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5.0 out of 5 starsWorthy
Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2020
This was the first Anno Dracula book I read and it was awesome. Based on this one I have bought quite a few more and plan on getting every Anno I can. The fantasy history with the Red Baron was really fun! I don’t want to have any spoilers so I’ll just say it was a really fun story, it also includes a novella that I’m going to jump into.
Mr. Kim Newman has fast become one of my favorite writers. It started with Anno Dracula which is one of my favorite books. It combines some of my favorite elements in fiction: Victorian fiction, alternate universes, meta-fiction, shades of the Wold Newton Family, Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes references, but most of all good writing, an engaging plot, and interesting characters. I couldn't put it down and eagerly waited for the sequel hoping for it to be as good as the original... It wasn't- But it is damn close. The book actually contains two separate stories, The Bloody Red Baron which takes up the first 2/3rds of the book and a new novella Vampire Romance which finishes out the last third. In the interest of fairness I will review the stories separately. Bloody Red Baron is a four star book. It suffers a little bit due to the absence of Geneviève but mostly makes up for it with a larger role for Kate Reed who had a smaller part in the previous review. Charles Beauregard also has a reduced role to the books detriment. His replacement character is not as strong but works well enough. The real sticking point is the over reliance on the flying scenes which is understandable considering it is about the Red Baron but they just distracted from the stuff I loved with stuff I just liked. But if you like action scenes in a book this won't be a problem for you. Vampire Romance is on the other hand a five star story.It heavily features Geneviève at a party to try to find the new King of Vampires. It is both a manor house mystery as well as a wicked burn on the Paranormal Romance genre that has become so popular. This novella is worth the nine buck by itself. One of Newman's best abilities is to combine humor and horror without detracting from either. This book gets a strong recommend.
4.0 out of 5 starsAnno Dracula, take 2! Not as good as the first, but still worth a look....
Reviewed in the United States on February 4, 2013
Not quite as good as the first one, but that's to be expected. I also thought Genvieve should actually appear as a character, a change the author himself apparently wishes he had made as noted in his commentary. Here we have the world we left in at the end of Anno Dracula, twenty-odd years later and embroiled in a world war with vampires serving on both sides. New technologies are being tested, from chemical warfare to the newfangled aeroplane. Dracula serves as the Kaiser's right hand, some say ruling from behind the throne. Charles Beauregard is back again to oppose the designs of the chief vampire, joined once more by stubborn war correspondant Kate Reed as well as the Diogenes Club's newest addition, the young operative Edwin Winthrop. Will these intrepid heroes be able to discover Dracula's designs in time to foil them? Or will Dracula and his vampire flyers led by the Bloody Red Baron himself, Baron Richtofen, triumph over the Allies?
4.0 out of 5 starsA great mash-up of vampires with alternate history
Reviewed in the United States on March 14, 2017
This is a great vampire story set during World War I and built against a world where Dracula has turned half of Europe into vampires and is essentially responsible for leading the German armies in the war.
It's the second book in the Anno Dracula series, but it's not at all necessary to read the first book first, unless you want to. I originally read this book first and only many years later finally read the first book.
5.0 out of 5 starsIf there was ever a reason to own a kindle, this is it
Reviewed in the United States on May 29, 2014
First off I have to say that the Anno Dracula series is one of the greatest fantasy book series out there. The plots, the characters, and, last but not least, the crossover references to all things vampires - books, movies, etc.
And this is where the Kindle comes in. I have had so much fun using the Kindle's ability to access Google for tracking down all of the characters in these books. It so enriches the storyline as well as introduce me to all of the source materials. Reading a paper book now has become so 1 dimensional without the direct access to the internet.
While I own and use a Kindle, the software best used on a tablet or smart phone for full search capabilities.
