Cover Image: The New Dark

The New Dark

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Member Reviews

This was an alright read for me.  It took a while for me to get into the story because it felt a little slow to start.  The majority of the action felt like it took place in the last quarter of the book then it felt like everything was a little rushed.  The characters were alright but nothing really stood out about them.  I did like Einstein, I thought he was the most complex and mysterious.  I wish there had been a bit more explanation behind Sorrel's birthmark after it playing such an influential role in her adventure.  Overall this was an ok story with ok characters and action.
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Note: I received a free copy of The New Dark from NetGalley a long, long time ago and have just gotten around to reading it and reviewing it.

"There is no "Before", there is only "Now". Because now there’s no internet, no TV, no power grid. Food is scarce, and the world’s a hostile place. But Sorrel lives a quiet life in the tiny settlement of Amat. It’s all she’s ever known ..."

So begins the synopsis for The New Dark, the first in a Young Adult trilogy that started in November of 2017. I thought said synopsis was interesting enough, especially since it goes on to mention that her village gets destroyed by mutants and she has to journey off to somewhere else to find her stolen baby brother and boyfriend. Dystopian style world with mutants and what-not sounded like it might be a fun read. And the cover was pretty. (Not that that mattered much because I got a free digital copy to review but that's beside the point.)

When I first started reading it I kept mentally comparing it to The 100 (the TV show...I've been watching it on NetFlix) because there were so many similarities even though The 100 is more of a science fiction while The New Dark didn't have the "people having fallen from space" plot line. So that threw me off quite a bit.

And then by the end there were just so many convenient plot points and unanswered questions. One of the big things with Sorrel is that she has this birthmark that her grandmother thought was super special but none of her fellow villagers seemed to really care for. But then Sorrel goes on this journey and finds out that everyone else in the world seems to recognize her birthmark and that it means something far more than she'd originally thought. But we never figure out why. There should have been some sort of indication to keep me interested given that this is the start of a series and the characters are trying to turn Sorrel into some figurehead style person for their rebellion.

More convenient plot points:

Even though people travel for days and weeks and Sorrel gets waylaid for weeks it just so happens that all of her fellow lost villagers end up at the same city that she eventually goes to? Wouldn't at least one person have been shipped off somewhere farther?
Sorrel always finds someone she can trust even in the most dire circumstances.
Apparently they use the word "mutant" for any kind of genetic difference? Some were described as being pretty grotesque but then there are others that Sorrel just kind of says he has a broader forehead than most people? 
Overall, I liked the book enough that I kept reading it and finished it in just a few days but I'd probably consider this to be more of a 2.5 star read out of 5 but since I can't do half stars I'd settle with 2. There were just too many unanswered questions and convenient plot points and I will not be choosing to continue this series.
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A coming-of-age story in a dystopian world, “The New Dark” is the first book in “The Dark Times” trilogy. The story follows Sorrel who lost everything when her home was destroyed, her mother dying, and her brother & boyfriend were snatched by a group of marauding mutants.

Sorrel goes after her brother and boyfriend. In her journey, she figures out that everything is not black and white. That people are good or bad based on the individual and not based on what race or group they belong. 

A thrilling read, though there is not enough adrenaline rush to make your heart palpitate. This is YA after all, and “Fast & Furious” it is not. Nevertheless, it is exciting, and you can’t read fast enough to turn the pages.
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I enjoyed reading this book, but it didn’t blow my mind. That is why I gave it a 3 star rating. I enjoyed the female character and the character grow she went through. I really enjoyed the unusual friendship she makes which shows her that all she has believed isn’t right. There is also a male main character, which is also the love interest and I didn’t really care about his parts, I wanted more of Sorrel’s chapters and I was really annoyed by their ‘need’ to find each other and be with each other. We aren’t shown how strong their bond is over time, we are told, so I really didn’t care about their romance. 
I am curious to see how the rest of the story will unfold in the next two books and how the unusual friendship will get stronger and evolve. I hope Sorrel will reach her goal.
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I originally put this book down because I was not feeling it but recently I picked it back up and found that I did some what enjoy it. I found the world to be a little confusing and it was hard to follow at times. I did however enjoy some of the characters and thought they were well written. I would recommend this to someone who has already gotten into the fantasy genre but is still reading beginner fantasy.
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The New Dark introduces an interesting, if confusing, world. A world where there is no technology and humans live in small villages working to survive. When a group of mutants attack Sorrel's village and kidnap those they don't kill, Sorrel follows them trying to rescue her little brother and David. This is a physical journey as well as a symbolic one. Sorrel will have to leave behind not just her innocent life in the village, but her prejudices and fears as well. When she arrives at the largest city she's ever seen, she will discover that not all humans are good and not all mutants are bad. The trick is trying to tell which is which.

