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Black Dawn #1

Black Dawn

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The end of an Empire, The rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory's arrival she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.

180 pages, ebook

First published February 14, 2017

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About the author

Mallory McCartney

6 books465 followers
Mallory McCartney currently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband, their dachshunds Link, and Leonard and their sphynx cats Luna, Legolas, Ivy and Lily. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found day dreaming about fantasy worlds or bingeing her favorite horror movies.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 273 reviews
Profile Image for MischaS_.
785 reviews1,343 followers
February 20, 2019
***Advance Review Copy generously provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

For me, it is always a good test if an author publishes a prequel or 0,5 story if you can understand it without reading the first book in the series. It should be understood, but sometimes it misses the mark.
I did not read Black Dawn, it was in my to-read pile for a very long time, and I thought this might be a good place where to start. However, I found myself grasping and confused by the story and the world. I felt like I would need to read the Black Dawn to fully understood the story which was disappointing. I can also say that I was surprised that this prequel was rather lengthy!

From what I understood it seems like the original story of the villain from the series which is a fun thing, I love the idea. Now I wonder whether my opinion of the villain would be influenced by reading the prequel.

Where the writing is enchanting and the villain becoming a villain is definitely fun to read I need to include where the book fell flat for me.

The whole school setting with magic/fae/vampire/whatever is getting a bit overplayed and here it did not seem particularly original.

I cannot say that I have a favourite character and that is a problem, not one character caught my eye enough that I would care for them.

Sometimes, especially during fight scenes, it seemed jumpy? Like they suddenly did something, and it did not seem continuous, I felt like I missed a part of the action which would explain it. I found myself re-reading quite often.

And lastly, my favourite part of Renegade was the prologue, and I was very disappointed that there was the time jump, I wanted to follow the early days after the prologue, and the disappointment never disappeared. The prologue is the high point of the book, and I do not think that that's what you want in a book.

The real rating of this book is 2,5/5⭐.
Profile Image for Candace Robinson.
Author 49 books996 followers
May 18, 2017
So, last night I did a reread of this book since there will be a prequel coming out after the summer, and my daughter will be out for summer break stopping me from doing anything! I also had to sit down ACOWAR for a bit after getting mad before I pick it back up! This book was even better the second time around, and I feel like the way the author describes things, I feel like I'm right there! Loved the characters, especially Brokk! He's my little precious baby that I want to hold and coddle. There are different character perspectives which help you get a feel of the different situations and each character is different and never feels like I am reading the same character but with a different heading name. The end had me aching for book 2 even more.

This was action packed from the very first page. Review on my blog https://literarydust.wordpress.com/20...
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,157 reviews1,516 followers
December 15, 2017
Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney is a young adult fantasy read with a touch of romance added into the story. A young woman has been living her life not knowing that she is from a distant land that is plagued in war until she is pulled right into the middle of it all. The story is told by alternating the point of view between several of the characters with each chapter in the book.

I can easily sum up my feelings with this one in one simple complaint, the book is relatively short so I don’t think it was what was there that brought my rating down but what wasn’t. The story drops readers right into the action and ongoing conflict and I quietly waited for things to be explained more but there wasn’t much in the way of world/character building. The lack of information made the story sort of hard to follow and become connected to.

There were also a lot of good elements in this one for a fantasy but again I would still have liked it all to be explored more than it was. The characters could kind of blend when switching the point of view until getting to know what was going on but it’s one that once feeling a bit more comfortable it’s over. Not necessarily a bad read overall but one that just felt OK in the end.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
Profile Image for Sheila G.
506 reviews97 followers
February 20, 2019
Reread 02/20/2019

"Years ago there was a girl with an unusual ability. Her name was Emory Fae."

Content Warning: Borderline possession? Violence
I think I may have underrated this book the first time around. While I found it enjoyable before, I found it doubly so this time through! Yes, this book is a little short for my liking. I cannot complain, though, because it is jammed packed full of goodness from start to finish. Especially finish. That's not a proper sentence, but whatever.

