THE BLACK DAWN VOLUME 2: THE BOOK OF THE CROWMAN, by Joseph D’Lacey, Angry Robot £8.99 p/b http://angryrobotbooks.com
Reviewed by Glen Mehn
This sequel to Black Dawn picks up where the first book left off: Gordon Black was struggling through a dystopian future, where the Ward were taking over and trying to stave off the arrival of the mythical Crowman; the Green Men were the prototypical fighters on the side of the Land – somewhere between Native Americans and Robin Hood’s Merrie Men. Meanwhile, centuries later Megan Maurice is discovering the journey of the Crowman, becoming a keeper of the land, and writing it all down.
Gordon Black is the near-future Chosen One: It’s up to him to go forth and find the mysterious Crowman, a dark figure who will save the world or destroy it.
D’lacey is a master craftsman, and can construct worlds and sentences with what looks like ease, but I’m sure is hard work underneath. He’s built a brilliant pair of worlds and has put a story in that would satisfy any Campbellian or Jungian scholar, as it follows along with several saviour myths on the planet, and the book is well-written and engaging, from action sequences to suspense and the horrors that can be visited by the Ward and its minions.
The books builds to a climax that’s ultimately very satisfying, with the only complaint being that it’s probably exactly what you’re expecting: I won’t spoil it here but it’s not terribly surprising. The build-up and the way that the two stories weave together are top-notch.