This story was a bit of a mixed bag for me. At times very exciting and I couldn't get enough, others it began to drag and I feel like the pacing could have been spaced more effectively. While I enjoyed Sorrel's journeys, I feel as if she never actually accomplished anything in the first book. Every step forward, every ally made, meant one step back and an ally lost. I didn't have a sense of hope at the end of the first book to make me look forward to the second.

*I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of this book*
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When I saw this book on net galley I was immediately drawn to to the cover as it reminded me a lot of Derek Hale’s tattoo in Teen wolf and I love teen wolf, it is one of my favourite show. The main characters were very well developed and I like how  we were able to see both points of views from the main characters who were in two different places within the books. Sorrel one of our main characters was such a strong character and wasn’t afraid to stand up for what she believed in.  Even if that was going against the rules. David was also a very true full character and always believed that sorrel wasout there somewhere which is what I believed made him such a strong character as he still had faith in his best friends even when separated.
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“The New Dark” is the first book of The dark times trilogy. It has interesting setting of its world and unique characters!

To be honest, although I enjoyed this book half way through, I got bored at its rest.
I like the setting of its world, the world is after the destruction and there’s no modern equipments. The main character, Sorrel has special fate to save people. After the half way of its book, I found myself being a bit bored reading similar story that people trying to use Sorrel. Also even I finished the book, i don’t know clearly what Sorrel has to do as her fate that I’ve been wondering whole the way through. What’s happened in this world? What mutants are? I was left with such a half way feeling.

I like the characters, Sorrel and David. These characters are brave and never give up. I also like Einstein but the book reveals very little about him. I needed more about characters to immense myself into its story . 

I gave this book 3.5/5.0 stars.

I think the story will get better and clear when story goes, so I’m looking forward to read its sequels!
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Really enjoyed reading this book. The characters and plot kept me captivated and I was eager to turn the pages to know more.
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In a post-modern society, Sorrel barely escapes after her village is raided by mutants. She finds that young brother Eli and beloved David were captured by the band of mutants and finds herself in a dangerous pursuit to get them back

I liked the concept, I liked that it made me think about who’s right and who’s wrong in general BUT I did not like the main characters. I found Sorrel immature and childish.The setting wasn’t very thoroughly described, but is to be understood that it is in the future where modern day society has fallen,
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I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Unfortunately, I won't have a lot to say about this novel when I first came across it, I was excited, the summary had me eager to start reading it. However, as I started I didn't quite get drawn into the book like I had wished, but I pushed through, eager to give this book a fighting chance, but that didn't seem to be the case. It just seemed like there was no real hook, something that made you want to keep reading, don't get me wrong it was okay, but when it takes so long to finish, I can't truly say I would jump at the chance to recommend this book over another. Now this is just my personal preference, that is not to say that someone else may not enjoy it, but for me, it was just not my favorite cup of tea.

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VERY nice start of a YA trilogy, set in a future where there is no electricity or niceties we are used to in the present.  

Sorrel is an engaging, resourceful, determined young women with a 'birthmark' of three concentric circles, who witnesses her Mother, baby sister and whole village being killed by an invading band of mutants.  Her two year old brother is taken captive by the mutant Brig.  Her boyfriend David, and many other teens in her small village, are gone, also kidnapped by the mutants.  Thus starts Sorrels journey to find her baby brother and David, and kill all the mutants who destroyed her home.

