Black Feathers – Black Dawn #1 – Joseph D’Lacey
Release Date: March 26th, 2013
Publisher: Angry Robot
Age Group: Adult
Black Feathers is a modern fantasy set in two epochs: the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, and generations into the future in its aftermath, the Bright Day.
In each era, a child undertakes a perilous journey to find a dark messiah known as The Crowman. In their hands lies the fate of the planet as they attempt to discover whether The Crowman is our saviour… or the final incarnation of evil.
I’m a bit conflicted about this books, because it’s not something you can read as a straight forward story. There is so much more going on, lots of mysteries and secrets that aren’t all solved at the end of the book, which makes you long for the next one so you can see if what you thought is actually true.
Black Feathers is a book you need to sleep a few nights on, thinking about the message behind the book and all the duality you encounter while reading (is the Crowman the good guy, or is he also the bad guy?). There is a strong message in this book. It deals with the apocalypse and throughout the book it’s mentioned many times that the earth is revolting, shrugging of parasites (humans) that have used her but have never given anything back. That’s actually what everyone is warning us about now with the climate change etc.
D’Lacey isn’t afraid of some gory details, so it’s kind of hard to put a single genre on this book. Though it’s called a Fantasy book, it’s something deeper than that, a horror element is definitely there, along with a little eco-warning. It’s partially apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic, which is really interesting to read.
The story is more of an intimate journey with our 2 protagonists, one of them struggling with a declining earth and all the suffering that comes with it and the other coming to terms with her destiny and the retelling of a story that may take all her resolve and strength.
The gorey details only added to the book in my opinion, giving it an edge it needed, some violence to underline the rough situation Gordon, one of our main characters, has to live through.
There were times I though “Huh, the story’s slowing down a bit, I hope the pacing won’t stutter to a halt”, and then something major happens, mostly something I didn’t see coming at all, which draws me back in to the story all over again.
One thing that annoyed me though, was the constant crying. I was brought up with my parents telling me that crying doesn’t solve anything, although it can be a relieve sometimes. The main characters in this book cried every chapter, and yes, they had it rough, so they had a right to cry now and then, but it was a bit too much for me. It’s good to show the weaknesses in your characters, but you don’t want to make them seem too weak.
But that’s just my opinion, maybe something to do with the way I was brought up.
Joseph D’Lacey writes beautifully, it’s a joy to read, so easy and flowing, but with a certain intelligence. Writing on a higher level.
All in all, I really enjoyed Black Feathers, it was absolutely intriguing and fascinating and I’m still not sure I understand everything the author wanted to put in his story. I’d recommend Black Feathers to anyone who wants a more intelligent story, with lots of secrets and mystery, people who don’t mind a little thinking while reading (and after it).