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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Helmort - The Story that inspired Dracula: A Review

The tagline itself is enough for any horror fan to become inquisitive. Naturally, being a horror writer myself, I got in touch with the author and he sent me a copy to read. And here's my review (some mild spoilers ahead).

It's 1890's. Abraham Stoker, aka Bram Stoker, visits a doctor who stays in an asylum in a remote of corner of England to deliver a letter. The letter conveys some bad news, more specifically about a death. But the doctor is very much happy that he calls for a toast.

We are drawn back to 1870's. In Germany, a young doctor gets lost in the freezing winter. He ends up at an  old castle, and meets a very odd graf (count). Well, not just an odd graf, he in fact meets many people who all behave a little odd. But he receives a warm welcome and stays over for some days. Meanwhile, he gets drawn into various mysterious situations which sometimes questions his own sensibilities. His nightmares literally come alive, and it culminates with an epic battle between the good and the evil. But then, is the 'good' really good, or just a little milder of the two evils?

Helmort is well written, and is a quick read. The editing and proof-reading is good. One possible drawback is the usage of German. The author has taken pains to put in such a way so that a German illiterate person like me (my German is limited to Rammstein songs lol!) will not lose track, but I couldn't resist going to Google Translate a couple of times!

In short, I would say that K.V. Witten doesn't disappoint. There's a lot of unfinished business, and it leaves the mind thirsting for more!

My rating - 3.5/5

Don't forget to check out my collection of short stories, A Night in the House (free on December 19th and 20th)


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