on Feb. 18, 2012 :
Wow Loved the story, loved the characters, loved the world - loved it all. Hate that the next one's not out so I can continue on this wonderful story. Guess I just have to wait for the continuation.
I have a bad habit of starting on series I come to love, but have to wait impatiently for the next to be released. This story confirms it. Can't wait, it's unfair of Kaine to end the story with such a cliffhanger!
(reviewed 18 days after purchase)
on Nov. 1, 2011 :
WHERE'S BOOK 2??? O_O At least this was my first thought on finishing this book...
Damn, but this is Daniels first effort at writing.. and it's gripping.. An emotional roller coaster ride in places.
Characters are well formed with good back grounds. They fit into the plot as required without coming across as filler. The main character is very well formed from the outset. I found it quite easy to be caught up in everything happening.
Story has no lag, jumps or plot holes that could easily have annoyed or detracted from the journey.
My one criticism of the story is the ending but I'm not sure how it really affects everything. This story could have been tied up before the actual ending, (as I kept expecting it to!) It sort of felt everything happened VERY quickly at the end. BUT having said that, I really don't know that the ending could have been dragged out in the next book. I guess I will have to wait and see.
Overall I have to say I think this book is as close to a work of art as can be. I don't need to sit back and 'appreciate' the obvious attention to details, the character descriptions or any of a myriad of other things one want's to acknowledge a writer for in their work. The book does it all. I am going to harrass Daniel though for the next book... NOW!!!!
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)
on Oct. 25, 2011 :
“I can’t really write.” I’ll never forget Mr. Kaine’s statement of not-even-close-to-fact before we began exchanging chapters. Unedited chapters. What should one expect? Certainly not what I received in my Private Message Inbox on the NaNoWriMo site. His story completely blew me away. Chapter by chapter, it unfolds with such depth and humanity that the result is stunning. I found myself utterly pulled into the dystopian world Mr. Kaine imagines; his descriptions are stark, but fluid, and the Church of the Silver Dawn itself rises up as a centerpiece in that world that never leaves you, even after the book is closed and sitting on the nightstand or coffee table.
In this post-apocalyptic world, a militaristic theocratic society has arisen—and they begin actively recruiting humans with special powers. Ash is a flamboyant, bi-sexual empath who, to all outward appearances, is confident to the point of near cocksureness, but as he is dragged through the events that unfold rapidly before him, the reader begins to discover that all is not what it seems. Mik is a painfully introverted soul, socially awkward, and chagrined to find himself the roommate of someone as extroverted as Ash. It is not until events conspire against these two young men that they realize what they really mean to one another.
Vampirism in this world was a plague that swept across the Earth, and while the humans who possess superhuman powers—the Daeva like Mik and Ash—also could be the result of this plague, the Church of the Silver Dawn is not above using these individuals to promote their flawed doctrine that holds the remnant of mankind tightly in its grip. It holds out fear as its driving and uniting force, and is far from the benevolent dictatorial entity it portrays itself to be; and the vampires who scavenge the ruins beyond the barrier city are not the monsters of their mythos. Mik’s journey into the unknown beyond the barrier city of Rachat shatters the pillars upon which his whole society—his whole world—is precariously perched. The truth he comes to understand has the potential of undermining everything, including his relationship with Ash.
Like all good books, Daeva: Dawn of Darkness is difficult to review. This reviewer wants you to read the book with a sense of naïveté and surprise, to take the plot twists and turns as they come—many of them stunningly abrupt, but all of them masterfully plotted. It is a story that moves quickly, that introduces characters that you’ll care about, that you’ll cheer for, that you’ll revile should that time come. And in the end, you’ll close the book with a strange sense of completion accompanied by a nagging ache for something more—like Book 2.
