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This review is from: Fangland (Paperback)
This book promised so much but delivered very little. It's slow to start, and the first 60% is bogged down with too much character-based plot development. This may seem like a non sequiter when discussing a novel but here the character subplots actually impede the story arc by reining back the narrative just as it starts to get interesting. For once, less would have been more. Marks also uses some curiously idiomatic vocabulary that is sometimes too florid and serves only to obfuscate his meaning.
As a loose analogue of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Fangland fails to match up to the original, which is a classic. None of Mark's characters elicit the fascination or sympathy that Stoker's do. There is none of the precipitous dread that Stoker evokes, and the use of correspondence to tell parts of the story is less effective here.
Sadly, the denouement also lets the reader down. The final scenes are simply not credible, even in what is basically a fantasy (Marks goes to some trouble to deny any supernatural element to the characters, but I can't help but wonder if this isn't a genre snobbery thing).
The author deserves credit for attempting to update the Dracula story for the 21st century, and for adopting a similar structure to the original when doing so. It's a shame that the result isn't more successful.