Mina (Marie Kiraly)

One of the books I had to read in 2009 to complete my book club’s Diversity challenge was something I kept putting off until the last weeks of December: a Dracula spinoff entitled Mina by Marie Kiraly (Book #234 of 2010).

It was a partner-recommended book and not something I’d pick up on my own — I’m wary of  literary adaptations and I cringe at the thought of paranormal bodice-slashers. Even though I’d mooched two copies of the book (one hardcover and one trade paperback), I had my apprehensions about it.

But the deadline was looming, and I’d run out of reprieves, so I decided that I might as well get it done with.

Congratulations are in order, as I’ve found something that’s even more horrid than the Twilight saga!

Mina, subtitled The Dracula Story Continues, picks up where Dracula ended, after Dracula has been vanquished and the horror is over… Or so they think.

As Mina and Jonathan Harker start a new chapter of their life, Mina finds that she cannot return to normalcy, and their marriage gradually falls apart as she is consumed by the fire that Dracula has awakened in her.

The summary will have to stop there, because the thought of it makes me gag that’s pretty much the story — just throw in random adultery, the resurrection of Dracula’s harpies (apparently Van Helsing failed to finish them off) and Mina’s lover, a Dracula look-alike who pledges his life and riches to Dracula but chickens out in the end– and it drags on for over 300 pages, in a confusing narrative that shifts randomly from epistolary (as in Stoker’s Dracula, except that there are three journals involved in this one: Mina’s diary from Dracula, her “secret” diary with all her x-rated thoughts on Dracula, and the diary of one of Dracula’s trio that falls into Mina’s hands.

I don’t really like this whole idea of Mina and Dracula in a steamy love affair, which is a popular deviation from the Stoker canon. Dracula was able to influence Mina’s thoughts, yes, but her resistance to Dracula’s magnetism was instrumental for Van Helsing and the team to finally vanquish the monster.

Mina also bulldozes over Stoker’s other characters and the dream (vampire-slaying) team is reduced to pathetic individuals, miles away from the charming characters Stoker wrote. Mina becomes a wanton nympho, Jonathan loses his devotion to Mina and gets caught up in climbing the corporate ladder. Van Helsing is a certifiable candidate for the loonybin, and Seward is in denial about the events of their past.

Considering this book is packaged as a bodice slasher, the actual bodice slashing is pretty tame — and lame– like cheap porn episodes sprinkled throughout the novel but otherwise non-essential to the plot.  Cheesy dialogue  fills the gaps. Here’s a sampling:


What’s worse, there’s actually a sequel, Blood to Blood, which involves more of Mina’s, ahem, exploits; a delirious Jonathan Harker plagued by vampire fantasies; and Dracula’s half-sister and her Irish servant girl slash lover. .. and I really don’t want to know the rest. Stoker’s Dracula has suffered enough desecration.

My copy: trade paperback

My rating: 1/5 stars


4 thoughts on “Mina (Marie Kiraly)”

  1. Oooh….so let me guess, it wasn’t your favorite? (Just kidding.) I had wondered about this book having previously seen it in store around the release time of the ‘Dracula the Un-dead’ book. Sounds as though the author took the story off in a rather odd direction considering the originally published events….cie la vie….not all “spin offs” can be treasure worthy. Thanks for sharing the review nonetheless! Happy reading!

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