Written by: Chad Lutzke
After reading and reviewing nearly everything Mr. Padavona has written thus far, I was excited to get an advanced copy of Dark Vanishings. After seeing first hand all the potential and passion that he brings to the pages, I knew Dark Vanishings was going to be better than anything he’d written so far. I could just tell.
And I was right.
In Dark Vanishings (book 1), Padavona brings us a world where, for reasons unknown, a select handful from around the states are drawn southward with the rest of the world’s population nowhere to be found. The world is empty and ripe for legal looting, squatting, loitering, and other such debaucherous mayhem. However, most of the characters want nothing more than to find some answers while on a quest to find others who share their predicament. Of course, what post-apocalyptic world would be complete without those with evil intentions? Padavona’s novel gives you that exciting and daring adventurous feel, as you dig deeper into a world inhabited by only a few and with sides divided.
Because I’ve not read much in the way of post-apocalyptic settings, it’s not fair for me to say whether this covers old ground or breaks new. All I know is, I was entertained as I read it and would very much like book two now, please (which I hear is following along behind this one soon).
Dark Vanishings‘ setup is dealt much in the way of Padavona’s obvious influence, Stephen King—the first handful of chapters deal with separate character developments. We read about a new character just when we become engulfed in the last. For me, the first character’s introduction lacked the draw that the rest of them provide, but hang in there and you’ll be sure to fall in love.
One thing that stands out for me in Padavona’s work is his imagery. I get the impression that Dan may draw from fond memories as a child, in particular his summers. Wherever they were spent, I think they were magical to him, as he portrays that innocence and feel in his books. And while some may deem the book over descriptive in some very small areas, Padavona presents the actions of his characters so thoroughly I can almost picture him either re-enacting it himself as he writes or just doing plain ole’ good research.
When learning about the characters, some of them gave me that feeling I get when I’m engulfed in a good series on TV. I want to know these people. I want to help. I want to be on this adventure with them! And the characters aren’t the only thing bringing life to this otherwise dead world. The locations bring endless possibilities to the world Padavona has given us.
I read this book well before its release, which gave me quite a long time to think about what I’d be writing in my review. One sentence I’d be including was certain: “I couldn’t stop thinking about it.” I wanted more of these characters and what each was going through. I wanted my questions answered just as much as they did. And while the copy I read had extra chapters that will only be revealed in book two, I can tell you this. It’s going to be just as much fun!
You won’t see this series vanishing anytime soon. It’ll be leaving its serialized footprint all over the subgenre, making Padavona a well-known name in post-apocalyptic horror.
Order the novel right here.