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The Last Ward #1

Dark Justice

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Driven to kill. Compelled to protect.

Five hundred years ago, the cure for the common cold went horribly wrong, turning those infected into freaks consumed with hate and rage. Forced underground, the freaks return above ground at night, driven to attack the surface dwellers – their bite infecting thousands more.

To fight the freaks and protect mankind from extinction, scientists created genetically enhanced soldiers. Stronger, faster, with enhanced senses, wardens are trained from birth to protect the weaker humans.

The Captain of the Ward, Jackson Kyle, is infected while saving the life of another warden. Due to his genetic enhancements, he is like no other freak. His faculties intact, he escapes and encounters a mysterious young woman. The second he touches her, he is caught in a bond, compelled to protect her at all costs. For she will decide the fate of humankind.

330 pages, Paperback

First published September 10, 2019

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About the author

Shelley Russell Nolan

30 books61 followers

Shelley Russell Nolan is an avid reader who began writing her own stories at sixteen. Her first completed manuscript featured brain eating aliens and a butt kicking teenage heroine. Since then she has spent her time creating fantasy worlds where death is only the beginning and even freaks can fall in love.
The first two books in her debut adult urban fantasy series, Lost Reaper and Winged Reaper, were published by Atlas Productions in 2016, with Silver Reaper published in 2017 to complete the series. 2018 saw the release of her Arcane Awakenings Novella Series, and Odyssey Books will be publishing the first book in a new post-apocalyptic series in 2019.
Born in New Zealand, moving to Australia with her family when she was seven, Shelley currently lives in Central Queensland, Australia, with her husband and two young children. They share their home with two wrecking ball kitties, a deformed budgerigar and one pipsqueak of a dog that is fairly normal as dogs go.
Shelley loves to hear from her readers so feel free to contact her on Facebook or leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads or on her website - shelleyrussellnolan.com

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Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews
Profile Image for Leo.
4,245 reviews383 followers
December 26, 2021
This quickly grabbed my attention and for a while I was hooked on the story but at the end O had lost my desired focus in the story. Will most definitely continue on with the series though as I feel I can still enjoy the series a lot
Profile Image for Maddie.
72 reviews20 followers
October 24, 2019
3.75 stars - rounded up to 4 stars!

Thank you to Odyssey Books for kindly providing me with an electronic copy of Dark Justice by Shelley Russell Nolan, in exchange for an honest review

"All her life, Justice had been plagued with visions of the future if she failed in her purpose. Nightmares would become a reality in a world where every living being learned the true meaning of terror."


In the first book of this sci-fi/fantasy series, we find the the world divided into humans, wardens, half-breeds, and freaks. When humans tried to produce a cue for the common cold 500 years ago, everything went disastrously wrong, and an aggressive virus that turned infected humans into terrifying, violent, and rage-filled freaks was created. Genetically altered wardens with heightened strength, senses, and ability were developed and trained to keep the humans safe and control the freak population. Over the years, the prejudices and tensions escalated between the humans, wardens and half-breeds (those who have both human and warden lineage), growing to extreme and oppressive levels.

Dark Justice follows two main characters:

- Jackson Kyle; previously Captain of the Brimfield Ward and recently infected with the freak virus. Jackson's heightened strength and senses as a warden allow him to fight against the virus' dark impulses when he is bitten, but it is only a matter a time before before he loses himself to the cravings for violence.
- Justice; a mysterious woman who shows up in Jackson's life. Promising to bring literal justice to mankind through the use of her unique powers, Justice must outrun her enemies long enough to fulfil her divine purpose on the morning of her 25th birthday.

Forced to work together because of a powerful bond, Jackson and Justice, with the help of a number of unlikely allies, must challenge the ingrained prejudices and preconceived ideas that have plagued the world for so long in order to achieve their goal and finally put mankind back on the right path.


"You're so blinded by prejudice you can't see what's right in front of you."

