Book Review – Anno Dracula by Kim Newman

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It is 1888 and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort Vlad Tepes, the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar characters from Victorian history and fiction, the novel follows vampire Geneviève Dieudonné and Charles Beauregard of the Diogenes Club as they strive to solve the mystery of the Ripper murders.

Anno Dracula is a rich and panoramic tale, combining horror, politics, mystery and romance to create a unique and compelling alternate history. Acclaimed novelist Kim Newman explores the darkest depths of a reinvented Victorian London.

Review:

So this is a book that has been on my TBR list for a long time. I got the third novel for free and eventually, I decided that it had been sitting on my shelf for long enough and that I should read this to see if I want to continue the series or not. I also figured that this would be a perfect choice for the horror square on the Fantasy Bingo as that was a square I hadn’t thought about much yet.

The novel itself follows several characters beyond the two mentioned in the synopsis. This is an alternate history containing lots of references to victorian literature. Not only do we have all the characters from Bram Stoker’s novel but we have references to Bram Stoker himself. We have a brief cameo of Dr. Jekyll, Jack the Ripper is now murdering vampire prostitutes and there are even mentions of Sherlock Holmes. One of the fun things in the novel was spotting the references that I got, and I know that there will be plenty more that went over my head.

The characterisation of all the characters was excellent and in particular, I really enjoyed reading about Jack the Ripper and his motivations. The vampires in the novel are all descended from various bloodlines and so have different attributes based on this – for example, a lot of the vampires created by Dracula are all diseased.

As for the story, the main plot revolves around solving the Jack the Ripper murders which are causing tensions between humans and vampires. As readers, we know the identity from quite early on as he is one of the POV characters and so it is enjoyable to see how he remains hidden.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and can’t believe it took me this long to get around to reading it. The next two are definitely high on my list to read next and I’m looking forward to finally getting Dracula Cha Cha off my to-read shelf.

If you’re doing Fantasy Bingo, this book is excellent for it as you can use it for several different squares and I did always have a soft spot for Vampires when I was younger so it’s nice to read another well-written Vampire novel.

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