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The Darkening Dream

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  462 ratings  ·  185 reviews
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, boo
Paperback, 382 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Mascherato Publishing (first published December 22nd 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Mountain View

The Darkening Dream is an intense dark fantasy.First when I heard about the book I thought it would be a vampire chicky romance.But it was nothing like that.This is one of the most creepiest paranormal books I have ever read.The story takes place in the 1900s, in Salem which we all know what associates with that place.Horror!

Mountain View

The plot was complicated.Sometimes it took me time to realize what was happening.I do have a problem with plots with to much going on,but this one was hil

Andy Gavin
Dec 24, 2011 Andy Gavin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Well, given that I'm the author and have read it 50+ times I can't say I'm the most impartial. But if you want to find out more about the book, check out
To be clear I didn't finish this book which is enough of a review in itself for me. I got about 65% of the way through and I felt guilty putting it down because I hat not finishing something. I just couldn't make myself continue with all the good stuff on my TBR list. So, now for a little more on why I couldn't finish.

I just could not get into this book. The constant POV changes were unclear and seemed for the most part unnecessary. The characters didn't seem to have enough substance to them tha
Read the complete and original review at Word Spelunking

Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars

Andy Gavin’s The Darkening Dream is not your cookie cutter vampire novel, and thank [insert your deity of choice here] for that! A wonderfully refreshing and enticingly twisted read, The Darkening Dream certainly does have bite (and claws!) and a delightfully dark allure.

In 1913 Salem, Massachusetts, Sarah Engelmann leads a pretty ordinary life with her mother and rabbi father…until she has a fright
I picked this book up because it has a pretty cool cover and it was free on amazon (was a 2 day sale). Thought it was worth a chance. This story surprised me in many ways. The following is what made this story great, as well as what kept it from 5 stars.


-Supernatural/Religion – One thing that this author did that most others do not have the guts to do is address religion and deities in association to anything supernatural. There is nothing I hate more in a story than when authors have a char
[I won a copy of this book through Firstreads.]

When I entered to win this book through Goodreads, I was honestly quite excited to read it. I knew that it would have a religious undertone considering the setting takes place in Salem; however, I never expected it to have it shoved in your face within almost every chapter. The plot also wasn't "scary" enough for me. I'm aware that this was geared towards the young adult age frame, but when I was a teen, I was reading books with much heavier content
S.M. Blooding
Man!! This has just been a super great week for books!! Geez-la-weez!! And during NaNo! That part wasn’t so great. Trying to get writing done when there are other books calling your name, DYING to be read? Yeah. That was awesome on my word counts. I can tell you that.

However, this book…GEEZ! This book! The setting caught my attention first of all. In the opening scene, we find Sarah peering around the curtain separating the men folk from the women folk in church. Yeah. I don’t read that often! I
Tahlia Newland
The Darkening Dream is billed as a dark fantasy, some of it borders on horror and I found some aspects of it a little perverse. It has teen protagonists, but don’t for a moment let that make you think that this is suitable for teens, it isn’t. If the author intends it for young adults, then he either needs to prune back the gratuitous sexual twists in some of the scenes or put a warning on the outside of the book. It’s not the sexual content itself that’s the problem; there isn’t a great deal of ...more
Alanna (The Flashlight Reader)
Two words: complicated and intense.

The great care that was taken to develop the setting in this book was amazing. It completely sucks you in. The story takes place in Salem in the early 1900s, which makes it the perfect setting for a super creepy story. And boy, did this story get creepy.

The characters were extremely well developed. It's hard to say what I liked about them the most. The "good guys" were more than just vampire fighting teens. They had, well, character. I won't say much about the
So I'm going to be honest. I wanted to read this book because of the author. Andy Gavin created Naughty Dog, which is an AWESOME video game developer. At fifteen. So clearly this guy has some creative talent. I was intrigued to see if this carried over to the written word from the land of 1's and 0's. It did, very nicely I might add. So here we go about The Darkening Dream:

The Setup

(From Goodreads) 1913, Salem, Massachusetts – Sarah Engelmann’s life is full of friends, books, and avoiding the pr
Mallory Heart Reviews
Review of The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin
5 stars

“The Darkening Dream” is a far more complex book than I expected, and joyfully so. I raced through it, unable to put it aside till I’d finish, then ended it asking for a sequel! I truly hope there will be one. So many layers of different metaphysical possibilities and realities exist in this story that any reader of the paranormal of almost any stripe will find something to latch on to (except maybe werewolf lovers LOL). There are vampires, ancie
Wow talk about good book. This is Andy's first book which shocks me to be able to write such depth and create so much story right off.

