Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (November 6, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
About the Authors
F. PAUL WILSON is an award-winning, NY Times bestselling novelist whose work spans horror, adventure, medical thrillers, science fiction, young adult, and virtually everything between. He is best known as the author of THE KEEP and creator of the urban mercenary Repairman Jack.JACK KILBORN is a pen name of J.A. Konrath, who has written six Jack Daniels thrillers.
The seventh, SHAKEN, will be available this October. Kilborn is the author of AFRAID, ENDURANCE, TRAPPED, and SERIAL UNCUT, (written with Blake Crouch) which has been downloaded more than 250,000 times.
JEFF STRAND is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of such novels as PRESSURE, DWELLER, GRAVEROBBERS WANTED (NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY), BENJAMIN’S PARASITE, and THE SINISTER MR. CORPSE. His secret shame is SUCKERS, co-written with J.A. Konrath.
BLAKE CROUCH is the author of four thrillers, DESERT PLACES, LOCKED DOORS, ABANDON, and SNOWBOUND, all published by St. Martin?s Press. His short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen, THRILLER 2, and other anthologies.
I managed to finish DRACULAS because it was thankfully short. In brief, it was kind of like this – flick, flick (or rather click as I read this on my fabulous Kindle) – read – yes – they die, and so do they. Click some more, skim a lot – read and yes, monster steps out for lunch. Read on, joke I saw coming several pages ago, finally matures then falls flat. Click, click – skim a little, read, another comic-book character. Are you with me?
The idea of it sounded great and it would no doubt be a good horror movie. But as a book …? Wrong!
I’ll try to begin positively. Considering four authors wrote this, they did a wonderful job of making it seamless. The pacing of the book is lightening fast, and keeps you in an uneasy place of suspense – a plus for horror lovers. The writing was solid and accurate – not too many odd word choices and grammar and spelling, top notch. Something I’ve found electronic books generally lack.
Also, there are heaps of bonus extras which look great for someone who enjoyed the book. Many of you out there may really enjoy these extras. I mean, if you own a Kindle, or other reading device, as well as 140 plus page book you get a bunch of other bonus content for a low, low price of $0.00. The bonus content does have some padding but access to bios and bibliographies is as standard to some, so fill your boots.
My boots walked away from this book just as soon as I could however, so I know I’ll not be taking advantage of them. And I do so hate waste!
Right, enough with the pleasantries.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like a good horror novel. I loved The Strain. And I do love thrillers. And well, vampires are my favourite all time villain. Also, reading anything to do with vampires is research for my novel. So, I kind of had to read Draculas. But I did not enjoy it. Draculas is apparently about vampires (which is why I chose to read it), though the ‘monsters’ are nothing like vampires you have ever read about before. The only thing in common with a vampire, in fact, is their insatiable blood lust. Oh and they have fangs too – but theirs are over-crowded to the point of tearing their hosts face to shreds.
This book is a stand-alone gore fest. In fact, it felt a lot like a zombie story to me, which is why this would be better on screen that on the page. Zombie books don’t do anything for me either. Stories where there are way too many innocent men, women and children, being horribly murdered/eaten/mutilated while a lucky few are slowly picked off, one by one, (while telling themselves and unfortunately the reader, how ‘funny’ it is), are not to my taste. But that’s not to say it’s not to your taste. I enjoyed Danny Boyles 28 days, and 28 weeks later. Whether I’d have enjoyed reading those stories I don’t know. The difference between these two visual stories and Draculas is believability. Not for one moment did I believe in this story nor its these characters. Four authors wrote a book where all angles were, well – weak!
I’m unfamiliar with all its authors and can only guess at who wrote which parts (unless I read the bonus bits which I just can’t be bothered to do). I know that Strand is known for his wit – so I’d guess the sad clown monster was his idea – Not funny at any stage – but like I said, this might transfer better to screen.
One of the authors loves guns to the extent that I could probably pass a firearms test right now; I read so much about them. The arsenal this character had was beyond worrying for any well balanced individual. It was over the top and well, boring to read so much information about them. Again, I imagine some of you guys out there loved this. And I could go on and on about the information dumping. There was also way too much useless detail from a doctor monster and a nurse – unnecessary people! I don’t want to be informed of every artery in the human body. Don’t get me wrong, some information sets a scene alight, too much and it’s just filler. It fills out the book but it bored me – you end up skimming over so much then lose the will to read on. Where we needed detail, there was none, where we did not, there was detail in spades.
Issues with the books structure were that there were no chapters. The reader struggles through, continually hopping from one point of view to another, each beginning with the characters name. There were lots of characters and you shared information with monsters and humans alike. This means you get to enter the heads of each character just before they end up as breakfast, lunch or dinner! Then, later you can read how they turn into a monster and eat each other too. Fascinating? No.
Also, I was conned. This book is absolutely NOT a vampire book. I found characters referring to them as ‘draculas’ utterly fake. I recently read the book, and have watched the movies! No one would look at one of these ‘things’ and think: “Oh look, that’s a Dracula.” They’d think: “That thing’s gonna eat me, I’m outta here.” I think the only reason the authors called this book Draculas was to sell it. Vampires are big right now. But these are NOT vampires’ folks.
And where is the reasoning behind having a toxin which spreads so fiercely ever explored? How did this remarkable toxin live dormant for 500 years on a buried skull, only to transfer to the dying man so instantly? Throughout the book it is passed by blood – there was no blood on the skull? Too much gore and not enough plot. Where’s the rhetoric? The story that was there to give some kind of agenda to all the gore was of over-used clichés. The poor little monster girl, the guilt at taking a life, the one line gags by The Big Tough Guy after each kill. Nothing about this book is in any way original. This was so disappointing, especially when you consider who wrote it?
Anyway, that’s about it. So in conclusion, the book is pea soup and I prefer Italian tomato. I have no doubt that this book will have a heap of fans. I’m just not one of them. And if you want vampires (sparkly or evil), this IS NOT for you. If you want random monsters or zombies eating a lot, an overall story which has little in the way of worth and characters out of a comic book – this is for you! Fill your boots with entrails and get stuck in.
I should point out that Amazon is tending to disagree with this point of view – its reviews are mostly positive. So don’t let me stop you if you think you’ll enjoy this bloody romp.
Right – So what do you think? Have you read this? Do you totally disagree with what I say, or agree? Let me know. Are you thinking of reading it? Will you still do so? Any and all comments welcome.