Series: The Black Dawn #1
Genres: Horror, Post-Apocalyptic
Published by Angry Robot on March 26, 2013
Reviewed by: Chris
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.
Joseph D'Lacey is an author who has been on my radar for some time now. I was intrigued enough by his first novel, MEAT, to purchase a copy, but sadly it's been a neglected member of the black hole that is my to-read pile ever since. After reading BLACK FEATHERS I'm most certainly going to rectify that.
I'm finding it hard to describe BLACK FEATHERS. I don't think I'm the only one either judging by the incredibly short official publisher's blurb that you can see above. I feel that in this case that is actually a good thing. BLACK FEATHERS is a book you want to discover on your own and too many spoilers would most certainly make the reading less enjoyable.
With that said, here's my spoiler free attempt at discussing the book in a little a more detail.
BLACK FEATHERS is told from two narratives. The first is told from the point of view of Gordon Black (who has an incredibly awesome last name, by the way). Gordon is a young boy in England at the time of some sort of environmental collapse. This is all present day/near future stuff and it deals with English society turning into a police-state run by a quasi-corporate operation known as The Ward. I was slightly disappointed we didn't get the nitty-gritty details of the events leading up to the disaster that caused the collapse of civilization, but this is Gordon's story - not humanity's as a whole. It deals with Gordon's quest to find the Crowman (also known as Black Jack and the Scarecrow depending on which of the myths you happen to believe). Gordon believes that if he finds him he can save his family and what remains of the rest of population.
The second narrative is brought to us by Megan - a girl roughly the same age as Gordon. This part takes place in the far-off future and the people of the Earth are now living an almost peaceful medieval-ish existence. There's no high-tech gadgets and whatnot, though there are the decayed remains of large cities of the past. Megan, too, is searching for the Crowman. He appeared for her and chose to place her on the Dark Feathered path. Because of this she comes under the tutelage of a wandering healer known as Mr Keeper. This is who Megan is to become - a Keeper. These are the people charged with keeping the story of the Crowman. It is told that the first female Keeper will also be the last of all of the Keepers. Does this mean the end or salvation? That's what Megan needs to find out.
D'Lacey does an excellent job interweaving the two narratives and the story moves along at a brisk pace. To tell any more of the plot of the book would be a disservice to the wonderful tale that the author has woven. D'Lacey's definitely an author you should be checking out and this is an excellent book with which to start.
- Black Feathers
- Meat by Joseph D'Lacey
- The Stand by Stephen King