The Good, The Bad, and The Scary – Day 17







John Marks


Did you ever wonder what Dracula would be like if it was mixed with 60 Minutes? You, like most other people probably said no. However, author of Fangland John Marks thought yes, and the result is a novel that puts a new spin on a vampire classic.


Evangeline Harker is an associate producer of The Hour, a news show. She must go to Romania to investigate Ion Torgu, crime boss. Evangeline quickly realizes that this is not the typical assignment and Torgu is not the typical criminal, hint he’s a vampire. Cut from Romania to New York. Bizarre things start occurring at The Hour and people are behaving oddly after seeing a shipment of videos from Romania, (some elements of The Ring made it into this version of vampires). The only explanation, of course, is Torgu and he needs to be stopped before all of New York falls under his power.


By the end of Fangland, I wasn’t sure how I felt. There were moments that were innovative and I enjoy finding comparisons between the classic characters in Dracula and their Fangland counterparts. However, the little twists that Marks’ weaves into the Dracula tradition are intriguing in theory, but sometimes require more explanation than the reader receives. There were moments that were put into the story which I thought would be explained at a further point and instead weren’t mentioned again.  Beyond that, the shifting narrator – the story takes the form of Harker’s diary, e-mails, another character’s therapy journal – is problematic and not fully unified in the context of the novel.


I would say that Fangland is a book with some good moments inside, an interesting concept, but ultimately lacking in some of the finer details needed to make this book a definite must read.


Lots of very religious people wouldn’t accept for one minute a story about a man who drinks human blood and speaks some creepy language that infects the people who hear it. They’d accuse you of multiple personality disorder. But not me.


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