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"Dark Shadows: The Salem Branch" Book Review

Written by Jennifer Turner

Published by Tor Books

Dark Shadow The Salem Branch 01

Written by Lara Parker
2012, 334 pages, Fiction
Released on April 24th, 2012


I came into this a book a bit of a newbie. I watched both the original Dark Shadows and its 1991 revival, but it's been awhile since I have seen them.

Dark Shadows: The Salem Branch was written by Lara Parker who played Angelique, a witch in the original Dark Shadows television show.

The plot centers on Barnabas Collins who is in the process of curing his vampirism and living a normal life. This all changes when a woman named Antoinette shows up bearing a strong resemblance to his beloved Angelique. He finds himself fighting his vampire urges as he uncovers an ancient mystery.

The book starts out slow. The narrative is good and really sets the tone for the readers. The dialogue however is often stilted and expository. I understand that the author is trying to explain the original plot to new readers but it comes off as forced.

The story also jumps back and forth between 1692 and 1971. Normally I don't like that kind of storytelling and it was originally annoying. But as I got sucked into both stories I stopped noticing the time changes. Both stories eventually flowed together and I ended up reading the entire novel in one night.

The thing I loved most about this book is the twist ending. It comes out of nowhere and actually fits the tone of the novel. A lot of twist endings seems tacked on and simply there for shock value.

I enjoyed The Salem Branch not as a Dark Shadows fan but as a horror fan. You don't really need to know all about the original series to enjoy it. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants a good late night read.


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