Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Review of Black Earth: Dark Masquerade (Vol 3) by David Alderman
Darkness has engulfed the world, and the nightmare has begun... Two weeks have passed since Nathan Pierce battled the Great Witch, Evanescence, and rescued Pearl from her mother's corrupt influence. Nathan now finds himself inhabiting a mall in northern California with members of Absolute's Rebellion, holding onto hope that his sister, Daisy, hasn't been executed for treason yet and keeping a watchful eye on Pearl—an immortal girl branded with a black key mark that could unlock destruction upon the earth. When a stranger strolls in from the darkness with a lead on Daisy's whereabouts, Nathan sets off on a journey into the Broken Lands to find her. But to save his doomed sibling, Nathan must maneuver through a horrifying landscape of terrifying creatures and violence, dodging both the President of the United States and Legion—an alien entity intent on destroying the world.
The third book of the Black Earth series really starts to advance the action. The world is crumbling with only certain areas that are even able to see the sun anymore, there are lighthouses that shoot beams that cause violent insanity, and the President of the US has implemented a plan to give herself power on a global scale. I really enjoyed this chapter of the series as there are certain elements that are beginning to get an explanation, such some background on the man in red who is holding Daisy while she waits for her execution. The christian theme is also becoming a bit more pronounced as the story develops. That is not to say that this is what you would normally consider to be a religious story, but the relationship that some of the characters are developing with God is becoming more apparent. There is a lot of violence and other adult situations that may turn some readers away, but the underlying message of faith is still pretty apparent to those willing to read.
The story takes place following the characters that have been introduced in the first two books, but they have separated for the most part leading to a fair amount of scene jumping. This honestly had me a bit confused at first since it has been a while since I read either of the first two books in the series. I did pick up everything pretty quickly once I started to get pulled into the story though. The flow of the book was excellent and had me locked into the story after the introductory getting my bearings. Nathan is still a decent guy, who has some character flaws, but he is easy to respect. Daisy is a tragic figure being held for execution for refusing to bow to the presidential mandates and being used as an example. Cyn is still a bit of a mystery as her story has seemed to have a few different possibilities through the series and a pretty big question mark about her is left open in this book. Heather is also a character I still have some questions about and hope to see a bit more about her in the next book of the series.
If you are looking for a good series to get into the deals with the end of the world, magic, religion, or any combination this is a good one to check out. David has made the first two books available in a Black Earth Double Pack at a bit cheaper price than buying them separately as well.