I ordered this bookon my Kindle after a friend told me it was a great re ad. I can't stop thinking about the book and have ordered the other two in the series. Dracula is now Queen Victoria's consort in the late 19th century. Mayhem is the order of the day since Vampires have gone public. We also have a behind the scenes group of "agents" who are on top of the real threats. Victorian life is covered in detail and the famous characters included in the series make for some great guessing games. Jack the Ripper is included along with other notables...... The book gives you shudders galore and is an amazing story. It includes historic detail which seems to fit the changed scenery. All in all I would recommend the book highly to fright buffs, alternate history addics and anyone who just enjoys a good read.
5.0 out of 5 stars... Dracula" and have just finished "Bloody Red Baron" I've enjoyed both novels and my interest was held and my ...
Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2016
I've read "Anno Dracula" and have just finished "Bloody Red Baron" I've enjoyed both novels and my interest was held and my enjoyment complete by the writing style of Mr. Newman. I fully enjoy the way he weaves real life history and other well know fictional characters into his stories. He puts a number of different twists into the storylines to keep the plots intriguing. I look forward to the other two books in the series.
Really awesome book series that give an alternate view of historical times only with Vampires living openly among humans. The main character have an epic chemistry that makes you keep turning the pages, and the many fictional and historical characters that make an appearance really adds to the awe of the story line.
5.0 out of 5 starsNewman creates a fantastic sequel in The Bloody Red Baron!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 3, 2012
Just under a year ago, I found myself immersed in Anno Dracula, Kim Newman's tale of Jack the Ripper operating in a Victorian England where Dracula has wed the Queen and vampirism is rife. It seems only appropriate that I mark today by reviewing the sequel to Anno Dracula, The Bloody Red Baron.
Anno Dracula was one of the vampire stories that I have read over the last year that have restored my faith in the vampiric sub-genre, after the recent onslaught of sparkly emo vampires that seem to be so prevalent at the moment. As with Anno Dracula, The Bloody Red Baron is very much rooted in historical fact, much to my delight. Newman skillfully takes the already horrific events of The Great War and perverts them with a vampiric taint.
Where Anno Dracula introduced the reader to some of the principal players still present in The Bloody Red Baron, the characters in this sequel include some of the most popular vampires from pop culture; and as with this novel's predecessor, various fiction and horror favourites turn up such as Dr Moreau, Herbert West, Dr Caligari, Biggles are drafted in and added to a cast of figures from history such as Kaiser Wilhelm II, Winston Churchill, Rasputin and even a brief appearance by Adolf Hitler... It would be quite easy for a lesser author to become distracted in an attempt to cram as many names as possible into such a tome; but Newman's use of figures from fact and fiction simply make his work all the more entertaining and add a depth and colour to proceedings with the inclusion of characters that already have a well-established backstory. And of course, this tale includes Manfred von Richthofen, The Red Baron himself.
Critically, some of Newman's creations, I choose not to reveal what they are, could be considered entirely implausible, even in an alternate universe where man and vampire co-exist. However, the author has developed the backstory of his creations to such a degree that you cannot help but be caught up in the tale that he tells.
Newman maintains the same tone, humour and wit from Anno Dracula and portrays the events of The Great War in a suitably sombre fashion while still telling a tremendous vampire-based yarn. My first passion has always been history and Newman continued to delight me with a work of horror fiction, that is impressively rich in historical fact ... and twists much of it to its own end. Adhering to factual accuracy as much as is possible in an alternate universe populated by vampires is no mean feat but Kim Newman achieves this and in doing so, manages to tell a fantastic story at the same time.
As an added bonus for fans of Newman's work, this edition of The Bloody Red Baron comes with an additional chapter (one of my favourite parts of the story!); and a novella Vampire Romance, which is a bit of a murder mystery, typical of the 1920's era in which it is set, advancing the story of Genevieve Dieudonne from Anno Dracula and once again, is peppered with characters from the genre such as Dorian Gray among others.
