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Anno Dracula #6

Anno Dracula 1999: Daikaiju

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The new novel in the acclaimed alternate history vampire series from Kim Newman.
"Compulsory reading... glorious" Neil Gaiman on Anno Dracula

It is the eve of the new millennium, and vampire princess Christina Light is throwing a party in Tokyo, attended by the leaders of the worlds of technology, finance and culture. But the party is crashed by less enlightened souls. The distinguished guests are held hostage by yakuza assassins and Transylvanian mercenaries, and vampire schoolgirl Nezumi - agent of the Diogenes Club - finds herself pitted against the world's deadliest creatures...

316 pages, Paperback

First published October 22, 2019

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About the author

Kim Newman

281 books857 followers
Note: This author also writes under the pseudonym of Jack Yeovil.
An expert on horror and sci-fi cinema (his books of film criticism include Nightmare Movies and Millennium Movies), Kim Newman's novels draw promiscuously on the tropes of horror, sci-fi and fantasy. He is complexly and irreverently referential; the Dracula sequence--Anno Dracula, The Bloody Red Baron and Dracula,Cha Cha Cha--not only portrays an alternate world in which the Count conquers Victorian Britain for a while, is the mastermind behind Germany's air aces in World War One and survives into a jetset 1950s of paparazzi and La Dolce Vita, but does so with endless throwaway references that range from Kipling to James Bond, from Edgar Allen Poe to Patricia Highsmith.
In horror novels such as Bad Dreams and Jago, reality turns out to be endlessly subverted by the powerfully malign. His pseudonymous novels, as Jack Yeovil, play elegant games with genre cliche--perhaps the best of these is the sword-and-sorcery novel Drachenfels which takes the prescribed formulae of the games company to whose bible it was written and make them over entirely into a Kim Newman novel.
Life's Lottery, his most mainstream novel, consists of multiple choice fragments which enable readers to choose the hero's fate and take him into horror, crime and sf storylines or into mundane reality.

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5 stars
56 (22%)
4 stars
111 (44%)
3 stars
57 (23%)
2 stars
18 (7%)
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5 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews
Profile Image for Baal Of.
1,185 reviews39 followers
September 6, 2022
Newman's book are always a whirlwind of pop-culture references and oblique descriptions. I enjoyed this book while I was reading it, but now that I think back after a couple days of having finished, I have trouble recalling specific details.

Addendum: I liked the idea of a vampire creating a mecha-godzilla building and then ensouling that creation as its new body. Newman is wildly creative with his mashups that draw from a vast array of vampire, and other, mythologies.
Profile Image for C.J. Bunce.
161 reviews3 followers
October 25, 2019
Review originally published October 23, 2019, at BORG.com.

Daikaiju--Kim Newman novel takes his Anno Dracula series back to Japan for Y2K

Review by C.J. Bunce

It was such a big deal to prepare for, and then it was over in an instant never to be heard from again. That's Y2K, or the Millennium Bug, and it's a fun time to look back on especially if it's part of that richly detailed Anno Dracula universe created by British author Kim Newman (who we interviewed six years ago for Halloween here at borg). The third story in Newman's Christina Light arc (after the comic series Anno Dracula 1895: Seven Days in Mayhem and novel Anno Dracula: One Thousand Monsters), Anno Dracula 1999: Daikaiju gathers a team of real and unreal, dead and undead, at a giant skyscraper in Tokyo on December 31, 1999, for the New Year's party to end all New Year's parties.

Newman is the master of world-building and mash-ups, and he doesn't disappoint in this new October release. In what horror universe is both John Blutarski a U.S. Senator partying in Japan (remember John Belushi's character in Animal House?), the Apollo 13 movie included the first vampire astronaut, and Charlie's Angels reconvene years later? Anno Dracula continues its mix of historic characters of pop culture and politics and those throwback tangent characters from literature, TV, and movies. In Anno Dracula 1999: Daikaiju readers can remember what it was like to "party like it's 1999" with an alternate history where Dracula and vampires have always been real.

Newman includes so many Easter eggs in his books that finding them all--probably impossible for anyone that isn't Kim Newman--should be part of some kind of international contest.

The New Year's party of this story is in honor of Christina Light, famed vampire princess. But will she show, and will anyone even get through the labyrinthine skyscraper to attend on the 88th floor by midnight? Who is the shadowy Jun Zero? Is Y2K really a bug, or is it a person, or worse: that daikaiju in the title is the name of the tower in Tokyo that houses the offices of an international conglomerate, but it also means "big monsters." So get ready for anything to happen, including the appearance of a cyborg and maybe even Dracula himself, as distinguished guests, leaders of finance, tech, and culture, are held hostage by yakuza assassins and Transylvanian mercenaries. Enter vampire schoolgirl Nezumi–agent of the Diogenes Club–who finds herself and her trusty sword named "Goodnight Kiss" pitted against the deadliest creatures the world has ever known.

