Thursday, September 22, 2022

[Review]—In "Barnabas Collins and Quentin's Demon," Things Get a Little Hairy

It's another Thursday, so it's time for another Dark Shadows review. Don't I sound ecstatic? I lost track of how many of these Dark Shadows I've read, and, after a time, they started to blur together. Today we're looking at Barnabas Collins and Quentin's Demon, the fourteenth installment authored by Daniel "Dan" Ross under the pen name Marilyn Ross (his wife's name). What a split second, what happened to Barnabas Collins and the Mysterious Ghost, book thirteen? It's not accessible as an eBook on Kindle for reasons unbeknownst to me, so I had no alternative but to skip it and move on to the next.

Every Dark Shadows fan's favorite werewolf makes his first appearance in Dan Ross's book series. This 1895 narrative focuses on Lara Balfour's visit to Quentin Collins in Collinwood. Quentin was taken aback by an unsettling waltz recording composed by Lara's late father and began communicating with her. Quentin proclaims his feelings for Lara, but there's something she doesn't know about him. All of his past "lovers" died. Quentin's first wife was brutally killed, and the perpetrator is still on the loose. Surely this dashing gentleman had nothing to do with his wife's death?   

Although Quentin is heavily involved in the story, Barnaba Collins is the main protagonist. Barnabas's name is the first thing you see in the title. And, like in so many Barnabas tales, the cursed vampire falls in love with an innocent young woman. Lara Balfour is the subject this time. Yes, Lara is Quentin's love interest, and we all know how this will end somewhat violently, although Barnabas and Quentin never appear in the same scene.

It wouldn't be a Dark Shadows yarn without a few dead bodies, and there are a couple, with all evidence pointing to a wolf-like monster known as a werewolf. I'm wondering who the werewolf may be, cough... Quentin.

Bringing Quentin into the equation, in my perspective, breathed new life into the Dark Shadows books, which had become stagnant. Barnabas Collins' love stories can only be read so many times before I start rolling my eyes every time he meets a lovely young woman, falls in love, and breaks her heart. While Barnabas Collins and Quentin's Demon is far from flawless, it has enough Gothic themes and unexpected turns to keep me turning the pages to find out what occurred next.╌★★★★✩

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