I read the synopsis and knew this would be a perfect spooky book for October, and I was right! Here are my thoughts on Dark Justice:

Structure and Writing Style: I really enjoyed the writing style used for this book. Things were explained clearly but concisely. The book drew my attention from the first chapter, and from there it I quickly became invested in not only the plot, but the characters. Shifts in time, character perspective, and location were easy to follow. I LOVE when books have short chapters because my poor brain has a very short attention span - the short chapter lengths combined with regular changes in character perspective was a big plus for me. I liked that this book wrapped up quite tightly. Dark Justice is the first in a series and therefore there were some things left unanswered, but overall you could probably read it as a standalone if you're not a fan of book series.

Main Characters + Side Characters: In addition to the two main characters, Justice and Jackson, Dark Justice follows the perspectives of multiple other characters. I will say that I wasn't the biggest fan of how possessive Jackson was towards Justice, and that I wish Justice had a little more control and authority over the decisions being made considering a lot of them revolved around her. However, I still enjoyed their storyline and the chapters focusing on their perspectives. For the most part, the side characters were well developed with their own personalities and motivations. Marcus and Cole creeped me out and made me pretty uncomfortable, and Hannah and Hanson quickly became my favourite characters in the book despite them being side characters. Although she was oppressed and treated as less than human for most of her life, Hannah constantly stood her ground, loved those that cared for her, and stood up for her friends. Hanson was arrogant and cocky, but loveable and supportive when he needed to be.

Overall, this was a short but fun read for the spooky October season. I'd be willing to pick up the next book in the series, particularly if we get to see more of Hannah and Hanson.

Recommended For: anyone looking for a quick SFF read (less than 350 pages), people who are fans of zombie movies

*Content Warnings*
violence (including violence towards children), mentioning of a rape incident, sexual assault, threats alluding to sexual violence
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
Author 2 books235 followers
October 7, 2019
This new novel by Shelley Nolan perfectly delivers on its foreboding title. Jackson Kyle’s in trouble. Once a powerful warden, he is now a rage-driven freak with a murderous blood lust. Soon the wardens be forced to act on their pledge, 'No warden shall suffer a freak to live.’

Things get even more interesting when he crosses path with Justice, who has been marked by Gaea as the one to cast judgement on mankind in a few day's time. Justice has been hunted all her life and each of her bodyguards have died protecting her. It only takes one touch from Justice for Jackson's urge to kill to be replaced by the urge to protect her.

'You have the dubious privilege of being my personal bodyguard. Protecting me from harm is now your only objective, at least until someone else comes along, kills you, and takes your place.’

Jackson’s imperative and Justice’s date with destiny drive the narrative. The humans, wardens, half breeds, and freaks engage in a bloody war as the day of judgement approaches. Jackson is continually struggling between his freak instincts and his need to keep Justice safe. Then there is their growing intimacy, a complex interplay handled expertly by the author and one of my favourite things about the story. Both Jackson and Justice were very relatable characters.

