Killer angels, zombie chefs, and werewolves in lab coats. Three weeks after the events of White Winter, the world is changing, it's coming apart, and Jonas Black can either lose his mind or lose all he has. Can he protect himself and those he loves? Will he emerge from the carnage unscathed, or will victory cost him everything he is? How much will one half-vampire sorcerer allow the world to take from him before he decides to make it bleed?
An epic contemporary fantasy jumping head first into the apocalypse, Red Spring is the breaking point. Welcome to the new normal. Welcome to the Collapse.
D.J. Bodden is a tech-startup COO who writes books because words are magic. He's an avid reader of science-fiction and fantasy, a gamer, a former pilot and coffee trader who's been to every continent but Antarctica. He's been woken up by gunfire, jumped out of helicopters, and climbed medium-sized hills in scorching weather; He likes to make people laugh for the wrong reasons; He tries to sell people grimoires disguised as fiction; He is scared of spiders, and only recently learned to ride a bike.
D.J. lives in Switzerland with his wife and thinks it's important that they should someday be adopted by a fox.
D.J. Bodden and Jonas Black are at it again in this third installment of the Black Year Series, along with a smorgasbord of other supernatural beings. We have different level vampires, werewolves, zombies, and a host of other beings including my favorite badass angel (can I put those two words together?) Amon Alon. In Red Spring, Bodden raises the stakes in a big way including a killer cliffhanger. Yikes! Say it ain’t so. Our incredibly flawed protagonist, Jonas has not only his morality and developing skills as the chosen vampire to consider, but the existence of the entire planet as he knows it. The pacing is dead on in this one, as the narrative develops into a fever pitch that unleashes some surprises, definitely not expected. No character is safe, it seems.
Back again are the brilliant world-building of Bodden you’ve come to know so well in the first to books and great character development. We see a different Jonas than the Jonas we met in Black Fall or even the one we got to know in White Winter, as we should. People grow. People evolve. Indeed, Great characters fill the pages in Frank, Jim, Nell, Eve and my twos favs, Amon Alon and the broken Maya.
Finally, Bodden’s writing was good before, but something about it has increased. He doesn’t mall you with metaphors and similes to show off his formidable craft but rather places them in positions where they count, making the reader say, “I get it!” Taste these spicy morsels from the text: “The lace pattern of her bra was an entire world.” “ The words died on his lips as Eve’s fury flooded the room like a burning red tide.” And “The laugh slipped past his lips without warning, childlike and dangerous, like shards of brightly colored glass.”
And I’m convinced no one handles gore quite like Bodden. “Jonas burned blood instinctively as the faint blast wave passed through his body. Micah’s head popped like a water balloon, blood and bone burning gold, red, then black, body dropping down and then sideways in a rain of ash.”
Bodden even infuses philosophy in the text that applies to all. “There was a potential hidden away inside people, brought out by hardship and training.” Plus some researched-based history fiction “Two million people died in the crusades, five to ten million Native Americans died during the colonization of North America, and Stalin sent twenty-four million people to labor camps or exile.”
And what would a Black Year Series be with Jonas’ line? “This is my dream. No one is stronger than me here.”Five easy stars for the third installment of the genre-defying smartest vampire series known to mere mortals.
Bloodbath! Drama! It feels like an understatement to say that the third book in the Black Year series is a game changer. "Literary throat punch" seems a more accurate way to phrase it. The stakes have risen by an order of magnitude. Maybe more. And that notion applies on a personal, global and perhaps universal level.
Jonas Black has changed much from the version we met in Black Fall. Maybe his essential character remains the same, but he has grown quite a bit. At the opening of Red Spring, he no longer seemed like a kid to me. He'd hit that interesting point in young adulthood where everything becomes weird and anything feels possible -- perhaps the time when one's independence first blinks open its eyes. The events of this third volume lock that independence into place like a kick in the teeth. He can never be the same after this one.
And the same holds true for the series itself -- whatever happens from here, it's changed forever.
This was one of those books you start and read straight through to the finish. The story of Jonas' evolution from human teen to vampire bad ass continues in Red Spring. It's a believable trip through love and war, truth and deception and real and internal demons. I like Jonas and cheer him on through his struggles and head slap him when he screws up. The trip through the Black Year has been everything you'd want in an escape to another world strangely similar to your own. Read the series. You'll like it.
Don't let the four stars fool you: I'm giving this book one of my highest recommendations. (I save five stars for books that have saved my life, rescued kittens from a burning building, or bailed me out of jail - literarily, of course.) This series has gotten bigger, better, and more interesting with each book. Do yourself a favor: get Black Fall; read Black Fall; proceed from there. You'll thank yourself when you get to the end of THIS book and say "Well? Where's the NEXT one?" So: stop reading this and pick up the books. It's an interesting world, full of interesting folks. And some of them have fangs. And guns. And explosions. And relationship challenges. (Hey - it happens.) Still here? Go read already.
