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Dracula in Love

A book by Karen Essex

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Dracula In Love? Well, maybe...

  • Jul 5, 2010
Dracula in Love by Karen Essex has potential as the story of Bram Stoker's Dracula from Mina Harker's point of view. And in fact, the first part of the novel is well written, with a definite feel for the original as it traces the steps of Mina through her engagement to Jonathan Harker and his absence on the business of the mysterious Count. The atmosphere is right, the setting is right...and then...it all explodes in a confusion of lust, myth, reincarnation, and insane asylums. Did I mention lust? Because that's probably not the right word...more like prurient sexual escapades that do nothing to advance the plot but everything to leave the reader feeling icky.

Possible spoilers ahead...The title Dracula in Love is a misnomer; Dracula himself only appears in small glimpses until around page 250, when there he is, obsessed with Mina and becoming her savior, her lover, and her cruise director all at once. While the story up until this point has its moments, it is when Dracula appears that the whole thing goes south. Lots and lots of myth, reincarnation, and immortal beings suddenly arrive, and none of them do anything to enhance the storyline. Mina transforms from the do-gooder Victorian we've known for much of the book, and it's not a good transformation. At this point I might've wall-banged the book had I not invested so much time into it. And while I'm certaily no prude, the author's attempts to shock the reader with wild no holds barred sex felt like just that--an attempt to shock, nothing more.

Dracula in Love is not all bad news, with the first two hundred pages, while devoid of the Count himself for the most part, ripe with atmosphere and fairly true in spirit to the original. Once the "reunion" between Mina and the Count occurs, however, it's as though Ms. Essex had no idea how to reconcile her world with Stoker's and started throwing everything but the kitchen sink into the mix. The more I think about it, the more ludicrous the story becomes (and that's saying something since we're dealing with vampires here). Maybe I'd best stop this review while I'm still rounding up from the 2.5 stars I'd decided upon. My generosity can only extend so far so I'll just say this is one to avoid.

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review by . September 09, 2010
   First things first, I must confess that I have never read Bram Stoker's Dracula, nor have I seen the movie. You must also know that I only know very little of who Mina Murray is.  I know she and Dracula have always been linked together but as to the nature of their relationship - that was a mystery to me... "was" being the key word since this book did clarify that.   Told through Mina's perspective, we learn of the dark stranger who has been a key figure …
review by . August 27, 2010
I got chills reading this book. Karen really knows how to weave a story and keep a reader engaged. Dracula in Love is an instant hit and will be loved by readers for years to come.
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Tammy Koudelka McCann ()
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Bruce Feiler Reviews Dracula in Love

Bruce Feiler is one of America’s most popular voices on faith and family. He is the author of five New York Times bestsellers, including Walking the Bible, Abraham, and America’s Prophet. His latest book, The Council of Dads, tells the uplifting story of how friendship and community can help one survive life’s greatest challenges. Read his review of Dracula in Love:

Gorgeously written and erotically charged, the novel Dracula in Love is like its century-jumping central characters: deeply rooted in the past while pushing ageless mythology into strikingly current realms. Historical novels should have plenty of history, and this novel surely does. Romantic novels should have their share of sex and romance, and this novel delivers both. But its true revelation is its gripping sense of anticipation, heartache, discovery, and unflinching chill.

With Dracula in Love Karen Essex turns her inimitable, piercing gaze to illuminating what should be familiar terrain--Victorian England--and what might seem like well-trod territory--a certain Count. Her considerable trick is to make you forget entirely all the baggage that attends her story by planting us firmly in the shoes and the psyche of one of the "victims," Mina Harker. I am walking up the steps of the finishing school with the quivering heroine; I am secreting away in London’s subterranean shadows with the jilted lover; I am traveling into the mysteries of ...

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ISBN-10: 0385528914
ISBN-13: 978-0385528917
Author: Karen Essex
Genre: Gothic Fiction, Horror Fiction
Publisher: Doubleday
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