Due to this book being shorter, I don't want to say too much for fear of giving anything away. I will say that the characters are well fleshed out and feel real. Not only that, but they each have interesting and weighty roles. Emory Fae, is the main character, but shares the stage with Brokk, Memphis, and Nyx. I can't wait to figure out what happens with these characters (especially Brokk) in Queen to Ashes! If you enjoy strong characters, twisted plots, faeries (known as the Oilean), magic, and fast-paced stories, I'd recommend on checking this series out!

My Rating: ★★★★1/2

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I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Well this was a nice little find! I say "little," because this is on the shorter end for a fantasy read. I'm used to at least three-hundred pages for a fantasy. But, I enjoyed it all the same!

Naturally with a shorter read, there isn't as much detail in world building and character development. However, the writing style and the way the story advanced made this lack of information work. I will always take more if I can get it, but the information that was given was enough to keep the plot moving forward and engaged me as the reader. 

The beginning of the story begins on Earth, where we meet our heroine Emory Reia Fae. A girl who grew up in an orphanage gets a reality check when two men who have haunted her nightmares for years suddenly show up in her house. 

She is spirited away to the world on which she was born--Kiero--where she re-learns her past. Not only does she originate from Kiero, she also learns that she is the rightful heir to the throne. But her lineage was overthrown by a vile man known as Adair. Emory joins up with the Black Dawn rebellion to earn back her rightful spot on the thrown, and to overturn the damage Adair has done to their world. 

With having a history on Kiero, Emory also discovers that her past holds some dark secrets--some her own doing, but some by other people. With a complicated past, and tumultuous future, Emory must relearn who she is and the power she holds in order to follow the purpose laid out before her. 

Black Dawn is an interesting plot written from multiple characters' perspectives, so the reader gets a glimpse of both warring sides and their motives. The end is left wide open, allowing for a sequel to follow. I just heard that there will be a prequel of Black Dawn coming out sometime in July 2018, so be looking out for that!

Overall, this was a great, fast-paced read. I'm looking forward for more in all areas, to get a better picture of this world and what all is happening in it. My favorite aspect of it was that it was very clean!

Vulgarity: None!
Sexual content: Kissing only.
Violence: Some, but not very graphic. 

3.5 stars. 

A big thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!
Profile Image for Anja H..
732 reviews449 followers
September 2, 2018

The plot and world of Black Dawn sounded really interesting and unique when I read the blurb, but I honestly think the execution could have been better.

This story is about Emory Fae, a girl whisked away from her normal life and brought to an alternate world called Kiero, where she discovers she is basically a queen with superpowers. She joins the rebellion that tries to overthrow the evil current ruler.

Sounds interesting right? But because this book is extremely short and consisted of non-stop action, I couldn’t really connect to any of the characters and I didn’t particularly like any of them. Everything felt very rushed. Emory is supposed to change the course of the battle but to me, she was weak and I don’t see why her powers are supposed to be so extraordinary. She didn’t contribute a lot to the story and the action.
Also, the insta-love were completely unnecessary and felt forced. We all know I much prefer a slow burn over this!

This could have been so much better if only this was longer and there was more character development. I loved the world and the concept, and I hope the sequel and prequel will be better!

Received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Candace Robinson.
Author 49 books996 followers
December 23, 2019
I loved this book and the world building so much! Also, I really liked the multiple POV points because I could get into each of the characters’ heads! Mallory knows how to write so well with dialogue that feels amazingly real!

Also, the boys! I love them all! Brokk is probably my favorite though! And I love Emory too! She’s strong and has to adjust to the things that have happened to her, but she finds a way to! Need the next book!
Profile Image for Anastasia シ.
459 reviews113 followers
June 18, 2018
Full Review on my blog

*a copy was provided by NetGalley*

This book just proves how I judge a book by its cover. Black Dawn is gifted with such a mesmerizing cover, it is impossible not to catch your eye and make you want to know more about what lies beyond the cover.

Black Dawn is a very short dystopian/YA fantasy. It was slow go and confusing at the beginning, since it started in an awkward place and like 100 POVs. Honestly, this book has an interesting story. It has a very great concept too. It just fell short on the narrating and some other part.

