The Barnes & Noble Review
The Gathering Dark is the fourth novel in Christopher Golden's wildly entertaining horror series, the Shadow Saga (Of Saints and Shadows, Angel Souls and Devil Hearts, and Of Masques and Martyrs). This installment pits Peter Octavian -- a former vampire who spent a thousand years in Hell and is now the most powerful mage in the world -- against a mega-demon that wants to create its own nightmarish playground by stealing entire cities!
When portals begin opening all over the world and all kinds of horrific demons spill forth, the most powerful organizations are helpless. The recently restructured Catholic Church futilely tries to reconstruct a lost book of spells used to repel the forces of evil. The United Nations creates special task forces to combat the demonic minions. Nothing works. Tens of thousands of people die in the talons and jaws of the monsters, and to make matters worse, whole towns and cities start disappearing. That's where Peter Octavian and his butt-kicking friends enter the picture. Teamed up with an Earthwitch, a Catholic priest, and a few shape-shifting vampires, Peter attempts to halt Armageddon.
For those of you not familiar with Golden's Shadow Saga, I can describe it perfectly: It's like mixing Laurell K. Hamilton's action-packed Anita Blake novels with the dark ambiance of an H. P. Lovecraft story. The pacing is always pedal-to-the-floor, the main characters are larger-than-life, and the demons and other assorted monstrosities give Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos a run for its money -- just plain wild, spine-tingling, fun. Paul Goat Allen
Legions of Whispers, Nektum, and other deadly demons are rapidly taking over cities and towns all around the world in this dark, action-packed fourth novel of the Shadow Saga. Ex-vampire and powerful sorcerer Peter Octavian has been enlisted by Father Jack Devlin to help defeat the invading demons and seal the breaches in the boundary between earthly and supernatural dimensions. Peter and Jack eventually join forces with Peter's former girlfriend Nikki, "earthwitch" Keomany Shaw, and vampires Allison Vigeant and Kuromaku to eradicate the demons from earth and reclaim the conquered areas. Ultimately they must confront the master demon, a ruthless Tatterdemalion, in a terrifying battle that not all of them survive. An intense, fast-paced plot and Golden's vivid descriptions of the action make this modern vampire tale extremely suspenseful. The award-winning author's intriguing characters and romantic subplots add plenty of drama, and his lyrical writing style gives an almost mythological feel to the story. It is helpful but not crucial for the reader to be familiar with the previous novels in the series. Golden uses graphic violence, strong language, and adult themes, so this book is best suited to older teens who have exhausted Golden's young adult novels and are ready for the next level. VOYA Codes 4Q 2P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2003, Ace, 374p., pb. Ages 15 to Adult.