I blame Bram Stoker for the modern (relatively speaking!) trend of picturing vampires as romantic creatures rather than as the evil monsters of legend. That trend has continued, but thankfully there are still some stories that maintain the monster aspects of vampires. Draculas is one such story and is great fun to read.
The story is a simple one, a dying man pins hopes of his recovery on an ancient skull with characteristic long teeth. He bites himself with the skull and is rushed to hospital where he dies, naturally he doesn't remain dead for long. So starts a night of terror for the people in the hospital, the vamparic infection spreads rapidly and soon the few survivors are in a desperate battle for their survival.
As I mentioned at the start of this review the vampires here are terrible beasts and they thirst only for blood making them a deranged but deadly foe, there are however a few nods to more urbane vampires of Dracula's ilk and some oddities in between. The clown in particular is a lot of fun to see in action.
This book is very fast paced, the action gets going quickly and keeps up the pressure all the way through. It also has a very visual feel to it, I could easily imagine this making a decent action horror film. The writing is solid and is a testament to the four authors' skill that they can weave a tale together and it not feel disjointed.
There's a good mix of characters, both with the survivors and the vampires that provide some differing viewpoints throughout the story. I have a personal bugbear with books and extras, with this the counter was only halfway done when the book finished and the extras began. As I say that's a personal annoyance and in fairness the book's blurb does mention the extras prominently.
Overall I'd rate this as a fun read, well worth checking out if you like action horror.
A DYING MAN’S GREATEST TREASURE…
Mortimer Moorecook, retired Wall Street raider, avid collector, is losing his fight against cancer. With weeks to live, a package arrives at the door of his hillside mansion—an artifact he paid millions for…a hominoid skull with elongated teeth, discovered in a farmer’s field in the Romanian countryside. With Shanna, his beautiful research assistant looking on, he sinks the skull’s razor sharp fangs into his neck, and immediately goes into convulsions.
OPENS THE DOOR TO AN ANCIENT EVIL...
A rural hospital. A slow night in the ER. Until Moorecook arrives strapped to a gurney, where he promptly codes and dies.
WHERE DEATH IS JUST THE BEGINNING.
Four well-known horror authors pool their penchants for scares and thrills, and tackle one of the greatest of all legends, with each writer creating a unique character and following them through a vampire outbreak in a secluded hospital.
The goal was simple: write the most intense novel they possibly could.
Which they did.
A Word of Warning:
Within these pages, you will find no black capes, no satin-lined coffins, no brooding heartthrobs who want to talk about your feelings. Forget sunlight and stakes. Throw out your garlic and your crosses. This is the Anti-TWILIGHT.
NOTE: DRACULAS is a full length novel, 80,000 words long. But this ebook is also brimming with an additional 80,000 words of extras and bonuses:
- a clickable table of contents
- a round-robin interview with Strand, Wilson, Crouch, and Kilborn about writing DRACULAS
- deleted scenes
- two alternate endings
- four excerpts from the authors’ other works
- the short story “Serial” by Crouch and Kilborn
- the short story “Cub Scout Gore Feast” by Kilborn and Strand
- the short story “A Sound of Blunder” by Kilborn and Wilson
- author biographies
- comprehensive clickable bibliographies
- an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the writing of DRACULAS, delivered through a collection of over seven hundred emails between the writers as they were brainstorming and writing the book
Draculas is available from Amazon (and is a fun read)