BLOG TOUR: Darkest Hour by Rachel Churcher

I WAS SENT A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK IN RETURN FOR A FAIR AND UNBIASED REVIEW

I’m lying in the dark, hidden and silent, while Ketty tears the room apart looking for me’

Bex Ellman and Ketty Smith are fighting on opposite sides in a British civil war. Bex and her friends are in hiding, but when Ketty threatens her family, Bex learns that her safety is more fragile than she thought.

What I thought

The first thing to note about this book is that it doesn’t follow the pattern of the previous 2 books. I was expecting it to be fully from Bex’s POV and for book 4 to take place over the same period of time but from Ketty’s POV. This time the book uses both of their POVs flicking between them as the chapter changes. It works really well as we’ve already been in their heads and so know how they think. It did confuse me for a second though when chapter 2 was no longer Bex. It’s a more traditional type of storytelling but I don’t think it would have work if we hadn’t spent book 2 getting to know and understand Ketty and her motives.

This book continues the theme of the 1st one, looking at what it means to be the face of a war (although this time Bex is on the other side). Not only was Bex conscripted from school she wasn’t trained to be a front line solider and actually fight. Her role has always been to look good for the public, if there was an incident she was there to protect the public and not to work as a team to stop it. She’s there to be a “doll” and even when she’s joined the rebellion her picture is still being used. And although they appear to ask her permission to do so; she’s being looked after by them in a safe house and isn’t in any position to say no. Her choices have been taken away. The only choice she’s made since she was kidnapped/conscripted is to join the rebels and once she’d done so she was just under a diffrent set of rules with a similar lack of choices.

This book does the job of all sequels and expands the world. The first two books have the small enclosed setting of the training camp in Wales and gives you time to really understand the characters and their motivations, the rebels are simply called rebels. In this one we learn that Scotland has been taking in refugees who can escape and that the rebels are lead by the OIE – Opposition In Exile. With the British government having become a dictatorship and no opposition in sight the politicians who eacaped have formed their own ‘government’. Not only do we get a better understanding of the rebels but we also see what’s happening in London and the army due to Ketty’s POV. I think if the growth of the world had happened earlier it wouldn’t be as successful as we wouldn’t fully understand the characters and their place in it.

Why I read it

I was offered a review copy of this book as I’ve previously read and enjoyed books 1 and 2. I’m looking forward to reading the rest and seeing what happens to Bex and Ketty

Final thought

I thought this book dealt with complex themes of war really well. Bex and her friends clearly have PTSD but it’s never explicitly mentionned. Even Bracken (the man who was in charge of their training) is not okay and has a drinking problem, whilst Ketty refuses to show any potential sign of weakness or emotion.

Am I glad I read it? Yes, it was great to see Bex and Ketty’s stories continue to intertwine

Did I enjoy it? Yes

Would I recommend? Start with book 1 but I would recommend this series

Would I read again? Maybe

Thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this blog tour.

Rea

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