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Bloodline    by Kate Cary order for
by Kate Cary
Order:  USA  Can
Razorbill, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Set during the First World War, Bloodline is a sequel to Dracula, one of the best known novels of all time. Bram Stoker's terrifying tale depicts Count Dracula's move to England during the latter part of the nineteenth century. Although it's not necessary that the reader be familiar with the classic to enjoy this new book, knowing the ancestors of Cary's characters adds an extra layer to the plot.

Cary borrows Stoker's design, continuing the story in letters, journal entries, notes, newspaper clippings and ship logs. After a slow start in the battlefields of northern France, Lieutenant John Shaw is injured and eventually returns to England with an unusually virulent case of trench fever. Comatose in a hospital near his home, Carfax Hall, Shaw is cared for by Nurse Mary Seward. Mary reads Shaw's journal. She hopes that knowing what happened on the battlefield will aid her in healing his mind and body. His account frightens and disturbs her. When Shaw recovers, he believes the journal to be the result of feverish dreams, but Mary isn't so sure.

Buffy fans will find Bloodline darker than the television series, but will enjoy the love story between Quincy Harker, John Shaw's commanding officer and Shaw's sister, the innocent Lily. Harker departs Carfax Hall with a besotted Lily whom he has promised to marry at his castle in Romania.

Cary does an excellent job of keeping the reader on edge and turning pages. Satisfying and unanticipated twists in plot keep this follow-up from being just another boring vampire spin off. Bloodline is a satisfying read for both Dracula and Buffy fans, plus a scary introduction to the terror vampires have held over the imagination of readers and moviegoers since Count Dracula first stepped out of Bram Stoker's pages.

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