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The Dark Volume [Hardcover]

Gordon Dahlquist
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

24 Mar 2009
Gordon Dahlquist transfixed readers across the world with his dazzling literary debut, the epic Victorian tale The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters. Now the internationally bestselling author continues an adventure like no other, featuring three heroes you will never forget.

Awakening from a fevered delirium, Celeste Temple finds herself in a fishing village on the remote Iron Coast. She has no idea where her companions, Cardinal Chang and Doctor Svenson, might be—nor whether any of her enemies survived the dirigible crash that marked her last conscious moment. And while her body seems intact, she cannot say the same for her mind. For she must contend not only with the possibility that peril awaits her but with the memory of her traitorous fiancé’s murder at sea…along with thousands of other memories that now live within her—courtesy of a bewitching glass book.

Hunted by murderous opportunists and cruel mercenaries of every kind, Miss Temple, Chang, and the Doctor are soon propelled into a quest that will draw them one by one into a realm of reckless, lawless terror. At every turn lies another enigma—and the stench of indigo clay, the raw material used to enslave even the most steadfast soul. Now they alone stand in the path of a diabolical conspiracy involving the books—one that will mean an alarming new world where once-free-roaming minds are wiped completely clean… if they live long enough. As Miss Temple, Cardinal Chang and Dr. Svenson uncover the devilish schemes of their deadly enemies, the terrifying secrets contained in The Dark Volume will be revealed one by one. For the blue glass is more lethal than they’d ever imagined—and those who possess it, as well as those who pursue it, are playing with fire.

Pulsing with electrifying suspense, this uniquely thrilling feat of the imagination will grip readers in its dark thrall long after the final page is devoured.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (24 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385340362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385340366
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 16.2 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 470,951 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) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great characters 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Darker and more desperate, but. . .?? 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
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So what about the old queen, Mr Dahlquist? 28 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback
I definitely remember that when reading 'The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters' the last 300 pages or so taxed my patience to its very limits; and thus it is very odd that when I saw its sequel, 'The Dark Volume', stacked up in a local booskhop, I at once grabbed a copy: obviously the dark, oppressive atmosphere poisoning an imaginary 19th century kingdom had to some extent captivated my imagination.

`The Dark Volume' takes up the thread where its predecessoer left it, and, all in all, it is 500 pages more of the same: endlessly convoluted cabals revolving around a kind of blue glass with evil propensities. And though the characters constantly chase, flee, hunt, pursue, waylay, entrap each other etc. etc., quite early on a sort of stasis sets in, as those people might keep milling around in their small doomed universe virtually forever, forever on the move, forever scheming, at least nominally with some place of destination, but ultimately going nowhere at all. To be sure, there is some sort of linear plot development and we are treated to climactical showdown reuniting the protagonists, but these perfunctorily handled structural devices did not shape my reading experience very much.

As the book breaks off quite abruptly and the very last sentence announces that someone is planning revenge, several hundred pages more rife with intricate plotting seem to be in the offing; and as I keep wondering if the 'old queen' that has been fleetingly mentioned several times will ever step centre stage, I might well succumb to the lures of the next instalment of this haphazardly sprawling saga.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling sequel!
Thoroughly enjoyed this on holiday, having just finished the first part. Dahlquist maintained the depth of characterisation and the pace of the original.
Published 22 days ago by MikeyT
5.0 out of 5 stars Next day delivery and book fine,
Book arrived as promised the day after ordering and is in great condition, no worse than a copy that had been hanging around the bookshop shelves for a while.
Published 1 month ago by D. K. Talbot
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good continuation to Book 1
The story continues here, well written but needs much tighter editing. The first book could lose 100 pages easily, this one could lose 50.
Published 2 months ago by William Donelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant fun!
Great series, cant wait for more!!! This is a fantastic series, very fun and involved. Get it for some escape.
Published 6 months ago by Jay Matthews
4.0 out of 5 stars heavy but deadly
all the great characters back together for another mad adventure, well pleased with it in every way. I'm telling ya!
Published 11 months ago by David Dunne
4.0 out of 5 stars Good follow up
Very good follow up to the first book. I thoroughly enjoyed getting back to the characters. It was a little slow to begin and occasionally I did get a bit lost in the vast detail... Read more
Published 12 months ago by mitten
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious in the extreme
Quite enjoyed the first book in the trilogy, but this one leaves me cold. It just takes far too long to get anywhere, and I'm finding the style and content annoying. Read more
Published 17 months ago by DVI-Dude
3.0 out of 5 stars Through a glass darkly
Stranded on The Iron Coast after an airship crash, our heroes, Miss Temple, Cardinal Chang and Doctor Svenson are beset by suspicious locals, bounty hunters and a number of... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Crookedmouth
3.0 out of 5 stars Volume Two
Sequel to the "Glass Books of the Dream Eaters" continues the story of the three heroes of the earlier book. Read more
Published on 4 May 2012 by Rotgut
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, exciting rollercoaster!
Despite most of the leaders of the cabal dying gruesome deaths at the end of The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, life hasn't improved much for the 3 adventurers who brought things... Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2010 by Sam Woodward
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