Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review: The Darkening Dream

The Darkening Dream is the chilling new dark fantasy novel by Andy Gavin, creator of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter.

Even as the modern world pushes the supernatural aside in favor of science and steel, the old ways remain. God, demon, monster, and sorcerer alike plot to regain what was theirs.

1913, Salem, Massachusetts - Sarah Engelmann's life is full of friends, books, and avoiding the pressure to choose a husband, until an ominous vision and the haunting call of an otherworldly trumpet shake her. When she stumbles across a gruesome corpse, she fears that her vision was more of a premonition. And when she sees the murdered boy moving through the crowd at an amusement park, Sarah is thrust into a dark battle she does not understand.

With the help of Alex, a Greek immigrant who knows a startling amount about the undead, Sarah sets out to uncover the truth. Their quest takes them to the factory mills of Salem, on a midnight boat ride to spy on an eerie coastal lair, and back, unexpectedly, to their own homes. What can Alex's elderly, vampire-hunting grandfather and Sarah's own rabbi father tell them? And what do Sarah's continuing visions reveal?

No less than Gabriel's Trumpet, the tool that will announce the End of Days, is at stake, and the forces that have banded to recover it include a 900 year-old vampire, a trio of disgruntled Egyptian gods, and a demon-loving Puritan minister. At the center of this swirling cast is Sarah, who must fight a millennia-old battle against unspeakable forces, knowing the ultimate prize might be herself.

Online Reviews
"Wonderfully twisted sense of humor" and "A vampire novel with actual bite" -- Kirkus Reviews

"Inventive, unexpected, and more than a little bit creepy!" -- R.J. Cavender, editor of the Bram Stoker nominated Horror Library anthology series

"This book will satisfy any fan of the vampire genre and then some!" -- Must Read Faster

"In a similar vein to George R.R. Martin's writing style, Gavin often dangles his characters in the maws of danger and doesn't shy away from ... their blood being spilled." -- Andrew Reiner, executive editor of Game Informer magazine

"Now this is a vampire novel! It flows so perfectly between character point of views, it's a great blend of historical fiction, mythology and paranormal." -- Little Miss Drama Queen Reviews

"Action-packed and suspenseful, and there were twists all over the place." -- Les Livres

"Andy Gavin has taken a bevy of supernatural elements, compelling characters, and an intricate and superbly developed storyline, and expertly weaved them together to create an original and enthralling book." -- Word Spelunking


The Darkening Dream is a vampire story set in 1913 Salem, Mass.  It’s not a romanticized vampire story by any means.  You won’t find anyone sparkling in this book.  The vampires in this book are gritty and gruesome and there is quite a bit of realism, if you can consider anything about vampires real.  They tear flesh and mutilate.  There is also magic and religious undertones to this story, which I found quite interesting.  The Darkening Dream reminds me of some video games that my brother likes to play.  Kind of creepy like Silent Hill and some others I can’t remember the name of.    But the story is done really well and is dark like I like my tales.

Our leading lady is Sarah Engelmann, a young Jewish girl, who is having strange visions.  You can tell pretty quickly that Sarah is important.  She is intelligent and good.  Our hero is Alex Palaogas, a young Greek Orthodox immigrant new to Salem.  He and Sarah team up with Sarah’s friends, twin siblings Anne and Sam.  The twins’ sister, Emily has gone missing, and the four young people team up to save her.   The path they follow is a dangerous one, fraught with peril.  Will they be able to save her?

The Darkening Dream is pretty fast past.  The book is written from several different characters points of view.  I feel this writing style gives the book depth and texture.  I read the story I one sitting.  It’s very engrossing and after the first few chapters which started off slow, became quite the page turner.  I liked the characters.  I liked the grit.  I rate this book 5 stars.

Andy Gavin is a serial creative, polymath, novelist, entrepreneur, computer programmer, author, foodie, and video game creator. He co-founded video game developer Naughty Dog and co-created Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter. He started numerous companies, has been lead programmer on video games that have sold more than forty million copies, and has written two novels including The Darkening Dream, a dark historical fantasy that puts the bite back in vampires.

• Amazon paper book • Amazon Kindle copy  

 Giveaway: 1 50.00 GC , 1 Signed Poster, 1 Signed Game, and 4 Bookmarks Rafflecopter

1 comment:

The Flashlight Reader said...

I thought this book was terrifying in a creepy, really good horror story sort of way. It was so complicated!

Blog design by Imagination Designs all images from the My Midnight Dreams Danced Among the Stars kit by Tangie