BLACK FEATHERS: THE BLACK DAWN VOLUME ONE by Joseph D'Lacey (to be released April, 2013 by Angry Robot Books / 377 pp / mmp & eBook)
This first installment of D'Lacey's Duology is part eco-terror, part dark fantasy, and parts pre and post apocalyptic horror.
The tale takes place in two times; one is the Black Dawn (close to our current time), where we follow the travels of fourteen year-old Gordon as the planet is in ecological collapse and his family have been taken by a growing, sinister new government. The second is in the future (known as the Bright Day), which deals with a young girl named Megan dealing with the aftermath of the Black Dawn. In both times, our young characters are on a quest to discover the meaning of the legendary Crowman, who may be the saviour of the world, or its curse ... or a bit of both.
D'Lacey fills this tale with a memorable cast (I particularly liked Megan's mentor, known only as Mr. Keeper), an aged mystic who leads her on her journey. Likewise, Gordon meets a small resistence group known as the Green Men, and becomes a member, but not all of them are of the same mindset.
Members of the new world goverment (known as The Ward) are deliciously wicked, especially their leader, Skelton, who uses nazi-like techniques to get information from turncoats and keeps his men in line with an iron fist.
The story plays out like a fantastical version of bible prophecy, and while it gets a tad preachy on ecological matters, it's quick, doesn't get annoying, and actually adds to the novel's overall chilling theme. With plenty material to satisfy fans of multi genres, BLACK FEATHERS is a well-written (if at times familiar) epic tale that'll have you waiting impatiently for the second book.