The New Dark

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Jan 2018

Member Reviews

I appreciated how the author throws the reader right into the action within the first few pages. It is a fairly fast paced book with no signs of stopping throughout. I'm assuming that the second book will be the same with even more action considering where the characters end up at the end of this book.
I wanted to have more character depth so that I could understand Sorrel better. The only thing that the author explains in the book is that she has an odd birthmark and that she doesn't get along well with her mother. 
I also would have liked to have more background on why the world is the way that it is in the book. The author never really explains it and I felt like I was trying to put together a puzzle with a few of the pieces missing. There were different factions of people in the book and the people in the book don't even know about them so how are readers supposed to?
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The New Dark hooked me with its premise, while I think a lot of the dystopian genre tends to be derivative I was very hopeful.  The New Dark does fall into a few unoriginal plot traps, it’s something I’m very picky about as an adult reader, but a younger audience might not have these same preferences (I didn’t as a youngster!).  Despite this issue the writing stands out, Lorraine Thomson’s writing is very simple and readable, but a lot of her writing/storytelling style comes out in the details which help to build the world around and the characters.

The New Dark starts out by throwing the reader straight into action.  As Sorrel travels across the countryside the strange world begins to take shape.  I loved this fast-paced beginning, but it came to a screaming halt when Sorrel met the Free.  The pace was also bogged down with the addition of David’s narrative.  If there HAD to be another POV, and I don’t think the book needed another, I actually would have preferred to read Mara’s narrative in the hopes to add dimension to her meanest of meanies demeanor.  The one dimensional villains are The New Dark’s greatest problem, in addition to Mara, the Free also fall into this dimensional category.  It is much more interesting to read about characters who are genuinely doing the best they can, but are creating devastating harm anyway.  The Free are trying to preserve their community, but all I really get from them is a creepy old man vibe, there has to be a better tactic for enticing new members.  And if they are so desperate for more lady groupies why aren’t they recruiting in Dinawl or buying thralls?  As I read this I often found myself asking questions like this or wondering why things worked out so conveniently for the characters.

Overall, this one reads like a first novel, but Thomson has potential if she can work out the kinks in characterization and develop a more complicated and original plot.  I’ll likely check the next book’s synopsis to see where it’s all going, hopefully it’ll hook me.
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I genuinely liked the concept and thought some of this novel was new in the sort of way that I hadn’t seen the subjects tackled that way before however the downfall is so many of the questions remain unanswered for the next installment. The pacing and characters are fast and well done and I was pleasantly surprised by a new twist on a slightly tired genre but I was also taken aback by how drawn out some aspects seemed to be.
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The premise is very interesting: it's a post-apocalyptic world, only a couple generations after whatever events happened Before to turn it into the Now. Sorrel is a girl whose entire life has been changed and she sets out to save her little brother and her kind of boyfriend. Along the way her worldview expands; she makes enemies and unexpected friends, and she finds that not all humans are good and not all mutants are bad. I feel like the style of writing makes this a good dystopian/post-apocalyptic book for slightly younger teens, around 13-15.

Unfortunately, this book just didn't really carry it off for me. I felt like such an interesting world was left so unexplored. I was waiting for hints about what had happened to make society what it is Now, but nothing. Plus a huge fuss is made over Sorrel's birthmark and I had no idea WHY, other than it was a symbol from Before? But multiple people seemed to know what it was, except Sorrel. She was just told multiple times she was "special".

I also felt the pace was off... In the first chapter we're barely introduced to characters before destruction strikes and everyone is killed and somehow we're supposed to care about the relationships between characters we don't ever see interact except for the first five pages. Also I just didn't really like reading about the sexual harassment that happens to Sorrel.

Overall, it wasn't for me, but I think slightly younger readers would enjoy it more.
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This book had an excellent premise, but poor world building, unclear writing, and irritating characters kind of killed it for me. I had trouble  getting into the book and picturing what was gong on because nothing was explained very well. There was a decent amount of action, so things were never boring. But I never connected with the characters which made things a bit less exciting and more frustrating for me. Great idea, but not my cup of tea.
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The New Dark is the first book in the Dark Times Trilogy. This is the first book by Lorraine Thomson so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was a well-written dystopian story. This should not be read as a standalone. While this book is written for young adults, older adults will enjoy it too (at least this one did). There is violence.

