Monday, January 21, 2013

The Darkening Dream (Review)

The Darkening Dream

Release Date: December 22nd, 2011
Genre(s): YA Paranormal/Fantasy

*Presented by: I.O. Book Tours*

My Review: (4/5 stars*)

 The Darkening Dream is as every bit intriguing as it sounds. It's a very dark read that may not sit right with everyone but for those who are into the horror genre may just love it. While some parts were difficult to stomach I found the entire story wholly compelling. It's the farthest thing from your typical vampire novel as it incorporates Egyptian Gods, witchcraft, warlocks, dark magic, and so much more. Though labeled as YA I certainly wouldn't recommend it for anyone under the ages of 16, it has a lot of sexual content and some perverse scenes not suitable for young readers by any means. The Darkening Dream is written very well and seamlessly weaves together many fantastically dark elements to create a unique spine-chillingly good novel.

Though the time period is 1913 the characters are extremely relatable and fascinating. The lead heroine Sarah is very intelligent and brave which made me really like her character. Alex is an attractively mysterious Greek who moves to Salem and runs into Sarah and her friends one afternoon and from there they get thrown together into a terrifying adventure upon the discovery of vampires. I really enjoyed how well thought out and put together the story was; it's clear Andy Gavin knows his material and that was refreshing.

The vampires and otherworldly creatures in this story aren't sexy, they aren't cordial, they're monstrous beings who'll rip you apart without a second thought about it. Every paranormal being in this book is evil and Sarah and her friends are determined to destroy them. Sarah Engelmann is a young Jewish woman who is juggling the idea of finding a husband and hanging out with her friends until she has a dark dream that predicts the death of someone she just met. It isn't until she's stumbling around the woods when her and her friends discover a corpse
—the same corpse she'd seen in her dream. It seems purely coincidental until she attends an amusement park where she sees the victim wandering around in the crowd.

Overall a satisfyingly dark read that will pull you along for a creepy and twisted ride. Andy Gavin's imagination really translates into this book as it is both unexpected and original. Fans of the horror genre will devour this novel because it's simply incredible. The ending will have you quickly turning the pages to finish and what you're left with is an unpredictable conclusion. Though my preference leans more towards less violent and gruesome works I can appreciate what this novel offers and I found it to be gripping and a really interesting take on a vampire story. I was surprised however by how much religion was a big part of the Darkening Dream but regardless that did not detract from the story or force beliefs upon readers as it was merely informative for the character's backgrounds and history. The only thing I found to be off-putting was the grotesque nature of some of the scenes and sometimes it's difficult to tell whose POV you're reading from because there are many characters introduced. Otherwise I'd highly recommend for those who like horror, don't mind gruesome violence, and enjoy fascinatingly unique plots. 


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, an attractive 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.


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