Date of publication: November 1st, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopia, Young Adult
Number of pages: 221
POV: 3rd person
Book synopsis (from Goodreads):
“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.
THE NEW DARK is the first book in a new YA-trilogy and will be published in November 2017. The second and third books in the series (THE NEW DAWN & THE NEW DAY) will be released in 2018.
Lorraine Thomson was born in Glasgow. She won a UK writing competition and was short-listed for the Dundee Book Prize. She now lives in Ullapool on the rugged north-west coast of Scotland.
Follow the author on Twitter: @LGThomson1
Trigger Warning: remembrance of infanticide
I was on the fence after I read The New Dark. One one hand, I thought that the basic storyline for the book was fantastic. A post-apocalyptic world where mutants were common. That caught my attention from the get-go. But, I found that I had issues following the storyline at the same time. There was not enough background given about what happened “Before“, how the mutants came to be and what Sorrel’s birthmark means. When I finished The New Dark, I was at odds at what rating to give it. I settled on a 3 because I can see the potential in the book.
Sorrel did not make a good first impression on me at first. She came across as a brat. But my dislike did wane a teeny bit when she saw the mutants attack her village. She saw her mother and baby sister killed. She was going after her toddler brother when she was attacked by another mutant. After the dust clears from the attack on the village, she starts off on a journey to find her brother. I was impressed with her during her imprisonment when she was at Martin’s village. She was able to overcome her fear and dislike of mutants to free Einstein, a mutant held captive there. I thought it was amazing that she could go from hating mutants to being best friends with one.
The storyline with David wasn’t needed, in my eyes. The only thing that I did think it added to the book was that it showed that Sorrel’s brother was still alive. For supposedly being “in love” with Sorrel, he didn’t act it. He got very attached to Mara. I did like how you could see the search for Sorrel and Einstein through different eyes. But, as I stated at the beginning of this paragraph, I don’t think his storyline was needed.
I do wish that the author gave more background about what happened to cause the world to go apocalyptic. I hate it when I am reading a story and there is zero background about what happened in the past. It drives me nuts and my mind goes wild imagining what happened. A solar flare? Disease? War? Aliens? Natural disaster? Nothing is said.
I also wish that the author gave more insight to Sorrel’s birthmark and why it was so special. That is another thing that drives me nuts. If it was so darn important, then tell us!! Or at least give a prologue explaining the birthmark from the grandmother’s point of view. Then it would make sense why Martin was so keen to have Sorrel for his wife. It also would clear up why her birthmark did what it did towards the end of the book.
I also would have liked to see more of an explanation of how the mutants came to be. I am pretty sure that it ties into whatever caused the apocalyptic event. But, what bugged me was this. How do they tell if a child could be a mutant at birth? I mean, other than having an arm growing out of its chest or 3 eyes? Sorrel had memories of her grandmother smothering newborns shortly after they are born. She remembered how shamed the parents were. Also, Sorrel’s mother was worried about naming the baby. Because she might not be viable. HOW DO THEY KNOW!!! I got very frustrated at that.
The end of the book didn’t answer any of those questions. But, because none of my questions weren’t answered in this book, I am hoping that they will be answered in the next one. Only one storyline was answered, the one with Sorrel’s brother and the blonde mutant who took him. But even that one was kind of left open. Which is a good thing because it makes me want to read book 2.
While I liked reading The New Dark, I felt that it left certain questions unanswered (see above). That affected my rating of the book, unfortunately. The book does have a good plotline and great characters. If the author could do some explaining of somethings I outlined above, it would be great.
Will I reread: Maybe
Will I recommend to family and friends: Maybe
Age range: Older Teen
Why: Violence, mild language.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**
I would like to thank Lorraine Thomson, be-ebooks and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The New Dark
All opinions stated in this review of The New Dark are mine