Dawn of the Shadow is a superhero origin story which immediately piqued my interest because, me being a 7 year old in a 33 year old's body, I love!
So, about the book. It opens with a prologue set 50 trillion years ago with an ongoing war between two races called Sumerians and Cromanuts. Fast forward 50 trillion years to present day Philadelphia and our main protagonist, a 21 year old college student named Pete, is riding bikes in the woods with some of his buddies and it's on this ride that Pete's life, and those who know him, change forever. For the sake of not spoiling the story, Pete stumbles upon, quite literally, an underground "bunker" where he accidentally flips a switch and undergoes some "changes". Of course I'm leaving out some things but those things are best left for the reader to find out on their own.
First things first, the book was a pageturner - I was able to finish it in about 4 hours as I was always wanting to know what was going to happen next. Major plus right there! If you're a fan of comic books then this book will be something that you'll want to read and I anticipate that, since this is the origin or "dawn" of the Shadow that their will be more adventures to come for him, which I am looking forward to. There are some things that I didn't see coming (which is another plus) and the author is clearly passionate about and is a fan of the genre. Not only is this a story about a young man becoming a hero and fighting a villain he is also fighting the darkness within him (a la Spider-Man 3 though I am not listing that as a knock) which provides for some of the most interesting parts of the book.
The book is not without it's flaws, though. Before writing this review I looked at some of the other reviews that people had posted for it on Amazon.com and I found that I have the same problems as they did with the book. The book is clearly not a draft that is print ready as it is filled with a lot of errors that took me out of the story sometimes. For example, one of the main characters, our antagonist actually, is named Bocchio. There are a couple of times in this book where this character's name is misspelled - sometimes as Bocchip and sometimes as Boccchio. There are awkward sentences and phrases (which I assume are there to minimize the cursing - for example "jerk" for ass) scattered here and there which break up the smoothness of the story. One of the main characters uses the word "Hecko" to answer the phone and I can not for the life of me tell you why that is. At first I thought it was a typo when I first read it but it happens, at a minimum, three or four times again in the story. Also, it's a story where the main characters are all in their 20's (or older) but there's one point where one of them is told that a file is "restricted" and one of the characters has no idea what that word means - I found that quite odd since this character is in college.
This is a very solid effort by Peter Kelly but some of the exgood ideas in the book are burdened down by the unnecessary errors that permeate through the book which reads more like a first draft than anything else. With a little bit of editing/proof reading this has the potential to be a very promising series.