D.J. Bodden continually surprises me. When I started Black Fall, I thought "teen wish fulfillment" story, and it was, kind of, but it was that in a good way. White Winter dropped a little bit more into metaphor, the lines between Jonas's inner life and outer life becoming a little more blurred.
When I got an advance reader's copy of Red Spring, I cleared the rest of my reading queue and devoured it.
For me, the best fiction is story that's metaphor, but I'm not sure for what, that takes me in new directions and helps me consider aspects of the world in ways that I hadn't pondered before. Red Spring continues the exploration of vampire and werewolf mythology in the modern urban setting, introducing notes of Rapture, in a page-turning adventure tale that had lots of thought provoking meat in it.
The scale is apocalyptic, and still personal. The pace is breathtaking. The prose has occasional laugh out loud bites. What more could you want from a rollicking adventure?
This book was a great ride. IT WAS A BLOODY RED SPRING.
So I guess Madoc is really dead, by the end of the last book i was hoping he wouldn't be. Besides the characters from the previous we got some new ones, the angels and that CAFETERIA (yes that's a character). I loved the Cafeteria part, it was such a cool idea and the imagery of the food gurgling around.
Our protagonist Jonas has definitely matured and I think that we saw him struggling to keep his humanity intact after all the great powers he has.
I liked Sean and Ryan, they lightened the mood and kind of reminded me Fred and George Weasley.
This book was definitely very intriguing. It had everything; friendship, humour, action etc. Though I thought the whole Maya thing was kind of dragged. Frank and Nell have definitely become my favourites now. Can't wait for the next part to come out. Can we please have more of Doris.
Guys Please read the BlackYear Series it will shock you
Big applause for Red Spring. The pace is hot from the get go and doesn't slow down. An excellent follow up to Black Fall and White Winter, Red Spring jumps right back into the story where we left off, and then takes a couple of unexpected turns. I really enjoyed the dark comic aspect of the "cafeteria", which might be one of my favorite characters in this series! Like the two previous books, Red Spring has great character and plot development. Black Year is a fantastic series; I am already chomping at the bit for Summer to get here!
This latest in the Black Year Series does not disappoint. I spent much of this book audibly gasping in surprise and saying, "Whaaaaa...?". So GOOD!! My emotions went from low to high over and over, and left my jaw on the floor at the end. I was way off about how I thought this third book would go, and have no clue as to what could follow in the final season of the Black Year. I can't wait to find out! This is still one of my favorite urban fantasy series that I've read.
Even though I've pre-ordered the book, this review is based on the ARC copy of Red Spring that I received for my honest review.
Red Spring continues the excellence in storytelling I found in the first two books of the Black Year Series, Black Fall and White Winter. In the Black Fall, we were introduced to Jonas Black, a 16 year old whose life went pear shaped when he discovered the truth about his family and his world. As Black Fall gave way to White Winter, Jonas’s world was in flames. He struggled to try to prevent his vision of causing an apocalypse from coming true.
Red Spring shows Jonas’s stumbling from one decision to the next. He makes decisions from a place of darkness and confusion. He also keeps secrets from those who love him. While he blamed his parents for raising him in a life constructed of lies, he justifies his own lies as trying to protect people and prevent his vision from coming true. New allies and enemies are introduced as well as old friends becoming enemies.
The pacing of the book is terrific. Like the previous books, the tension is balanced by humor. For example one of my favorite lines is, “Jonas, she’s not the most complicated woman in the world. She has the depth of a kiddie pool built for Smurfs.” The battle scenes are great. About three quarters of the way through the book there is an absolute shocker. I was caught completely off guard. What happens next is certainly not anti-climactic.
Red Spring is a story arc complete unto itself but it does need to be read after the first two books to get the full story. It does end in a cliffhanger but has only left me more excited for the final book of the series.
I received a copy of the Red Spring from the author in exchange for an honest review.
*WHOLE SERIES REVIEW* Every once in a while, a book I loaned from the library would have some of its pages ripped off. Usually, I wouldn't notice it until I was so engrossed in the story and the most interesting part/explanation/important subplot happened to be on the page that was missing. This is how I felt reading this series. The world is so interesting, unconventional and the writing is solid. It's basically a coming of age story, but meant for adults. I particularly loved the unique take the author had on familiar fantasy tropes (SPOILER ALERT: vampires suffer from erectile dysfunction, which is hilarious when you think how they're usually portrayed). BUT (and it's a big but) it was so hard to keep up with everything that's happening. I literally had to go back a few pages to see if I missed some crucial info- and I had to do that like every 30 pages, at least. What's the most interesting thing, the writing is clear and concise, not confusing at all, but I still wasn't able to follow the story with ease. Which is a shame- with such interesting characters, unique ideas/mythology and a plot with great potential, this book (and the whole series) could have been one of the best I read this year. However, I feel compelled to keep it at 3* because of the fact that so much was glossed over and it made the impression that the story is missing something vital. I'll definitely keep my eye out for the next book in the series, because I did notice a slight improvement in the last installment of The Black Year Series.