Here is the brief introduction of Nezumi: "A little Japanese girl stepped shyly around the corner. The skirt of her red sailor suit was two sizes too small to cover frothy petticoats. A jaunty cap was pinned to her curls. She licked a glistening red lollipop. Not cherry flavour."

The Dracula world is there, plus 1990s nostalgia, and an unlikely combination of characters. In addition to the stories mentioned above, Newman ties it all in with his other books in the series, including the original 1993 Queen Victoria, Oscar Wilde, and Jack the Ripper story Anno Dracula, the James Bond send-up Dracula Cha Cha Cha, the Genevieve Dieudonné stories in Genevieve Undead, the WWI story Bloody Red Baron, the son of Dracula tale Johnny Alucard, and even Newman's otherworld Harry Potter-esque The Haunting of Drearcliff Grange School.

Just out from Titan Books and just in time for Halloween, don't miss Kim Newman's next great alternate history horror novel, Anno Dracula 1999: Daikaiju, available now only in paperback.
Profile Image for John.
114 reviews49 followers
January 7, 2020
I had such high hopes for this book. After reading the previous books in the series-and being greatly pleased with them-I expected AD1999: Daikaiju to be more of the same alternate historical 'It's Dracula's world; we're just lucky he lets us live in it' type of fun. Instead I get a Die Hard wanna-be that takes forever to get anywhere! Newman breaks down the book by character names and not by chapters and while there are some good characters (Nezumi, Richard Jeperson) most of them are just downright boring. I'm not sure if this is going to be the last in the Anno Dracula series but after this I think it's time Mr. Newman drove a stake through its heart.
Profile Image for Redsteve.
1,031 reviews14 followers
November 11, 2019
Short review: It's Die Hard with vampires in a skyscraper shaped like Godzilla. Long review: In 1992 Kim Newman wrote a novel with the interesting premise that, while all of the events in Bram Stoker’s book were true, Dracula survived the attempt on his “life” by Van Helsing and Co., returned to England and courted (and married) Queen Victoria, becoming Prince Consort of Great Britain and beginning the Anno Dracula (1888). Newman did a great job in describing the “vampirization” of London society as well as incorporating a massive array of figures from history and fiction. The series that followed is a fascinating (but sometimes tongue-in-cheek) alternate history of a world where vampires not only exist, but are a part of history and society, existing as a small but significant minority. Things have changed, but not perhaps as much as you’d think. The end results of WWI and II, the Cold War, were pretty much the same as in our world, even though the individual events were often very different. Vampire pop stars and politicians are common. Tech is somewhat higher, giving things a cyberpunk feel in places. As things begin here, it’s New Year’s Eve and people are worried about Y2K and the independent vampire district of “The Bund” is preparing to revert to Japan at midnight. I had a lot of fun with this installment of the Anno Dracula series, although, like with Anno Dracula 1000 Monsters, I feel like I'd be getting more out of this novel if I was more immersed in Japanese pop culture. Kudos to Newman for the Gibsonesque opening sentence as well as including characters from Videodrome and Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste. Note: one of the major characters in this story is Richard Jeperson (aka The Man From the Diogenes Club), who is NOT normally a figure in the Anno Dracula "universe" (Newman has a tendency to borrow characters from his own books as well). 4 stars.
Profile Image for David Critchfield.
Author 2 books8 followers
November 1, 2019
Hot off the press, released just in time for Halloween, is Kim Newman’s latest in the ANNO DRACULA series. It’s a sequel to ONE THOUSAND MONSTERS, and, although taking place 100 years later, contains some of the same characters (remember, vampires are immortal!), so I was glad that I read the books in order.

