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The Salem Branch (Dark Shadows #2)

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  315 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
In Dark Shadows: The Salem Branch Barnabas Collins, the vampire hero of the series, has recently become a human again through the efforts of his devoted descendent Dr. Julia Hoffman and is living in current day Collinsport, Maine trying to adjust to normal life. Although engaged to marry Dr. Hoffman, he falls in love with a mysterious woman named Antoinette who has bought
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 11th 2006 by Tor Books
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Carolina Dean
Jun 08, 2011 Carolina Dean rated it it was amazing
The Salem Branch is the second novel in Lara Parker’s Dark Shadows series and is a direct sequel to her 1998 novel Angelique’s Descent and takes places roughly six months after the former ended. The re-construction of the old house which had previously burned down and the land sold to Antoinette Harpignies, who bears more than a resemblance to Angelique, is nearly completed.

Barnabus is both shocked and amazed at the accuracy of the reconstruction of the old house and become suspicious of Antoine
Don Weiss
Feb 03, 2015 Don Weiss rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Lara Parker continues her expansion of the Dark Shadows universe with THE SALEM BRANCH, a novel that finds Barnabas Collins finally cured of his vampire curse, but having to cope with family conflict, a new vampire threat, and his own unresolved love/hate relationship with Angelique.

Cross-cutting between the modern Collinwood of 1971 and the witch-obsessed Salem of 1692, Ms. Parker has crafted an enthralling new adventure for Barnabas and his family which builds nicely on events in the original
Sep 21, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it
Lara Parker has penned another guilty pleasure in her 'Dark Shadows' book series. Like the lengthy story lines in the hit TV show, the novel alternates between two timelines; the historic era of Salem, Massachusetts, full of Puritanical witch-hunting paranoia, and a 1970s "contemporary" setting at Collinwood.

Antoinette may be a clear reincarnation of the witch Angelique, but is unaware of it, despite Barnabas Collins' sure suspicions. A camp of hippies has settled in the woods on the property of
May 29, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: dark-shadows, 2012
Interesting tale. I really enjoyed the story and the storytelling but still had a few problems with it.

I enjoyed the present/past storylines, especially the descriptions of life back in old Salem. But, I found the later part of the story a bit tedious. First, denouncement by the judges in the old Salem part felt like it went on and on and on. Then in the present time of Collinsport, I was getting a little tired of reading about the hippies. And finally, though well written, I felt as if the Barn
May 21, 2012 Mary rated it did not like it

Dec 19, 2016 Amy rated it really liked it
I liked this one much more than the last one I read by this author. More mystery and just a more satisfying story for fans of Dark Shadows.
Cindi Moss
Oct 24, 2016 Cindi Moss rated it liked it
Read it several years ago and can't remember details
Jan 14, 2008 Stephen rated it liked it
Actress-cum-novelist Lara Parker's second DARK SHADOWS novel, THE SALEM BRANCH (Tor, 2006), is the follow-up to her successful debut, ANGELIQUE'S DESCENT, released by HarperCollins in 1998.

I will concede that I had heard little positive about THE SALEM BRANCH before I sat down to read it. Many readers complained of its exceedingly hot violet prose, and the fact that the author displayed little understanding of the characters from the show — which was probably the most remarkable (and quite surpr
Susan Sullivan
There are parts of this book that I really enjoyed like the flashback to the 1692 Salem Witch Trials and the way Parker worked in the show's mythology and backstory with a historical event. And there are parts I didn't care for like Barnabas's repulsion at finally becoming human and his repulsion to Julia Hoffman who was his dear friend in the original series. Also, whether or not Antoinette or Jackie were reincarnations of Angelique is never resolved. The reader is left to decide for themselves ...more
Sarah Crawford
Jan 17, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it
This is a very interesting book. It bounces back and forth between Collinwood in 1971, and Salem back in 1692 during the Witch Trials.

