Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Books 77 & 78 of 2015: Dracula The Undead by Dacre Stoker & Ian Holt & Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

The first of today's two books is Dracula The Undead which is the official sequel to Dracula, written by a descendant of Bram Stoker, Dacre Stoker, and Ian Holt.

The sequel to Bram Stoker's Dracula follows Quincey, Mina and Jonathan Harker's son, as he heads for the stage. Quincey winds up in a production of Dracula which is being directed by Bram Stoker himself. Meanwhile, someone is out to get the original party who took down Dracula. Could it be that the Prince of Darkness himself is back?

The fact that the first time I picked this book up from a freebie table at work someone told me that he couldn't let me read this book because it was awful really should have been my first clue. Alas, I did not take his advice and the second time it popped up as a freebie, I took it. It then sat on my bookshelf for months and months until last October I finally picked it up to give it a go.

This was not a good book.

I really struggled to get through it and I pretty much only finished it because I couldn't stand reading it any more. By the time I was about a quarter of the way through I was ready to be done with it. I could almost have left this one unfinished, something I haven't done in over five years!

Dracula isn't an easy book to read, but it's a classic and for the most part, I enjoyed reading it. Dracula The Undead is not Dracula. This book just butchered the characters from Dracula. I hate that no one made it out alive and none of them really bore much resemblance to the original book. They were just caricatures of the source material.

Personally, I think it probably would've made a halfway reasonable fanfic but for an original novel it was a let down. Too much was twisted to make it fit the story they wanted to tell, rather than building on the original story and making something worth reading.

Probably the only highlight of this book was that Sir Henry Irving got a couple of mentions. He's a distant ancestor on my Nan's side, so that was nice. Otherwise, take my advice, don't bother with this one.

At the time I was reading Dracula The Undead we were preparing for our first frozen embryo transfer so Mr Click gave me strict instructions that I was to read something 'nice' when I was done with it. I think if I'd taken too much longer to finish the book, he would've confiscated it.

I followed it up with a book off my 'children's bookcase'. One which I picked up in Dunoon quite some time ago and which also fulfilled Reading Challenge Week 44, a book you own but have never read.

The valley were a host of dragons live is under threat of developers so one brave dragon, named Firedrake, ventures out into the world to find a mythical place where it's believed they can live safely. Along the way he picks up Ben, an orphan, as well as making a lot of new friends, whilst trying to escape from the man who wants to capture Firedrake.

I was a little surprised to find that I didn't enjoy this book so much. It felt quite slow. I felt like there was a lot of time travelling from place to place without very much actually happening along the way. Then again, I think that probably does lend it well to a bedtime story since the chapters are fairly well contained. It is just very, very long.

One of Firedrake's companions on the journey is Sorrell, a brownie. Sorrell mostly just annoyed me through most of the book. And apparently Sorrell's only power was spitting on stuff. Why did it have to be magical brownie spit? I wish she'd been able to do more than just spitting on stuff. Perhaps it's just because spit kind of grosses me out, but really?!

I did really like the premise of the story; dragons leaving the place they've called home because they're under threat and trying to find the mythical place that they could call home, but which may not exist, sounded like a brilliant story. I just would've liked to have seen more of the dragons along the way, not just Firedrake.

Then again, there is a special place in my heart because while I was reading this we had our embryo transfer. Despite not really enjoying it, I did spend a lot of time lying in bed, reading it out loud to the embryos. It obviously helped because a couple of days after I finished it, I got my positive pregnancy test.


  1. The original Dracula was and still is one of my favourite books. I must have read it at least 6 or 7 times. Sadly mu dog eared copy never made it up to Bute so I might have to buy a new copy one day. Pity that the follow up isn't as good. Maybe I'll give that one a miss.

    1. I love Dracula as well, though I've only read it a couple of times. I feel a sort of affinity for it because Bram Stoker based some of his description of Count Dracula on Sir Henry Irving, who is a great great (something) uncle on my Nan's side of the family.

      If you love Dracula, please avoid this book. If you don't read one book this year, make it Dracula The Undead.


Let me know what you think. :-)