Book Review: ‘Blackwatch’ by Jenna Burtenshaw

Posted: 19 October 2016 in Book reviews
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After the disastrous Night of Souls, both Silas Dane and Kate Winters have gone into hiding. Silas leaves Kate in Fume and leaves town. While easily eluding his pursuers, he learns of another person who is exactly like him: Dalliah Grey. He tracks her to the Continent, but is captured within hours of his arrival.

Back in Albion, Kate is being put on trial for murder by those who should be protecting her. Edgar believes they will see reason, but their fear of her is very strong. Edgar breaks her out, but not before learning that the Blackwatch (from the Continent) are after her. The two disappear deep into the tunnels below Fume. Despite some close calls, they almost reach the surface, but get captured with their goal in sight.

Waiting for them on the Continent are Dalliah, Silas, and Silas’ arch-rival Bandermain. Silas escaped from the Blackwatch and found Dalliah, but things were much different than he had thought. Dalliah has a plan that should have been enticing to Silas, but his conscience doesn’t sit well with it. Especially as Kate is to be used as a pawn. If he cannot figure out a way to stop Dalliah, then the world as they know it will end.

My Thoughts

While I had certain issues with the first book, I liked the story enough to want to continue the series. To be honest, the second book didn’t change my opinion much.

Like the first book, it is very interesting. There is a good story here that is very well thought out. What I liked about this book is that we get a deeper look into the background of the world. I liked how more of Kate’s abilities are introduced. Before, it seemed like the Skill was only the ability to deal with the veil, but with her it seems like she can do much more. It’s no surprise that the others would be afraid of her. That being said, there is a lot that makes little sense as well. Such as how and why she has these extra powers. Dalliah being able to see the future is another one. I guess these are just some of the mysteries of having a link to the veil. I wish it was explained more though.

There are only really two new important characters in this book: Dalliah and Bandermain. Dalliah is like Kate in many ways regarding her powers. She is also like Silas in other ways, but much worse. Dalliah has no qualms with sacrificing people to reach her aims. She is vicious and pretty evil. Bandermain is pathetic. The poor guy just wants to live. He is so afraid of death that he would rather torture himself for the slightest chance to live. Pretty sad.

Firstly, I’m going to say that I like the story. Like I said before, it was well crafted. Problem is that the writing is just like the first book. There were a lot of grammatical issues. At least in my opinion. It made reading it a challenge as I kept needing to fix the grammar in my head. It made it feel like a high schooler wrote the book. That may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. Not to mention the climb to the climax was so slight that it wouldn’t have winded someone unaccustomed to cardio. That was pretty disappointing. I had hoped it would improve as the story progressed, but it kinda got worse.

I find it humourous that reviews call the book creepy and that there is terror. Where? How is it creepy? Now these are my thoughts, but there is nothing terrifying about this book let alone the series. It is interesting to have a focus on death and the dead, but Anna Kendall’s Crossing Over is a lot more disturbing than this book. Kate simply enters the veil and it scares people. Kendall’s story involves massive amounts of pain to get the kid to enter the other plane. Much worse. Maybe dealing with issues of an otherworldly nature is what is so creepy. I get that. People randomly being able to see Shades (basically ghosts) can be creepy, but it happens so rarely in the story that it doesn’t make the book creepy.

While the grammar is awful, the story really is interesting and well developed, but I can still only give it a 3/5 max. I’m feeling generous. I still plan on reading the final book in the series. I can only hope that the last one makes up for this one. If you decide to read this, let me know if you disagree or agree with me. Enjoy 😉

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