Now this is what a vampire book should BE like! Please, if you have ANY self-respect, read this book. It's absolutely fantastic!
Writing - 4 out of 5
Wonderfully written. The writing isn't actually that difficult to get through. It's not a read that goes at breakneck speeds, but it's still fast and relatively easy! The only times where I got slowed up in the book was in the places where various heavy accents or dialects came in and weighed the words down as you tried to puzzle over what they meant. But I feel that this was intentional by the author, and so it's one of those things you have to suffer through to get to the full awesomeness of this book. Still, from description and atmosphere. UNF. So sexy. Seriously.
Setting - 5 out of 5
Man does Bram Stoker know how to set a scene! That one scene on the ship--holy crap it was terrifying! I was actually scared it was that intense! And the castle, the forest paths, the way that the rooms were invaded, how the characters were all cast. Talk about eerie and exciting! If there's one thing this man knows how to do, it's how to set the stage for the characters to play on. Absolutely enjoyed this aspect of the book. He did a great job in setting up the environment for the book to play out in.
Story - 4 out of 5
It can get a little, and I repeat, only a little redundant at times. Similar things happen, but the loop-de-loop is all part of a plan. You get something unusual in these stories too. The older the work, usually the less the action, especially when it comes to classics. This is one of those few I read that had quiet a bit of action. And action with purpose and with suspense. It was a very interesting read, and there was a uniqueness to the story that you think you know, but don't fully understand until you pick up this book. We all know that Dracula is a vampire. But the amazing part is that the word Vampire doesn't even APPEAR in the story until it's more than halfway along! Even further if I remember correctly! It's a story that's more mystery, suspense, survival, and horror than anything else! And Bram Stoker does a brilliant job of unfolding it, in the weirdest, most twisted and unusual ways. There's always a strange light cast on everything. And it's a unique read that you just have to experience for yourself to understand.
Characters - 5 out of 5
Wheeeeeeeeeeee~! I love them all. They're all so WEIRD. And they have that same interesting concept of innocence that you see in some dated writing, where they don't know what's going on, and they can't fathom that some things could possibly happen, whereas we today, who are used to these things, see them quite clearly before us. But at the same time, that's what adds the flavor to this book, and to the characters that we see interacting.
I didn't put a Main and Side character section, because it's hard to differentiate in this story. The point of view switches between five to even six characters at times, and each of them have their own sets of knowledge and beliefs, their own attempts to survive and help, and their own parts to play and add to the story. At some point they all come together and form a union, all their stories no longer just "interacting" but sinuous between one another. Where one story stops, the other now continues, and it's no longer several different stories, but one story told by many different characters.
The characters themselves are not absolutely complicated, but they do have their own fascinating little aspects and traits that make them themselves. Some are weaker in some things, some are defined by class and origin, and others are made up of who they support and how they support them. It's a nice change of pace to see also that we have a strength in the female characters that mixes the "typical" feminine damsel in distress situation with a deeply female intenseness, a power that only a woman could bear and wield. Bram Stoker, for all this mild shortcomings, does not fall short on making the women in this book, just like the antagonist and the men, all a little more than what they seem to be. There's more to them than the sum of their parts, you could say. And it creates an intriguing, unusual path for them all to tread in this tumultuous environment.
The Mythology and Lore - 5 out of 5
I've got to say, one of the things I loved about this book was ALL of the footnotes! Oh my GOD there's so much information that you can learn from them! And the book itself too! It goes through the history of the myths about vampires, about their powers and their origins. It talks about some classic things that we still keep in mind today about their weaknesses and strengths, but it surprises you in some situations with information that I, at least, personally had never heard of or known about! It's so great to read a book that actually explains these things and tells you about them! If there's nothing else you look into this book for, absolutely read it for the lore, because it's going to teach you all the basics about true vampire mythology, and I--who love to know the origins of supernatural and fantastic beings--found a looot to learn in this book there. You've gotta read it! Especially since most people today are retardedly uneducated about the first thing with them. *Nod to Stephanie*
All this being said, my average rating for this book is 4.6, being rounded up for awesome to a 5 out of 5 rating.
Advice on Reading: Some people may be off put by the age and style of the way this book is written. I assure you, it's worth suffering through something you're not used to in order to enjoy this book. It's got a lot of things it can teach you, especially for those supernatural YA lovers today. Reading this might actually give you an idea of what quality you can get out of vampire books today. Trust me, it's worthwhile.
For anyone who wants to add a classic to their shelves, buy this book. It's well written, you can probably find it for cheap anywhere, the atmosphere of the book is great, and it's probably got some surprising twists you wouldn't expect.
For everyone else, I recommend you definitely check this out. Vampires are part of the popular culture today. At the very least, give this book a chance, because it's got a great story to tell, and I believe you can enjoy it. If you're not sure, like I said before, buying it should be pretty cheap, so even if you spend the money on it first before reading it, you won't be making a big dent in your wallet for it. Pretty much, buy the sucker if you find it for cheap. If you don't wanna risk it, you can probably find it just about anywhere. So give it a shot! Why not, after all? Especially since this is the "in" thing today. Read this sucker. ;3