Dark MuseMuddy Rivers watches his troubled brother disappear as he plays a dark, magical song in a desolate area in a town in Central New Jersey. A band of misfit teens embark on a journey to another dimension through the crossroads, the legend of how musicians sold their souls for the ability to play like no other before them. On their quest to find Muddy’s brother, drummer Otis, afflicted with brittle bones and myriad physical issues, singer Poe, blind but finding sight in the new dimension, and saxophonist Corey, a massive teen from the tough side of town, join the guitarist when they meet Silver Eye Watkins, a bluesman who offers to be their guide.

Using instruments constructed in the other world, the band crosses the “river,” the source of all that is creative in the world, landing in a place there the Tritons, creatures who rule the alternate world who enslave all who live there. Silver Eye teaches the band how to harness the powers they hold in that world that they need to survive and save Muddy’s brother. Beings such as primate-like trees with percussive bodies, fields of serpentine grass, and insects that kill with their own sinister rhythms populate the setting.

To find his brother, Muddy and the Accidentals enter the Triton’s mountain only to find a gauntlet of trials built by the world’s slaves, based on some of rock’s most memorable songs, from “Walk This Way” and “Iron Man” to “Tom Sawyer,” “Paint It Black” and “Smoke on the Water” to “Stairway To Heaven,” each adventure promising death but forcing each member to find a way to be “special” in another way than their disability or situation on across the River.

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Do you believe music has power? Dark Muse answers that question with an ear-shattering scream that will plunge you into terrifying worlds unknown. Hang on! –Elizabeth Massie, Bram Stoker Award winning Author of Sineater and Bestselling YA author of the Young Founders series, the Daughters of Liberty trilogy.

Dave Simms has written an engaging entry in the young adult market; he knows his music and his audience—or any audience! I was quickly seduced into reading page after page, loving the characters and the story. A must-read and a keeper. Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling author of Let the Dead Sleep

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