A stand-alone mash up of Victoriana.

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Publication year: 2011
Publisher: Titan Books
Format: print
Page count: 424 plus seventy pages of extra material, including annotations of most of the Victorian characters appearing in the book, an alternate ending, and a part of a film script for Anno Dracula

The year is 1888. Van Helsing and his group sadly failed to end Dracula’s life. Instead Vlad Tepes is now the Prince Consort to Queen Victoria. The vampires he has made, and who have made even more, are everywhere: in the goverment, in the upper classes, in the middle classes, and among the poor and destitute. Turning to a vampire is both fashinable and a wise political move. The Prince Consort has brought his own Carpathian Guards who are keeping London in line. However, Britain isn’t the only place where vampires are increasing common; it’s the same around the world.

But not all vampires are the same. Among themselves they have racism, according to which ”bloodline” they are; to which vampire they can trace themselves to. The vampires who aren’t from Dracula’s ”bloodline” often look down on him and the vampires he has made.

The book starts with the diary of Dr. Seward. He’s obsessed with vampires and is killing vampire prostitutes with a silver knife, so he’s called the Silver Knife is the press. The killings recieve a lot of attention in the press and the police can’t find the culprit. So, the secret and very powerful Diogenes Club sends their own investigator.

Charles Beauregard is a servant of the club with some martial skills. So they send him. He doesn’t care for Dracula or vampires but serves his Queen loyally, even if Queen Victoria herself is now a vampire.

The other main character is an old French vampire Genevieve Dieudonne who is about 50 years older than Dracula but has never met him. She has no interest in making vampires or killing people. Instead she drinks from willing people. She works in Toynbee Hall which is now a free clinic for vampires. She works together with Dr. Seward.

The book has many other point-of-view characters, but I won’t spoil them here. Many of them are interesting but we only get glimpses of them. Others I didn’t care for. Dracula doesn’t appear until the last chapter.

This book is hard to review. If you like Victorian pastiches and books with more atmospere than plot, you might like this because it’s very heavy on atmosphere, but light on both plot and character development. The search for the Silver Knife seems like just an excuse for the characters to meet rather than a real plot. Also, it has only a couple of fight scenes.

But it has a lot of ideas and atmosphere. And lots of Victorian characters from various other writers. It was a lot of fun to spot them.