Dracul
The prequel to Dracula, inspired by notes and texts left behind by the author of the classic novel, Dracul is a riveting novel of gothic suspense that reveals not only Dracula's true origins but Bram Stoker's -- and the tale of the enigmatic woman who connects them.It is 1868, and a twenty-one-year-old Bram Stoker waits in a desolate tower to face an indescribable evil. Armed only with crucifixes, holy water, and a rifle, he prays to survive a single night, the longest of his life. Desperate to record what he has witnessed, Bram scribbles down the events that led him here...A sickly child, Bram spent his early days bedridden in his parents' Dublin home, tended to by his caretaker, a young woman named Ellen Crone. When a string of strange deaths occur in a nearby town, Bram and his sister Matilda detect a pattern of bizarre behavior by Ellen -- a mystery that deepens chillingly until Ellen vanishes suddenly from their lives. Years later, Matilda returns from studying in Paris to tell Bram the news that she has seen Ellen -- and that the nightmare they've thought long ended is only beginning.

Dracul Details

TitleDracul
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 2nd, 2018
PublisherPutnam
Rating
GenreHorror, Historical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Vampires, Gothic

Dracul Review

  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    "...not all monsters go away with time. In fact, some don't leave you at all - they wait. They're a patient lot. And no matter what it takes, you have to keep ahead of them, an inch outside their grasp will do."It sucked me in! (pun intended!). I was lost in the pages of this book. LOVED it. This prequel to Dracula was Amazing. I could not put this book down. Nor should you! If you are one of the few people who have not read this book yet, I highly recommend you pick up a copy today! Now on to t "...not all monsters go away with time. In fact, some don't leave you at all - they wait. They're a patient lot. And no matter what it takes, you have to keep ahead of them, an inch outside their grasp will do."It sucked me in! (pun intended!). I was lost in the pages of this book. LOVED it. This prequel to Dracula was Amazing. I could not put this book down. Nor should you! If you are one of the few people who have not read this book yet, I highly recommend you pick up a copy today! Now on to the gushing.......Bram Stoker was a sickly child. He spent a lot of his childhood indoors, bedridden and weak. His nanny, Nanna Ellen, tended to him and only she had the ability to provide him with relief and save him when he appeared to be near death. Soon Bram and his sister, Matilda noticed strange things about their caretaker. Things they could not explain, and then suddenly one day she was gone from their lives.1868, Bram Stoker is sitting in a tower armed with holy water, crucifixes, and a Bible. He hopes to survive the night and while he awaits the horrors which will visit him, he begins to write.... What took him from being a sick child to a young man armed in a dark tower? What or who? One only need read the book to find out! Written by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker, Dracula is a Masterpiece. I LOVED J.D. Barker's books The Fourth Monkey and The Fifth To Die and when I saw that he had co-written this book, I HAD to read it. I have not read Dacre Stoker before now, but will be checking out his book Dracula: The Undead.I loved this contemporary Gothic tale. Wait, what did I just say? The book has a very Gothic and atmospheric feel to it but at the same time uses contemporary language and at times I felt it was on the verge of using modern sayings. Heck, at one point I thought Emily was going to say, "red rover red rover send Matilda over" She didn't, but you get the picture. I am not critiquing the language at all. I loved the writing. I found it made for a very fast and enjoyable read.This brilliant collaboration was a pleasure from beginning to end. The pages were full of dread, suspense, mystery, creepiness, and of course, blood. I loved how the story was told through letters (Matilda Stoker to Ellen Crone), journal entries (Bram Stoker, Thornley Stoker, Arminius Vambery), and texts (no, not the modern-day smart phone ones). I found this book to be a real page turner and for me, there was never a dull moment. I was glued to my seat, riveted to the pages, and transported back in time to the beginning of Bram Stoker and Dracula. A horror masterpiece, Dracul has teeth! It can and will stand on its own merit. A love letter to the original Dracula but again, a masterpiece on its own. It's a big book which doesn't feel big. The prose flows and for me, the plot unfolded at the right pace. This is a well thought out and executed book. In short - this is horror done right!In case you couldn't tell, I loved it. I highly recommend it! I also highly recommend avoiding creepy dark towers, crumbling unconsecrated cemeteries, strange boxes which smell like dirt, things that go bump in the night, and anyone with fangs and/or puncture marks on their skin!
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  • Will Byrnes
    January 1, 1970
    “It is believed that the strongest of them can assume any form, be it bat, wolf, swirling mist, even human. They can appear young, old, or any age between. Some can manipulate the elements, producing fog, storms, crashing thunder. Their motives remain unknown, but one thing is clear: they leave a trail of death in their wake, thinking no more of a human life than we would the life of a fly.” Dacre Stoker knows a thing or two about vampires, Dracula in particular, given that his great-grand-un “It is believed that the strongest of them can assume any form, be it bat, wolf, swirling mist, even human. They can appear young, old, or any age between. Some can manipulate the elements, producing fog, storms, crashing thunder. Their motives remain unknown, but one thing is clear: they leave a trail of death in their wake, thinking no more of a human life than we would the life of a fly.” Dacre Stoker knows a thing or two about vampires, Dracula in particular, given that his great-grand-uncle was none other than Bram Stoker. Dacre has had non-literary careers of his own, but for a while now has picked up the family business and been writing, not only about his illustrious ancestor, but (with some assistance from writing partners) fiction relating to you know who. He wrote a sequel to Dracula a few years back, incorporating Bram as a character. This time he has written a prequel. Bram - image from GotIreland.comWe spend time with Bram Stoker at age seven, a sickly child since birth. (as was the real Bram), but with a particularly interesting nanny, one Ellen Crone. (the actual name of the Stoker nanny) She does not eat with the family, preferring to dine alone. But she is very caring toward the Stoker children, most particularly Bram. The family summons a medical relation when Bram seems to be getting worse. But the application of leeches is not what Bram needs. Ellen has a better idea, and takes care of him. Soon after, he begins a true recovery, bounding from sickly child to a very active one. Shame about that scabby itch on his arm though. Young Bram and his sister, Matilda, sink their teeth into this mystery and engage in a bit of field research.Dacre Stoker and friends - Image from ValeOfGlamorgan.comPart of the fun of this book is seeing the usually pretty clear lines between the real Bram’s novel and Dacre’s prequel. Where did the notion of Dracula originate? How about Van Helsing? Damsels in distress? (or were they maybe enjoying themselves a bit too much for Victorian mores?)Dacre has a lot of original material from which to draw, Bram’s, at least what has not been lost to the sands of time (or maybe preserved in a coffin somewhere for safe keeping). Dacre has also written non-fiction books about his esteemed ancestor, and had a bit of a road-show, Stoker on Stoker, in which he lectured about Bram and his book.Another fun element, for me anyway, was the opportunity looking into this book offered to dig up some dirt on the real Bram. The one piece of intel that I found most amazing was that when Bram first submitted his manuscript, it was as a work of non-fiction. Because of tender sensibilities at the time about a relatively recent bout of wide scale mortality, it was thought better to present it as fiction. In doing that, the first 101 pages of Bram’s manuscript vanished like a sated bloodsucker on a foggy night. I have put some fun materials in EXTRA STUFF if you are irresistibly drawn to diving down those rabbit holes.The 1922 German Nosferatu – image from Smithsonian MagazineSo, the story of Dracul, sick boy and sis try to find out what the real deal is with the beloved, if decidedly odd, nanny. (Fortune may have blown her into the Stoker family’s life, but no, she did not arrive on the East Wind) There are times when she looks quite young. Others when she seems rather aged. Dacre brings in an old Irish (Stoker was born and raised in Ireland) legend, about a failed love that turns gruesome. The tale of the Dearg-Due is used to wonderful, and meaningful effect. There are two timelines. We open with adult Bram in a castle-like place trying to keep a monster of certain sort locked in a room. Problem is that the various substances he is using to keep the thing from escaping are running out, and there is a real question of whether the aid he is expecting will arrive in time. This contemporary (1868) piece includes the tale of Bram, his family, and others, (including a pre-Van Helsing) trying to track down people, follow clues, and do justice against dark foes. The other line is Bram and his sister, Matilda, as young sibs, with scant understanding of what they have seen, attempting to figure it out. Both lines were fun, although I am not sure there would be many children of the ages portrayed who would be quite so resourceful, even in the mid-19th century. Feel free to suspend your disbelief and let it hang by its toes from the ceiling, as it stares at you with red, hungry eyes. Bela Lugosi defined Dracula for a generation - Image from Smithsonian MagazineIn keeping with great-grand-uncle’s form, Dacre tells the story through several sources. The Journal of Bram Stoker, Letters from Matilda to Ellen Crone, and The Diary of Thornley Stoker are the primary views. There is also The Notes of Arminius Vambéry, a patient case record, and a few sections that are pure omniscient narrator. All of it made me bare my teeth, in a good way. Dacre adds some nice interpretations of the rules of vampirism, what works, what doesn’t, what their limitations might be. They can