Black Dawn tells the story Emory, Memphis and Brokk. Emory is the long lost queen and she must save her people from Adair, their mad king.
Emory didn't know she was a queen or that she had a special ability until Memphis and Brokk brought her back to Kiero. It's hard for her to believe everything they say because she doesn't have her memories of what happened in Kiero when she was younger... Memphis and Brokk are trying to help her by giving her, her old memories, and are trying to convince her to fight Adair, but will she believe them?

This story is full of secrets, betrayal, love and loss! There were so many plot twists, it had me glued to the pages wondering just what would happen next.

Some parts were...mehh. I really wish there was more character development...

Black Dawn also reminded me of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and The Starlight Gods by Yumoyori Wilson, I mean the whole "kidnaped princess" / "hide the princesses on a different planet" thing was really similar to those two series, but otherwise Black Dawn was kinda unique, maybe. But now that I'm thinking about it, it's really like The Starlight Gods series, with the "bad guy" trying to take over the world or whatever, and the "princess" is the only hope. Ooh on that note it also kinda reminds me of Crimson Ash by Haley Sulich in a few ways.

Overall, this book was good. Really it is. It just fell short for me. There are parts that I actually like but there are more parts that I dislike. I would still recommend it.

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Profile Image for Dianne.
6,766 reviews590 followers
September 10, 2018
What happened to destroy friendships, trusts and a land that once prospered? Mallory McCartney brings the story of the “before time” of her fabulous young adult fantasy, BLACK DAWN to life in RENEGADE! Although a “prequel,” this is a full-blown novel in its own merit and the world building, as well as the rest of the story is a thrilling ride through dark magic, deceit, secrets and loyalties tested beyond the breaking point.

All Adair, Emory, Brokk and Memphis wanted was the truth of what was happening to the land they loved and the academy they trained in and the families they thought they knew. As one of them fights against a deep darkness that has invaded them, lines will be drawn, trusts broken and the birthright of nobility may be tarnished.

Mallory McCartney has a strong sense of atmosphere creation and character-building that shines through, filling in those questions one may have in reading BLACK DAWN. This powerful prequel carves out each character’s role and their metamorphosis into who and what they will become. Dreams will be shattered, but even in darkness there can be light as four friends face destinies they never could have imagined!

Fabulous YA reading in a fantasy world infused with magic and the eternal battle of good versus evil! The perfect stepping stone into book one! Highly recommended for all ages!

I received a complimentary copy from Mallory McCartney!

Series: Black Dawn - Book 0.5
Publisher: Clean Reads (August 18, 2018)
Publication Date: August 18, 2018
Genre: YA Dystopian Fantasy
Print Length: 274 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Candace Robinson.
Author 49 books996 followers
December 19, 2017
So, this is the prequel to Black Dawn which I was ecstatic to read an ARC of! An excellent prequel that shows how a villain became a villain which was my favorite part! Plus I got to see other characters such as my favorite ... Brokk!!! The writing and the world building were amazing, and I seriously can’t wait for the sequel to Black Dawn!
Profile Image for Alycia.
363 reviews17 followers
February 6, 2017
First of all, thank you to Mallory McCartney for sending me an ARC of her book. It was a real pleasure to discover your world!

I have to say that at the beginning of the novel, I had some difficulties to understand where we were going. We are immediately put into the plot and we have to discover who is who and which role each character plays. Very quickly, the plot becomes really interesting and we finally understand how the characters are linked to each other. What I really like about this story is the fact that fantasy is a major part of it but it is well used. Indeed, there are lots of creatures and magical powers but, as it is well written, we can think it is real. I don't know if I'm clear but the writing makes us believe as readers that these creatures could be real. Moreover, I really loved the fact that this story reminds of Harry Potter, as it is about an academy and magical powers. However, this is a completely original story, don't misunderstand me.
Moreover, the characters are strong ones and have several secrets to hide which gives suspense to the story and gives us the will to read more and more to finally know the end. Now that I have finished this first book, I literally need to read the sequel because I need answers!

