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The Dark Volume Paperback – 29 Jan 2009

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Frequently Bought Together

The Dark Volume + The Chemickal Marriage (Dream Eaters 3) + The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters
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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 1st Edition Thus edition (29 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141027541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141027548
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Characters return for a second outing of faux Victoriana, rip-roaring adventures and gorgeous-looking design. The stories are undeniably moreish . . . curl up with this under a rug (The London Paper)

About the Author

When G. W. Dahlquist fell asleep during a snowstorm, his first book The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters came to him in a dream. This is his second novel.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 26 May 2009
Format: Paperback
As the title suggests, this book contains the fascinating and deep characters from the first volume. The other best part of the `Glass Eaters' was intricate plotting which was complex rather than confusing. Sadly, this trait descends into plot anarchy in the `Dark Volume'. After waiting patiently for my copy of the book, I was unable to properly finish it due to an almost comical number of twists and turns the story took. I admire the author and his clear talent, but feel that he needed an editor to sit him down and force a little (or a lot) of pruning.

To those who are considering a purchase, only buy this book if you LOVED the `Glass Eaters' and are determined to find out what happened to the intrepid trio. Otherwise, leave it well alone.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Neil Kealey on 26 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is the sequel to The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters - a book destined to divide literary loyalties - and I am sure it was as 'eagerly anticipated' around the world as it was by me. I should say that I was just as apprehensive about this book as I was excited. I enjoyed volume one enormously, despite some pretty serious flaws, but how often does the follow-up disappoint? Far too frequently, in my experience, and as such I approached this title with excitement, tinged with some concern.

The cover isn't as pretty. It's pretty and enticing but not as startlingly beautiful as the original hardback edition was. For some reason, despite the old adage of not judging a book by its cover, this did disappoint me; it spoke of economising and corner-cutting which worried me a little.

It's considerably shorter than the original - not a spurious point at all - the apparent brevity is probably due to an editing process Glass Books could have benefited from. Indeed this book benefits from a much tighter plot with just enough extraneous detail to delight and develop character rather than distract as too often happened in Glass Books. Aside from a few (utterly necessary) sections designed to remind the reader of crucial events from book one the story is even faster-paced, darker and more desperate than the original - if that is possible!

The book manages to be even more epic in feel than Glass Books, too, partly because the heroes (as they often are in book two of trilogies) have gone their separate ways and are converging on their desperate denouement (I'll say no more).

The book takes place in an expanded world which adds to the sense of the epic.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Alex Danger on 24 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
As any self-respecting film franchise would do, the 'Glass Book' saga gets darker with its second installment - The Dark Volume. You might say that the clue's in the name. As a huge fan of the first novel, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed reading this second book even more. The question is - why?

Well, as other reviewers have noted, the plot is a great deal more focused. Right from the start, you get the sense that Dahlquist has planned ahead, and that we are involved in the unfolding of a plot that has already been mapped out - and not one that is (perhaps) being made up along the way. Mirroring that, there aren't as many of those occasions in which various characters run blindly around never-ending corridors. Make no mistake - they do run! - but it all seems a little less pointless, and a little easier to follow as a result.

Of course, it is the wonderful characters in Dahlquist's world that draw us to these books; the diminutive - yet feisty - Miss Temple, who always finds time to bemoan a lack of biscuits/cake with her tea, even when in the hands of her enemies; Cardinal Chang, the ruthless, red-coated, stick-weilding assassin with a broken heart; and Doctor Svenson, the upstanding ex-naval surgeon who is unable to profess his love for Eloise. Our three main protagonists are all so richly drawn, as they were in the previous book, that you can't help but get drawn into their every predicament. And that's not to mention the various other superb characters that populate the novels..........

In fact, the veritable sea of characters in Dahlquist's world is perhaps a point of crticism.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Setnakht on 21 July 2009
Format: Paperback
There have been plenty of other reviews of this book, so I won't bore anyone with plot summaries and critiques. Suffice to say, the characters are as well drawn as in the previous book and the plot meanders along in much the same way. However, I was left feeling very frustrated and disappointed when I forced myself to the end, only to find an unresolved story clearly leading in to at least one more volume.

One of the main things that struck me about this book, and its predecessor, is that reading it was a lot like playing a computer game. The way the characters are presented with plenty of options, the way they interact, the way the plot focuses on specific places - I had a really strong sense of being in a game.

The book is beautifully written and intricately detailed, but maybe too much so. The attention to detail is staggering, but ultimately overwhelms the power of the narrative. It is an exhausting read. I also don't feel the story is strong enough to justify another volume.

What I wanted to find on page 516 was that Celeste waltzed off happily with Chang, and that Svenson did likewise with Eloise (who we are clearly going to find is an agent of the government or suchlike), but no such luck. More, and more, and more of the same. It left me, as I say, feeling frustrated and disappointed. And I'm not certain I will buy any future sequel.
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