13 January, 2018

REVIEW: PRINCESS DRACULA by John Patrick Kennedy

Title: Princess Dracula
Author:  John Patrick Kennedy
Series: Princess Dracula
Genres: Horror, Fantasy
Publisher: Kindle Press
Release: January 17th, 2017
Source: eBook
Pages: 203

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All power comes at a price…

Ruxandra learned everything she knows while growing up in a convent. Training to be the perfect nobleman’s wife, she relishes the prospect of a simple life. But everything changes when her father, Vlad Dracula, retrieves her on her eighteenth birthday. Securing her a marriage is the last thing he has in mind…

After he performs a mysterious ritual over her, Ruxandra gains uncontrollable supernatural powers. Alone, terrified, and faced with an unknown future, she is left to forge a new life for herself. There’s only one thing she knows: if she doesn’t learn to control her unnatural instincts, she’ll destroy every last shred of her humanity.

Princess Dracula is the first book in a dark fantasy horror series. If you like crisp writing, emotional gravitas, and intriguing retellings of classic tales, then you’ll love John Patrick Kennedy’s new twist on vampire lore.

EXPECTATIONS: I admit, I judged the book by the cover. But really, look at her, look at the cover, at that gorgeous woman looking all regal and powerful, with that beautiful black dress, blood on her hands, red hair tumbling about her. The truth was sad, though. 

THE WORLD: Middle ages, the great battle with the Ottoman Empire, Vlad Dracula taking the desperate last stand, but apparently none of that matters, and his death doesn't do anything at all. Instead we get to see the forests and under-tree dens where Ruxandra, our protagonist, spends most her time, because her father has summoned a demon, and the demon has made her a vampire. Yes, she hates her new nature, and wishes to die, therefore it's under-tree dens and, oh, yes, under-tree dens.

CHARACTERS: Ruxandra Dracula. While there are more characters in this book, they all serve as plot enablers for Ruxandra, and in the end it's only her story that we constantly hear. Sadly, that's a pretty dull tale. Ruxandra grew up in a convent, only to be taken out of it by her father, who had no intentions of marrying her off, but instead used her as a sacrifice for the demon he was summoning. Demons are often tricky, and so we have a bunch of men killed, and Ruxandra walking away, loathing her new vampiric nature, explaining to us why exactly she should be naked for most of the book, and how great it is her body got firm, but her breasts are still large and soft. She's in desperate search for death, but her demonic side fights her, and easily overpowers her, which gets predictable soon enough. Her character? I have no idea. She cried a bit, mostly just silently swore she'll devote herself to god, but did nothing about it, and hunted rabbits in quantities that made her move spots often.

ROMANCE: The book starts with her and two female lovers slinking into same bed. They seem to love each other dearly, and that's the only good piece in the book that I can emphasize: if this was a hint to poly-amorous "brides of Dracula" while Dracula is actually Dracula's daughter, then it works. But seeing how shallow the book was, I likely read too much into it. The other piece of romance was this young woodcutter who found Ruxandra in the woods and gave her hope of life beyond death. 

GOOD: I think the only good thing in this book I made up myself by reading into the book too much. As mentioned above, if author really did take the concept of brides of Dracula with the two lovers Ruxandra had, then I approve it greatly, because that'd be a great new thing to read. They seemed genuinely devoted to each other, so I hope to see the women in next books too.

BAD: Sexism. Author writing his female character like she's an alien, not a human, thus making it feel awkward. Lack of plot. Lack of action. Lack of character development.

OVERALL: This was a poorly written book with all attention given to why is this small thing is necessary, and too little attention left for the plot itself. It's as if the author tried to fill a word quota, so he kept writing about a rabbit after a rabbit, a soiled dress after a soiled dress, and running around naked and why it made sense even mid-winter. 

What do you think about PRINCESS DRACULA?



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