Debbie's Reviews > Dracula the Un-Dead

Dracula the Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker
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's review
Oct 30, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: historical, horror
Read in October, 2009

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. "Dracula The Un-Dead" is a historical horror novel set in 1912 in France and England. It is a "sequel" to the original "Dracula" novel written by Bram Stoker. Overall, I enjoyed this fast-paced novel and thought it well-written. The world-building was excellent with historical details that brought the novel alive in my imagination.

If you don't know anything about the original "Dracula." a short summary of what happened in that book is given in the form of a letter at the beginning of this one. There were notes from the authors at the back describing where and why they decided to depart from the way things were in the original story. I've never read the original "Dracula" and never watched the movies. However, if you loved the 'band of heroes' from the first book, then I would expect you wouldn't enjoy this novel. The heroes weren't portrayed very nicely (Seward was a morphine addict, Jack was an alcoholic and frequented prostitutes, Mina was sexual unsatisfiable and loved Dracula, Arthur wanted to die, etc.), and they don't have happy fates in this novel.

I never really liked the main characters enough to bond with them or care if they died, which decreased the tension a little. I did think they were interesting and complex characters, though, and I understood the authors were trying to show the toll their adventure had taken on them.

Semi-spoiler paragraph: At the beginning, it was stated that all vampires are evil. Near the end, however, several vampires stated they weren't really evil--that God, not the devil, created vampires, and that each vampire chose whether to be good or evil. Dracula thinks he's a totally misunderstood good guy. I'm not certain if the reader was supposed to trust this "revelation," especially since these characters were seeking to justify their evil actions.

There was slightly explicit sex in the book (including adultery, rape and lesbian sex). The violence and gore were much more explicit and there was a lot of it. God was treated as a real being (for the most part), though believing in him didn't seem to do anyone any good. There was a minor amount of bad language. Overall, I think anyone who hasn't read the original, who likes modern vampire novels, and who doesn't mind gore will probably enjoy this one.

Review by Debbie from Genre Reviews (genrereviews. blogspot. com)
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Stephen I liked the story also. There are so many interpretations and versions of the vampire that it was good to see the rationale in the afterword (which I read first)and understand the reasoning for all they did. I have a feeling tht Ian did the majority of the writing based on Brams original notes. Dacre most likely collaborated on the synopsis. Elizabeth was reputed to have bathed in blood to maintain her youth , so it seemed a natural tie-in as well as using the Jack the Ripper motif to tie things together. I was rather ambivalent on the lesbian sex but it wasn't terribly graphic and after around the first third of the book events moved fast and pulled me in further. I'd give it on another read maybe 4 stars. Did you ever read Fred Sabrhagens version of 'Dracula'?

Debbie No, I've never read any other versions of Dracula.

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