Continuing our October Halloween theme…another creepy old favorite. In this one, a boy discovers that reading about vampires isn’t quite the same as making the acquaintance of one. Or two. Or three! In fact, he finds that it’s a life-changing experience. Just read Prisoner of Vampires by Nancy Garden, and you’ll find out too!
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Horror fan and entrepreneur Alexander Darlington never means to get into trouble, it’s just that he always has these great ideas that don’t…quite…work. That’s how he finds himself on probation for a year, with a curfew. About the only place he’s allowed to go is the local library. Good thing that he enjoys the library.
But when Alexander is assigned a report and picks vampires (his favorite topic), he finds that the occult section in the basement of the library is just a little darker and spookier than he expected. And when he mentions to the new librarian that he wishes he could find some primary sources, he is suddenly approached by a Mr. Radu Dleifner, who claims to have some familiarity with the legends. Mr. Dleifener wears a black cape to protect his very pale skin from the sun, and also has very red lips and intense eyes. Strangely, every time Alexander meets Radu, he starts to get confused about how much time passes, and what exactly they talked about.
Soon, Alexander finds himself having odd dreams, enjoying rare meat, and avoiding garlic. When a mysterious flu hits town, affecting only teenage girls, he starts to worry. When his friend’s older sister dies, Alexander knows that something very weird is going on. But when he tries to tell people, no one but his best friend Mike believes him.
When Radu becomes attracted to Alexander’s sister Peggy, Alexander knows he has to act. Radu seems to sense that Alexander is fighting his influence, and suddenly, Alexander finds himself alone, dragged off to Walachia, a prisoner of Radu and his family. It seems like he has no way out, and even Mike doesn’t know that Alexander has been kidnapped against his will. The only way to rescue Peggy is to save himself. Can Alexander use all the knowledge he has of vampires to figure a way out? Or will he and Peggy find themselves the newest members of the Dleifner family?
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Prisoner of Vampires is a very creepy vampire story that was originally published in 1984. The author is local, and the setting of the book is a surburban Boston neighborhood. (Well, except for when the action happens in Walachia!) Interestingly, I can only find one cover image for the book in English. I guess it was considered the best!
Fans of the sparkly-type vampires won’t find much to like here; these vamps are dangerous predators, with a plan to survive. But if you’re a reader who likes your Halloween creatures dark and scary and your heroes determined and inventive, you should enjoy this book. Just beware of reading it after dark…