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January 25, 2018

Review: One Thousand Monsters (Anno Dracula #5) by Kim Newman

by MK French

Geneviève Dieudonné travels to Japan with a group of vampires exiled from Great Britain. They are allowed to settle in Yōkai Town, the district of Tokyo set aside for Japan’s own vampires and monsters, who are decidedly far less human looking and acting. This isn't a sanctuary, however, because tensions rise further and the town is a prison as much as a refuge. Then a murder pits the groups of vampires against each other, and dark secrets will be revealed.
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One Thousand Monsters
October 2017; Titan Books; 978-1781165638
audio, ebook, print (400 pages); horror
I had first read Anno Dracula years ago and loved its concept: Bram Stoker's Dracula wasn't a work of fiction, but a piece of propaganda published to undermine Dracula's ascent through the British aristocracy. I hadn't realized that there were a series of other novels featuring characters from Anno Dracula, so it was nice to return to this world. It isn't necessary to have read the first novel in this series, as Dracula's backstory is explained well enough anyway. One Thousand Monsters has the main plotline running through it, as well as excerpts from Geneviève's report to the Diogenes Club that also go into her history.

It was fun to see the prototypical European vampire bloodlines interacting with Japanese vampires and monsters of mythology and fiction. It makes for a larger cast of characters, though the space of Yōkai Town itself is small and gives a very claustrophobic feeling. With the very tight narratives, it adds to how stifled the European vampires feel at the outside of their stay, especially when there are few options for blood or feeding. Once the plot kicked in about halfway through the novel, the action picked up a lot more speed and led to its near-apocalyptic ending. This is a fast read once you get past the slow introductory chapters.

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Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever. 

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