In one word, preorder your copy of Black Dawn because I'm sure you'll love it!
Profile Image for Michelle .
2,016 reviews230 followers
January 16, 2020
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
Heir of Lies  is the first book in a new adult fantasy Black Dawn series by Mallory McCartney. I have classified this book as new adult because the character are in their 20s, but the content is very clean so I can very easily see this also appealing to younger readers and lovers of young adult fantasies.The Black Dawn series is re- releasing and “Heir of Lies” (book one) is coming April 21 2020! This edition will have an exclusive map and bonus content! I first read this book in 2017 when it was first released, and I enjoyed it. I did a re-read with this new edition, cover and name, and I have to say I enjoyed it just as much as the first time. Heir of Lies is a really cool story, and is the set up for what looks like it is going to be an awesome series. I really enjoyed book one, but because there was a lot of world building and background setting, I did have some bumps along the road. However, Heir of Lies is a story that just kept getting better and better as it went along. And I think I am going to love book two even more than I did book one. Can I please have book two now Mallory??

Heir of Lies starts off in multiple perspectives, rapid fire three different people in the first three chapters and throughout the book we get to see even more perspectives, with random chapters thrown in from Nyx and Adair. Because we started out with three chapters from three different characters perspectives, I was a bit jumbled at the beginning of the book. However, after the very quick start the book falls into a pattern of multiple chapters from the main woman's point of view.Most of the book is told from our main character, Emory's point of view.  I liked this more because I was able to better get to know Emory. I really liked Emory, but I felt awful for her, to be dumped in this world that is in turmoil, with her memories all mixed up must have been really hard. But she didn't waste any time jumping in.

The world in Heir of Lies was really interesting. The crazy, and very violent King, Adair was a great villain character. And I loved how multifaceted the group of main characters were. There are lots of shades of grey with each of them, and I loved that most of all. Throughout the story, especially towards the end, I found myself wishing the book would slow down from its very rapid pace because I wanted more of the story. I wish this book was about 100 pages longer because I didn't want it to end. I really am hoping that the second book is closer to 300 pages, rather than the 180 this one was. There is so much more that I want to see in this world.

Bottom line: The Black Dawn series is great for young adult and new adult fantasy fans alike. I loved the magic, the world and the characters. If you are looking for a quick, fast paced fantasy read, Heir of Lies is the book for you. I really enjoyed it. Plus, isn't the new cover just beautiful?!

This review was originally posted on Book Briefs
Profile Image for Nadine.
1,156 reviews222 followers
December 6, 2017
Black Dawn is a poorly constructed novel about a seemingly normal young woman pulled from her life into the middle of a rebellion.

The biggest issue with this novel is that everything is left vague or not explained. The world building is nonexistent, the magic system/abilities is poorly explained nor will it ever be explained since the characters themselves admit they don’t know where the magic comes from, and the history of the world itself is barely explained. The reader is then left with a story about a rebellion and a missing queen that has no backstory or basis for the reader to begin to understand the complex political movements of the world or the complicated relationships between the characters. About half way through the novel, I realized nothing is earned. Not the relationships, the magic system, the emotions between characters, or the big reveals and twists because of the lack of information.

The main character, Emory, is given her memories back after having them wiped and sent to earth through time travel to protect her. Again, this was never fully explained. She’s given back her memories, but the process of regaining them is slow. While she is still confused about her kidnapping and the new world she’s been thrust into, she decides to help the rebellion. A romance plot this then shoehorned into the story causing jealousy and motive for the plot to move forward. Emory and all the other characters are not developed and read like cardboard cutouts of characters. The lack of development stems from the lack of information about the world, magic system, and history. Each of the characters’ developments and motives relate directly to their pasts and since, as mentioned previously, it’s not explained, so it all falls flat.

Overall, Black Dawn is a poorly written novel with little to no character development or world building. I will definitely not be continuing this series.

***I received an epub from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for ☆Stephanie☆.
342 reviews42 followers
May 17, 2017
Title: Black Dawn
Author: Mallory McCartney
Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing, 2017 (February 14)
Genre: YA Fantasy

**I received a copy of this book free from Xpresso Reads and the author in exchange for an honest review**

This review can be found on my Blog, TeacherofYA’s Tumblr, or my Goodreads page

My Review

Credit is definitely due for this amazingly beautiful cover, which sucked me in hardcore. It’s stunning. It’s why I emailed back and said, “Yes PLEASE” to this book.

I’m still torn about that decision.

I have already forgotten most of the book, and that’s never a good sign. But I’ll do my best:

We are told the story from several POVs that jump around: we start with Emory briefly, a girl who has been abducted from her apartment by the man in her nightmares. We hear from her briefly before she passes out and is taken away.

