2018 · ARC · Review

Review – Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney

I thought the cover of this was very special and therefore read the synopsis. It sounds like it could be either good and a fun read, or easy and frustratingly simple read. It was either or. I wouldn’t know until I read it 😏

This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you.

Black Dawn

by Mallory McCartney

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Synopsis by NetGalley

The end of an Empire, The rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war-ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival, she will discover she is the long-lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne. 

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows. 

My Opinion

 3.5 stars


The world


The magic


I really enjoyed this short book. I flew through it without problems. There are a few hiccups here and there but nothing that prevented me from reading or understanding the book and its plot.

The Story

The story is a multi-perspective story following several characters in the world of Kiero which is currently in a war. There were several mentions of a war and they were living in hiding but there wasn’t much evidence of the war around in the background of the story.

Things start off straight away in this book. There is no slow build up or a slow burn. You are thrown straight into the fire.

I liked the direction of the story and the different views felt to be in the right time order. I hate it when it’s not, but this was fine. There was one point of view from Emory (chapter 9) which stretched out for ages and it (almost) only features two characters. I started to wonder where the others were.

I did feel at times that things were moving too quickly and the other members of the public were silent – they were lacking some opposition in the background.

World Building

The world felt small but grand if that even makes sense. I think, in distance, it felt small but in hight, it felt grander, taller. Tall trees, long way down with the elevator, high ceilings in the mines, etc. But only a couple of hour of running before the forest ended.

The world of Kiero is a dystopian world with concrete jungle and a real jungle side by side and on top of each other. The world has magic embedded in its core but the inhabitants don’t seem to be able to use it until the faerie arrived. The world reminded me a lot of a dystopian Earth with faeries and magic.

Magic System

Some people have abilities and others hadn’t. The ones who had seemed to mostly come from being related somehow to the faerie.

I didn’t fully understand the system. To be fair there wasn’t much time to explain it but still. It seemed to be of an endless source and the ones with a gift seemed to have more that one ability without explanations. They didn’t seem to have any issues using as much as needed.

I personally prefer it when there is a limit to their power. It creates more tension with the character.

I liked the type of abilities they had. there where shapeshifting, telekinesis, shielding, fire and so on.

The Characters

There are several characters in this book but the main ones are Emory, Memphis, Brook and Adair.

Emory is the lost Queen brought back home from Earth without knowing who she is and without her memories. She quickly picks things up and quickly accepts who she is. It felt a bit too quick to me. She got the full load of who she is, what she is and that the entire world is relying on her in one paragraph, and she doesn’t even blink 😳 It would have been nice with more friction here. However, I liked her as a character.

Memphis. I personally feel he’s a dick. Manipulative piece of shit! (I’m clearly emotionally invested lol). When the end came I rejoiced.

Brokk was my favourite character. The shit he goes through without arguing much is heroic. I would have liked a viewpoint from him in the middle of the long Emery chapter for a contrast. Basically, everything of Brokk, yes, please.

Adair is a character you don’t get much from and I’m not sure what to make of him or how to describe him. He is the King in Kiero and a little mad.


None that came to my attention.


There is some but it’s not very detailed. When it’s focused on it’s more on Emory’s ability to blush than anything.


I didn’t find any spelling mistakes or flawed sentences ✅

But there are repetitions of the same word/saying. For example, in English, there are several version of “Oh my god!”. In this book, they were all “By fire and flame”. It would have been nice to have one or two more just for the sake of diversity. And blimey the amount of “heat keeping up their necks/cheeks” 😂

There is also plenty of room for fleshing out the story giving us readers more of the good stuff. Having said that I really loved the way Brokk’s shapeshifting abilities are described by himself in the beginning. Very visual! It was spot on!


I enjoyed this book and the story. I liked the world and there where twists and turns that seemed to come out of the blue, I didn’t see them coming at all.

I’m unsure if I will continue with this series.

Have you read this? What did you think?


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2 thoughts on “Review – Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney

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