Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Book Review: Dracula, My Love by Syrie James

Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker
Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker by Syrie James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Dracula, My Love by Syrie James is a retelling of Bram Stoker's classic story, Dracula. Proclaimed as the true version of events from the point of view of Mina Harker, Dracula, My Love has Dracula portrayed as lost and lonely soul on the search for eternal love, the vampire hunters as blood-thirsty fools, and Mina as an independent, intelligent and adventurous woman who has the misfortune to fall in love with two men at the same time (Jonathan, her husband, and Dracula).

The story follows the original timeline quite neatly, except the portrayal of the characters is different with the change of perspective. However, no matter the point of view and no matter the difference in the characters, the ending will ultimately always be the same: That no matter how strong the feelings are between Dracula and Mina, their love is doomed to fail. Fate never meant for Dracula and Mina to be together.

It is that reason alone that makes a retelling of Dracula such a challenge for any author brave enough to take it on. Change the ending and you have an entirely different story altogether. Whilst I liked James' version of Mina a lot more than I have others, I still found her to be a distant and indecisive character. The constant to-ing and fro-ing between her desire for Dracula and love of Jonathan is enough to make the reader dizzy, and at times it became annoyingly repetitive.

Having said that, though, as a whole Dracula, My Love is a decent retelling of a classic story that stays true to the original, but as a result it may well make you feel as though you have heard it all before.

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