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Review: The New Dark

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Title:The New Dark

Author:Lorraine Thomson

Series:Book 1

Rating★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Note:I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

“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.

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Sorrel was calculating. She took her time and thought things through instead of just jumping into situations. She also knew how to manipulate her enemies. One bad thing was that she was very angry and prejudiced against mutants.

David was a bit more impulsive, but he was very loyal and protective of his friends (even the ones who didn’t always deserve it).

Martin was very… creepy and manipulative as well. Only, he did it with darker intentions.

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The shooting star trailed through the sky before disappearing into nothing. It was supposed to be a good omen, but David couldn’t see what good could come of something so far away when misery was so close at hand.

 

I want to start out by saying thank you to the publisher for approving me for this ARC! All opinions are my own.

The New Dark was a pretty quick and fun read. I would say it has some similar elements to The Hunger Games series (The Hunger Games review, book 1) and the New Bloods series by Michelle Bryan (Awaken review, book 1). Both are really good if you’re interested in checking them out.

Things kick off really fast in the beginning, with David and Sorrel’s village being destroyed within the first chapter. And from there the book alternates chapters between David and Sorrel’s points of view. I think for David’s POV, his story continued along pretty fast with things being very tense as they were dragged along by mutants. But for Sorrel’s POV things felt a little slower. For her, it was being stuck in a new village and looking for a way out. She learned more about the Free and their way of life, but I was just eager to see more action.

I think what I enjoyed the most about the book was the city of Dinawl. It seemed like the center of everything because mutants and humans had to coexist. It wasn’t peaceful, exactly, but it seemed like the city (at least no other was mentioned). While in most instances in the book mutants were treated like trash, in Dinawl the tables were turned with humans being kidnapped from other villages and being sold as slaves to others. It was a corrupt city where you could buy anyone with the right amount of money. It was hard to know who you could trust if anyone at all.

In an act of sorrowful self-preservation, Sorrel internalised her horror and grief. She thought her heart had been so broken in Amat that it could suffer no further damage, but here it was, breaking all over again.

I also want to talk about the main characters a bit. I preferred Sorrel over David because she tended to think things through. When she arrived with the Free she took her time studying her surroundings and the people in order to figure out how to get away. She was a planner and I enjoyed that part of her. At the same time, I didn’t like how explosive her anger was towards mutants. She was definitely prejudiced, but seeing her character grow over the book made it worth it.

David, however, was more impulsive. It bothered me a bit that he was always trying to solve things with violence or aggression instead of thinking it through (his plans rarely went his way). He didn’t know how to read people or how to manipulate them the way that Sorrel did.

One thing that I didn’t really care for was the romance aspect of the story. It was stated outright a few times that David and Sorrel were in love, but I didn’t really get that while reading. It would have been better if we had seen the romance between them develop, but that was hard to see considering they were split up for most of the book. It felt a bit like insta-love, but not really because we never saw it. I’m hoping the next book fixes this up a bit.

And then my final thoughts will be on the ending. I liked Sorrel’s part in the ending, and how things ended up between her and the group she met up with. I liked that she didn’t fully embrace the image they wanted for her, but that she was willing to help instill change. The actual final pages of the book bothered me because it didn’t feel like an ending. It felt a bit awkward and the scene itself didn’t really read like it was saying “the end”. I think if the scene with Brig was taken out it would’ve been better.

The New Dark was just released today, November 1st, and it’s really worth checking out, so go, go go!

 

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