From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up–This story is an interesting blend of mystery, horror, and romance, and readers who love vampire novels will find it a refreshing twist to the classic story. Mary Seward recognizes the patient who has just been brought into the Purfleet sanatorium. It is Lt. John Shaw, who lives in the mansion near the hospital along with his sister Lily. Hoping to help him, Mary begins to read his diary, written during his tenure in the trenches in France during the Great War. John describes his encounters with a Captain Quincey Harker, a brave but bloodthirsty leader. Lily meets Captain Harker during one of her visits, they fall in love, and he takes her home to Romania to be married. However, Quincey is the son of Count Tepes and Mina Harker, and he has taken Lily to Dracula's Castle to fulfill the family's destiny. Lily and John are also connected to Count Tepes, as John is the son of Count Tepes and Rosemary Shaw. As the wedding day draws near, the full story of the family is revealed. Lily is faced with a dilemma–to live forever as a vampire or to end it all. Written in diary format with excerpts from each main character, this novel continues the saga of Count Dracula with a new generation. Each character is fully realized, as are the environs that surround them. Although readers know that something binds the characters together, the author maintains suspense until the end. –Jana R. Fine, Clearwater Public Library System, FL
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Gr. 7-10. The journal entries of Captain Quincey Harker, Lieutenant John Shaw, Lily Shaw, and Mary Seward tell a tale of vampiric connection by shared bloodline. John Shaw is a World War I communications officer in the trenches under Harker's command. A large and striking man, Harker demonstrates exceptional strength, an iron will, and a terrifying battlefield bloodlust. Despite John's growing reservations about Harker's ethics and perhaps even his sanity, he finds he cannot rid himself of his captain, even when sent home to convalesce after being gravely wounded. Harker, who joins him not long after, takes a decided interest in John's sister, Lily. When Lily is enticed from her home to become Harker's bride in Transylvania, John and Mary (John's nurse/fiancee), realize that this will not be a wedding sanctioned by God and set out to stop it. With the exception of time frame and journal format, there's little that's new here, and following a moody and leisurely buildup, the ending feels rushed. Still, a solid vampire story is always compelling, and this eminently readable book will find fans. Holly Koelling
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