change into what? And eye-color shifting, some telepathy, an interesting item on the separated parts of the undead. There are plenty of classic vampire tropes, and for the big guy himself, a reminder of his Carpathian rep for how he disposed of his enemies. Dacre tosses in a few refs to relevant lit of the era, a bit of E.A.Poe, The Woman in White, one or two more. The book closes with a lovely reference, a name that will be familiar. There were also some pretty nifty plot twists, that worked well. Gripes? Well, I mentioned the age-vs-competence thing. No big whoop, really. I confess to occasionally getting an image in my tiny mind of Velma, Daphne, Fred, Shaggy, and a certain pooch, when the adult crew was deciding on a dime to dash to this or that place to pursue the latest clue. I am not saying that I minded this. In fact, it contributed to the fun aspect of the book. But some might not enjoy what seems a bit of lightness in what is supposed to be a horror story. A horror story is supposed to be scary, right? Measured in hours of sleep lost, perhaps, or alarming dreams that jolt one awake. But no, not for me. Take that with a grain of garlic salt, though. I tend to be a fair bit less sensitive to horror than many readers. So it is entirely possible that this is a fairly scary book and I just didn’t notice.But really, this is such an enjoyable read. And that is the bottom line here. It was truly fun reading Dracul. I enjoyed as much the learning it sparked, about Bram in particular. Whether you are type O, A, B, or AB, whether you are positive, negative, or undecided, I strongly urge you to swoop in and see what you can dig up, as you flap along with this fast-paced, engaging and very entertaining book.Review posted – 9/17/18Publication date – 10/2/18Paramount Pictures has acquired screen rights to Dracul, but it may be a few years before anything is done with it. I received the e-book from Penguin-Random House’s First to Read program. I did not have to consume or surrender any bodily fluids to get it. PS - It was my intention to have a particular bit of fun with this review. Losing time this week to an out-of-town trip and some other non-review-related activities made incorporating that on time for the usual deadline, or undeadline in this case, more than I could manage. If I can, I will try to get that completed by Halloween. None of this STUFF alters my core review of the book, which is what you see above. - 10/30/18 - So sorry, it was not meant to be. If I find myself with some extra days at some point I might have a go at this, in time for Halloween 2019.=============================EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author’s personal, Twitter and FB pagesThe author’s site link is actually to Bram Stoker – Official Website for the Bram Stoker Estate. Definitely check this one out. There are a lot of fascinating material and useful links.Items of Interest-----Northern Life MagazineDacre Stoker on the mysteries behind the writing of Dracula - by Mark Davis – 18 July 2017----- Dacre Stoker, author of "Dracula: The Un-Dead" - Interview with Don Smith – definitely worthwhile-----Irish Faerie Folk of Yore and Yesterday: The Dearg-Due - by Kim-----The Guardian - The Icelandic Dracula: Bram Stoker's vampire takes a second bite - by Colin Fleming – April 19, 2017-----Smithsonian - Why Does Dracula Wear a Tuxedo? The Origins of Bram Stoker’s Timeless Vampire - by Jimmy Stamp. October 31, 2012
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  • Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
    January 1, 1970
    Dracul is a dark gothic horror novel. It is the prequel to Dracula. I never was a fan of Dracula and I usually don't read books about vampires, but this one is so different. The book mainly is about the life of Bram Stoker, his childhood and adulthood. Bram was a very sick child. He lived with his parents and his nanny, Ellen Crone in Dublin. He gets very sick and a doctor comes to his house to see why he is so sick and his nanny watches over him while the doctor is there and he suddenly recover Dracul is a dark gothic horror novel. It is the prequel to Dracula. I never was a fan of Dracula and I usually don't read books about vampires, but this one is so different. The book mainly is about the life of Bram Stoker, his childhood and adulthood. Bram was a very sick child. He lived with his parents and his nanny, Ellen Crone in Dublin. He gets very sick and a doctor comes to his house to see why he is so sick and his nanny watches over him while the doctor is there and he suddenly recovers. There then is a lot of strange deaths that happen in a town very close to them. Bra m and his sister find a pattern of strange behavior of Ellen. Ellen then suddenly disappears and is not the person that she seems to be. She does appear years later while Matilda is studying in Paris and Matilda then returns to let Bram know that the nightmare that they thought no longer existed is just beginning and she has seen Ellen.I just loved this book. I still was reading this on Halloween night. It was the perfect Halloween book. I never paid attention to this book, since I didn't like Dracula. I then saw a lot of five star reviews and one of them was from one of my friends. I then commented on her review that I didn't care for Dracula and if it was different. I received a comment back that the author was Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker. I loved J.D. Barker's books, The Fourth Monkey and The Fifth To Die. So I just had to read this. I am so happy that I did. This book just thrilled me. It is a creepy scary read and just Wowed me. It is one of my favorites for this year. I loved the Gothic gothic atmosphere and thought the characters were done so well. The writing style was amazing.This one made my Favorite top 10 list for 2018!I want to thank the publisher, G.P. Putnam & Sons for contacting me to read and review this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker is a 2018 Putman publication. When the very first early reviews for this book started popping up on Goodreads and other book sites, I scrolled right on past it, not even giving it a cursory glance. Of all the genres to choose from, horror is at the bottom of my list, and has been for several decades, with the exceptions of ghost stories or the classics, like Dracula- an all -time favorite, and like many other people, I do have a weakness for Stephen King- a Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker is a 2018 Putman publication. When the very first early reviews for this book started popping up on Goodreads and other book sites, I scrolled right on past it, not even giving it a cursory glance. Of all the genres to choose from, horror is at the bottom of my list, and has been for several decades, with the exceptions of ghost stories or the classics, like Dracula- an all -time favorite, and like many other people, I do have a weakness for Stephen King- although I rarely succumb to temptation. The title of the book, however, did make me curious. Because if it’s not a ghost story, then I might consider a vampire novel- if the vampire doesn’t sparkle. However, I still wasn’t tempted enough to click on the title for more information. In the meantime, I discovered J.D. Barker and was very impressed by his writing. I mean really, really impressed. After Dracul was officially published I noticed the book was generating a little buzz. It was nearing Halloween and I was on the hunt for a good creepy tale, so I after months of avoiding the book, I clicked on the title for more information. I could have kicked myself for letting it slip by me. I only recently realized Dacre Stocker had written a sequel to Dracula. I have not read that one, but will have to check it out someday. If someone is going to write prequels or sequels to such an enduring classic, it is only fitting that the honor should go to a descendant of the author. I also felt relieved by that idea, since I felt that surely Dacre would do it more justice. But it was the second author’s name that popped out at me. J.D. Barker!! THE J.D. Barker? Yes, the author I had raved and ranted about to everyone who would listen, co-authored this book!! But, still… A Prequel to one of the best horror novels ever? Well, the ratings very favorable, so I decided to throw caution to wind and take the plunge. Besides, who could resist buying a ticket for a J.D. Barker show? However, because I didn’t bother with it sooner, I had to get into a long, long, long, long line at the library, and it was well past Halloween before I finally got my greedy little hands on a copy. Was it worth the wait?REVIEW:So, there are no vampires in Transylvania? No Count Dracula?Fictions, my friend. The vulgar fictions of a demented Irishman. – Daniel Malloy and Louis- Interview with the Vampire- by Anne RiceWell, I wouldn’t be so sure of that, Louis-Bram Stoker is the main protagonist in this story. It is really his tale to tell, but his siblings are also very involved and are an intricate part of the story. In Bram’s early life, he is confined to his room, weak and sickly and occasionally near death. He is administered to and care for by his beloved Nanna, who keeps him alive through questionable and unusual means. As Bram matures and grows out of his childhood maladies, he and his siblings begin to piece together a terribly troubling and sinister mystery, involving the puzzling deaths of people in a neighboring town, and the possibility they are more involved than they would like to admit. Their own family, perhaps grateful, but also complicit, lived with a certain amount of denial for a long time. The siblings unravel a lurid and chilling tale, one that pits good against evil, with all those psychological shades of gray, that occasionally leaves the reader with a feeling of understanding in some places, and occasionally, sympathy, even where none should seep through. Yet, the reader is not the only one tempted in this way. The Stoker’s are also accepting of certain truths and make their own compromises. However, there is still a force out there- a formidable opponent – one Bram must eventually face-And so, it begins…Wow, the eerie suggestion that Bram’s masterpiece was not all the ‘vulgar fictions of a demented Irishman’ is enough to leave one sleeping with a cross under your pillow, and maybe a little garlic over your door for good measure. Just in case…This book is very creepy and atmospheric. However, it is mostly a historical mystery, albeit a paranormal one. It is the solving of a series of crimes, and the personal ramifications the truth reveals. It does lose much of its initial momentum, however, settling down into a seemingly less eventful, and much slower rhythm. But, upon reflection, this was most likely by design, and was perhaps necessary. But overall, this is a fascinating piece of fiction. The authors did a very good job with the material they were given exclusive access to, and in weaving such a believable, and quite unsettling, precursor to ‘Dracula’. The book was worth the wait- most definitely. Although, I didn’t get to read it during October, it is a perfect book to read on any long, dark winter night. Sweet dreams…4 stars
