Friday, 16 October 2015

Book Review | Dark The Night Descending (The Dreamers Shadow #1) by Jennifer Bresnick

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

"Arran Swinn knows a thing or two about nightmares. After all, they killed his father. When the sun goes down, the Siheldi come out, and surviving the onslaught until daybreak can be little more than a gamble without the right protection.
Thanks to a dash of luck, a little daring, and an heirloom from his father, Arran can provide protection these days – for the right fee. Guiding seagoing merchants along the haunted trade routes is easy money…right up until he takes on a secretive passenger who proves to be almost as bad as the Siheldi themselves.

With the daylight fading and the ocean rising, Arran finds himself saddled with an illegal cargo, a bargain for his soul that he can’t hope to keep, and the unwelcome scrutiny of Megrithe Prinsthorpe, a tenacious trade inspector intent on seeing him hang for his misdeeds.

After uncovering a plot that could replace the Siheldi with something much worse, Arran must decide just how much he’s willing to sacrifice to the spirits that have had him marked out since the night his father’s death changed his life forever."

Wow what a fabulous book. I am so glad I was approved for this, and honestly I think it's been one of the highlights of my year, and I am SO excited to purchase and read the second one. You really have no idea how excited I am haha.

The writing in this is absolutely fantastic. I flew through this book in a day of solid reading, and I think that's partly down to the writing being so fluid and smooth. I believe this is a young adult novel, so it's always going to be a quicker read really, but the writing definitely helped. There's something about the way Bresnick structures her novel that makes it difficult for me to assess whether it truly is a young adult novel or not. Yes, there is no real adult content, but it's written with such maturity and delicacy that I almost place it under adult fantasy. Not sure where I'd place it, unlike novels like the clunky Cassandra Clare series. Beautiful writing.

The characters were well developed and I found myself truly sad in parts for the outcome of Arran. He just can't catch a break, bless him, and it makes my heart hurt. I liked that this book focuses on a small group of characters that are very well developed rather than a large group of people, much like fantasy tends to do, as that can often lead to a group of lesser developed characters. I loved the sarcastic dialogue between a few of them. Had me giggling in parts. Arran Swinn, the main character, is written so realistically with flaws that we all have. He is a confident person, but in some situations his confidence wavers and is replaced with fear. And that is so real to me, and makes him all the more likeable as a person.

The plot. Oh wow, the plot. An entirely unique concept with absolutely fabulous world and species building. One of the islands in this book... man I want to live there. It's been built so wonderfully. But seriously, I could not stop reading this. I was desperate to see what happened next and what everything was about. As soon as I finished this first in the series, I went to look for the next one because I just can't wait to find out what happens next. I haven't done that about a book for a long time, now. The plot is fun, scary, adventurous, funny, action-packed, and just all round epic. It's literally everything you could ever want from a plot.

Overall I give this a massive 5/5 stars. It was both a joy and an honour to read.
* This book was sent to me for free through the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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