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The Darkening Dream

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  659 ratings  ·  210 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, books,
Paperback, 382 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Mascherato Publishing (first published December 22nd 2011)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it

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 hi

"Don't underestimate the allure of darkness, even the purest hearts are drawn to it."

----Klaus, The Vampire Diaries TV series

Andy Gavin, an American best-selling author, has penned an intimidating tale about vampires in his book, The Darkening Dream that unfolds the story of a soon-to-be-eighteen-years-old-teenage girl, who lives with her parents in Salem, which has recently been invaded by dark mysterious forces in the wake of finding Gabriel's trumpet that will mark the end of the world. Thi
Andy Gavin
Dec 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (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 ...more
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2012
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
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
[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
Winter Sophia Rose
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dark, Gritty, Gruesome, Complex, Idealistic, Engaging, Intriguing & Imaginative! A Delicious Read! I Loved It!
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
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 frigh
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tahlia Newland
Jun 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Cobwebby Reading Reindeer Remember Ukraine 🇺🇦
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
S.M. Blooding
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paranormal
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
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
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
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Feb 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Now this is a vampire novel! Don't get me wrong I have nothing against all the cute little "vamps are just like us" books out there; but given the choice I'd much rather read about them doing horrible evil things.
And I don't mean making out with girls young enough to be their 6x granddaughters. And if a character knows how to use a stake, I'm all for them.

It flows so perfectly between character point of views, it's a great blend of historical fiction, mythology and paranormal I couldn't get thro
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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! ...more
May 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shifting POV that led nowhere, strange conversations between young women who are supposed to live in the 1910s but sound suspiciously 21st Century. Nothing to draw me in, rather tedius.
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was okay. The biggest thing that hindered it for me was the lack of a feeling of time and place. Being set in Salem in the early 1900's I'd hoped it would've been more atmospheric. Some of the dialogue and language took me out of the book as it didn't seem to fit with the time it's set in. Also, the romantic aspects seemed odd and forced given the events taking place around the characters. ...more
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
Let’s face it. Vampires are sissies, and have been for the last decade. Ever since the paranormal romance genre introduced us to the vampires in love with our heroes or heroines, vampires have been known as goody-two-shoes, true romantics at heart. We’ve forgotten the roots of these creatures. They’re not meant to fall in love or seduce our main characters. They’re meant to be terrifyingly scary, dark and dangerous, bloodthirsty murderers who maim and kill with a passion. No longer do good and e ...more
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Darkening Dream was completely unlike any book that I've read before. At first I was really caught up in the summary of the novel which definitely catches the reader's attention as well as the stunningly dark and mysterious cover paired alongside it.

The fact that I liked the book so much caught me completely off guard and I'm really glad I gave this debut novel by Andy Gavin a chance. The Darkening Dream brings together a fantastic mixture of fantasy, mythology, paranormal, historical ficti
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, arc, signed
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
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
Novels On The Run
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


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
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy, kindle
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
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
Ruth 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
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paced reading hor...: the darkening dream spoilers to 100% 32 14 Oct 23, 2012 01:18AM  
Paranormal and Ho...: Giveaway & Author Interview with Andy Gavin 2 9 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 sleeps ...more

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