Daybreak Rising is a sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian amalgamation with a chosen one that failed and so much diversity you probably won’t know what to do with it. It’s the first in a projected new adult series.

Daybreak Rising on Goodreads

They wanted to see her fail. People assumed the worst of her, without getting to know her beforehand. She’d hardly heard her name in years – just, “Daybreak.”

I have been looking for a book like this.

Basically, this is the story of a failed ‘chosen one’. Years ago, Celosia Brennan was tasked to take down the controlling Council. However, she did what no one thought she would: failed. Now, she’s desperate for a chance to redeem herself.

And she gets that chance, heading the Ember Operative with a group of her fellow mages that don’t trust her.

While the plot is one I adore – I mean, how many times does the ‘chosen one’ actually fail? – what really gets me is the diversity in this book.

We have nearly every main character (of which there are six) fitting somewhere on the LGBT+ spectrum, as well as racial diversity and one character that is blind as well as (at least) one character suffering from PTSD.

This is a book that listens to the voices begging for diverse books and it provides. Provides in a wonderful way and it’s delightful to read.

Now, that being said, as much as I adore the idea behind the story, the characters and the plot itself, the writing is a bit difficult. In fact, it’s a letdown because if the writing had been easier to connect with, I could have given this five stars in a heartbeat.

The descriptions, the way some things – usually minutiae – is over described and things that actually important is barely hinted at was the first problem I noticed.

For example, the main group goes into a pub and it is described as an ‘inviting brick building’ that was ‘full of university students and people getting off work’ while two decent sized paragraphs are dedicated to the food and drink as well as what the eight people eat.

The writing is a bit choppy. There are breaks sometimes after less than a full page, other times after five pages, but even for how short most of the sections are, sometimes the POV character changes in the middle of a section with no indication that it is changing. There are few transition scenes. And, I really hate to say it, this book seems to suffer a bit for that old issue of too much telling instead of showing.

Finally, the story covers a lot of time – something I’ve never been happy with. In the first half of the book, eight months pass. That that much time is passing was indicated once and prior to that, the only mention that any time was passing at all was a character that was imprisoned for three months. Otherwise, I would have suspected that mere weeks had passed.

I’m sincerely hoping that the writing hiccups will be smoothed out in the sequel, because this series shows a lot of promise and the author is doing a wonderful job at answering the cry for more diverse books.


Content Advisory: There are some instances of consensual sex, though nothing is explicit. There is also some brief discussions of being transgender – including body dysphoria and talk of operations.


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