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Black Dawn Paperback – February 14, 2017
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
I enjoyed Black Dawn. The title is apt and the graphic cover design is as beautiful as it is sinister. This 150-page work of fiction is fast paced and introduced me to colorful characters and ethical dilemmas. The relationships were complex and full of teenage angst. It was a coming of age story as Emory Fae learned about her past. Mallory McCartney is a talented writer with a gift of enthralling her audiences with genuine characters and beautiful imagery. The dialogue was genuine and added credibility. This is McCartney's debut novel. Black Dawn is highly recommended.
About the Author
Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and thier two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, and first in the series. When she isn't working on her next novel or reading she can be found dog grooming, hiking, shopping for more books to add to her perpetually overflowing bookshelf, and on the hunt for her next favorite coffee and dessert shop.
Top customer reviews
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This is the first book in a series and many of the events that take place are clearly designed to lead to what's to come in later books. For those who like to see as many loose ends tied up as possible in a book, save for a few that are to be resolved, they might not like that plenty of questions are left unanswered and plenty of events left unsettled.
That did not detract from the overall quality of the book, though. I enjoyed it and think it is a great debut novel. I am intrigued by what's to come in future installments.
I can easily sum up my feelings with this one in one simple complaint, the book is relatively short so I don’t think it was what was there that brought my rating down but what wasn’t. The story drops readers right into the action and ongoing conflict and I quietly waited for things to be explained more but there wasn’t much in the way of world/character building. The lack of information made the story sort of hard to follow and become connected to.
There were also a lot of good elements in this one for a fantasy but again I would still have liked it all to be explored more than it was. The characters could kind of blend when switching the point of view until getting to know what was going on but it’s one that once feeling a bit more comfortable it’s over. Not necessarily a bad read overall but one that just felt OK in the end.
I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
The biggest issue with this novel is that everything is left vague or not explained. The world building is nonexistent, the magic system/abilities is poorly explained nor will it ever be explained since the characters themselves admit they don’t know where the magic comes from, and the history of the world itself is barely explained. The reader is then left with a story about a rebellion and a missing queen that has no backstory or basis for the reader to begin to understand the complex political movements of the world or the complicated relationships between the characters. About half way through the novel, I realized nothing is earned. Not the relationships, the magic system, the emotions between characters, or the big reveals and twists because of the lack of information.
The main character, Emory, is given her memories back after having them wiped and sent to earth through time travel to protect her. Again, this was never fully explained. She’s given back her memories, but the process of regaining them is slow. While she is still confused about her kidnapping and the new world she’s been thrust into, she decides to help the rebellion. A romance plot this then shoehorned into the story causing jealousy and motive for the plot to move forward. Emory and all the other characters are not developed and read like cardboard cutouts of characters. The lack of development stems from the lack of information about the world, magic system, and history. Each of the characters’ developments and motives relate directly to their pasts and since, as mentioned previously, it’s not explained, so it all falls flat.
Overall, Black Dawn is a poorly written novel with little to no character development or world building. I will definitely not be continuing this series.
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