I was on tenterhooks for the last half, wondering how the plot threads would be resolved. I would love to see this as a movie or on Netflix. Think Bodyguard, with a Beauty and the Beast twist!
Profile Image for Rebecca Heap.
Author 3 books53 followers
September 19, 2020
This book is set in an imaginary future where a virus has turned a lot of humanity into murderous "freaks". Genetically enhanced human beings called wardens have been created to combat these freaks but ordinary humans are still in charge. Things take an interesting turn when one of the wardens is infected by a freak and yet retains his ability to reason. What I like about this book is that, despite the conventional zombie/virus premise, there are are a lot of unusual themes thrown in such as unfair racial discrimination against "half-breeds" and a girl called Justice who cannot be harmed and is going to either be a saviour or a trigger for the apocalypse. It reminded me of the film The Fifth Element. My only slight criticisms are that it was a little bit predictable in places and I was never truly convinced that Jackson was a terrible threat, even before he became Justice's unwitting bodyguard. Nevertheless, it is well written and kept my attention throughout. I like how the author showed that Justice is more than her destiny and is a human being as well with feelings and desires of her own. I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.  
Profile Image for Valerie Roberson.
386 reviews6 followers
March 31, 2020
This was really good! The Freaks are on the same line as zombies and that really made the story. Becoming freaks from a virus, it reminded me of the Coronavirus that is spreading today. It’s a pandemic and the virus spreads easily just that we aren’t turning into freaks. No cure in sight and no vaccine all you can do is hope the Wardens take care of them.
Jackson Kyle is/was the head warden until he was bitten. Trying to hold on to his humanity the best he can. He meets Justice and they have a bond and that keeps his virus at bay. Justice will decide the fate of the world if she can stay alive and of course there are some people after her.
You have SciFi, romance, action, horror, mystery, paranormal and thriller all mixed into one and that makes for an awesome book! Can Justice make it to her birthday? Is the bond the only way Jackson can keep the virus at bay? Who is after Justice and why? There are so many questions and the answers are all in the story. I really hope the next book comes out soon and I get a chance to review it.
Profile Image for Dannielle Line.
191 reviews2 followers
January 26, 2020
Infected Warden, Jackson Kyle, wants nothing more than to tear humanity limb from limb until he grabs hold of a mysterious woman’s arm. Now all he wants to do is keep her safe even if it means the end of his pitiful existence. But he doesn’t care for her, not really. That’s not what freaks do.

On the run her entire life, Justice knows within a few short days, a cataclysmic event will change the lives of everyone – human, ward, half-breed and freak alike. Soon she will be at her most vulnerable, but until then, one touch compels that person to keep her safe. But when the ward-turned-freak lays his hands on her, something changes and they both feel it.

On the run from zealots, the wardens and the freaks, Justice and Jackson must work together if they’re to survive the coming days. Because time is running out and judgement day is coming.

Wow! My mind is whirling right now. The amount of work this author has put into her story is amazing. Multi-character viewpoints and converging plots are difficult at the best of times, but Ms Nolan accomplishes this feat with ease. The action, the build-up and the intensity is fabulous and I don’t imagine there’d be too many readers who wouldn’t want to finish this in one sitting. Did I mention ‘wow’?
Profile Image for ⎊Annie⎊.
165 reviews1 follower
January 16, 2022
Thank you so much to Odyssey Books for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

Starting the year with a blast, aren’t we?
Dark Justice is the first installment of the Last Ward series, presenting us a post apocalyptic world with a very cool and fairly new proposal on zombies. Where 500 years ago the cure for the common cold went terribly wrong and turned humans into rage filled, murdering individuals, now called “Freaks”. Here we meet with Jackson Kyle, a young man that is a “Warden”, a scientifically made soldier created, along his peers, to defend humans from the Freaks, with a young woman named Justice in her early years wondering why she’s to be kept hidden from the world the same day she faces a terrible taste of mankind, later shown as a young adult. Fate coming in the way to put them both in each other’s paths, for Justice is the one who can save mankind, destiny for which she needs a guard.

The characters:

Justice: An interesting name, isn’t it? It’s more than that. Justice is very special, and has a purpose that will honor her name. Compassionate, sweet and wary of humanity, she travels alongside her bodyguard to make a decision on whether or not humans deserve a chance. Beautiful in every way, she’s not afraid of charging into a fight if she believes in its cause. Justice has the ability to bond with the first person that touches her, they become her bodyguard to keep her safe until judgement gets done. When they die, the next person that touches her becomes her new guard.

Jackson Kyle: a former Warden, now Freak, because of an accident, Jackson is the former Ward captain, with enhanced senses and a hunger for violence due to his status, he is kept in captivity by his ex subordinates, with the hopes of finding someway to get him back from the freak virus. An encounter with Justices gives him reason and sense to go back to his former self is only enough to make him able to stand among other people without wanting to cause carnage.

Miranda Wilson: Jackson’s former subordinate and new captain of the Ward, she’s the reason why Jackson became a freak in an attempt to save her. She’s the one determined in saving Kyle with a cure, out of gratitude and the fact she’s in love with him.

