Reviews for iDrakula
Booklist Reviews 2010 October #2
At first glance, this take on Bram Stoker's Dracula--told exclusively through text messages, Web browser screens, e-mails, and various photo and PDF attachments--looks like shameless pandering. But check out the first text: "Renfield had a psychotic break. Carted off to Bellevue. More l8r." It's an opening gambit indicative of Black's storytelling instinct, which consistently proves itself able to transcend gimmick. The format, with its realistic images of iPhone and iPad screens, actually lends the book a chilling sort of one-shock-per-page pulse--and let's not forget that Stoker organized his novel with the letters and diaries of his time, too. Black's enjoyable modifications turn the plot into a love triangle (well, actually, counting the count, a love pentagon): Mina is a jujitsu-practicing romantic; Jonathan, a womanizing cad; Lucy, his boozy booty call; and Abe Van Helsing, a premed student ("He's old," e-mails Mina, "twenty or so"). For every in-joke that weakens the otherwise serious mood ("Drakipedia"), there is an inspired idea (the five pages of bounced e-mails during Jonathan's captivity). Fast, inventive, creepy, and sure to be popular. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2010 September #1
Dracula is coming, but he's arriving on the shores of 2010 New York instead of 1897 England, with cell phones and laptops replacing the letters and newspaper clippings of Stoker's era. Forget the modern vampire, who sparkles in the sunlight and struggles with the desire for blood. Black brings Bram into the modern age with e-mails, smart phones and websites, all while preserving the brooding heart and vicious nature of Dracula, the literary ur-vampire. Presuming readers have a familiarity with the classic tale, the plot and characterization are understandably thin, though the restrictive page layout moves the narrative along at a brisk pace--this design-heavy book doesn't satisfy itself with simple IM transcripts; browser "screenshots," "attached" jpegs and smart-phone–framed text conversations (complete with those cute little speech balloons) alternate with more conventional-looking e-mails. There are nods to vampire lore in both URLs and webpage titles, and Mina's heartfelt final e-mail to Lucy blends a traditional goodbye with the ephemeral nature of today's digital technology. While not for the Gothic scholar, this bite-sized retelling of the seminal vampire novel won't drain anyone's attention span. (Horror. YA) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
VOYA Reviews 2010 December
Mina Murray's life changes forever when her boyfriend takes a business trip to Romania for a mysterious count. Jonathan returns to the United States with a rare blood disease and an unhinged mind. Then Mina's best friend dies of the same blood disease, prompting Jonathan to confess that he has been unfaithful to Mina. To make matters even worse, the strange Romanian count has come to America and is none other than Drakula This modern retelling of the classic horror novel stays true to the literary style of the original: the work is told in multiple genres with an emphasis on modern technology, such as texting and e-mail. Mina is re-envisioned as a heroine who ultimately defends herself and defeats the vampire, but this is where the positive alterations to the story stop. This retelling completely lacks the suspense that is so crucial to a tale of horror, and the plot rushes along to an abrupt climax without giving readers time to digest what they have read. Although the bare bones of the original story are present, the modern characters have been made even more superficial than in Stoker, making it difficult for the reader to form any connections with the characters--there is really no one worth rooting for This is a fast read and will appeal to reluctant readers, but teens who are craving a good spine-tingling thriller will be disappointed.--Jennifer McConnel 3Q 3P J S Copyright 2010 Voya Reviews.