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Review: Land of the Dead – Steven Hopstaken & Melissa Prusi

Land of the Dead - Steven Hopstaken & Melissa Prusi

Genre: Historical, Paranormal (Vampires & Werewolves)

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay (Oscar Wilde)

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde unite once more to battle spirits and demons invading our world. Third book in the series. Grimdark Magazine called the first book an “addictive, clever and extremely fun horror adventure.” Book 3 in the Stoker’s Wilde series!

Science and the supernatural collide in this terrifying tale of witches, reanimated corpses and spirits invading our world from beyond the grave.

Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde have returned to their lives in London after their adventures in the American West. Bram is managing a theatre and Oscar is rising to fame and planning his upcoming wedding when they are once again called upon to battle supernatural evil.

Grief-crazed scientist Victor Mueller needs Bram’s unusual blood for his mad quest to bring his dead wife back to life, and he’ll resort to kidnapping to get it. Meanwhile, a young medium named Lorna Bow runs fake séances in London under the thumb of an abusive uncle. When her mother Endora returns, Lorna learns the truth: they come from a long line of witches, and soon Endora has awakened Lorna’s dormant powers.

When the scientist and the witches combine forces, all Hell breaks loose. Long-dead souls find themselves back in the land of the living, and some of them have scores to settle with our heroes. But as Mueller’s ambition and her mother’s desire for vengeance against the men who imprisoned her become clear, Lorna soon finds herself questioning the morality of their work.

Bram and Oscar must team up with American secret agent Cora Chase to protect all they hold dear. Only a mission into the Land of the Dead can stop Mueller and Endora from bringing back more souls.

Bram’s wife Florence must call on the monster-fighting skills she honed in America, and even Oscar’s bride Constance has to face new challenges as she learns how the supernatural has shaped her own history.

In an adventure that spans continents – and even other worlds – they confront old enemies and unknown dangers. Teaming up with old friends Teddy Roosevelt and Richard Burton and new allies like Arthur Conan Doyle and Nicola Tesla, they too must harness both science and magic to protect our world from intruders from the Land of the Dead.

The Review

Just when things seem to be getting back to normal for Bram Stoker, it all falls apart.

Henry Irving is still obsessed with trying to find the Realm before he looses all control and his vampirism becomes a danger not only to his own existence but to all. And even though Richard Wilkins – aka Black Bishop – is dead, Dr. Victor Mueller is now in search of Bram’s blood. When White Worm Society agent Cora Chase presents her conclusions to the organization, Bram is asked to go to Finland as bait to trap Mueller.

Bram calls on Oscar Wilde and lets him know of his planned departure for Finland in February.  Even though they are always being at odds, Bram trusts Wilde to protect Florence and Noel while he’s gone.

Wilde has a bad feeling about the White Worm Society’s planm and he’s proven right when Director Errol Hammond is duped by Mueller, and Bram is kidnapped and his blood taken. While under Mueller’s control, Bram witnesses an unbelievable event.

Even though he escapes Mueller’s clutches, the White Worm Society still wants Mueller. Bram lets them know where to find Mueller’s lab, but he won’t return with them. All he asks is for his blood to be destroyed once it’s found. But can the Society and its Director be trusted?

During this time, the Physical Society and Dr. Wesley Pryce have been looking into spiritualism and the ability to contact the dead. They’ve been shutting down seances, especially the ones committing fraud and run by charlatans.

One particular establishment has come to their attention, managed by Leonard Pith. When Pith’s business comes to an end, many of the girls suffer the consequences and are jailed. Lorna Bow wisas one of these girls and was saved by her mother, the witch Endora Bow. Dr. Mueller begins a plan to bring back some of the worst nemesis’ of Stoker and Wilde, with Bow’s help. The threats and horror are once again real – who will survive this gruesome horror?

Land of the Dead is the third 19th century Victorian era twisted paranormal novel in the “Stoker’s Wilde” series – spectacular, terrifying and brilliantly written novels. Fact and fiction are melded with returning characters, good and evil. Elements of Dr. Victor Frankenstein , The Lost World of 1912 and the movie version of 1960 and the expedition all merge seamlessly with the White Worm Societies, Errol Hammond’s son Andrew, and the search for the Realm in South America.

This one is especially good, as the women of this series still are stars in the novel: Florence Stoker, Constance Lloyd Wilde, Lorna Bow, Ellen Terry and Lady Jane “Speranza” Wilde.  I also loved Agent Brent Blackwood, protector and hero.

Twists and surprises are be revealed at every turn. Willie Wilde will tell his secret to his mother,  Lady Jane? Will Oscar Wilde come clean with Constance Lloyd?  What will happen when Oscar has face Derrick Pigeon one more time?

And what will happen when Wilde and Bram along with all their allies attempt to take down Dr. Mueller and his allies – Reverend Richard Wilkins, Lord Wotton, Lord Sundry, Carolyn Le Fey and others?

Finally, will Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker ever become true friends?

So much is revealed through journals, diaries, letters, activists notes, agent reports, memoirs and memos from all who participated in this fantastic journey.

I highly recommend the “Stoker’s Wilde” – a marvelous series well worth reading. Hopstaken and Prusi take readers on a Wilde, chaotic, twisted ride through the world of the paranormal, with suspense, danger, vampires, werewolves and evil men playing God.

I am sorry that I didn’t read this series sooner. It’s one of the best, and I would read every novel again.  I hope that Hopstaken and Prusi will publish another adventure in this great series. 

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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