#ATBR2019 – Dracul by Dacre Stoker & J.D. Barker

Bam! We got more #bravethebacklist and #ATBR2019

Thanks to Putnam for the free copies in exchange for our honest reviews

DRACUL – Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker (Released October 2nd, 2018)

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Book Description:

The prequel to Dracula, inspired by notes and texts left behind by the author of the classic novel, Dracul is a supernatural thriller that reveals not only Dracula’s true origins but Bram Stoker’s–and the tale of the enigmatic woman who connects them.

It is 1868, and a twenty-one-year-old Bram Stoker waits in a desolate tower to face an indescribable evil. Armed only with crucifixes, holy water, and a rifle, he prays to survive a single night, the longest of his life. Desperate to record what he has witnessed, Bram scribbles down the events that led him here…

A sickly child, Bram spent his early days bedridden in his parents’ Dublin home, tended to by his caretaker, a young woman named Ellen Crone. When a string of strange deaths occur in a nearby town, Bram and his sister Matilda detect a pattern of bizarre behavior by Ellen–a mystery that deepens chillingly until Ellen vanishes suddenly from their lives. Years later, Matilda returns from studying in Paris to tell Bram the news that she has seen Ellen–and that the nightmare they’ve thought long ended is only beginning

Chandra’s Thoughts: 3/5 stars 

Maybe I’m a terrible bibliophile for never have actually read Dracula but, like with most people, have seen the countless different vampire movies – most impressively so, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which you should never watch from the first row of the theater because you WILL get dizzy.  In any case, I was expecting a bit slow of a read and that is what I got.  But, I did find myself feeling that same atmosphere – the dark, foggy, whispering buzz of the night.

This book starts of pretty strong – I was racing through the journal entries just to get back to the backstory because this is where my interest was piqued the most.  I wanted to continue on the journey with the children.  Notice what they notice, find the courage with them to go looking around so they could get answers.  And once things started to really change and my interest was at it’s all time high for the story – we get to part II and….. my interest started waning.  While I know the story was progressing, I started to feel it was a big stagnant.

I can absolutely appreciate what this novel was doing and I did find it very intriguing to see the origins of the book and Dracula.  I think just for my personal taste, I needed it to move a little faster.  This isn’t a knock on the book itself though because I knew what I was walking into when I started.  I think that because I was surprised with the pacing at the beginning, that it started to feel a little disjointed towards the end.

I wonder too – just how much does the author(s) really think is true and if there is a solid belief, I’m fascinated by it because of the history of vampirism and the way people looked upon it.  What do you start to make real to further your cause/belief and what actually happens that we’re blissfully unaware except for when we want to escape in movies and books?

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars

This is being considered the prequel to the classic horror novel DRACULA by Bram Stoker. I loved hearing that this was co-authored by his great grand-nephew and some journal entries and other works that were found had been incorporated. For those that have read DRACULA I think you’ll love this one as much as I did. This is classic horror with plenty of spine chilling scares with the Gothic historical fiction feel.

Bram Stoker is our main character and we get a glimpse into his childhood. He was a sickly child and was close to his nanny, Ellen Crone, who helped him improve his health significantly. Bram and his sister, Matilda, began investigating a string of strange murders that were occurring in their small Irish town. To their shock, their beloved nanny seemed to be commented in some way. One day she simply disappears without a trace.

Years later Ellen resurfaces and she introduces Bram to a whole new kind of horror. We get a tie-in of some Irish folklore, which I loved! This is a story of how Stoker found his inspiration for the Count himself and it’s not short on horror. Moving at a quick pace that doesn’t quit made for a fast read (considering it’s a larger book!)

The writing is amazing, the story is incredibly atmospheric, and this is just what I was looking for to kick off the month of October. I would highly recommend this one and that you read the Author’s Note at the end.

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