Sunday 26 June 2011

Anno Dracula - Kim Newman

Van Helsing and his team failed to stop Dracula. As a result Dracula has married Queen Victoria who has also turned and becoming a vampire is now a popular persuit. Many want to join the ranks but for some it's not quite the picnic they thought it would be. Despite vampires being socially accepted for the most part there are those who believe it is wrong and unnatural. Most of them voice that opinion through rallies and political talks others keep quiet for fear they will disappear one day. One person though takes matters into his own hands. Silver Knife (also known as Jack the Ripper) has begun killing female, vampire prostitutes. Elder vampier Genevieve Dieudonne teams with warm blood Charles Beauregard to track down this killer.

I confess I was a little wary about this book at first. It' rare for a good vampire book but rarer still for a good one where Dracula is involved. I needn't have worried though as Dracula himself only plays a peripheral role. I believe it's the same in all but the last book. The book itself is mainly about silver knife and the political unrest within London that he escalates (although completely unaware of it). We know who the killer is and learn his reasons for it.

With the political aspect as well as the story revolving round Jack it made for an interesting read. Although, knowing how much Victoria loved Albert it's hard to believe that Dracula was able to persuade her to come out of mourning. I let that one go by though for the sake of enjoying the book. What I loved about it though was the list of both people and fictional characters who made an appearance or were mentioned. All the characters from Dracula made it in there, including Bram Stoker himself who was imprisoned for daring to write the book. A few others included; Oscar Wilde, Dr Jekyll, Moreau, Tennyson and Billy the Kid. There were actually a lot more than that and I wouldn't be surprised if I missed a few. Having looked into the follow ups I believe that in this way they are all similar.

The only negative thing about the book I can think of is that in the first few chapters the reader is inundated with names. It's a little off putting at first but if you keep with it this calms down. I'm looking forward to reading the others in the series although apparently the author has been working on the last book since 2000.


  1. It's more and more common for authors to inundate you with characters in one go...I always have to keep going back to check with books like that. Does sound interesting though.

  2. Yeah, I've noticed that too. It was certainly different and I did enjoy it.

  3. I read this back in the early 90s when it first came out and I loved it. I liked the fact that he pulls vampires in from everywhere and puts them in the world. I loved the cameos by Miriam Blaylock and Sir Frances Varney.

    I haven't read the other books in the series but I may have to take a look at them again.

  4. It must be with the current vampire infatuation that it was re-released. I very much enjoyed it. I liked spotting Oscar Wilde and of course Dr Jekyll. I am sure there were quite a few people I missed.