Book Cover
Title Dracula the Un-Dead
Series ---
Author Dacre Stoker & Ian Holt
Cover Art Craig White
Publisher Penguin - 2009
First Printing Penguin - 2009
Category Horror
Warnings Rape and violence

Main Characters

Mina, Jonathan and Quincey Harker, Seward, Holmwood, Van Helsing, Basarab, Bathory

Main Elements Vampires

The true Stoker sequel.

Family secrets, unfinished business, and an evil unlike any the world has known.

Twenty-five years have passed since the band of heroes destroyed Dracula at his castle in Transylvania. Since then Jonathan and Mina Harker have raised their son Quincey into a fine, if at times naive, young man, even while their once happy marriage disintegrated. Dr. Seward, the brilliant physician, is plagued by drug abuse and mania. Arthur Holmwood, the brave and dashing fiance to Lucy, is now full of anger and regret. And Van Helsing, leader of the brave band, is a sickly old man. Bram Stoker's Dracula introduced us to these characters, and in this fully realized sequel, written by Dacre Stoker, a direct descendent of Bram Stoker, and Ian Holt, a noted Dracula expert and historian, we see how these lives will forever be entwined with each other and the vampire they so courageously fought to destroy.

When Quincey leaves law school to pursue his dream of acting, he stumbles upon a troubled production of the play Dracula. This play, with its oddly familiar characters and directed by one Bram Stoker, plunges the young man into the world of his parents' terrible secrets, but before he can confront them he meets evil that rocks him to the core. One by one, the band of heroes that defeated Dracula is being hunted down. Could it be that Dracula somehow survived and is seeking revenge all these years later? Or, is another, far more sinister villain at work who will put anyone associated with Dracula, including Quincey, in grave danger?

Dracula the Un-Dead is a fast-paced historically rich sequel that is as frightening and atmospheric as the original. Based on plot threads and characters from Bram Stoker's notes that he compiles while writing and researching Dracula, as well as extensive research on the historical Prince Dracula and other well-known figures, here is a suspensful, fascinating tale that will resonate with readers of the original as well as modern fans.

Not sure exactly what I think about this book in the end. When it came out it was a big deal, but now that I've finally gotten around to it I've since seen a lot of really terrible reviews. I guess it's all in how you view the book.

As an actual "official" sequel (after all, we know that Dracula is dispatched in the original in a way that would not kill a vampire, so a sequel is not a crazy idea) it was kind of disappointing. A lot of "facts" in the original were changed, mainly due to Holt wanting to satisfy Dracula movie fans. For example in the movies vampires burst into flame during the day, but in the book itself, Dracula is caught wandering around in broad daylight. Or that Mina was actually in love with Dracula, a theme that comes up often in movies, but in the book I found she was a clear unwilling victim.

On the other hand, if you read it like any other of the hundreds of Dracula-themed novels (or movies) then I thought it was decent enough. I thought the consequences of the experiences of the band of heroes would logically lead them to various situations twenty-five years later. Seward is a drug addict, Mina and Jonathan's marriage isn't doing well, Arthur can't get over the loss of Lucy. And it's not like its the first book that decides to toss Bathory into the mix...though word to authors out there, do NOT write from a pure evil character's point of view, they always come off as two-dimensional as they rub their hands together with glee over the thought of torturing small children. Without a redeeming feature, let them be evil from the point of view of the other characters.

However, it wasn't just Bathory that got tossed into the mix, by moving the dates around a bit, guess what, we can include Jack the Ripper which brings in a police character that apparently Stoker originally intended to have in Dracula but then left out. So while it made sense that there was a cop following up on all the weird events, again, not every "evil" character in history needed to be mashed together into one story. And it's not exactly original either, Bathory/Ripper/Dracula combos are common out there.

And Stoker himself became a character in the story, though I was completely unconvinced about how he managed to write the book based on "real" events. However by doing this, Dacre and Ian had the freedom to ignore "facts" from the original book because one could claim that Stoker got them wrong and/or decided to change them to improve the story. However it felt too much like what Anne Rice did between Interview with the Vampire (Louis' POV where Lestat is the villain) and The Vampire Lestat (Lestat's POV and suddenly as he's not the villain, he has to in some ridiculous ways justify his behaviours in the previous novel).

So while my review her is pretty negative, basically I enjoyed it for what it was, a spinoff on the original, like so many others, mixing and glueing pieces in various ways to come up with another take on the original and to continue to explore the possibilities of the character of Dracula. One of the infinite ways to answer the "what if Dracula didn't actually die" question. And if you don't hold it up to too high a standard, it was an enjoyable enough Halloween vampire read.

BTW, if you want to see basically the *exact* same story in musical form, you can check out the Phantom of the Opera "sequel" by Andrew Lloyd Webber - Love Never Dies.

Posted: October 2017


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