Who doesn’t love vampires?
Okay, maybe there are some folks out there who find them disturbing, but the popularity of vampires (as measured by works of fiction on bookshelves and on screen) cannot be denied. “Dracula’s Guests,” compiled by Dr. Chris McAuley, brings together 25 vampire stories to honour the 125th anniversary of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” Although generally in keeping with the tenets of the Transylvanian count, the stories in “Dracula’s Guests,” range from post-apocalyptic dystopian, to Arthurian legend, and everything in between.
The variety of stories means there is something in this collection for every vampire-lover, making this collection highly enjoyable. All the stories are well-written, with vivid imagery and engaging characters, though the differences in style and approach inevitably result in some stories being better than others, depending upon reader preferences.
Each story incorporates some parallel to Stoker’s Victorian novel. In some cases, characters are placed in a new setting. In other stories, the common element is the vampire’s horrific brutality, or seductiveness, or need for vengeance. Not all stories feature graphic horror, but some certainly do, a fact readers should be mindful of. This is a collection of vampire horror stories, and any humour or romance is presented through this disturbing veil. One thing readers won’t find much of in this collection is classic Victorian-style prose. Almost all the authors bring their reimaginings to life with a modern voice.
I loved this collection! Although, in the spirit of full-disclosure, I confess to being a wee bit of a vampire super-fan. That notwithstanding, if you want to enjoy some well-written vampire stories, I highly recommend picking up “Dracula’s Guests.”
Amanda King – February 26, 2023
Original publishing location.
E-book provided by publisher for review purposes.