Saturday, May 3, 2014

iDrakula by Bekka Black

The story of Dracula told in text messages and e-mails...yeah I am in love.

From Booklist

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. Grades 7-10. --Daniel Kraus

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