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  • Peter
    January 1, 1970
    MalignantThe comparisons and connections between Dracul and Bram Stoker’s Dracula are inevitable and unavoidable. After all, this is the story of Bram Stoker’s early life, his family and what may have been the catalyst for his classic vampire story. Dracula has become the most popular monster figure ever, spawning a ubiquitous vampire theme across multiple genres. In Bram’s life, the second half of the 19th century, vampires were seen as pure monsters, whereas nowadays, we have them appearing as MalignantThe comparisons and connections between Dracul and Bram Stoker’s Dracula are inevitable and unavoidable. After all, this is the story of Bram Stoker’s early life, his family and what may have been the catalyst for his classic vampire story. Dracula has become the most popular monster figure ever, spawning a ubiquitous vampire theme across multiple genres. In Bram’s life, the second half of the 19th century, vampires were seen as pure monsters, whereas nowadays, we have them appearing as charismatic, powerful, intelligent, loyal and talented exemplars of human desire. Not to be fooled, we also portray them as ruthless and pure destructive evil.Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker treat us to a wonderful dramatic spine-chilling account of Bram Stoker’s early life, which is packed full of suspense and horror to rival the Dracula story itself, and positioned as a prequel. The story structure is very similar to Dracula, using an epistolary form, but over 2 time periods, the now of Bram at 21 years of age, and the past accounts of the Stoker siblings laid out in letters and journals from Bram and others including his sister Matilda and brother Thornley. The story combines factual details with fictional creativity in such a seamless manner that we cannot tell which parts are which. It all blends to accomplish a plot that adds unique elements and has us living a nightmare where our imagination challenges our fundamental beliefs. Our frail grip on reality slips as the unimaginable seems possible. The control in the writing to hold together the various threads and narrative elements is very well delivered. Sometimes the pace slacks and this is especially frustrating following the transition from one journal account to another.The Bram of, now, sits in a room with a Bowie knife and Enfield rifle, where we can feel the palpable fear and fatigue as he struggles to get through a night without sleeping, keeping a powerful monster that has multiple nefarious tricks and deceptions, locked behind a reinforced door. A door that is reinforced with locks, bolts, holy water, roses, and Holy Communion wafer paste.Reconstructing Bram’s history from his journals, and letters from Matilda, tell of the nanny, Ellen Crone. A mysterious and miraculous saviour of Bram on a number of occasions. “It is clear he was meant to die as a child, yet his alliance with this unholy creature has garnered him more years; a deal with the Devil, possibly worse, if such a thing is imaginable..” When Bram and Matilda investigate Nanna Ellen's room and follow her into the countryside, they confirm her to be a preternatural being (view spoiler)[(in Irish folklore called a Dearg-Due) (hide spoiler)]. Even with the supernatural threat she carries, they have developed a caring relationship with her, especially Bram who has a deep extrasensory connection. The authors have decidedly followed the modern acceptance that not all monsters should be totally evil and perhaps there is a watchful, even protective, connection with her.The birth and sickly youth of Bram, an early precarious climb up a castle tower, several isolated engagements, and the monster behind the door, convey an ever-present atmosphere of impending trauma. The sense of a precipice are prevailing themes throughout the story and are used masterfully to maintain a chilling suspense. The tone gets darker and more frightening in the second half of the book when more is revealed.This is a standalone book made all the more captivating with its connections to the author of Dracula. It does not feel like Dacre took advantage of his ancestral connection but rather added authenticity to a story that expertly weaves fact with fiction, to create a novel that is thoroughly engrossing, and full of horror, evil, fear and trepidation. How secure will you feel walking alone at night after reading this?I would highly recommend this book and I would like to thank Random House UK, Transworld Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC version of the book in return for an honest review.
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  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    It was good and that’s all that matters! Read all the long reviews because I’m not doing them any more! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    This is a prequel, if you will, to the timeless novel Dracula with none other than Bram Stoker himself as the protagonist. Thankfully, these are not sparkly, shiny vampires. What we have here is a blood curdling tale that would make the Count proud. Elegantly written and atmospheric this novel drips with malevolence and oozes with the sinister.
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  • Kylie D
    January 1, 1970
    An intriguing gothic horror book, told from the point of view of several members of the Stoker family, including Bram, as well as his sister and brother. It tells the tale of Bram's childhood, where he was very sickly, on the verge of death, through to his adulthood. Bram had a nanny named Ellen when he was a boy, she seemed a bit of a creepy character, disappearing for days at a time, and sleeping in a box of dirt. Yet she seems to have healed Bram's ailments when the doctors of the time couldn An intriguing gothic horror book, told from the point of view of several members of the Stoker family, including Bram, as well as his sister and brother. It tells the tale of Bram's childhood, where he was very sickly, on the verge of death, through to his adulthood. Bram had a nanny named Ellen when he was a boy, she seemed a bit of a creepy character, disappearing for days at a time, and sleeping in a box of dirt. Yet she seems to have healed Bram's ailments when the doctors of the time couldn't. Bram and his sister followed Ellen at one stage, just after he got well again, just to find a box in a tower of a ruined castle, containing a severed arm, among other things. They then watch Ellen disappear into a bog! Ellen then disappears from the children's lives, just to re-appear years later to them, however, she doesn't seemed to have aged a day!I found this book to hold much interest. It didn't go too hard core into the horror, concentrating more on the psychological aspect, but it hooks you in. It slowly reveals the story of Bram and how he comes across the famous Dracul, or Dracula. It is fiction, but told in biographical style, through journals and letters. The author, Dacre Stoker, is the great-grandnephew of Bram.This chilling tale has much to recommend it.My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Mackey
    January 1, 1970
    It's Horror Week here at Goodreads, and what better way to start it off than by reading a seriously chilling tale? Dracul will have you hiding under the covers and wishing for morning light! I practically learned to read by devouring horror books and there simply was no better horror story than Dracula. For decades writers have attempted to recreate the image of Dracula or to write "sequels" about the Count. All fell miserably short of success - until now. Dracul, written in tandem by Drace Stok It's Horror Week here at Goodreads, and what better way to start it off than by reading a seriously chilling tale? Dracul will have you hiding under the covers and wishing for morning light! I practically learned to read by devouring horror books and there simply was no better horror story than Dracula. For decades writers have attempted to recreate the image of Dracula or to write "sequels" about the Count. All fell miserably short of success - until now. Dracul, written in tandem by Drace Stoker, the great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker, and J.D. Barker, a master storyteller, is based on Stoker's original papers kept within the family until now. When Dracula was first published, the first 100 or so pages were cut from the printing. The foundation of Dracul lies within those pages and in the notes made by Stoker. For those of us who are huge fans of Bram Stoker, this work is a dream come true! The story is set in Ireland and features a young Bram Stoker as the primary character. As a child he was sickly and often bedridden. The family had a beloved Nanny, Ellen Crone, who was able to care for young Stoker and bring him back, literally, from the brink of death. Suspicious deaths in the village, however, are eerily linked to Nanny Crone and suddenly she vanishes without a word or a trace. Years later, Bram and his siblings, rediscover their nanny but she brings with her a horror they never imagined. It turns out that Nanny Crone is a Dearg-Due, a bloodsucking being of Irish folklore. Be still my Celtic heart! As if tower crawling snakes was not enough, we have Celtic tales of fright as well! To say that I adore Barker and his writing is understatement. He can captivate the reader like no other and Dracul, clearly, is no exception. The gothic feel of the prose resonates throughout the book and the suspense builds to the point of sheer terror that will have you shivering with trepidation and dread! And no, don't even reach for that light, because Dearg-Dues can walk in the sun! Oh yeah! It is a superbly told tale of fright! I truly did not believe it was possible for any book to come close the brilliance of Dracula but these two men have proven me wrong. Dracul is a classic in the making and one that you will not want to miss reading - not on your life. There was no other book that I wanted to review more in 2018 than Dracul and I am forever grateful to Drace Stoker, J.D. Barker, @Edelweiss and G.P Putnam's Sons for making it possible. 
