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am 17. November 1998
Bravo, Lara Parker! You have given "Dark Shadows" fans a real treat: a well-researched, well-written and engrossing tale about the character you made famous on daytime television, the bewitching Angelique. The novel, which is in the best tradition of the historical romantic fiction of Daphne DuMaurier and Dorothy Eden, stands on its own as a valid, plausible work. Ms. Parker infuses her characters with an intriguing eroticism that could only be hinted at on TV 30 years ago. The author delves deep into the world of Afro-Caribbean history and religion, which are central to Angelique's story. If fault is to be found with the book, it is this reader's aversion to the use of rather florid, purple descriptions of the characters' romantic encounters. These "bodice-ripper" scenes detract from the otherwise fine quality of the writing. Additionally, the last chapters are rather abrupt in their narrative, and one feels rushed to the book's conclusion. Nevertheless, Ms. Parker is to be lauded for her inventive twists on this seemingly familiar tragedy. Highly recommended to both "oldtimers" and new fans of the series.
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am 28. Januar 2000
This is the story of Angelique's development as a witch. The plot covers her childhood and the events that turned her into the nemesis she becomes for the Collins family. The story is rich in imagery and a tightly-written plot (ie., the story moves quickly and keeps the reader wanting to keep reading). After I read it and saw Angelique again on Sci-Fi's Dark Shadows episodes(THANK YOU, Sci-Fi Channel! ), I better understood her motivations and her interactions with the Collins family. I highly recommend this book to fans of Dark Shadows. I always liked the Angelique character and I thought (and still think) Lara Parker, as she appeared in Dark Shadows, was a highly accomplished and experienced actress. Imagine my surprise when I learned recently that she was a novice in that role! Even if Lara were not the author of this book, I would still say this: the author is very talented and I hope she will continue to produce literature for this series. DARK SHADOWS FANS: get this book! You will want it for your collection. And you'll read it several times.. I already have.
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am 19. Januar 1999
The basic theme of Dark Shadows has always been that people are faced with an inexorable fate, trapped in roles written by others, and though they may try to free themselves, fate will always win. Lara Parker continues this theme in her new book. As a child Angelique is pre-ordained to become a tool of the devil. No matter what she does, she cannot escape her fate and her journey from a little girl to an immortal is fascinating, well thought-out and surprising. Best of all is the section dealing with Barnabas' transformation into a vampire. If you are fan of the series, you know everything that happened during this beloved flashback. This time, you see all of the events through Angelique's eyes and it is a very different view. Also, the book gives Angelique a much stronger motivation for her undying hatred for the Collins family. Lara hints that this book is the first in a series. I hope that this is so and I definitely plan to devour any forthcoming books. The book ends in 1971, so Lara has a lot of writing to do to catch us up with life in Collinsport.
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am 28. Juli 2000
Ah..the memories I have of Lara Parker and "Dark Shadows." I got hooked on it as a teenager. The four years Ms. Parker was on the show were teen heaven for a lovestruck young male! Her presence on the show was inestimable. While many of the other actors stumbled through their lines and looked to the camera for cues, Ms. Parker showed a professional finesse that the others just couldn't match. And those eyes..ah, those eyes! But, the book! It's not great literature, by any means. Her foray into Angelique's tormented youth and subsequent fall into witchcraft are overdrawn and histrionic. But, if you are a fan of the show and seize any opportunity to travel those Collinwood corridors again, the book is well worth the read. Lara, you should still make movies. Think of all the great "character roles" you could play now! But keep writing; your greatest fan is awaiting another opportunity to share in your nostalgia, too!
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am 2. November 1999
The first book in the long-awaited DARK SHADOWS series is here and it's worth the wait! Actress Lara Parker, the original Angelique, writes an intriguing, erotic tale of betrayal, occultism and secrets with the first family of Collinsport in a time long ago. I won't say I'm a die-hard fan, but I do know Angelique's story was one of the few things that captured my attention about this series (and which continues to intrigue me). Parker's writing style is lush and fluid, with an amazing ability to capture the essence of the actors who played those fantastic characters every DS fan has come to love (or hate, as the case may be). I've read some of her work before (she contributed to INNOVATION Comics' DS comic book series) and I was pleased -- she's outdone herself here with this excellent first novel of a (hopefully) long series of DS novels. Don't be afraid of the dark -- try this one!
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am 6. November 1999
It was nice to finally read something new about two of the most important characters in DS. Parker does a nice job of setting atmosphere and filling in some of the internal components of Angelique. However, the book took too much time during Angelique's early years without using this background information to inform her motivation in later years. What was it about these experiences that made her drawn to Barnabas or made her so vengeful in the actual story line of the soap? Likewise, Parker should have spent more time on the latter years (pre the story line seen on TV - when A & B first become intertwined) in a more substantial way. Nonetheless, it was a fun read and I look forward to having a go at the latest DS novel. It's great to see some new material about some wonderfully fun characters.
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am 18. Januar 1999
Lara Parker has woven an evocative, satisfying tale of Angelique's childhood. Her concern for characterization is evident, and she has apparently taken pains to stay faithful to the original series. Particularly, her depiction of the relationship between Barnabas and Julia is well-nuanced and in keeping with the sensibilities of most "fan fiction." However, I was a little surprised that no one (editor or author) noticed the incorrect relationships between Barnabas and the present-day Collinses. Also somewhat disappointing is that the book's final hundred pages are little more than a re-telling of the series episodes. This was a worthy first effort, though, and I hope Ms. Parker follows up with a sequel that treads a new direction.
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am 23. Februar 1999
Lara Parker does a excellant job taking a character already established and making a past for her that is so realistic that it is almost a anti-climax when she gets to the part that was already handled on the television show. You become very involved in the life of the young Angelique and it is very interesting that she invlolved Barnabas into the young life. Her descent into the evil that becomes such a part of her later life is fascinating and you better understand her betrayal of her best friend. I also liked that she involved Barnabas and Julia together finding the diary and becoming so involved in reading it like a addiction that you can't fight even though you know you should. I was very happy with the book and could find no major flaws,
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am 5. Februar 2000
If you love Dark Shadows or just gothic horror/romance, than "Angelique's Decent" is for you. I've been a fan of DS since I was six years old, so naturally, I was eager to read this book. It lived up to my expectations and more. Lara Parker is not only a good actress, she's a talented writer. Ms. Parker obviously knows these characters well, but she has fleshed them out in a way that TV never could. She has revealed their complex personalities. We get to know and understand them. Best of all, she has has created for Angelique a richly detailed past that explains her motivations and makes her hopeless love/hate relationship with Barnabus Collins all the more tragic. Kudos to Ms.Parker. I can hardly wait for the next book!
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am 5. Januar 1999
A tad over written in places, this is a nice first effort by Ms. Parker in recapturing what was, in my youth, my favorite TV show. Admittedly from Angelique's standpoint makes this sometimes a bit much to take (in the show Angelique was pure evil and showed little remorse at any time, the book tries to 'explain' this away) but does lend insight into the character's background. I look forward to more books dealing with the Collins of the present and how Barnabas gets out of marrying Julia. And what of David, Roger and Carolyn and Elizabeth? As I said, I look forward to more visits from old friends.
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