"Dark Shadows" fans have been anticpating this book for a LONG time. It's been 26 years since the last DS novel, and Lara Parker delivers book that was worth the wait. Angelique's Descent picks up where the series left off, sort of. Barnabas is cured, Angelique is a memory, and a measure of peace is evident at Colllinwood. This all changes when Barnabas finds Angeliuque's diary. Parker skillfully weaves her story back and forth between events in the present, to the untold story of Angelique's past and the genesis of the triangle between Barnabas, Josette, and Angelique.
The book is compelling. Parker obviously researched the superstitions and customs of the slave culture of Martinique. At times one almost feels as if she is writing an historical novel; the settings and characters seem so real. More importantly, the reader can empathize with Angelique and understand her motivations. On TV, she was the witch you LOVED TO HATE. Rarely did the viewer truly sympathize with her. In her book, Parker evokes compassion for the abused child who strikes back the only way she knows how.
If the book has a flaw, it might be Parker's choice to start the series with Barnabas cured of the vampire curse. It might be hard for those unfamiliar with the show to comprehend that this story is partly about a guy who USED to be a vampire. Those who vaguely remember the show might be disappointed that Barnabas is not what they remembered him to be.
This is not an overwhelming obstacle. The meat of the book takes place in the past anyway. Fans of fantasy and gothic horror would enjoy this book regardless of whether or not they watched the show. Parker was careful to keep the plot self contained. Essentially, she is beginning the series anew. So sit back, relax and enter the world of Dark Shadows!