Book Review: Draculas by Blake Crouch, Jack Kilborn, F. Paul Wilson & Jeff Strand

This horror novel was written by four authors working together, and I can’t tell you how impressed I am at the execution. It’s been awhile, but I’ve read individual works by three of the four, and I couldn’t really differentiate between them in this book. It’s incredibly well written and the story itself just pulled me right along.

I had my doubts in the beginning, to be honest. I loved the very first section wherein a freakish, mutated skull is found and makes its way into the hands of a wealthy dying man. The set up was excellent. The next section turned into a bloodbath of the highest order, and honestly, felt kind of gratuitous – gore for gore’s sake. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m steeped in Halloween decorating at the moment, but I found myself getting bored with all the blood and carnage.

It didn’t take long to capture my interest again when the story started moving forward, and character personalities really started to show. It also intrigued me that the monsters (these vampires really are monsters – no darkly charming sexy dudes here) still retained some ability to think and reason. The plot is very simple, but no detail was left out, nearly everything was plausible for me, making it easy to be drawn into and stay engaged in the story.

My only issue aside from the bloodbath in the beginning was with the description of the monsters. I had (still have) a hard time visualizing what is described, so it took me a few sections (there are no chapters – it’s all delineated by character) to stop trying to figure out what they looked like and just accept it was something super-ugly with really big bad teeth. In the front of the book it’s described as “anatomically impossible”, which annoyed me because I would have liked an explanation of how something that’s “impossible” could become possible.

The ending is deliciously wicked, and fascinating in light of the original mythos of vampirism as it’s laid out in this particular book. But wait…there’s more!

The authors have packed this ebook with extra materials – interviews, bonus short stories, and emails that cover the collaborative process. I found all of them quite interesting, and certainly extra value for the cost of the book. When you consider the novel itself is 80k words, it’s an amazing amount of material you get for what you’d normally pay just for the story. I received my review copy for free, but I wouldn’t hesitate to pay the $2.99 for the whole package.

If you like horror with a healthy helping of gore, you’ll want to read this. If you don’t like horror but you’re a writer and can stomach the gore, you still should read this, just for the artful construction and collaboration. If you’ve overdosed on handsomely mysterious sexy vamps, or those sparkly youngsters, this book is the cure. It’s an excellent read all around, with something for everyone.

Draculas is a Kindle exclusive, but you can either download a Kindle app for your device of choice, or you can download the file and use a program like Calibre to convert it to read on whatever ereader you have. 

Purchase your copy here. 

***I don’t normally do book reviews here on the blog, but I’m making an exception for this particular one because I’m interested in the marketing experiment the authors are conducting. I’m sure Joe Konrath (aka Jack Kilborn) will blog the results when he’s done for anyone else interested.