For Dracula lovers and fans of Diana Urban’s All Your Twisted Secrets, this spine-tingling thriller follows seven horror buffs as their dream trip to a remote Romanian castle turns into a nightmare when they begin to be killed one by one.
Alex Rush is ready for the trip of a lifetime.
She and her friends have made some creepily awesome films together throughout high school, so with only a few months left before they go their separate ways for college, they’re determined to make the best one yet: an epic short film that reimagines the story of Dracula, filmed on location at a remote castle in Romania.
But when they get there, it’s not quite the majestic setting they planned for. Menacing weapons line the walls, the twisted halls are easy to get lost in, and with no connection to the outside world, the group is unexpectedly off the grid. After just a few hours spent under its roof, Alex and her friends have no trouble imagining how this dark, terrifying castle inspired one of the most enduring horror novels of all time.
Only soon they no longer have to use their imaginations to understand the location’s terrifying history—just as they get the film's first shot rolling, one of Alex’s friends disappears, and she’s nearly certain she saw a cloaked stranger lurking in the shadows. As more members of the group begin to meet an untimely demise, Alex is desperate to stop the bloodshed, even if it means facing a monster she never thought would be let loose.
Paying homage to classic horror movies and Bram Stoker's Dracula, DeVos's (Eat Your Heart Out) frightening murder mystery centers high school senior Alex Rush, the only survivor following her and her friends' deadly stay at a Romanian castle. After she's wait-listed for the University of Southern California's prestigious film school, Alex feels that her movie directing dreams are over, especially since her boyfriend was accepted using a recut version of the Dracula-inspired film they made together. When a famous Romanian actress inexplicably offers to sponsor a trip to legendary Castle Prahova, Alex jumps at the opportunity to spend spring break with her friends reshooting her audition reel at the real-life inspiration for Dracula's home. Filming at the castle, while inspiring, proves dangerous for the aspiring auteurs when a true crime case from the past comes back to haunt—and hunt—the teens. DeVos's clear passion for and understanding of Stoker's original buoys this fiendish tale. If thinly rendered characters and predictable plot beats deflate the otherwise pulse-pounding narrative, snappy prose and an appropriately ominous atmosphere abound in this eerie story that begins at its end. Ages 12–up. Agent: Alice Sutherland-Hawes, ASH Literary.