Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Darkening Dream

Andy Gavin's debut novel, The Darkening Dream, takes place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1913.  If you think this is a book about puritans and witches, however, think again.  It is so much more, although the location's infamous history does figure into the story in interesting ways.

Sarah Engelmann, the teenage daughter of a rabbi, begins to have unsettling dreams and also hears the sound of a horn being blown, even when awake.  These strange dreams take on new and even more unsettling meaning when Sarah and her friends - twins Anne and Sam Williams, and their new Greek classmate, Alex - discover the body of a young man, whose corpse bears what appear to be what Sarah discerns as evidence of some kind of ritual.  She turns out to be correct, when they see the dead boy again after his funeral.  Alex reveals himself to have quite a knowledge of the undead, and the foursome become determined to find and destroy the vampire who turned him (after dealing with him first, of course).  

The plot thickens and faith is tested as they find that they have gotten themselves involved in something much more complicated than simply the arrival of a centuries-old vampire:  he is in league with gods of the Egyptian pantheon, who want the Archangel Gabriel's trumpet, and a powerful warlock with a demon lover who has the ability to travel between celestial realms.  Deep secrets are unveiled and Sarah becomes attuned to her faith in ways she never knew possible, and with the help of her father, she uses what she's learned to help her friends in the battle they are now desperate to fight.  The stakes have become very high, and Sarah's dreams are becoming more and more disturbing.  Will they be able to stop the forces they have pitted themselves against?  Are they even ready to pay what it might cost them to win?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Inheritors

The Inheritors by William Golding takes place in the paleolithic; the characters are a small group of Neanderthals who are making a yearly migration to their summer settlement.  The story mainly focuses on one of the men, Lok, and a female, Fa.  While at a rocky overhang where they stopped to make camp, one of their men goes missing - there was also the smell of people unknown to them.  The rest of the book centers around the conflict the Neanderthal band faces against our early ancestors, Homo sapiens.

These new people speak strangely, look different, and have strange ways of doing seemingly complex things.  The Neanderthals Golding provides for us as the primary characters are by no means the primitive, grunting ape-men often depicted in earlier literature and film, which I find a little surprising since it was published in 1962.  Lok and his people may not be using tools in the way the early humans do once they appear on the scene, and they are quite wary of being in water, but they have a definite intelligence, simple though it may seem to us.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Checking In

Hello, all!

You may have noticed that my updates are getting pretty few and far between - I'm not killing off the blog, though!  The Spring semester begun last month, and I've had some things going on in my personal life that started last semester, so it's been pretty hectic over here for a while now and I'm not sure when they'll start  getting more back to normal.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to send out an RAK for December OR January, but I didn't receive any, either, so I don't feel quite as bad about it.  I am determined to send out more than one the next time I feel like I will be able to definitely participate, to make up for it.  I did not sign up for February RAK, just in case it turned out like last month and I wouldn't be able to send anything out.

I just realized today that last Friday was my blog-o-versary.  I wanted to do something special for it, but obviously that did not happen!  So the next time I get a chance to do something fun for you guys, I plan to go as all-out as possible to try and incorporate everything exciting I missed celebrating in the meantime. :P

Bottom line is that I am absolutely still doing reviews!  But readings for school are my first priority, so they may be spaced a little farther apart than I would have liked.  I'm still going to try for my reading challenge goals for the year, but I might have to read non-stop during the summer to catch up if this semester doesn't give me any more free time! Memes will be posted as I have time for blogging if it's not a review, but where the blog is concerned, I feel reviews have higher priority (of course) so the extras are going to be cut back for a little while.

So happy almost-mid-February, everyone, and happy reading!