Dracula: The Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt

Dracula The Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker and Ian HoltLife has not been particularly kind to the survivors of the great battle with Dracula in the novel of the same name. Picking up twenty-five years after the events that end the original novel, the drug-addicted Dr. Jack Seward witnesses the torture and subsequent murder of a young woman by two “women in white” and their mistress, Countess Elizabeth Bathory, in Marseilles, France. Vowing to stop her, Seward surmises that Bathory is headed to Paris in pursuit of the famous actor, Basarab, so he makes his way there himself. Meanwhile, Mina and Jonathan Harker’s son, Quincey, a reluctant law student at the Sorbonne, wishes to follow his first love, the theatre, and manages to attend Basarab’s performance. Quincey’s desires result in a strained relationship with his parents whose marriage suffers from the events of the past.

As those incidents from the past begin to collide with those of the present and it seems that Dracula may have survived, members of the team who battled him begin to die. Inspector Cotford, a police officer who lost his credibility when Jack the Ripper escaped his clutches many years earlier, suspects the elderly Van Helsing of being the Ripper and picks back up his obsession to prove his theory. Arthur Holmwood desires to forget the past and the incident with Dracula as that event resulted in the death of his beloved Lucy. When Quincey Harker arrives to ask for help in tracking down the vampire, Arthur initially refuses but ultimately agrees, and the two begin their quest. Mina Harker senses the presence of darkness but is unsure as to what it may be attributed and seeks to learn the truth in order to protect her son. The actions of all of the characters converge as the novel progresses.

Using a style that employs both a modern sensibility and eighteenth-century gothic melodrama, Stoker and Holt create a highly-readable, suspenseful and enjoyable tale that re-introduces the reader to familiar characters, though often taking them in very different directions than may be expected. This sequel contains more gore than either the original or most urban fantasy, placing it in the horror genre, but the usage is not gratuitous. The story flows well despite the narrative switching back and forth between the various characters and their respective predicaments, even with the end-of-chapter cliffhangers. An intriguing premise that takes existing characters from the original novel and continues their stories, introducing an even scarier villain, and employing the meta-fictional technique of having the original novel and its author play a role, results in Dracula: The Un-Dead providing a very satisfying reading experience.

Book Stats:

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Trade; Reprint edition (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451230515
  • ASIN: B005B1E69O

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Life has not been particularly kind to the survivors of the great battle with Dracula in the novel of the same name. Picking up twenty-five years after the events that end the original novel, the drug-addicted Dr. Jack Seward witnesses the torture and subsequent murder of a young woman by two “women in white” and …

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About Carol

A book reviewer and editor at Bitten by Books since 2008, Carol reads extensively in the urban fantasy genre, and also writes the column on genre television, Screen Bites. Serving as the director of the Urban Fantasy track at Dragon Con, Carol also works at Coastal Magic (formerly Olde City, New Blood), and AnachroCon, and for the last three years has been one of the organizers for a small literary festival in the town where she lives. When not reading, writing reviews, or working at conventions, Carol spends as much time as possible with her three amazing grandsons.

One comment

  1. Yes this was good addition to the Bram Stroker Dracula because it added depth to the characters that had not been present in the original story. I feel that the show on TV takes its byline from this version of the story.