Nothing could have prepared me for the dramatic twist at the end. I struggled to put this book down. I was gripped from page one and I thoroughly recommend it. This book is a worthy sequel to Bram Stoker's masterpiece and I hope they make a film of this one too.