Author: Royce Prouty
Published: June 13, 2013
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 2.5 stars
When rare-manuscript expert Joseph Barkeley is hired to authenticate and purchase the original draft and notes for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, little does he know that the reclusive buyer is a member of the oldest family in Transylvania.
After delivering the manuscript to the legendary Bran Castle in Romania, Barkeley—a Romanian orphan himself—realizes to his horror that he’s become a prisoner to the son of Vlad Dracul. To earn his freedom, Barkeley must decipher cryptic messages hidden in the text of the original Dracula that reveal the burial sites of certain Dracul family members. Barkeley’s only hope is to ensure that he does not exhaust his usefulness to his captor until he’s able to escape. Soon he discovers secrets about his own lineage that suggest his selection for the task was more than coincidence. In this knowledge may lie Barkeley’s salvation—or his doom. For now he must choose between a coward’s flight and a mortal conflict against an ancient foe.
Building on actual international events surrounding the publication of Bram Stoker’s original novel, Royce Prouty has written a spellbinding debut novel that ranges from 1890s Chicago, London, and Transylvania to the perilous present.
The poor man’s Historian is the best I can say. The first half had some major potential band I was really excited … but then the second half was such a let down! There was no real mystery, there wasn’t a quest, it just all felt so silly and inconsequential! And you’d think that having more vampires, some weird rituals, and a global conspiracy would make the story better! They didn’t. By the time I got 2/3s of the way through, I just didn’t care anymore and turned the pages in order to finish quickly.
Maybe if I hadn’t read The Historian, I would have liked it better. But I kept comparing them, and Stoker’s Manuscript didn’t even come close! Honestly, I can’t even say I’m glad I read it or recommend it to anyone. Just go read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova and you’ll have everything and much more than what this book could give you.
Author: Stephen King
Originally Published: October 17, 1975
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
‘Salem’s Lot is a small New England town with the usual quota of gossips, drinkers, weirdos and respectable folk. Of course there are tales of strange happenings – but not more than in any other town its size.
Ben Mears, a moderately successful writer, returns to the Lot to write a novel based on his early years, and to exorcise the terrors that have haunted him since childhood. The event he witnessed in the house now rented by a new resident. A newcomer with a strange allure. A man who causes Ben some unease as things start to happen: a child disappears, a dog is brutally killed – nothing unusual, except the list starts to grow.
Soon surprise will turn to bewilderment, bewilderment to confusion and finally to terror . . .
Creepy AF book. A story of vampires in the vein of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. My only real criticism is that the slow burn build up just felt too slow. Other than that, the creep factor was there throughout. I was emotionally invested and I mostly enjoyed the look into the lives of the townspeople. By the time I got to the end, I was wide eyed and freaked out! I kinda wanna go visit Jerusalem’s Lot, but then I probably wouldn’t survive. I also loved the origin story of Chapelwaite! Overall this is a classic horror story with a simple plot that’s just drawn out a little too far. I really enjoyed it!
Jessica gave her review for Fiona’s Guardian’s last October and now it is Kim’s turn to review it! Jessica’s 4 star review is here.
Author: Dan Klefstad
Published: October 2, 2020
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
When a vampire seduces you, death is minutes away. When she hires you, you’ll soon wish you were dead.
It’s a truth known to every guardian who worked for Fiona, including Daniel. Aside from managing the day to day chores and keeping her protected, he manages an investment portfolio to buy stolen blood from hospital workers. The 250-year-old Fiona needs 10 pints of human blood every night. As a result of this, Daniel and Fiona are always on the lookout for police, but fail to notice their gradual encirclement by Mors Strigae, an ancient order of monks dedicated to the extermination of vampires. Gone for a century, the monks start a new war when they destroy Fiona’s sire. This time, her vampire family is pushed to the edge of extinction — and the humans who serve them are hunted and executed.
After 35 years, what keeps him loyal? And will he ever be allowed to leave?
I do love a good vampire. I know that most are supposed to be the evil, ugly Nosferatu type, but the sexy ones are just so much more interesting! And y’all know I do love an ancient order of monks working secretly within the Vatican. But unfortunately, I got really frustrated with reading this book. And I think the frustration is more of a compliment than it is a criticism: I want more. I want more detail, more information, more background. I think this story should be stretched into a series. I feel like the story is so big and had so many cool places to go that it was a disservice to scrunch it down into just one book. By not including more detail, there were so many places where I felt that I skimmed. The story is great, the characters are interesting, I just need more!