Bringing Scary Back (to Vampires)
Q: What’s more frightening than a vampire clown?
A: A vampire clown with a chainsaw.
And that’s what you’ll find in Draculas, the e-book that drops today by no less than four authors:
Four well-known horror authors pool their penchants for scares and thrills, and tackle one of the greatest of all legends, with each writer creating a unique character and following them through a vampire outbreak in a secluded hospital.
The goal was simple: write the most frightening book they possibly could.
Which they did.
A word of warning:
Within these pages, you will find no black capes, no satin-lined coffins, no brooding heartthrobs who want to talk about your feelings. Forget sunlight and stakes. Throw out your garlic and your crosses. This is the Anti-TWILIGHT.
Each of the four authors wrote characters into the story:
- F. Paul Wilson is a New York Times bestselling author of The Keep and many other books spanning many genres.
- I’ve been following Jack Kilborn (AKA: JA Konrath) for years, and I’ve promised him a beer next time he’s up in Minneapolis. Jack is the author of the long-running series of Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels books, including the upcoming Shaken.
- Blake Crouch is the author of a handful of books including the upcoming Snowbound.
- Bram Stoker award nominee, Jeff Strand rounds out the foursome with several horror books under his belt.
The Review of Draculas
I read the pre-review copy of Draculas in a single, sleepless night. The plot is more than just straightforward, it’s dead simple. A skull reputed to be the actual skull of Dracula is discovered, and causes all sorts of problems for its new owner and many people in an isolated hospital. People attacked by vampire creatures called Draculas are either killed outright by the literally blood-thirsty monsters, or worse, converted into another of these ruthlessly fast and dangerous beings.
The body count and the monster count both ratchet up plenty quick.
The authors call Draculas “The Anti-Twilight” and I can vouch for that. You won’t find this Paranormal watered down with Romance or worse; stoic teens waffling over mindless choices. Draculas overflows with over-the-top carnage coupled with a sense of humor that would make Rob Zombie proud. The pace is fast, and made even faster by bouncing the point-of-view between many of the characters, including a chainsaw-wielding vampire clown.
Each chapter is titled with the point-of-view character’s name; a clever way to ease the transitions between characters. Some may not like the head-hopping, I thought it was a great way to keep the story fresh. Although as the story progressed, I gravitated towards my ‘favorite’ characters and began skimming the non-favorite character chapters to get to the characters that I liked.
It’s easy to see that these four authors are truly “Bringing Scary Back” to vampires. My only complaint is that parts of the story came off as schlocky humor, which took away from the horror. Not that the story had to be as serious as a CSI Minneapolis episode, but when the blood-soaked vampire clown picks up a chainsaw and heads for our hero, its giant clown shoes squeaking as it walks… When the gun-toting Dirty-Harry-wannabee pulls out a .454 as if he just got back from a black market weapons expo (why not a fifty cal elephant rifle? You were so close!) … when someone bites the vampire clown on the neck, then says “he tasted funny”…
Let’s just say humor in horror is a spice, best used sparingly. Balancing between a Horror/Comedy and a Comedy/Horror is a fine line, and subjective at that. You may find a chainsaw-wielding vampire clown with giant squeaky shoes horrific, but I’m laughing now just thinking about it. A little more serious would have been a lot more scary for me, but your mileage may vary.
The Short Review
Horrifically bloody good fun. Finally, vampires to be afraid of.