From the Archives: Books 40 and 41: Two Vampire stories
Book 40: "Awakened" by Kristin and P.C. Cast
Verdict: Don't Read
Since I have thoroughly covered the House of Night series before, I will keep this review very short.
The latest installment of the House of Night series has simply taken all the series old problems and made them worse. The grammar was so awful, I could barely understand some sentences. The dialogue was awkward and un-natural. The plot is going nowhere. I will not be reading any more of this series.
Book 41: "Dracula" by Bram StokerVerdict: Must Read Classic
I can't believe that I did not read this book sooner. It is definitely now one of my favorite classics. "Dracula" is the second Victorian novel that I have read that is written in a Gothic style. Printed for the first time on May 26, 1897, the book is written in and epistolary format. Epistolary is the use of letters, journals, and newspaper clippings to tell a story. The epistolary format works wonderfully with a Gothic style. It creates an intimate knowledge of characters and provides the reader an unreliable narrator. These two things work together to create suspense and mystery for the reader- the same suspense that the characters feel.
The book has an interesting mix of myth and science. It uses the two to comment on modernity vs. the past and philosophy vs. current science. For instance, there is a patient at Renfield that one of the main characters treats. Renfield is a mental institution. The patient is obsessed with the food chain and natural order. This relates directly to Count Dracula- mixing the myth of what he is with science of the food chain. Instances such as these occur often throughout the book. The Gothic style of the book makes this mix more believable to the reader.
Overall, I loved the way this book was written and the story it told. I'm happy that I finally read it.
*For an interesting contrast: compare "Dracula" with "Wuthering Heights" both written in the Gothic style, though 50 years apart.