The New Dark

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Jan 2018

Member Reviews

This book was extremely hard for me to finish. Not only were the characters not likable at all but the lack of focus and direction kept me from wanting to continue reading. There was an abundance of grammatical and punctuation errors that had me wishing it was a physical copy so I could go through and edit it myself.
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I had to battle through this book to get it finished. It's 221 pages long, but to me it felt like it would never be over. I wanted to give this book the fairest chance possible, but it didn't work too well.

The New Dark tells the story of Sorrel, a girl living in a post-apocalyptic settlement of Amat, where there is no electrical energy, no currency, no internet. Those things are from the time Before. When she survives an attack by mutants and hides from them, a chain of events gets started - and she must be brave and face dangers if she wants to see her little brother Eli and her friend David ever again.
As I read the first pages of the book, I frowned, deeper and deeper. I sincerely couldn't believe this was the post-editing version of the book - The New Dark felt amateurish in its writing from the very beginning, but to its credit it does get better as the book goes - which is why it got 2 stars instead of 1.

Sorrel is so absolutely impossible to cheer for - a brat with little talent for anything except being "special" because she has a birthmark. Literally, that is all. Throughout the whole book, it's hammered into our brains how people think she's special because she has a birthmark.

I also didn't appreciate the girl-hate in the book, nor the pacing. It went way too fast, throwing names of characters that we hardly could care about before they were killed. The romance between Sorrel and David is also hardly more than some flirting in the beginning of the book, and then at some point he seems to become "the man she loves" although nothing really pointed to that at all.

I will end my rant-view here, because really, I could go on and on, but I think my point is made. With so many sci-fis, post-apocalyptic worlds, so many cool dystopian YAs, I think it's not worth reading this series.

I do think the author has potential, she clearly has creativity, and a tendency to write dark stories, which I really like, so I don't completely discard reading more from her in the future.
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This book was a DNF for me. Personally, the opening scenes were hard to plow through and even after I had a hard time focusing on the story. The summary and the cover definitely gave me great vibes but the story itself just didn't pull me in right away, and that is something I really look for in a book.
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Book Talk II 1/19/18
Traci Kenworth

The New Dark Lorraine Thompson. Bastei Entertainment. Nov. 2017. Netgalley. YA Dystopian.

As always, blurb from GoodReads: "She thought she knew who she was and where she came from. Then her home was destroyed. Her brother lost amongst the ashes. And the boy she loves vanished. She owed her own survival to a mutant — the very forces behind the destruction. Now Sorrel will never be the same again."

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 ...

Until a gang of marauding mutants destroys the village, snatching her brother Eli, and David, her boyfriend. Sorrel sets out after them, embarking on a journey fraught with danger. Can she survive? The only thing that keeps her going is Eli and David. They are out there somewhere. They must be alive. And if she has her way, she will find them.

THE NEW DARK is the first book in a new YA-trilogy and will be published in November 2017. The second and third books in the series (THE NEW DAWN & THE NEW DAY) will be released in 2018.

My review: Sorrel’s village is raided after a fight with her mother. Her mother is killed and her brother stolen by mutants. Her boyfriend, David, is also taken with Eli. Sorrel determines to free them. On her way to save the day, she is bitten and falls ill. She wakes up in the camp of the Free, a weird, religious cult. They want to marry her off to their leader. Though she fights to be free, the only one who will help her is a mutant.
She tries to go off on her on, but there is a hunting party of the Free searching for her. Will she make it to Dinawl to free her brother and David? Will she learn that some mutants can be trusted? Or will a more sinister plot await them?

The characters could use a little more defining. I’m not sure I got a good grasp on them. The setting was bleak and unforgiving, exactly what a Dystopian should be. The plot went together well. I would read more of the series, just to see what happens. I felt that they cut things off a bit too soon in the end.

