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Black Feathers: The Black Dawn, Book 1 Audio Download – Unabridged

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 12 hours and 23 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Angry Robot on Brilliance Audio
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 26 Mar. 2013
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C17QGGW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Typical you wait years for a Joseph D'Lacey book and then three come along at once. Following hot on the heels of the excellent Snake Eyes and Blood Fugue, Black Feathers is the first volume in a proposed duology and it's the book I have been waiting for D'Lacey to write, let me explain.

Black Feathers tells the tale of two adolescent children, Gordon Black and Megan Maurice who are entwined in a journey despite occupying different periods of time. A prophecy tells of the Crowman, "a dark man is coming and he signals the end of everything we know" and both Gordon and Megan are special players in this prophecy. Neither has any real idea of their importance but gradually those around them begin to take an interest and it's not long before they are separated from their families and thrust into an epic quest to prevent the forthcoming apocalypse.

A simple battle of dark versus light is of course a well used (and frequently abused) theme but this book handles it in an altogether new and interesting way. D'Lacey's work has always been full of morality, from the anti-factory farming message in Meat to the eco-horror of Garbage Man, but in Black Feathers, Joseph D'Lacey has integrated his messages much more subtly without losing any of their power. Gordon's land is a place threatened by climate change and a totalitarian government known as the Ward. Feeding on the greed and terror of the populace, the Ward are a frighteningly realistic vision of the future.

Contrast that realism with the mythology of the Crowman and the folklore of the Crow and you have all the ingredients for a fascinating morality tale. Even better is the fact that D'Lacey, in this first volume at least, doesn't clarify whether the light or dark path is correct.
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Format: Paperback
Black Feathers, the latest novel from Joseph D'Lacey, is a story in two halves. The narrative alternates between a couple of separate, but interconnected journeys.

The first strand is the story of Gordon Black, a young boy born into the present day just as the world we know is beginning to come apart at the seams. The evil that Gordon faces off against appears in the form of a group known only as The Ward. They have infiltrated every level of government and big business in an effort to control what precious few resources remain. The Ward's sole purpose? To locate and destroy the individual known as The Crowman. I was reminded a little of Norsefire, the near faceless fascist villains that feature heavily in Alan Moore's masterpiece V for Vendetta. You see, D'Lacey is being a bit sneaky here. He isn't just telling us a story, he's also subtly pointing out that we have to be wary when it comes to giving governments and politicians all the power.

The second element of the novel introduces Megan Maurice. Her half of the story has a more fantastical feeling about it. She lives in a version of the future where life is far simpler than what we are used to. People farm the land and concern themselves with the basics of existence. After a chance meeting in the local woods, Megan is plagued by visions of times long past. In an effort to understand what these nightmares mean, she leaves her home and family and becomes the apprentice to a local wise man.

Megan's mentor on her journey is the sage and, in turns, sublime Mr Keeper. More than a little odd, he seems to exist partially in the real world and partially in a state that's reminiscent to aboriginal dreamtime. Keeper has a habit of being just a little bit cryptic but also offers some wonderfully dry anecdotes.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first part of an apocalyptic duology, Black Feathers introduces us to two children on the cusp of adulthood searching for the mysterious Crowman; part urban myth, part horror story to scare children at night, The Crowman has been seen by many and appears to be either a saviour or a harbinger of death.

Billions perish as solar flares hit and technology becomes useless. In this novel, which spans two different timelines, we first encounter Sophie and Louis Black, parents to Gordon, who is forced to flee into the woods as a fourteen year old boy, when his parents are taken prisoner by the Ward, the post-apocalyptic authority. We gain insight into Gordon's hunt for The Crowman, at the same time seeing the past and 'present' through the eyes of young Megan. Megan, in a different timeline to that of Gordon, tells Mr Keeper of her dreams of a young boy. On the verge of womanhood, she goes into Covey Wood looking for answers and seeking The Crowman. She will be the first female Keeper and the last ever Keeper, keeping the stories of the Crowman alive. Featuring many flashbacks to the outbreak of the apocalypse, Black Feathers shows us the decay of civilisation and builds on the atmosphere of the book as well as the actual story.

The descriptions of the apocalypse are reminiscent of the current socio-economic climate, and as such, strikes a chord with the reader. The images of a bleak ad savage world are genuinely horrific and D'Lacey switches betwee the perspectives of Gordon and Megan at just the right moment, so we get to know each character intimately. Though a little on the long side, the pace of the novel works, as does this POV switch. The imagery the author uses and the recurrent presence of crows within the narrative further supports the direction the duology is taking.
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