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Dark Houses (Nomads' Land Book 1) by [Dale, Catherine]
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Dark Houses (Nomads' Land Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Length: 346 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

I work in a high school library, and all day long I help kids find books that they’ll enjoy reading. It’s a fantastic job and I have a lot of fantastic books to chose from, but sometimes… sometimes I think there’s room for just a little more fantastic! My first YA novel is Dark Houses, a sci-fi story set in a future after we’ve run out of oil and other fossil fuels. Life has gotten a lot simpler, and also a lot more dangerous! I’m also working on a contemporary YA novel, and have ideas for about seven hundred more jotted down on various slips of paper. I didn’t start writing until fairly late (not quite middle-age, I wouldn’t say, but solidly into adulthood) but I feel like my lifetime of voracious reading and imagining has prepared me well. All I need now is the time to get the ideas out of my head and onto the screen!

Product Details

  • File Size: 581 KB
  • Print Length: 346 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: May 28, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00870FFCS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,244,823 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. King on June 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is listed as a YA novel, but the tone of the story was adult. The author never gives the ages of the main characters, so I'm still not sure how old they are. My guess is late teens, but I never got the idea they were young through their actions or dialog.

It was hard for me to get into this story. Although it begins with movement, not enough information about the world these people inhabit is given so I struggled, trying to understand who they are and what they're doing. The story moves slowly and there is a lot of narrative; I think young readers might find it difficult to enjoy.

This is a fish out of water tale. Caylen is a strong female lead, and it's through her eyes the story unfolds. There are heroes and villains and those in between, and there's also courage, loyalty, and even romance. The writing is competent and flows well. If you enjoy immersion in a brave new world, you will like Dark Houses.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Caylen or Cay is a young nomad trying to figure out her mother Nora's secrets. Cay wants to knowyet her mother is unwilling to share. Cay is an excellent scout and tracker for her band of nomads. Cay life rapidly changes when she finds a young man badly injured. Young man named Logan is from Yorkton was trying to make his way home when ambushed. Logan's injuries are treated. Cay is curious about Logan as much as he's curious about her. The nomads come across a band of soldiers who happen to know who Logan is. Jonah the leader remembers Nora from a long time ago. Cay is stunned to learn that she's of noble birth and is confused by this as well. She decides to go with Jonah and Logan to Yorkton to find the false nomads. Cay learns there is much she doesn't know about city life yet manages to find her way around. Cay rescues a puppy and turns the Yorkton upside down with her opinions. The Chancelor turns out to be Caylen's grandfather. What is going on in Yorkton? Who are the false nomads? Can Caylen help the nomads? Can Caylen live in two worlds? Your answers await you in Dark Houses.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The book begins with a discovery of a body, leading to more bodies, until Caylen, a young member of the Nomads, finds Logan, an injured man who has survived despite the odds. The mystery surrounding who he is, as well as his connection to Caylen and her mother, Nora, adds intrigue. About a third of the way through the book I started to wonder - where are they going, what is their destination and are they ever going to get there? It wasn't clear yet what their goal was and why they were on guard all the time.

The second-third of the book take place in the town of Yorkton, where Logan is from, and Caylen quickly becomes swept up in the political posturing and plotting going on in town due to her heritage. Finally we learn about the Dark House, a place where the government tortures and imprisons citizens, basically according to whim. In my opinion this is where the book becomes interesting. I think the first part is important to set up the relationship between Caylen and Logan, as well as the mother/daughter relationship between Nora and Caylen, but I think there should have been more focus on the action in town.

Dark Houses is billed as YA but I didn't get a particularly YA feel from it - it seems like the politics in play would appeal more to adults than teens. Caylen and Logan's relationship is complicated, and could possibly blossom into romance, but there's an element of mistrust that makes them an interesting pair. The "fish out of water" element with Caylen coming into the town, not dressing or speaking like the townspeople, makes her stand out and also helps to further establish that she is not a typical young woman.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Rating Clarification: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Disclaimer: The fact that I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review had not affected my rating. This review reflects my honest opinions.

Have you ever read one of those books that have this addicting quality to it? That you start reading, thinking that you'll stop after this one chapter, but keep reading anyways, and soon, you're at the end, wanting more? For me, Dark Houses was that type of book.

Now that I think back on it, I'm not quite sure why Dark Houses was that type of book. Was it because of the action? Probably - there definitely was a lot of the action. Was it because of the characters? Maybe - the heroine was definitely strong, but probably the classic warrior type. Anyways, I'm exactly sure why Dark Houses ended up to be a favorite of mine, but eventually it did.

The best part of the book for me was definitely its plot. There was nonstop action, whether the nomads were roaming the forest, scouting, fighting, exploring the city... you get the point. Sure, there were moments where it might have been a tad romantic or teasing, but this book (thankfully) did not focus on romance, but on the action, and on the mission the characters were supposed to complete. I admit that especially at the end, the plot was a bit predictable, but I enjoyed the book nevertheless.


The characters, although a bit typical for this type of novel, had personality and probably worth exploring. I actually found is surprising that when Darton died, I definitely felt a loss in the characters, and a little in myself. This is actually pretty unusual for me - I only remember a handful of times when I feel sad over such a thing.
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