Johnny Alucard by Kim Newman

(8.5/10) This series has never been short on ideas and concepts and above all has been enormous fun.

"Fallen from grace and driven from the British Empire in previous instalments, Dracula seems long gone. A relic of the past. Yet, when vampire boy Johnny Alucard descends upon America, stalking the streets of New York and Hollywood, haunting the lives of the rich and famous, from Sid and Nancy to Andy Warhol, Orson Welles, and Francis Ford Coppola, sinking his fangs ever deeper into the zeitgeist of 1970s and 1980s America, it seems the past might not be dead after all..."

Set between 1976 and 1991, this is Kim Newman’s fourth instalment in his irreverent and highly entertaining Anno Dracula series.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the in-jokes and pop culture references in this alternate universe world, where Dracula succeeded in the late nineteenth century in establishing an empire and a new world order. The early chapters feature an amusing take on Francis Ford Coppola filming Dracula in 1976 (rather than in 1992), with the cast from Apocalypse Now. Film and horror buffs will love the mirrored worlds and the experiences the film crew encounters along the way. This reveals Newman at his most creative and knowledgeable.

When the action moves to the USA, New York City and Los Angeles in particular, it is like a Dracula Renaissance. This alternate history world mingles with the real world to heady and pleasing effect. Newman has crafted an exotic, scary, comic and utterly original novel.

We have Disco and the cult of celebrity, as well as the new in-drug “Drac” clearly referencing the real celebrity drug of choice of the 1970s and 80s: cocaine. We have a whirlwind tour of the beautiful people, the artistic and the hangers on and wannabes.

I do not want to reveal the characters that we meet from history, television and cinema for fear of ruining others enjoyment, let’s just say that Newman’s encyclopaedic and enviable knowledge of the horror genre and of film in general is used to terrific effect.

Like the previous books, I found this world totally immersive and addictive. The recurring characters of Kate Reed, Genevieve Dieudonné and Penelope Churchward are all here, providing a much needed sense of continuity and perspective. They have all clearly changed from when we first met them in Anno Dracula.

For all the shocking violence and gore, there is also a wistfulness and melancholia permeating this entry. At times it is quite reflective and there is a true sense of time passing, even for vampires!

If the previous entries were about notoriety, legacy and power, this one concerns itself with the cult of celebrity and fame. My only criticism, and it is a minor one, is that it can seem a little meandering at times, it does tend to stray. But there is so much to enjoy here that it would be churlish to dwell on that. This series has never been short on ideas and concepts and above all has been enormous fun.

Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard by Kim Newman
Published 2013 by Titan
ISBN: 978-0857680860

Review by

15+

Johnny Alucard reader reviews

8.5/10 from 1 reviews

Write a reader review

There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?

Your rating out of 10

All reviews for Kim Newman's Anno Dracula series series

Anno Dracula

Anno Dracula series: Book 1 written by Kim Newman

It is 1888 and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort Vlad Tepes, the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar character [...]

Published: 0000

Our rating: 7.5 | positive reader reviews

15+

The Bloody Red Baron

Anno Dracula series: Book 2 written by Kim Newman

It is 1918 and Graf von Dracula is commander-in-chief of the armies of Germany and Austria-Hungary. The War of the Great Powers in Europe is also a war between the living a [...]

Published: 1995

Our rating: 9.3 | positive reader reviews

15+

Dracula Cha Cha Cha

Anno Dracula series: Book 3 written by Kim Newman

Rome 1959 and Count Dracula is about to marry the Moldavian Princess Asa Vajda. Journalist Kate Reed flies into the city to visit the ailing Charles Beauregard and his vamp [...]

Published: 1998

Our rating: 9.2 | positive reader reviews

15+

Johnny Alucard

Anno Dracula series: Book 4 written by Kim Newman

Fallen from grace and driven from the British Empire in previous instalments, Dracula seems long gone. A relic of the past. Yet, when vampire boy Johnny Alucard descends up [...]

Published: 0000

Our rating: 8.5 | positive reader reviews

15+

More Kim Newman reviews

Jago

by Kim Newman

In the tiny village of Alder, dreams and nightmares are beginning to come true. Creatures from local legend, science fiction and the dark side of the human mind prowl the t [...]

Series: NA
Published: 0000

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

The Quorum

by Kim Newman

In 1961, Derek Leech emerges fully formed from the polluted Thames, destined to found a global media empire. In 1978, three ambitious young men strike a deal with Leech. Th [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1994

Score: 85

Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

The Night Mayor

by Kim Newman

Truro Daine, a dangerous criminal who has been confined to imprisonment, escapes his incarceration by inventing a computer-generated dream world, which he rules as the Nigh [...]

Series: NA
Published: 0000

Score: 85

Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School

by Kim Newman

When her mother finds her sleeping on the ceiling, Amy Thomsett is sent to Drearcliff Grange School in Somerset. Although it looks like a regular 1920s boarding school, Amy [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2015

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

The Hound of the D'Urbervilles

by Kim Newman

Imagine the twisted evil twins of Holmes and Watson and you have the dangerous duo of Professor James Moriarty – wily, snake-like, fiercely intelligent, terrifyingly [...]

Series: Professor Moriarty Novels
Published: 2011

Score: 92

Our rating: 9.2 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Books you may also enjoy

Dracula

by Bram Stoker

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula with the purchase of a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client and his castle. Soon af [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1901

Score: 107

Our rating: 9.5 | 12 positive reader reviews

15+

The Stress of Her Regard

by Tim Powers

When Michael Crawford discovers his bride brutally murdered in their wedding bed, he is forced to flee not only to prove his innocence, but to avoid the deadly embrace of a [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1989

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.5 | 1 positive reader reviews

15+

Blood Oath

by Christopher Farnsworth

There are worse things in this world than al-Qaeda and North Korea, Zach. And they are just waiting for their chance at us. Sharp and ambitious, Zach Barrows is on his way [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2010

Score: 94

Our rating: 9.4 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

The Passage

by Justin Cronin

Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she's the most important person in the whole world. She is. Anthony Carter doesn't think he could ever [...]

Series: The Passage Trilogy #1
Published: 2010

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.3 | 2 positive reader reviews

15+