Our story begins with an exploration of Jane's childhood, and a profile of her abusive father. He is a cruel and violent man who emotionally degrades her, intellectually humiliates her, and (eventually) physically abuses her. To call him a monster would be an insult to things that go bump in the night, so let's just call him what Jane calls him - a bastard. There are so many scenes here that have an impact, but the destruction of her dolls is pivotal, and her confession of "The first time my father tried to kill me" really sets the stage for what's to come.
While supernatural retribution for such human crimes is a large part of the story, along with the mortal price to be paid for such help, it's not (as I expected) the focus. Instead, this is very much Jane's story, and she's a difficult woman to read about. She's a sad, cold, somewhat pathetic young woman, and even if we completely understand how she came to be that way, you can't help but hope there's a transformation coming. The specter of her angel is what makes her intriguing, and the mystery of her dreams what makes her compelling, but Cavendish asks for some patience before it all comes together.
Make no mistake, Dark Avenging Angel is a horror novel, but it's more about suspenseful chills than outright horror. Ironically, as much as I generally dislike tidy little epilogues that tie up loose ends, I thought the 'Sad and Lonely Death' article from the Midwest Times was a fitting touch.
ebook, 154 pages
Expected publication: August 4th 2015 by Samhain Publishing
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ARC of this title from the publisher in exchange for review consideration.This does not in any way affect the honesty or sincerity of my honest review.