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The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn
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The Dead Travel Fast (edition 2010)

by Deanna Raybourn (Author)

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3934038,970 (3.51)36
Member:AngYoder
Title:The Dead Travel Fast
Authors:Deanna Raybourn (Author)
Info:MIRA (2010), 400 pages
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The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn

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Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
I love this author. This book was a little more romantic than the Lady Julia Grey series, but I still loved it.
The story is set in 1858 Transylvania, where Theodora arrives from Edinburgh to visit her school friend Cosmina. The family she visits lives in a castle and there name is Dragulescus. In the small town there are tales of Strigoi (vampires) and warewolves. When one of the maids is found murdered everything spirals out of control. A great read!
9/8 to 9/9/10 ( )
  LaurieLin | Mar 6, 2016 |
I thought this would be a harlequin vampire story so I didn't buy it right away but it was quite good and not supernatural at all. ( )
  cygnet81 | Jan 17, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this book, I didn't know what to expect even when I was halfway through the book! I'm definitely going to look into the other books that this author has written. ( )
  Steph1203 | Mar 14, 2014 |
This author was recommended to me by my friend Rebecca, and I knew I'd like this book because Rebecca has wonderful taste. ;) I loved the story. It's a very fine example of deep POV, because the descriptions are so detailed that you can almost feel the chill of the air as you're reading it. It's a great book to read on a rainy day with a warm blanket and a cup of tea (well, I'd prefer coffee, but I suspect I'm outnumbered by you tea loving hippies out there). Very atmospheric. And the heroine's pretty awesome too, because Theodora is one tough cookie. I have to admit being impressed by her at the end. I won't say why, because it's spoilery, but it's good stuff. ( )
  RobynBachar | Feb 27, 2014 |
Synopsis: After her father's death, Theodora Lestrange leaves Edinburgh to visit a childhood friend in Roumania and work on her novel. There, she meets the brooding Count Andrei Dragulescu. Gothic hijinks ensue.

The eerie tone is set as soon as Theodora enters Transylvania:

"The water flows from springs through the graveyards and into the town, its purity contaminated by the dead."

and continues throughout descriptions of the decayed castle:

"The candlelight gloom concealed the tarnish and moth I had detected by daylight, and the fire burning in the tremendous hearth and the great dog lounging beside it lent an air of medieval grandeur."

Similarly eery is her host, the Count Dragulescu. Recently returned to the castle after his father's death, the count had spent the past decade debauching around Paris, using Casanova and Baudelaire as his role models. At this point I was glad to be reading this for the Gothic aspects rather than the romance, as... ugh, not my scene. But I'm not the heroine of this particular story, Theodora is, and she had a much different response to the count:

"I dipped a spoon into the pudding and took a bite. It melted, creamy and luxurious against my tongue, the comfort of a nursery pudding dissolving into something quite exotic and otherworldly. What had been bland and uninspiring in Scotland here was mysterious and almost sensual. It seemed a fitting metaphor for the place itself, I decided with a flick of my gaze towards the count. I dipped my spoon again and gave myself up to the pleasures of the table."

Indeed, Theodora seems to relish her time in this strange land with its unexpected sensuality and danger, learning about the myths of werewolves and strigoi (vampires) with the same fascination as she learned about the local black apples. (Albeit with less doubts, vis à vis the apples.)

Even after learning that the count's late father might be a strigoi, out to destroy everyone who carries his blood, including his pregnant mistress/housemaid, Theodora becomes more immersed in the mystery and danger of the castle and its inhabitants. The count, of course, picks up on Theodora's Gothic fascination, and structures his seduction accordingly:

"Is it so terrible to believe in the dark and terrible things you have been told of? Fear and passion walk hand in hand, you know. We are afraid of being destroyed, being possessed, and yet we crave it. What child has not thrilled to ghost stories whispered under the bedclothes by the dark of the moon? And what man or woman has not longed to be lost in the wood and found again?

I shook my head. "You speak in riddles and I do not understand you.

He leaned forward, his grey eyes quite black in the shadowy room. "Then let me speak plainly. You are afraid here and you do not know what to believe. I have told you that I will protect you. You have only to trust me and you will be free to enjoy your fears."


Honestly, while I did mostly enjoy Theodora and Andrei's interaction, her endless ruminations about the relationship did start to wear on me after awhile. Which is why I was happy when condescending Charles (her publisher and not-quite-fiancé) arrives from Edinburgh to find out what's going on. I think he's supposed to be the level-headed nice boy in the love triangle, but since Theodora isn't really interested in him romantically, he serves more as a safety net for her in case she needs an out.

But his arrival also serves as a catalyst for the plot to really start, which I welcomed. A creepy atmosphere is all well and good, but story progression is also nice. Without spoiling things, what followed includes an attempted murder, more rumors of strigoi, betrayal, secret passages, a flight through the woods, poison, and a dog rescue. (Fun!)

Overall, I really enjoyed the author's writing style: While modern enough to be more accessible than its 19th century counterparts, it has the classic Gothic pacing and atmospheric tone, a mix of scary and sensual that made me smell the juniper and basil, and wonder what new monstrous thing would be unveiled next. ( )
  thewalkinggirl | Jun 25, 2013 |
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Excitement, danger, and romance await independent, headstrong author Theodora Lestrange when she flees 1858 Scotland and miserable spinsterhood for the wilds of Transylvania, joining a childhood friend who will soon be wed. Ensconced in a crumbling castle steeped in sinister legend, Theodora finds herself drawn equally to its gloomy atmosphere and its rakish master, Count Andrei Dragulescu.… (more)

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