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Black Dog

(Black Dog #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  763 ratings  ·  156 reviews
Natividad is Pure, one of the rare girls born able to wield magic. Pure magic can protect humans against the supernatural evils they only half-acknowledge--the blood kin or the black dogs. In rare cases--like for Natividad's father and older brother--Pure magic can help black dogs find the strength to control their dark powers.

But before Natividad's mother can finish teac
Paperback, 443 pages
Published February 6th 2014 by Strange Chemistry (first published January 1st 2014)
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Clarisa Actually, I thought so myself but I read into the reviews a saw that one of them said that they were excited for book two. So I did even more digging …moreActually, I thought so myself but I read into the reviews a saw that one of them said that they were excited for book two. So I did even more digging and found out that the second book is called "Pure Magic." Seems that it comes out early January of next year. And I know!!! I want more Ezekiel and Natividad. Must. Have. More.(less)

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
4.5 stars. Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Black Dog (2014) is a YA urban fantasy that takes the werewolf shapeshifter subgenre and puts some unusual spins on it. The teenage Toland siblings, 15½ year old twins Natividad and Miguel and their 18 year old brother Alejandro, have been orphaned in their Mexico home by a mass attack of enemy black dog shapeshifters led by their father’s long-time enemy. Alejandro is a black dog, Miguel is a normal human, and Natividad is what is know
Robin (Bridge Four)
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, 4-5-stars
Black Dog was a refreshing change from some of the things that I really have become annoyed with in the YA genre. Who says that a YA book has to have a love triangle, insta love, the bad boy who you can reform or some guy that would be considered a stalker in real life to be interesting? Not me that is for sure. I almost thought that maybe I was too old to enjoy this genre anymore, I have not had a great luck and found myself eye rolling more and more at characters lately. Thank goodness that Bl ...more
Badass Book Reviews is giving away a signed copy today:

Initial thoughts -- I really enjoyed this book. It is a standalone and a longer novel that completely took me away. Black Dog is a very interesting take on werewolves and the supernatural. The dynamic between the characters was interesting and natural and the story built slowly but not obviously so. My main complaint is why is this a young adult novel? In the author's notes, the author states that thi
This is one of those pick-it-up-and-read-til-done books, gripping and engrossing. Something of a surprise to me, given that I am generally not at all interested in werewolf stories, which are too often a morass of gender essentialism, abuse treated as sexy, and all the things I just don't like to read at all.

That is not this book.

This book posits werewolves (or black dogs) as demonic instinct in need of a civilising force, a force that comes in the shape of the Pure, who are female members of bl
I had expected better out of such an interesting premise as touted in the blurb: a Pure girl with magical powers, a shapeshifter elder brother and a fully human & non-magical younger brother travelling to the US from Mexico in search of a pack to be taken into as per the desires of a murdered father. The nature of the shapeshifters was also very interesting, as they look like an unique class of shifters that take from both wolf and dog, as well as the nature of the girl's magic being that it pro ...more
Gail Carriger
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shifters, ya, reviewed, fantasy
I enjoyed it very much. I believe it's being market as YA, not sure if I would put it there, but in this day an age of ebooks who minds the marketing... or the cover art for that matter. I picked it up thinking it was a stand alone, and it holds well enough as such, but I believe it may actually be the beginning of a series.

Neumeir has developed a rich world full of history. Most recently, there was a war against vampires into which the black dogs (werewolves, sort of) were drawn and many killed
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

If ever you’re looking to blur the lines between adult and young adult fantasy, look no further than the enigmatic Rachel Neumeier. With a volume of work that can never quite be pinned down neatly into one category and with stories more complex than could be conveyed in any blurb, Neumeier strikes a unique balance between the worlds of children and adults.

Her work is, quite frankly, magical.

I’ve found myself entranced by a number of Neumeier’s creations—enough that I have been able to n
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I love that when I pick up a Rachel Neumeier novel I am always surprised at what I end up getting. (In a very good way.) She is such a diverse writer and covers so many different types of fantasy and characters. I went into Black Dog the slightest bit wary because I don't ordinarily enjoy paranormal fantasy, but I trusted her enough to know it would probably be something I ended up liking in the end. I didn't like it, I LOVED it.

(This is
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2014
Originally posted here.

I enjoyed reading Rachel Neumeier’s House of Shadows so I jumped at the chance to read Black Dog when I was offered a review copy. I was intrigued when I first found out the premise of the book. Also, I wanted to see how Rachel’s writing will translate from epic fantasy to urban fantasy.

