The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin
Published December 25th, 2011
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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.
This book was dark. Dark, complex, and very heavy. I’m not sure if this would really qualify as YA. Yes the characters are older teenagers, but the story is so very heavy that YA just doesn’t fit at all. It wasn’t until I stopped thinking of this as a YA book and started thinking of it as an adult book that I started enjoying this story.
The story is about 4 friends who inadvertently get caught up in a vampire’s plot to get Gabriel’s Horn and basically start an apocalypse. But this is not your ordinary vampire story. Think less Twilight and more Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It is heavily laced in religion, each character being a different religion and therefore bringing something different to the story line. It goes through Judaism, Christianity, Greek Orthodox, and even Egyptian methodology.
The story was definitely an interesting concept and the book itself was very well written, if not a little over written. The language was very sophisticated, including the dialogue between the characters. It was actually distracting though. I just don’t picture normal 18 year olds, regardless of what era they’re living in, being as worldly and speaking in the way that these guys were speaking. It distracted me from the flow of the book and didn’t allow me to connect to the characters or get lost in the book as a whole.
Additionally, the ending slightly disappointed me. After the build up that was the whole book, I was slightly let down by how the whole thing came together in the end. It felt rushed. The end wasn’t really the end wasn’t really the end. We went through a lot of end-of-the-book twists. And then the book ended on what I considered a cliffhanger, but there’s no sequel to follow.
Overall, this was an interesting read. It was dark and heavy, so don’t read if you’re looking for something fluffy and nice. But if you are looking for something a little deeper, this book might just hit the spot.
Update: After hearing from the author and being told that there will be a second book I feel better about the ending and take back my feelings of disappointment about the way it ends on a cliffhanger. So if you’re going to read this book, know there will be another book to follow.
3 thoughts on “The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin”
Thanks for the review. I do intend a sequel actually, so the ending was always intended as a “to be continued” — it just isn’t out yet 😛
Oh! I didn’t see that in the description of the book. You should update it to say that this will be a series. It changes the take away of the ending knowing that there will be more to come than thinking that we’re just left hanging. Now that I know that there is more to come I can’t wait to read the sequel!