This book is about some young friends in Salem, MA set in 1913 you have a very different era when cars are new and girls don't show any leg great job by Andy in giving you an idea of how things were back then.

These friends are caught in a fight with a vampire. Not the soft sparkly 100 + year old virgin kind. No this one is a rotting carcass of evil and looking t
I've been consciously avoiding reading for the last few days because I am so uninterested in this book. What a shame, as it's not bad so far. I just can't get past the idea that young people from different religions from this time period would be allowed to hang out together, much less genders being alone together. (I have no research myself to support this, or the time to find out. What matters more to me is that it doesn't feel believable and feelings are important to the reading process) The ...more
I admit, I was not prepared for how scary this book is. Andy Gavin has an amazing talent for creating horrifying, yet somehow beautiful, images. The story is complex, but never confusing. The characters are original and satisfying. I am hoping for a sequel, as the ending leaves an opening for more of Sarah's journey. What an imagination this author has!
Feb 09, 2012 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brave readers, but not on a full stomach
I'm going to start off by saying this book was very dark, very gruesome, and heavy. I bought it for my kindle after seeing it advertised on goodreads, and it was not at all what I was expecting. I'm in need of a light, fun read after this one, or maybe just a strong drink...

Set in the early 1900's, Sarah is the well-read daughter of a rabbi, and from the very beginning we see that she is wise beyond her years. She meets an immigrant from Greece, an attractive boy that shares her intrigue and wor
Salem,Massachusetts, 1913, vampires, magic, and one girl and her friends in the middle of it.

Amazon had this as a free electronic download some time ago and I just got around to reading it. Very mixed feelings on this one. The story itself is intriguing and fun and it took me longer than usual to call the twist, and that is always refreshing. The characters are relatively well-drawn personality-wise and several of the fringe characters are very entertaining. Of the main group of four friends, Sa
"...This book was sent to me by the author for review, and all I can say is, I am SO. GLAD. that I accepted the offer for this one. And I am not just saying that because he is partially responsible for the extremely successful video game franchises Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter. That's right, kids! The author is also the founder of Naughty Dog (which, on a side note, if you are the owner of a PlayStation 3, keep an eye on their upcoming game, The Last of Us, because it looks friggin' amaz ...more
Mar 30, 2012 Jillyn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: vampire fans
I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.

Daughter of a rabbi, Sarah Engelmann quickly finds herself thrust into a world where myths and religion are one & the same after a brutally tortured corpse shows up in 1913 Salem. Hell breaks loose when an ancient vampire resurfaces, in search of the holy trumpet of Gabriel. He must be stopped, or else the end of days will be upon them. He's paired up with a witch craft practicing pastor, demon succubus and Egyptian gods, each with their ow
Ruty  B
Just when you think you have read all about vampires, a book like The Darkening Dream comes and shakes your world. What a fantastic piece of writing and originality, full of suspense, excitement and most important, an incredible set of characters.

Sarah, a young girl from Salem, has to deal with a whole new world where vampires, sorceress, demons, angels, good and evil are very real and dangerous. A new boy in town will drag her and her friends on a quest to destroy a millenarian vampire. If you
Michelle  novelsontherun

The Darkening Dream takes place mainly in Salem, Massachusetts 1913 over a five week period. This book has its dark, sinister, bone crunching, creepy moments and it has its lighter kiss stealing moments.

Andy uses religion, as a force to be reckoned with. There is a horn and it is a very important horn, it could bring the world to its knees in the wrong hands. It needs to stay hidden and under the protection that only few know of its where-abouts.

The demon lovi
Miya Kressin
3.5 stars. It was a really good book. The research was well done, and I found the writing enjoyable. There were some scene changes that needed to be smoothed out as well as some character POV switches that could have been made more clear, but these area were few and far between.

