cover image The Darkening Dream

The Darkening Dream

Andy Gavin. Mascherato (, $14.99 paper (392p) ISBN 978-1-937945-01-5

This horror novel by the creator of the video-game series Crash Bandicoot is a gorgeously creepy, strangely humorous, and sincerely terrifying tale of clever teens trying to rid the world of ancient monstrosities. In Salem, Mass., in 1913, Sarah Engelmann and Alex Palaogos bond over scholarly pursuits while trying to ignore their awkward mutual attraction. But Sarah's strange dreams, the pair's discovery of the mangled and then reanimated body of a local boy, and the bizarre amnesiac illness that afflicts one of their friends pull them%E2%80%94with grudging support from Sarah's father, a powerful Jewish magician, and Alex's grandfather, an elderly vampire hunter%E2%80%94into a battle with centuries-old vampires and Egyptian gods who seek the lost horn of the Archangel Gabriel. Gavin's prose has both beautifully dark and startlingly scary moments, and his characters and their behaviors are refreshingly authentic for the genre: young people who are impulsive and full of bravado; older magicians who are slow to act, but protect their children; and vampires, who though undone by ambition, old enmities, and greed, act like people who have the perspective of centuries of (un)living.