Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden

Thank you to netgalley and Penguin Random House Children’s/Puffin for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

Denizen is an orphan, then his aunt decides she wants him to be in her life so he packs up his belongings to move in with her. On his way he sees an angel made of tarmac and his chauffer kills this monster. Denizen arrives at his aunt’s to find that she’s the leader of the Irish counter part of an army that fights shadow beings, like the tarmac angel.

This has a lot of potential. I like middle grade books, and I liked this, but it did kind of feel like classic middle grade. Lack of parents then some parent figure comes along and tells the MC that they’re special, then something happens that is scary, the MC does something silly, cliffhanger ending. The general fantasy element of it was interesting though, it was something I hadn’t really read before, creatures making themselves out of the resources they can find in the area, for a kid with a really active imagination this could be absolutely horrifying honestly.

I found it kind of difficult to understand quite what was going on when the action parts were happening, it seemed to happen a bit too quickly for me and I had to read it over a couple times to figure it out. As this is a middle grade book I feel like this could be a big problem as kids have short attention spans.

I didn’t really get a good enough idea of the side characters personalities and I wasn’t really sure who everyone was even by the end of the novel apart from about 2 of them and that was only because they played a larger part of the whole plot. I would hope that they get built upon in the rest of the series.

I liked that it was set in Ireland as I don’t feel like Ireland is a place where things are often set when it comes to Urban fantasy apart from, of course, Artemis Fowl. I’m interested to see how the geography comes into the rest of the books.

I really think this could turn out to be a good series and I was entertained enough by this first entry that I want to read more and see what happens. For a debut novel I was impressed, there was a good ending with enough to feel content about the ending but know that there’s a lot to be done in the next parts of the series.

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