Review and Ebook Giveaway: The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin

Amazon summary
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, a 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.

My review
The Darkening Dream is an old-school don’t-read-it-in-the-dark vampire story with nary a sparkle in sight. Sarah and her friends in 1913 Salem, Massachusetts, are fighting for their lives against enemies they don’t understand and can’t even always see.

The plot was well-developed and original. I can usually tell a little (or a lot) of what’s coming up through foreshadowing or just common sense (some stories are just too predictable), but not here. Things kept popping up and the end took me completely by surprise. (No peeking! It’ll ruin the whole storyline.) There was a little bit of a love triangle, but the romance wasn’t the focus of the book. The characters were well-done (actually, a vampire or two were extra-crispy), the dialogue was realistic, and the whole story over-all was a great read. I would definitely welcome a sequel. (Hint, hint.)

Content warning: There is no actual sex described in the book, but an incubus plays a central role in the story, so there is a lot of sexual content in this book. There is also some blood and gore; this is a “real” vampire story.

About the book
Title: The Darkening Dream
Author: Andy Gavin
Publisher: Mascherato
Release date: Jan 14, 2012
Pages: 392
Where I got the book: I received the book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The author was kind enough to offer two Kindle copies of The Darkening Dream to my readers. You don’t have to own a Kindle to read Kindle books. There are several free Kindle apps available. This giveaway is open to anyone in the US or who can use Kindle codes.

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