August 30, 2009
Dracula: The Un-Dead
Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt
Dutton,Oct 2009, $26.95
Twenty-five years has passed since the horrific events of 1897 ended with Dracula turning into dust; none involved have moved on as each remains haunted by the encounter with the Count. Mina and Jonathon married, but neither obtained closure when the vampire was killed; stressed and estrnaged, they conceal from their son Quincey what happened. Seward survives with heroin while Holmwood became a hermit. Their mentor Van Helsing obsessively lives for the return of Dracula as the vampire’s death was his life’s goal so he has nothing else. Scotland Yard believes Van Helsing was involved in the unsolved Ripper murders.
In 1912, Stoker is frustrated as he struggles to convert his horror thriller Dracula to the London stage. However, although the author knows the full truth, he and the others except perhaps the ever vigilant Van Helsing are unprepared for a gruesome serial killer horrifying London. Scotland yard once again believes a fanatic Van Helsing is deeply connected to the killings, but too old to perform them. Those involved with what happened back then find themsleves and their loved ones under siege as if Van Helsing’s belief the Count will return from the dust has occurred. The survivors of the previous encounter regroup to battle evil again although they are unsure who stalks them.
This is a super vampire thriller that brings forward the stars of Dracula into the Edwardian Era with a where are they now tale. The clever story line is fast-paced while introducing the audience to the survivors of the previous horrific encounter to include Bram Stoker. Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt explore the essence of evil and good through a cast of humans who have used psychological defense mechanisms to barely survive and a vampire who may or may not be Dracula, but has the same attitude re the food chain as well as a thirst for the blood of vengeance. Filled with terrific twists fans of Dracula and those who appreciate a strong historical urban fantasy will relish the THE UN-DEAD.