First off, I would like to apologize to the author. If he’s been following my Twitter feed at all, he knows that even though I finished reading Dawn of Darkness last night, this is longer than I meant to take to post my review. I may not have written one of these before, but it seems to me that they should be written as soon as possible after reading the book, and definitely before you start reading another one. So, Daniel, I’m sorry. I hang my head in shame and offer you brownies.
Now then, moving right along! Knowing myself and my whimsical (hah, that’s putting it nicely) nature, I took notes while reading Dawn of Darkness so that even if I wasn’t able to write the review as quickly as I’d like, I’d have an idea of what was on my mind as I read. Look at me being all S-M-R-T smart.
Everybody ready for Murphy’s first attempt at book reviews? All right, here we go!
Dawn of Darkness is, as the author himself puts it, paranormal dystopian fiction with elements of romance. I freely admit that it’s the first book of its kind that I’ve read, but this doesn’t bother me in the least, because I enjoyed it immensely from beginning to end. It’s not a long read at just under 200 pages, but by the end of it, I was cursing, and I swear, Daniel, once you get across the pond, you’re not so far from me, just you see if I don’t smack you for that ending should we ever meet face to face! You’re lucky that this was book one of a trilogy, or I’d be gathering up the torches and pitchforks.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The novel is told in first-person POV by Mik, the lead character. Typically, I’m guilty of not enjoying these books (either writing them or reading them) because I always seem to find some little nagging area where a change in viewpoint could have made everything go so much better. Mik, however, shines as a narrator. His voice is very clear, distinct and snarky, and consistently made me laugh throughout the book, and nor does the description suffer as a result of having a first-person POV narrator. The description given is as clean and concise as the writing itself and doesn’t detract from the storyline.
The storyline itself is an interesting creature. When I first started reading, there seemed to be a fairly clear plot laid out in front of me, but I found that wasn’t at all the case. I won’t go into details as I know I for one hate spoilers, but GAH! How Daniel came up with some of that, I don’t even know. As suits the type of novel this is, the plot moves along at a steady pace, with both action and romance starting early on, and managed to neatly tie up most of the loose ends in the story by its conclusion (except one giant one, which I can’t complain about here because *insert dramatic sigh* spoilers).
Setting is another element that I thought Daniel handled extremely well. Although, in keeping with Mik’s narrative, the description was never stifling, it was very effective at conveying an image of what the novel’s dystopian France looked like. The mention of the Eiffel Tower in particular is something that struck me as eerie and brought the novel’s setting home to me though I’ve never been to France.
Main characters Mik and Ash are both very unique and Daniel did an excellent job of making them come to life on the page. Mik’s snarkiness and Ash’s laidback approach to life make them, in my opinion, an adorable odd couple that I greatly enjoyed reading. When I said this is the first book of its kind I’ve read, I wasn’t kidding; thanks to one book, I can now check dystopia and M/M romance off my list. Don’t think that I haven’t read it because I’m against it just because I’m a straight female; it’s more that it’s never really actively piqued my curiosity. No longer the case after reading this. Mik and Ash are adorable, and I want more of them! Now please! I didn’t mention this fact any sooner because the type of romance found within a novel’s pages shouldn’t be the focal point, nor the judging criteria, of any novel. And with this one, it isn’t, which I enjoyed to no end. These characters are attracted to each other, and a relationship develops out of that. It really can be as simple and lovely as that.
The characters themselves, in addition to being cute together and highly amusing to the reader, also showed great development throughout the plot. The characters learned, from the world around them, from the people around them, and from each other. Everything did not come easily to them, and yet, they didn’t have to fight tooth and nail for everything, either–in fact, both Ash and Mik have rough spots in their pasts, as do we all. By the novel’s end, neither was the same person they had been on starting out, which, to my mind, is always the mark of a good novel.
So, in conclusion, all I can say is that I had a great time reading this book and would recommend it to anyone and everyone I thought might be interested. The entire thing was great fun to read, and I can now add myself to the number of people on Twitter urging Daniel to write the sequel faster. I enjoyed the book very much and can’t wait to read more!
Next up, as previously promised, is A.K. Marshall’s The Fishing Widow. Can’t say when that review will be up, what with Christmas coming up and all. I’m a child of divorce, and my boyfriend happens to be another child of divorce; can you figure out what that means? Yeah, lots of turkey. And before you get jealous, let me say that last year, I believe we ate no less than five Christmas meals in the span of three days. There is a damn good reason I don’t eat turkey outside of the holidays!
Until next time, drive fast, laugh often, and always tip your waiters! Those folks handle your food, guys–why would you ever want to piss them off?!