Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Black Feathers (Black Dawn, #1)” as Want to Read:
Black Feathers (Black Dawn, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Black Feathers

(Black Dawn #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  854 ratings  ·  149 reviews
It is the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, the earth wracked and dying.

It is the Bright Day, a time long generations hence, when a peace has descended across the world.

In each era, a child shall be chosen. Their task is to find a dark messiah known only as the Crowman. But is he our saviour – or the final incarnation of evil?

File Under: Fantasy [ The Crowman
Paperback, 494 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by Angry Robot (first published March 25th 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Black Feathers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Black Feathers

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  854 ratings  ·  149 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Black Feathers (Black Dawn, #1)
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
who knew joseph d'lacey had chops??

see, i have come across his name before. in fact, i own both


because they looked like such good/bad horror novels: cannibalism and creepiness, and i figured when i needed a dose of splatter-horror, they would be there waiting for me.

but i may have misjudged.

because this book is actually good-good, not some campy b-movie book that is junk food for the brain. and looking more closely at his other books, seeing them labeled as "eco-horror," this book begins to
Dan Schwent
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, angry-robot
In a time much like ours, the world is falling apart and Gordon Black is on the run for reasons he doesn't completely understand. In the far future, a girl named Megan Maurice finds herself chosen to learn the Crowman's story. Is the Crowman the world's savior or its destroyer? And what is the connection between Gordon and the Crowman?

Wow. If I knew how great this book was going to be when I bought it, I wouldn't have let it linger on my to-read pile for so long.

Black Feathers tells two stories,
I loved this book so much and just realized I never posted my review. If you like fantasy and apocalyptic books, then you should read this book. Black Feathers is a beautifully young adult story set in England at the time of an apocalypse. This books looks at what people do to survive but yet there is also an interesting mythology. I am often not impressed with world building in an apocalypse novel -- I am reading it for the story of how people survive. But this book impressed me. Interwoven int ...more
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
“When the final days came, it was said that Satan walked the Earth in the guise of a crow. Those who feared him called him Scarecrow or sometimes Black Jack. I know him as the Crowman”

This excerpt is from the very first line of the novel.
With regard to this creature with black feathered wings and sharp lethal beak I have had many a harrowing encounter. There was, let me mention first, this movie The Birds by a master of the dark Alfred Hitchcock and then there was appearing of this black fea
Jan 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
For a book in which very little actually happens in terms of plot development, Black Feathers was a fantastic read. It's the story of twin journeys, separated by untold years, and intersecting at the moment of the apocalypse which lies between them. What Joseph D'Lacey has crafted here is a story that's equal parts Stephen King and Robert McCammon, but with an environmental message at its heart, as opposed to a spiritual one. It's dark and it's grim, but it's also magical . . . wondrous, even.

Mogsy (MMOGC)
In this novel we follow two stories, going back and forth between one and another. One features Gordon Black, whose birth into a world much like ours heralds the beginning of the end. Society makes its descension into the "Black Dawn", an era marked by environmental and economic collapse, poverty, starvation, and anarchy. The second story takes place hundreds of years later, focusing on Megan Maurice, a girl living in a future where humanity's level of technology has effectively reverted back to ...more
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Christal (Badass Book Reviews)
See this review and others like it at!

4.5 stars - Joint Review with Regina

The main characters, Gordon and Megan - Gordon and Megan each have their own journey to adulthood and responsibility to accomplish in this book. Even though they live in different time periods, their lives and destinies overlap and their survival really depends upon the other.

Christal: Megan and Gordon were wonderful characters. Though I was drawn a little more to Megan throughout the book, I think th
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, fantasy
I hadn't really paid attention to Joseph D'Lacey's Black Feathers until Angry Robot revealed its cover and it intrigued me enough to check out the synopsis again. At which point it really grabbed my attention and I was pleased to get my hands on an ARC. Black Feathers is both an apocalyptic tale and a post-apocalyptic narrative, due to the two temporal strands that are woven together. I found myself equally caught up in both of them and I couldn't tell you which my favourite story arc was.

The ap
The birth of Gordon Black signifies the end of the world. Year after year following his birth, the world slides into more and more poverty and destruction. People call it the Black Dawn and the Crowman becomes its symbol. Whether the Crowman is a harbinger of the final end or the saviour of the world, no one is certain, but when the Ward goes after a teenaged Gordon, they are certain that the Crowman must be stopped by any means and that Gordon, tasked by his family to find the Crowman, must be ...more
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Gordon is born in October 2000, strange things happen and his parents seem to treat him different from his two sisters. As he hits teenage years, the world is crumbling - people are starving, the weather is destroying the earth, people have lost respect for the earth and take all she gives for granted. Many years in the future (you never find out how many), a girl sees the Crowman which means she has been marked as a Keeper - the Keepers tell the story of Gordon Black, a child linked to the Crow ...more
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an advance reader copy that I snagged from Netgalley. I think the book will be released sometime in March/April 2013. From this point on, there will be spoilers.