The book blurb adequately describes the storyline so I'm not going to repeat that all of that info here. The storyline is somewhat predictable but this book is still worth reading. As usual, everything and everyone are not as it seems. I do want to find out more about this characters and will continue to read the rest of the trilogy.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and chose to leave a review for other readers.
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A Ya Sci-Fi Fantasy story.
It was a different story line.a little confusing ,did not explained before or after and the mutants very well.
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I really enjoyed this story. It is different from anything else I have read and I was pulled in right at the beginning. Who skins bats? Ha ha 
I really the the tension between Sorrel and David at the beginning of the story and then his quest to find her again. They are so close to each other, but they never find each other!  I was so frustrated for them! 
I loved the story until the end. I just didn't get it. I even waited a few days to leave my feedback hoping I would "get it" after the story sunk in, but I still didn't understand. What did I miss?  I look forward to the next book so I can gain some incite about what the last chapter meant.
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I requested a copy of this because it sounded really interesting and I will say it has alot of good plot elements and ton of potential. I felt a bit mislead by the summary.  It unfortunately just didn't deliver for me, I felt there were many things that were under developed and I just didn't engage with the writing style. The writing was a bit disjointed for my taste and I often felt like I missed something. I found myself going back to see if I skipped a page or missed a paragraph where something happened only to find that the information was simply not there and you had to infer what happened. Fortunately there normally enough context clues to figure out what was going on, sometimes I was just left confused.

I like dystopian settings, and this has an interesting twist where people are living in city environments and in the wilderness fending for themselves but there are mutants. I would have loved if the mutant aspect was explained, the author mentions viable and unviable children but never really explains what that means and how mutants came to be. Typically in dystopian or post-apocalyptic books, there is some long forgotten event that caused society to be in whatever situation they are in, but the main character Sorrel often speaks of her grandmother who lived in the Before time and taught her about things Before. It would have been nice to get an explanation about what occurred the transition from the Before to the After only recently happened and there are people living in the present time that actually know what happened.

Onto the story, the story begins in the town of Amat, a wilderness community where the people live off the land and get on pretty well. Our main character Sorrel is a presented as a brooding teen, when her village is attacked by mutants. The town is destroyed, most everyone is killed, and Sorrel just barely escapes. Sorrel's little brother is taken by one of the mutants and she is determined to go after them and avenge those she's lost. She also hopes to find some of her townsfolk alive, especially David, the boy she likes.  David and Sorrel's relationship is a plot point that was misleading in the summary.  They are described as boyfriend and girlfriend.  I have to disagree.  While they do clearly like each other, they aren't actually in a relationship.  They say a few words to each other in the beginning of the book, but then they spend the rest of the book trying to get back to each other.  Everyone is trying to keep them apart, but they were never actually together.  But I digress...

Sorrel ends up in this creepy cult town with the people called the Free. They are led by Martin, who made my skin crawl, I think he was supposed to have that effect. The Free believe that everything Martin says is law and that he can do no wrong.  It is pretty creepy.   I give Thomson credit for the icky feeling I got when I read this part of the story since it definitely delivered on the creep factor.    David along with everyone else the mutants left alive are sold into slavery by the mutants, while Sorrel's brother Eli is being well cared for by his new mutant protector. Sorrel eventually escapes Martin and the Free with the help of, Einstein, a mutant the Free were keeping captive and torturing. Sorrel and Einstein end up in the town of Dinawl in an attempt to find David and Eli. As you can imagine, she finds nothing but trouble and she also finds a resistance movement. Still fueled to find those she loves, she puts her trust in the resistance movement and begins to fight for the future.  Sorrel has a birthmark and it resembles something from the Before so she decides to something akin to Katniss and the Mockingjay from the Hunger Games.  The face of the revolution and the change that needs to happen to overthrow the corruption in society.  That part was fine but nothing we haven't seen before.  I found Sorrel to be irritating and immature, and I just don't see her being a revolutionary that saves the world as she is.  She has alot of growing up to do yet.
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Not all mutants are bad! Society has taken a step backwards and has reverted to destroying mutants as soon as they can but some survive.  Sorrel has to learn to trust one when her village is destroyed and her love interest and little brother are taken. Things aren't always what they seem to be in The New Dark.
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Interesting, Descriptive and mildly emotional.

The New Dark is about the Village of Amat and Sorrel. Sorrel runs away from her village when it is attacked by the mutants. When she comes back she finds almost everyone lying dead on the ground. But her brother Eli and her love interest David are missing. That's when she sets a journey to find them and rescue them. Will she find them or are they dead? 

The journey is definitely not an easy one for Sorrel. She faces enemies both as nature and as humans. David and Eli, on the other hand, are taken as prisoners by the mutants and they have hardships of their own.
The Mutants have been shown in two different light. One is their harsh, violent nature and the other as the sad, pathetic breed who are tortured by humans for fun. 

