Knightfall (The Chronicle of Benjamin Knight, Book 1) and Darkest Before Dawn (The Chronicle of Benjamin Knight, Book 2) by R. Jackson-Lawrence

knightfall cover

Synopsis

‘Lord of the Rings for the Call of Duty Generation’

Is it Science Fiction? Fantasy? You decide when you read Knightfall, the first in the ground-breaking new action/adventure series!

When his world changing experiment is sabotaged, fifteen year old genius Benjamin Knight is cast into another world where an uneasy peace hangs in the balance. Saved from near death by a band of traders, he joins the Road Trains on their journey north as he struggles to understand what has happened to him.

However, Ben soon realises that everyone has their secrets and that no one is safe, especially when one man has the power to realise his ambitions.

Will Ben’s questions be answered? Will they succeed in preventing war?

And at the end of their journey, who will survive?

Review by Angela

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I had written a review about this book some months back and felt it was necessary to change the review. I had unknowingly received an unedited copy of the book, so I had a lot of problems with the grammar and spelling. I really liked the originality of the story. Benjamin Knight is a genius and is working on a super secret project. During the testing of the project, unknown assailants breach the lab and cause the project that he is working on to malfunction. Benjamin wakes up an unknown amount of time later to a destroyed lab and no trace of any other humans. He finds the world that he is in is similar to the one he knew, yet not. There appeared to be no electricity, no cars; the world seemingly thrust back into the dark ages. Ben finds refuge with a group of people that run a train system that delivers goods and trinkets all over the baronies (as the areas are now called). While with this group of people, he unwittingly sets a plan of a sinister leader into action, causing death, destruction and chaos. Forced to help the people that have helped him, Ben must forget the quest to go home and engage in a fight for his life.

Ben is a really bright, funny and sarcastic kid. At times he shows his age, while others, he seems to have aged a number of years. He is forced to mature in order to deal with the reality of his world and the fact that if he isn’t careful, he could end up dead instead of back home. I like how the story is interspersed with old bits of technology from our time and that people use these things as paperweights or decoration, even though they don’t work or are broken. R. Jackson-Lawrence has written a vivid, realistic world with characters that the reader can understand and actually care about. When there is drama and heartache in the story, the reader feels it. There is real loathing and a great dislike for the foe in the story; lookout he’s a real bastard. The story is not complete in the first book and leaves you with a cliffhanger. You know what is coming in the next book can’t be good news for Ben and his friends. You just hope that whatever happens, that Ben will find his happy ending and be able to return home. Though, I’m not too sure that he may still want to after what he has seen and the friends he has made in this world. Looking forward to book #2.  I give this story 4 books.

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Darkest Before Dawn

Synopsis

They were too late.

Despite everything that they’d sacrificed, everyone that they’d lost, they were still too late to stop the army from the north.

Now, outnumbered and out gunned, the survivors from the Road Trains fight back against the force that has occupied their homeland, but Alexander seems to be one step ahead of them at every turn.

If it’s always darkest just before the dawn, what happens if the sun never rises?

Review by Angela

I had had a little trouble with the first book, Knightfall, the first time around.  So when R. Jackson-Lawrence read my review, he offered me the latest and greatest edition of Knightfall as well as the second book, Darkest Before Dawn.  The second book picks right up where the first one left off.  Ben and the group have made it back to Maleton, but they were too late to save anyone or to stop the Regent from starting his war and taking over. Now, the group must find a way to fight him and his soldiers without letting anyone know that they have returned.  They are hiding out and trying to keep tabs on what is happening at the same time.  Ben feels like he is responsible for the group not making it in time because of stopping off at the laboratory.  He’s not sure how to make amends or to convey his sympathy.  The Regent is becoming bolder and more confident in his role in the city and will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even if he has to kill anyone that is in his way.

Ben has become more involved with this group of people that have become his friends and even kind of his family of sorts.  He isn’t as hellbent on getting home in this second book and has become more driven to help take the Regent down.  He even has a complicated sort of relationship with Safran, the daughter of the Baron of Maleton.  There is a lot happening in this book and at times it seems like it is too much, but all of it seems necessary.  R. Jackson-Lawrence also touches on some paranormal type things in this book that I hope is discussed more in the next book.  There is yet another cliffhanger at the end of this book so I must wait for the next book to be released in order to find out.  I give this story 4 books.

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