ANNO DRACULA, the first book of this alternate history/fantasy/horror series is still my favorite but I enjoyed this new one more than some of the others. I was sad upon reaching book’s end after being immersed in Newman’s amazing universe, and was left with a feeling of “now what am I going to do?”
Profile Image for Connie.
325 reviews10 followers
November 17, 2019
This is a follow up to One Thousand Monsters in the Anno Dracula series.
Set in Tokyo in a skyscraper shaped like a Dragon on New year's eve 1999.
Full of weird and wonderful characters/creatures. There's a lot going on in these books but once it gets going the action comes fast. I'm hoping that there will be more in this series.
Profile Image for Alejandro Vasquez.
19 reviews1 follower
November 17, 2019
My favorite one since The Bloody Red Baron. Come for "Die Hard in a Godzilla," stay for Mouse being best girl, cyberpunk awesomeness, and honest-to-god nonbinary representation.
Profile Image for Tim Schneider.
376 reviews3 followers
December 31, 2019
Kim Newman's world of vampires (and other monsters) is back. It's 1999 and along with the Millennium Bug the vampire enclave that Christina Light set up in Tokyo is set to revert to Japanese control at midnight. It's also possible that Light plans to upload her consciousness into the internet at that time something the Diognese Club and a number of other actors want to avoid having happen. So the Party of the Century in the Godzilla-like skyscraper (not Nakatomi Plaza) becomes the scene of hostage-taking, vampire battles and multiple levels of chicanery.

I love me some Anno Dracula. But I struggled with this one for the first half. Newman puts in a ton of Easter eggs in his books and part of the fun is picking them out. That has generally not been a huge issue as I'm pretty well versed in Victorian and pulp literature and general pop culture wackiness. Except when it comes to Japanese pop culture. A lot of what was in the previous volume, One Thousand Monsters, I was able to pick up with a little help from Google. But that wasn't happening this time around. Finally I gave up trying to pick out the easter eggs and just sat back and enjoyed the story. And it really is a pretty fun story, which isn't surprising for Newman.

That said, if you're well versed in Japanese pop culture of the last hundred or so years you'll probably enjoy this one on a level I wasn't able to. But it's still a rollicking good read even for those of us who are not learned in those areas.
Profile Image for Alison C.
1,091 reviews12 followers
December 17, 2019
It’s New Year’s Eve, 1999, and Diogenes Club member Richard Jeperson is attending a party being thrown by Christina Light, heiress supreme, in the Bund, Tokyo’s prime vampire territory. Accompanying him is Nezumi, ancient ronin and vampire who looks like a little girl but who is really an accomplished assassin. The Treaty of Light, which granted Christina this territory for 100 years, is expiring with the end of the millenium, and there are many, many forces in the region that want to cause havoc and mayhem at the very least; indeed, this is at least partially why Richard is here…. Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula series has been around for some decades now, and I’m sure that anyone who’s read him will know how they feel about the series; there are always horrifically disgusting events and crazy-nasty methods of killing folks, and all manner of imminent destruction of the universe scenarios going on. I don’t read a lot of horror anymore, but I generally make an exception for Mr. Newman because his stories are *so* over-the-top and often flat-out hilarious. Mainly, though, I enjoy reading his novels because his imagined alternate history (in which Dracula is real and more or less takes over the British Empire in Victorian times, moving forward in time from there) is just so delectable; there’s plenty of scope for just about any “reality” once the reader accepts the basic premise. “Daikaiju” won’t change anybody’s mind about Mr. Newman’s work, but those of us who enjoy it will have a good time with this entry!
Profile Image for JM.
894 reviews924 followers
October 30, 2019
Kim Newman's novels are always very entertaining, with engaging characters and imaginative settings, that often subvert genre tropes. His Anno Dracula series was an eye-opener for me when I started reading it years ago. The sheer amount of easter eggs, references, and background that Newman injects into each volume is mind-blowing.

I enjoyed "1999: Daikaiju" a lot, but I can't help but feel that I missed many of the references since I'm not really as well versed in Japanese culture and Anime and all that stuff as I am in the other sources Newman draws on, or has drawn on in previous volumes of the series. You do get the expected wide range of references, from "Animal House" to "Kill Bill" and a bunch more, like "Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" and "Speed Racer" to name a couple, so it's still a lot of fun to try to spot those.

This one is a sequel of his "One Thousand Monsters" and not really of the "main" Anno Dracula novels, which kind of came to an end with "johnny Alucard," though they're still connected, of course. Hell, this time of the antagonists is Radu, Vlad Tepes' actual brother, or as he puts it, "the other Dracula."

The novel itself is fun, and full of the clever writing you'd expect from the author. It's also cool to have a version of his Richard Jeperson spy character from his Diogenes Club series be one of the main characters in this one, albeit a version that has gotten on in years since it's 1999 and his prime was the Swinging 60's.

I hope he keeps writing short stories and novels in this setting. They're too much fun.
Profile Image for Daniel James.
Author 5 books61 followers
February 19, 2020
Another colourful and very entertaining chapter in the Anno Dracula saga.

