Black Earth: The Broken Daisy
David Alderman
ISBN-10: 1453822194

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Here’s my review of Black Earth: End of the Innocence (book 1)

Book two of the Black Earth series, The Broken Daisy, starts with Nathan Pierce and Cynthia “Sin” Ruin hanging low in the same hotel room book 1 ends in. Daisy, Nathan’s sister, is being held captive by a ‘man dressed in red’ courtesy of President Amanda Stone’s orders. Because Daisy and Nathan faked the bar codes everyone has to wear, Amanda wants to murder Daisy as a warning to the American public of what will happen to them if they don’t obey.

While Nathan paces around, trying to figure out how he and Cynthia can best escape from the hotel and find his sister, Cynthia is asleep after crying herself into exhaustion. Daisy would’ve never been captured had her mother, Theresa Ruin, not betrayed them. Cynthia was only able to rescue Nathan. Now she has no mom, no father, and no friends. Nothing but the big bag with belongings she can’t let go of.

The odds are against them, what with the world falling apart and many groups after Nathan’s life, but that doesn’t stop Nathan and Cynthia from making a run for it and starting their journey.

The Broken Daisy essentially has five main storylines, five main subplots, that all come together to show just how immense the story as a whole is.

1.) Nathan wants to rescue his sister, find his soul mate Pearl, and learn his purpose.

2.) President Amanda Stone, who is working with Legion and the devil, wants to become a dictator. However, journalist Ericka Shane and her partner are determined to reveal a recording to the world that will help the citizens of America rally against her. Fortunately, she has the help of a mysterious man named Absolute.

3.) Jasper and Hush, two powerful wedges from the now destroyed Rhodenine, have seen Legion and Evanescence destroy two worlds before earth. Their goal is to help the humans on earth by stopping Legion and Evanescence for good.

4.) The Vector group and the Time Protection Society (TPS) are against each other. Vector is the only agency that knows about the TPS and the only agency that can stop them. Joseph, an agent who works side-by-side with Heather (Nathan’s best friend), represents the Vector side of the story, as well as a more corrupt lady named Sarah. Theresa Ruin, Cynthia’s corrupt mom, represents the TPS side of the story, as well as a kind man named Macayle.

Time alteration plays an important part in how Nathan’s journey came to be. When I realized time alteration was involved, I really fell for The Broken Daisy, but I also have a weak spot for stories that mess with the time space continuum.

5.) SilverTech industries is ran by a megalomaniac who is obsessed with Hush and constantly sending people after her to bring her back to him (in book one, she was practically his slave). Mr. Silver’s main goal is to have enough ships created to send a number of (selected) humans to a planet called Anaisha when earth is destroyed, a planet he plans to be the God of.

There are more than five subplots, but mentioning them all could make for a very long review. When I reviewed End of the Innocence, book one, I mentioned that the story sometimes feels like it has one too many POVs. It’s still true in book two; when reading this novel, it’s important to keep track of the characters and storylines as best as you can. However, in The Broken Daisy, I felt it was more genius than overwhelming. In a series about the world falling apart, it only makes sense that there would be so many layers adding to the downfall.

My favorite characters are Ericka Shane, Macalay, and Joseph. So many adults in this story who have power are corrupt. I not only really like these characters because they’re kind and ambitious in spite of being adults with power, but because their personalities really sat well with me. Ericka was my favorite character in book one. I was glad to see more of her.

I liked Evanescence least, mostly due to the fact that everything about her reminds me of a stereotypical evil witch. And I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about Griffin. His storyline and his characterization was definitely interesting, but it also…confused me until the readers are later shown what makes him so special. Nathan and the teens are definitely characterized well. Sometimes you love them; sometimes, not so much. That’s fine. In fact, I think that’s how it should be. Shades of grey make them very realistic.

Religion plays a much higher role in this book than it did in the first, since almost every main protagonist struggles with their belief in God. Still, I never get the feeling that religion is stuffed down my throat or that it interrupts the excitement of the story overall. However, if you’ll be reading this story mostly for the sci-fi, apocalyptic aspects, be aware that God and the devil plays a considerably large part in this series.

Only a few plot aspects confused me: Griffin’s storyline and the affect he seems to have on other characters; how time passes in general. Does book one and two only span two days? I’m not really sure. Even though Nathan kept saying only one day had passed, I had a hard time wrapping my mind around which times they slept were just a short nap or which times they slept were overnight. Plus, time may have passed differently in other POVs; smaller subplots, like Jennifer’s time traveler subplot or Olivia’s psychic/time traveler (?) subplot. Maybe it’s because they won’t really get explained until book 3, but I couldn’t quite grasp their overall purpose.

In all, though, I really liked Black Earth: The Broken Daisy. Time travel, aliens, demons, psychics, betrayal, romance (oh man, the romance drama in this story is intense), mysteries, secret organizations, evil witches, hellhounds, battles, Legion (I LOVED how creepy Legion was. That fight with a Legion-possessed human in Walmart made my day)…there is so much to this wild story that’s worth the ride. I think David deserves much more attention and success for this series.

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