The Dark River (2007) is the second novel in the Fourth Realm trilogy written by John Twelve Hawks.
This installment starts at the scene left hanging in the previous book of the trilogy, The Traveller. We see Maya recovered from her serious injury in the fight at the Evergreen Foundation building, in which she saves Gabriel Corrigan from the Brethen.
(May contain spoilers)
The Tabula mercilessly kill everyone in a settlement inspired by Matthew Corrigan, that lives off the grid. Only a little girl, Alice Chen, escapes. Alice is sent to Maya to be guarded.
The Tabula trace down Maya and Gabriel and try to capture them in a grueling escape fight. Gabriel traces down his father to an isolated island. He is surprised to learn that his father is being guarded by Mother Blessing, a harlequin who is supposedly dead.
Love blossoms between Maya and Gabriel and this causes Mother Blessing to separate them. Gabriel finds that Matthew Corrigan is in stuck in one of the other five realms and may not be able to return to the fourth realm (the earth).
Mother Blessing and Gabriel are in London while Maya and Vicki Fraser remain with Matthew, Alice and the Poor Sisters of Clares on the island in Ireland.
Gabriel fears that his father is stuck in the realm of hell. So, he crosses over to the realm of hell to find his father, only to get captured by the hell-dwellers. He terribly suffers at the hands of those ruthless people.
Meanwhile, Maya goes to London to find Gabriel. Vicki is killed by the splicers and Matthew’s body is captured. Alice and the nuns on the island escape as they hide in a cave.
Hollis and Mother Blessing plan to destroy the Shadow Program in Berlin…an exciting fight ensues.
Maya dramatically saves Gabriel yet again from the realm of hell. How she does that is a great thrill in the story. Sadly, she gets stuck there and leaves the reader gasping for breath and eager to read the concluding book in the trilogy, The Golden City.
This book is written with an amazing weave of words which leaves the reader spellbound. The narrative is so interesting that you cannot put down the book once you pick it up.
Surround yourself in the interesting world of secret access paths to other realms, like the mystical Ark of the Covenant, go under the city of Rome, discover interesting history, be enthralled by many more exciting places.
This book is simply unputdownable. It is recommended that you read The Traveller first, so that you will get a hold on the characters and setting.
For the review of the first book in this trilogy, check out The Traveller.
For the review of the last book in this trilogy, check out The Golden City.