Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours for having me on the tour for Born at Dawn! First I’ll share the quick facts and synopsis, then a quick review and my favorite quotes (memorable moments) from the book! Also make sure to scroll down and check out the other hosts, author info and book links!
- Title: Born At Dawn
- Series: Da’Valia Trilogy – #1
- Author: Christina Davis
- Publisher & Release: Indie, November 15th 2020
- Genre: YA Fantasy
- Length: 301 pages
- Rate & Recommend: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 yes!
Here is the synopsis:
When a heist goes terribly wrong and the binding spell holding 17-year-old Neva’s powers at bay is shattered, the half-human thief knows she’s in trouble.
Neva has always hidden her Da’Valian heritage while working risky jobs to make a name for herself and serving at her family’s tavern, but she won’t be able to hide much longer. She can either risk the safety of those she cares about or seek out her mother’s people to gain control over her emerging powers.
The Da’Valia are beautiful, brutal creatures created by the god of war, and the austere Da’Valian soldier Astiand reluctantly agrees to take Neva to his clan under his protection. She makes unexpected friends, including the handsome fighter Emiliand, and a new enemy in the clan’s ruthless leader.
Spying on her guardian, the sly heroine quickly discovers just how deep she has stumbled into a dangerous, developing clan feud.
Will she be able to embrace who she is in time to keep her loved ones safe?
Overall I felt like I couldn’t read this book fast enough, and I know I can’t wait for the next book. In a young adult fantasy era where authors tend to focus on terrible and repetitive inner monologues, Born At Dawn is a fast paced, plot driven book that manages to include a decent amount of world building and characterization as well.
The species and clan relationships were well defined and the magic is definitely interesting as well. I liked the flames and magic shields and ESPECIALLY the teamwork aspect of sharing both offensive and defensive magic. The history of the Da’Valia was cool to learn about too, with the females born at dawn and a lighter color, and the males born at midnight of a darker coloring. I wanted a little more history there but loved the concept.
My only two issues were that a lot of people and places and things had similar sounding names, so it was hard to keep apart – but there was a glossary in the back! My other issue is why in the world, Neva, the main character who really is brave and resourceful and motivated and independent – would practically jump into bed with a jackass that lied and tried to keep her prisoner. She seemed so much better than that! (Note: only some kissing and horns stroking actually occured). Oh…maybe the cover too- loved it, loved a glimpse of the city, but since Neva’s hair is long, where are her horns!! It was shorn when she was human to hide her ears!
I know I am supposed to focus on sharing my favorite quotes – but honestly I didn’t find many quotable passages. A HUGE strength of the book was the consistently solid writing and it did not need purple prose to make it interesting or readable! Nothing broke the flow of story for me and I loved the book for that reason!
So here are my favorite *spoiler free* memorable moments:
- A time when Neva unleashed her inner power at a mountain in a very Alina Starkov-ish way, with the sun setting and the snow glowing orange – I cheered when she brought down an avalanche
- A moment when Neva saw her mother’s ghost – a gift from the god of death – and while a little creepy, the ghost told Neva that she was “strong, powerful, and dangerous”
- All the times that a hard-@$$ weapons master helped Neva, and the reasons she gave for doing so
- The scene with my shippable couple – Neva and Emiliand – where they are practice fighting and having a conversation about being different breeds
- And my favorite: the scene where Neva’s family and inner circle of thieves totally accepts her and Neva just feels so loved. I had all the warm fuzzles for those people❤❤❤
I definitely can not wait for book two. The clan battle is going to heat up and I hope Emiliand comes back, I just shipped that so hard. I actually liked Neva’ s character which is rare for me in YA books and I want her to have an alliance – and romance? With someone who loves and fights for her, not imprisons her.
I also really hope for a Monazhi related prequel story at some point, the chapter intros weren’t enough!
Now that I have saved about the book forever – here is the link to the rest of the tour! I hope you will check out the other hosts!
About the author:
Christina Davis was raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains and is a California girl at heart. She spent much of her childhood in and out of hospitals and embraced reading as an escape. After being home-schooled through high school, she graduated summa cum laude from San Jose State University and attended NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute before embarking on a decade-long career in journalism. She enjoys chocolate, cosplay, coffee, and board games, but not necessarily in that order. She now lives in beautiful Monterey County with her husband and daughter.