It’s Japan, 1999, New Year’s Eve, and the vampire queen and protectorate of the local and ancient bloodsuckers’ monarchy is throwing a high profile ball in her tower (an awesome metal Godzilla), and all are invited. Cue assorted celebrities, politicians and socialites from both sides of the grave. Things go quickly awry though for local police, the various guests, a memory-impaired hacker/saboteur, and the dual agents of the British occult agency, the Diogenes Club: Richard Jeperson and Nezumi, as a bunch of crazed cyber-terrorists quickly create a lockdown in the giant reptilian tower. But what is the terrorist group’s motive, and is their something bigger and more sinister at play for the future of the living and the dead?

Written with flair and loaded with Newman’s characteristic violence and pop culture references, this book explodes with great imagery.

Although each novel is self-contained and set decades apart from one another, you should go into these novels expecting some heavy referencing, and whilst this doesn’t necessarily interfere with the plot it might be an idea to start with the first novel. They’re all great if you like inventive adventures with some crazy characters and ideas.
505 reviews15 followers
April 19, 2022
I have read a couple of Kim Newman's Anno Dracula series, but I skipped a few to pick this one up, just because I liked the title and the setting... New Year's Eve 1999 in Tokyo. Only in Newman's alternate universe, vampires and warmbloods celebrate the millennium together. Reading this book is like reading something written by Neil Stephenson while on meth. The alternate world is similar to ours but different in many, mostly humorous, ways. The details, names, dates, weird characters come out you at light speed, page after page. The action, blood, gore and violence is non-stop. The story itself is a lot like "Die Hard" with vampires, but then it goes completely over the top. Think a Michael Bay movie made while Bay was on crack, and written by Neil Stephenson on meth. Only reason I did not give it 5 stars was that it truly went too far at the end, but highly highly entertaining throughout. Apparently, the author considers this the 3rd book of a trilogy, so maybe if I had read the first two books in this sub-series it would have been a less dizzying experience, but I doubt it. Lots of fun and a good mental break.
Profile Image for Alex.
237 reviews
July 6, 2021
Another fantastic, blood-soaked entry in the series, though by localizing the story entirely in one geographical space, Daikaju forgoes some of the geopolitical, world-spanning events that marked earlier novels in favor of, to borrow a phrase utilized frequently in other reviews of the novel, "Die Hard with vampires". Newman is clearly having fun incorporating 90's Japanese cyber-culture into his vampire-ascendant alternate reality, but doubtless many references will be lost on readers unfamiliar with Japanese popular culture. Nevertheless, there are enough (litigiously-sound) references to and characters from other franchises the reader will find no small satisfaction in identifying; any novel that utilizes Sprunt, the German soft-drink spruiked by Alan Partridge, as an important plot device, is worthy of praise. Far too much for a standalone read, but a delight to those that have followed the series.
Profile Image for Robin Raymond.
33 reviews
July 5, 2022
How does one even review this book?

Let me start by saying I loved it. It's such a complex narrative in an intensely deep, 'lived in' world, and every time I started to get my feet underneath me I would get hit with a wave of gruesome and knocked over again. It's fast, fun, funny, tense, twisted and horrible.

I picked this book up, randomly, based on the cover art and implausible situation described in the blurb. It was shelved in the SiFi/Fantasy section of the shop, and I was unfamiliar with the author, so I grabbed it on a lark.

Now I am cursed with yet another prolific author who I suddenly adore. (sigh)

I would classify this as horror. It has some quite horrific moments, though the action/adventure beats, and the humor, far outweigh the terror. Its horror, but it's Lon Chaney/Vincent Price horror. It's fast paced, with rapidly changing POVs that rarely touch the ground long enough to get comfortable.

I will certainly be reading more.
Profile Image for Riju Ganguly.
Author 12 books1,327 followers
December 5, 2020
A psychedelic rush where cyberpunk meets retro synth-pop— that's my sum-up of this work. To call it a novel would be stretch. To call it an anthology of sorts in the tradition of Hammer etc. would be wrong. So I'm stuck, like most characters in this arguably novel who marionetted like scripted dolls without understanding anything.
Heartfelt sympathies for them, since we, the readers have been propped to do the same.
The first part of the book, containing more than ninety percent of its pages, ended in a bang without going anywhere.
The last part of the book, which was hugely superior to its vastly larger counterpart, ended nowhere.
The book, thus, ended in a whimper.
I have had enough of this series, in terms of such questionable novels. Short stories, I would still go for a round. But novels?
I'm done.
Profile Image for Bart Sycamore.
Author 6 books1 follower
May 9, 2021
An intriguing book. After the series high of One Thousand Monsters, this was a slight disappointment, which was interesting as 1000M was originally intended as a short story to introduce the Japanese vampires in Daikaiju. All the components for an Anno Dracula story are here, chiefly the vampires derived from folklore and the characters mined from pop culture, but whereas 1000M places them in a vivid brave new world, in Daikaiju they all seem to take a backseat to a story that never grasped me. That’s not to say that it isn’t interesting, and it certainly comes together nicely at the end, but the intentionally dull corporate setting means the narrative has to carry a lot of weight. It is still a must for any Anno Dracula fans, but hopefully the promised next chapter is a bit more gripping.
Profile Image for Brian Turner.
707 reviews10 followers
February 26, 2020
An interesting mix of genres, taking in pop culture, vampires (and other non-human types), Japanese Kaiju, Die Hard and a dose of steam & cyber-punk.
Apparently part of a series, but you don't need to have read others as it works well as a standalone novel.

