Title: Dracula: The Un-Dead
Author: Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt
Review Summary: Much more sensationalist, gritty, gory, dark, and sensual than the original, with a terribly depressing ending.
This book wasn’t at all what I expected based on the fact that it’s written by Bram’s great grand-nephew and a Dracula historian. They make some changes in the way events from the first book “really” happened and the writing is very Dan Brown – passably well written, very exciting, and with more sex and violence in the chapter than in all of the original. I anticipated something a little more in the style of the first book. They do start with a letter, which is a bit of a homage to the first book, and there is also a very fun guest appearance by Bram Stoker. In fact, the inclusion of real events from Bram Stoker’s life and the inclusion of several other famous historical characters was one of my favorite parts of this book. They ended up being what I consider an acceptable justification for the changes they made in the events of the original.
After I forgave the authors for messing with the original, I began to really enjoy what they’d done with it. They spell out for you the fact the vampires arouse sexual urges and that men hate and fear them for creating sexually independent women out of their demure Victorian wives. By retaining those things, and in their portrayal of the characters from the first book, I think they stay very true to Bram Stoker’s intent. Better still, they update things so that independent women aren’t quite so clearly associated with evil for the reader. They could learn from the original’s understatedness (the excessive violence is more than I would like) but this was definitely a good, solid adventure…. until the ending. I won’t say too much to avoid spoilers, but for me to really love a book with so much in it that was depressing, it needed a happier ending.