Memphis and Brock return Emory to her real world. Apparently she was stashed on Earth for protection, as she is the last in line of a prominent family and is needed for a rebellion of the people against the evil ruler. This world of Kiero is a world of magic and is ruled by King Adair, a man who used to be friends with Emory, Memphis and Brock’s family but became power-hungry.

Memphis is in love with Emory. So is Brock. Emory wakes up and has her memories restored: she remembers the rebellion and she remembers who she is…and she is eager to get the rebellion (named Black Dawn) into shape to stop Adair.

(I was totally confused at this point bc of the POV shifts…I normally don’t mind them but one min I was in Emory’s head and the next minute I’m in Memphis’s head, and he seems like he is supposed to be a bad guy but his thoughts don’t sound bad…then we are in Brock’s head and he really missed Emory but because of some memory-tampering by Memphis, Emory is scared of Brock, which to me seems like a really shitty thing to do). Are you following? Ok…I wasn’t. I almost DNFed the whole book at this point bc I had no connection to the characters and had no idea who to root for as I didn’t care about anyone too much.

THEN, it’s like the story finds its groove and we can understand what’s going on…and some crazy cool stuff goes down but the book is only 180 pages and it ends by the time you really start feeling it.

The author (pictured right) tells me that a sequel is in the works hopefully – if there’s enough of a demand. I’d like to continue the series, but I forget it more and more each day. When I finished it the first time, the cliffhanger had me in its grip and I was clamoring for more. But it’s not sticking with me. The book actually reads like it’s a sequel to something else: it’s good, but it takes most of the book to get good, and then you’re left with that empty “what do I do now?” feeling.

I can’t really recommend this for any educational reading and I am going to simply give Black Dawn ★★★☆☆. It’s an okay read, and it does become extremely creative with its path at the end…but unless something follows it up soon, I can see Black Dawn fading from the memories of most readers.
Profile Image for Jaime (Two Chicks on Books).
825 reviews400 followers
February 5, 2017
This was so good! What an awesome fantasy! It's an adult book because the characters are older but I can definitely see YA crossover appeal! I need book 2 now!!
Profile Image for Natalia.
Author 7 books79 followers
February 8, 2017
I was given a free copy of this by the fabulous and sweet author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you again, Mal, for giving me the chance to read your amazing debut novel. It was brilliant!

Here we go!

”To have lost everything but have hope to rebuild the future is the strongest weapon in the world.”

Emory Fae is the last living heir of the Fae family, and the answer to the Academy’s problems with one man—nay, self-proclaimed (mad) king of Kiero, a planet with people who have extraordinary abilities. Only problem? Emory is thought to be dead, but is she really?

Thankfully not, but with her being alive becomes a whole other cluster. Oops.

I’ll leave it at that because I don’t want to give away too many spoilers. Honestly though? You guys need to read this book, especially if you really enjoy The Mortal Instruments and X-Men, then I’m sure you’re going to fall in love with this story and characters as I have. There are devious (and freaking CREEPY) faeries, witches, a gent with the ability to travel through time (and across worlds)

Black Dawn is a pretty fast book for one so short. The story is engaging and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the fabulous Brokk (you have to read this to understand why I’m so in love with this gent. MAN.) And I’m very conflicted on how I feel about our baddie Adair. I’m on the fence about him. Sometimes I hated him, sometimes I felt a little sorry for him. Once or twice I thought he should have been locked in a mental asylum. And as for Memphis? Hmmmm. I didn’t love him as much as I loved Brokk (and that plot twist! UGH.) Something just bothered me about Memphis. He just … hmm, I can’t put it into words. I kept having this feeling that his role would change throughout the story.

I can’t wait for the next installment. I need to know what happens next!!
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,766 reviews590 followers
January 13, 2020
She was taken from her world, her memories wiped and false ones inserted, then they returned for her. Two warriors from a land filled with magic, war and evil. Emory Fae didn’t know it, but she was going home to be a savior of her people, her kingdom. Friends will become enemies, deception will rear its ugly head and a hidden band of young warriors will rise to try to save the lives they once knew from a twisted and powerful ruler who had betrayed them all. The war has begun and hope may be their greatest weapon.

