“Anno Dracula” by Kim Newman

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artemisiconThis was another book I bought on a whim. I was looking in the horror section for another book (I can’t remember which one) and I noticed this one. The cover got me because it looks like an old school movie poster.

I’m obsessed with vampires, I can’t even deny it. But not the sparkly high-school stereotype, I love the serial killer monster trope. I was raised with vampires as monsters, not heart-throbs. There are some series I adore with vampires not as horror creatures, and if done right they can still hold their monster status and be sexualized. So, with Dracula in the title, I was hoping it would lean more towards the scary monster trope.

I blew through this book, which is an odd mix of historical accuracy and the world of literature. Let me start. It takes place in 1888, and Queen Victoria is remarried to Count Dracula. Because of him, vampires are spreading through London. So vampires are commonplace, leading to an interesting twist to society. I love alternative history books, especially when it’s a supernatural alternative history.

The story in this book revolves around a killer known as the “silver knife” and how he is killing prostitutes. So we have Jack the Ripper and Dracula. Dracula has created a kind of concentration camp for people who oppose him. Mentioned in passing, Sherlock Holmes is interned in one of these camps, so of course, Mycroft makes an appearance. It was actually through this series that I learned about Mata Hari (a real person, look her up!). And with Dracula, you know Van Helsing will make an appearance.

All these appearances and story-lines seem clustered, but Newman actually ties everything together. I was laughing and freaking out at every mention of characters that I recognized, but it was all relevant to one another, not just name-dropping.

The book itself was well written and fast paced, which always makes me happy when picking up an Author I don’t know.

Sadly, it’s hard to get the books from my local book store, so I haven’t read more than Anno Dracula and Bloody Red Baron (about world war 2) but it is a relatively long series, from what I’ve seen, and I want to read the rest so badly!

If you’re into vampires, read this series!

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