Blackhawk Vol. I, by Carl D. Smith and David M. Brown

Authored by Carl D. Smith and David M. Brown

Welcome to Blackhawk.

The Blackhawk region of Colorado has always been strange. It is the home of disappearances, disasters, violence, unexplainable occurrences and all things generally weird.

We’re sure you’ll enjoy your stay.

Overall Impression: Neutral

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Blackhawk Volume I is a collection of three short stories, set in the same location, that all have a very dream-like or nightmare like quality to them. While they make for an intriguing atmosphere and give glimpses into a unique world, they don’t really have the defining beginning, middle and end that typical stories have, making it someone difficult to have a definitive opinion on then beyond they’re an intriguing glimpse at a strange world. Blackhawk Volume I very much feels like only the beginning part of a book where I haven’t yet read the middle or end, so finishing it leaves me feeling like I’ve been teased and left hanging. That said, volume II of the series is already out and I think my final opinion on the series will depend on where the subsequent book take the story.

The characters in general felt fairly well-established, their complexity balanced and their behaviors believable, at least as much as the brief glimpses into strange world they’re inhabiting gave us information to discern their intentions and actions. There was only one occurrence where a character did something that seemed somewhat odd given what we knew of them at that point in the story.

Likely by intention, the cohesiveness of the plots of the stories were confusing, intended to make the reader feel uneasy and unsettled. Whether future books in the series offer any clarity to the plot remains to be determined. I am also uncertain how much the individual short stories are intended to eventually weave together into an overarching plot, or if they intend to stay more self-contained, individual experiences that all just happen to occur in the town of Blackhawk. Blackhawk is definitely a unique take on storytelling that is difficult to compare to other types of more traditional writing.

The writing style itself is well-written with clear and detailed descriptions and a diversity of sentence, grammar and vocabulary used, making it an enjoyable read. While there are quite a few typos throughout the book, none of them really affect the ability to understand what was being conveyed.

In summary, while I have no real strong opinions for or against Blackhawk, it does have me intrigued enough to want to read the next volume and see what happens.

– written by Whim Shifter (Book reviewer @TheNovelMarket)

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