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This book was strange and I struggled to stay interested. The characters weren't particularly interesting or complex.
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I liked the base elements. We've got some mysterious, near apocalyptic event that lead to difficulty living and some level of mutation. This leads to human trafficking and discrimination. So the bones are decent if somewhat predictable. The actual, line to line, writing though was less than fantastic. Almost painful at times. Dialogue is awkward and unnatural.
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Well the cover is gorgeous and the synopsis is amazing. I was drawn to the book from the synopsis, but that is as far as the praise can go. This book has potential but it jumps around entirely to much and is a bit hard to follow.  I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from Netgalley.
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It needs a revamp, it needs more answers! I have so many, many, oh so MANY unanswered questions! Argggg! I'd love to see this book reworked and some answers put in place. Then it wouldn't drive me bonkers or feel like you missed some major plot where a chapter or two was ripped out that had what you needed.

My copy came from Net Galley. My thoughts and opinions are my own. This review is left of my own free volition.
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3.5 Stars

Sorrel and her village of Amat are attacked by a group of people called mutants. Her mother is killed, but her little brother and the boy she likes are taken by the mutants. Sorrel then tries to go after them to rescue them.

While this book was interesting, and the writing was good, there was somethings that I thought were missing. For one thing there really wasn't any background information. What caused their world to what it is today? There were some vague references of the past, but nothing more. Nothing is really explained about the mutants. How did mutants come to be? I found it really annoying that Sorrel seemed to care more about David, the guy who isn't really her boyfriend, just some boy that she almost kissed but didn't, rather than her own brother Eli. Like at the end of the book she's all like "oh noooo I can't remember what Eli looks like..." That isn't an exact quote, but you get my meaning. Lastly there was no satisfying conclusion at the end. Yes it was setting up for another book, but there really wasn't much to make me want to continue the next book. Overall, I liked the writing, but the story could use some work.
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This was by far the dumbest book I have read this year.  I mean. I finished it which I see is more than some.  I just felt so disappointed since the cover looked so lovely.  I mean, I liked it enough to finish it (but contemplated multiple times on stopping), but I didn't love it, won't read another if there is one....I just felt NOTHING towards anyone or anything.
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Yet another YA dystopian quest fantasy with a young female heroine destined (special triskelion birthmark!) to save everyone and lead to a more enlightened future whilst finding herself. Set in the second generation after some unspecified apocalyptic event that broke down society and left most technology nonfunctional and all but forgotten (despite being roughly 15 years ago), Sorrel goes on a disconnected quest to reunite with her brother and love interest.

There are glimmers of real potential for something out of the ordinary in this first book. I hope the author develops the world further and shares more backstory for the events leading up to the present and the reasons for them.  I had a lot of problems with the motivations for many of the characters, and the dialogue was very uneven and awkward in places.  The love interest subplot felt tacked on, honestly.  It's a YA dystopian novel with a female protagonist, ergo there must be a love interest.  He's unappealing and not very compassion inducing.  Sorrel herself is prickly and immature and I spent most of the book really wishing someone would shake her.  Nearly ALL of the characters wind up making uninformed naive choices that nearly get them killed (taking free drinks from someone you have just said that you don't trust in a dangerous strange place? Not the best judgement on display).

There are a lot of uncomfortable themes including sexual abuse, slavery, racism, violence, torture, etc.

The biggest problem with this book for me was that whatever cataclysmic event(s) which changed the world happened, they happened roughly 15-20 years previous to the narrative.  That is not nearly enough time for societies to form and splinter, developing independent culture and language, and despite the story arc happening in cities that are walking distance from one another, none of them were really aware of one another.  There was so much emphasis on really creepy passages (they're basically the only ones which are well written and fleshed out).  The almost-sexual-abuse was creepy in a sustained manner.  It just went on and on. The roving mutants who attack the peaceful settlement and triggered the whole story are not explained at all.  They just come out of nowhere and maim and murder and rampage.

It was also difficult for me to form any sort of bond with Sorrel. She murders, tortures, poisons and whines her way through the book.  She's not likable in the slightest.

This was a very difficult book to enjoy.  I am, admittedly, not the target audience, perhaps people who really enjoy YA dystopian novels will like this one.

