I purchased this book because it was the largest fiction novel I could find in Barnes and Noble that looked interesting, and I had a loooooong flight ahead of me. (My hardcover version is around 635 pages.) It was several years ago, and I can’t remember where that flight was going, but I remember being immediately sucked in by this novel. The basic plot (without too many spoilers) is that a young woman, whose father has disappeared, finds an odd book in his library. Originally working to uncover the origins of the mysterious book, the main character sets out on a fast-paced journey in search of her father and the man/thing that she believes took her father from her – Dracula, a.k.a. Vlad Tepes a.k.a Vlad the Impaler.
The book takes you through portions of Europe, including Budapest and Istanbul, and often flashes back to different times through letters written by the main character’s father, which are found with his odd book. If you like mysteries, and thrillers, this book is where it’s at. I remember being so creeped out during some of the passages that I didn’t want to stop reading at night, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep. (Not that I usually have trouble putting books down before I’m finished with them, or anything… 😉 ) The historical facts and element of mystery help tone down the creepiness, and give the book some real substance.
Keep in mind that this is NOT your typical vampire book, even though there is a vampire in it. It is more of a historical novel, taking you through Eastern European cities and culture, that happens to have a vampire in it.
Also, it is very long, so if you’re an impatient reader who wants the author to get-to-the-point-already!! this book may not be for you. If however, you enjoy authors who value a good turn of phrase and building excitement (a la Jane Austen), give this a try. If you were disappointed in the writing style and plot devices of the DaVinci Code or Angels & Demons, both by Dan Brown, The Historian should redeem the historical mystery genre for you.