The New Dark

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Jan 2018

Member Reviews

The cover of this book is perfect for sucking in the avid fantasy reader. It is beautiful and mysterious and begs to be read. Unfortunately, for me, this was the highlight of the book. Thomson’s main character, Sorrel, was very hard to connect with. She was whiney and whimsical in the beginning and then took and all too quick one eighty to a hardened and vengeful heroine. The world building was very poor. We could understand the devastation and some of the surroundings when thought of from other post-apocalyptic materials. There was now back story to the “before” and left way too many questions to be answered. Seeing as this is the beginning to a trilogy, I understand that material may be discovered in future installments, yet after reading this one, I have no desire to further my reading. There was no real new material here. The mutants, kidnappings, and quests are all too basic and without a new world to adventure through or characters that jumped off the page to follow, the entire story fell flat.
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Nitty gritty time it is. While the synopsis is amazing and draws you in don’t expect too much beyond that and the beautiful eye-catching cover.  Yes the book was okay, I finished it after all. But it really is a big mess. The story jumps quickly between scenes, and takes so many turns it’s hard to keep straight.

While it starts of very strong and promising after about 4 chapters is rolls downhill to a become a big cluster of mish mosh. Through the whole book I kept thinking that sounds so similar to the Razorland trilogy and Ann Aguirre. There is no real explanation to explain why the world has fallen into such despair or what’s the cause for the “mutants” . Use that term lightly because as it seems they are just people born with severe birth defects who were not killed after birth.

In  The New Dark there are several communities, Amat ( people who live secluded & live off the land), Free ( Cult like, think FLDS type), Mutants (people born with defects) and the people of Dinawl (people who live in a crappy rundown city who buy  people who don’t live in Dinawl, also lives among the mutant). The way that they are all thrown in together just turns into a horrid updated version of an underground railroad effect.  Actually all the people come off as just ignorant of each other’s lifestyle.

Now onto our cast line up, Thomson doesn’t really give you an age of her characters so you kind of have to wing it. While many of the characters come off as being in their late teens, the “mutants” tend to give of an older vibe of my early 30’s, while the people in the Free come off as all ages.  Even with all that everyone seems to have a scene when they are acting as a toddler, with the exception of Eli who is actually a toddler.

The relationship development between the characters is just painful, and not like painful as in they physically or emotionally hurt each other ( they do that too) but painful as in they all seem to struggle with any kind of empathy  while all seeming to come off at Self absorbed in their own quest.

While the storyline is confusing that is mainly due to the back and forth POV between multiple characters with no indication as to whom the next chapter is going to be about. Weather it jumps from Sorrel (our heroine) and David (love of her life), Occasionally you’ll be thrown a POV of a secondary character as well. After a few sentences into the chapter you’re able to decipher and put it into order of where in the timeline you are. As with the swapping of POV the storyline is also retold and you get to find out if your ahead or behind the POV you were just reading.

So with all that being said the Thomson did an amazing job creating the scenes, really making them come alive. As I said in the beginning it starts out amazing with an epic battle scene that takes places.

The book was ok, there were a lot of great scenes the structure of how the story was told, the multiple POV and the guessing of where in the timeline you are made it very difficult to read and follow.

The books also just kind of ends. Now I know this is supposed to be a trilogy and this is just book 1, but there wasn’t even a cliff hanger to make you want to continue. It just kind of ended on a very flat not in the POV of a secondary character, which I found very odd.

While I applaud the dynamics of the scene creations, the book left me very underwhelmed.
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Mini review:

I received this E-ARC via Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

DNF 

I was really looking forward to reading this! It sounded right up my alley. Unfortunately it didn't work for me. 

The beginning totally turned me off. And I just couldn't get back into it. 

I do still recommend.
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Review copy kindly provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Sadly, I did not like this. I couldn't get into it until about the 70% mark and then it didn't stay interesting. So it's basically only interesting from about 70-90% of the book. The characters were not enjoyable and I tend to dislike books with dislikable characters.
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I did not like this one. I love fantasy and science fiction and half my anual readings belong to this genre, but I found this one excessively simple on the writing, unoriginal and a bit tiring, specially at the beginning with David and Mara going to the big city to be sold as slaves (something you can easily see, not a surprise there). Writer could have made the trip more eventful, more interesting, more descriptions on the characters, the mutants...Also, the background is nonexistent, there is mutants, there is people and an world that came apart somehow. The beginning also is disappointing. In YA novels you expect a young girl and a boy to be in love, or to be friends that become something else...in this case, on the third line..there you go, couple to be already there. No time to know them or like them because in three pages they are already separated so you cannot possibly feel empathy for their pain...

