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Dusk [Paperback]

Tim Lebbon
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 8.28 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

31 Jan 2006
Kosar the thief senses that Rafe Baburn is no ordinary boy. After witnessing a madman plunder Rafe's village and murder his parents, Kosar knows the boy needs his help. And now, for a reason he cannot fathom, others are seeking the boy's destruction.

Uncertain where to begin, Kosar turns to A'Meer, an ex-lover and Shantasi warrior whose people, unbeknownst to him, have been chosen to safeguard magic's return. A'Meer knows instantly that it is Rafe who bears this miracle of magic. Now Kosar and a band of unexpected allies embark on a battle to protect one special boy. For dark forces are closing in–including the Mages, who have been plotting their own triumphant return.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra Books (31 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553383647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553383645
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 674,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but sometimes slow, dark fantasy 17 Nov 2007
By B. D. Wilson VINE VOICE
"Dusk" is a very original novel of dark, epic fantasy. There are a lot of interesting ideas on show here, and the premise itself is an intriguing one.

But I think that premise, as good as it is, wasn't enough to sustain a full novel, and was essentially stretched for 400 pages when that isn't really what it was suited for. The whole plot of the book is essentially one big chase. The idea of "bad guys pursue fleeing good guys across the land" is a common staple of fantasy, but in most cases that isn't ALL the story is. With this book that IS the case.

But to give Lebbon credit, there is a more expansive scope waiting in the background, and he does conclude Dusk with the great promise of something big, epic, multi-layered and satisfying to come in the sequel, "Dawn", with a dramatic ending that shakes things up wholesale. There are no big battles in this book, but I'm sure there will be in Dawn.

And, as I said at the beginning, there are some nice fantasy ideas on show here, particularly huge dormant war machines that run on magic, which promise to be a big part of the upcoming story. I also liked the way Lebbon portrays the magic itself, as a wild, mysterious elusive thing that nobody can quite control, almost as if it were a wild animal with a conscience. That was interesting.

Also, the book is very eloquently and cleanly written.

Overall, a reasonable fantasy adventure, but I found it to be a bit slow at some points, what with the story being fairly minimalist. But I have to remember that this is only the first half of a two-part story, and there does seem to be genuine promise of better things to come from Lebbon yet. I look forward to reading Dawn and finding out for myself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ok, but best to stick to horror I think 20 Mar 2006
By A Customer
Dusk is a perfectly servicable fantasy, but I found myself glad to be reaching the end when it did come and not inspired to go and buy the second at all. The writing is good, Lebbon certainly knows how to turn a phrase, but the plot's simplistic and unremarkable in my book - very much how I'd expect a horror writer's impression of a fantasy plot to be. Young boy of mysterious origins survives massacre for no particular reason, various useful and unexplained coincidences happen as he gather s a band of disparate companions in the role-playing style, lots of running away and then the end of the book. That's about it really and that's not enough to stir any great emotion in me.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lebbon... from novelist to writer.... 24 Oct 2005
By A Customer
Lebbon has always challenged the reader to follow his dark imagination into less comfortable surroundings. I have to say though that Dusk really is a departure from his usual style. Lebbon invents a world beyond the kid gloves of Tolkein and the like. The first time I read Dusk I really felt swept away with the pace of the book, tearing at the pages to keep pace. On second reading I took the time to appreciate the characters and lavish setting. This really is a fantastic read and for the first time I apprecited the difference between dark fantasy and horror. I suspect that this really will place Lebbon comfortable alongside the likes of Barker in terms of daring the reader to surrender their imagination to his. Absolutely superb....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars By the end I was praying for all the characters to die . . . 12 July 2009
By Brian R. - Published on Amazon.com
This book had a great hook. Unfortunately, that's about all it had. After a great beginning, the plot meanders (the characters run around endlessly in the author's world with no aim other than trying not to die), and generally make themselves less and less sympathetic with each passing page. The internal logic of this world is incoherent and inconsistent (magic is gone from the land, yet magical things happen all the time), and things happen apparently to serve the author's whim. When the climax finally came, it was as if the author had finally hit his target word count or gotten tired of writing and pulled out the granddaddy of all deus ex machinas (none of the characters actuallY DO anything; they just get their butts saved by some nameless, faceless magic that's been waiting to return to the land).

This one's a real yawner.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Fantasy for grown-ups" 7 April 2006
By Adam Craig - Published on Amazon.com
Dusk is probably one of the darkest, most disturbing fantasy tales that I have ever read. Tim Lebbon creates an extremely interesting, mysterious world (Noreela) that is full of insane people, creatures, and drugs.