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    There are surely many who have wondered where Bram Stoker got his idea for Dracula . After creating an interesting sequel to his ancestor’s popular book, Dacre Stoker decided to team up with J.D. Barker to pen this prequel of sorts, though its exploration is less of Prince/Count Dracula than of a younger Bram Stoker. It is here that the seeds of all things ghoulish germinated, or so the reader is led to believe. Bram Stoker was quite a sickly child, being bedridden for the first number of years There are surely many who have wondered where Bram Stoker got his idea for Dracula . After creating an interesting sequel to his ancestor’s popular book, Dacre Stoker decided to team up with J.D. Barker to pen this prequel of sorts, though its exploration is less of Prince/Count Dracula than of a younger Bram Stoker. It is here that the seeds of all things ghoulish germinated, or so the reader is led to believe. Bram Stoker was quite a sickly child, being bedridden for the first number of years of his life. The family’s nanny, Nanna Ellen, did all that she could to help, though caring for many children kept her occupied. It was only when Bram’s uncle came to bleed him with leeches that things took an interesting turn. At that time, Nanna Ellen also visited her young charge and, by all of Bram’s accounts, undertook a unique form of medicinal care through a small bite along his arm. Soon thereafter, Bram was healed, though to everyone it was thought that the leeches did the job. Upwardly mobile, Bram and his sister, Matilda, begin exploring their environs in the Irish countryside, which includes a closer examination of Nanna Ellen. What they discover serves to shock and concern them, for she acts in such a unique manner. When she disappears one day, Bram and Matilda can only surmise that something extremely mysterious is going on and they might have witnessed a key that relates to her disappearance. Moving forward more than a dozen years, Bram and Matilda are again witnesses to some odd happenings, both related to their nanny and some other folks from the town. Could the mysteries they uncovered as children be back again, in new and curious forms? As they press to understand what is going on, they discover the world of vampires and the un-dead, a realm that is highly dangerous for adults and children alike. However, nothing has prepared them for what is to come, or the residue it will have on their lives. Contrasted nicely with a more ‘modern’ Bram Stoker, who struggles with some additional demons, Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker instil a significant chill into the narrative that is perfect for fans of the Dracula novel. Highly recommended, especially during the haunting month of October, when ghosts and ghouls begin to emerge!I was so very excited to learn of this book and awaited its publication so that I could add it to my October holiday reading list. I have some experience with Barker’s work and have come to admire Dacre Stoker, as he penned that aforementioned sequel to the extremely popular Dracula . Now, it’s time to look back and allow these two authors to paint some interesting pictures for the reader, taking their own liberties with Bram Stoker and his life, though they make clear that some of their story is based on his writings and early journals. The authors handle Bram Stoker in a very interesting light here, even more interestingly than Dacre did his ancestor in the Dracula sequel. Bram is seen not only as a precocious young boy, but one who is driven to understanding the mysteries of the world, particularly when oddities pop up around him. The reader will see his progression throughout the story, both in the ‘journal format’ and in his elder form, where he surely undergoes many events that shaped him before writing his novel about the prince from Transylvania. The attentive reader will see this progression and the crumbs of information in this text that relate to the best known work, utilizing many interesting themes and ideas. Many of the other characters, who play strong roles as well as minor narrative flavouring, must also receive great recognition, as their presence keeps the reader enthralled until the final pages. The narrative is wonderfully strong and filled with nuggets of wonderful speculation which, through to the authors’ note at the end, can be left to hang in the air, wondering how much was real. Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker dispel much of the fiction versus fact in their note at the end, as well as exploring how much of Dracula itself was based on real happenings, as opposed to a fictional account of a monster from history. While the use of journals and clippings may not be to everyone’s liking, it serves a wonderful purpose and is a true adage to Bram’s original work, deserving praise for that writing format. At this time of ghouls and monsters, this story hit the spot and will surely make it onto my annual reading list.Kudos, Messrs. Stoker and Barker, for such an intense story. I am eager to see if you two will work together again, as this was surely a strong collaborative effort.This books fulfils Topic #6: A Book About the Current Equinox, for the Equinox #5 Reading Challenge. Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
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  • Sean Gibson
    January 1, 1970
    In what will come as the most surprising revelation since scientists determined that the sun is kind of hot, I was an unusual 8-year-old. While most kids were getting their Roald Dahl or Beverly Cleary on (or maybe just gorging themselves on Fruit by the Foot), I was reading Dracula (which, as I describe more fulsomely here, is my favorite book, single-volume division). Scored at a school book fair, the dog-eared edition that I read and reread throughout my childhood years, which featured a cove In what will come as the most surprising revelation since scientists determined that the sun is kind of hot, I was an unusual 8-year-old. While most kids were getting their Roald Dahl or Beverly Cleary on (or maybe just gorging themselves on Fruit by the Foot), I was reading Dracula (which, as I describe more fulsomely here, is my favorite book, single-volume division). Scored at a school book fair, the dog-eared edition that I read and reread throughout my childhood years, which featured a cover illustration of the titular (heh…titular) Count that looked distressingly like a dude I would later play basketball with in high school, influenced me to such a degree that I ended up concentrating on Victorian literature as an English Lit major in college (yes, others—notably Dickens, Conan Doyle, Hardy, and Eliot—played a role in that decision as well, but Stoker was the earliest and most formative influence). (As for that dude in high school? Totally possible he was a vampire. At the very least, he was an asshole.)Suffice it to say, then, I picked up Dracul with equal parts trepidation and anticipation. Co-written by Stoker’s great-grand nephew, the book, like an earlier Dracula sequel co-written by Dacre Stoker, purports to leverage Bram Stoker’s notes and unpublished sections of the original novel to tell a different origin story of both the Count and Bram Stoker himself. Would this book have kept 8-year-old Sean, as weird as the sun is hot, up all night reading and influenced the later decision he would make to get a degree of questionable practical value? No. Is it a decent read, Victorian-flavored if not entirely stylistically Victorian, with some exciting parts and interesting spins on the Dracula mythos? Yeah, for the most part, despite a slow start (and I say this as the king of slow starts…I’m talking about my books; jeez…get your mind out of the gutter). I wouldn’t bump it up to the very top of your queue, but if you love Dracula, it’s worth checking out.
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  • Phrynne
    January 1, 1970
    What a perfect choice this book was to read on Halloween! Delightfully spooky, frequently gruesome and in parts really scary!Amazingly Dracul is a prequel to the famous Dracula and as such it is perfect. It tells of the young Bram Stoker and his siblings growing up and the impact that their rather unusual nanny has on their young lives. Bram in particular has a very close relationship with her and this leads to events which culminate in their meeting with Dracula. Along the way there are deaths, What a perfect choice this book was to read on Halloween! Delightfully spooky, frequently gruesome and in parts really scary!Amazingly Dracul is a prequel to the famous Dracula and as such it is perfect. It tells of the young Bram Stoker and his siblings growing up and the impact that their rather unusual nanny has on their young lives. Bram in particular has a very close relationship with her and this leads to events which culminate in their meeting with Dracula. Along the way there are deaths, graveyard scenes, amputated limbs and people consuming live mice among other gory details. As I said , perfect reading for Halloween.I found this book to be well written and intriguing in its ideas. It was well paced and sometimes very tense. Who would not be a little nervous when there is a vampire outside causing deadly snakes to multiply and crawl in through your windows. Very enjoyable indeed and highly recommended:)
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  • ✨Tamara
    January 1, 1970
    Stoker is back y'all!!!Bram Stoker is transformed into a fictional character and beamed right into a novel of his own creation. Together with his brother and sister and a few others, they battle the ultimate force of darkness... Dracul.okay so first off I have done a lot of research on this book and the behind-the-scenes of the creation and writing of this book. Let me start off by assuring you that Decre Stoker is in fact a real relative of Bram Stoker. He is his great-grand nephew. With that i Stoker is back y'all!!!Bram Stoker is transformed into a fictional character and beamed right into a novel of his own creation. Together with his brother and sister and a few others, they battle the ultimate force of darkness... Dracul.okay so first off I have done a lot of research on this book and the behind-the-scenes of the creation and writing of this book. Let me start off by assuring you that Decre Stoker is in fact a real relative of Bram Stoker. He is his great-grand nephew. With that in mind let me also point out that together with his co-writer JD Barker, they got to view an original manuscript of the first edition of Dracula. That paired with the fact that Bram Stoker left a lot of notes behind and a lot of the original novel was cut out, is the essence of how this book came to be. This book is indeed written with intent on telling of the original 101 pages that were lost during the publication process of the novel Dracula.Stoker and Barker have become masters of interweaving not only their writing styles but fact along with fiction. The lines bleed together so well that you can hardly tell one from the other. To say that this book is very well written would be an understatement. Bravo to the authors as I can proudly tip my hat to this undoubtedly soon-to-be classic prequel to the original novel of Dracula.I really really enjoyed this book! so much so that I would like to reread the original novel and I would like to read Dracula's Guest as well as Decre's other novel Dracula the Undead, which is a sequel to the original novel. The original novel was so inspiring to generation upon generation and I feel that this novel is a perfect complement to it.Also I would like to say that in reading this book I definitely learned a lot about Bram Stoker and how and why he wrote the original novel that he did. a lot of what he wrote and indeed a lot of what is in this novel is true (or true folklore). In fact when Bram Stoker went to originally published his novel he wanted to have it published as non-fiction! 😳 He felt that Dracula and his legions of the undead were something evil that people needed to be warned about. And when you take into account all of the Irish folklore that he included and was inspired by in his tale, who can tell for sure? The Dark Prince might truley be out there... lurking in the shadows just beyond our reach.I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good horror novel, REAL vampires or is a fan of Dracula lore in any way.Or you can watch my review on YouTube here:https://youtu.be/3TJPJE1b3ig
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  • Em Lost In Books
    January 1, 1970
    3.5*.Loved the first part with the nanny which I found to be chilling, creepy, and scary. It was the second part which in my opinion was slow and a little too long for my liking.
  • Maria Clara
    January 1, 1970
    Miedo!!! Y, aun así, no he podido dejar de leerlo. Realmente me ha recordado mucho a Drácula de Bram Stoker y, aunque, me hubiera gustado que tuviera otro final, me alegro de haberlo leído.
  • Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
    January 1, 1970
    “She was there at my beginning, and will no doubt be there for my end, as I was for hers. This was, and always shall be, our dance.”-Dacre Stoker & J.D. BarkerDescend into the dark reality and fictional world of the man who wrote the original Dracula. An account of diary entries by Bram Stoker himself, woven into a fictional plot that has created this stunning prequel. "What does that say?""The Dead travel fast"Welcome to Dracul“…for the devil claims their soul, and the gates of Heaven are f “She was there at my beginning, and will no doubt be there for my end, as I was for hers. This was, and always shall be, our dance.”-Dacre Stoker & J.D. BarkerDescend into the dark reality and fictional world of the man who wrote the original Dracula. An account of diary entries by Bram Stoker himself, woven into a fictional plot that has created this stunning prequel. "What does that say?""The Dead travel fast"Welcome to Dracul“…for the devil claims their soul, and the gates of Heaven are forever closed to their ranks, as their final test requires them to renounce God and embrace all that is unholy.”-Dacre Stoker & J.D. BarkerBram was born in Clontarf, Ireland near Dublin on November 8, 1847 during the time of famine and disease. Ill and very sickly, he spent his first years of childhood upstairs at Artane tower, where he was cared for by Ellen Crone. She was in need of a home and was welcomed by the family to help with chores and aid in the care of Bram. During a time when bloodletting and laudanum were the doctor’s only options to care for mysterious illnesses, Ellen was the one that spent the most time with Bram. Alone…behind closed doors, she always made him better. Riding waves of high fevers and leeches gorging on Bram’s blood till they almost burst, he was often incoherent of what was happening to him or around him. So what was it that she did that made young Bram recover every time?“Nanna Ellen’s finger came away red with blood: my blood. “Do you trust me?’ she said. I forced a nod, unable to speak. ‘You shouldn’t,” she replied.”-Dacre Stoker & J.D. BarkerMrs. Stoker had her hands full caring for the younger siblings Thornley 9,Thomas 5, and infant Richard. Matilda, the only sister was a year younger and adored Nanna Ellen too. It is 1854, and the beginning of an unforgettable autumn. Despite his confinements, Bram spends a lot of time with his sister Matilda too. He never ventures out or has dinners downstairs with the family, but it only took two words that would change all of that: “Burried Alive” Nanna Ellen keeps disappearing for days on end sometimes. Her sickly appearance after each healing of Bram, looking flaccid and ghostly with red glowing eyes, changed only for her to return with no pattern at all, rosy cheeked and back to herself. After the siblings make a discovery in Ellen’s room and follow her out into the night, the two of them have no idea what deadly quest they’ve just begun. From Ellen leading them into secret places to her disappearance into the fog never to return, they are left with too many clues difficult to forget.Time jump /Bram Stoker Diary Notes:“I will gut you from groin to gullet and dance in your ruins as the blood bubbles from your lips if you do not open this door!”-Dacre Stoker & J.D. BarkerThere is a monster outside the door and the stench of death and decay is seeping through. Wolves howling and prowling outside, voices inside tantalizing with his mind. How much longer will the garlic paste keep the door sealed before this being will break through? How many more crosses can the hold? Hours and hours go by, he uses all methods of his recollection to keep monsters away but slowly he seems defeated....mocking laughter is torturing from behind the door. “You’re getting careless, Bram. You forgot to bless your flower; must be the fatigue setting in.” - Dacre Stoker & J.D. BarkerBack in time:The siblings have grown and laid their childhood memories to rest, until Matilda sees a woman on the streets of Paris that looks just like Ellen Crone…but unaged and younger looking. Can this be? As Bram still prefers to forget, Matilda makes some investigations and presents him with newspaper articles about a mysterious death. A lead they will follow that will take them traveling all the way through Germany. At this point the novel switches back and forth to the scene of Bram keeping out the monster and the continuation of the storyline as some other characters enter the novel, enriching the riddling and terrifying quest from the other end. It commences in a crescendo as they learn about the legend of Dracul and realize their own connection to the legend. “You are at my home deep within the Carpathian Mountains….”- Dacre Stoker & J.D. Barker***I loved this novel from the beginning. A prequel that is equal its original predecessor and written by no other than the great grandnephew Dacre Stoker of Bram Stoker himself with the influence and experience of the talented J.D. Barker. The book that will be in my top 3 books of the year and an amazing addition to my Dracula collection. As it has been said in previous reviews, according to the afterword in the book, it is confirmed that the original manuscript for Dracula begins at page 102, crossed out at the top and renumbered as page 1, the first one hundred and one pages missing. Research and cross referencing of those missing pages became the basis of this prequel. As the authors describe, the process seemed eery at times, as if Bram himself was looking over their shoulder. I liked the way the novel was laid out between different timelines, each adding more dimension to the plot. For most of my reading my heartrate was elevated and I was unable to put the book down. Not expecting anything, I just let the story lead me through the twisty landscape and moments till the end seemed to seemingly fit perfect to the beginning of the original. This book will be high on the popularity list with all those Dacula fans (ME). Without going overboard in the horror, it offers the perfect amount of hair raising old class scare and I am already ready to read it again. I appreciated everything tying in historically in reference to the German Walpurgisnacht (Wal·pur·gis·nacht /välˈpo͝orɡisˌnäKHt) and other bits of information. And one day I shall visit Walachia! As a little cookie for the reader, the novel ends with the following message from the diary:“End Him”Latitude 47Longitude 25.75’Happy reading everyone! I purchased a signed hardcover of this novel and received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you. For further reading, here are some interesting links I came across:www.bramstokerestate.com/LOST-JOURNAL... www.bramstoker.org/links.html www.bramstokerestate.com/Presenting_D...
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  • ✨Brithanie Faith✨
    January 1, 1970
    5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Going into this I wasn't sure what to expect, but at the halfway point I said to myself; "Without a doubt, Dracul is going to become a new favorite of mine!", and I was not wrong in assuming as much!Being the prequel to Dracula (which I have yet to read) I had reasonably high hopes that this would be a story that I would end up fully engrossed in, that would leave me wanting more, and I do! It has given me the motivation to finally go out and get my hands on a copy of the much lov 5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Going into this I wasn't sure what to expect, but at the halfway point I said to myself; "Without a doubt, Dracul is going to become a new favorite of mine!", and I was not wrong in assuming as much!Being the prequel to Dracula (which I have yet to read) I had reasonably high hopes that this would be a story that I would end up fully engrossed in, that would leave me wanting more, and I do! It has given me the motivation to finally go out and get my hands on a copy of the much loved classic to read for myself later this fall! I've loved gothic/historical fiction for as long as I can remember, and this is definitely an example of one that's been done right! Mixing fact with fiction, Dracul takes pieces of Bram Stokers life (as the world knows it), and fills the gaps with this chilling tale of how Dracula (the novel) came to be. I was able to get my hands on an e-arc of this through Edelweiss, but it comes out in just a few short weeks, and I would highly recommend giving it a shot if you're interested! (I know I'll be purchasing a physical copy as soon as I am physically able!) ♡
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    4 creepiness factor starsMy reviews can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres..."Even immortals have their beginnings." Talk about a perfect Halloween book! This one had it all vampires galore, unsuspecting victims, and an atmospheric persona that would frighten anyone. Make sure if you embark upon Dracul you have the lights on, you are not alone, and you are ready to tackle the monsters conjured up in this prequel to the novel, Dracula, written in 1897 by the Irish author Bram Str 4 creepiness factor starsMy reviews can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres..."Even immortals have their beginnings." Talk about a perfect Halloween book! This one had it all vampires galore, unsuspecting victims, and an atmospheric persona that would frighten anyone. Make sure if you embark upon Dracul you have the lights on, you are not alone, and you are ready to tackle the monsters conjured up in this prequel to the novel, Dracula, written in 1897 by the Irish author Bram Stroker. The original book set the scene for the many Gothic horror books and movies that followed.This terrifying book, written by the great grand nephew of Bram Stoker and J.D. Barker used the writings and notes of Dacre's great uncle, Bram, to amass a story of how and where this legend began. Some believed it to be a story of Vlad the Impaler, a Romanian, who got his name because of his favorite method of execution. Delightful man! However, Bram seemed to believe that Dracula was not just a figment of his mind but possibly a reality. As if vampires are not scary enough in your mind, imagine if they were real!This book not only reveals the Count but also takes a look at Bram and his connection as well as that of his family to a woman named Ellen Crone. She is the care provider for the children and as Bram had been a sickly child, Ellen seem to provide solace, comfort and perhaps something else.Strange murders have occurred in a nearby town, the ones where lots of blood was shed, and Bram and his sister, Matilda, are intrigued. They notice that Ellen seems strange, her behavior odd, and there is something perhaps a bit sinister about her. Bram feels it, he senses her, he hears her speaking to him even when she is not around. Who or what is Ellen? Then, Ellen disappears and when years later she is spotted in Paris by Matilda, seemingly not having aged a day, the search is on for answers. The answers they unearth, (no pun intended), are frightening and lead this crew on a fearsome chase finding not only Ellen but Dracul as well.Written with a very high scare factor, this book will definitely creep the reader out. It has everything that ramps up the scare factor and makes the reader cringe and shudder. Not only were there vampires but there were snakes (eek!) and cockroaches (double eek!) too! This story if not for the faint of heart, but for those who enjoy a book that chills, terrorizes, and petrifies its audience, this one just might be for you!https://nypost.com/2018/10/06/bram-st...Thanks going out to Drace Stoker, J.D. Barker, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, and Edelweiss for a copy of this very creepy book.