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher to allow me to read this, but for me, this book is a no go, I am actually glad I did not buy this on my Saturday trip to the bookshop. It simply does not reach the minimum quality to be something to enjoy

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2156144135
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3.5 stars (release date Nov. 1, 2017)

 I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

This was a pretty good post-apocalyptic YA Fantasy book. It's the first in a series. The worldbuilding and character building was a bit light and parts of the story is predictable, but it was still entertaining. 

Sorrel lives in a small village of Amat with her mother, younger brother Eli and her baby sister. She is in love with her childhood best friend David, but isn't sure if he shares her feelings. The village is small and the villagers help each other survive. No one from he village knows much about life "Before". One day a group of mutants attacks the village and kills all of the adults and kidnaps the children while Sorrel is out of the village. She witnesses the attack from afar and as she enters the village, sees her mother and sister killed and her brother Eli taken by a mutant. She can't find David or her other friends anywhere. 

Heartbroken and unsure what to do, Sorrel sets out to track the mutants in an effort to find Eli and David. She ventures further than she had ever gone and sees a whole new world, including remnants from life "Before". She runs into different groups of people that will challenge her ideas of what is right and wrong. Meanwhile David fights to survive captivity and escape so he can find Sorrel.

The story is fast paced and keeps the reader's attention. It's a quick read and I look forward to the next book in the series.
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I’ve been given an ARC by Bastei Entertainment via NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.
The New Dark was really difficult to get into. Something about it just wasn’t quite there. I didn’t really get into it until about a third of the way into it.
In all honesty I had great hopes for this book but by the time I had made it through I was not a huge fan.
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Thank you Netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest and fair review. 

In all honesty I had great hopes for this book but by the time I had made it through I was not a huge fan. It took me a long time to get into it, at least half way through and by the end it was dragging again. 

I felt that while the writing was really good there was not enough explanation - there is no explanation as to what happened to the world as we know it and how it came the "Now". 

I felt that I couldn't connect with the characters particularly the main character, it was difficult for me to understand why they would do things they would do. 
The only character I truly enjoyed reading was David - the growth and determination of his character picked up the book for me. 

I would recommend this to any dystopian lovers.
I would say that this is alright but unfortunately I highly doubt I will be picking up the second book.
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Sorrel's life changed from one moment to another. The hard but happy life she has always know is ended by the destruction of her village by mutants. A race of sub-humans that have become twisted and scarred by a genetic defect at birth in this future time period.

The Before is our modern time. Some relics from this time still exist but life is consumed with survival now. A simple life of hunting, gathering and little travel from one community to another.

The bright side of her hardscrabble life is David. Childhood friends has blossomed into something more. Their love is interrupted by the attack on the village. Sorrel manages to escape but David and her younger brother, Eli have been kidnapped and sold into slavery.

This story is told in both Sorrel's and David's perspective, giving insight into their harrowing adventures. This works well to expand the world and the scope of the each main character's experiences.

The story has good pacing and keeps the reader moving ahead toward the true conflict that begins to arise at the end of the book, paving way for future installments. The cliff hanger ending is genius.

My one complaint is sometimes the dialogue is stilted and falls flat but all in all, I look forward to Sorrel's and David's return.
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A dystopian world set in the future of humanity. This book shows what could happen if an apocalyptic event happened and the world changed, but some things never change do they.
We follow Sorelle and David who each have their own adventure trying to find each other after their families and homes are destroyed. What follows is a high stakes adventure filled with mutants, worshippers, and slaves. 
A great read for anyone who enjoys future dystopian worlds.
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The New Dark  is the first novel in a new YA trilogy based generations after the (unspecified) apocalypse. It centres on the struggles of Sorrel and David, two would-be lovers from the same peaceful village who are rudely introduced to the wider world after a mutant attack which sees the pair separated from each other.

