Friday, February 3, 2012

Dark Shadows: The Salem Branch, by Lara Parker


The Salem Branch

Author:  Lara Parker
Published By: Tor Books
Date Published: July 11, 2006
Genre: Paranormal, Vampires, Suspense
Pages: 288
Recommended Age: Mature Adults
Read & Reviewed By: Me
Rating: C/3

 I bought this as a Kindle book.

This is the second book in Lara Parker’s Dark Shadows series, following Angelique’s Descent. Barnabas is no longer suffering the vampire curse that was put on him by Angelique because of Dr. Julia Hoffman’s treatments.  Barnabas finds him getting reacquainted with the day-today activities of the living and gets himself engaged to Julia Hoffman, a woman he feels no physical attraction to or romantic love for, just gratitude.  

 He also finds himself falling in love with a woman named Antoinette.  Antoinette is the mysterious woman who has bought The Old House on the Collins property and is restoring it while living in the woods with a bunch of hippies.  She also looks like Barnabas’ nemesis Angelique.

Antoinette has a daughter who lives in the nearby mental hospital. She suffers from flashbacks from her previous life as Miranda du Val who was burned as a witch during the Salem witch trials. Barnabas is determined to win Antoinette’s heart and protect her and the town of Collinsport from the newest vampire that has come to town.

My Thoughts:
Being a fellow Dark Shadows fan I could not wait to read this book. I love the way Parker writes.  The way she puts words together is beautiful. She can weave a story together like an artist painting a landscape on an easel.  I enjoyed the back story of the Salem witch trials, and how Parker had humanized Barnabas.  I can see him comparing what he can and cannot do in his new life with what he could and could not do in his life as a vampire. It makes sense that he would miss some of his powerful attributes he had when he was a vampire.

What bothered me were the few scenes that Quentin Collins had.  If he’s going to be in the story, I think he should have a bigger part than have a few quarrels with Barnabas and competing over the same girl.  I also had a hard time picturing Julia trying to get Barnabas to kiss her and share her bed.

I gave this book three stars and a grade of B, because I liked this book but not as well as the first book.  Something seemed to be lacking in this book.  I don’t know if it was missing Angelique’s presence or what, but with Parker’s talent I know it could have been somewhat better.  If you are a fan of Dark Shadows, or just have an interest in the paranormal and vampires I recommend The Salem Branch.

Language: some swear words
Adult Content: Sexual Content, Drugs/alcohol use, Adult Subject Matter, Heavy topics
Violence: brutal attacks

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