The smell of blood and death lingers on his breath. You want to scream but are paralysed with fear by the feel of those piercing ivory fangs that begin to devour your neck. As your life slowly ebbs away, fading into darkness you give in to the night. You don’t even notice that he has stopped and offered you his wrist to feed from. You sake a new thirst greedily and yearn for more. Your new life as a vampire has began.
Today is my turn on the blog tour for Stoker’s Wilde By Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Pruis (Published 30th May 2019) A big thank you to the publishers Flame Tree Press for my copy to review. And as always to the amazing Anne for the invite. Stakes and crossbows at the ready dear reader as we go on the hunt for vampires, werewolves and all manner of hell-spawn. Ready? Let’s go!
About The Author
Steven Hopstaken was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he spent his formative years watching and reading science fiction and horror. He has a degree in journalism from Northern Michigan University and spends his free time traveling; writing screenplays, short stories and novels; and practicing photography.
Melissa Prusi was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (often mistaken for Canada), and studied video and film production at Northern Michigan University and the University of Michigan. She’s been a video editor, a semi-professional film reviewer, a three-time champion on the quiz show Jeopardy!, and a Guinness world record holder (1990 edition, for directing the longest live television show).
They met in a college screenwriting class and married three years later. They spent a brief time in Los Angeles, where they both worked for Warner Bros. television. They eventually ended up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they love the arts scene but dread the winters. While they both currently make a living as website content managers, they have sold two screenplays, which have been lost to development hell.
They’ve indulged their fascination with Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde through trips to Dublin and London to research their lives and visit sites mentioned in Stoker’s Wilde.
They live in St. Louis Park, Minnesota with their two cats. If they’re not writing, you can usually find them at a movie, local theater production, improv show or pub quiz.
Years before either becomes a literary legend, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde must overcome their disdain for one another to battle the Black Bishop, a madman wielding supernatural forces to bend the British Empire to his will.
Flame Tree Press is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
The reader is whisked back to Victorian England on the hunt for a vampire cult led by a madman know as the Black Bishop. We team up with the infamous Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde, an unlikely duo, who work ingeniously together. I couldn’t sit still for too long before we were off again on the next expedition for clues. It soon becomes apparent that there is something more sinister at play besides werewolves and vampires.
I enjoyed how this book showed the possible interactions with Stoker and Wilde as they did know each other in real life. They moved in similar circles and Stoker actually married Wilde’s fiancée. The tip of the hat to historical events and landmarks made it feel all that more real, an alternate reality where these events did occur. It’s bewitching writing to twist fiction with fact. Hopstaken and Pruis have a remarkable talent for it. They cloud your mind into believing that these letters and journal entries are real. It’s powerful engaging penmanship.
“The team of Stoker & Wilde is once again called forth by destiny to put down the forces of darkness! Queen and country are counting on you.”
I did adore savouring the interactions between Stoker and Wilde. The rivalry and constant need to outdo each other was amusing. They despised each other yet still at the same time hold each one in high regards. Extraordinary character development that entwines within the story.
“Although I have met Oscar on a few different occasions, this is the first that I have spent any significant amount of time with him. To say he is annoying is an understatement. He has affected a London accent, and from time to time will slip into speaking French, Italian or Greek as if to prove his intellectual superiority. Alas, he merely comes off as a pompous twit.”
I admired how this book pays homage to it’s original source material. The same narrative style as Stoker’s Dracula told in letters, journal entries and news clippings. The dark alluring themes that surround Wilde’s Dorian Gray. A strong message of the heavy price to pay for coming into contact with evil in a time when corruption was a frequent visitor on the streets of England. As an avid reader of the historic literary duo, I appreciated this narrative approach. It’s intriguing as it allows the reader to see and hear more voices from the story. It’s a risky move to take historical figures and rework their personal timeline but Hopstaken and Pruis did an remarkable job. It’s clear they have done their research and are passionate about both authors. This book is scattered with easter eggs for the reader to uncover. Extremely satisfying to discover and how they have been worked into the story. Bravo!
“True monsters walk among you and they are men. They bring war and famine, slavery and death, yet you do not move against them. You should. A great war is brewing and the four horses of the apocalypse will be ridden by men.”
The imagery used throughout Stoker’s Wilde is hauntingly alluring. I was lost in a trace of blood, lust and fear until the moment I stopped reading. I couldn’t help myself, I HAD to finish reading this tale. The claws of hell had pulled me in and I went willingly head first.
“The vampire looked up at me. The moonlight lit his bloodied face as he hissed and bared his dripping fangs.”
I give Stoker’s Wilde By Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Pruis A Four out of Five paw rating.
It kept me guessing at every turn and I couldn’t sit still until I discovered who the Black Bishop was. The ending was left somewhat open which intrigues me; will Stoker and Wilde embark on anymore adventures together? The possibilities are endless. I love it!
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour. Enjoy!
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