You may recall last year that I did a review of author Ryan Dalton’s debut novel The Year of Lightning, which also happens to be the first of his Time Shift trilogy. Well, yours truly has had an early chance to read book two, The Black Tempest, and things get fantastic.
If you read my previous review, I was hesitant to read The Year of Lightning, considering it’s Young Adult fiction, a genre I swore off after Twilight and Hunger Games. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say up front that I was equally hesitant to begin reading The Black Tempest, considering it’s a sequel.
Despite several sequels not living up to my expectations over the years, I haven’t sworn off sequels. I’ve just become wary of them, as few live up to the expectations I have. However, plenty of authors have had good sequels, and now I can say that Ryan Dalton is one of them.
What makes The Black Tempest so enjoyable is enough of the familiar with enough of the new. His main characters Malcolm and Valentine are still incredibly relateable, even to this almost (but not yet) 30 year old writer and teacher. Valentine, in particular continues to stand out as a well written female character as she goes through the issues of time travel, while also dealing with the issues of life. After all, the world doesn’t stop for a time traveling ancient evil and it certainly doesn’t stop for the anxieties and struggles of a teenage girl. Without giving any of the plot away I can say that Valentine’s reactions to things like family changes and the emotional needs of her friends felt honest and realistic, and it was very easy to feel myself in her shoes.
When it comes to plot, what can say? Very little, because the book’s not out until April and if I posted any spoilers I’d just have my future self delete them. I can say that my use of the word “Fantastic” isn’t just because the book was a great read. It was. It has all the elements that made Year of Lightning a page turner, mystery, time travel and danger. Where Black Tempest takes it to the next level though is by introducing two new characters who bring an otherworldly and fantasy element to the mix. Their presence and the threat of The Black Tempest, push the twins to not only fight to save their town again, but to push themselves to discover more about their purpose and time itself.
To anyone who likes sci-fi, and time travel, you’ll want to get a copy of The Black Tempest, unless of course you hadn’t read The Year of Lightning yet, in which case, go get a copy of The Year of Lightning and then get The Black Tempest.
Expect a more spoiler filled review once The Black Tempest is released on April 25th!