Knights of the Borrowed Dark
Proceed with caution. This book, although advertised for middle-grade readers, is very dark. Within the first few pages the director of the orphanage is tortured for information wherein his collar bone is snapped with force. There is a lot of battling and the evil creatures depicted are the things of nightmares. The advanced vocabulary could also pose a challenge to many younger readers. 

Crosscaper Orphanage is a bleak place to experience childhood. Denizen is lucky to have his best-friend Simon with him, since they were both brought there at a a very young age, and both share a love for books. They’ve grown up reading books of all kinds, their only escape from the walls of the orphanage. Denizen has never known anything about his parents, unlike other kids, and is shocked to get a letter from an aunt he never knew he had shortly after his 13th birthday. Denizen is invited to come stay with her and being the pessimist he is thinks it’s too good to be true.

Denizen is picked up from the orphanage by one of his aunt’s co-workers and is driven to a giant house on a row of embassy houses. The flag outside the house is from a country he has never seen before and the surprise attack on the journey there makes him realize there is more to his family than he could have ever imagined. Denizen discovers he is from a long line of Knights that are sworn to defend earth from the evil things that live in the shadows. Will Denizen decide to join the ragtag band of Knights? If he does, he will enter a dangerous dark world where one must fight for survival.

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One Thought on “Knights of the Borrowed Dark (Knights of the Borrowed Dark #1)”

    It is very rare that I review a book under three stars, so I feel I should justify why this book was a lower rating. Spoiler alerts!!!

    While the plot is one we’re familiar with, the author does a good job of staying unique and away from most other story lines readers know. However, I found that most of the plot twists were expected and the characters weren’t very developed. Denizen (not the best name) is likable enough, and the author does a good job of expressing his feelings throughout the book in an authentic way. The other characters were all side-lined and barely described, so it was hard to have an emotional attachment to any of them. Simon, Denizen’s best friend, I think will grow into a bigger character throughout this series, I hope! Book one was good enough to make me want to read the next but just barely.

    Here are some of the other things that I struggled to get over in this book:

    1. Borderline Horror Writing for Children
    There is quite a lot of violence for a children’s book. Despite the middle-grade plot, the actually writing was very evil focused and dark. The creatures of the night are very frightening and while imaginative on the author’s part can leave children having nightmares. The orphanage is taken over by dark creatures that destroy the place and put all the children (except Simon) into a deep sleep haunted by nightmares for about a month?! That is a long time to be in restless sleep, and is a chilling thought.

    2. Sloowwwww Beginning
    This was a hard book to get into. The readers know something is coming, and the intrigue was enough to keep me reading, but it took a long time for the author to build up to revealing the plot.
    3. Not Fully Fleshed-out
    I think there is a great idea here, Knights that protect earth from darkness that crosses over, but the vague descriptions of how their powers work and the history of the Knights is too vague. The characters even say they don’t know very much of how they exist, which makes the story less believable in my eyes.

    4. Forcing Friendships
    Because the supporting characters weren’t giving much attention to the main character, it felt as though the friendships were forged too quickly and there was just a sense of trust from Denizen when the people around him are complete strangers.

    5. Weird Reactions
    I don’t know how else to describe it, but at times it seemed like characters should have reacted in different ways. Like the Aunt taking off at signs of trouble to go talk to the Order when she is supposed to be some amazing battle hero. Why not stay and help them fight? Also, the way she avoided Denizen the whole book was frustrating and the author really gave no valid reason for it. Then when Denizen’s aunt is shot, he doesn’t even morn the loss of the only connected he had to his family.

    Ultimately, there were some gaps for me in the writing style, but the plot is definitely engaging and action packed. I still think many, many readers will like this series I just caution against the advertised 9+ age, and would recommend this more for 12+ readers.

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