Daniel Zarb: Scientific and former captain, he’s the one in charge of creating a cure for Kyle, he believes in the tale of Justice and does his best to help her in her journey.

Hannah: A half-breed, assistant to Zarb, a young girl in born in the facilities, she becomes Justice’s friend and confident.

Hanson and his work crew: Half breeds that get involved in many problems with humans that hate half breeds and wardens, they get into Wilson’s custody after a fight and will be crucial for the plot.

The Legion: A group of mysterious people who want Justice dead and have been trying to make a past tense of her for a long time, sending people to off her that end up becoming her bodyguards.

The plot: fast pacing and filled with action it was really hard to put down. The prose is great and easy to follow, it goes with the plot well and doesn’t wander with over the top, exaggerated descriptions. The race and class elements are well done and stick to what happens in reality without rubbing it on the nose. The plot lines revolving around Justice and Jackson evolve along the two of them to allow them growth.

The tension in some scenes was palpable and thick enough you could cut it with a butter knife. The romance is nice, born of proximity and feelings of intimacy, despite not being really possible because of both the main characters’ conditions, think of it as a sprinkle of Beauty and the Beast (my favorite). The side characters have voice and weight in the plot and are not just *there* for the sake of having side characters.

Overall it’s a good spooky book, a good beginning for this trilogy for people that like sci-fi and zombies, not so long books, short chapters and/or people who are into the forced proximity/bodyguard/touch them and you’re a past tense tropes that I strive to visit once again in the next books.

Trigger warnings: Violence/violence towards children, rape mention, sexual assault, threats of sexual violence, racism/classism
Profile Image for Dawn.
1,129 reviews43 followers
April 4, 2021
"Dark Justice" offers an awful lot in the way of plot - including a new kind of zombie. There's action, adventure, a bit of romance, and it's all wrapped up by some brilliant writing. This was a really fast read for me. I wished the book would last longer, but I'll just have to be content with the fact that this is only the first book in a series! Looking forward to book 2!
My thanks to the author and publisher. This review was written voluntarily and is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion.
Profile Image for Cassie Laelyn.
Author 13 books191 followers
December 12, 2019
I absolutely loved this fresh twist on "zombies" (a.k.a freaks). The world building was fantastic, and a little frightening because of how believable it was. Although initially I found it difficult to get into the headspace of multiple point of views, I grew to love them. Reading the story from every different angle became exciting and kept the pace flying along. A great read for any science fiction/dystopian lover!
291 reviews1 follower
January 6, 2021
Only complaint is different names for the same people. A post apocalyptic love story. A man who can no longer love, falls for a woman he now has to protect. Multiple love stories with action and betrayal sprinkled in. No matter how the DNA changes, we are still human at heart. Curious if this will be a standalone or a series. Kinda hoping for a series.
Profile Image for Michelle Saftich.
Author 4 books120 followers
January 12, 2020
I really enjoyed this fast-paced and action packed novel. It allowed me to escape the pressures of my day to day reality, taking me into the world of freaks, humans, half breeds and wardens, that the author Shelly Russell Nolan had imagined and brought to life in her novel, Dark Justice. I particularly liked Jackson Kyle, a former Ward Captain. After being afflicted by a virus and then having a bond imposed on him, he is at odds with his own compulsions to both kill and protect. Struggling with the darkness and light within, he is called upon to fight violent battles that just keep coming, but fight he must to keep Justice safe so she can see out her destiny. The story is shaped by love, jealousy, discrimination, loyalties and a need to accept the darkness that dwells within. One of the strengths of the work is the spirit of camaraderie that develops between some of the key characters. As the characters care for each other, it is easy to start wanting the best for them and I found myself cheering them on as the story approached its dramatic conclusion.
Profile Image for Tessa Talks Books.
547 reviews25 followers
October 5, 2019
Dark Justice is an original SFF story based on the timeless theme of the power of love. With well-developed characters and an equally well-developed plot, the plight of the human condition is resounding and intense. Almost to the very end, you will wonder which way Justice will go, as the humans in this story are not sympathetic characters at all. The only things that I wish for the story are that the world building had been more developed and that the character of Miranda had been a touch less overwritten at times. But these did not detract from the complexity of the plot, the fast pace, or the believability of the other characters. I loved the originality of the story and the ”half breed” characters who showed intelligence and courage when all looks hopeless. A must read for SFF fans!!!
October 19, 2019
Now that I've finally finished this, W O W ! I normally don't read books such as this but it was definitely a good one! I loved it all! It was wonderful written. Not what I expected at all but sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zones :)!
Profile Image for Micaela Michalk.
169 reviews10 followers
June 15, 2022
First of all, many thanks to the author and publisher for sending me a copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review! All thoughts on this review are my own.

