Review: The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin

The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin

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Synopsis from Goodreads
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.

Amazon  US | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK


* * *
Unexpected and brilliant, - that's what comes to mind straight away. First of all, my inner fangirl of Cliff Nielsen loves the cover - it's beautiful and not too far from the book's meaning to lose its point.

Secondly, the writing is pretty mind-blowing. Dark fantasy, horror, Gothic literature, - call it what you like, but it has this old horror movies like Salem's Lot or Nosferatu feel, gore and creepiness.

Vampires here are not sexy or sparkly. They are ancient, utterly evil, twisted and surrounded by ghouls and Renfields. The book is soaked in mysticism, starting from the main heroine, Sarah, a learned daughter of Jewish rabbi, whose father is hiding a powerful religious artifact, the vampire is after; continuing with her friend Alex, a young Greek, whose rich grandad spent all his life hunting monsters and ending with a warlock-priest cavorting with demons...

People die badly here, get possessed or damaged. Don't expect a Happily Ever After in the end, but it's certainly intriguing enough for you to want to read book #2 straight away. There is also very little in terms of romance and NO love triangle. In fact most certainly, if you read a book written by a male author you wouldn't encounter a love triangle.

The Darkening Dream is full of action, powerful imagination and strong characters, but it's not for everyone. Unless you are a fan of horror, Gothic novels and dark fantasy, it might put you off. Otherwise, I highly recommend it.

I think you might be able to read the book through the link on Goodreads.

* * *
Замечательно написанная книга ужасов. Если не ошибаюсь, автор участвовал в разработке компьютерных игр, и это его дебютная книга. По-моему, её можно читать через ссылку на Гудридс.

Я - поклонница Готики, тёмного фэнтэзи и ужаса в литературе, и эта книга - не исключение. Сценарий очень напоминает идею - а что если Дракула был бы написан для подростков?

Книга окутана мистицизмом и религиозной тематикой, от главной героини - дочери равви и еврейского мага, защищающего могущественный артифакт, сопсобный привести к Армагеддону, до древнего вампира, протестантского священника-колдуна, якшающегося с демонами и греческих охотников за паранормальными существами...

Герои хорошо разработаны, вампиры уродливы, не блестят на солнце и окружены вурдалаками, зомби и Ренфильдами. Книга полна магии старой школы, взрывного действия, напряжения и крови.  Здесь очень мало романтики и нет любовных треугольников. Кстати, я заметила, что авторы мужского пола избегают любовных треугольников в своих книгах.

Концовка интригует до того, что хочется прочитать продолжение прямо сейчас, также не стоит ждать счастливой концовки, - её тут просто нет.

Рекомендую всем, кому по вкусу упомянутое сочетание жанров.


  1. I think it was actually the heavy focus on religion and some of the particularly graphic scenes that put me off (hand.. cotton mill.. yeah) but I might have to give it another go sometime. I even have a hard copy and a couple of bookmarks! It's such a gorgeous cover, isn't it? Great review, anyway, definitely convinced me to give it another try some time. :)

  2. Thanks for the great review! I'm glad you liked the book. I was going for maximum creepy :-) I think you're right about the love triangles too. I know I should have them, but can't get my head around it -- just not a guy thing.

  3. Not seen this before, but t definitely looks interesting. Yay no love triangle! I'm sure they ruin perfectly good books. It's not often you get a good dark modern book, so I'll definitely have to get it some day. Great review!

  4. Yay evil vamps! Sure I love the sexy ones (not the sparkly ones though), but I still want them to be predators

  5. Andy, please I beg you - don't have love triangles! We are all quite fed up with them, and I relish every book where they are absent :))) Thank you for commenting, and I'll be looking forward to the next book in the series.

  6. I love dark and Gothic! Plus I will always read a vampire themed book review of yours because you loved Sunshine:) A question: have you read Dark Dance by Tanith Lee? It's pretty dark and disturbing.

  7. No, I haven't, Heather! I'll definitely look into getting it! I've only read a short story in an anthology by Tanith Lee. I like creepy reads like that.


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