To my dear and unfortunate successor...
I found this book endlessly fascinating. My husband gave up on it.
I don't mind books that get a little long winded when it comes to detail, and this book reads like a good Dracula mystery just as much as it does a European travelogue. The action and suspense is spaced between pages of seemingly mundane detail of buildings, landscapes, and other observations. I was not distracted by it in the least. Others, however (husband included) simply could not get past it.
I found this book to be imaginative, creepy, and suspenseful. It was a creative new look at a very common subject and I thought Kostova did a very good job of bringing a sense of letigimate mystery and fear back into a character that is so easily made into a cliche.
Once I started this book, I was unable to put it down and was sad to see it end, yet this book won't be for everyone. I think its writing style will appeal to just as many people as it will turn away. For me, there was something about the story itself, the plight of the characters, the endless researching of ancient bone-colored books, the ever present threat of Dracula himself, that had me hooked from the very beginning.
From my perspective, this is an absolute must-read. But it's impossible to say what types of readers will agree with me.