06 February, 2018


Title: Anno Dracula
Author:  Kim Newman
Series: Anno Dracula
Genres: Vampires, Horror, Historical fiction
Publisher: Titan Books
Release: May 24th 2011
Source: Paperback
Pages: 547

// Goodreads // BookDepository // Amazon //


It is 1888 and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort Vlad Tepes, the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar characters from Victorian history and fiction, the novel follows vampire Geneviève Dieudonné and Charles Beauregard of the Diogenes Club as they strive to solve the mystery of the Ripper murders.

Anno Dracula is a rich and panoramic tale, combining horror, politics, mystery and romance to create a unique and compelling alternate history. Acclaimed novelist Kim Newman explores the darkest depths of a reinvented Victorian London.

This brand-new edition of the bestselling novel contains unique bonus material, including a new afterword from Kim Newman, annotations, articles and alternate endings to the original novel.

EXPECTATIONS: The first time I saw this book, was the first time I knew of its existence, thus I came in with no expectations whatsoever. It's a strange feeling, to know nothing of the book, and have no time to start thinking of what it might contain. 

THE WORLD: Bram Stoker's "Dracula" is a big fat lie, written to give people in the underground, the resistance - some sort of hope semblance. In truth, Dracula came and never left. He married Queen Victoria, becoming her consort, and pulling vampires out of the dark. Now the world lives under this vampiric tyrant, with vampires of all kinds living among the warm. What kind of a vampire you are depends on who your Father or Mother in Darkness was. Dracula's line, as one might guess, is the widest spread, and the most flawed too, what with the lack of reflection and such. People are torn about the whole undead presence, even if "undead" is not always the case. Some never really die, they just turn to bloodsuckers. One of such turned people was the famous Lucy, and it was her death that resulted in many a man lose his mind over the loss, thus, in the end, creating a creature we know as Jack the Ripper, tearing through the streets, and through the vampire girls of the night. 

CHARACTERS: Vlad Dracula is merely a presence here, but we soon get to know that Stoker's descriptions were accurate to the hair on his palms. Other characters dominate. Kate Reed, for one, cut out from the original Stoker's book, she's a journalist, once a friend to Mina Harker, woman who might have found freedom under Dracula's rule. She merely wants justice, truth told. Then there's the gorgeous, very old vampire, a nurse from the middle ages, Genevive Deudone. A beautiful creature of a good vampire bloodline, and luckily, of a kind heart too. The two of them, and a yet obscure third woman I best recall as "Penny", gravitate towards one man, a man from Diogenes Club, Charles Beauregard, a powerful adversary of Dracula, and, strange as it may be, a warm man.

ROMANCE: The three mentioned women, Genevive, Kate, and Penny, all feel some level of love for Charles, and it seems he loves each one of them too. One - more than the others. In the end, they fancy themselves Dracula's brides in the most satirical and ironical way possible, since all three are then and there because of the prince, and all three find this man thanks to the horrors prince is spreading. And all three, thus, make sure to fight him with all their might, if not for their own forsaken lives, then for Charles, who lives, breathes, and refuses to turn.

GOOD: It's a very unique story, and a good re-telling of Bram Stoker's Dracula, with alternative that I love: no man was strong enough to kill Dracula. They came, they saw, they got torn limb-by-limb.

BAD: Kim Newman has a terrible need to tell you in detail what the scene people at is like, and drop hundreds of names on you, by mere mentions, e.g. "this gorgeous vampire Lestat claimed to be a prince, but got brutally killed in a rebellion" or something like that. That's not a direct quote, but Lestat was mentioned. It gets very tedious, and hard work to read through all that. 

OVERALL: I did like it, after all. It's very unique, very steampunk'y. It was refreshing to read a re-telling of Dracula without it being a romance book, or even without him being one of the main story-tellers.

What do you think about ANNO DRACULA?



Post a Comment