5.0 out of 5 starsBloody red, but so bloody fascinating as well!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 29, 2012
Although I had read this book in its previous "Avatar", this edition, brought out by the good folks at Titan Books, really works much better. During my first reading, I had found this novel lot more dark & sinister compared to even the first novel that had described the atrocities perpetrated by Dracula as the Prince Concort and the Jack-the-Ripper killings (perhaps because the truth about the violence of 1st World War was stranger and bloodier than fiction); but the new edition makes me look at it in a different way. Since the core concept of this novel, set in the alternate universe which is so unlike ours (because Dracula had won there) and yet so similar (we have nearly everything of "this" universe, including Americanised pop-culture!) is rather well-known, I would confine myself simply in gushing about the new things that have been incorporated in this version by Da Man. They are: -
1) The annotations, and a fragmentary piece that would have (should have!) brought Anno Dracula and some of its major personalities in the realms of Hollywood.
2) A whole new chapter in the novel that had not appeared in the novel (it concerns secret files of Mycroft Holmes, so the chapter going missing is not entirely unexpected).
3) A brand-new novella "Vampire Romance", which takes place in England of 1920-s, and (fulfilling a long-standing demand from the admireres of Genevieve) places our beloved elder bang-in-the-middle of an adventure involving: selection (election?) of the supreme elder among vampires (since Dracula wasn't hanging around), a conspiracy to place a really nasty King in the throne, power-struggle among the Ruthven-Croft and Diogenes Club group, the mysterious brother of Carmilla Karnstein, gothic happenings in & under Mildew Mannor, and romance...that curls your toes.
If you have read this much and yet have not placed the order, I really don't know what to say!
More a continuation of the alternate, vampire-ridden history established in Newman's 'Anno Dracula' than a sequel, this novel moves on thirty years, and plunges the reader into The Great War. With vampires and humans on both sides, there are brand new atrocities to perpetrate, particularly in the skies above No Man's Land. For all of of the richly sourced vampire mayhem, the war itself is startlingly familiar in how it's portrayed here, exactly as grimy and bleak as it should be, and Newman avoids the trap of turning the aerial hijinks into a boys own adventure parody. Where characters from the first novel pop up again, it's great to see them, but the new cast hold their own, and fold themselves into this evolving mythos.
The book also contains the novella 'Vampire Romance', set shortly after the war and featuring Genevieve Dieudonne (a primary character in these books, missing from 'Baron' except via the occasional reference). It's an amusing shift in tone, setting up a nineteen twenties murder mystery in a country manor, and throwing a bunch of ancient predators in as suspects. Extremely good fun. Vampire novels are usually a hard sell for me, but the Anno Dracula series continues to be utterly refreshing.
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat entertainment that also gives you something to think about
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 6, 2012
Anno Dracula the Bloody Red Baron is a fantastic & bloody rip-roaring yarn, continuing on from Anno Dracula & building on the premise of what might have happened after Bram Stoker's original Dracula story. Newman models the motives of all his vampires very individually & very distinctly but the story is steeped in vampire mythology & he shows some real understanding of the pioneering aerial combat of First World War. The monstrosity of the von Ritchthofen & Winthrop's own descent into obsessive bestiality maybe being a comment on what war does to men. There's a huge cast of interesting characters based on real and fictional people, Albert Ball (who is almost forgotten by history), Edgar Allen Poe, Mellors (who I guessed was Lady Chatterley's lover) surviving in No Man Land & Bela Lugosi playing his part were all great fun. The post-war story is almost a pastiche of the Famous 5 type investigate, very readable, very funny but it does seem quite a lurch from the war-time tale to the other.
Newman was one of the first (credit also to Philip Jose Farmer) to create a world where real people & characters from fiction could co-exist & seems to be given little credit for his pioneering approach. I increasingly get the feeling that many things packaged as "entertainment" are becoming instantly forgettable once they been consumed, almost as if it's inviting you to instantly need something else to consume, as I said in the title, this will at least give you something to think about as well. If you decide to buy it, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
5.0 out of 5 starsLoved the premise of this series of books
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 6, 2017
Loved the premise of this series of books. Kim Newman takes the traditional Dracula characters and those from other genres and seamlessly blends them into the narrative and has t the reader wanting more if you like your vampire stories with a difference and a bit of BITE this series is for you cha cha cha was my favorite as I love BOND sorry for minor spoiler !