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WARRINGTON, FREDA Ė DRACULA THE UNDEAD 1997 Penguin Books. 

 

With Anne Rice recognized as the leading vampire novel author today, it is surprising  that the official Stoker estate approved centenary sequel to Bram Stokerís Dracula was awarded by commission to Freda Warrington.To her credit, Warrington is darker and more Gothic than Rice. She also keeps to the style of Stokerís original work, writing in the diaries, letters and manuscripts of her characters. She takes enormous steps to maintain the style and ethos of the original. Beginning seven years after the first book ended, Warrington sees her heroes, the Harkers in a much-perturbed state. Their Victorian Puritanism makes sex difficult for them, especially after they witnessed and felt the erotic aspects of Draculaís hold over Mrs. Harker. They are also troubled by horrible dreams and decide to check whether the Count is really dead or not. They soon find that their fate is manipulated by a female vampire wannabee who plans on resurrecting Dracula to gain immortality herself. To achieve this, she has raised a powerful demon from the fires of hell. The Harkers, with Dr. Seward, and an ageing Professor Van Helsing, struggle to stop her and they gain an unexpected ally in the form of Dracula himself, who has repented his evil nature and recognises the demon as more evil than he ever was. This is where the story falls down for all of Warringtonís classy writing. Dracula redeemed is far less interesting than Dracula as Lord of all evil. His Darth Vader metamorphosis into a good guy, willing to sacrifice himself in a pit of volcanic hellfire like Ripley in alien 3 or Schwartzeneggar in Terminator Two is deeply disappointing. The death of Van Helsing, the only regular human character to die, seems touching, but the possibility of a further continuation of the Dracula saga is brutally killed off It is unusual for a bad book to be well written, but Warrington achieves it. http://members.aol.com/FredaMike/Bibliography.htm

 

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