It’s been weeks since I finished reading Black Dog and I still have fond memories of it. I remember staying up late one week night to finish reading this novel. It didn’t take that much
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This is a book about werewolves and YA tropes. And yeah, that's five stars. I began Black Dog at about 12:30 AM and thought I'd read a few pages; I went to sleep after 3. I'll need to reread this to review it properly, because right now my thoughts are buried under so-tired-need-more-sleep incoherence, but: what writing this book's got. What a strong sense of family drives the characterization. It's about werewolves and tropes, sure, but it also sneakily addresses those tropes while utilizing th ...more
Emma Adams
Thank you to Strange Chemistry and Netgalley for allowing me to review this book.

It’s rare to find an original YA urban fantasy in a genre somewhat saturated by tired tropes, so I was pleasantly surprised when this book turned out to be so unique. Rather than opening with a ton of info-dumping or endless buildup, we’re thrown right into the middle of the world of black dogs and magic users, but not so much as to make it hard to keep up. Natividad and her brothers, Miguel and Alejandro, escape a
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am intrigued by the idea of werewolves, and I know I am not the only one out there (see: the popularity of paranormal fiction and film). Even more than werewolves themselves, I’m interested in the mythology and world-building it takes to make a story with werewolves in it viable and more-or-less believable. So: I was interested, and I’d heard about Rachel Neumeier’s Black Dog, But what actually got me reading? Stephanie Burgis’ tweet and Liviana’s review. All at once I felt a pull toward the b ...more
☼Book her,   Danno☼
**4.5 STARS**

BLACK DOG is one of my favorite YA books of 2013.

The urban-fantasy, which revolves around 3 siblings, is warm and touching with it's familial affection, and it's a book I already know I'll re-read. Something I very rarely do these days. (It's definitely a comfort read for me.)

BLACK DOG begins with Natividad, Miguel (her twin), and their older brother, Alejandro, on a bus. In short order we learn that they have just lost their parents, and that they are running for their lives --fr
Leontiy Cristea
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Originally reviewed at Jet Black Ink

I’d been awaiting Black Dog, by Rachel Neumeier, with a sort of vague interest: I wasn’t sold (I don’t like the cover, at all, and even after reading, I find the title confusing and that it conjures up the wrong images for the book – I’ll expand later) but I gave it a go. For around the first quarter of the book I was interested. The characters were interesting, the plot seemed to be going somewhere good and generally, it was original. I love the inclusion of
MB (What she read)
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Anne Bishop, Patricia Briggs or Robin McKinley
Recommended to MB (What she read) by: Many readers, many places
I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this book, best $1.99 I've ever spent!

The world-building is superb. And the characters were amazing. All interesting and 3-dimensional. I particularly liked the relationship between the three siblings, and how they interacted, and supported and strengthened each other. I liked the way the older male characters demonstrated leadership and strength in their interactions with others. This is a book heavy on strong male characters, and the series will obviousl
Laura (Kyahgirl)
3.5/5; 4 stars B+

This was my first book by this author and I enjoyed it very much. Its the kind of fantasy I like; young people who are strong and resourceful, unusual magic, lots of character and community in the players. I will definitely read more in this series.
This isn't your everyday urban fantasy.  Yes, there are werewolves and action, but it’s full of feels and relationships, and of course, great worldbuilding. ...more
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Black Dog has left me in an extra-ordinary dillema, I have not a clue how to rate it. I mean NOT A CLUE. Look this is good. Really good. But not gushing-fan-girling-i-am-smitten good - no it's an entirely different kind of good...

I was excited about Black Dog because quite a few of my reading buddies had recommended Neumeier's books to me, saying that I would love them, as a result quite a few of her books were put on my TBR-list. But for some reason or the other I never actually read anything o
Another very good book from the publishers Strange Chemistry.

You know this feeling when something could have been perfect if it weren’t for some minor details that just don’t feel right.

So let’s start with what I really liked about the story:

The werewolves / black dogs
Awesome. Really. That was a new take on werewolves and a good one. They are brutal, violent and not to be trifled with. It was interesting to read about the way they interact among themselves, their sense of hierarchy and submiss
Sherwood Smith
Rachel Neumeier has done some interesting things with werewolf legends in this absorbing, fast-paced novel. It is marketed as YA, but I think it's high end YA, in the same way Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Cold Town is: though there is a body count, with matching violence, that makes Kill Bill look tame, there is no sex whatsoever.

