The New Dark by Lorraine Thomson
I received an ARC from Netgalley for a fair review.
In a post-modern society, Sorrel barely escapes after her village is raided by mutants. She finds that young brother Eli and beloved David were captured by the band of mutants and finds herself in a dangerous pursuit to get them back. As she progresses on her journey she learns more about the world outside of her village and the dangers that it holds. Everything she thinks she knows about the “before” could actually be real and she learns that not all mutants are as savage she those that had attacked her village.
While the book was really easy to read and flowed well enough, there wasn’t really much that made me excited to be reading it. I didn’t really like the alternating points of view between Sorrel and David. I thought it would have been better to just sum up what happened to the survivors as hearsay later – it would have been enough to get the idea of the brutality of the mutants and the overall story of their suffering.
Now while the book itself isn’t explicit, it might be beneficial to point out a slight trigger warning to those who may be affected by reading about a forced or abusive relationship.
The World Building
The setting wasn’t very thoroughly described, but is to be understood that it is in the future where modern day society has fallen, and mankind has regressed to live without technology and it’s advancements. Things such as plumbing and heat are unheard of just as much as a car or telephone. They are all parts of the “before” time.
There are also mutated creatures, plants & humans that are larger, stronger, and overall more dangerous than they would have been in the “before” time.
I found the characters a little flat. However, I did appreciate the fact that Sorrel wasn’t some perfect angel with magnificent skills. She had skills yes, but was overtaken by more power people or made choices that showed her to be someone who could be considered selfish or mean because of her sense of self preservation.
I was really glad that the story wasn’t driven by some instalove between some characters that grinned and eyed each other every few pages as well. The fact that her resolve was fueled by family and comradery was definitely a reason why I stepped up from 2 stars to 3 stars.