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‘Dracula’ Sequel Well Worth 112-Year Wait

Count Dracula, the grand-daddy of all vampires, is back, vengeance coursing through his veins, in a frighteningly good novel written by Bram Stoker's great-grandnephew.

The timing couldn't be better. Fans can't stop gushing over vampires. Stephenie Meyer, Charlaine Harris and a host of other writers are making their fortunes slaking fans' bloodlust for stories of the undead.

But writing sequels to classics whose authors are no longer among the living can send shivers of dread through fans and critics.

In the case of "Dracula The Un-Dead," which continues the chilling tale begun in Stoker's "Dracula," written more than a century ago, the shivers are because this is a wonderfully scary sequel.

Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt, a Dracula documentarian, wrote this sequel based on the premise that Bram always intended to write one. Why? Dracula's "death" at the end of the original novel has been subject to debate.

"The Un-Dead" continues the story, 25 years later, of the team of fearless vampire hunters who still believe they rid the world of Dracula. Among them: Mina and Jonathan Harker, Dr. John Seward and Dr. Abraham Van Helsing.

Now, it seems, someone is stalking these players and trying to kill them. It could be Dracula, but there's someone new on the scene: the beautiful and undead Countess Bathory, whose thirsts for cruelty and sexual encounters are unquenchable.

The hunters unite once again to battle evil, but things are more complicated. The Harkers' son Quincey, ignorant of his parents' past, is proving a hindrance, and a dogged London detective is convinced that the city's recent vampire-committed killings are actually the work of Jack the Ripper.

This daring sequel captures the essence and gothic glory of the original.

Newcomers to Stoker's "Dracula" as well as diehard fans will be stoked by this sequel, which happily plants the seed for a follow-up.

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