Dracul

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. Ar...

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Title:Dracul
Author:Dacre Stoker
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Dracul Reviews

  • Mackey

    It's Horror Week here at Goodreads, and what better way to start it off than by reading a seriously chilling tale?

    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?

    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.

     

  • Peter

    The 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

    The 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.

    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.

    When Bram and Matilda investigate Nanna Ellen's room and follow her into the countryside, they confirm her to be a preternatural being

    . 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.

  • Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*

    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.

    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.

  • Debra

    "...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

    and

    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

    .

    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!

  • Matt

    There are surely many who have wondered where Bram Stoker got his idea for

    . 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

    . 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

    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

    . 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

    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

    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.

    Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

    A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge:

  • Tammy

    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.

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    It was good and that’s all that matters! Read all the long reviews because I’m not doing them any more!

    Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  • Will Byrnes

    Dacre Stoker knows a thing or two about vampires, Dracula in particular, given that his great-grand-un

    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.

    - image from GotIreland.com

    We 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.

    and friends - Image from ValeOfGlamorgan.com

    Part 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,

    , 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

    . 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.

    – image from

    So, the story of

    , 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

    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.

    defined Dracula for a generation - Image from

    In keeping with great-grand-uncle’s form, Dacre tells the story through several sources.

    and

    are the primary views. There is also

    , 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,

    , 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

    . 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

    can dig up, as you flap along with this fast-paced, engaging and very entertaining book.

    Review posted – 9/17/18

    Publication date – 10/2/18

    Paramount Pictures has

    to

    , 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.

    =============================

    Links to the author’s

    ,

    and

    pages

    The author’s site link is actually to

    . Definitely check this one out. There are a lot of fascinating material and useful links.

    -----Northern Life Magazine

    - by Mark Davis – 18 July 2017

    -----

    - Interview with Don Smith – definitely worthwhile

    -----

    - by Kim

    -----The Guardian -

    - by Colin Fleming – April 19, 2017

    -----Smithsonian -

    - by Jimmy Stamp. October 31, 2012

  • Julie

    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:

    – Daniel Malloy and Louis- Interview with the Vampire- by Anne Rice

    Well, 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

    .

    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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