Dark Vanishings: Episode One is now available for pre-order through Amazon. The Kindle digital version is on sale for only 99 cents.
Dark Vanishings is a post-apocalyptic thriller and horror novel, focusing on a small group of people who awaken to find everyone they know has mysteriously disappeared. But they aren’t alone in the world. Something is stalking each of them through the darkness.
From the cover of Dark Vanishings I
What would you do if almost everyone on earth disappeared? Where would would you go? What choices would you make?
A teenage girl harboring a horrible secret flees across the country from a deranged stalker. A boy who discovers he was secretly adopted is pursued by a dark, cloaked figure through upstate New York.
A Florida man moves into a luxurious amusement park resort, where he meets a beautiful woman. But they are not alone in the resort.
A young man with an addiction to fast cars and absolute power clashes with a bounty hunter. A father and daughter search for each other in a lost world where rules no longer exist and danger lurks around every corner.
Dark Vanishings: Book 1 is the first episode of the serialized, ground-breaking post-apocalyptic horror series.
Overview of the “Dark Vanishings” Series
Dan Padavona’s “Dark Vanishings” series plunges readers into an unnerving post-apocalyptic world, where individuals mysteriously vanish without a trace. The sudden and unexplained disappearances wreak havoc as the world’s population diminishes dramatically. Those left behind wrestle with the haunting void of once lively places now rendered silent and empty. Throughout the series, Padavona adeptly balances sheer horror with an exploration of deeper themes such as loss, isolation, and the intrinsic human drive to persevere. As the narrative unfolds, layers of mystery unfurl, prompting questions about the driving force behind the vanishings and whether there’s a more sinister, possibly supernatural, agenda in play.
Comparison with “The Stand” by Stephen King
Stephen King’s magnum opus, “The Stand,” stands as a beacon in the realm of post-apocalyptic literature. Set in a world brought to its knees by a lethal superflu, it’s a sprawling narrative encompassing themes of morality, fate, and the perennial battle between good and evil.
While “Dark Vanishings” and “The Stand” both navigate post-apocalyptic terrains, their approach and thematic emphasis diverge:
- Cause of Apocalypse: In “The Stand,” the apocalypse’s cause is immediately evident — a deadly plague. Conversely, “Dark Vanishings” keeps readers in suspense, with the inexplicable disappearances serving as a core element of the series’ eerie atmosphere.
- Scale and Scope: King’s novel is vast in its breadth, moving seamlessly from intimate character-driven moments to grandiose, symbolic confrontations of good versus evil. Padavona’s work, while expansive, places more weight on the individual survivors’ psychological journeys and their reactions to the eerily empty world around them.
- Tone and Atmosphere: While both novels are rooted firmly in the horror genre, “The Stand” exudes an epic aura, reflecting a grand cosmic struggle. In contrast, “Dark Vanishings” delves deeper into psychological horror, where fear emanates from the unknown and the unknowable.
- Character Dynamics: Both series shine in character development. However, “The Stand” frequently showcases a collective group of survivors assembling and interacting, emphasizing communal bonds and collective struggles. “Dark Vanishings” places a heightened focus on individual experiences, underscoring the solitude and isolation borne out of the vanishing phenomenon.
While both “Dark Vanishings” and “The Stand” offer a glimpse into humanity’s response to world-ending events, they present distinct narratives. King’s “The Stand” is a rich tapestry of hope, resilience, and cosmic confrontation, whereas Padavona’s series is a haunting journey through loss, the weight of solitude, and the shadows cast by unexplained phenomena.
Theory: “Dark Vanishings” as an Interpretation of the Rapture
An intriguing theory surrounding Dan Padavona’s “Dark Vanishings” is its potential allegorical link to the Rapture. Given the series’ central theme of sudden, inexplicable disappearances, one could draw parallels to religious interpretations of the End Times. The enigmatic vanishing of individuals in the series, without a trace or reason, is eerily reminiscent of the Rapture’s description, where chosen individuals are said to be taken from Earth by divine intervention.
Overview of the Rapture:
The Rapture is a religious concept, primarily associated with certain Christian denominations, which predicts a future event where all believers in Christ will be taken from the Earth in preparation for the Tribulation, an intense period of turmoil and suffering. The term “rapture” comes from the Latin word “rapturo,” which means “to catch up” or “take away.”
According to this belief, those who are “raptured” will be spared the worst of the Tribulation, meeting Christ in the air. The concept is often based on interpretations of scriptures from the New Testament, especially from Paul’s letters in Thessalonians and Corinthians. Following the Rapture and the Tribulation, the Second Coming of Christ is anticipated, leading to the final judgment and the establishment of a new heaven and earth.
However, one could argue the survivors of this rapture-like event in Dark Vanishings represent the best of humanity. Regardless, it’s an intriguing theory.
Drawing this parallel allows for a deeper reading of “Dark Vanishings.” If interpreted as an allegory for the Rapture, the series could be seen as a reflection on humanity’s responses to divine, inexplicable events. The feelings of loss, isolation, and the desperation to seek answers could mirror the experiences of those “left behind” during the Rapture, leading to further exploration of themes like faith, fate, and the search for meaning in the face of the unknown.
In comparing the two, while “The Stand” offers a clear demarcation between good and evil in its post-apocalyptic setting, “Dark Vanishings” could be perceived as a more ambiguous exploration of humanity’s fate, destiny, and the mysteries of the divine. This theory further underscores the depth of Padavona’s series, emphasizing its potential for varied interpretations and its ability to spark profound discussions on life, faith, and the beyond.
How would I describe Dark Vanishings? How about Dark Fantasy meets 80s Horror meets The Stand? A wild ride from start to finish, Dark Vanishings will get your heart pumping and pull you into a lost world.
The 99 cents sale won’t last long, so grab your copy of Dark Vanishings before the price goes up.