Monday, July 5, 2010
Dracula in Love by Karen Essex
Scheduled for its release this August 2010, Dracula in Love by Karen Essex is going to appeal to all fans of traditional vampire lore originated by Bram Stoker. What makes Dracula in Love unique is that the story is told from Mina Murray's point of view in the fashion of historical fiction based on the research of author Karen Essex.
Karen Essex gives us an in-depth history of the folklore surrounding the duo's eternal love for each other, whereas movies and adaptations of Bram Stoker's Dracula have only given us brief glimpses as to why Dracula is infinitely drawn to Mina.
Dracula in Love begins with Mina having a run-in with a mysterious figure who saves her from possible rape; a figure who has been popping in and out of Mina's dreams since childhood. In the midst of learning about Mina's upbringing and current lifestyle, we meet a cast of characters not unfamiliar to those of us in love with vampire lore; Jonathan Harker, journalist Kate Reed, and Lucy Westenra and her many suitors. Dracula (Count Vladimir Drakulya) is present throughout the novel mainly in spirit and essence until much later, after Mina has been exposed to the evil practices of Dr. Seward and the infamous Dr. Von Helsinger in the asylum they run together.
Once you begin reading Dracula in Love, you'll find yourself sucked in (no pun intended) to Karen Essex's fast pace and intriguing plot. We can't help wondering what exactly it is about Mina Murray-Harker that has Dracula so enthralled and obsessed with her throughout time.
Historical fiction fans will love the style of Dracula in Love because of the research Essex has invested in the story. This novel is so very tasteful and intelligent that vampire fiction fans looking for cheap bloodsucking entertainment may want to prepare themselves for this exceptionally classy take on Dracula.
A contrast I specifically enjoy is Count Vladimir Drakulya's modern, open-minded, and mature personality in comparison to the other males in the novel. The relationship and connection between Drakulya and Mina is very obvious and strong.
The horror element is also prevalent within Dracula in Love during the asylum scenes, in which the obvious mal-practices of that time will make readers cringe!
As with other novels I have read by Karen Essex, Dracula in Love is just too short! If only Essex can achieve writing Margaret George-sized volumes -- wouldn't that be a treat!
I highly recommend reading Karen Essex's first novel, Kleopatra (2002). Essex is also the author of bestselling Leonardo's Swans (2006) and Stealing Athena (2008).
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