________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 16. . . .December 17, 2010.



Nicky Raven, adapter. Illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert.
Somerville, MA: Templar Books (Distributed in Canada by Random House Canada), 2009.
96 pp., hardcover, $24.00.
ISBN 978-0-7636-4793-3.

Subject Headings:
Transylvania (Romania)-Fiction.
Horror stories.
Stoker, Bram, 1847-1912. Dracula-Adaptations.

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.

Review by Jennifer Draper.





Lucy had been disturbed by the count, but in a curious way she felt herself fascinated by him. He had an aura about him, an undercurrent of persuasiveness, and she'd found him oddly attractive, despite his alien manner…Lucy felt faint after the encounter - almost as if she had drunk too much. Now, her head seemed full with thoughts that were only partly her own, and she still had her uneasy feeling - but the count had been charming and courteous, why should she be concerned? And he did have the most beautiful eyes, she admitted to herself, blushing despite the fact that she was alone.

Jonathan Harker, a newly minted solicitor-at-law, has landed a plum assignment. He is to travel to Transylvania to process some land-sale agreement papers with a wealthy client, Count Dracula. The only downside is that he will be away from his beloved fiancé, Mina, for six weeks. But when he arrives at the castle Dracula, he realizes that things are extremely strange. Wailing noises can be heard during the night. The Count forbids him to leave his room at night. And weirdly enough, the only thing the Count has ever been seen eating was blood from Harker's shaving accident. When the business has been concluded, Harker realizes that he is a captive at the castle, left by the Count in the hands of his three vampire brides. And they are very hungry.

     The story then goes on to tell of Harker's escape and the mysterious illness of Lucy. Lucy first falls victim to the Count, eventually dying. Mina is next, but, reminiscent of Lara Croft., she leads an expedition to slay the vampires.

     internal artAn excellent retelling of the Dracula story for the Tween crowd. The illustrations are beautiful, with a Manga-like feel to them. Raven has changed a few points of the story, such as having Lucy married at the start, and the Gypsies having a feud with the Count, but that does not detract from the story at all. Almost all the Victorianesque sexually charged sub-text has been omitted, except for some slight "keening" by the vampire brides. It is still a great horror story, but not overly scary. A refreshing change from Twilight's wimpy angst ridden vampires.

Highly Recommended.

Jennifer Draper is a librarian at the Pickering Public Library in Pickering, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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