Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula comes to life when you fall into the story as main character Jonathan Harker. You must make the right decisions to survive Dracula’s lair, save the lovely Mina, and end the vampire’s reign of terror. Will you survive? Or will you fall victim to the many monsters within?
Jacobson does a great job of making Dracula approachable for middle-grade readers. As someone who read Dracula in middle school, I can without a doubt say this would’ve held my attention better. The original sometimes becomes long-winded, where this interactive retelling keeps us with the action and main events. Even though much of the side plots are eliminated, Jacobson does a fantastic job keeping the mood of the original story, and even includes some famous passages
“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!” –Dracula p.21
This was a huge nostalgia read for me. I loved Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid, and sadly, I haven’t read one in years. It’s always exciting to bounce between the pages to find out your fate. The choices in Jacobson’s adaptation stick close to the original novel. Unfortunately for me, that meant I knew most of the correct choices. However, for someone unfamiliar with the original, there are unexpected answers.
The biggest disappointment for me was the lack of Renfield. I love his brand of crazy. And maybe it’s just my brain continually picturing every incarnation of Renfield as his persona in Dracula: Dead and Loving It, but I always want that depiction of vampire induced psychosis.
The only thing I really didn’t like was the prologue and epilogue. In these, Jacobson sets up why you are in the novel and what happens if you survive. For me, it’s a bit cheesy. Though, I doubt it would make too much of a blip for the young readers this is geared towards.
Overall, this was a very fun and nostalgic read! It only took me about two hours, remembering 90% of the answers. I recommend it for fans of classic vampire stories and Choose Your Own Adventure books. It’s also a good springboard for young readers who aren’t old enough for the adult themes of the original novel.
Katie is a guest reviewer that you will see pop up from time to time here on MMSAI!
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