ISBN-13: 9780099502777
Publisher: Vintage Books
Published: 2007
385 pgs

The story begins with the protagonist, Evangeline Harker happily engaged to her boyfriend and is looking forward to their wedding and honeymoon. But there is other thing in her mind besides the wedding preparations, for she is requested to travel to Transylvania to cover a story on a notorious Eastern European crime boss named Ion Torgu given her job as an associate producer on a television news magazine The Hour.

Despite her wedding plans and all, she went ahead for the interview thinking this is a chance of a great story she would not missed. She met a fellow young American lady by the name of Clementine "Clemmie" Spence when she stopped over in Bucharest. Along the way, Clemmie told her she is affiliated with an organization called World Ministries Central and their work included a few exorcisms; she also told her terrifying tales about her work in Africa as they shared a rental car to Transylvania. Evangeline does not really trust Clemmie and thinks she has something to hide. Before leaving, Clemmie left a necklace with a tiny metal cross in an envelope to Evangeline but the latter thinks nothing about it and move on. She finally gets to meet the infamous Torgu and he drives her to his spooky hotel where they would negotiate about the interview and his appearance on screen.

Evangeline then realizes there is something strange about the hotel and soon, she found out the horror fact that Torgu is actually a vampire. She managed to make an escape but she became a different person with a dark, new self.

Things back in the New York offices is not going on well and Evangeline's disappearance is making everyone antsy. They have bad feelings after receiving some tapes from Romania but nothing appears on the tapes except an empty wooden chair. By now, all these unexplainable events have put on a strain on everyone in the office and some of the staff seem to be affected by a strange virus. The nightmare has just begun.

Unlike other vampire novels, Fangland is a dark, literary vampire story with a modern take. It is suspenseful and gruesome and although the characters are engaging, I did not feel connected or sympathetic towards them. Towards the middle of the novel, the story is told through various viewpoints in the forms of e-mails, diary entries and journals which I think did not really match up with the fast pace as told from Evangeline's perspective in the beginning. At some times, I was also frustrated with Evangeline and thought she should have avoided some unfortunate scenarios but yet I also admired her wits and courage during the escape. Although I was disappointed with this novel, I have to applaud the author for this intriguing and imaginative horror tale with a new twist as so often compared to Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Other blog review:
Musings of a Bookish Kitty
(Let me know if I have missed your review.)
12 Responses
  1. Shana Says:

    Sorry you didn't like this one so much, Melody. It sounds like it had potential!


  2. Melody Says:

    Shana - I suppose I'd high hopes on this book since it has been compared with Bram Stoker's Dracula. :P

  3. Alice Says:

    Hi Melody, the story does sound interesting even though slightly disappointing.

  4. Melody Says:

    Hi Alice! I agree the premise does sounds interesting... perhaps it lies on me. ;P

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Sounds like a great idea, but not quite executed right. Hoepfully you will enjoy your next read more.

  6. Melody Says:

    Rhinoa, I'm definitely looking forward to my next read. It'd be a sci-fi novel. ;)

  7. Ana S. Says:

    Despite the problems you pointed out this still sounds like something I'd enjoy!

  8. Melody Says:

    Nymeth - I hope you'll enjoy it if you decide to read it. :)

  9. Iliana Says:

    I've had this one on my radar for a while but just haven't gotten around to it. I'm sorry it didn't quite do it for you Melody. I may try it one of these days :)

    I have to say though that cover is quite cool. The yellow one - reminds me of some eastern european graphic design posters.

  10. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Unfortunately, this book doesn't work for me, although I wanted to like it. I hope you'll enjoy it if you do read it. Oh, I love that yellow cover too. The illustrations is great, isn't it?

  11. I was just thinking that I need to go reread my review to remember exactly what I thought of this one and then realized I could click on the link from your review (thanks for that!).

    It was hard for me not to make comparisons to Dracula since the author of Fangland so closely borrowed from Bram Stoker's novel. I think that the two are very different types of writers however. Stoker was much more subtle in his approach, whereas, Marks was more "in your face" in his.

    I am sorry you were disappointed in this one, Melody. I wasn't blown away by it, but I did enjoy it overall.

  12. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I agree with your thoughts about the different types of writers of these two books. I guess this book isn't my cup of tea, although I do find it entertaining.

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