First strength of the book is in the material on the witch trials. Someone has done their research for that section of the book gives a pretty good idea of just how little the men in Salem thought of all women in general, and just how stupid they were to believe spectral evidence and the stories told by a bunch of children. One of the moving factors in the trial
Jan 22, 2013 Dexter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lara Parker will always be Angelique, and what a talented, broadly ranged actress she is. She's also an exquisite writer too, and to counter the other reviews of this book as being "purple prose" or "romancey writing," hopefully I can refer you to the great gothic literature of the 19th century, which was written in the exact same style. Her writing style flows beautifully, a pastiche of the gothic, but the plot is sorely lacking in here. What I adored was revisiting characters I loved from the ...more
Apr 21, 2008 Donna rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, horror
I don't care for Parker's writing style. The tortured phrases and constant overdone descriptions kept tempting me to skim to the next part of the book where something actually happened. And the characterization doesn't always fit the show, which wasn't that big a deal to me but may annoy some fans.

Mostly I just didn't care for the story. A woman who looks exactly like Angelique buys the Old House, but she lives in the woods with a bunch of hippies. Barnabas is having second thoughts about his cu
Mar 18, 2014 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Finished Lara Parker’s 2nd “Dark Shadows” novel “The Salem Branch” and it was really good!!! :D Her series has been really great and I liked this one a bit better than the first as it dealt with a new storyline and continuing the show after it got cancelled in the 70s. I really loved Barabas’ taking on David like his own son. Their relationship is just great. I also really liked how it introduced a new love quadrangle with Barnabas, Toni (the new character who owns the Old House and looks weirdl ...more
Nov 16, 2013 Camille rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am a bit disapointed with that book, the first book was so good and this one was just meh. It wasn't a bad book, but compared to the first one, it was disapointing.
The story was really confusing with all the new characters and you don't really know who they are until the end. The side story is very weird too, in the first book you know who Angelique is and what she did, so you just read her childhood and you found out why she did all those things. In this one, you don't know who is Miranda so
Nov 11, 2011 Erin rated it liked it
Shelves: pioneer-america
I started this around Halloween because I wanted a Halloween story to read, but not one that too gory or scary. I knew Dark Shadows would deliver. I had hoped not to find the mopey, emo vampire that's all the rage. Sadly, Barnabas was in this book. I started reading this, not realizing it was the second of her books. Main problems: No Angelique. Barnabas can't decide what he wants to be. Quentin is not necessary to the story so why is he here (and I thought we solved the werewolf deal in the ser ...more
May 03, 2013 Becky rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2013
This book was written by Lara Parker, who played Angelique in the original Dark Shadows soap opera. She went to school and got an MFA, which surprised me. Before I found that out, I suspected it was ghostwritten (hehe), and that the publisher only used her name to sell more books. I didn't expect a lot (after all, even written by Lara Parker, this is really fan fiction), but I found it entertaining. It was fun to revisit the characters I love so much in a new story (also how I felt about 2012's ...more
Apr 21, 2016 Pdamon rated it it was amazing
Lara, good job! Just like watching the original series (well, a little more risqué and I think David uses a crude word once, which was a surprise), but the dialogue is perfect. The characters are true to themselves. The twists and turns and two time periods are great. I got half of the surprise ending but not the other half, so that was delightful.

