D. Hilliard's Reviews > Draculas

Draculas by Blake Crouch
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Oct 22, 10

Read on October 22, 2010

Pros:
Lots of action and fast paced
Interesting premise
Very B movie schlock, over the top splatter for those that enjoy that.

Con:
To compressed
Too short for so many characters and so much going on.
Will annoy those who want more internal logic in their stories.

Let me start off by saying this book is bloody. It revels in decapitations, disembowelings, and dismemberments, and a couple of the victims are kids, so if that kind of stuff turns you off...steer clear.

Since it doesn't really bother me, I went in forewarned and it lived up to the warnings. But even on that score it suffered due to the compressed feeling of the book. The problem is that this book seems more of a very long novella due all the stuff crammed into it. A dying old man gets the skull of a reputed vampire and pushes it's teeth into his neck, is taken to the hospital, and all hell breaks loose...and it seems to happen just about that fast. I would have liked a little longer set up and a little more character development.

Now I'm all for starting a novel strong, and getting the action started, but the problem here was the reader kept getting introduced to characters as the action went along, and then we're supposed to somehow identify with them as the hospital they are in is turned into a charnal house. This story would have worked better by focusing on about half the characters. So due to the pace and number of characters, the characters are a bit thin and at times I would actually confuse them. In a way, this book is really just a long splatter scene set in a hospital with monsters and fleeing people. The reader gets a little numb to the gore pretty quickly

The monsters were interesting, and definitely a refreshing break from sparkly, angsty vampires. It was enjoyable reading a book with unapologetic monsters out to savage their victims. And putting them in a hospital was a good way of providing lots of victims for this bloodbath. So situationally it was a excellent concept. Again, I think that due to the compressed nature of the book, that a bit more attention could have been paid to setting, since my picture of this hospital kept changing throughout the book.

I think where the book falls down in places is in the realms of internal logic. Deviating from the standard vampire formula is a welcome effort any time it is tried, and these are definitely not your standard vampires. At the same time, the creature created doesn't make a lot of sense even by it's own rules...and the historical theory behind them simply failed on all scores. I don't want to get into spoilers, just suffice it to say these were creatures that medieval men could not have handled, nor the ultimate threat they represented either.

On the other hand, if you can put that kind of stuff aside, this is a decent Halloween read. Not much in the way of suspense, but a lot in the way of vivid, bloody imagery. If you're looking for a violent B-movie in a book, this will appeal. In some ways I felt I had read a zombie novel at the end of it, because it definitely had that sort of outbreak vibe.
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