Thursday, September 15, 2022

[Review]—"The Peril of Barnabas Collins" by Marilyn Ross

The cursed vampire played by Jonathan Frid in the original Dark Shadows soap opera and the theatrical spinoff "retelling," House of Dark Shadows, captivated young and old audiences in the late 1960s and early 1970s. If my memory serves me properly (it's been a while since I've seen the series), Barnabas Collins was continuously looking for a cure to restore his humanity. The Dark Shadows novel series, written by William Edward Daniel Ross under the pen name Marilyn Ross (borrowing his second wife's first name), strayed away from soap opera plotlines, but with the 12th book, The Peril of Barnabas Collins, he resurrects the "cure" narrative, but with a few intriguing twists.

The story starts when Maggie Evans, the unofficial new governess for the Collins family, finds an old diary at Collinwood. The story then changes to late 19th-century London, where Diana Hastings meets Barnabas Collins for the first time. The couple eventually left for Collinsport, Maine to look for a cure for Barnabas' vampire condition. A Dark Shadows narrative wouldn't be complete without a crazed scientist. The strange Dr. Rudolf Padrel is brought in to help discover a solution. After discovering a few murders and countless graves that have been disturbed, Barnabas comes to the conclusion that Dr. Padrel may be involved in some dark activities. The previous stories in the series have already proved that Barnabas cannot be cured and that his romances will fail, and this book is no exception.

The Peril of Barnabas Collins has all the ingredients for a wonderful Gothic romance, yet it falls short because of several tired clichés. The fact that it is so badly written suggests that the author probably wrote these stories very fast. However, although I believe Ross was a fantastic Gothic author with an eye for specificity, he repeatedly utilizes the same descriptions throughout this story, as if he were going through the motions or running out of things to say. 

There are only so many times you can read about Barnabas falling in love with a vulnerable young woman and having to break her heart before it becomes old. Although I enjoyed the first few chapters, I became bored around halfway through and only finished the book to write this review. How should I put it? Those who are devoted Dark Shadows fans may be able to forgive the book's flaws. You will be disappointed if you are a novice.╌★★½✰✰

No comments:

Post a Comment

I adore reading reader feedback! I will, however, remove all spam and pointless comments.

Please take note that I have the right to delete comments from this site. Please only post constructive and respectful feedback.