With most of her family dead after the vaguely described opening action sequence, Sorrel sets out from her village to find her little brother Eli, and her crush, David. What follows is an often frustrating journey through repeated captivity and escape scenarios that is oddly readable and fast-paced. 

Sorrel, the female lead, is a well-rounded character if somewhat petulant and slow to get the point of most interactions, while at the same time quite refreshing in a traditionally male-dominated narrative. David is a hot-headed, perpetually angry (and naive) young man, whose stubbornness comes across less as an admirable trait and more as an excuse to drag out a couple of slow sections of the story. The support cast works well to keep these too likeable enough to keep reading though, and almost none are wasted plot-wise.

With many chapters ending in cliffhangers, the book becomes a quick read, which suits its intended audience. But it ends abruptly with just about every plot point still open, as though the editors picked a random page from the larger text to cut to book two rather than shoot for a traditional cliffhanger, or better yet a conclusion to the events set in motion. Too many trilogies today read like one big story hacked into three easy-to-digest parts to maximise profits.

Ultimately while I found the book to be pleasantly readable, and the actions of its lead character to be a refreshing change from the gung-ho slaughter many of its genre seem to fall into, The New Dark didn’t shine as a Captain Doomsday Recommendation. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like it though, and fans of the genre would do well to give this one a go. It won’t tax your brain too much, but it won’t spoon feed you either, and while much of its structure has been done before, there are some surprisingly thoughtful nuances to help satiate a reader’s appetite.
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I would describe The New Dark as more of a dystopian novel with bits of paranormal and fantasy thrown in. The beginning of the book gripped me right away. The action was intense and the book was very fast-paced which was nice. Although I couldn't really determine what year the story took place in, it must have been many many years into the future. Due to some kind of war and destruction years ago, the citizens of in this new world suffered greatly and mutants (which were really just deformed humans) were feared and often misjudged. I think that was what made this book really shine. The fact that mutants were just deformed humans who were either killed at birth or somehow escaped to live elsewhere. Although they were feared and hunted in their own way, they still had to live through prejudices. They weren't perfect nor were they monsters either. 
The heroine, Sorrel was supposed to be some kind of savior of sorts but that itself was a mystery because it wasn't really explained why. The only hint was a marking on her skin showing the symbols that was later recognized as the "savior" or the hope of the future. 
Sorrel, through great tragedy became separated from her family and the boy she grew to love as more than a friend. Throughout the book she was trying to find her brother and David and at times the author teased you just a bit, giving you a tiny ray of hope that she and David would reunite. But nope, the author twists the plot elsewhere and you're left with a big frown.
Sorrel is really the main character in the book although we did get to see David's point of view every so often. Sorrel was smart and cunning and her knowledge of herbs helped her and her reluctant mutant friend along the way. She was a fun character to read and develop an interest for.
The villains were written well and the author made me dislike them immediately. And even though Sorrel suffered through them, she eventually escaped from her tormentors.
The ending was a bit abrupt though as I had hoped something would have happened to bring Sorrel, her brother, and David together again. But it just sort of left it to a completely new mystery. Hopefully Ms. Thomson will finish writing a sequel because I want to know why Sorrel's skin markings are keys to being the "savior" and of course what their future will be like.
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**I was given an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley and be-ebooks for an honest opinion.**

Overall, I thought the book was pretty good. I thought the storyline was solid enough that it kept my interest. I felt there could have been more details in certain areas. A little more background maybe, especially in regards to the mutants. Maybe that comes in the next book. Visually I kept imaging an ogre and I don't think that was the intent of the author. I wasn't a fan of the ending at all. In fact, I thought maybe my ARC copy was incomplete. I think it was intended to be a cliffhanger but it didn't have that affect on me at all.
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I love a book that entertains me, a book I find hard to put down, a book I can just lose myself in, a book that leaves me wanting more and more........and this was one of those books! A wonderful story and great characters. Sorrel does not have many memories from "before", only of now where there is no internet, no electricity, and little food. Then mutants attack her town, Amat, take her little brother Eli, and the boy she loves, David. She sets out to track them down, a long, tortuous and dangerous journey. Along the way she learns more about who she is, about friendship and betrayal, about love and loyalty. I am not going to miss the next books in the trilogy!
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There was so much that went into this novel. I honestly think it was one of the best novels I have read in a while. It had sadness, despair, hope, a hint of romance, revulsion, friendship.. it had a little of everything. And while in the beginning I was wondering if the book had any redeemable qualities, I kept going and it was definitely worth it!!
Now I have to wait for the next one :(

Wonderful book!! 

