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Stoker’s Manuscript, by Royce Prouty

review published on September 12, 2013. Reviewed by Sara Garland

Nudge Reviewer Rating:

It seems that there is an overabundance of vampire themed novels swamping the book stores. Where as many writers are no doubt jumping on this topical band wagon, Prouty offers a more authentic story line drawing upon the more traditional aspects of the original infamous vampire, but yet crafting a unique, yet credible and innovative storyline, whilst remaining true to vampire lore.

Recounted in the first person, this is the story of Joseph Berkley who authenticates and sells rare books. Originally born in Romania, as orphans, he and his brother were moved to Chicago and brought up there. Joseph is man of complete professionalism and integrity; however when a mysterious, wealthy client from Transylvania wishes to hire him to validate an original manuscript of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, despite all the warning signs, curiosity and greed lead him to agree to purchase the manuscript and deliver it in person.

The journey he embarks upon is not only terrifying, but places his family and friends in danger too. He is required to get by on his wits and do enough to evade his own death. Not only will he learn how much value others place on this manuscript, he learns more about his past, his almost innate ability to determine the quality and date of manuscripts and why he has been chosen to undertake this task. Moreover he learns how the impact of what he is doing could incite a family feud.

The settings and the remarkable, innovative behaviour displayed by the undead is creepy and disturbing. The suspicions of the rural Romanians are conveyed in an extremely unnerving fashion. How Joseph’s fate will end is not clear. Historical fact and fiction is carefully melded together so that the effect is pleasingly seamless. The story effortlessly gets under your skin, for a menacing and sometimes gory experience – after all impaling in vampire stories is a must. Indeed it oozes dark, sinister and chilling in generous scintillating measures. And, if you think the book sets itself up for a sequel, you will be right. It’s currently being written.

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Affliction, by Laurell K Hamilton

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The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon

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