Enjoy the different voices you will hear as each character sees the events happening from their own perspective. Who can be trusted, who cannot? Is the enemy you know safer than the one you least expect? Will the academy be able to reclaim their world and save it from evil?

Mallory McCartney is re-releasing her Black Dawn series and HEIR OF LIES proves that fabulous story telling never goes out of style! Intense drama, bitter betrayals and revelations revealed in rapid-fire fashion, so prepare to be on the edge of your seat page after page after page. Highly recommended reading! Colorful characters, high octane action!

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Mallory McCartney! This is my honest and voluntary review.

Series: Black Dawn - Book 1
Publisher: MM Books; 1 edition (April 21, 2020)
Publication Date: November 10, 2019
Genre: Fantasy
Print Length: 397 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Melleny.
210 reviews2 followers
June 9, 2019
4.75 Stars **

If you would like to see all my thoughts on this book, be sure to check out the review on my blog:


But here is a snippet and overview of what I thought:

Overall, I really really enjoyed this book and found myself flying through it. There was definitely a hiccup or two but I think that it will be resolved in the prequel as well as the sequel that is coming out middle of this year and the start of next year respectively. I am excited to see how the author plays with the story and the characters. I am definitely hoping that the next few books are a little bit more fleshed out just so that I can enjoy the world a bit more.

Thank you so much Mallory and Xpresso Book Tours for this opportunity! I absolutely enjoyed myself and can't wait for more!
Profile Image for Esther.
554 reviews109 followers
December 4, 2017
This book started out as a very promising read. Fast paced, with a wide variety of characters and an interesting new world. Towards the end, the book felt very rushed and I wished it would've been 100 pages longer, so some things would be explained a bit better. This book could've easily gotten 4 stars, if it didn't feel so rushed.

A longer review can be found at Bite Into Books

Not a bad book, I liked the different POV's and the world was very promising as well. The story felt rushed at the ending of the book and it left me with a sour taste, I was very confused. This also makes me shy away from maybe a second book, since my TBR is huge already and I'm not really curious what is going to happen with the characters in this book.
Profile Image for Mallory McCartney.
Author 6 books465 followers
April 24, 2020
The Black Dawn series is re- releasing and “Heir of Lies” (book one) is coming April 21 2020! This edition will have an exclusive map and bonus content!
Profile Image for Mandy Lai.
17 reviews
July 1, 2017
A Combination of Modern, Future and Barbarians
4.8/5 stars

Black Dawn is about this girl from a modern world, suddenly was taken by soldiers form another world. She was then discovered to be the heir of the another world. However it is already shattered and people are suffering.

I really like the character developments of the book, everyone are so flawed. That's what a reader needs, flawed characters. I really hate perfect characters they're so annoying. Despite how awesome the characters are,they're still planning on something, a secret.

And the betrayal, every book has a betrayal, but it is so well developed in this one. You can see that coming but maybe you cannot. :) It's such a pleasant thing to read about the struggle of their hearts.

Overall I just really love warrior story, especially a well written one! One thing to complain, this is too short! I need MORE!!!💕
Profile Image for Floryie.
295 reviews27 followers
April 13, 2017
I didn't get the symbolism of the book cover till the end when Memphis meets the raiders. I too was in awe of the surprise and the author's writing. She knows how to add the sneaky twist here and there to keep me on my toes.

Usually the blurb is what makes me pick up a book. But this one's synopsis was kind of general with only a few intrigue points. The cover was what made me take a chance and I am glad of that!! I have fallen in love with the characters and the world built around them.

The beginning was just plain confusing! It took me a few pages to get oriented because the author landed me right in the middle of the action. Only after a couple of chapters I was able to get an idea of what it deals with. Once I made a mind map, it was an easy tale to follow. Attention grabbing too with the emotional tension among Memphis, Nyx, Brokk and Emory.