I had the oppurtunity to read Dark Justice: The Last Ward: Book One by Shelley Russell Nolan, published by Odyssey. This exciting start to a series is a sci-fi read with a twist on the zombie apocalypse genre. Instead of zombies per se, the world is affected by a virus that turns people into “freaks” with a volatile nature. Wardens are supposed to fight the freaks to protect the humans, but when the head warden, Jackson, is turned himself, things get complicated. Meanwhile, Justice is the embodiment of Gaia’s judgement on the earth, which will pass on her 25th birthday. Until then, whoever touches Justice must become her bodyguard, and the next protector happens to be the “freak” Jackson. His drive to kill versus his drive to protect becomes a weird dichotomy between the two, as well as fighting off the coming apocalypse that Justice might bring.

The book’s trigger warnings include: mentions of SA, death, disease, institutionalized oppression.

I really enjoyed this book. I love apocalyptic dystopians and this fit the best genre conventions while turning others on their head with some fresh new takes. The worldbuilding and complicated plot were ambitious but they wove together really well and made both the readers and the characters question who really were the villains of the story: the freaks? the half-breeds? themselves?

I also loved the multifaceted characters–most of them anyway. Justice and Jackson had great chemistry, but the characters that captured my heart were Hannah and Hansen (I do wish their names weren’t so similar!). I loved the banter between those two and would have loved to have more chapters dedicated to their perspective, but that could be what’s coming in the rest of the series.

There was one character I couldn’t stand, however. Miranda. She was extremely unlikable and had no redeemable qualities. She let unrequieted love turn her into a monster and she used it as an excuse to hurt everyone around her or to justify her prejudices. She was pushy and I had no sympathy for her and I think I was supposed to. But I liked the main antagonists in the book better than I liked her.

One logistic that confused me was over the role of the bodyguard. Justice apparently needed a bodyguard until her 25th birthday when judgement would be passed on the world. However, she couldn’t be harmed until the dawn of her birthday so it seemed like having a bodyguard was wholly unnecessary.

And then, there was just a minor thing that bothered me about the writing style. For the most part, the book was enjoyable to read. However, the characters were sometimes called different things like “the construction worker,” “the warden,” etc. It would have been less confusing had their names just been used consistently throughout.

Over all, I really enjoyed this read. I look forward to the rest of the series and urge sci-fi lovers to try this apocalyptic writing out! Four stars!
Profile Image for Chloe 'hichlochu'.
129 reviews31 followers
August 2, 2020
"my purpose. Judge, jury, executioner.”

I will honestly admit, with my right hand in the air and balancing on three toes, that I do not read Sci-fi often. Its not that I do not enjoy it, I just prefer a world full of magic and myths, to one of technology and space. So, when the request came across to our inbox, I could not help being drawn in by the originality and creativity of the blurb. The writing style of the book was simplistic and made for fast reading. Though at times this meant you were left wanting more. It did not stop me enjoying the book though.

“He had become a hybrid, a creature of two worlds, and it was all her fault.”

