Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Review: Dracula In Love by Karen Essex

★★★ 1/2
Book Source: I received a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Release Date: Hardback August 10th, 2010
                          Paperback July 5th, 2011

Book Synopsis: London, 1890. Mina Murray, the rosy-cheeked, quintessentially pure Victorian heroine, becomes Count Dracula’s object of desire. To preserve her chastity, five male “defenders” rush in to rescue her from the vampire’s evil clutches. This is the version of the story we've been told. But now, from Mina’s own pen, we discover that the story is vastly different when told from the female point of view.

In this captivating, bold act of storytelling, award-winning author Karen Essex breathes startling new life into the characters of Bram Stoker's Dracula, transporting the reader into the erotic and bizarre underbelly of the original story. While loosely following the events of its classic predecessor, Dracula in Love deviates from the path at every turn. 

Review: Having not read Bram Stoker’s original Dracula, I did not know what to expect from Karen’s new spin on the classic tale told in Mina’s point of view. I must admit the story took off without a hitch in the beginning. It was magical and eerie at the same time but then all of a sudden it just halted and became very boring and was drawn out for awhile. I kept wondering “when is Dracula going to come on the scene?” Then I realized what Karen was doing, she was setting the stage for his stunning first real appearance.

There were a couple of things I liked and a couple of things I did not like about this novel. I’m going to start with the positive side. For starters, I absolutely loved Mina Harker’s character. She starts out as being just an innocent young woman who was abandoned by her mother for being “different” and now resides at Miss Hadley’s Academy for Young Ladies of Accomplishment where she works as a teacher. She has unexplained episodes where she finds herself sleep walking and later she realizes it’s because someone is calling out to her. Later, on Mina becomes this new empowered woman who won’t take crap from anyone and is willing to get revenge on those who deserve it. Another thing I loved was how this wasn’t just another Vampire book. It was unique in its own way and it portrayed Vampire’s in a new light making it refreshing.

On to the things I did not like so much. For starters I did not like how it took so long for Dracula to make his first appearance. I get that Karen was just trying to set the stage for him but I felt the storyline sort of dragged on for awhile. I did not like the author’s commonly used term “Preternatural” I found it odd and it got very annoying. Lastly, I absolutely abhorred the male characters in this novel especially Jonathon Harker, Mina’s soon to be husband, and Dr. Seward who was obsessed with Mina and was constantly trying to get her to leave Jonathon for him.

In having never read Stoker’s original, I can’t compare Karen’s spin on Dracula but what I can say is that I loved her portrayal of him. I couldn’t help but fall in love with his phantom-like being. Maybe it’s just because I like the bad boys, but it was just so hard not to get caught up in his mysterious behavior, which really captivates the reader.

Final Thoughts: Overall, this novel was good. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it was utterly amazing and you need to rush out right now and buy it, but it is definitely worth picking up and reading. It’s one of those novels that you just want to go and grab a huge cozy blanket and curl up on the couch with. It definitely has a magical, yet mysterious feel to it and the way the author left it makes you wonder if there is going to be a sequel.

I have one copy of Dracula In Love up for grabs! If you would like a chance to win this novel click here to sign up.


  1. I've been wanting to read this for awhile now and thanks to your wonderful and honest review, I'll be buying it and putting it on my TBR pile!
    I've read Bram Stoker's Dracula and I remember Stoker's writing giving me chills. The characters came to life and I half expected to find Dracula lurking around the corner or down the hall.
    Karen Essex's novel sounds just enthralling enough to keep me turning the pages. I'd love to get to know Mina better but I may have to agree with you about waiting for Essex's Dracula to come on the scene quicker, we'll see!

  2. I'll have to read this book in the future. I have read half of Bram Stoker's Dracula. I never got to finish because I had to take it back the library. I hope to finish it before reading this. Great review!!!!!

  3. I love this cover. I've never read the original Dracula either. I like books that I can curl up with a blanket. Thanks for the introduction.

  4. I can sense a new addition in my book shelf. Will be getting it and read it. I hope it will be worth reading. Thanks for sharing the review.