July, 1897. A valiant sea captain, a clever fugitive, a deceptive cook and a beautiful stowaway begin their journey from the unforgiving Black Sea to the misty shores of England.
But hidden in the hold of the Russian schooner Demeter, an ancient predator with a lust for blood lies in wait.
Soon, the voyage takes a sinister turn, and the crew realizes the grave danger they are in. Will any of them make it to their destination alive?
My Rating: * * * * *
I have always loved Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and I know that it began my lifelong love of the vampire. The story is written in Stoker’s style and you come to know everything about Dracula’s journey from Varna to Whitby. You’ll learn about Lucy, Mina and Renfield whose minds are influenced by Dracula from the Demeter. The horror starts slow but the sea cruise soon turns into a formidable nightmare. I could feel the terror of these poor souls trapped at sea with this evil. I admit I’ve always been curious about what took place on the ship Dracula was transported to England on. I’m pleased to say I found the writing excellent, perhaps even surpassing the original novel by Stoker that it’s based upon. The pages easily held me mesmerized, perhaps a little of the Count’s mystical powers are involved because I found it difficult to put the novel down once I’d started reading.
In Stoker’s novel we know the vampire is a stowaway, hidden away in his crates of foul dirt, and that no one is left alive to steer the ship into port at the end of the voyage. We are drawn quickly into the lives of the unlucky crew, and the single passenger and stowaway fated to die aboard the Demeter. They come across as real people, the descriptions and individual personalities shown in vivid 3D color. The tension level is kept high throughout, which in my opinion is the key to any good horror story. The reader swiftly begins to feel the growing terror of these people, trapped on a ship with a monster out on the open seas. A warning here; you may want to read this novel during the daylight hours because all the senses are brought into play, including fear and disgust. When the storm rages around the ship, we can almost feel the spray of the saltwater on our face, smell the Count’s fetid breath brush against the neck, feel the stickiness of blood. For sure it’ll bring out a shiver or two. As we delve deeper into the story, one can’t help but hope for a miracle to arrive in time to save these doomed people. In fact there was always a seed of hope that someone could survive even though I knew this to be impossible.
This book in the flesh narrated the whole journey and describes the entire terrifying events and meticulous planning of the vampire with which he slowly and viciously kills the ship’s crew one by one increasing the level of claustrophobia, paranoia and tension among the survivors.
As the crew rumbles about a bad feeling onboard and mysterious weather follows the vessel, the crew of the Demeter begin to disappear one after another, falling prey to the predatory vampire hidden in the bowels of the ship’s hold. If you’re like me and always wanted to know what took place at the beginning of the famous Count’s journey from Transylvania to England, and you enjoy the scare of a good horror story, then Dracula’s Demeter is the novel for you. You will even find out the irony of the name of the doomed ship. I highly recommend Dracula’s Demeter.
About Doug Lamoreux
The last, quite possibly the least, Renaissance man, Doug Lamoreux (a father of three strong men and a grandfather), a lifelong horror film fan and child of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, recognized his incompatibility with the rest of the world – and gave it all up to act and write. He appeared in Mark Anthony Vadik’s The Thirsting (aka Lilith) and Hag. He starred in Peter O’Keefe’s Infidel and Boris Wexler’s The Arab. All interspersed with forty years in theater (during which he fell off the stage twice). Now he writes swell horror novels. The first-ever Igor Award recipient from The Horror Society, Doug is a former Pushcart Prize nominee, Rondo Award nominee, and his novel, Dracula’s Demeter, was a 2012 Lord Ruthven Award nominee for fiction.
All this blood,” Nikilov had said, waving his pathetic crucifix. “And not a drop to drink.”
― Doug Lamoreux, Dracula’s Demeter