Dracula Arisen: A Review

I’m going to call Perry Lake a scholar of Dracula. While there are many who could, say give you details of a myriad of movies involving the blood-imbibing character, Lake is able to give you a deep draught of history with it.

Dracula Arisen is that draught.

This book is compilation of thirteen short stories, which make the connection between Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, one of the first Gothic stories to feature blood drinkers and Bram Stoker’s classic novel, Dracula. Lake has most certainly read and loved and been inspired by both pieces of literature.

But it doesn’t end there. He has researched the available information on Vlad the Impaler and several other characters to create a strong and vivid sense of place for this tale. One of Lake’s strengths lies in being able to capture the epic journey of an immortal creature and keep the sense of the mores of the time, which can be markedly different to our own. Inviting a vampire hunter and his son to a party where all of the other guests are vamps, for example.

Drac arisen

Arisen is meticulously researched and it is evident Lake has a love for the iconic character and his origins. The book chronicles Vlad’s parents dancing with the devil, to the dark shadow surrounding his birth, to his rise to power via his violent battles and the subsequent torture of prisoners. (Yes, how he got the moniker “The Impaler” is described in detail.) After his death, Vlad is revived by a mad doctor whose intent is to keep him as a servant. But soon, Vlad frees himself to journey toward the image of Dracula most of have today.

In many places, I didn’t know what was fact and what was fiction. Which is a credit to Lake. Since the book is so flush with history, it got a bit too informative for me in places, at times reading almost like a textbook. As such, it was a good idea to have the book presented in short story format to allow for large passages of time and the inclusion of a rather sturdy number of supporting characters.

Arisen is a strong—extremely strong—work of historical fiction. There were times I felt engrossed in the story. Occasionally, however, I got a bit bogged down in what felt like information transfer as opposed to storytelling, which can happen if you aren’t as “into” a historical figure or a time period as the author.

Even so, I would recommend reading Dracula Arisen as Lake is able to create a sense of place and time for the reader that many authors struggle to craft. This book is a mastery of the epic form, which many writers shy away from due to the massive amounts of time, research, and the events that must be covered. The book is meticulously and cleverly written, powered by fact and events and doesn’t linger too long on emoting.

I rarely read what I consider to be plot-driven novels, so I had to approach this read differently, taking it in smaller bites instead of devouring it in a few sittings. But I’m glad I did as I found myself appreciating the scope of the book and Lake’s pinpoint accuracy in delivering it.

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Book Release: The Reaping

Today Richard Schiver’s The Reaping will be available in both print and e-book format. To celebrate the release, the first book in his DREADLAND CHRONICLES series,  All Roads Lead to Terror will be free from Friday June 24 until midnight Sunday June 26.

Anyone who downloads a free copy of All roads lead to terror and leaves a review on Amazon.com before midnight on August 20, 2016, will be entered into a drawing for a one of a kind candy jar to take place on August 21, 2016. Full details about the giveaway can be found here.

The_Reaping_Cover_for_Kindle

The Reaping Synopsis:

Man is no longer alone at the top of the food chain.

From the East a new threat to a struggling civilization emerges, spreading across the land like a cancerous stain, leaving in its wake the shattered remnants of a species teetering on the brink of extinction.

After the dead walked and society crumbled, mankind struggled back from the brink of extinction. Having fled the cities, the survivors lead a more pastoral lifestyle, while the cities to the east stand as silent monuments to the former progress of man.

But they are not empty.

Not only did mankind leave behind the trappings of his progress, but the creatures of the night that once fed along the shadowy edges of a well lit world. Inhabiting that twilight space between day and night, between what is real and imagined, between dreams and nightmares. 

In Bryn Mawr, Window is infected when he is bitten by a Reaper. As he struggles against the rising bloodlust, viewing his friends as a potential meal, they set out to the East in the search of a cure.

Along the way they learn more about the nature of the world they inhabit, their own past, and the part they each play in a potential future. Crossing paths with a shadowy figure who leaves small tokens from each of their own history. Little objects that carry powerful emotions linked to major changes in their past lives.

In the nation’s former capitol they are confronted by the master who reveals the cold truth about the cosmos as he prepares his own army of the undead to enslave what remains of mankind.

Links:

 

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DYDG2XI

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01DYDG2XI

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01DYDG2XI

Author Bio: 

Unlike other writers who knew they wanted to write the moment they became self aware, Richard’s path to taking up the pen followed a more leisurely route.

As a child he wanted to be a fighter pilot, later he thought it would be neat to be a rock star. Unfortunately, as an introvert, he was not suited for the stage. Once he gave up the guitar, much to the relief of his parents, he turned his attention to making movies.

Armed with an 8mm movie camera, several rolls of aluminum foil liberated from the kitchen, and the spare bed sheets, he filmed his first masterpiece. The story was about a space ship crash landing in the woods behind his house. His sister starred as the damsel in distress while his little brother, wrapped like a mummy in the spare bed sheets, chased her through the woods.

His career as a famous director ended before it even got off the ground when on opening night his mother recognized the missing bed sheets and  aluminum foil resulting in his grounding for the remainder of that summer.

A voracious reader, he believes writing is the most intimate form of communication possible. The reader permits the writer access to their mind, and the readers reality dissolves as they focus on the narrative of the tale being spun.

His love of the macabre was sparked at an early age when he would sit on his grandmother’s porch listening to her tell ghost stories. During the summer he and his cousins would sleep in his grandmother’s back yard, within sight of the abandoned haunted house next door, and spend the night scaring one another with gruesome tales of shadowy creatures that went bump in the night.

During his life he has played a series of roles, husband, father, son, and lover, but his favorite by far is grandfather. He and his wife of twenty plus years have raised four children, and helped raise eight grandchildren. They provide a secure home to a yellow lab named Max and a cat who will answer to either Flame or Furball. His loving wife, Dena has experienced first hand the exasperation of living with a writer whose mind has a tendency to wander at the most inappropriate times. Yet she manages to keep his feet firmly planted on terra firma.

Richard can be found online on FacebookTwitter , and Bookbub.

Written in Blood is Richard’s personal blog where he shares his thoughts on writing, and whatever else might strike his fancy. He can be contacted directly at rschiver@gmail.com and would be delighted to hear from you.

Sign up to be notified of new releases when they become available. He promises to never share your contact info, nor will he swamp your inbox with unnecessary crap. http://www.eepurl.com/2bYSf

Author Mark Taylor – The Devil’s Hand Part 1

I love this series from Mark Taylor. Get to know Darin, the Devil’s Hand.

Life With Words

The Devil's Hand: Crossing Guard by Mark Taylor

EXCERPT from The Devil’s Hand: Crossing Guard by Mark Taylor:

“Good night, Miss Mitchell,” Peter slid his head around the door of the office. “Is there anything else you need before I go?”

Angela looked away from the rain to Peter and smiled, shaking her head. “I’ll see you in the morning.” Peter left, and she heard him close the door behind himself, latching it so that it was only accessible from the inside. She looked back out the window. Five days running it had been raining. Only on and off, but always in the early evening, and always when she was going home.

She picked up the North African Statesman’s Journals—her morning’s work—and carried them out of the office, starting up the back stairs to the storeroom on the next floor. She had indexed and priced them, even managing to send out a tentative email to a perspective buyer and…

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