I chose this Brian W. Aldiss story as my Halloween read this year. Yes, I started it before Halloween and just finished it. That’s more a reflection of the wee amount of reading time I have these days than it is of the book. Even so, the book did not wow me.
It should have wowed me. Dracula. Time travel. Hadrosaurs and pterodactyls. Weird alien races. A super weapon. Bram Stoker being a bit creepy and weird. Narrow escapes. Close calls.
In other words, there was plenty here to make for a rip-roaring bit of escapist fiction. Except, it didn’t.
Maybe it was the characters. With the exception of Bram Stoker and a lunatic, they were mostly flat. That includes Dracula himself.
None of the characters ever seemed to really react in any plausible way to all the weird stuff happening to them. They almost seemed to take in stride things that should have driven them bat-shit.
So, while it was entertaining enough to keep me going it was, ultimately, a disappointment.
I think I would have liked this better if Aldiss had handed the idea to Stephen King.