An end of century party is being held in a walled off section of Tokyo (an enclave for vampires, due to be handed back at the start of the new year). Various factions appear to cause mayhem and disrupt events, while an old fashioned English intelligence officer and his bodyguard try to figure things out.

Lots of interesting characters, a good premise and a dry sense of humour make this a decent read.
Profile Image for Mariah.
429 reviews5 followers
September 17, 2020
DNF 25% of the way through. I can't get through this book. It's so boring! The only two characters I liked were Nezumi and Richard Jesperson, but the other characters I didn't care about?

It seems like Kim Newman built this whole universe and I'm only starting with it from this book. I wonder if I read the other books in the series, I would like this one more?

Extremely disappointed, but this book isn't for me.

Profile Image for Charles Murphy.
Author 20 books4 followers
November 5, 2019
Another goodie - as with One Thousand Monsters, not as good as the first four (it's less tight and can ramble on diversions) but when the plot fully kicks into gear, it's a wild ride with multiple twists I didn't see coming and the mix of social commentary & allusions to All Fiction Ever mixed with lashings of gore.

And when Captain Scarlet snuck in, I cheered.
Profile Image for Marco.
472 reviews
January 25, 2020
I am not really someone who knows his Japanese cinema, not even anime, so I have missed out on a lot in this book, but even if one is not able to follow all of Newman's allusions and syntheses of characters, movies and actors (I think O-Ren Kane was the only one I actually got...) this is still a (very) good book.
I just wish there was a comprehensive secondary work on his books... ;)
Profile Image for Jessie The Librarian.
1,363 reviews61 followers
November 24, 2021
Okay, I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. I bought this book from Dollar Tree, and delved shortly thereafter into it's tale. It's a mish-mash of a lot of plot ideas and points, but the writing is solid. I definitely think I would like to read the prior novels and delve more into the world of Anno Dracula.
Profile Image for Karlo.
400 reviews21 followers
November 8, 2019
This is like Dracula meets early Cyberpunk William Gibson - but fanfic. I'd also add that it reminded me of Spinal Tap's amp at 11 joke - but done so for most of the book. I enjoyed it; I devoured it; I thought it was slightly trashy.
21 reviews
March 2, 2020
A gloriously messy mash-up of different genres, styles and cultural references. i am sure that when i reread it, I will pick up many references that I missed first time.
Very violent, very fast, very funny, but not for the sqeamish.
Profile Image for Tonya Mathis.
902 reviews22 followers
March 20, 2020
A little harder to read than the rest of the series due to the Japanese words and names. But I did enjoy the story. More please.
July 2, 2021
A clever tale of another world new years eve with a wide variety of vampires and numerous twists in the tale.
Profile Image for Anthony.
63 reviews
February 21, 2021
Anno Dracula has now moved from Steampunk to Cyberpunk! And nothing is more cyberpunk than 1990's Japan.

As you would expect, every paragraph bursts with references to 90s cult sci-fi and anime. But, as usual, you don't actually have to understand any of these references to follow the story.

For AD fans, the reals joys here are the introduction of Richard Jeperson and a back story for Mouse.
Profile Image for Nigel.
Author 12 books57 followers
January 17, 2023
Daikaiju means giant monster, and and in this book it also means Die Hard in a building shaped like a giant monster full of all sorts of other monsters, mostly vampires of various sorts. It's a tightly-written high octane widescreen action thriller with vampires and spies and cyborgs and a whole bunch of other stuff. Excellent.

Jan 2023 - reread. Horror/action fun and games.
Profile Image for Josie Boyce.
Author 2 books12 followers
December 5, 2020
Nice conclusion and more

Of the second anno dracula trilogy. All sorts of characters from across Newman's various series all converge like it's 1999! Which it is in the book, enjoyable breezy and ful! Of pop culture references
Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews

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