I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
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The New Dark is about a girl, Sorrel, who lives in a apocalyptic forest society that is attacked by mutants. Her people are slaughtered and she is the only one who makes it out alive and well. Other young members of her village are taken by the mutants, including David, the boy she loves, and Eli, her younger brother. She is then thrust on a journey to find them and save them. The attack on her village by mutants happens so quickly in the book that the reader is unable to understand what is happening and therefore care about the events. The little explanation and backstory on the world and characters mean the reader is jarred from the very beginning and thrust into an unexplained world with a character that we don't particularly care about. The main character, Sorrel, is suppose to come off as a brave and strong heroine but instead comes off as a naive and quick-judging, childish character. The entire world is unexplained and the characters unrealistic, unchanging throughout the horrors they undergo in the novel. There is no sense of time in the book, creating further confusion on what is happening and putting no tension on the stories progression. The novel featured several different places that were close in proximity but did not have knowledge of one another, though they seemed to share language and culture. I couldn't get a feel for the state of the world and how it had become the way it was portrayed, which made the actions of several characters seem meaningless. Overall, this novel had a good premise that was executed in a confusing way with characters that contrasted thoughts and actions.
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They came thundering through her village, killing, kidnapping and destroying all that remained. Mutants, a product of a post-apocalyptic world. Somehow Sorrel survived and escaped, a girl now alone in a hostile world berating herself for her failure to save her family, for feeling fear and for surviving the monsters her peaceful village was no match for.

Sorrel is now determined to somehow find and rescue her baby brother and hopefully the boy she loves. When she is “rescued” by a fanatical religious cult who consider the mutants to be physical proof of all that is evil. They have proof, they regularly torture one they keep chained in the town square. To avoid becoming a baby factory, she escapes, but she does not go alone and so begins Sorrel’s education into of the world around her.

THE NEW DARK by Lorraine Thomson tells of a world where the lines of good and evil are blurred, where truths are hidden in propaganda, lack of knowledge and fear-mongering. Being different doesn’t mean one is a monster and being “normal” or not deformed doesn’t make a person trustworthy or honorable.

While so many background questions remain unanswered and there isn’t the depth of an adult read, this tale appears to be the perfect read for middlegrade and young adults who want the “now” of a story, and there is a lot of “now” to tell. There is a message about thinking for one’s self, being responsible for one’s actions and to question what one doesn’t think is right, as well as looking deeper than the surface.

The pace is fantastic, Sorrel’s characterization is well-done and the feeling that these people became so isolated and so polarized from not thinking for themselves, but following like sheep and drinking the “Kool-aid” fed to them, it actually mimics our own society in terrifying ways.

I received an ARC edition from Bastei Entertainment in exchange for my honest review. I am voluntarily reviewing this complimentary copy!

Trilogy: The Dark Times Trilogy - Book 1
Publisher: Bastei Entertainment (November 1, 2017)
Publication Date: November 1, 2017
Genre: YA Dystopian
Print Length: 221 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
For Reviews & More: http://tometender.blogspot.com
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The series has promise, I only gave it 3 stars because the worst thing an author can do to me is make the main character unlikable. I hate Sorrel. She's immature and annoying. She's so disrespectful to her mother at the beginning of the book. If I were David and saw that scene I wouldnt even want her. And she never gets any better throughout the book. I also found the book lacking in explanation about what actually happened in the world. I want to know how it got that way, and how the mutants came to be.
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Overall it kept me wanting to read more. I wish it had been longer and shared more information about before the world changed and how the mutants became the enemies.
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So many dystopian books are about a heroic Young girl who has the power to wright the wrongs and make the world a better place.  This is a little different, Sorrell, the lead character displays cowardly behaviour and caution, she trusts people and feels guilt. Thats what makes this story different from so many others out there. 
Its a familiar story of societies living in silos and the world is not what it used to be, with come communities believing they are now in Utopia.
Its definitely worth a read, and hopefully the trilogy keeps up the story and explores the characters a little more.
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