In Carmilla: A prelude to Dracula by Timothy Baril you will get immerse in a dark universe where beautiful creatures can be deadly and deceptive, love and death are intrinsically connected and decisions have to be made, join the darkness or fight against it, even though is not easy as it seems.
With the same essence and aesthetics as in Dracula, the author lets us have a glimpse of Laura Wentenra’s personal diary where she recounts what happened when a strange woman comes into her life as a damsel in distress, needing help because her weak body won’t let her accompany her mother to an important trip. Laura, in desperate need for some company herself given that she lives with her father and some servants in a remote castle, is more than happy to have a friend to talk. His father, always willing to make her daughter happy, accepts taking care of the young woman called Carmilla even though he feels that there is something at odds with her and her mother, who confided him some strange story explaining as to why she had to go and leave her daughter alone.
Soon enough, Laura’s new friend shows some eccentricities that won’t escape Laura’s attention, but her desire to be with Carmilla and the new feelings developing inside her for her dear friend will cloud the evidence. Something’s wrong with the pale, elusive and beautiful girl who gets up in the afternoon and insists on sleeping alone in her room with the door locked. Something is missing with the sweet girl whose mood changes will both scare and attract naïve Laura. But she is so enthralled by this magnificent creature that she wouldn’t accept the truth even if it’s right in front of her.
Rewriting or referring to classics is always dangerous and if you want to do it about vampires, worst because we all know vamps’ books are trend now. Timothy Baril doesn’t tell a romantic story where the vampire is perfect, sweet, respectful with life and beautiful. No, Tim’s vampires are bloody, violent, secretive, cunning….. His creature, as Le Fanu’s, provokes both love and hate on those who cross her path, and that was a detail that I love the most and reminded me so much of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Used to reading about perfect creatures that don’t want to kill or hurt anybody, Carmilla was a great surprise because this vampire wants to feed and have a partner and she won’t hesitate to get it. She will trick, lie and pretend in order to get what she wants, she has done it in the past and she will keep doing it because it’s her nature.
If you have read Dracula by Bram Stoker, Timothy Baril’s Carmilla will remind you to this amazing classic. If you haven’t, read it, you should. And after doing it, give Baril’s baby a try. I haven’t read Le Fanu’s book – I will for sure – so I can’t compare them but Timothy Baril has rescued those characteristics that both creatures – both Dracula and Carmilla – have in common and have delighted people for decades.
Looking for some romance perfectly mixed with horror? Bored of those perfect vampires who prefer to drink tomato sauce than blood because they are good and nice? Do you fancy some lesbian romance with a twist? Then Carmilla: A prelude to Dracula by Timothy Baril is your book.