The plot is fast-paced and the writing is fairly simple. The author takes time to describe the world she has created. A sci-fi world which is so much different from the one we live in or can possibly imagine. The plot tends to get boring at times, but it gets better again. This keeps happening throughout the plot. 
It took me really long to finish this book. Maybe because there's a vivid description of almost everything and random events keep happening
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Unfortunately I got 18% into this book before I had to stop. It reads more like a draft than a complete novel. It introduced characters out then we don’t really see them again. It skips through days without giving the reader descriptions as to how these days are going. The MC jumps into action but it doesn’t make much sense. To book comes off rushed into the plot and trying to give slight backs story along the way but I think a few more drafts and editing could have taken this idea further and more creative renaming the fantasy and the world with more unique names.
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some typical dystopian features but interesting enough to keep my attention
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I found this book such a quick read, and it really didn't take me long to breeze through it, I found that the writing flowed really well, especially as the story is told from two perspectives (Sorrel, and David).

I found Sorrel at the start to be a bit of a whiney character, her mother asked her to do her bit, and instead she'd rather sit around with David, and had a tantrum when her mother called her on it. 

I did find that she grew within the novel after the attack on Amat, and the journey that she goes on, she comes to realise that not all mutants are the same especially when she arrives in Ulbrrom and meets Einstein.

I really did not like Mara, what an absolute witch she was, what she does to Sorrel, and then lies to David about it really made my blood boil.

I really did like this story, and I will carry on with the series, I am assuming that it is a series as the ending wasn't a cliffhanger, but it was open-ended, meaning there is more to come from Sorrel.
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I need to buy this when it comes out, I loved everything! The writing style, characters, plot. I loved how it always left you wanting more so you had to turn the next page to see what the characters are doing. The New Dark has two main characters that share the point of view through the whole story and its refreshing to see that both are action packed and pick up where they left of. I would recommend this to every fantasy lover ( and it will be on my bookshelf in November!)
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DNF at 53 pages.


This book has a great premise, but I personally didn't like the way it was executed and it triggered a trauma, so I decided not to finish it.

The writing was okay-ish, the worldbuilding was lacking and the pace was just off - fast when I wanted it to be slow and slow when I wanted it to speed up.

I will say the sexual abuse was minimal: touching, looking, attempts at kissing. But it still brought up my trauma, I'm afraid. Books should have trigger warnings, in my opinion.

Perhaps you will enjoy this book. This is my opinion.

*Thank you to the publisher for granting me a copy of this book to review*
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Summary: Set in a post-modern society world, The New Dark features two main protagonists: Sorrel and David, who are very much in love. After a devastating attack on Amat, their village, Sorrel barely escapes while David, Sorrel’s young brother Eli, and a few other teenagers are captured by the attackers, called mutants. Sorrel is then “rescued” (kidnapped) by a man named Martin, who gives Sorrel the creeps, and taken to a small society of people who blindly believe in the Creator and call themselves the Free. Meanwhile, David and the others get sold to a tavern owner in the poverty-ridden Dregs, which is a suburb of sorts of a larger, mutant-overrun, city named Dinawl.

Review: This book has a lot of potential. I find the setting, which is sort of a mix of anarchy and feudalism, very intriguing. However, I found the plot to be very confusing, especially toward the end, and my understanding of the actual setting left a lot to be desired. I would have perhaps liked a prologue of sorts explaining what society is now like and how it came to be this way from our modern society (referenced as “the Before”). I also would have liked more background on the mutants themselves; clearly there’s a story there, but it wasn’t well explained. 
Sorrel’s relationship with David is also not very fleshed out. The opening pages are pretty much dedicated to Sorrel speaking of her love for David, but I haven’t actually seen any interactions between the two that indicate how they came to love each other. It came off as insta-love. It’s obvious that the two love each other (as they both say so multiple times), but I didn’t feel like there was really all that much depth to it.
Overall, I found The New Dark to be interesting in theory but confusing in practice. If I decide to read the next two books, hopefully more will be explained.
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This was a lovely dystopian/fantasy! The world building was great, and the characters were fleshed out well. I will be interested to see where the rest of the trilogy goes.
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The New Dark by Lorraine Thomson is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. I found this an interesting read with mutants that are treated poorly, but at the same time they raid and kill villages. This is about a girl that survives a raid and is looking for her boyfriend and her brother, they got separated after the raid. The girl befriends a mutant and he helps her. It is interesting, it got slow in a couple of places but immediately picked back up. Enjoyed it. Love the cover!
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