This is a tightly written tale of Sorrels escapades as she tries to find where the mutant band has taken David and the others.  She falls into the clutches of a strange town where one man decides she will be his next bride.  She unexpectedly finds an ally in the town square; a mutant, Einstein, chained up and mistreated on a daily basis, helps Sorrel escape her bridegroom.  She in turn frees him and they set off together on a journey to find the kidnapping mutants, who Einstein assures Sorrel he is no part of.  They encounter another, larger, settlement of people and mutants in Dinawl, a bed of thieves and ruffians, where things quickly go horribly awry,

In the meantime, we catch up with what's happening with David and the others that were kidnapped.  They end up at Dinawl also, but as slaves, where David and Sorrel become ships passing in the night, always just one step away from reconnecting.  

On the outskirts of Dinawl, Sorrel discovers another ally in Niven, Yolanda and their group of survivors, who have unearthed an underground subway station, the Metro,  that has remained largely intact from the days of Before. Before the great war that ended life as it used to be and left Sorrel and her family living generations without technology, or any semblance of the way things used to be.

As the this first installment comes to and end, Sorrel and Einstein charge headlong into danger to save innocent people from the anger of the Dregs of Dinawl.  Niven wants to keep her safe, but Sorrel suspects his motives.  Why does he think her 'birthmark' is the key to overthrowing the people of Dinawl?  And then there are the Monitors, three people who seem to control and run everything that happens in Dinawl. 

In the last scene, we see Sorrels baby brother playing with wooden cups on the floor.  The blue-eyed mutant Brig laughs as the cups fall over and the little boy looks over to Brig, holding up his hands and saying 'Up, Dada!'  


I cannot wait for the next installment.
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I couldn't connect with characters and also I didn't get the point of the mutants
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Overall I really enjoyed this book, I liked the concept of the mutants and the different communities and how vastly different they are. 

It was slow in some places, but it soon picked up again. The only thing I wasn't a fan of was the ending - I felt like there was no closure on anything, which slightly ruined how much I enjoyed the rest of it, so I really hope there is a second book. 

My praise goes to the writer because this is overall a very well written and gripping tale. 

