Friday, July 22, 2011

Book Review: Dracula in Love by Karen Essex

Dracula in Love by Karen Essex
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publish Date: July 12, 2011
Paperback, 384 pages 
Fiction, Historical
 ISBN: 978-0767931229

My Review:
First let me confess, I have never read Dracula nor am I very up in my Dracula lore.  I also haven't seen any movies featuring Dracula.  So what made me want to read this book.  The cover,  So gothic and eerie and beautiful, and the blurb caught my attention so well that I had to read it.

Then when it came time to read it I was afraid, what if I couldn't get into, what if it wasn't the type of book for me.  I had seen several polarizing reviews and I was afraid that I wouldn't like it.  Well I don't know what I was afraid of.  Dracula in Love grabbed me from the first page.  I really liked Mina and was intrigued by Mina, her life and, the strange goings-on in it and the way she just wanted a normal life with a good solid man, a house and eventually kids.  Mina was well-grounded and did not want the changes that were coming for women in Victorian England, she was very happy with the status quo, unlike her friend Kate.  I liked the backdrop of the school she helped teach at and then Whitby when she goes to visit with her friend Lucy.  There is a lot of story set up going on in the first half of the book and I really enjoyed all of it.  I actually have to say it was my favorite part of the book.  I enjoyed Mina's dreams as well and knowing she had a protector out there, but I have to admit I got a little lost when she finally meets the Count.  This part of the book confused me some and lost me a little.  But eventually it found it's way back on course and back into my enjoyment.

I don't think you have to know much about the Dracula mythology, but I think a little would help, I know I am going to go back and read up on it some now.  I found the historical characters that Ms. Essex added in to be intriguing and the treatment in the asylum to be downright horrifying.  The book has suspense, romance, horror, paranormal and historical background in it, just about anything you an think of is in it and all for the enjoyment of the reader.  Ms. Essex writes in an amazing way to really draw the reader in, capture them and keep them with her words until the end of the book.  The romance plays out with her words, the suspense builds and the paranormal captures the reader's attention.

I think Ms. Essex did a wonderful job with Dracula in Love, putting a different spin on the Dracula myth from a female perspective and made a wonderful read in the process.

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

About the Book:
In this wonderfully transporting novel, award-winning author Karen Essex turns a timeless classic inside out, spinning a haunting, erotic, and suspenseful story of eternal love and possession.

From the shadowy banks of the river Thames to the wild and windswept Yorkshire coast, Dracula’s eternal muse, Mina Murray, vividly recounts the intimate details of what really transpired between her and the Count—the joys and terrors of a passionate affair that has linked them 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 asylum chambers, revealing the dark secrets and mysteries locked within. Time falls away as she is swept into a mythical journey far beyond mortal comprehension, where she must finally make the decision she has been avoiding for almost a millennium. 

Bram Stoker’s classic novel offered one side of the story, in which Mina had no past and bore no responsibility for the unfolding events. Now, for the first time, the truth of Mina’s personal voyage, 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 have imagined.

About the Author (from 
I'm the author of DRACULA IN LOVE, Stealing Athena, Leonardo's Swans, Kleopatra, Pharaoh, and Bettie Page: Life of a Pin Up Legend. I am also an active screenwriter and an award-winning journalist. I divide my time between Los Angeles and London, where I moved a couple of years ago to soak in the atmosphere. Helps when you are writing a gothic Victorian novel. You can follow my progress and share my joys and sorrows at, or write to me on Goodreads. I love hearing from you, Gentle Readers. 

Dracula in Love Book Trailer

FTC Information: I received this book through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.


Mary said...

I like the idea of a different perspective of a familiar tale. Adding this to my tbr list. Nice review!

Tribute Books said...

Ooo, I'm reading "Dracula" now and I definitely want to read "Dracula in Love" next. Thanks for letting me know it existed - great review, Crystal :)

Karen Essex said...

Crystal, thank you for that lovely review! I would like to invite you and your readers to participate in a goodreads chat with me July 25-29, "Ask Karen Essex."

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