Friday, February 26, 2010

Dracula: the Undead ~ Final Verdict

I finally finished Dracula the Undead by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt. I promise to give a fair review of the book on my blog. This will be hard to do without spoiling it for readers who may choose to read the book later. Earlier, I stated that Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, was a character in the book. That is not the only real life person the authors brought in to be a part of the sequel as a character. The famous actor, John Barrymore, Drew Barrymore's great grandfather was also in the book. The authors incorporated many true events and people that are famous, like Jack the Ripper,(apparently Jack is really a lesbian vampire!?!) Henry Irving,a famous actor in theatre, real Scotland Yard detectives from the Ripper era, and many others. Frankly, it literally drove me crazy. The story did keep my interest, even though sometimes I was doing inner eye rolls. I dislike giving a bad review, (good thing I am not a real life editor!) but Stoker Jr. took some severe liberties with his great-grandfather's novel. He literally changed the theme of the original Dracula into a completely different entity. For example, in the sequel, the "true life" events of the story of Dracula was leaked by one of the heroic band of characters that took down Dracula in the first book. Apparently this person was drinking in a bar with Bram Stoker and spilled the beans about Lucy, Van Helsing, the Harkers, and how they all destroyed the evil vampire Dracula. So, Bram Stoker decides to write a novel about it. Dracula is angry (yes, he actually survived!) because the leaked story was all wrong(!?!) Dracula is really a good vampire, and he did not really kill Lucy. Van Helsing killed Lucy with a botched blood transfusion. Not only that, but Dracula did not kill all the sailors on the ship Exeter on his way to Carfax Abbey, it was the plague from rats that did them all in. In fact, Dracula does not drink blood from humans, and is working for God. Dracula knows of a TRULY evil vampire who must be destroyed or she (lesbian vampire AKA Jack the Ripper) will overtake and destroy the world with her girlfriends. I am truly not trying to make it sound silly, but that is what comes down the pike. I did not find affinity with any of the characters, in fact I was hoping Quincey Harker (Jonathan and Mina's son) would get bitten, he was so annoying. Then, not surprisingly, they pulled the "I AM YOUR FATHER" Star Wars line, which had me sighing with resignation. I was never so glad to close a book. Better luck next time, Stoker Jr.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dracula: the Undead by Stoker, Dacre

I was so excited to start reading the sequel to Bram Stoker's Dracula, which was wrote by his direct descendant, Dacre Stoker, and so far I've made it to page 76. It started out slow, which many books do, but I did get interested in the story. However, Stoker "jumped the shark" when he introduced Great-Great Uncle Bram Stoker as a character in the story. In a side note, Stephen King did this to his readers in the Dark Tower series, by having the characters visit himself in the book. That was a bad move for him, in my opinion, because I put the book down and never finished it. I could not wrap my mind around that one!
But, Dracula the Undead is slightly different. Apparently Bram Stoker heard about Jonathan and Mina Harker's horrific encounter with Dracula. He stole their story, wrote a work of fiction using their names, (duh!), and is putting on a theater production of the book. Now the Harkers' grown son, Quincey Harker, who's interested in theater, happens upon the production of Dracula and finds his parents' names, and their friend's names are used in the story. He also hears that the book Dracula may actually be based upon a real person, so he starts researching Dracula...
I plan to finish the novel, just to see how it all turns out, but I am less than thrilled with it, in all honesty. Clunky writing, scattered plots, and no feeling of affinity with the characters have turned me off the book. There is not one character in the story that I like, which I feel is important in a story. I will post a final review on the book when I finish it, to be fair to the book. It could turn fantastic in the next chapter, and I promise to keep an open mind! You should try reading it, and let me know what your thoughts are on Dracula: the Undead!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Vampire Alert

