Thursday, August 4, 2011

Book Review: Dracula in Love by Karen Essex

Publish Date: July 5th 2011
Format: Paperback edition 384pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):

" 'Reader, you are about to enter a world that exists simultaneous with your own. But be warned: in its realm, there are no rules, and there is certainly no neat formula to become—or to destroy—one who has risen above the human condition…The truth is, we must fear monsters less and be warier of our own kind.'
London, 1890. Mina Murray, the rosy-cheeked, quintessentially pure Victorian heroine, becomes Count Dracula’s object of desire. To preserve her chastity, five male “defenders” rush in to rescue her from the vampire’s evil clutches. This is the version of the story we've been told. But now, from Mina’s own pen, we discover that the story is vastly different when told from the female point of view. 
In this captivating, bold act of storytelling, award-winning author Karen Essex breathes startling new life into the characters of Bram Stoker's Dracula, transporting the reader into the erotic and bizarre underbelly of the original story. While loosely following the events of its classic predecessor, Dracula in Love deviates from the path at every turn. 
The result is a darkly haunting, propulsive, and rapturous tale of immortal love and possession.
From the shadowy banks of the river Thames to the wild and windswept Yorkshire coast, Dracula’s eternal muse—the most famous woman in vampire lore—vividly recounts the joys and terrors of a passionate affair that has linked her and the Count through the centuries, and her rebellion against her own frightening preternatural powers. 
Mina’s version of this gothic vampire tale is a visceral journey into Victorian England’s dimly lit bedrooms, mist-filled cemeteries, and terrifying asylum chambers, revealing the dark secrets and mysteries locked within. Time falls away as she is swept into a mythical voyage far beyond mortal comprehension, where she must finally make the decision she has been avoiding for almost a millennium. 
Stoker’s Dracula offered one side of the story, in which Mina was a victim bearing no responsibility for the unfolding events. Now, for the first time, the truth of her secret history, and of vampirism itself, is revealed. What this flesh and blood woman has to say is more sensual, more devious, and more enthralling than the Victorians could have expressed or perhaps even imagined."

My Review: 

Bram Stoker's Dracula has been captivating readers for over a century, with its chilling tale of unnatural forces, combined with an elusive love theme that's ultimately overshadowed by the sinister plotting of Count Dracula himself. It is this mysterious love that is the focus of Karen Essex's novel, Dracula in Love.

Told from the vantage point of Mina Harker, the reader is given a fresh and evocative take on the haunting tale. Plagued with dreams of passion and desire, Mina soon realizes she is not merely dreaming, but instead experiencing a passion that has been fated for her throughout the centuries. As the story unfolds, we learn of how Mina comes to be controlled by Dracula and the passion that drives them together, not out of evil purpose but by choice and need.

When I first began reading Dracula in Love, I was amazed at how quickly I was drawn into the story. The first paragraph captivated me in such a way that the book might as well have been Dracula beckoning me close for a bite. Karen's talent for weaving Bram Stoker's classic novel into her own work, yet allowing the story to have strong and original take, was brilliant. Her use of scenery was also brilliant, and I often felt myself chill as the story enveloped me like an eerie fog. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is familiar with the story of Dracula and is looking for a novel to be consumed by.

Dracula In Love Tour Schedule...

Tuesday, July 5th

Review at The Book Buff
Author Guest Post at Book Flame

Wednesday, July 6th

Review at Book Flame

Thursday, July 7th

Author Guest Post at The Book Buff

Friday, July 8th

Author Guest Post & Giveaway at To Read or Not to Read

Monday, July 11th

Author Guest Post & Giveaway at The Bibliophilic Book Blog

Tuesday, July 12th

Author Guest Post & Giveaway at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Wednesday, July 13th

Review at The Bibliophilic Book Blog
Thursday, July 14th

Book Highlight at Books Devoured

Friday, July 15th

Author Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Monday, July 18th

Tuesday, July 19th

Author Guest Post & Giveaway at Tina's Book Reviews

Thursday, July 21st

Author Guest Post at Jenny Loves to Read

Friday, July 22nd

Review at My Reading Room
Author Guest Post & Giveaway at Just One More Paragraph

Monday, July 25th

Author Interview & Giveaway at All Things Historical Fiction

Tuesday, July 26th

Review at Book Rat
Review & Giveaway at Book Reviews by Molly
Review at Tina's Book Reviews

Wednesday, July 27th

Author Interview & Giveaway at Book Rat

Thursday, July 28th

Friday, July 29th

Author Guest Post & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Monday, August 1st

Author Guest Post at Debbie's Book Bag
Review at Broken Teepee
Review & Giveaway at From the TBR Pile

Tuesday, August 2nd

Author Guest Post & Giveaway at vvb32 reads

Wednesday, August 3rd

Thursday, August 4th

Author Interview & Giveaway at P.S. I Love Books
Author Guest Post at My Reading Room

Friday, August 5th

Author Guest Post at The Muse in the Fog Book Review

Monday, August 8th

Tuesday, August 9th

Review at vvb32 reads
Author Guest Post & Giveaway at Black Lagoon Reviews

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.
FTC: I received this book from the publisher. As always, these are my own honest opinions.


Dr J said...

I was quite taken with your post . . . the entire Dracula thing has been sort of passed over in favor of newer and more exciting vampires in modern fiction, but there really is something about the Victorian age, with its oppression and stiff-necked insistence on propriety in all its forms. That there was a whole other world existing alongside the prim and proper one is a world that I hope will be more fully explored in romance fiction. It is fascinating, to say the least.

Unknown said...

I thought that this was a wonderful book! I have not read Dracula, but I have seen the movies and my boyfriend gave me the rundown of the book. I love how Essex expanded up the original and fit it right into the Victorian age. Great review.

Jenny Girl said...

Excellent review darling. Glad you enjoyed it so much :)

engelsigh said...

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Nikola said...

This sounds like an excellent novel, and one that I've been seeing everywhere recently.

I love that it is told from the perspective of Mina (in the original Dracula, her letters/journal entries were the most interesting to me). I'll have to make sure I sink my teeth into this one soon!

leighmarbella said...

This one's interesting. Hopefully it's available locally.