Abigail's Reviews > The Darkening Dream

The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin
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May 14, 2012

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bookshelves: fantasy-sci-fi, historical-fiction
Read from May 14 to 16, 2012

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, Sarah and Alex are the best written which unfortunately leaves Sam and Ann rather flat. Gavin could do some interesting things with them and assuming he continues this series (as it appears he does) I hope he does much more with all of them.

Gavin does give POVs from multiple characters, including the villains, which I love. I really like when authors use this trope, though I know it's not for everyone. The suspense was well paced and did keep me reading.

All that being said, I had some major issues with this book, the largest being anachronistic language. I read a lot of historical fiction and am in no way above PBS Masterpiece costume dramas. I don't think Gavin shares my proclivities, if he did he would never allow his characters, who live in 1913 New England, to use words like 'weird,' and 'dad' extensively. If these teenagers lived in the 80s, certainly, but he didn't set the action of his book in the 80s, so it's annoying. There were other words and phrases which are decidedly modern, those were just the two used most frequently. If you're writing a period piece, take the time to research how that period sounds or your characters DO NOT ring true. I will suspend my disbelief for vampires, I do not extend that courtesy to anachronisms.

Most other complaints are rather minor: most fringe characters were flat, as were some more main characters; the action, while generally well-paced, near the end began to feel very tired and repetitive; the final battle is rather anti-climactic as is the 'big reveal.'

It was entertaining, but I don't think I care enough to keep a lookout for the rest of the series.

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