Currently Taking Residence in the Freebie Box:
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
I feel I should start this by saying that I love Victorian England period romance stories. Love them. And I have always had a soft spot in my heart for anything by Jane Austen. Donít even get me started on the BBC remakes of her novels. (Colin Firth, anyone?) Wintersí adaptation of Sense and Sensibility keeps true to the plot line—the original cast of characters are all still present, Elinor and Edward marry, Marianne still ends up with Colonel Brandon. It also presents a very tongue-in-cheek view on Victorian England society and highlights how self-absorbed these characters are. Austenís pretty descriptions of the countryside and gentile life are replaced with a world where the sea has turned against the land. This is a Victorian England where two-headed Fang-Beasts spring out of the water to rip you to shreds and giant jellyfish appear on beaches to consume young women whole. The body count in this book is up there with Saving Private Ryan. What was a pastoral county cottage for the Miss Dashwoods is now a desolate shack on a lonely island and London is transformed into Sub-Marine Station Beta. All the rules of Victorian society are present, but are modified to accommodate hostile sea creatures.
Dracula: The Un-Dead
A fast-paced story that picks up 25 years after the destruction of Dracula, this interesting treatment of the Dracula tale provides insight and motivation for his actions before and after becoming undead. The original band of vampire slayers who survived their pursuit of Dracula which culminated in his undoing, are once again being targeted by an unspeakable evil whose goal is their deaths in the most horrific manner. As the story unfolds, the devastating toll on the lives of the group after their encounter with Dracula is laid out. With the introduction of four new major characters—Quincey Harker (headstrong son of Mina and Jonathan), Inspector Cotford (police inspector with the tenacity of an English bulldog), Monsoir Basarab (a famous Romanian stage actor), and Elizabeth Bathory (Romanian nobility with bloody habits)—and a timeline that incorporates actual happenings and people of the period, you reach a climatic ending that will leave you wanting more.