The Dark Volume

The Dark Volume

Book - 2009
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Random House, Inc.
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.

Baker & Taylor
After a series of savage murders, Miss Celeste Temple, Cardinal Chang, and Dr. Abelard Svenson discover that their enemies are once again on the move, and that the conspiracy of the glass books is far more bewitching and lethal than they had ever imagined.

& Taylor

After a series of savage murders, Miss Celeste Temple, Cardinal Chang, and Dr. Abelard Svenson discover that their enemies are once again on the move, and that the conspiracy of the glass books is far more bewitching and lethal than they'd ever imagined.

Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2009
ISBN: 9780385340366
Branch Call Number: SF DAHIQUIST
Characteristics: 508 p


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Nov 03, 2016

This is a second in a trilogy but it stood fine on it's own. At times this book felt like one long chase scene but it was dark and exciting in places and it pulled me in.

SB2000 Nov 15, 2011

This is the second volume in what looks like a possible trilogy by G.W. Dalquist. While it can be read on its own, the events follow on immediately after those of the Glass Books of the Dream Eaters. There is a helpful precis at the front for those who have not read the first book (or if it has been a while since you have read it).

The setting is just as ably and convinvingly conjoured as before and the characters just as compelling but somehow the "heroes" are more conflicted and less appealing as they undergo their various trials and make their life-and-death decisions. Their motivations are less clear-cut and less flattering.

Dalquist uses the same narrative structure and pulls some of the same tricks as before which lose some impact the second time around. Within a story of mystery and adventure, he is however playing with bigger ideas - the nature of morality and of conscience; the nature and power of books; the uses and abuses of memory and experience; the cause and effects of decisions and of destiny and the impact of character upon this and the formation of the self / identity.

Above all, he attempts to address our willing participation in the illusory nature of these things in a piece story-telling - and by extension, the same act of willful suspension of disbelief (or willful act of mutual belief?) in the structures, morality and necessities of life itself.

Whether he quite pulls it all off is in the balance. The book is still a rolicking adventure and finishes on a cliff-hanger. There is obviously at least one more part of the story to come. Whereas the first volume finishes with a satisfactory (albeit open) ending, this feels like it was stopped somehow half way through.

We can only hope that a final volume is being forged in the glass furnaces even now!


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