ARC Review – Blacklight Born by Alexander Darwin Book 3 of the Combat Codes Saga

We have reached the concluding volume of the Combat Code series and it packs one final punch with an epic final volume. All the questions I had entering this installment were answered and some twists I did not see coming. Besides the action and friendships, Blacklight Born is a story of personal fear, sacrifices, and how to overcome them. The sins of the past come up quiet a bit in this book and that can be the most difficult enemy to defeat. How will our character prevail? If you are currently reading this series, I promise you will find out. This will be a spoiler free review, but I will be touch on events that have happened in the previous two novels.

The story begins with Murray and the members of the Whelps going on a Pilgrimage, but Murray has a different goal in mind of finding Cego and returning him home. When we last left Cego he was in the fighting pits under punishment of death facing the goliath with defeat all but certainty. Despite all odds, Cego was victorious in the arena and is rescued by the Slayer, whom turns out to be one of Cego’s brothers he has been looking for. This is the initial set up for the book and the story really goes into hyperdrive in Part 2. All of the different factions converge as we learn about the deadly sins of the past from all parties including the shocking beginnings of the Cradle.

As I have stated in my previous reviews of Combat Codes and Grievar’s Blood that Alexander Darwin is an expert at writing hand to hand combat scenes and fighting techniques use by our main characters. This was a given I knew entering this book, but what I didn’t expect to find was the way the story converged throughout the novel. The worldbuilding, character motivations, and sci-fi like technology all came together for the wonderful climax. Great care was put into completing this series and I hope the author will revisit this world at a later point in his publishing career.

One thing I should also mention about this book is there are a good portion of chapters that have flashback sections and these gave me a much better understanding our main cast, especially Murray. Every faction will have their view of the world at large and what part they wish to play in its preservation or destruction. One thing is for certain, the Codes will be followed to the bitter end. Don’t sleep on this great series by an author on the rise as it is one adventure I will never forget!



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