“Black Dawn” by Mallory McCartney

The Black Dawn setup is typical of the Teen Paranormal genre: a group of misfits with varied magical skills, isolated from society, battles a superior force with a totalitarian leadership. All of them are young, beautiful, powerful, and traumatized by the life they have been forced into. What sets this book apart from most in the genre is the psychological logic that drives the story. Given the personality and the forces acting on the characters, we naturally expect them to act in the way they do.

This tale has a complex plot which comes together quite well, although I question the technique of solving problems late in the story by introducing new characters and new forces into the conflict. But this is Book One in a series; I can’t really say that it’s late in the story, when the conflict continues into the next book.

The main strength of the novel is the complex characters with complicated and conflicting motivations. In a very realistic way, people aren’t aware of their own failings. It is especially interesting to watch Memphis, who is failing as a leader and doesn’t realize it. This goes far beyond the usual macho, “I’m the boss and I’m beautiful” characters that populate most teen Paranormal stories.

Unfortunately, while this book has decent proofreading, it contains all the structural mistakes and grammar errors that a beginning author without a good editor makes. Fortunately, the target readership doesn’t care. Recommended for teenage fans of the Paranormal. I’m looking forward to what this writer will produce in the future.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

About the Author: Gordon Long

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