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Dawn: Dark Light #1    by Jon Land order for
by Jon Land
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2019 (2017)
Hardcover, Paperback, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Jon Land's supernatural thriller, Dark Light: Dawn, combines apocalyptic horror with superpowers and mysticism, in particular an exploration of the nature of good and evil. The author moves readers back and forth between the back story and the present day.

The former shows two partners (the very decent Ben Younger and Dale Denton, who is only out for himself) as they risk all they have, seeking oil in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula (an area the locals named Land of the Devil). They do strike oil, but first Ben falls into a deep fissure and takes hold of a glowing rock from outer space. Pulsating with raw energy, it changes him and his son Max forever. Ben survives and the rock is lost, but Dale never stops seeking it, convinced that it can fulfill all his dreams of wealth and power.

In the present day, we meet Navy SEAL Max Younger. He seems able to survive the most horrific conflict situations, even when all around him are slaughtered - how does he do it? Max is a likable character, except when extreme danger turns him into some kind of beserker, and then he likes killing all too much. One question pulling readers through the story is that of whether or not Max will turn to the dark side.

Another lead is infectious disease expert Victoria Lewin, whom we follow around the world on the trail of a horrifying new epidemic, spreading fast through the Middle East and Africa, 'a potential Extinction Event'. Other key characters pursue sightings of miracles or 'inexplicable phenomena' worldwide. The author links all these plot threads together, both in the back story and the present day. As this Dark Light episode concludes, Max must make a choice that will affect all humankind.

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