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Dracula's Demeter Kindle Edition
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Dracula’s Demeter uses the log of the Demeter from Bram Stoker’s Dracula as an outline. The logbook in Stoker’s novel gives us the name of many of the ill-fated ship’s crew: Petrofsky, Olgaren, and Abramoff. We know there are two mates and a cook, and the first mate is Romanian, while most of the crew is Russian.
Lamoreaux fills in the back stories of these men. The cook is an old Scotsman on his last sea voyage, looking forward to retirement in Whitby. One of the men has severe back pain and must take laudanum just to function. Lamoreaux adds an undocumented passenger to the mix -- an English scholar who must flee Romania quickly because the daughter of an official claimed she was pregnant with his child. As the story unfolds, we find that not all aboard are who they seem, but the captain has reasons to keep their secrets in his official log. This allows a story to unfold that is at once consistent with Dracula but also offers a few surprises.
Lamoreaux remains true to Stoker and his Dracula is unquestionably a villain. We see him kill in grotesque ways and manipulate people both aboard the ship and in Whitby. Like the story of Demeter’s voyage, Lamoreaux adds to the character of Dracula without contradicting Stoker and we come away with an even more frightening and villainous creature than before.
Fanfiction has gotten a bad rap as a lot of it is badly written garage. But not this book. If you love Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, you will not be disappointed. I was impressed by how well-written the story was, the research involved, and the professional editing and proofreading. Rare commodities in Indie books or small presses. I did feel there was a tad bit too much background and detail. I found myself nodding off a few times with all the nautical terms.
As for the characters, there was a wide range of them, from different backgrounds, that happened to be on that ill-fated trip. It was confusing at first about who was who. Especially when being referred to by their positrons on the crew, such as first or second. But as one by one, they met their horrific fates, I felt for each one of them. And horrific they were. Yes, he threw in spiders. ECK! You can’t help but fell sorry for Harrington, Swales, and Ekaterina. They were just pawns in Dracula’s game. Speaking of pawns, Jonathan Harker, Lucy, Mina, and Renshaw were woven seamlessly into the storyline, anchoring this tale firmly into the legend of Dracula.
If you love reading literary masterpieces written in the vein of true Gothic horror, you really need to buy this book. I give it 4 fangs.
I absolutely loved this book. My only regret is that I read Dracula many times before I found this book. The characters were well written and the fear slowly built into the terror it achieved at the end. I found myself thinking as I read "too bad the characters/ship's crew didn't band together and share information until it was way too late. The addition of Ekatrina (a young girl stowaway) was brilliant as it kept Dracula busy for quite some time. Did this book scare me? It did a little (and probably would have a lot more if I hadn't already read Dracula first) and that's simply because of the way the author writes and how he built the atmosphere and plot. Though it was set during Dracula's sea voyage from Translavania to England, the story flowed much easier than that of the original Dracula. This story didn't drag nor did it linger on certain areas for too long or fail to give each incidence the time it deserved.
For anyone who loves Vampire books...I would say this ranks right up there with the original Dracula. I gave it 5 stars and would have given it more if I could have.