Hi friends, I freely admit I love reading scary books and watching scary films. I suspect most women avoid this type of material, unless it's Twilight, which is very romantic. Romantic, hunky, and considerate vampires who avoid biting you because of their deep love for you are definitely a different type of story! More romance than horror, I think! I find it difficult to name five girl-friends who share my love for horror novels and films. Stephen King is the king of scary, in my opinion. His books are riveting and horrific, and yet the films made from his novels just do not measure up to the books. "Misery" starring Kathy Bates was pretty good though! I discovered yesterday, to my astonishment, that I have not read "Just After Sunset", a collection of short stories published in 2008 by Stephen King. I realized this occurred because I have slacked off my pleasure reading since starting college in 2008. I plan to read Just After Sunset ASAP!
A couple of vampire horror novels that are outstanding, in my humble opinion, are "My Swordhand is Singing" by Marcus Sedgewick,and "London Under Midnight" by Simon Clark. My Swordhand is Singing is a good read. I believe both books are teen reads, which makes it slightly less scary than adult books. London Under Midnight was definitely disturbing and more gory than the other. I love vampire novels, (but not zombie novels, no no no!)and I am thrilled to announce that Bram Stoker's direct descendant, Dacre Stoker, has created the sequel to Dracula. It is called "Dracula: the undead". The band of heroes that destroyed Dracula are being hunted down one by one and Dr. Seward, Van Helsing's morphine addicted protege, must figure out if Dracula is back or... Sounds pretty chilling to me! I am opening the book right now! I gotta go....I will tell you about it in another post!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Book Genres

Hi Book Lovers! I have created a Powerpoint presentation on Library genres. There are so many different types of books out there to read! On our trip down Book Lovers Lane, we have to take detours sometimes and take routes we have never explored before, right? View my slideshow and tell me what your favorite genre is...mine is....Suspense!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Harry Potter Series

This book lover has been caught hook, line and sinker for the Harry Potter series! I read and reread the books from time to time. I own all the Harry Potter films on DVD and our family has Harry marathons where we view them in order from beginning to the end. The books are better than the films, naturally. I confess, I am a die-hard Harry Potter fan! For any of you extremely rare species of people who don't read or watch films, Harry Potter is a young orphan boy who does not know he is a wizard. He lives in England with his hateful aunt and uncle, Vernon and Petunia Dursley. Dudley is their spoiled son, who is also mean to Harry. When Harry turns eleven, he receives a letter inviting him to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There he befriends Hermione and Ron, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, many colorful Hogwarts teachers, and fellow students. Harry finds out he is famous because as a baby, he unwittingly defeated Lord Voldemort, the evil wizard who killed many people including Harry's parents. Voldemort's spell backfired on him, which vaporized him, and only left Harry with a lightning shaped scar on his face. No one has seen Voldemort all these years, but all wonder if he is still out there and planning to come back. Each book in the series represents a new year Harry spends at Hogwarts, and clever plots where Harry and his friends try to foil the evil plans of Voldemort's followers to bring back the Dark Lord. Eventually, Voldemort comes back, and Harry, with the help of his closest friends, must find a way to get rid of him for good. These books can be classified as childrens or teen books, but adults love them too! Which Harry Potter novel and film is your ultimate favorite? Let this book lover know!

Thrills, Spills, and Chills = Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz is the undisputed king (in my book!) of thrilling, sometimes supernatural government conspiracy, or just plain suspenseful books. One of his novels, Intensity, has been made into a made for TV movie. He has many novels, some better than others, that are wonderful reads. Relentless is the fictional yet thrilling story of a bestselling novelist Cubby Greenwich, who unwisely approaches a critic, the reclusive Shearman Waxx, who dissed his latest book in his column. Unbeknownst to Cubby, Waxx is a sociopath who relentlessly terrorizes any writer that dares to disagree with his critique. Almost all of the authors who dared to approach Waxx have disappeared or ended up dead. Waxx carries out an elaborate campaign of terror on the author and his family. Read Relentless to find out what happens to Cubby and his family, and let this book lover know how you rated the book?

Stephanie Plum Series

Calling all book lovers! If you like a mystery that provides laugh-out-loud humor, steamy hot romance, and hilariously quirky characters, you have to read Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. Stephanie Plum, former lingerie saleswoman, is now employed by her cousin Vinnie as a bond enforcer AKA bounty hunter. Lula, a former 'ho, rides shotgun for Stephanie on stakeouts. Stephanie's Grandma Mazur, who likes to pack heat and considers funerals social events, even if she doesn't know the deceased, provides belly laughs too. Detective Joe Morelli, tall, dark, and sexy is Stephanie's off and on boyfriend, and Ranger, the sexy, mysterious, hunky part-time bounty hunter helps Stephanie out of tight spots. The characters are well developed, the plots are fun and engaging, and the who-will-she-choose-romance hook will keep you coming back for more. Who do you think Stephanie should end up with, Morelli or Ranger?