cover image The Nosferatu Conspiracy: Book One; The Sleepwalker

The Nosferatu Conspiracy: Book One; The Sleepwalker

Brian J. Gage. KDK 12, $16.99 trade paper (440p) ISBN 978-0-578-62713-7

Set mostly in 1916 Russia, this enthralling series launch from Gage (The Vampires of Draconian Hill) injects the paranormal into the strange career of Grigori Rasputin by making the sinister monk, who in real life survived multiple assassination attempts by his many rivals for influence at Nicholas II’s court, a vampire. Rasputin plots to abduct Empress Alexandra, so that she can be part of a ceremony to be held at Loch Dracul near the Carpathian Mountains, the home of giant bats that transform into “savage, manlike vampire gods.” If Rasputin manages to perform the ritual successfully, he may be able to “rule over all things living and dead.” A subplot involving a legendary serial killer known as the Sleepwalker, who has been targeting prostitutes and the homeless for years, raises the stakes. Connecting the Romanov family’s history of hemophilia with vampirism is inspired, and the author does a superior job of integrating the unrest preceding the Russian Revolution into the gore-filled action. Fans of historical horror thrillers will be eager to see where Gage goes next. (Self-published)