This is one book where the characters grabbed me strongly with their emotions. I love Emory and I kind of hate her too! She is feisty and after her initial confusion, she rallied around her friends. But, that's a huge but, she is falling for Memphis ( again or not, I am not sure ) which makes me annoyed. I am totally pro-Brokk. I love his strength and his silent patience and what he goes through, ouch, it left me hurting. And Memphis? I totally would like to punch him in the face. He comes out as a manipulator and though I distrust him at present, I have a niggling feeling that the author is going to further give him more power in the sequels. Now coming to Nyx, I kind of get where she's coming from so I have no complaints about her. She was totally in character. But poor thing, she is going to be shocked about Adair's actions. As for Adair, what I have read about him has me completely in like with him. I believe he has the outline to be a great villain!

The world built around them is unique. When I first read about the Academy, I thought it was a school-magic based book. I was half right. The Academy isn't just a school. It is more than that, it is a way of thought and so it is more of a deviation from the regular route. The magic system, though a bit similar to some others, seem to have a trait varying from others. I look forward to reading more about it.

The plot of people being oppressed is nothing new. This is an age old problem and the author has some twists and turns in the tale which kept me hopping to read the next page. Twists! Twists! That seems to the motto of the author and I wholeheartedly agree with her. Though it is a very short read, I completed it in 3 hours max!, I recommend this to all fantasy action lovers out there. Don't miss out on a great start to a very good series. I look forward to the sequels with much anticipation.

I received a copy for reviewing purposes. This doesn't affect my review in any way. All are my original thoughts and reactions to the story.

My one line review : A surprisingly twisty tale of action with magic and feels.

My rating : 5/5

My reread factor : 4/5
Profile Image for Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.).
401 reviews429 followers
December 13, 2017

This book is a lot of fun !, I'm surprised, I've found a great story with an amazing amount of diverse characters and alot of magic.


4/5 Stars

You can find this one and more of my reviews on my blog A Book. A Thought.

In general, you never know what you'll find when you read a short book, much less if it's fantasy. Of course the lack of development of the world can be a problem, in this case I would have liked to know a little bit more, but even so, I don't think that this has affected at all my enjoyment when reading it. So leaving that aside, I think you shouldn't be fooled by the book size, I think it has enough content and is really good, we have friendship, betrayal, magic, revenge, love and my favorite thing PLOT TWIST!

The writing style is fantastic and this along with the characters were executed in a successfully way

At first I felt that I was bombarded with a lot of information about the paranormal and fantastic aspects of the plot, from the powers to the creatures, and this was certainly a bit confusing, but once you know more about the characters' stories, from their points of view, how their lives work and how they connect with each other, everything is taking more sense and is really an addictive reading. All the time I felt that I was inside a chapter of a TV series which I didn't want to end.

I think this short book would be a great start for young readers who are just starting with the genre and don't want to read a very dense or full of descriptions fantasy book. This is short and it's simple but it works perfectly and that's what it's about

The ending is quite open, which doesn't surprise me since this type of short books always tend to have a sequel, so I can't wait for the second part !. If it has everything that this first part had, it will be Incredible
Profile Image for Lauren.
342 reviews25 followers
February 20, 2017
Note: Received a review copy of this book via Rockstar Book Tours. This in no way influences my opinion.

After reading that blurb, I was definitely looking forward to reading this book. However, the book was found lacking and I actually ended up DNFing it! I felt so bored reading this book and I felt so detached from everything that was happening.

From the very first page, we are literally thrown into this world that we know nothing about. There are issues we know nothing about and I feel like there is very little context or world building provided before we are being forced into this rebellion. I was unconvinced and I just did not enjoy it because I spent half my time trying to figure out what was even going on!

Another issues I had with this book was the POV's. I really enjoy multiple POVs when it is done right, however, the voices here constantly blended together and I found myself actually having to go back and see who's perspective I was reading from. There was no individuality and I was really disappointed.

Another issue I had with this book was the way in which this story was being told. I felt like it was very much telling me what happened rather than showing me. It was extremely choppy and I think this definitely contributed to my issues trying to actually get into this book.

All in all, I was pretty disappointed with this book. I really did try to get into it, but it just wasn't my kind of thing! I was expecting something really great as well, because the reviews on Goodreads are pretty good! I do, however, love the cover! I gave this book 1/5 stars.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,139 reviews187 followers
September 10, 2017
This is the first book in this series. The author does a great job of transporting the reader into the this world of Kiero. From the beginning to the middle and finally the end, there was non stop action. Plus, all of the characters were strong. This included Emory. Once, she got over her initial shock of learning she is the true heir to the throne. I liked that Emory didn't question everything in disbelief. The story felt natural with the flow and all of the events that took place within the story.

