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 this world of 1913 Salem, Mass. A century ago was a completely different world and Mr. Gavin did a great job painting his picture of the U.S. back then. As a borderline OCD sufferer, I sometimes felt like breaking out the Wiki to fact check but I never did. Mr. Gavin's world was extremely believable and when it comes down to it, it's all fiction in the end. If you enjoy what you're reading, why question it!?
Which leads to a big part of the story... Religion. If you don't like religion in your fantasy, UF or PNR books, you probably won't be a fan of this book. Similar in the way The Iron Druid Chronicles brings together all the religions to build one story (because as long as someone believes, that religion will exist), The Darkest Dream does the same thing. Heavy in the older religions, Kabbalah and Protestant are most prevalent. I don't mind religion in my books. It's history. And in the case of this story, I've actually studied Revelations from The Bible so I could relate to some of the story, as in, "HA! I know what they're talking about!"
But if you like downright creep-tastic, hairy-scary stories, don't let the religious aspect of the story hold you back. It's only used as a mechanism to define good and evil. Oh, and the evil that exists in this book!! I don't recommend this book for anyone under 16 or 17 years of age. It's for a more mature YA audience. Some of the subject matter is a bit harsh (adult in nature) but is vague enough to let young adults read it.
The reason why I didn't give this book a 5 heart review is because I ended up carrying a lot of questions throughout to the end of the story. And there were a ton of questions unanswered after I finished the book. I don't know if there will be a sequel but the ending both shocked and completely took me by surprise!!
Can't miss with this book when it's only 99cents from June 25th thru the 29th on Amazon!