Two and a half stars
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I really loved the premise of this story and the way it's written. It might have used a little polish in writing style before publication but over all quite a good read. It's not a key component in the story really but a little more as to what "Before" was and why all the mutants would have been good, While I liked the characters they needed a little more depth, I didn't really connect with them on any level.
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This book read like someone took all the dystopian/new world/post-apocolyptic plotlines and smushed them all together. There were the people trying to live off the earth because there is no longer electricity etc., the people who believe in a coming savior, mutants, secret tunnels, separated lovers, families destroyed... I felt like Ms. Thomson should have taken Coco Chanel's advice re: accessories - look in the mirror and take one off. (Or possibly two or three) Too much going on, too many slow chapters, too many chapters that sped through what could have been interesting topics... read more like a first draft to me.
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In a dystopian world created by Lorraine Thomson, Sorrel lives in her small village. Her life is unrewarding, but easy. She has a blooming love with her childhood friend David, a lifelong nemesis named Mara, a struggling relationship with her mother, and two younger siblings to take care of. When mutants attack her village, though, her whole world is flipped on its head. Her mother is killed, her friends and brother taken, and her entire home burned to the ground. Now, she must navigate a strange and complicated world with only her knife and feisty personality to keep her safe. 

I was drawn to this book by the summary provided. The description of the "Before" world and the "Now" was interesting, especially once you find out that the main antagonists of the story are mutants. Although, these are less like X-Men mutants and more like the survivors of a nuclear holocaust. I've always loved dystopian stories and I was especially encouraged by having a female main character. 

The world created in The New Dark is interesting and creative. There are veiled references to the "Before" AKA our modern world, with cars and shopping malls. It's unclear what happened to our world, but it's implied there's been some sort of nuclear war. Technology has been set back by about 500 years, some children are born as mutants who are either killed or cast out to live in exile, and humanity survives in small pockets of diverse communities. It was fun to explore this world, figure out what the new rules are, and watch Sorrel explore without the help of a guide. What's great about this version of reality is the lack of black and white values. No character is purely evil or purely good, the main characters and antagonists included. 

The plot was quick and exciting. It was incredibly quick paced and I was able to read it in a day. There's few moments of rest, which is sometimes exhausting but mostly exciting. The narration alternates between Sorrel's point of view as the traverses the wild world she's found herself in and David, who has been sold into slavery. During Sorrel's story, she encounters humans, mutants and monsters of all sorts. She learns to trust no one and gets herself in a good bit of trouble. In David's side of the story, he fights for freedom for himself and the other young people of Sorrel's village while continually getting himself in even worse situations. I sometimes enjoyed the alternative perspectives, but other times felt frustrated and manipulated when the author ended on a cliff hanger and then jumped to a different point of view. Additionally, its clear that there is a sequel in the works, so the ending left me feeling confused and curious.

The part of the novel I struggled with the most was the characters. Since we jump so quickly into the story and don't get to spend much time with these characters before the mutants attack, it's hard to feel attached to them. Once we're into the heavy action of the plot we never get to learn about these characters or have them develop. It was difficult to connect to Sorrel or David or truly understand why they felt such a strong romantic connection to each other. I can see that the author wants them to be together, but I don't know enough about the characters and their relationships to feel like I would fight along side them for their relationship. I understand both Sorrel and David on a superficial level, but struggle to describe them beyond a "strong female archetype" and "loyal male hero archetype." 

The book is great for lovers of fantasy and science fiction, specifically those who like dystopian stories. You can expect a quick and entertaining read for this book, but don't expect to dig much into the characters or have a full conclusion at the end. I'm interested to read more of this author's work and see if the next book offers some closure that the first in the series left open.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free digital ARC of this book. This book is true to its title description. The reader won't be disappointed when reading this book.
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I'm not even sure where to begin. I didn't hate it. I didn't love it, or even really like it. I wasn't disappointed. I'm not angry. I just feel a lot of....nothing towards this book.

WARNING: This book contains themes of slavery, oppression, racism, sexual assault, and prejudices against disabilities. To name a few.