Yes, I am acquainted with the author, but I have also watched his writing process from the very beginning. His is an impressive voice, and I am confident that Daeva: Dawn of Darkness is only the beginning of what we can expect from this great new voice in Dystopian Paranormal Horror.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
Brett @ Demons Read Too
on Oct. 22, 2011 :
Evil vampires, questionable vampires, an apocalypse and supernaturally gifted humans thrown into the military…sounds like fun, right? Lots of paranormal action and conspiracies coupled with a gay romance you won’t want to put down. It’s both erotic and endearing. The character development simply hooks you. But the twists, take it from me, starting it before bed may be hazardous to your mental health and your sleeping pattern.
To be honest, the first thing that sprung to mind when I started reading this was its similarities with Power Rangers RPM. Okay, maybe not as squeaky clean, but they both involve a shielded city erected to protect the remaining population after the apocalypse, and have a girl and four guys teaming up as the last line of defence. Although with Dawn of Darkness there’s no spandex or rubber-suited monsters, but rather deadly vampires that would make quick work tearing the rangers flesh off before they even reached for their morphers.
While I do enjoy the romantic vampires, evil ones feel more true to nature. The idea that vampires could overrun the Earth and wipe out the majority of humanity seems more plausible than vampires kissing people to death. Although… The world building, setting aside its RPM-ness, was very unique. The Daeva concept of humans being born with different abilities and recruited into the army held lots of potential. I was afraid, though, that the military setting would become monotonous after a while, but it managed to keep things fresh with things I didn’t see coming. The mystery held together well and kept me guessing throughout the book.
The characters, well I loved them. Everyone’s troubled in their own way and just a little broken. Even the side characters had backstories to help flesh them out. The main two, Mik and Ash, stole it for me. I enjoyed the slow reveal into each of them as they broke through each other’s defences. I like the contrast between Ash’s outgoing, flirtatious nature and Mik’s reserved one. They fit together well making their scenes incredibly touching. The fact that the characters had such a strong friendship to build on helped in the believability department too.
The romance, while definitely stimulating, was more than that. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed those scenes too, but the strength of their bond was what really attracted me to them. I couldn’t help but grin at this line, however unintentional: Ash looked over at me as I exited. He was sprawled out across his bed, wearing only a pair of black joggers. In Australia, joggers are another word for sneakers so I got completely different visual. I realised a couple chapters later that joggers probably = track pants. But I think I’ll stick with my interpretation.
I wasn’t expecting there to be so much travelling in this book. I have to say I preferred the city scenes over the campfire barbeques and sleeping bags, but each to their own. There was a lot of good character development along the way which helped carry the momentum. But I think it was about midway through the book though when I wanted to strangle Daniel (the author, not the character). He knows how to screw with your emotions. To make matters worse, 2am had rolled around and my body needed sleep, but I didn’t want to stop reading.
I came back to it the following night and rushed through the final half. I enjoyed the growing friendships, but my brain kept niggling at me, “Where’s Ash? I want Ash. He’s blond, no that’s not Ash.” I liked the incorporation of magic into the physical fighting, it’s also spaced enough that it doesn’t feel heavy. The violence tends to be on descriptive side, but nothing overtly gory. Although, I can say I have no intention of hunting in the woods. The deer of 2105 can rest assured they’re safe from me, added with the fact that I’d be encroaching on 116. The exploration into Mik’s psychic abilities was interesting, and something I’d like to see more of with the other Daeva. It also injected some fun into the sometimes-dark nature of the events going on around them. A werewolf unable to stop himself nuzzling Mik’s leg – love it.
Even with everything that happened, it still felt like there was plenty more to left to delve into with lots of characters untapped, new settings to explore and the growing tensions waiting to erupt. The Russell plot felt a little rushed to me, though. But overall, the twists were executed wonderfully, leaving me staring blank-faced at the book. I felt like screaming at the end, desperately hoping for more. I know the wait for Origin of Darkness is going to be painful.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on Oct. 20, 2011 :
The story has everything I love, vampires, werewolves and a bit of magic. There were twists at the end I didn't see coming and I nearly strangled Daniel when it ended because I wanted it to keep going. Fortunately there's two more books. Mik's character was interesting and the way he developed throughout the story made me love him even more for how believable it was.
(reviewed the day of purchase)