One hundred and fifteen years ago, a mysterious virus wiped out ninety-five per cent of humanity.
Blackthorn, the largest settlement in England, rose from the ashes of the devastated old world. It is a troubled city, where the workers live in crude shacks, and make do with the worst of everything.
It is a city of violent divisions, crime, and an over-populated jail block―until a charismatic traveller has a miraculous vision and promises to bring hope back to the people’s lives.
Blackthorn falls under Ryder Swift’s spell, and the most devoted of all is the governor’s loyal servant, Lieutenant August Hemsley.
Twenty-one-year-old Evie has lived her whole life in the shacks. She and disillusioned guard Byron Lewis are two of a minority who have doubts about Ryder’s message. Can they stand against the beliefs of an entire city?
This book is set within the world of the Project Renova series, but can be read as a standalone. Backstory regarding what happened in the world during that series is explained so the reader can easily follow along.
Since I’ve read the Project Renova series, I adored the mention of some of those characters – but I also enjoyed meeting these new ones. Evie is a delight – feisty, independent, and smart. She doesn’t automatically drink the Koolaid like most of the folks in Blackthorn – she’s skeptical, asks questions, and has a good head on her shoulders. Female readers will be enraged at the way some women are treated in Blackthorn. It’s scary to think society could regress to that point after a postapocalyptic event.
This author has a talent for character development, and the story is primarily character-driven. I enjoyed the changing POVs between Evie, Byron, and Hemsley, whose character arc is especially riveting. Ryder is charismatic and personable, and perfect to carry out the role he’s been given – but you just never quite trust him.
Blacktorn is a compelling and thought-provoking read I found difficult to put down. As I mentioned, this is a standalone book, but after finishing it, don’t be suprised if you find yourself purchasing the Project Renova series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.