Actual rating 3.7 stars.
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I found the YA fantasy The New Dark to be thoroughly mediocre at best and, unfortunately, at worst just plain dull. The writing is uninspired and pedestrian.  Influences from other fantasy works are detectable but The New Dark doesn't really establish its own personality. The world building is scant and I found the lack of context frustrating. While there is a lot of action it lacks excitement and tension. The characters are a little one dimensional especially David who is permanently angry to the point that it becomes meaningless and tedious. The plot, despite a scintillating blurb, is nothing new and I found myself uninterested and uninvested.
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This was a great adventure, with lots to think about along the way.  I will be looking for more from this author!
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It was an okay book but not anything special or mindblowing. The characters didn't impress me and I consider them to be the most important aspect of a story. I didn't really get the full idea of what the mutants are and what their purpose/goal is. The premises of the book looked really good but the story itself did not impress me. It might have been just me growing out of YA.
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The New Dark is the first installment in a young adult dystopian series that takes place in a world where mutants are thrown into the mix with the surviving humans.  The story starts in a human settlement that gets overrun with mutants. Chaos ensues and people get separated. The remainder of the story takes readers down two different paths of survivors - one featuring a young girl named Sorrel who is kidnapped by another group of humans and the other a young man named David who happens to be with Sorrel's toddler brother who are kidnapped by mutants. Both their worlds collide as they try to find each other. Through these series of events, the author provides some pretty decent world building. I had a hard time connecting with the main characters and feeling like they were going through traumatic events such as kidnapping and assault. I wanted them to fight harder and care more. I did appreciate the approach taken to the mutants in having the mix of them being these monstrous creatures combined with other mutants actually having a humane side. I felt that this was the most interesting part of the book and am intrigued enough to see where things go from there.
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Book Review
Title: The New Dark
Author: Lorraine Thomson
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Dystopian/Romance
Rating: ****
Review: In the opening of the New Dark we are introduced to Sorrel and David, who are a couple. Sorrel lives with her mother and two youngest siblings; Eli and Bella. For the opening chapter there are lots of things we don’t understand; what is the before, why can’t Bella have a name, what does it mean to viable and many more. However, the fantasy element emerges in the form of mutants, these mutants attack their home killing her mother and Bella and taking David and Eli with them. 
When the carnage is over Sorrel leaves her hiding place and returns to Amat only to find death and the mutant she injured left behind and while she tries to get information out of it all it does is taunt her about her brother. Immediately she sets off with the hope that her brother and boyfriend are still alive and that she will somehow rescue them. As we approach the ¼ mark in the novel, Sorrel is tracking the mutants but ends up captured somewhere while David tries to escape the mutants only to be let go when another pack of mutants’ attack. However, the relationship between Eli and one of the mutants is interesting as he acts like the creature is human and the creature shows care and compassion towards the child. 
As we cross the ¼ mark in the novel, Sorrel finds out she is in the community of the Free, which is a very backwards community compared to what she is used to, and it reminds me of a Mormon community, with many women and very few men. Here, they also try mutants up to abuse and despite hating them the practice the Free employ sickens her. Despite this Sorrel has no way out as she is always watched a locked in her room at night, but a man called Martin the so-called Keeper of Keys has the keys to every door in the community even hers and his advances repulse her, but she tries to create a plan to leave the community and find Eli and David as soon as she can. 
After gaining the trust of the community Sorrel learns that she is to be new blood for Martin’s bed as there are no young children in the community and despite the women being blamed for this, it takes two to tango. However, in her spare time she is helping the mutant which she hates herself for, but she can’t see the creature continuously suffer for no apparent reason, this take a drastic turn when Martin announces that he is to wed Sorrel the following day. As we approach the halfway mark in the novel, both David and Sorrel aren’t having much luck, David as been recaptured by the mutants, but this imprisonment doesn’t seem as bad as the first until they are lead to the thrall market and separated, more importantly he is separated from Eli who is being taken care of by a mutant called Brig. On the other hand, Sorrel agrees to marry Martin with a plan, the mutant says it can help her if she helps it so on their wedding night Sorrel gets the keys from Martin by poisoning him. 
As we cross the halfway mark in the novel the groups in the thrall market are being sold off, David and Mara are sold to Black Angus as a breeding pair, however, David always has one eye on Eli under the mutant’s care and is ever hopeful that Sorrel will find him soon despite everyone saying that she is probably dead. She and the mutant called Einstein finally arrive the Dregs and manage to gain entry, but soon they end up in a pub to escape the hunters from the Free. As we approach the ¾ mark in the novel, we learn that Mara is working in that bar and she talks with Sorrel about getting to David and Eli but instead of them arriving like Mara promised the hunters arrived and she and Einstein are prisoners once more. However, the dynamic duo does manage to escape and get outside the wall, but Einstein has been poisoned and can’t go any further, so Sorrel must leave him behind to search from David and Eli even though she has come to care for the very creature she once hated. 
As we cross into the final section of the novel, Sorrel is still running for her life, but she has found some allies, however, things change when Clovis is hung from killing one of the Free men and Black Angus, his brother must watch knowing there is nothing he can do. Despite this David earns his freedom but the Free men’s assumption that David helped capture Clovis not knowing how he had helped Sorrel. As she tries to find a way to find her only friend Einstein, she also finds somewhere to hide but David on the other hand, has taken a bargain to find Sorrel to earn his freedom from the Free and this may work out badly for everyone involved especially considering David’s hatred of mutants and Sorrel’s newfound respect for them. The ending of this novel was good and left a nice opening for the next instalment in the series. 
Overall, I really liked the New Dark but the major problem I had with this novel is it doesn’t know what it wants to be. It starts off with a similar premise to Stolen Songbird minus the magical element, and then morphs into a family-based novel and ends in a Mockingjay fashion, while each individual element was great I didn’t feel they all worked well together. I also felt that the mutants are very human and that a romance between a human and mutant which would have been unheard of would have made an amazing addition to the story especially between Sorrel and Einstein.
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It took me a while to give feedback to this novel, I actually really liked it. I was packed with adventure. I likes the characters. The only bad thing i could ay is that it did not have an effect on me that i wanted to read more about it. I would read the sequel, but in the hopes the story wil get even better.
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