The author, Joe Konrath (aka Jack Kilborn), writes in the introduction to Draculas that this is an attempt to make vampires scary again. As he explains, "There are no sexy teen heartthrobs herein." This had me salivating. I'm a sucker for a scary vampire.
Draculas [US] [UK] [Kindle - Free!!] begins with a pretty simple story premise - there's a skull found in Romania that the insanely rich, but dying Mortimer Moorcoock buys for a small fortune. Upon receiving the skull, which is very close to being human except it is filled with huge fangs, he proceeds to bite himself with the skull.
He is taken to the hospital...and all hell breaks lose.
You might be wary of a book with four different authors, and you would be right to question this, but it's amazingly seamless. I'm not an expert by any means, but I couldn't tell you when there was a switch in writers.
Because there's not much to the plot, I won't go into too much detail there, I just want to explain a couple things I thought were interesting and unique to these authors' take on vampires.
These vampires are scary as hell. They have more fangs than your average vamp. and superhuman strength to go along with it. In addition, they also have the ability to think rationally, the only problem is that they have an insane thirst that makes them go crazy for blood and do anything to get it.
This aspect had me sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time. While some Draculas, as the characters refer to them, don't think outside the blood (hehe), but others are a little more patient and cunning when it comes to tracking their prey. What are the authors trying to do to me here, give me a heart attack?
Then there's the characters. Not only did I love those trying to escape the Draculas, but we even see the point of views of some of the Draculas themselves. Of course they're pretty focused on BLOODBLOODBLOODBLOOD, but it shows their rational sides as well as they track our favorites (and not so favorites).
My favorite Draculas had to be one, the clown. Every time I read, "Squeak, squeak, squeak." I was terrified. And two, the little girl, who just wants some red candy. It's sick, but I couldn't help but kinda root for her, at least against the adult Draculas.
If I haven't yet convinced you to start, Draculas, it's the best horror novel I've ever read. It's full of violence and gore aplenty, so beware, but it's also full of great characters and situations that had me reading until late in the night multiple times. And I was on a cruise while I read this. I still couldn't put it down.
5 out of 5 Stars
Note on the eBook version: This book actually ends at the 50% mark. I was a little confused with the climax was happening around 45%, I wondered what the heck they were going to do for the rest of the book.
The authors include a lot of extras, including three short stories, which are collaborations between pairs of the authors, previews of all the authors work, and an interview where the authors interview themselves and talk about writing a book with four authors. It's pretty interesting.
Ps. Here's a great/hilarious review and the reason why I picked this book up in the first place.