Monday, April 8, 2013

Sparkly vampires need not apply

Draculas - A Novel of Terror
Blake Crouch, Jack Kilborn, Jeff Strand, F. Paul Wilson
ePublished 2010

Reviewer: Trudi
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Yowza, wowzers, and woot! woot! This book -- a mad collaboration from four horror gods (small 'g') -- is this cat's meow (or as they say where I come from -- it's all that and a bag of chips).

It was going to take a lot for this book to impress me for the simple reason that vampires of late have become...meh for me. As monsters meant to inspire horror they have been done to death it seems. Not to mention they have suffered an incredible disservice in recent years both on film and in print (yeah, I'm looking at you Ms. Meyer). There just hasn't been anything really new or fresh tried either. It's either you're sparkling and pouty and misunderstood, or it's waaay back to the Stoker tradition of a debonair, aristocratic abomination that abhors garlic and crucifixes.

Don't get me wrong: I haven't always felt this disillusioned. I love 'Salem's Lot and I am Legend. I went through a huge Lestat phase in my early 20s. The Lost Boys remains one of my favorite movies of all time, and I love Steve Niles' re-imagining of vampires in his graphic novel series 30 Days of Night (the movie is pretty kick-ass too).

Despite that, I've stopped 'looking for love' with vampires. Even del Toro's The Strain underwhelmed me. So I had doubts with this one, I really did, but thanks to two awesome reviews filled with squee on goodreads I decided to throw my doubts aside and dive in.

This is about the most self-indulgent fun I've had in bleems! Draculas hits just the right note of gorror-ific combined with pee your pants scary that's doused with a gallon of can't help but giggle here even though that's beyond messed up and so wrong (I can't tell you how many times I cringed and burst out laughing at the same time). Remember the first time you ever saw The Evil Dead? Oh yeah baby, that's what I'm talking about!

The Evil Dead (1981)

So yeah, this book is tremendous fun, awesomely gory, written with a frantic energy that keeps the pages turning. Another thing worth praising is the way this novel is a completely mad mash-up of a whole bunch of horror elements; it's like the authors took vampire stories, along with zombies, werewolves and aliens, threw them into a blender and spit out this mish-mash of pure chaos and entertainment. I recognized about 100 shout-outs to other books and movies, but at the end of it all, this book stands as its own original. The authors tried things here I don't think I've seen tried anywhere else. The way the teeth are described though made me think of this from 1985's Fright Night: c'mon, gimme a kiss!

Fright Night (1985)

The ensemble cast is fun too, and added a lot to the story's enjoyment. If it weren't for such a large cast and getting to know the group -- I loved the POV change ups -- it just would have been a ho-hum affair about a bunch of lunatic infected running rabid through an enclosed space (which has been done a 1000 times). Not only do we get POV from the good guys, we get the story from the side of the infected too. I really appreciated that and the decision to do so added great entertainment value.

P.S. I paid three dollars for the ebook and there's really no way to express how much bang I got for my buck. The ebook also contains mega extras that make this title worth so much more.

This review also appears on Goodreads

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