DRACUL - *****
DACRE STOKER & J.D. BARKER
Bram Stoker was always a very sickly child, but when he’s miraculously cured by his nanny with a mysterious past he finds himself linked to her and her dark world in a way he could never have imagined.
I must admit I was a little wary of Dracul by Dacre Stoker - Bram’s great grand-nephew. I initially thought it would be a chance for the author to cash in on his famous name and nothing more. How wrong I was!
Firstly, I really enjoyed the story itself, although in places it feels a little similar in plot to the original, it certainly has the feel of being in the same universe. The characters are all well rounded and I liked the split narrative perspectives between the siblings in the chapters. I also enjoyed the side-stories as well and the whole novel had a nice element of Victorian Ireland mixed with Gothic Horror and thrilling suspense. It’s a prequel to the original and using Bram Stoker as the main character was a nice addition.
It was only when I got to the afterward that I realised how much of the story had been inspired by real life – either from Bram’s personal history, his original drafts of Dracula (which initially had to be edited for a UK audience) and additional notes and letters. This was a fascinating read and the mix of true folklore and actual people that inspired the characters showed how well researched and lovingly crafted this story really was.
Overall Dracul is a well-researched and atmospheric gothic horror which draws its strength from the original to create a thrilling prequel – highly recommended! Thank you to Random House UK and Transworld Publishers – Black Swan for a chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.