Gordon Black's birth signals the beginning of the end for the world. As each year passes, the world falls further into economic and environmental upheaval. Tired of the abuses committed against her Mother Earth rebels and begins to purge her lands of the people who harm her, leaving only those who give back as much as they take.
Kara Babcock
This is an odd book. I'm pretty sure it’s good, but I’m not sure I liked it. It took me far longer to read Black Feathers than I usually take to read any book. Part of that was because I spent more time focused on other things over the past few weeks. Most of it, I think was avoidance. Joseph D’Lacey’s writing is good; don’t get me wrong. But I was never in a hurry to return to this world.

Black Feathers is an amalgam of older-style dystopian YA of The Giver’s generation and new-style dystopian Y
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: apocalyptastic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alisha-Dear Constant Reader

"When the final days come, it was said that Satan walked the Earth in the guise of a crow. Those who feared him called him Scarecrow or sometimes Black Jack. I know him as the Crowman."

Black Feathers is a modern fable in which Gordon Black's birth, signals an end to our modern way of life.

 photo Crow_Man_by_chichu_chan_zps0377a09b.jpg

The Crow Man by ~chichu-chan

Black Feathers begins at the end. In an attempt to save herself, the earth is in upheaval, ridding herself of a great swathe of humanity, "like a dog shaking off fleas." There ar
Nick Cato
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
This first installment of D'Lacey's Duology is part eco-terror, part dark fantasy, and parts pre and post apocalyptic horror.

The tale takes place in two times; one is the Black Dawn (close to our current time), where we follow the travels of fourteen year-old Gordon as the planet is in ecological collapse and his family have been taken by a growing, sinister new government. The second is in the future (known as the Bright Day), which deals with a young girl named Megan dealing with the aftermath
Joe Piccoli
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 Stars. Audio. Holy shit did he write this book two weeks ago? This book is a good example of what could happen to our world when the Earth has had enough of our bullshit, continually poisoning her and giving nothing back. She will shed the cancer of humanity from her skin and keep on spinning.
Kate Sherrod
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: angry-robot
If you've ever wondered what the result would be like if Neil Gaiman wrote a post-apocalyptic fable that attempted to rehabilitate the character of Damien Thorn, look no further than Black Feathers.

Gordon Black, one of the two protagonists of Black Feathers, is not precisely Damien, but the circumstances of and mysteries surrounding his birth are just as ominous and prophecy-burdened as that famous son-of-the-devil, and one would spend a lot of the story wondering if he couldn't really be just a
usagi ☆ミ
This is a REALLY interesting one, guys, and definitely another feather in Angry Robot's hat when it comes to original content. After finishing "Black Feathers", this first book in the new "Black Dawn" series, I'm definitely hungry for book two, and I want it now. No, seriously, now. If you're looking for something fresh when it comes to fantasy (in this case, dystopia marrying the apocalypse and urban fantasy), this is definitely a book you simply must try out.

The only major issue I had with thi
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-read
You can find the full review over at my blog:

Shadowhawk reviews the first in a new post-apocalyptic fantasy series from Angry Robot Books.

“Spectacular is the word I’d use to describe the novel. Nothing else can capture the reading experience.” ~The Founding Fields

Post-apocalyptic fiction isn’t really my thing, and for a simple reason: it’s just never really interested me all that much. However, reading D’Lacey’s latest has turned around me thinking for a b
Victoria Eaves
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every adult
First up, I have to say that I was not in a right state of mind to read the story. We are moving in 8 weeks (to a different country), so I am very anxious and it is hard for me to really concentrate on anything. I did had some difficulties following the prose, and had to reread some parts (English is not my first language). But never less it grabbed me and it was beautiful written. It wasn't so much about the action but really more about the development about two young people faced with an extra ...more
Urban fantasy and legend meet the post apocalyptic in BLACK FEATHERS created from the wickedly dark imagination of author Joseph D’Lacey. This new world takes all that it’s been given; decimating the populace and crumbling the society that has so scarred its land for as long as time can remember. Now, rivers overflow, volcanoes spill hot lava, the very crust of Earth splits and soil is borne anew. BLACK FEATHERS leads to a cleansing of the planet where savours are few and survivalists are the go ...more
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, love
better late than never i guess....

