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Posts Tagged ‘Anno Dracula’

Lily Wight

     Updated 16/10/2015

     The Bloody Red Baron (1995) is the second novel in Kim Newman’s superlative and ever-expanding Anno Dracula series.  Newman continues to weave effortlessly both history and fiction to conjure a world in which Dracula – formerly wed to Queen Victoria – has joined forces with The Kaiser to bring terror to Europe.

     The shift in time and tone may surprise some readers expecting more of the first book’s Victorian gothic.  Book two is a World War I novel that successfully captures the tropes of military fiction whilst broadening its appeal with genre-mashing wit and just the right amount of girl power so you won’t miss those smog bound cobbled streets whatsoever.

     A running theme of genetic experimentation and weird science ensures that the series becomes increasingly pertinent and there is plenty of action too…

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Lily Wight

Updated 03/06/2014

     Despite obvious extensive research and the Stoker seal of approval belated Dracula sequel Dracula The Un-Dead is a wasted opportunity which panders to modern tastes instead of keeping faith with the original vampire classic.

     Dacre Stoker and collaborator Ian Holt throw in everything from Elizabeth Bathory and Jack The Ripper to The Titanic creating a convoluted yarn which, although fast paced, struggles to find themes and focus.

     This sort of  Victorian Gothic Alternative History, or Literary Re-imagining, has been done far more successfully before by author Kim Newman whose Anno Dracula series is both effortless and ingenious in its use of similar settings and characters.

     The Un-Dead reads more like a sequel to Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula movie and when Dracula intones to Mina’s son “I am your father!!!” you may just die…

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     We have reached the third book in Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula (or Red Reign) series in which each novel, although uniquely different, is consistently strong.

    This time the action relocates to a super suave Rome on the cusp of 60’s cool; an era of glamourous movie stars, paparazzi, familiar super spies and legions of the un-dead.

    Newman’s light style and knowingly referential wit bring charm but also surprising depth to a serial killer mystery that unites some familiar characters.  The setting is vibrant and there is an insightful sensitivity to the handling of female characters during a period sometimes tinged with misogyny.

    Back in 2012 this reviewer hoped for a further sequel to this series and it seems Mr. Newman makes wishes come true!  Anno Dracula IV: Johnny Alucard is ready and waiting to be read. 

Next Post 17/19/13 (18.00 BST) ~ Lily Wight’s Tarot Reading For Autumn

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Anno Dracula I

Anno Dracula II: The Bloody Red Baron

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     Updated 16/10/2015

     The Bloody Red Baron (1995) is the second novel in Kim Newman’s superlative and ever-expanding Anno Dracula series.  Newman continues to weave effortlessly both history and fiction to conjure a world in which Dracula – formerly wed to Queen Victoria – has joined forces with The Kaiser to bring terror to Europe.

     The shift in time and tone may surprise some readers expecting more of the first book’s Victorian gothic.  Book two is a World War I novel that successfully captures the tropes of military fiction whilst broadening its appeal with genre-mashing wit and just the right amount of girl power so you won’t miss those smog bound cobbled streets whatsoever.

     A running theme of genetic experimentation and weird science ensures that the series becomes increasingly pertinent and there is plenty of action too as Newman’s cinematic prose turns aerial dogfights into something captivating and unique.  Have you shelved your old copies of Twilight yet?

Next Post – Book 3: Dracula Cha Cha Cha

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Anno Dracula Book 1

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Lily Wight

     Updated 16/10/13

When bookshops are heaving with Twilight knock-offs it’s a travesty that this superb novel is out of print in the UK  and had to be sourced secondhand, from overseas.”

     At least that is what a certain reviewer (ahem) said the last time they considered Kim Newman’s superlative Anno Dracula – the first book in a truly diverse, enlightening and remarkable series.  Since then Newman’s twenty-two year old vampire novel has received a  well deserved new edition and relaunch to go with its brand new sequel, Johnny Alucard (2013).
     Part Dracula sequel, part alternative history, Anno Dracula is a tour-de-force of literary and historical research enlivened by Newman’s light touch and rich detail.   Fans of The Age of Empire will enjoy recognising and sourcing the characters and events which are effortlessly woven into an…

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     Updated 21/08/2014 

     Kim Newman’s Glastonbury set tale of a year 2000 millenium apocalypse may have passed its sell by date (without incident) yet still offers a gorily fun interpretation of The Book of Revelations for horror fans who enjoy the likes of Stephen King, Clive Barker, James Herbert and Brian Lumley.

     There is a comfortable soap-opera quality to the slow-burn character-building of colourful locals and visitors but, in the final act, as chaos descends, the diversity of their living nightmares causes a loss of focus.

     Some of the sexual-horror is just plain nasty and there is a missed opportunity to explore the dynamics of cult religions with more intelligent depth.

     As an entry into the sub-genre of supernaturals versus psychic spies it makes a sufficiently fun but hardly a life-changing read.

     Newman can do better.

     Click the smiley to find out where 🙂

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     Updated 16/10/13

When bookshops are heaving with Twilight knock-offs it’s a travesty that this superb novel is out of print in the UK  and had to be sourced secondhand, from overseas.”

     At least that is what a certain reviewer (ahem) said the last time they considered Kim Newman’s superlative Anno Dracula – the first book in a truly diverse, enlightening and remarkable series.  Since then Newman’s twenty-two year old vampire novel has received a  well deserved new edition and relaunch to go with its brand new sequel, Johnny Alucard (2013).
     Part Dracula sequel, part alternative history, Anno Dracula is a tour-de-force of literary and historical research enlivened by Newman’s light touch and rich detail.   Fans of The Age of Empire will enjoy recognising and sourcing the characters and events which are effortlessly woven into an original investigation of The Ripper murders.  It’s a deceptively simple mystery that uses action and fun to distract the reader from how very smart it really is. 
     Mr. Newman may seem more than a little in love with his genius concept – and well he might – because you will fall in love with it too.
Click for –

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