With the premise of Count Dracula being married to Queen Victoria, and many other Victorian characters, real and fictional being present, I was expect..Show More »ing Anno Dracula to have some humour about it. Actually, it's not a funny book, and it doesn't need to be, because it's a really entertaining gothic crime mystery. The main story revolves around the pursuit of 'Jack the Ripper', with subplots revolving around relationships between the vampires and the 'warm', set in a period of change as England gets used to accepting vampires into high society, even preferring them, and making everyday decisions over whether to 'change' to get ahead in life - after all, immortality, acute senses and impressive strength can be useful.
The dark setting of Victorian London is brilliantly depicted, as are the really graphic accounts of the murders, and visceral actions of the vampires. All of this gives a wonderful filmic quality, where the vivid imagery is quite horrible, and would be a challenge for the best special effects departments. The cameos from names you recognise serve to add colour, and allow you a rye smile as names like Oscar Wilde, Jekyll and Hyde, Dr Moreau and even Bram Stoker are all given a context. Brilliantly narrated by William Gaminara, who really captured the characterisation of upper class London.
I've enjoyed the previous books in this series and did rather enjoy some of the skewed takes Newman has on late 20th Century pop-culture. Overall, how..Show More »ever, I felt distracted by the shear volume of reference catching to the point of being distracted from the actual plot. I think the appendices in particular tend to exacerbate this and I would recommend that anyone who in't really into Andy Warhol and the career of Orson Wells not bother with these parts.
All of which said, the story of Johnny Pop and his mission to resurrect Dracula is nicely told and at times the alt reality of this world is quite vivid and convincing. Gaminara's delivery has also improved over the previous books, where he used to often get confused about who was speaking and read in the wrong voice. Overall probably a 3.5 out of 5.