To view it, What an awful book. Leila and a handsome young Dracula get away and live happily ever after. His lips worked their way up to my ear. I still will give the book three stars though. Parental warning: Contains some descriptive sexual content. For Full Review: This is a terrible book. The irony is lossed on no one, I'm sure.
There is no love involved in this story. It's time I reread Interview With A Vampire, and Dracula, and any number of the other well-written vampire novels out there, just to clear the bad taste of strawberry-tasting blood out of my mouth. They have sex or something similar. No, it is a sort of feminist retelling in which Mina asserts that the story that everyone knows, the story that's been told by men, is false. He wants everything to be her choice and is willing to accept her wishes, even though some of them will break his heart. I must continue to express a big ole thank you to the inter-library loan system, otherwise I would have had to buy this book in order to read it. That was the compelling part of the book.
Wouldn't you wonder if she had really wanted it to be broken? And not because it's fiction, but because it is implausible and contrived. Which I do - it is a clever book, better written than I could have expected, and very thoughtful. He has waited hundreds of years to be with Mina and yet, he doesn't force her to be with him. Von Helsinger, a psychiatrist with an unhealthy obsession with vampirism and medical treatments involving blood. Right from the beginning, the prologue to be precise, the author puts the story into context. Ah, she did an impeccable job making me wonder and feel that her story was really the truth and the other was just a fabricated lie to make money.
The intensity of the story is still there, just with a much needed woman's touch, making it almost unbearably romantic and as an added bonus, tastefully erotic. Sorry for the outburst, but reading this book was an exercise in futility and frustration. Even the few times they couple up, the connection between them comes off as more conceptual or borderline transcendent of description that makes any sense. She vacillated so swiftly and dramatically, a reader could get motion sickness: Mina was strong! She is a character that I could relate to. The only thing Essex's characters did consistently was change their minds.
Dark, spooky, horrifying blood transfusions and strait-jackets anyone? I mean, not these particular characters, of course. It's really difficult to come up with anything intelligent to say about it because I'm still dribbling over it like an idiot. I cannot deny that it did indeed captivate and keep me throughout the whole story. I don't hate the book, but it failed to really leave much of an impact on me. I have seen a lot worse, Felicia. Okay, so for those of you younger readers, this is really, really steamy in parts. Essex had a rather complicated sub-plot regarding Mina Murray's origins, however, and perhaps I was curious to see where she might take it.
Like probably dozens of directors and novelists and fan fiction authors before here, Essex turns the relationship between Dracula and Mina consensual, into a love story that can cross centuries. The author used all the classic elements in Stoker's original with a few minor- ok, many, many luxurious upgrades. And although Essex insists that the characters of Count Dracula and Mina Murray love each other, there was nothing in their interaction that convinced me of the fact. How terribly boring, and unromantic. It is also a tale of horror and sadness and a realization that all is not as it seems. I look forward to reading this one again. Mina herself straddles the line between proper Victorian woman and fully-realized, passionate woman.
It is a book that uses the story of Dracula to spin an amazing new look into relationship between Mina and Dracula, instead of just twisting and borrowing non-stop from Stoker. But overall, I found it an interesting way to modernly explore what was actually a sexualized tale à la Victorian morés. Every idea in this book has been done to death elsewhere, and almost certainly done better. It screamed that it needed to be savored, and savor it I did. Our protagonist is Mina Murray — an Irish orphan working as a teacher at a Ladies college when her life tumbles out of her control. Karen Essex takes Stoker's tale and gives it a twist.
Dracula in Love isn't just a fill-in-the-gaps retelling of Dracula, fleshing out the story from Mina's point of view. I suppose if any part of it sounds intriguing, then check it out, but don't come into it expecting a fully-formed novel. We are not a Victorian audience to anticipate a happy ending of good triumphing over the caricature monster evil. Well, I should have quit right there. I didn't get much of a sense of who they were individually, what their interests and pet peeves were outside of one another, what on Earth they might talk about beyond the exposition necessary for the plot to move forward.