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Night Things: Dracula versus Frankenstein (The Magic Now Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This is an excellent, fast-paced story that pits horror's two top monsters against each other while exposing the seedy, gritty underbelly of the big city. I enjoy the novelette sized story, it’s long enough to get into the characters, but it’s still lean and doesn’t stray from the core of the tale. Great reading for the horror fan that likes some gritty reality in their stories and a modern twist on familiar monsters. While we have the main bout between Dracula and Frankenstein, we also get zombies, werewolves, a mummy, and all forms of night creatures battling both humans and each other in this action packed reimagining of the classic monsters.
Our beloved monsters are given new life, meaning and motivation by the skilled pen of Mr. West in this story. It's a complex interwoven tale that reveals different story lines from each of the main characters. If you are a monster movie fan, don't miss this...it's a great read! I just wish it would be adapted into a movie too!
I was a bit disappointed in the final chapter, and think the book would be stronger without it.
The first two entries into this series focused on Gary Hack, a heroin addicted director of pornographic films exploiting a variety of monsters. For this new story, West – wisely sensing that Hack's storyline has already been explored to the degree that it really shouldn't remain front and center anymore- shifts the focus to one of the author's most memorable creations, Johnny Stucke, a major player in the NYC underworld introduced in the previous book, who is the modern incarnation of Frankenstein's Monster. Hack is still a major character, but he occupies more of a supporting role for much of this outing.
This time, the story concerns itself with an ancient, bitter rivalry between Frankenstein's Monster and Dracula, stemming back over the ages to the day the legendary vampire discovered the monster living a lonely, miserable existence in a cave. After forging a unique bond, things go severely awry between the two (a bravura sequence West handles with the skill of a true craftsman), setting the stage for an inevitable confrontation between these two monsters of yore that's been brewing for centuries.
As St'cke becomes aware his old nemesis is at last coming for him, some unresolved issues rising from a mishap during one of Hack's previous film shoots (as depicted in Heroin/Monsters in the Magic Now) surface, coming back to haunt the director. The two narratives intertwine as all of these characters are forced to come together to try and prevent a war that could not only kill them all, but change the world as they know it forever.
West does a wonderful job picking up with his established characters and he weaves their respective threads together seamlessly. His real accomplishment, though, is the clever and inventive manner in which he uses established characters of horror literature within the context of this story.
For all of the violent, action packed sequences involving vampires, zombies, werewolves and even an appearance by a certain cyclonic demon fans of the author will immediately recognize, I found the passages depicting the history between Dracula and St'cke to be the highlight. West has really done his homework and it's clear he has a deep and abiding respect for the original works. These are strictly the literary incarnations of these characters, not the stuff of so many Universal and Hammer films- and the story benefits enormously from this approach. Night Things legitimately feels as if it's set in the same universe as Stoker and Shelley's work.
Add in a wonderfully timed and well crafted appearance by none other than H. P. Lovecraft's Dr. Herbert West, as well as that extra dimension of emotional clarity West has continued to infuse into this franchise (a moment involving Hack and his daughter near the end is particularly heart breaking), and this latest excursion into the world of this bizarre, alternate America stands as a higher tier read.
There's really no other way to state it: Night Things is a sensational book. The pacing is balanced perfectly, the characters are well developed, flesh and blood beings given heart and soul, there's legitimate dramatic heft to the manner in which the various storylines play out (if you're a returning fan, be prepared to bid some shocking and sad goodbyes) and it never skimps on the action.
Horror fans hungering for something smart, imaginative, at times brutally intense and just flat out entertaining as hell have cause to rejoice over Terry M. West's latest work. With Night Things, he's raised the bar and is at the top of his game. Don't miss this one.
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