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  • Malina Skrobosinski
    January 1, 1970
    "Won't you stay and play with me?" Is there nothing that J.D. Barker touches that isn't purely sensational? If you read the author's notes, you'll find that this story bears truth. What Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker have done here is tell a story that has been long buried. These are events that Bram Stoker himself has stated to be factual. It's said that Dracula was never meant to be a work of fiction, but rather a warning... an ominous warning for all. "The peculiarities of Ellen Crone. That i "Won't you stay and play with me?" Is there nothing that J.D. Barker touches that isn't purely sensational? If you read the author's notes, you'll find that this story bears truth. What Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker have done here is tell a story that has been long buried. These are events that Bram Stoker himself has stated to be factual. It's said that Dracula was never meant to be a work of fiction, but rather a warning... an ominous warning for all. "The peculiarities of Ellen Crone. That is, of course, where I should start, for this is as much her story as it is mine, perhaps more so. This woman, this monster, this wraith, this friend, this... being." In the prequel of Dracula, Dracul, we learn of young Bram Stoker and his family. We learn of the beginning, when the evil and the undead entered the Stoker family in the form of his nanny, Nanny Ellen Crone. From Bram's birth he was afflicted with an illness, one that was sure to be fatal, yet years go by and Bram is still with the Stoker family. It's very clear early in the novel that the beloved Nanny Ellen, while always endearing, is harboring many disturbing secrets. It's not until Bram takes a turn for the worse and is suddenly brought back from the brink of death that Bram and his older sister, Matilda begin to question exactly how Nanny Ellen may be involved. I have to be honest, at the young ages of seven and eight I found their inquisitive nature to remind me a lot of Colin and Mary from The Secret Garden. There was something very endearing about their relationship. It's soon clear to Bram and Matilda that Nanny Ellen is different, she is unholy. As the children begin to get closer to the truths of Nanny Ellen, she mysteriously leaves into the night. Years pass, and the children have grown. While Nanny Ellen may have left them, she has never been far from their minds. The mysteries surrounding her, always rising to the surface of their thoughts. For Ellen, she too has never forgotten the children, always keeping a close eye on them. Protecting them from afar, because what they don't realize, something evil lurks about, something evil that wishes to do them all harm. As the story unfolds, we learn of Ellen's tragic past, and why Dracula has been hunting her all these years. The Stoker family finds themselves caught up in a love triangle with grave consequences. While it may seem cliché, the heart wants what it wants. You can't force love. Some could argue that for the time period the writing may appear too modern, but to heck with that. I for one appreciated that while Stoker and Barker kept many things factual for the time period, they told the story in such a way that would appeal to today's readers. The journal entries were enlightening and told the story... rather than offering ramblings that add nothing to the storyline as you might often see with older literature. Barker has a knack for epistolary novelization though, which is why I think Dacre made an excellent choice when selecting Barker as his co-author when writing this novel. Let us consider that this is based on true events, given that, I found that the level of suspense was spot on. It wasn't over the top with fiction, it was terrifying at times because you could imagine living in that fear. "The ring of a little bell came from my left, and I spun to meet the sound. I was faced with nine occupied beds. My eyes quickly followed the strings tied to the hand of each body to the little bell hanging above each bed, but none betrayed the stillness. Another bell sounded, this one behind me, and I spun yet again only to find more motionless beds, more bodies lying in wait. Another bell rang out at my right, then two more on my left, more yet behind me. Within moments, the room came alive with dozens of chimes, all ringing out louder and louder. I threw my hands upon my ears and spun in circles, for the sound grew horribly loud; bells, bells, all around." For the time period, this would have been anyone's greatest fears inside a morgue without a doubt!I could go on and on about how excellently written this novel is, but I'll stop, I think I've rambled on enough. Do yourselves a favor and just read it already!I want to thank NetGalley, Penguin Group Putnam, Dacre Stoker, and J.D. Barker for allowing me the opportunity to read this wonderfully written novel in exchange for my review.
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  • Tiffany PSquared
    January 1, 1970
    "Sometimes our deepest fears are the ones we keep closest to our hearts"**Many thanks to NetGalley, Penguin Group/G.P. Putnam's Sons, and the authors for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this book.Remember in Friends when Rachel discovers Joey's copy of The Shining in his freezer? That's what I felt like resorting to while reading Dracul - only, I was reading it on my Kindle, and I don't think electronics like freezers too much.This book was legitimately frightening in all the best w "Sometimes our deepest fears are the ones we keep closest to our hearts"**Many thanks to NetGalley, Penguin Group/G.P. Putnam's Sons, and the authors for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this book.Remember in Friends when Rachel discovers Joey's copy of The Shining in his freezer? That's what I felt like resorting to while reading Dracul - only, I was reading it on my Kindle, and I don't think electronics like freezers too much.This book was legitimately frightening in all the best ways! It doesn't even start you off slowly, you're immediately thrust into a dire situation with Bram Stoker trying to outlast one night in the midst of sinister forces who prove to be unrelenting.Toward the end of the book, the action is so fast-paced and the enemies so numerous, you...well, you want to put the book in the freezer!Dacre Stoker (Bram's great-grandnephew) & J.D. Barker (of The Fourth Monkey) write this epistolary origin story (of sorts) detailing Bram Stoker's eerie experiences with his nanny, Ellen Crone, which eventually lead to his first encounter with the tall man, who would, in fact, turn out to be Count Dracula himself.Let's just pause for a moment and appreciate the name Dacre Stoker. Who wouldn't want to read a horror novel by a dude named Dacre Stoker? You kind of have to!OK, back on point...The story is fiercely personal, told through the letters and journals of Bram, his sister and brother, and a colleague who helps them pursue the fearsome Count. It is a new story told about an ancient horror and I thirstily devoured every page! Dracul reads like a movie playing in my head with vivid imagery and precise (but not exhaustive) mood-setting.I recommend this book to fans of the original book Dracula and even if you've only ever seen the movie, this book's descriptive prose will instantly transport your imagination back to the 1800s with stuttering lanterns, rolling fog, and things that go bump in the night.Dracul releases October 2, 2018 - just in time for Halloween - so make sure you add this one your TBR!
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  • Latasha
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, I would like to say thank you a million times to G.P. Putman's Son for sending me a copy of the book. Thank you a million & one! ok, so Dracul- To be honest, it took me a while to get into this book. But once I did get into the story, maybe around 100 pages, 75? I was in! The is the tale of Bram as a (sickly) child and his adventures with his sister Matilda. Something strange is going on with Nana Ellen but they don't know what. We can guess though. Ellen Crone is very intere First of all, I would like to say thank you a million times to G.P. Putman's Son for sending me a copy of the book. Thank you a million & one! ok, so Dracul- To be honest, it took me a while to get into this book. But once I did get into the story, maybe around 100 pages, 75? I was in! The is the tale of Bram as a (sickly) child and his adventures with his sister Matilda. Something strange is going on with Nana Ellen but they don't know what. We can guess though. Ellen Crone is very interesting. I liked her and all the characters. And like I said, the story is a little slow at the start but stick with it. It gets better! What I didn't like- The ending. the 22 years later part. I was wondering how this would tie to the Dracula we know & love but I wasn't expecting that. It seemed jarring & took me out of the story. The author's note at the end was very interesting and had info about Dracula (the novel) I didn't know. Happy Halloween!
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  • Mary Carrasco
    January 1, 1970
    I quite enjoyed Bram Stoker's, Dracula. So when I learned that Dracul was meant to be the prequel, incorporating Bram into the story, I was excited to read this. The author did an excellent job of creating a dark, creepy atmosphere, gradually increasing the tension throughout. I especially loved the beginning of the book when Bram and his siblings were children. The strange events happening in the household definitely had me on edge! It all came together nicely as the story alternated between "t I quite enjoyed Bram Stoker's, Dracula. So when I learned that Dracul was meant to be the prequel, incorporating Bram into the story, I was excited to read this. The author did an excellent job of creating a dark, creepy atmosphere, gradually increasing the tension throughout. I especially loved the beginning of the book when Bram and his siblings were children. The strange events happening in the household definitely had me on edge! It all came together nicely as the story alternated between "then" and "present" day and also alternating viewpoints. I must say I wanted more from the ending but it was still a great book. I would recommend it especially to anyone who enjoys vampire folklore.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Masterful.I don't want to say this book is better than Dracula, but it's better than Dracula. The way the plot unfolds is anxiety-inducing and heart-pounding. The characters come alive off the page. I was filled with such dread reading it.The Epilogue is fantastic as well. Made everything I had just read all the more spooky.
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  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsCracking way to begin a new year of reading. This prequel to the classic is about as meta as it gets. Written by Stoker’s great-grandnephew & well known author J.D. Barker (The Fourth Monkey), it draws heavily from Bram Stoker’s childhood, journals & notes he scribbled while writing the original.Bram, his family & real life acquaintances are the main characters. Also worth mentioning is some tall, thin, icky guy going by the name of Dracul who manages to steal a few scenes. 4.5 starsCracking way to begin a new year of reading. This prequel to the classic is about as meta as it gets. Written by Stoker’s great-grandnephew & well known author J.D. Barker (The Fourth Monkey), it draws heavily from Bram Stoker’s childhood, journals & notes he scribbled while writing the original.Bram, his family & real life acquaintances are the main characters. Also worth mentioning is some tall, thin, icky guy going by the name of Dracul who manages to steal a few scenes. This is a proper horror story. The writing team has done a bang-up job of creating an original tale but in a style reminiscent of classics such as Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde & of course, Dracula. It’s gothic creepiness at its best, a story that engages all your senses as it drags you kicking & screaming from Ireland to Germany & back again. (Be careful if you read this in public…you may find yourself drawing some strange looks as you mutter things like “Do NOT touch that”.)Be sure to read the author’s note written by Dacre Stoker at the end. It’s full of fascinating tidbits of how the original manuscript was written then carefully edited to reflect the times. It was purchased at auction some years ago by Paul Allen (cofounder of Microsoft) & he granted access to the Stoker foundation but only after they signed a non-disclosure agreement. What is known is that the first 100 pages are missing. It’s a gripping & skeery read that seamlessly combines fact, fiction & folklore. A must-read for fans of the original or Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s “Cemetery of Forgotten Books” series & Lauren Owen's The Quick.
