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A Broken Darkness: Premee Mohamed - a book review

A Broken Darkness opens eighteen months after the finale of Beneath the Rising (book one). Nick is still dealing the feelings of betrayal after learning that he was given to his friend Johnny as part of her deal with the Ancient Ones. Now he’s working for a magical society, in part investigating his childhood friend, and is sent to Edinburgh for the opening of Johnny’s new reactor, with the secondary task of finding his boss’s daughter.

The second book explores the idea that evil people don’t realise they are evil. Johnny, despite her lofty ideas, is power hungry and selfish. Despite knowing this, Nick finds it hard to break the habit of loving, admiring and even occasionally trusting her to do the right thing.

This is not a standalone novel; it’s the second book in a trilogy. If you haven’t read Beneath the Rising, I don’t think book two will make much sense. Mohamed doesn’t spend time filling in the details you missed. If you read the two books together, this is great – who wants repetition? But if it has been a long time since you finished book one, it may take a while to catch up again.

Beneath the Rising is one of the books I discuss in my Colour of Lovecraft blog post. You can find that here -

In this book, the reactor is attacked by monsters. As Johnny and Nick believed they successfully sealed the Earth from the influence of the Ancient Ones, the origin of these monsters is a mystery they must solve and quickly, because the world is changing – people are growing tentacles and attacking anyone who is still human, and cities are crumbling.

As in the first book, the action takes place across many countries, but A Broken Darkness isn’t limited to our world, and Nick and the others find themselves trapped in another dimension while Johnny figures out the mathematics she needs to protect what remains of Earth.

It’s an enjoyable read, in a large part due to the banter between Nick and Johnny, two people who know each other better than anyone. This time, after what Nick has learned about the girl/young woman he wholeheartedly admired, the banter is frequently barbed. Nick and the reader are frequently frustrated by Johnny’s self-justifications and seemingly obliviousness to her less than noble motives.

However, A Broken Darkness is a bridge between books one and three. It ends far too abruptly to be a satisfying read in and of itself, and time will tell whether the final book will redeem this flaw.

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