There is a tantalizing thread of UST in fifteen-year-old Natividad being the focus of a whole lot of supercharged males who barely have their testosterone rage (i
P. Kirby
I think there's a review or comment somewhere that suggests that Black Dog was originally written as an adult novel, with adult protagonists. Maybe that's why the narrative feels so awkward, like an adolescent boy, all bony shoulders, elbows and knees, stuffed into an ill-fitting suit.

The female protagonist, Natividad, for instance, reads more like an adult woman, though not in a particularly engaging manner. It's as though in editing her character to be younger, she was stripped of any flavor o
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I quite liked this one. I had the author on my blog for a blog tour post a while ago, here, and I was sure I'd finish this in no time. But, life happened, I got a job, and this lingered tantalisingly on my Kobo, just waiting for me to finish it off and put together my thoughts.

So, I originally requested it because of the comparisons to Robin McKinley's Sunshine, which I think are actually fairly apt. It has an interesting take on werewolf mythology, in the same way that McKinley did something a
May 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of YA and urban/rural fantasy and Rachel Neumeier of course
Recommended to Estara by: I've enjoyed other books by her and love her blog posts ^^
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2015
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I had plans today, plans that did not include getting hooked on the first page of BLACK DOG and fighting to find more reading time every moment until I was finished. Neumeier brilliantly reimagines magic and shapeshifting, black dogs and vampires, but slips these intricate, clever details in around a gripping cast of characters that I cared deeply about. The world building is so deftly spaced out, it's not until the end that I realized this was a world remade, that everything I expected about ma ...more
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fantasy
Aaaaahhhhh I loved this book so much! I always enjoy good werewolf stories - but this really was a step beyond, with characters I absolutely adored and a really original take on the werewolf mythos and a unique, compelling magical system. For once in a book with alternating POVs, I was just as invested in both POVs, and even the side-characters are vibrant and satisfying. The romance is both complicated (by grim context) and understated (a small subplot for one of the PoVs rather than the main p ...more
Coyora Dokusho
It was really, really, really good. I'm really glad I read it even though it kept me awake a long freaking time... Yeah, I sleep now...

(later the same day, after work...)

Yeah, work sucked on 3 hours of sleep and... I'm not doing my homework due today, sorry, but no.

BUT! I REGRET NOTHING!!! Because this book was just that awesome. The character development was fantastic and the plot was exciting. The only bad thing... is the next book's not out yet. Gimme the next book!!!! Gimme!!!
17 March 2015: $1.99 on Kindle

14 April 2014: $1.99 on Kindle
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier is a fresh twist on the werewolf and witch urban fantasies in the young adult genre. Black Dog focuses on the lives of three siblings as they run from Mexico to the northern United States, escaping from the stray Black Dog pack that murdered their parents. I loved the premise of werewolf myths actually coming from these black dogs with shadow magic and the idea of main characters from Mexico! However, Black Dog never pulled me in and I just couldn’t manage to connect ...more
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
The nitty-gritty: A fascinating take on the werewolf tale, wrapped up in an emotional story about complex family relationships, with some much-needed character diversity and lots of cool magic!

Natividad thought the girl couldn’t be more than thirteen or fourteen years old. Her father’s elegant features were, in her, a fragile delicacy. She didn’t look like a girl who could survive disasters. She looked stunned and blank, like she had not yet figured out whether she ought to feel grief or rage or
Annie Lima
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time – not just because it's a good story, but because it's a good story told so skillfully. Every main character is deep, distinct, and so thoroughly developed that I feel as though I know them personally. Even the minor characters have depth and are all different and interesting. The plot is exciting, and I had a hard time putting the book down, but my favorite aspect of it was the character interactions. Their relationships with each other, bo ...more
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Rachel Neumeier started writing fiction to relax when she was a graduate student and needed a hobby unrelated to her research. Prior to selling her first fantasy novel, she had published only a few articles in venues such as The American Journal of Botany. However, finding that her interests did not lie in research, Rachel left academia and began to let her hobbies take over her life instead.

She n

Other books in the series

Black Dog (4 books)
  • Pure Magic (Black Dog, #2)
  • Shadow Twin (Black Dog #3)
  • Copper Mountain (Black Dog #4)

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