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  • Juli
    January 1, 1970
    What if the dark tale of Dracula was not just a flight of fancy for author Bram Stoker? What if the origins of the story came from Stoker's own life? Dracul is a prequel of sorts for the classic novel, spinning a dark tale of death, evil and monsters. OMG....I love this book! This isn't a re-telling of the Dracula story, but an imagining of the origins for the vampire story. Bram Stoker left diaries and notes behind, detailing mysterious happenings revolving around a Stoker family servant, Nanna What if the dark tale of Dracula was not just a flight of fancy for author Bram Stoker? What if the origins of the story came from Stoker's own life? Dracul is a prequel of sorts for the classic novel, spinning a dark tale of death, evil and monsters. OMG....I love this book! This isn't a re-telling of the Dracula story, but an imagining of the origins for the vampire story. Bram Stoker left diaries and notes behind, detailing mysterious happenings revolving around a Stoker family servant, Nanna Ellen. The story switches back and forth in time, alternating from Bram's sickly childhood in Ireland to his facing down unimaginable evil 12 years later as an adult. I was completely engrossed in this dark tale from beginning to end. Easily as horrific and well-written as the classic Dracula, this new tale of the undead is darkly disturbing and mesmerizing. Like the classic Dracula, this book relies mostly on psychological horror, rather than more in-your-face type scary. The dark and bleak atmosphere, horrific discoveries and mysterious occurrences build suspense, revealing just a little bit of the truth at a time. The pacing is perfect. I don't usually like books that skip back and forth in time, but for this story it worked perfectly. Jumping from Bram and his sister discovering secrets about a beloved family servant to his facing evil lurking outside his locked, barricaded door years later just made the suspense stronger. The characters are awesome. The writing is descriptive, and the horror....chilling. Full stars from me! Loved it! **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Penguin via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
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  • Julia Ash
    January 1, 1970
    I’m always thirsty for a book with a classic Dracula atmosphere. Authored by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker, DRACUL deliciously quenched my palate, which was expected, since one of its co-authors is none other than Bram Stoker’s great grandnephew. How cool is that?The story serves as a prequel to DRACULA and bloody hell, it delivers! This book earned five oozing, crimson stars from me.DRACUL begins with young Bram, who shouldn’t be alive. He’s a sickly child who can barely leave his bed in the at I’m always thirsty for a book with a classic Dracula atmosphere. Authored by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker, DRACUL deliciously quenched my palate, which was expected, since one of its co-authors is none other than Bram Stoker’s great grandnephew. How cool is that?The story serves as a prequel to DRACULA and bloody hell, it delivers! This book earned five oozing, crimson stars from me.DRACUL begins with young Bram, who shouldn’t be alive. He’s a sickly child who can barely leave his bed in the attic, overlooking a foggy harbor. That is, until their family’s nanny (Nanna Ellen) takes Bram under her wing and miraculously nurses him back to health.Nanna Ellen is elusive and mysterious. Bram and his sister Matilda are obsessed with learning her secrets.While digging around and sneaking into their nanny’s bedroom, the siblings find a full-length wooden box filled with dirt and maggots tucked under her bed. The sheets on the mattress look like they’ve never been slept in. One chilly, moonlit night, the pair notices Nanna Ellen is making her way to the ruins of Artane Castle. And they follow her.As Bram and Matilda close-in on who or what their caregiver is, Nanna Ellen disappears. But she’s not gone altogether. Bram itches when she’s near, especially the puncture wounds on his wrist.And so begins the adventure of finding Nanna Ellen and learning how she connects to a nearby horrific-murder of a family: The O’Cuiv’s.Similar to DRACULA, DRACUL toggles between journal entries, letters, and the present. The writing carries the same level of tension that made me love Bram Stoker’s classic. From Bram… “I fell still and peered up at the forbidding castle. The weathered stones dripped with ivy and moss. As I focused my eyes, I spotted tiny ants crawling over the surface, skittering this way and that, unnaturally active considering the frosty air, with a purpose known only to them. There were spiders, too, hundreds of them, spinning their wicked webs amongst the leaves of ivy in hopes of snaring flies.” I love to read and write about vampires, so this book satisfied my craving! Haha! I highly recommend DRACUL :)
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  • Ivy H
    January 1, 1970
    My lovely Nanna Ellen. Her hand always reaching out, even as the prick of her nails drew blood. Dacre Stoker; JD Barker. Dracul (Kindle Location 184). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. I stayed up all night reading this fantastic book ! It's a tightly woven tale, with no monotonous lapses in narration. And, at the end of it all, my biggest wish is for the authors to write a sequel that will give the selfless vampire, Nanna Ellen, a final happy reunion with her one true love Deaglan O' C My lovely Nanna Ellen. Her hand always reaching out, even as the prick of her nails drew blood. Dacre Stoker; JD Barker. Dracul (Kindle Location 184). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. I stayed up all night reading this fantastic book ! It's a tightly woven tale, with no monotonous lapses in narration. And, at the end of it all, my biggest wish is for the authors to write a sequel that will give the selfless vampire, Nanna Ellen, a final happy reunion with her one true love Deaglan O' Cuiv. This novel was an eerie, haunting and gripping thriller/horror that was impossible to put down ! I hadn't intended to start reading this book for at least another week or so, because I'm in the middle of a couple of wonderful romance novels. But, I always skim the introductory chapter of every new book as soon as I've downloaded it and that's how I found myself trapped in the web of this awesome supernatural mystery story. This story is a prequel to Bram Stoker's Dracula and the authors have used information from Stoker's personal journals and from the omitted 100+ pages of that novel's original manuscript. This is more than just a story about vampires; it's a story about selfless love and the extent to which characters will sacrifice their own happiness for the ones they cherish. These characters are so fully fleshed that it's impossible for me to think of them as mere fictional creations. They're crafted beyond the usual stock character cliches that one encounters in this type of novel. The narrative is told in both the first person and the 3rd person omniscient voices. The first person narratives are culled from the journal entries of the 21 yr old protagonist Bram, his older brother Thornley, their friend Arminius Vambery and from the letters of their sister Matilda. The 3rd person omniscient narrator tells the story that occurs in the present: this is the storyline that revolves around Bram's suspense filled entrapment in the tower of the old Abbey in Whitby. This thriller begins when Matilda, the protagonist's sister, seeks his assistance with her quest to solve the mystery of their former nanny, Nanna Ellen. Bram was the sickly baby in the Stoker family. He was the child who hadn't been expected to survive beyond his toddler years. At the time of his birth, his parents had employed a young nanny called Ellen Crone to look after his older siblings. Ellen Crone was a mysterious young woman with no past and no willingness to discuss her life. She had also saved the baby Bram right after his birth when everyone, including the doctor, had expected him to die. Bram shared a special bond with Nanna Ellen; it was obvious that he loved her more than he loved his mother. When Bram was 7 seven years old, his illness worsened and the doctor decided to use leeches to cure him since bloodletting was still an accepted medical practice at that time. This served only to worsen the child's condition and it was Nanna Ellen who ended up intervening and saving his life. Nobody in the Stoker family knew that Nanna Ellen had shared her own blood with the child. The sickly child started to thrive, for the first time in his young life. The healthy young Bram becomes curious when he starts to notice strange things about Nanna Ellen:1. She doesn't eat meals with the family and when she is at the dinner table, she never actually swallows any food.2. Her room is dusty, she never sleeps on her bed and there's a box of dirt under her mattress. She's also hidden a collection of maps, pinpointing the location of various cemeteries across Europe. 3. She doesn't age; in fact, she always looks like a teenager, except after she's expended a lot of energy "curing" him after a bout of illness. But, she's restored to her youthful good looks after she returns from a sojourn in the woods.The 7 yr old Bram and his 8 old sister Matilda set out to investigate the mystery of Nanna Ellen, by following her into the woods:The things they see and the answers they find blow their young minds ! Their curiosity also creates problems for Nanna Ellen, because it obvious that she's hiding huge secrets. When Nanna Ellen notices that the children are investigating her comings and goings, she packs up her stuff and leaves without saying goodbye. The children all miss her but they go on with their lives until Matilda sees her in Paris and starts to investigate all over again. At this point in time, Bram is a ruggedly handsome and healthy 21 yr old with remarkable abilities, because he'd been saved by Nanna Ellen's vampiric blood. Matilda coerces Bram and Thornley to assist with this investigation, when she unearths information that proves that Patrick O' Cuiv, an old neighbour of theirs, had not died 14 years ago as everyone had believed. Bram and his 2 siblings soon link Patrick O' Cuiv to Nanna Ellen after his corpse disappears from the morgue and he is seen alive once again. At this point in the story, the siblings aren't sure whether Nanna Ellen is good or evil. This is Nanna Ellen:This is Bram:This is Matilda:This is Thornley:This is Thornley's wife, Emily:As the fascinating mystery unfolds, the 3 siblings soon discover that Nanna Ellen is over 200 years old. Ellen's human life had been filled with tragedy. She'd been born into a Irish gentry family and had been in love with her soulmate: a peasant man named Deaglan O'Cuiv. Her father had rejected Deaglan's offer of marriage, on her behalf, and married her to a sadistic nobleman who kept her imprisoned in a tower. Ellen pined for her soulmate Deaglan until she couldn't bear it anymore and killed herself. Just before she took her final breath, Ellen cursed God and it was believed that this was the catalyst for her supernatural conversion to a creature called the Dearg-Due. Ellen rose again from the dead as the Dearg Due and achieved her vengeance by murdering her father, her husband and all the others who had helped them ! Her soulmate Deaglan was filled with sorrow to see that his beloved had turned into a creature of the night, so he staked her with a piece of iron and buried her.Ellen was then re-awakened and revived by the all powerful vampire, Lord Dracul, who was obsessed, and in love, with her. This is Dracul:Unfortunately for Dracul, Ellen was still in love with her soulmate Deaglan. This is Deaglan O'Cuiv:I found this to be the most beautiful and romantic part of the story, because I would've expected Ellen to hate Deaglan for staking and burying her. But Ellen understood that Deaglan had done it because he loved her. The wonderful thing about Ellen was that her love for Deaglan was pure. She had been turned into a vampire but her love for her human soulmate was still strong and she refused to give in to Dracul's demands. In fact, she decided that she would never again kill another human being but would strive to be good and worthy of Deaglan's love. This annoyed the egotistical and omnipotent Dracul who couldn't believe that a mere peasant, mortal man had won the heart of the woman he loved. The jealous Dracul took his vengeance by turning Deaglan into a vampire and then dismembering him. The dismemberment didn't kill Deaglan since the latter had become a vampire. Deaglan's various body parts were then buried in separate non consecrated suicide cemeteries across Europe. This was pure torment for Ellen, who knew that her lover would be reunited with her if she could locate all his body parts and put him back together again. The Stokers soon become collateral damage in the battle between Dracul and Ellen, when the powerful vampire lord turns Emily, Thornley's young wife, into a creature of the night. In the midst of all this drama, the 3 Stoker siblings get help from a secretive man called Arminius Vambery. It's suggested, by the authors in the appendices, that Stoker's famous protagonist Van Helsing, is actually based on Arminius Vambery. Soon, the Stokers and Arminius are united with Ellen in their combined efforts to re-awaken Deaglan O'Cuiv, save Emily and kill Dracul. The villainous vampire lord leads the good guys on a merry chase across England and into the scary village of the damned in Munich, where Deaglan's heart has been buried. I won't give further spoilers because that will ruin all the fun for future readers. I will end by saying that I was totally blown away by this novel. I loved the nail biting suspense, was charmed by the endearing and likable characters, was captivated by the unfolding mystery, saddened that Ellen's and Deaglan's HEA has to be postponed and was never, at any point in time, bored. The most fabulous part of this story, for me, was the selfless enduring love that Ellen shared with Deaglan and Thornley had for his tragic wife Emily. Ellen sacrificed herself to a passive future as a sleeping vampire in a guarded tomb, just so that Dracul would allow Deaglan to live a peaceful life again. Thornley, on the other hand, had to imprison Emily in a luxurious room in his asylum because she'd become mentally unstable after her vampiric transition. He did remain devoted and faithful to her, even as he grew older and she remain young and unchanged. The ending was a little bittersweet but I hope that this means there's a sequel !
