For a dedicated American doctor, he promises the medical breakthrough of a lifetime, as well as a very special love she's never been able to find. But he also conceals a shockingly intimate link to a clan of vampires and their legendary leader - the fiend the world calls Vlad Dracula, who, for centuries, has triumphed over countless rival tyrants, including death itself.
©2008 Dan Simmons; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio
"Count Dracula kicks off the coffin lid again in this updated vampire tale....the book offers a mesmerizing tour through the ghostly, gray tatters of Romania." (Publishers Weekly)
"Neatly ties the vampire legend into political history to create a new and clever twist to the idea of the vampire's craving for blood." (Library Journal)
"Toothsomely well written." (Kirkus Reviews)
After reading (dead tree version) Dan Simmons masterpiece "The Terror", I dove right in to find whatever else I could by this talented author. But my enthusiasm waned about 1/3 way thru this dull, plodding, hackneyed vampire story. The narrator did an okay job, he has a droning voice but handled the Euro-speak and accents well. But the content of this book belongs in a TV movie. "Vampirism is a disease, and we can cure it!" Sound familiar? Ho-hum.
Good story - worth a listen. The narrator could be better, but doesn't qualify as 'bad'. The story can be a little drawn out in areas, but a good, fairly 'traditional' vampire story.
Dan Simmons can be a brilliant writer, but that is not in evidence here. The characters are not well drawn, especially the main protagonist, Kate. Her character is totally improbable and really whiney. It may be the way the narrator chooses to voice her, but she is so whiney and self, or child, absorbed that I couldn't care enough about her or Joshua to enjoy the book. The narrator is good, but not great. He doesn't seem to pause in the best place and the inflections he uses really colored my view of the characters in negative ways. The male characters are much better written and the narrator's choices made the female characters even worse. The actual story isn't great, but this is still one book I wish I had "read" on paper.
Let me point out from the start, that I only made it 1/4 of the way through this audiobook. I am an avid audiobook listener and have tremendously enjoyed Simmons' Hyperion books. This one however doesn't cut it.
The character development is minimal. I have some interest in what happens to the main character Kate. I see no compelling reason though for her to have adopted her baby boy. Of thousands of babies she met in an orphanage there was nothing special about this one; no formation of a bond; no hard luck case that was much worse than of hundreds of other orphans. Still, he apparently is cute and maybe that is worth going through heck for.
The writing that finally got me down involved the endless medical terms and genetic details. I would expect a few just to establish Simmons' validity as a story teller. The continued detail though seriously bogs down the story telling. The narrator can only trudge through just so many eight syllable words before I'm ready to stop listening.
Unfortunately, the reader also trudges through most of the story telling too. Most female and male voices he tries are very similar. The worst is the voice of the ex-husband Tom. This voice sounds just like Rodney Dangerfield. I kept expecting him to finish his emotion filled dialog with a puchline of, "I get no respect!" This reader would do well to use only his own voice, without changing for each character.
The concept of this vampire tale is very unique and very intriguing. It is unfortunate the writing and narration do not deliver.
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