Note: I had the opportunity to receive a reviewer's copy of the entire novel, not just the opening chapters. So I've seen the entire work. This review is based on having read the whole book. I'd like to thank the authors (J.A. Konrath, F. Paul Wilson, Jack Kilborn, and Jeff Strand) for giving me the opportunity to look at their new work before it was released to the public - and note that no, they're not paying me to write this. ;) I'll start off with the short review I posted on Amazon for the book:
I don't have nightmares. Haven't since I was very young.
That said, I had the interesting experience of opening this book at about 1am, and reading it until after 3am before finally being able to set the rest aside for the next day, and heading off to get some sleep.
I didn't have nightmares. But I had some lurid dreams, and recall waking up inside the dream at least twice to comment on the action. ;)
Draculas is a thriller in every sense of the word. At times morbidly humorous, at others darkly terrifying, it is a roller-coaster ride of a novel. From the first scene, it's almost impossible to put this book down - you want to keep going, and going. I should warn you, though - this book is not for the faint of heart. There's blood, death, terror, monsters, heartbreaking moments, and heroic efforts in abundance.
These are not "glittery" vampires. They are not sexy, seductive, or glamorous. The creatures in Draculas are monsters, in every sense of the word.
If you're ready for a read that feels like it has rocket engines powering it as it speeds along, definitely give this book a try!
So, what the heck is so cool about this book?
For starters, there are four ace authors who've collaborated on this project. And these four, all previously published, are releasing the book directly to Kindle. All by itself, this is pretty exciting, because we're seeing first-line work from known novelists (i.e. people who could command decent advances for their work elsewhere) going direct to ebook.
That aside, this is just a book worth reading. From the opening on, it's not just gripping - it grabs you by the throat, shakes you around, and won't let go. The pace is rocket fast. The writing, despite being made of four voices, flows together seamlessly. And each segment leaves you wondering what will happen next, before flitting to someone else in just as much mortal danger.
Two warnings. As I said above, this is not a book for the faint of heart. It's outright grisly. Bloody. Violent. And if that sort of thing turns you off, this is probably not a good book for you. There are plenty of other novels out there designed to cure insomnia.
This one is designed to trigger it.
And, this is not an attempt at the next Great American Novel. It's fun, fast, and wild - but its not going to be taught in lit classes next century, I think. That's OK, for me - it is a good escapist read, impacting the emotions in the way that sort of book does.
Well worth the price itself, the novel also comes with extras - about how the authors got their team together and then worked on the story together, short fiction, and snippets from other novels they've written. The extras are the whipped cream on top that just makes the whole package that much...more.
For horror fans, thriller fans, people who have just come to hate the shiny/sexy vampire and are ready for something different, "Draculas" is the book to buy.