I wasn’t going to do a blog post on this book originally because I had mentioned it in a previous post and thought it would be overkill to mention it again. At that time though, I had just started reading the book and really didn’t have high expectations for it. As I got more into it, I realized that this was a really good horror novel and I needed to talk about it.
The book is Draculas and its a collaboration between 4 authors: F. Paul Wilson who wrote The Keep and the Repairman Jack series; Jeff Strand author of Dweller and Graverobbers Wanted(No Experience Necessary); Blake Crouch, writer of Desert Places and Locked Doors and the guy who came up with the concept was Jack Kilborn (Also writes under the name J.A. Knonrath), the author of Afraid and Shaken.
Jack got the idea when he was looking at the Kindle best seller list and he noticed how many books were classic novels in the public domain. Among them we’re several different versions of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Vampires are always popular and he came up with the idea of vampires in a hospital and humans trying to survive. He didn’t have time to write the book himself so he enlisted the help of other authors to write part of the book. Each author wrote 15,000 words from the point of view of one human and one vampire.
Jack also noticed that most vampires in todays literature we’re teen heartthrobs or romantic leads and he decided he wanted to make vampires scary again. Edward (from Twilight) would run in fear if he saw the vampires in Draculas. These vampires have no feelings and are not sex symbols. They wan’t one thing from humans and that’s blood. Also the vampires in this story don’t have just 2 fangs. They have a mouthful of 6 inch long fangs. They can also see in total darkness and are stronger and faster then humans.
The story for Draculas is about a retired millionaire, Mortimer Moorecock, who is dying of cancer. In order to survive his disease, Mortimer has bought a skull found in Romania that is believed to have belonged to Count Dracula. When Mortimer gets the skull, he clamps its jaws on his neck and goes into convulsions. He is rushed to the hospital where he dies and rises again as a vampire.
From that point on its complete chaos with Mort killing six people in the ER. They all come back as vampires and the patients and faculty of the hospital have to escape or be turned into the living dead. The story for Draculas is simple, what makes it a good book is the characters. In addition to the doctors and nurses, you have a gun crazy sheriff, a lumberjack with a chainsaw, a married couple about to have their first child, and a vampire clown named Benny.
Benny the clown is one nasty vampire and despite the fact that he was evil, he was my favorite character in the book. Every scene he was in I found myself thinking of the theme to Killer Klowns From Outer Space. If you are afraid of clowns you may want to avoid this book because Benny is one sadistic clown. There are some scenes in the book where all he does is stand and stare at his victims which is scary in itself, but when he performs some obscene acts for a captive audience, the book gets really interesting.
Though Draculas is loaded with violence and action, what really makes it good is that the authors make you care about the protagonists. A part that had me on the edge of my seat was when a young husband has to go to the blood bank in the hospital to get blood for a transfusion to save his wife who had a hemmorage after child birth. There is also a couple of touching scenes where a divorced couple reconciles and a young couple tells each other how they feel in the face of what looks like certain death. The only part of the book that I didn’t like was that sometimes the vampires seem too much like zombies and I didn’t like that they constantly called the vampires Draculas, but they do give an explanation for that in the story.
The ending in Draculas was a perfect end to a wild ride and was a total surprise to me. Draculas is everything a horror novel should be, it has humor, plenty of gore, good characters, suspense, and a decent love story. If thats not enough to get you to want to get it, the E-book version is loaded with extras. You get three short stories, deleted scenes, and it includes all the emails that the authors sent to each other as they we’re working on the book. If you are an aspiring writer and you we’re thinking of collaborating with another author, this book gives you a good look at the creative process of co-authoring a book. The extras in the e-book are like getting the director’s cut of a movie along with commentary. This is something I would love to see more authors do for their novels. (Emz are you reading this? We want a director’s cut of Night’s Knights. Make it happen.)