Dusk follows the journey of Rafe Baburn, an innocent young farm boy who is being hunted by the Red Monks. The Red Monks were formed after the Cataclysmic War 300 years ago to make sure that the Mages could never get magic again. To ensure that, magic has been completely drained from the land, and the Monks are out to destroy anything that could possibly bring magic back for the Mages to take control of (this includes Rafe). After some gruesome encounters with the Red Monks, Rafe sets out with his band of supporters (a thief, a Shantasi warrior, a witch, a librarian, and a drugged-out fledge miner) to get away from the Monks and find some protection in Noreela.

While the plot of Dusk is really interesting and seemingly original, the book is hampered at many moments by Lebbon's writing style. Most great fantasy anthologies are great because not only are the stories good, but we also grow to love and root for the characters. That is basically impossible in Dusk because Lebbon is constantly switching the narration around from character to character, just so, it seems, he can get as many different angles on the story as possible. Since we never really get to know any character, I found myself completely uncaring when the battle came at the end of the book. Also, I was absolutely clueless as to what was actually happening to the main characters, and I think that Lebbon was pretty clueless too, considering he never gives any real descriptions of what is actually going on so the reader can have any visual in their own mind.

I am going to reserve final judgement on this novel until the sequel, Dawn, comes out next year. Because for all of the faults that this novel has, Lebbon definitely has created some interesting groups of people, just not interesting specific characters. Actually, the land of Noreela is one of the most interesting fantasy worlds that I think I have ever read. So I still believe that Lebbon can save this book if he focuses more on characters in Dawn, and actually gives the reader some information as to what is going on in the land of Noreela. But overall, I would say this is an OK fantasy debut for an author who has stuck to traditional horror in the past. Hopefully it goes upward from here.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please make this into a movie 23 Nov 2006
By PG - Published on Amazon.com
What can I say? This book rocked!! It was brutal, violent, ugly, scary while at the same time being poetic, poignant and beautiful. I love the land that was created, Noreela. There are so many stories that could happen in this land!! I am glad to hear that Lebbon has a few more planned.

I cannot wait for Dawn to come out!

This is the second book that I have read by Lebbon. The first was Berserk. I liked that book but it really wasn't anything I hadn't seen before. The ending of Berserk did not surprise me either. Whatever you do, fight the temptation to read the ending of Dusk first. I was so shocked that I read the last page a couple times to be sure that I read it right. Wow!

This would make a simply awesome movie. Rated R of course. I think Peter Jackson could really do something with this.

When I began reading this book, I couldn't help draw parallels between this book and Stephen King's Dark Tower. You have the Post Apocalyptic world which is "running down", you have ancient machines that no longer work, you have the decline of civilization, plus the Quest. Boy was I wrong! This book is so dark that it makes King's Work appear downright cheerful. Where King sprinkles humor in his story, Lebbon sprinkles despair. I know that the Dark Tower has its dark moments but you always have a feeling that the good will probably win out in the end. This story...not so much!

Ignore the idiots who say that this book is boring. I was never bored! I purposely read the book slowly so I could absorb this strange world and get to know its occupants. These characters are absolutely magical. You start the story thinking that the Red Monks were bad... Well I don't want to ruin it. Read this book!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dusk made me sleepy... 24 Mar 2006
By Eric the Red - Published on Amazon.com
DUSK is usually the kind of book I would love. Dig the ideas, but the execution of it bored me after a while.

I don't get all the high marks it is recieving. To each his own, I suppose. I found it quite slow, with no clear-cut, much-needed descriptions. Way too vague for my tastes.

Not as good as Chris Golden.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good writing, good world, bad plot 17 April 2006
By Emily Jo Scalzo - Published on Amazon.com
I loved the characters, the intrigue, and especially the world Lebbon created. Until the mages came in with their utter insanity and in the very end the entire book proves to be pointless. I don't mind main characters dying, but this book seriously has problems.

It's not just the characters dying, either. I didn't buy the plotline. The mages have no power, and yet have control over shades. The land is somehow connected to magic, which has been nonexistent for three centuries, and yet only now has it decided to heave to the drastic extent in which it does. Creatures destroy various parts of the world (especially the mines), but don't really seem to have a purpose. Maybe this was supposed to be explained in later books, but the ending of "Dusk" ensured that I would not be reading the rest of the books.

The ending seemed tacked on to allow for another book, even though such a book was already possible. Instead, I was disgusted by the writing to the extent that I will never read another Lebbon novel again. One was bad enough. While the mages were insane, I had no idea that they were capable of what they did. And I didn't buy that by doing what they did they would gain magic.

This end is obviously written for shock value. His writing style is strong, but the execution of this book was bad and sometimes in very poor taste. The whole reading experienced was ruined by the ending, especially the graphic detail of it. The prospect of a sequel already has me retching.
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