4.5 Stars

Beautiful dark fantasy!

The story is told from two POV and set in two different times. While at times it was rather slow, I enjoyed the way the entire novel was paced, it has a slow steady flow to it. I loved how the two MC, living in different times, experiencing completely different things, still were connected by the same thread and how things slowly unfolded.

The two MCs, Megan and Gordon, are both adolescents who are embarking on a journey of change
Liz Barnsley
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So we come to Black Feathers by the wonderfully funny (on Twitter!) Joseph D'Lacey a book I've been dying to get around to and finally did! Stephen King, my favourite author, reckons Joseph D'Lacey rocks. Having completed this novel I have to say I'm in utter agreement. He sure does.

This is a fable of sorts. A dark fairy tale. Telling two stories, interlinked but in different times, it follows two young people on their journey towards a prophetic future. Megan has an encounter that will change h
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I honestly bought this book as a joke. Reading the back, it sounded like some over the top trying-to-be-edgy horror novel, and the author's photo in the back didn't convince me otherwise.

So imagine my surprise when this book turned out to be something completely different. Parallel coming of age stories, adventure, fantasy...

What really struck me was how real the two main characters felt. As someone who used to be an avid reader of YA fiction, I feel that this is the first time I've read a teen
Joe Jones
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, horror
Gordon Black and Megan Maurice are from two different times and each has their own story to tell. What connects them is the Crowman, who also goes by the names Blackjack and Scarecrow. Gordon lives in the beginnings of post-apocalyptic England. Climate change, dwindling resources and Man’s general abuse of the environment have caused the fabric of society to start to collapse. Megan lives generations later when people live a simpler existence. What they have in common is that they’re both too yo ...more
Victoria Hooper
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it

Black Feathers is the first in a dark fantasy trilogy from horror writer Joseph D’Lacey. It has a very interesting setting, being split between two time periods, neither of which is very common in fantasy, and the combination of the two seemed quite unusual to me. There’s a modern-day pre-apocalyptic Britain. Whereas post-apocalypse is a well-trodden sub-genre, the actual build up and early days of the end times is much less common, perhaps featuring more in the thriller genre than fantasy. This
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
In a word: a dangerous and violent quest, a world on the brink of collapse, and a boy and girl who might be able to save it.

I have to admit I almost stopped reading this book a quarter of the way through, but I’m so glad I stuck with it. Black Feathers isn’t the easiest book to read, but like many other books that I’ve initially struggled with in the beginning, by the end I was so wrapped up in the characters’ stories that I’m now salivating to read Volume Two. The publisher calls this “fantasy,
The book starts with a prologue, which to be frank, I didn't quite see the point of. While it begins to build the mythology, having now finished the book I don't think it adds anything that isn't further explored or clarified within the story. I then found the next few chapters confusing and disorientating. I understood that there were two narratives, one that follows Gordon Black from birth and another which follows Megan Maurice. Gordon's narrative takes place during our time frame in, whereas ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Glamourist (The Vine Witch, #2)
  • Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes, #1)
  • Kissing the Coronavirus (Kissing the Coronavirus #1)
  • Devoted
  • Beyond the Black Door
  • Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots
  • Fries and Alibis (Mitzy Moon #1)
  • God of Night (The God Fragments, #4)
  • Daughter of Time (After Cilmeri, #0.5)
  • The Heron Kings
  • The Gathering (The Hundred, #1)
  • Marked
  • Legacy of Souls (The Shattered Sea #2)
  • The Confectioner's Guild (The Confectioner Chronicles, #1)
  • Highfire
  • The Sundering (The Hundred, #2)
  • The Reckoning (The Hundred #3)
  • Incendiary (Hollow Crown, #1)
See similar books…
Became vegetarian after writing MEAT. Fond of meditation, unfathomable questions and cats.

Repped by Robert Dinsdale.

"Joseph D'Lacey rocks!" Stephen King.

Other books in the series

Black Dawn (2 books)
  • The Book of the Crowman (Black Dawn #2)

Related Articles

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 will be long remembered as a Dumpster fire of a year. But the nice thing about time is that it...
407 likes · 196 comments
“The Earth was not dead. She had been sick, yes, weakened by an infestation. Now she was ridding herself of it. For those who remained alive the choice was a simple one, whether they realised it yet or not: Work with the land-- respect it and give back to it-- or die.” 3 likes
“I never told you this enough- it's a failing between all men, I think, but too often of fathers to their sons- I love you. When you came into the world, you brought me a new purpose and a new drive. Suddenly , I was not just a parent, I was a guardian too.” 1 likes
More quotes…