Title: BLACK DAWN
Author: Mallory McCartney
Release date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Clean Reads
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life that is until two mysterious, and dare I say handsome soldiers show up at her apartment doorstep and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Coming from the magical and ravaged world of Kiero, Emory is brought back not realizing that both men are darkly woven in her past. Discovering she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line Emory is thrown into Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne. With both lives clashing Emory uncovers hidden secrets from her past, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.
Some things are better left in the shadows.
NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the tour hosts in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.
BLACK DAWN has a gorgeous cover and an exciting premise but the execution fell a bit short. At just over 150 pages, there wasn’t enough world-building or character development. The beginning, which quickly switched between different character’s points of view, was somewhat confusing and could have benefited from being fleshed out more.
The idea of a girl “savior” who is hidden in another world for her safety, whose memories are erased, and who is taken from that world into one that is in turmoil, where the rebellion is on the verge of collapse, and where the rebels and the villains have special powers, sounds incredible. But not enough history is introduced, the pacing is too quick, the writing is awkward, and not enough attention is paid to the development of story and characters or to the consistency throughout.
There are also problems with flow, imagery, syntax. And there are a number of instances where the characters’ reactions contradict their actions or where facts provided contradict other previously provided facts.
And instead of letting the reader experience certain emotions or actions, the author simply tells the reader. Instead of spending time building connections between the characters, or delving deeper into the characters’ thoughts and feelings about what’s going on, the author introduces unnecessary details.
Taking the time to smooth the transitions, expand the scenes, slow the pace, add more detail, make the grammatical fixes, would have allowed for a stronger bond with the story. It would have given readers a better sense of this new world and its citizens. And it might have made it a much more enjoyable and exciting read.
While some of the issues may be attributable to the fact that this is an advance readers copy, the story’s flaws are far too numerous to have been fully addressed in the finished version, as evidenced from the “look inside.”
BLACK DAWN has elements of fantasy, of a fairytale, of an X-Men superhero story. It has a diverse group of characters that are or could be rather interesting. It promises a sequel with potential that might introduce some or all of what was missing from this novel. Unfortunately, this first installment failed to meet expectations for an epic and thrilling read.