Often times books receive unnecessary reviews that completely bash and degrade the author for their work. In the case of Dracula the Undead, labeled as a sequel to the original Dracula; reader be warned, this book wasn’t a sequel to the original Bram Stoker but rather a sequel to a story re-told in a new light on how things should have been in the original Bram Stoker Dracula. Thus Dracula the Undead is, in its own right, the making of a new legacy, a fresh take on things, and a new story all together. If you decide to read this book with a purist's mentality, you will not enjoy this book. However if you approach it with an open mind and attitude, and understand the foundation was altered to achieve a certain goal, that ultimately in the end Dracula reaches America, then you will enjoy this book for what it really is: an action packed horror story where Dracula is feared and loved.
After having read many negative reviews about this novel, I couldn’t bring myself to give it anything less than 5 stars simply because I rated it on the story itself, for what it was intended to do. Full of action and the re-tellling of past events, it made for a very diverse book allowing the reader to catch multiple POV’s throughout the entire story from beginning to end. Blood, gore, eviscerated flesh, entrails spilling across the floor, the story saturated many horrific elements I find entertaining in story telling. In many ways, the story followed a path of a screen write, as if meant to be seen as a movie, but I believe this was done on purpose. A strong sense of visual imagery was consistent throughout and the passionate scenes were compelling. The true power of the vampire really surfaced in this story. It showed how fearful humans SHOULD be if they were to encounter vampires and to not underestimate them. Dacre and Ian had no plans to hold back their descriptions of what took place throughout the story, graphic or not, and I commend them for it. Often times stories are watered down in fear of the general populace reacting to such atrocities in a negative way but in the case of Dracula the Undead, it called for it.
The only issue I had with this book is that it should have come with an authors note in the beginning warning the reader of the drastic change in canon law from the original Dracula. If it had come with the warning, I wouldn’t have spent half of the book questioning every little detail that was different from the original. I must admit it was disheartening to learn the outcome of “The band of heroes” fate but at the same time I understand why it was done and how it was necessary for the development of other characters, to give them a sense of purpose, and to drive them ever onward to conclude their destinies.
This book should not have been titled, “the Undead” but rather, “A New Legacy” because it really wasn’t a true sequel. It was a new story all in its own and I get it. I understand the reason why the authors did it, and I comend them for doing it. Having lost the copyright laws for the last century, they wanted to take back ownership of the Stoker family name and the story Dracula.
I do look forward to more works by Dacre Stoker and patiently await the prequel to Dracula.
- F. D. Gross