Tag Archives: Dracula

Review: Insatiable by Meg Cabot

http://www2.2space.net/images/upl_newsImage/1276826433.jpg“Sick of hearing about vampires? So is Meena Harper. But her bosses are making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them. Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die. (Not that you’re going to believe her. No one ever does.)  But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side. It’s a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, Lucien’s already dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met whom she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own.  And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.  Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future…If she even has one.

Meena Harper is absolutely one of Meg Cabot’s best characters to date. She’s not your conventional anything and yet she winds up being a fantastic heroine who readers will not only pull for and but also find irresistible. Of late I have had a busy reviewing schedule which in some ways had put me in a funk…I needed something fun, something witty, something with spunk to make me laugh…and of course Cabot did it! With her fantastical plot twists, hilarious pop culture references, purse obsessed antics and of course one heck of delicious Prince of Darkness who could resist this book? It’s a wonderful read to get lost in and to have fun with…vampires have taken over but Cabot shows they can still take and make a joke. However Insatiable is not just another beach read, there is enough classical literature built in to make readers of Dracula giggle at certain allusions and references. ( Yes, we lovers of classical literature do giggle but only on occasion and never in public). Fans of 24 and fashionistas will also feel “in”…as always Cabot has a little bit for everyone. All around Insatiable was home run for me…the perfect book at the perfect time!

Reading Insatiable also reminded me of one of my favorite lines from Interview with a Vampire:

“Vampires who pretend to be humans pretending to be vampires…..How avant-garde.”.

Indeed. Ms. Cabot…Bravo!


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Filed under Adult Books, Chick Lit, Meg Cabot, New Books, Paranormal

Blog Tour: Dracula, My Love by Syrie James

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“Mina Harker is torn between two men. Struggling to hang on to the deep, pure love she’s found within her marriage to her husband, Jonathan, she is inexorably drawn into a secret, passionate affair with a charismatic but dangerous lover. This haunted and haunting creature has awakened feelings and desires within her that she has never before known, which remake her as a woman. Although everyone she knows fears him and is pledged to destroy him, Mina sees a side to him that the others cannot: a tender, romantic side; a man who’s taken full advantage of his gift of immortality to expand his mind and talents; a man who is deeply in love, and who may not be evil after all. Soon, they are connected in a way she never thought humanly possible.Yet to surrender is surely madness, for to be with him could end her life. It may cost Mina all she holds dear, but to make her choice she must learn everything she can about the remarkable origins and unique, sensuous powers of this man, this exquisite monster, this … Dracula!”

As most of my readers know I am a lover of classical literature, so I am probably one of the tougher critiques when authors take classical works and characters for their inspiration. I re-read Dracula earlier this year so I was ready for Dracula, My Love. At first glance I was a little hesitant, Mina Harker is such a loyal, chaste and virtuous character in the original work, I wondered how James would be able to paint her as a woman that could have romantic feelings for the vampire that is Dracula despite the pain he causes her throughout the classic novel.

However upon starting the book I knew that Syrie James was going to stay faithful to what we know of Mina in Dracula by creating an unspoken side that while more amorous and modern was still very true to her time and her original portrayal. The book showed what James has decided we did not know about this female character so often in the background. Mina is somewhat of a minor character in the original work so there is plenty of room to build her life and thoughts aside the original. One of the things I loved the most is her little allusions to events happening that Mina could not know about, but she manages to neatly sneak in comments such as Dracula saying:

“Forgive me, I dined earlier, and I have an engagement this evening which promises to include a large and memorable dinner.”

When he is currently feeding on a regular basis from her best friend Lucy. I liked these asides greatly….it kept me in mind of my reading of the classic and what would have been going on at the same time in that book while reading James’ version of events.

I really enjoyed Dracula, My Love. I think it will appeal most to fans of historical fiction rather than those of paranormal but it may pull a few vampire fans into a different type of reading than they may usually choose….it may even lead them back to the classic. It was a good read and if you enjoy it you may also enjoy Syrie James other books:

With this TLC Book Blog Tour for Dracula,  My Love…I am lucky to be able to offer a copy of this book to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment on this post telling my your favorite vampire character along with your e-mail address. Open to US and Canadian residents only. No P.O. Boxes please. Giveaway will end midnight Friday, August 13th. Also there is going to be a tweet party with book giveaways too and conversations on all things vampire August 13th as well. Make sure to attend for the chance to win copies of the book on Twitter!  (#TLCBookchat)

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, Classic Literature, Contests, historical fiction, New Books, Paranormal

Dracula: The Un-Dead

In a recent post I talked about how readers fall into two categories when faced with a book they do not like. They either stop reading or they push on and finish. We also talked a lot about why we were that type of reader and what not.  I believe my word were along the lines of ” I personally am a little OCD about finishing any book I start for two reasons. One is that until that final page is read…the author can still make me believe, can still catch my attention and maybe even make me say “WOW” (this is my professional opinion as well and the one I apply to books I am reviewing in that capacity). I’m not saying this happens a lot but it could and that is why I must push on. The second reason is that for some reason I am very unsettled by starting a book and not finishing…it just feels wrong.”

Well let me know say I have found the book to make me put my foot in my mouth! When I went to the South Carolina Book Festival this year I was intrigued to find the great grand nephew of Bram Stoker attending to promote his book which was in fact a sequel to the original Dracula. Dacre Stoker…indeed…written with another writer Ian Holt. Well as a lover of classical literature I decided that if I was going to do it. I was going to do it right. I went back and re-read Dracula and once again what a treat. The true master of horror and gothic romance and just damn good storytelling if I may say so myself. No over indulgence in blood and sex, just  horror storytelling at it’s best in a time when you truly had to be amazingly talented with mere words.

Well that thud you just heard is Bram Stoker rolling over in his grave because he just read the first few chapters of Dracula: The Un-Dead. That’s right I only made a first few chapters in the sequel before I literally threw the book down and I refuse to pick it up. So I must recant my former statement but oh with good reason.  Within a few chapters I had dear Dr. Seward cast as a morphine addict who was somewhat happy Lucy was dead since if he could not have her no one should, a trio of lesbian vampires including the infamous Countess Elizabeth Bathory bathing in blood and at least two sexual scenes….no they were sex scenes….almost pornographic.  Oh and don’t forget the constant references to popular figures such as Jack the Ripper, Charles Darwin and The Wright Brothers…had to have those in there so people who don’t read books and surely have not read Dracula can have something that they recognize. I have since gone on and read other reviews of the book and learned it really only got worse from there. It was like a bad movie…all gore and sex just to sell. But what I think they did not understand is who they were selling to: people who loved the classic Dracula. Not the people who love the movies but could never get through a book…those people will just wait and see if Dracula: The Un-Dead comes out on DVD. Their audience was people who appreciate classic literature, classic horror and to be honest…well it was just so sad to see it reduced to that especially when you have a family member of such an esteemed Author put his name on it. The book did get some good reviews but they were stand alones not considering what a masterpiece this book was supposed to reference and even they noted what I saw in the first few chapters. I would love to hear opinions from anyone else who has read it or part of it (I can understand if you did not get far). . I just feel very disappointed and sad that another classic was degraded in this way.

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Filed under Adult Books, Classic Literature