There is a bit of a romance between Emory and Memphis. Yet, the author kept it mild; thus not to distract from the overall storyline. Again, this felt natural without the instant head over heels love. Both men were great in their own ways. It is just that Brokk was a bit more rough around the edges but this is what I liked about him. However, there is more to the men that first meets the eye. I don't want to give anything away so I will just leave it at that.

Adair makes a good enemy. What I mean by this is that he was not so weak that it would be easy for Emory, Brokk, Memphis and their allies to defeat Adair but at the same time, he kept the story interesting with his evilness. The ending had left me with an appetite for more in book two. Mallory McCartney delivers a rock solid punch with her debut novel, Black Dawn!
Profile Image for Anja H..
732 reviews449 followers
March 8, 2020

I just noticed the author republished and rebranded this series and this prequel no longer exists. I think that's a good idea since this could very well have been a standalone novel.
Anyway, I got these through Netgalley a while back and still had to review these.
Overall not a bad book, loved the premise and it gave way more background information on the characters. I still didn't particularly like any of them though.
The pacing was way off in my opinion.

Received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Natalie  all_books_great_and_small .
2,108 reviews74 followers
January 5, 2020
I received an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

This is an amazing book cram packed full of magic that left me breathless.
The characters are all unique, diverse and likeable. This book sucks you in straight from the beginning and is full of action, malice, fights between good and evil, trickery, betrayals, love, anger and despair.
The ending has put my head in a spin and I cant wait to devour the next installment!
This is a series you don't want to miss!
Profile Image for Byron.
47 reviews
June 17, 2020

I could not keep up with the characters, (as they were not very well portrayed), and the plot felt very loose and all over the place.
Profile Image for Nildene.
200 reviews40 followers
May 5, 2018
Well, okay, I thought this was a pretty good find.

Some technical things I was not expecting was that the entire book was shorter than any other fantasy I'd read (not including novellas, of course) and because of this we don't really see a lot of world-building or character development – I guess what it lacked in those areas, it made up for in being very fast-paced and action-packed with plenty of plot twists. It kept me engaged, though I think it would have still benefitted from maybe a bit more character development? Or more detailed flashbacks, so that we could more easily compare and contrast the difference in the same characters.

We start our story on Earth, with our main character, Emery Fae, who has grown up an orphan and haunted by nightmares of 2 men (Brokk and Memphis), who later appear at her home and spirit her away back to their own world, Keiro (incidentally, her home as well – though it's not as explored as I would have liked, but that's mostly due to the lack of world-building I guess. I think it would have been good to explore the theme of "home" a bit more too, as I think it was mentioned a few times about what was "Home" and there were opportunities to delve a bit deeper.) Essentially, Emery now must relearn her heritage after finding out she's this long-lost princess and rightful heir to the throne, though the actual political formation of this world isn't explained in too much detail and I'm still not really sure – monarchy, but currently has a tyrant on the throne I think is how I've thought of it (I could be a bit off, but again, very little world-building here.)

Said tyrant is Adair, someone who Emery has grown up with, in this safe-place for ordinary people with extraordinary abilities called the Academy. And I don't know about you, but I felt like I needed more of him. We got a few bits and bobs about him, but I felt there was always something missing whenever I was reading his sections. (Come to think of it, this might have been attributed to the lack of character development – this entire book would have benefited from being longer if those opportunities had been taken to explain a lot more.)

I did love the pace of it all though – there was always something happening and the plot twists kind of hit you in the face a lot (those are the best kind though). The storyline itself was pretty good, but mostly because of the plot twists I think, and it wasn't really complimentary of the pace of events that were happening around it – and I liked a lot of the flashback scenes and probably would have liked a few more (I dunno, I keep swinging back to world-building needed, a bit more back-story; main reason I'm not giving this a full 4 stars).

But, I didn't not enjoy this story and I would definitely read the next one just because of all those plot twists that have left me questioning everything!

3.5/5 stars

I received this via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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