I understand that this book was trying to point out the wrongness of all of these issues. I do "get" that, but it just fell so flat to me. If you are going to take on such issues as these, maybe take more than 221 pages to do so...or focus on one issue at a time. It ended up just coming across as glossing over several issues without a true focus. 

The New Dark follows Sorrel and David after the attack and destruction of their homeland, Amat. Sorrel and David are the "meant to be" stereotype with the typical "mean girl" Mara, who tries everything in her power to split them up. There is a lot of female backstabbing on the side of Mara and a lot of hatred on the side of Sorrel. Again, so so so tired of this trope. Can't we just have a solid female friendship? Why can't we have nice things? Sorrel also falls under the typical "special snowflake" category because of her birthmark . I KID YOU NOT. BECAUSE. OF. HER. BIRTHMARK. SHE. IS. "SPECIAL." Sexual predator Martin, of the "Free" decides to force her into marriage because of the birthmark. Nevin and Yolanda make her into a symbol of freedom in Dinawal because of her birthmark. Her grandmother filled her special snowflake head with tales of how she was special because of her birthmark. Also...what was the point of the mutants? Why did people think they were "unviable" and "wrong"? I don't understand.


In the end I was left with one resounding question:

What was the point of it all?

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for sending me an eARC of this book.
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This book was a wonderful page turning adventure. I had such an enjoyable time with Sorrel. The character development was really great for me. The only issue I had with this book was that the beginning made it very, very difficult for me to get into. I'm glad I pushed though and finished it. Lorraine Thomson did a great job and I can't wait to read the rest.
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The New Dark is a new YA trilogy, that caught my interest with its take on the dystopian/ Sci-Fi future.
The follows Sorrell, a young girl born in the "Now", the world that she lives in has no internet, no T.V, no power and very little food. Sorrell lives a quiet life in a small village called Amet, until one day a pack of mutants comes to the village and kill the old and kidnap the young. Sorrell manages to escape being caught or killed but her boyfriend and younger brother are not so lucky. Sorrell must go after them to save them, they are the only thing that is getting Sorrell though all the her dangerous situation.
This book is really good at showing that not all types of people are good or bad. When you start to read the book you think the Mutants are the bad guys of the story, than with the introduction to the people of the"The Free" you realise not to take anything on its appearance. This book also made me think a lot, as it deal with what people do to people who are different, as well as slavery being normal.
I found the story slow in parts, but as story continued I was drawn in, I managed to read the book in one night. The end of the book has left it open perfectly for the next book, and left me wanting more.
If you enjoyed book like Book of fire by Michelle Kenney, I would give this book a read.
I give this book 3.5 out of 5
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Where do I start? Where? Usually, I have a good idea. I start with the negative—if applicable—and move to the positive. When a book is overwhelmingly negative or overwhelmingly postive—it throws me.

I suppose I'll just do my best. Which is going to be hard because this book was so boring to me that I'm having trouble even retaining the story.
"The New Dark" by Lorraine Thomson left me in the dark.
The world was not developed—at all. The "Before" describes the world before something apocalyptic in nature happened. What? Well, I'm not entirely sure. But, there are mutants now and they're usually killed at birth. We're told how things are and we're to accept it without a backstory. Sorry, that's something I can't accept.

The characters were one-dimensional and clueless. I don't think they knew why their world had mutants or why society collapsed.

The symbolism is apparently a really big thing. The tattoo on Sorrel's wrist means something. Who knows what. I don't really care at this point. It's a tattoo looking thing. Cool. Tattoos are all the rage. I guess a tattoo looking birthmark is a good enough reason as any to become the face of a revolution!

The whole book was a mishmash of every YA Dystopian you've ever read-only, without a plot.

The cover is lovely though. Not lovely enough for me to continue reading this series but lovely nonetheless.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
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*4 stars*
I really enjoy this book!! I loved the post-apocalyptic story line, Sorrel firceness and courage, David's feelings and how Lorraine Thomson managed to show us that good people does not only come in human form.
This is a book I highly recomend and can't wait to read the following ones.
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