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    I would say that DRACUL is a good book, but ultimately one that was just a bit too long. And, I say that regrettable because of the idea of the book, to link the Dracula myth with Bram Stoker's own life is marvelous and I quite enjoyed the story. Especially the first part with the creepy nanny. I also came to like Bram's brave and gutsy sister Matilda very much. What for me sadly just didn't work was the pacing. It's a thick book, 500 pages and I just felt that my interested in the story went up I would say that DRACUL is a good book, but ultimately one that was just a bit too long. And, I say that regrettable because of the idea of the book, to link the Dracula myth with Bram Stoker's own life is marvelous and I quite enjoyed the story. Especially the first part with the creepy nanny. I also came to like Bram's brave and gutsy sister Matilda very much. What for me sadly just didn't work was the pacing. It's a thick book, 500 pages and I just felt that my interested in the story went up and down as the story progressed. Some parts really interesting, other parts, well I lost the focus now and then. On the plus side, the ending is quite good and the story had a lovely gothic atmosphere. Also, I did, however, quite enjoyed the author's notes at the end of the book. Fascinating reading.So, would I recommend this book? Yes, definitely. The story is interesting and you will like it especially if you have a burning obsession with everything concerning the Dracula myth. Confession, the original Dracula book by Bram Stoker was never a favorite of mine so perhaps it's not that odd that I did not totally love this book.I want to thank G.P. Putnam's Sons for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!
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  • Jennifer Gaarder
    January 1, 1970
    Read my reviews at http://www.jenchaosreviews.comDraculBy Dacre Stoker and J.D. BarkerG.P. Putnam, October 2, 2018497 Pages, Hardcover EditionReview:A mystery into a woman whose background is as strange as it is, well, mysterious. Complete with twists and turns, the reader does not find out about the woman who the trio-Bram, Matilda and Thornley Stoker call Nanna Ellen or Ellen Crone, until about 80% of the book. One will not meet the real villain, the real antagonist of the whole story until we Read my reviews at http://www.jenchaosreviews.comDraculBy Dacre Stoker and J.D. BarkerG.P. Putnam, October 2, 2018497 Pages, Hardcover EditionReview:A mystery into a woman whose background is as strange as it is, well, mysterious. Complete with twists and turns, the reader does not find out about the woman who the trio-Bram, Matilda and Thornley Stoker call Nanna Ellen or Ellen Crone, until about 80% of the book. One will not meet the real villain, the real antagonist of the whole story until well after the middle of the book.A child beset with a terrible illness that left him bedridden for most of his young life, Bram Stoker was left with no options in life-or at least he thought. Having a physician for an uncle was not enough to keep the illness at bay. He would continue to get sick and feverish, landing him in bed for days, if not weeks at a time. Ellen Crone, or Nanna Ellen, would be the only one that could help him, and no one knew how.Suddenly, he was cured. After fighting for his life, entering death's door, Ellen brought him back. He was living and breathing with no illness coursing his veins.After they discovered, from searching her room one day and found newspaper clippings, that many people were being killed in brutal and bloody ways, they became suspicious. Ellen had been leaving for as long as they could remember for days at a time. Was she involved with these killings?Suddenly she disappeared.Fifteen years later, Matilda, Bram's sister, saw her in Paris.  Ellen had not aged a day, and Matilda tried to get to her. However, Ellen vanished without a trace.Through negotiations with Bram and their older brother Thornley, they were convinced that it was high time they thoroughly investigated the roots of Ellen Crone and found her.Thornley had problems of his own, however. His wife was very ill, be it physical or mental he was not sure. Being a medical doctor specializing in psychiatric medicine, Thornely was convinced she was mentally affected. However, he would later find out, this was not the case.It is during the investigation process throughout several hundred pages, alternating POV's and timelines, that we as readers finally find out who Ellen Crone is and how she came to be. We also meet a Doctor Vambery of the Hellfire Club, who is versed in Vampires and the Undead.This book is written in a series of journal entries from Bram, Matilda, Thornley and Doctor Vambery. Bram's entries are from the "past". The storyline that is NOT a journal entry is that of the current day and the hours leading up to the final "showdown. This could be confusing to readers who did not read this as slowly as I did, digesting the material in a way that made this book make sense.One, current day Bram is in a tower behind a closed door holding back a creature of the night which is trying desperately to get to him. What or who it is he does not know. He knows he cannot go to sleep for it will come in and devour him. Two, "past" Bram is the one who is investigating and finding Ellen Crone and her minions. He describes with fluency the emotions and visions of the woman as he is fused with her mind. It is explained why he is merged with her mind at one point in the book at about 50%.Matilda writes letters to Ellen, and they are part of the book as well. These are interspersed with the chapters and are filled with questions that are then answered in later chapters. Her journal entries discuss feelings about Bram and the findings in the investigation. She is bright and aware. I have to say she is a strong female in this story.Thornley's entries discuss his feelings about his wife's condition and his concerns for his brother Bram and his sister Matilda. He is a doctor, a scientist and a nonbeliever in things supernatural.Dr. Vambery is a typical vampire hunter. He does not trust the undead in the sense of the statement. His journal entries discuss his distrust for Bram and Ellen Crone. He also explains his fear of the master vampire. If you have read vampire or monster hunting novels before, then you know that vampire hunters are ruthless killers and have no patience for the undead regardless if the undead is "harmless."Writing:This was not written in older English like the original Dracula. This had a balance if narration to dialogue and was very good. I was pleased with the wordplay and the use of crafty sentences and imagery.Plot:Written in journal form, this was more like a story. I did not see this the same way I saw Cloud Atlas, a very confusing and troubling book. The entries were seamless and kept the story going. They strung together in a way that there was no hesitation or stops. The book was not linear in that it did not follow along one trail of the storyline. One would have to read this very slowly to understand the background of all of the characters involved. I did this to absorb the book entirely. It was probably one of the better prequels written by a different author than that of a classic. Typically, these are not good. However, this one is surprisingly so.What I Liked:I liked the build-up to the showdown. It was not a rushed story, and one could feel the development of a woman who was most misunderstood for centuries. It was a heartwrenching story, and I did not see many of the things coming, which is good. I thought the book was about Bram Stoker. It is not. It is also not about Dracula, believe it or not. As you read along, you find its about someone else entirely despite the title of the book.What I Didn't Like:Vampire lore has been in the British Isles for centuries. At the time Bram and his siblings were investigating Ellen Crone and the other master vampire, they never once, in fifteen years suspected vampirism. They seemed very ignorant of vampires completely. This surprised me because at that time, in Ireland, vampires were greatly feared as were all undead and demonic spirits. It seemed rather silly that they never suspected this to be the case despite the mounting evidence before them.Overall Impression:This is an excellent book. However, because the trio, Matilda, Thornley and Bram Stoker were so ignorant to vampire lore, I had to deduct a point. I didn't see that as plausible in a village of Ireland that would surely have folklore surrounding undead creatures of the night. However, the writing was superb, the plot was solid, and I never saw the end coming. The epilogue, however, leads to Dracula. I was pleased with that. The ending of the original tale of Dracul was surprising and unpredictable.
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  • WendyB
    January 1, 1970
    I'll leave the long reviews to others and just say I loved it.
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