Tuesday, April 5, 2011

eBook Review of "Draculas" by Crouch, Kilborn, Strand & Wilson

The first book that I have successfully read on my Amazon Kindle (yes, I finally bought an eBook reader) is Draculas by Jack Kilborn, Blake Crouch, Jeff Strand and F. Paul Wilson.  I picked this up (virtually, that is), because I am a rabid fan of F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack series and the Adversary Cycle.

The book is a rather interesting premise, both in story and in writing methodology.  As I understand it, each author wrote specific characters.  Each "chapter" is written from a specific character's point of view, and to that end, each chapter is written by a different author, based on which character is telling the story in that particular chapter.

What I find particularly interesting is that the authors took special care to make the prose flow from chapter to chapter, without a huge shift in writing style.  That, in and of itself, as a major triumph.

The story opens with a rich, terminally-ill eccentric receiving a package containing an item for which he paid a small fortune:  seemingly, the skull of Dracula, unearthed in Romania.  When he lethally punctures his throat on the grotesque mouthful of fangs, he is sent to the hospital.  When he arrives at the hospital, he is on the threshold of death.  But when he dies on the table and subsequently rises and stands on the gurney, the terror has just begun.

Draculas is an interesting feat in writing, and the story is solid.  The prose, as I mentioned before, is nearly seamless as we shift from author to author, and the only reason I could recognize F. Paul Wilson is because of his almost encyclopedic knowledge of firearms, the result of writing sixteen novels centered on an urban mercenary.  However, at times, the large number of characters tended to be a bit distracting.  The parts of the novel told from the point of view of the vampires was amusing, but at times, it seemed a bit extraneous.  In fact, these passages that "get into the brain of a ravenous vampire" steal a bit from the experience of reading the book, as it gives too much away.  Sometimes, leaving more to the imagination is a good thing.

Speaking of leaving something to the imagination, at times, I found the "gore scenes" unnecessarily vivid.  I'm all for striking descriptions, but phrases like "snacking on his liver" are grotesque for the sake of being grotesque.

All in all, I would give Draculas a 6.0 out of a possible 10.  Certain chapters were brilliantly written, and the overall story arc compelled me to read late into the night.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy "evil" vampire novels (not the namby-pamby type in The Twilight Saga or Vampire Diaries), or those who enjoy "gore fests".

Draculas is available as a Kindle eBook from Amazon for the great price of $2.99.

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