The building sensual tension between two of the characters was believable for their ages, though I felt it a little rushed for the era and social ramifications. Given their surroundings and connection, as well as how busy
Michael Araujo
Think of Salem, Massachusetts and you would think of the Salem Witch Trials, but we aren’t in the 1600’s. The year is 1913 and tales of witches are long gone, substituted by those of the vampires. Aside from them being called vampires, what do these vampires have in common with those that we know of in today’s world? Absolutely nothing. When Andy Gavin went back in time with The Darkening Dream, he not only brought us to old traditions but to old rules. Farewell to the vampires that sparkle and ...more
The Darkening Dream is the first period piece I've read since, like, High School English. I really didn't know much about this book so I had no expectations going into it. Sometimes, that makes a book more enjoyable, just letting it unfold for you. This was one of those books that I just opened (err, turned on), started reading and didn't want to put down because I was so enthralled by the world, the history lesson and the utter creepiness factor of the story.

I got a kick out of getting into thi
Novels On The Run


The Darkening Dream takes place mainly in Salem, Massachusetts 1913 over a five week period. This book has its dark, sinister, bone crunching, creepy moments and it has its lighter kiss stealing moments.

Andy uses religion, as a force to be reckoned with. There is a horn and it is a very important horn, it could bring the world to its knees in the wrong hands. It needs to stay hidden and under the protection that only few know of its where-abo
I was quite curious to see how The Darkening Dream would turn out for me. The author being the creator of the Crash Bandicoot and the Jax & Daxter franchise, the intriguing summary and the gorgeous cover definitely all caught my attention.

Andy Gavin gives us a dark and gritty story with The Darkening Dream and shows us what vampires are really made of instead of the mild-tempered ones we see in a lot of YA. With vampires, demons, archangels, Egyptian gods, and warlocks - well let's just say
Originally Posted at:

The Darkening Dream is one novel I can say that can fit into almost all YA genres. It's got action, mythology, religion, romance, paranormal, mystery, history, fantasy– what more could you want? This kept me going, but as it was kind of a long read, I couldn't finish it in one go. I kept on wanting more, and this satisfied my reading appetite.

All characters in this novel were amazing. They had contrasting personalities, which I absolu
Reyna Hawk
One thing I must say right off the bat is I’m not one that gets into the whole vampire or werewolf books. I particularly do not like them. Sure there are some vampire books out there that I have read, however they are not my favorite genre to read. I chose to read The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin because it seemed not to be the usual vampire book; and I was so right. This book is based in the early part of the 1900’s in Salem, Massachusetts. I was first intrigued to the detail of that era and t ...more
Melissa Caldwell
Vampire tales are a dime a dozen these days. Rarely do they have the bite that gets my attention and my imagination buzzing. The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin is now officially on that list (the good one)! The cast of characters and the history he has created, lend this book a sense of dread laced with humor. No pretty vampires to seduce the heroine. No sympathy for the devil, because the devil will rip your throat out! The vampires in this book maim, kill, and torture their victims and commit a ...more
Heather (Kindles & Wine Book Blog)
Have you seen the movie The First Power? I watched it back in College and there's this scene that scares the crap out of me, where this bag lady suddenly appears in a window. I count that movie as one of the most memorable-in-a-scary-way that I've seen.

There's a scene in this book (if you've read it, you probably know right away which one I'm referring to!) that reminds me of that scene, and I honestly had a hard time reading it because all I could picture was that movie. {shudders} I should hav
Nancy (The Avid Reader)
The following review is my opinion and not a paid review. I received a free copy of The Darkening Dream from the author for an honest review.

Sarah is just like any other girl of her time who wants the same things and do the same things. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts in 1913. She has two best friends who are twins, Sam and Anne. They have all been best friends since they were children. Now as they have grown older Sam is beginning to see her as the woman that she is starting to be. Sarah and
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paced reading hor...: the darkening dream spoilers to 100% 32 13 Oct 23, 2012 01:18AM  
Paranormal and Ho...: Giveaway & Author Interview with Andy Gavin 2 7 Jun 22, 2012 06:14AM  
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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 sle ...more
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