Book Review: Anno Dracula

Guys, I just got done reading a pretty awesome book.

At first I wasn’t sure about it, since the cover wasn’t immediately telling what the story was about, and I really didn’t look into it too much. But my best friend recommended it to me because Neil Gaiman said everyone should read it. Also, sometimes it’s fun to just jump into a book without reading the back, because it’s more surprising that way.

From the cover and title I understood that vampires were involved, and well, I do like vampires [that don’t sparkle]. And most pointedly, it starred “Prince” Dracula as “His Majesty.”

Okay, I’ll bite.

Haha, get it?

So I dropped the other books I was currently reading at the time and focused in on this one.

Needless to say, I soon wasn’t disappointed. This is, it turns out, an alternate history of the time of Jack the Ripper. I’m a bit of a sucker for historical fiction, and also have always had a weird thing about Jack the Ripper [I blame all the years I watched Unsolved Mysteries]. This was in fact a perfect combination of things relevant to my interests.

It doesn’t all happen right away, either. Things start slow, though the story certainly doesn’t feel that way. There are different points of view throughout the novel, but it never gets confusing – everyone has a very unique voice. Along with this involving vampires, there are also a lot of other fictional places that Kim Newman takes his inspiration from, and that also made reading this book really fun and exciting. If you love  Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, and other cult favorites when it comes to vampire novels, yes. Check this book out.

So, without spoilers, here are some fun facts about this book:

  • Van Helsing is dead, killed by Dracula
  • Dracula has married Queen Victoria and turned her into a vampire, becoming King of England
  • Vampires are rampant and accepted in Britain
  • Someone starts killing vampire prostitutes in Whitechapel
  • The Diogenes Club gets involved in the investigation

Even days after reading this book, I’m still going through the pages at the back [of my nook] to read all the notes that Newman has made, and reading up on all the connections further pointed out on the wiki page. A ton of research went into this story, and it’s really refreshing to see so much work put into a book, especially a vampire-focused one.

But more exciting was when I saw that this is actually the first book in a series of novels and short stories. The titles have me just laughing hysterically [such as Dracula Cha Cha Cha] and wanting to read them all at once. Apparently at one point these novels were all out of print though, so right now only the first two are available, and more still to come. Huzzah!

So to recap, I highly recommend this novel if you love:

  • Vampires of the non-sparkly, bad-ass variety
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula
  • Jack the Ripper [though maybe don’t admit that too loudly…]
  • Cult vampire stories
  • Victorian history
  • And more!

Okay, on to the next book! And anime! And video game! Man do I need more than 24 hours in a day.

 

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