In this age of multi part epic fiction series, it is so refreshing to have an epic, apocalyptic series that manages to be expansive, satisfying, thrilling and filled with exemplary thoughts on the environment wrap up a story in only two parts. Initially intended as a single volume, it quickly became clear that Joseph D'lacey's magnum opus was to large for a single volume, so he took the brave step and released it as a duology.
D'lacey's writing has always been intelligent, daring to use the medium of horror and fantasy as sounding board for his thoughts and beliefs on such topics as vegetarianism, and the environment.
To so of you this might sound as though his books are dry preachy novels that sacrifice entertainment for education. This couldn't be further from the truth, D'lacey is one of the finest genre writers working today, a master craftsman of storytelling, D'lacey's novels are like this novel a duality of entertainment and thought provoking narratives.
It should be brought to your attention that you really should read the first part of this series to gain the most from this book. To be honest though that's no bad thing as the first part is exceptional.
The Black Dawn, as in Black Feathers uses a dual narrative approach to the story telling. The story is told from the point of view of Gordon Black, destined to find the Crowman, set during the period of the apocalypse. The second point of view is that of Megan Maurice, who lives generations after the apocalypse, in a time where mankind has now learned to live respectively of the land.
Each face their own challenges that linked through the years. Gordon's quest to find The Crowman will take him on a violent journey that will see him make sacrifices and difficult decisions, that would break a lesser man. Joining up with The Green Men, to battle the oppressive Ward, Gordon Black is destined to become the savior of the world.
Gifted with the power to travel through memories and visions through time Megan must find the strength and courage to become the last Keeper, charged with spreading and remember the teachings of The Crowman, they could be described as The Apostles of the Crowman. If she fails in her task to become a Keeper then everything that Gordon endured will have been in vain.
The two narratives of this story merge seamlessly together with the two viewpoints serving to enhance each others plight perfectly. The Black Dawn, will make you think, it is so well written it may well make you change your mind on some very important topics. This is an allegorical novel that draws on many concepts of spirituality, and beliefs, deep with thoughts and ponderings on the state of our world, Black Dawn is a triumph of a novel. I particularly liked how Gordon and Megan's quests had an almost Christian feel to them, Gordon in particular almost becomes one of Messiah proportions.
Endings to novels like this are difficult to get right, especially when one of the narratives is set far in the future. I can see that some will find the ending to be slightly disappointing, however I felt that the finale was perfect, giving the almost mythological nature of Gordon's story, this ending just seemed fitting.
This is a fast paced novel, tight well written and with enough action and disturbing images to keep any genre fan glued to the page. The Black Dawn feels like the book Joseph D'lacey was born to write, you can tell that he has poured his heart and soul into the pages of this book.
The world has been condemned. Only Gordon Black and The Crowman can redeem it.The search for the shadowy figure known only as the Crowman continues, as the Green Men prepare to rise up against the forces of the Ward.It is the Bright Day, a time long generations hence, when a peace has descended across the world.It is the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, the earth wracked and dying.
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