The book centres around the idea of Justice incarnate walking the earth, a world ravaged by freaks (the books version of zombies) and discrimination between classes and species. It is a world she has to witness, to walk in order to decide the path her judgement must walk. I am not going to give you spoilers, so I’m being extra careful not to give anything away. But as the blurb tells us, Justice bonds with a beast, her guard, her warden; and has to fight for not only her survival but his. I loved Kyle and Justice, their relationship was one that grew with you throughout the book. A beauty walking hand in hand with a beast.

“The virus didn’t create the monster. It just set him free.”

Mama bear’s round up

*I surprisingly enjoyed the book, though I would have liked a little more world building at the start. I wanted, no need to know more. I felt I could not get fully invested in the characters like I normally like to do.

*The ‘freak’ scenario – I really enjoyed, it reminded me of 28 Days Later and the twist zombies take during that series of being fuelled by anger and hate, rather than hunger.

*I made for an easy read during the mummy daytime, it was also perfect for reading to a feeding baby and I didn’t lose any book marks. Not one! Though I have had a Fairyloot headband and purse confiscated by my toddler. The fact I had an E-book for this one, meant I did have to wrestle my 8 month old at time for my phone but I didn’t loose my place not one.

*I am intrigued on where this will go if continued. I know from watching my fair share of zombie flicks, it’s never, ever as easy as it appears. I would love to see where the ward ends up and Hannah – how could I forget Hannah, I would love to see more of her. Well, need more. Any girl who can pick a lock faster than a guy can chat her up – that’s my favourite type of girl.
Overall it was an enjoyable read, though I do not have a lot of Sci-fi knowledge to judge it from, from a YA and fantasy reader, I loved the journey to a time where science is still battling the common cold.
Profile Image for Carol.
23 reviews5 followers
October 17, 2021
Thank you Odyssey Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Dark Justice is set in a future world where a cure for the common cold has caused a devastating virus to rampage through parts of the population. A virus that causes humanity to become so enraged they're consumed with a desire to kill. These infected are called freaks and a bite from one of them will eventually infect someone with the same virus. Wardens have been specifically created with genetically enhanced abilities to fight this infected population and keep humans safe.

The Captain of the Ward, Jackson Kyle, has been infected while saving another warden. As he's fighting to keep the rage at bay with a slim hope that there might be a cure, he escapes the wardens and comes into contact with Justice. Justice has her own special purpose on earth and is earth's own judge, jury, and executioner. Destined to decide earth's future in a few days on her 25th birthday, she has been chased the majority of her life with her only protection being bodyguards who are compelled to keep her safe.

As soon as Jackson and Justice touch a bond is formed between them that keeps his freak nature at bay and forces him to do whatever he can to protect her. The story follows these two as they fight to survive in a world where more and more altercations are breaking out between humans, freaks, wardens, and half-breeds (descendants of wardens/humans), but also struggling with their own very human emotions.

I actually really enjoyed reading this book even though it's not my usual genre. It's a quick read because it is so action-packed and there is never a dull moment as the story unfolds. I almost would have liked to have had the initial interactions between Justice and Jackson to have been drawn out so that I could read more about the development of their relationship.

I appreciated the short chapters and the quick pace of the book. The originality of the storyline kept me hooked reading to find out how it would all end. Great story!

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Imi J..
128 reviews2 followers
March 6, 2022
Today I want to share with you my opinion about my last read - Dark Justice. It's the first book in The Last Ward series written by Shelly Russel Nolan.  I received this book as an ARC for the honest review. Dark Justice is a science fiction novel with romance tropes. It takes place on Earth in the future. But it isn't the Earth we all know. The population suffers from a virus that converts people into freaks. The freaks are horrible creatures who kill people, and there are also wards who try to protect humans. There is also a girl, Justice, who is a reincarnation of the Goodness. She came to the world to make a decision if humans deserve a second chance or they deserve to die. Justice has to live in hiding because the mystery organization called Legion wants her dead. The Legion's members want to rule the world and become gods. 

In my opinion, Dark Justice was a really nice book. It's well written and interesting. It touches on really important issues like discrimination, races conflicts, fighting for power, and war where innocent people suffer. Especially when we take into consideration the current situation.

