Heralded as a Vampire Novel with Bite, Andy Gavin’s The Darkening Dream blends the dark shadows of Poe with the modern touch of teen adventure and a hint of magic too. Vampires live in their traditional coffins, avoid the light, and, as promised in the subtitle, bite. Meanwhile vampire hunters seek to destroy them. Sarah Engelmann’s just an ordinary girl in 1900s Salem, Massachusetts. She goes to school, hangs out at her friend’s house, admires the new boy’s horse, and shares everyone’s wonder at that strange invention, the motor car. Struggling to combine modern life and friendships with the restrictions of her Jewish faith, she refuses cake, has to be home on time, and wonders who she might marry… when the time comes of course. Meanwhile Alex, recent immigrant from Greece, longs to fit in and make friends. Some creepy neighbors, a pastor who’s entirely too interested in a young girl’s bid for independence, strange dreams and a curious crime bring everyone together—ancient vampire, vampire hunters and curious artifacts with the power to change the world. Sarah hears the call of the horn as well as the call of hormones and the chase is on. Not for the fainthearted or younger teens, this novel builds pleasingly on its literary heritage, just as Sarah builds on her Jewish faith. Religious mysteries drift through the shadows, creating a story with far more depth than the cover art suggests, all leading to a climax blending heaven and earth, even as the real (1900s) world tries to push faith into the shadows. By the end I’m enthralled. The story’s complete. I’m still slightly confused, but I’m definitely pleased, and eager for more.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Sheila Deeth (SheilaDeeth)
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
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Andy Gavin is an unstoppable storyteller who studied for his Ph.D. at M.I.T. and founded video game developer Naughty Dog, Inc. at the age of fifteen, serving as co-president for two decades. There he created, produced, and directed over a dozen video games, including the award winning and best selling Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises, selling over 40 million units worldwide. He sleeps little, reads novels and histories, watches media obsessively, travels, and of course, writes.