Book Review: Dracula, My Love

Dracula, My Love
Narrated By: Justine Eyre
Published By: Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication Date: August 2010
Audio Length: 13 hours, 55 minutes
Buy it at Amazon or IndieBound
Source: Library
Audience: Adult - Dracula Retelling, Romance

On The Writing & Story:

Have you ever wanted to love a book, but for some reason something just wasn't clicking? That's exactly what happened to me with this one. There is literally nothing wrong - Syrie James is a fantastic writer, the characters and setting come to life, and this book has all the elements of a great story - but I had a lot of trouble getting through this one. There were moments when I almost called it quits, but I kept persevering because I wanted to know how the story ended.

I really enjoyed the beginning and the ending of this book, but the middle was somewhat tedious for me. Dracula, My Love is the story of Dracula from the perspective of Mina Harker. For those who are familiar with Dracula, I really enjoyed getting to see the classic novel unfold from Mina's perspective. The novel is told through her diary entries which makes for a nice companion to the original novel which is told through Jonathan's journal. Mina does a fine job as a narrator, but she lost my interest during the portion of the book where she is staying at the Doctor's home in the countryside. Planning to kill Dracula is the focus of this segment as well as the constant reminder of Lucy's demise. For whatever reason, this did not appeal to me. In all honesty, it has been some time since I have read a Classic, so perhaps I was ill prepared to tackle this novel. James does a beautiful job of capturing the style and language of the time period, but I often felt bogged down by the words and my mind would wander away from the story. However, in spite of that I was impressed with how well James' writing mirrored the original story.

Lastly, I think my biggest complaint with this novel was the relationship between Mina and Dracula. I could never understand her decisions concerning him and just found myself to be frustrated any time they were together. I didn't like who either character became when the other was present. I didn't for one second believe that Dracula truly loved Mina - he sought to possess her - plain and simple. I feel that I would have enjoyed this book more if I could have gotten on board with their love affair.

Fans of Dracula, Classics, and historical romance would likely enjoy this title far more than I did.

On the Audio:

Justine Eyre did a nice job narrating this one. She was able to distinguish character voices. I really enjoyed her accents.

I do wonder if I would have enjoyed this novel more if I had read it myself instead of opting for the audio. My mind was constantly running away from the story and I would find myself lost. Rewind was certainly my close friend for this one. I would recommend skipping the audio version of this one. The book is so complex and detailed that one misses quite a bit by opting for this format.

One Last Gripe: I was very frustrated by how Mina kept whining about how much she loved Jonathan, but then two seconds later would be dreaming of Dracula - she was so fickle

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The hunt for Dracula in Romania 

First Sentence: It has been seven long years since the first night he came to my chamber, seven long years since the string of haunting, incredible, and perilous events occurred - events which I am certain no one else will believe, even though we took care to to make a written record of it.

Favorite Character: Jonathan

Least Favorite Character: Dracula

Many have read and loved Bram Stoker’s Dracula. But questions remain. What is the true story of Dracula’s origin? What if Mina could not bring herself to record the true story of their scandalous affair—until now? 

In Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker, Syrie James explores these questions and more. A vibrant dramatization, told from Mina’s point of view, brings to life the crucial parts of Stoker’s story while showcasing Mina’s sexual awakening and evolution as a woman, and revealing a secret that could destroy her life. Torn between two men—a loving husband and a dangerous lover—Mina struggles to hang on to the deep love she’s found within her marriage, even as she is inexorably drawn to Dracula himself—the vampire that everyone she knows is determined to destroy.