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Paranormal book review: 'The Salem Branch' by Lara Parker

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The Salem Branch


"The Salem Branch" was written by Lara Parker. Parker was known for her role in the hit Gothic Soap, "Dark Shadows." In the show, she was Angelique. Now she's taking on and writing fiction about the TV series in her own vision.

"The Salem Branch" is about the Old House, getting sold to a woman named Antoinette. She's a woman that looks a lot of like Barnabas Collins enemy and old lover, Angelique. That's not all, there a bunch of hippies (the book takes place both in the Salem Witch Trials time and the early 70s) that are also taking up resident and a vampire, who is on the loose. Barnabas, is living with Dr. Julia Hoffman, he is also human and they are engaged.

A lot happens in the book, it both looks at Collins and his human side and also the dark history about the witch trials. The books is pretty fast pace, though at times it feels like it's going in several directions.

Some people will find Barnabas a little too soft for their liking, though he is one of those vampires that were both evil and sympathetic after time. Parker notes several times in the book that he is struggling with his new found humanity. It was nice though seeing his relationship with David, the youngest member of the Collins family. For those who've watched the show know that he wasn't always a nice cousin.

The Salem chapters of the book that were about Miranda personally were interesting for a historical sense, but it seemed to lagged on. The chapters about Barnabas were more interesting in my opinion. Other reviewers found it to be the other way around.

Parker added her own twists and turns about the Collins family, both their history and present. Quentin was thrown in the mix, the werewolf family member. Sure, he's kind of just there.

"The Salem Branch" is basically a fictional paranormal book that looks closely at the counterculture 70s and the ills of the Salem Witch Trials.

It's entertaining for the most part. Sometimes the story was a little off especially between Julia and Barnabas at the end. Also why Barnabas first despises then wants to be with Antoinette could seem a little off, but does add another layer to the fiendish vampire. Anyway it makes for an entertaining read and the story takes place during the Halloween season, which is always a plus.

Overall this book is a solid four and five stars.



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