Dark Justice is a beautiful metaphor of the modern world, where for some people, power is a highest value, no matter what. 

The book was published in 2019, so the author predicted future events. I really liked the storyline and heroes - especially Hanson and Hannah. They were so cute together. On the other hand, I can't stand Miranda. She played on my nerves so much. 🙄 I can't understand why she was so blind and naive and desperate. 

During the reading, I had only one difficulty - the book is written in 3rd POV, and personally, I prefer 1st POV.  

So if you like fantasy books, you should read Dark Justice. 
Profile Image for Bethany Martin.
Author 1 book15 followers
April 29, 2021
This was a really interesting premise for a sci-fi novel: a zombie apocalypse merged with the chosen one trope. The personification of Justice walks the post-apocalyptic planet for 25 years before Judgement Day. Despite being invincible, she is accompanied by mercenaries sent to kill her, now her reluctant bodyguards. The story starts when she arrives in Brimfield, a town divided. Zombie-like "freaks" roam the streets at night, held at bay by genetically modified Wardens. When infected Warden Jackson Kyle becomes Justice's newest bodyguard, it sparks opposition from all sides in the countdown to Judgement Day.

I thought the concept of Dark Justice was fascinatingly unique and executed well. Nolan managed to juggle the many elements of this story and still make her characters compelling. I loved how everything wrapped up and how Justice and Jackson's relationship developed.

The setting was lacking a little. There were such interesting places that were referenced but barely described and it left the story untethered. The other thing I have to point out is that the science isn't great; I studied immunology, which covers vaccines and viruses, though I did love the man-made origin of the freaks. I also enjoyed how, though this was a sci-fi novel, fables and legends were still an important part of the story, and the plot was reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast.

Overall, Dark Justice was an interesting and enjoyable sci-fi novel.

I was offered a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Laura.
358 reviews15 followers
October 8, 2021
I have been reading a fair bit in the sci-fi genre recently, so I was thrilled when I was contacted about reading and reviewing this book.
Dark Justice is the first book in a duology, it’s a beauty and the beast retelling which was interesting. I’m not a massive fan of retellings, mainly because most of them don’t introduce anything new, this story however, is done brilliantly!

You can expect plenty of fast paced action, a lot of surprises and compelling characters with a little splash of romance!

The story revolves around the idea of Justice incarnate roaming the earth, which in the story is a world ravaged by freaks AKA Zombies!
Justice falls in love with a beast, their first touch compels the beast to be her protector. The beast is different to the rest of the freaky/ zombie population as he has feelings and very strong ones for Justice! The two of them want nothing but to protect each other.

I liked these two characters, they bonded well and the chemistry was electric!

I would have liked a little bit more world building and a little more background on some of the characters.

Unique and well thought out are the only words I can use to describe the ideas surrounding the story, it wasn’t what I was expecting at all!

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Tami.
223 reviews6 followers
February 18, 2022
This book is the first I’ve read from this author. I’m glad I’ve started with this one. I really enjoyed reading it. When I was reading, I was drawn in, reading chunks at a time. It was so easy to read, I surprised myself how much I had read, I’d get lost in the book. I liked the concept of there being a judgement on how humanity has been during the years of ‘freaks’, ‘half-breeds’ and wardens. I found there was the right amount of telling the reader all the information, the action within and descriptive detail. I could visualise the story all the way through. There was a character I just wanted to shake for the majority of the book, wanting them to open their eyes to the truth. There were others my heart was celebrating for, had a dislike for and I changed my mind about. I like it when an author can get me invested in the characters. Knowing this is book one of a series, I cannot wait to see where the next instalment takes me. From the ending, I have an idea of where the next book could go but at the same time, I didn’t feel there was a major cliffhanger to know which direction the author could go in. Picking up the next one is my only answer, so time will tell.
5 reviews1 follower
March 15, 2021
I have to say that romances are not usually my thing but Shelley Russell Nolan really kept the story going. The book was fast-paced and engaging. I would recommend it.
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