Just finished watching the whole Dark Shadows series, so had to read this. Glad I did.
Janeene Timothy
Jul 12, 2012 Janeene Timothy rated it liked it
Thought the ending didn't really make sense between Julia/Barnabus and Miranda/Barnabus and Antoinette/Barnabus. The author tried to simplify everything too much at the end where they were complicated relationships throughout the book. Did enjoy the story line though! Was a huge fan of the Dark Shadows original series 60's & 70's. Even enjoyed the movie with Johnnie Depp-brought back lots of fun memories of that time period!
Apr 26, 2016 Crystal rated it it was amazing
So glad I finally got to read this book. I was an avid Dark Shadows fan growing up and remember rushing home from school to watch it, which I did faithfully! Since moving to Salem many years ago, I've been meaning to read this book and it did not disappoint. A definite page-turner; it brought back the enjoyment of the show to me once again. Lara Parker is a very talented writer, hope she keeps writing more on DS. I loved the ending!!!!!
Edward Butler
Aug 20, 2013 Edward Butler rated it really liked it
A solid novel from gifted Dark Shadows actress-turned-scribe Lara Parker. Not as surprising as her first, Angelique's Descent, but more evenly turned, and featuring a very rich insight into the character of Barnabas. Another must-read for fans of the series. Parker is not merely prolonging the world of the series, but subtly reimagining it, too, not content to be chained to the existing continuity.
Carol Stowe
Jan 26, 2015 Carol Stowe rated it it was ok
Second in a series about Dark Shadows, Barnabas attempts a cure with the help of copper-haired Dr. Julia Hoffman. The old house and its property are sold (gasp)and the new owner closely resembles Angelique. Will Barnabas become human again to grow old and die or revert to the vampire he has been for hundreds of years? Read and find out....the answer might surprise you.
Nicholas Ahlhelm
Jul 11, 2016 Nicholas Ahlhelm rated it really liked it
An entertaining if somewhat inconsequential continuation of the classic cult television series, The Salem Branch certainly introduces several new wrinkles into the lives of the Collins family and their extended circle.

Doubtful it would hold much interest to non-Dark Shadows fans, but to a viewer or follower of the original show, fans will find much to be interested in here.
John J Questore
Jan 27, 2015 John J Questore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the second book by Lara Parker and it was just as good as the first... If not better.

She really did her homework when writing about Salem in the 1600's. She mixed the history of the witch trials with the history of the Collins' family in such a way that it actually made sense.

Highly recommend this series if you were even a slight fan of the Dark Shadows TV series.
Dora Craiban
Oct 08, 2013 Dora Craiban rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ez sokkal izgalmasabb volt, mint az előző, mert rengeteg kérdés volt benne, amit igazából csak a végére lehet összerakni. Az első rész másként volt jó, ez is nagyon tetszett. Az írónő hozzá mert nyúlni a történelmi Salemhez, és nagyon jó sztorit alakított ki az események keretében. Élvezetes volt. :)
Debbie Jarrell
Aug 17, 2016 Debbie Jarrell rated it really liked it
Lara Parker really did her research for this book, because it includes real people that were involved in the Salem Witch trials. And there's a surprising twist at the end that left me thinking "Oh my God". It was perfect!
Cherie Waggie
Feb 03, 2014 Cherie Waggie rated it really liked it
A long time Dark Shadows devotee, I was looking forward to reading this book by the original Angelique, Lara Parker. The story was fun, but I'm not sure I like Barnabas acting in a very unlike Barnabas manner in some of the situations...Lara certainly brought the story up to"modern" standards.
May 18, 2013 Kellina332 rated it liked it
Not as good as the first book but still a good read. I think I loved Angeliques decent so much that this one didnt have a shot at comparing.
Sep 02, 2013 Suzan rated it really liked it
Read in 2006 when it first came out. Enjoyed it then, but now I will likely re-read after reading the sequel, Wolf Moon Rising.
Michelle Hanson
Dec 20, 2015 Michelle Hanson rated it liked it
It was ok.. not the best.. but not the worse.. midrange I guess.. I always liked Dark Shadows and found this book and picked it up..
Jan 24, 2008 Tricia rated it liked it
Loved this TV show as a kid. Parker's earlier books were better than this one. Here, the characters were well-developed, but the storyline didn't flow well.
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I read The Salem Branch 2 17 Jan 15, 2015 11:51AM  
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LARA PARKER played the role of Angelique on Dark Shadows. She grew up in Memphis Tennessee, attended Vassar College, majored in Drama at the University of Iowa, and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University at Los Angeles. She lives in Topanga Canyon, California.
More about Lara Parker...

Other Books in the Series

Dark Shadows (4 books)
  • Dark Shadows: Angélique's Descent
  • Dark Shadows: Heiress of Collinwood
  • Dark Shadows: Wolf Moon Rising

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