Last year, Skyhorse Publishing commemorated the centennial of Bram Stoker’s death by collecting his three lesser known horror novels in one massive volume, edited by Stephen Jones and published under the title The Lost Novels of Bram Stoker. The title is a bit of a misnomer, since none of these books can really claim to have been lost. Although having recently read all three in sequence, one may be able to make a convincing argument that at least a couple of them deserve to be buried.
The Jewel of the Seven Stars (1903) opens the collection and is far and away the best of the three titles. Often referred to as Stoker’s Mummy novel; the story concerns reincarnation, possession, obsession, and even a Biblical damning of those who dare too much. This well-written novel recalls Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing style far more than Stoker’s earlier triumph with Dracula, but that is hardly a fault. The style is more modern and the pacing and characterization are excellent until the stilted finale, which falls surprisingly flat.