Rosie Black’s last stand

Rosie BlackDark Star, the third and final book in The Rosie Black Chronicles by Lara Morgan, came out last year. I read it then and have been avoiding the review ever since. I hate it when a book fails to meet my expectations, especially when it is still a good book. It leaves me floundering when it comes to writing the review. But I can avoid it no longer. So, here goes…

In Genesis, we met Rosie Black, an ordinary teenage girl in a future dystopian world, who was inadvertently drawn into a world of corporate espionage, trying to stop the powerful and corrupt Helios corporation. With the help of her pilot aunt, a feral teenager named Pip and a mysterious man name Riley, she destroyed the Helios base on Mars and put a huge dint in their plans. In Equinox she discovered that Helios had other plans on the boil, and Rosie was drawn into things yet again. Now, in Dark Star, Helios’s ultimate plan is revealed, along with the true power behind the corporation. And Rosie finds herself battling seemingly insurmountable odds.

It’s an action-packed book with lots of twists and turns. There are interesting characters and concepts. And the whole thing is rather well written. And yet, it just didn’t do it for me.

You may remember I had similar feelings about the first book (see: “The Rosie Black Chronicles”). But I enjoyed the second book a lot more (see: “Reviewing Rosie Black”). So I was really expecting to love the third book. Alas, I did not. I did enjoy it, in the same way that I enjoyed book 1, but I didn’t love it.

I think, in part, this comes down to the fact that I’ve never really found the lead character all that engaging or likeable. I was starting to warm to her by the end of book 2. But in this book, she goes through so much that she comes across as almost super-human… so you don’t get the sense of her being an ordinary teenager. It was all just a little too much. I also found some of the character motivations a little muddy this time around.

But if you’ve read the first two books, you do have to read this one… if for no other reason than to finally find out who’s behind Helios and what they are up to. I really did like all of that. And there are lots of other good things in the book, particularly in terms of certain supporting characters.

All up, Dark Star is a good book… just not as good as I was hoping it would be. It is still very much worth a read.

Catch ya later,  George

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the world is a different place. The Melt has sunk most of the coastal cities and Newperth is divided into the haves, the ‘Centrals’; the have-nots, the Bankers; and the fringe dwellers, the ‘Ferals’.

Rosie Black is a courageous but vulnerable 16 year-old who lives in a futuristic world where it’s hard to know who to trust and bad choices can prove fatal.

After losing her mother and her best friend, Rosie’s world has been turned upside down and her priorities have changed.

Rosie is hell bent on helping develop a cure for the disease that killed her mother and almost claimed her father’s life. The disease has been manufactured by the Helios regime. They are intent on taking over the world, but Rosie Black is equally determined to bring them down.

Equinox, by Lara Morgan is the second book in The Rosie Black Chronicles. It’s just as action-packed as the first book, Genesis. If you loved Genesis, you’ll love Equinox and like me, you’ll be hanging out for the third Rosie Black Chronicle.

Equinox has great characters, non-stop action and a fascinating world where space travel and all sorts of things are possible.

Lara Morgan creates such a vivid place for her characters to inhabit that I found myself totally believing in it.

Rosie is placed in life threatening situations but she still faces normal teen dilemmas like being torn between her first love, the Feral, Pip and  Dalton, the ‘Central’ who appears to have everything.

Her attraction for the charming Dalton is tempered with mistrust. Why would someone from a privileged background like Dalton be interested in helping her and ‘the cause’.

Riley, who’s in charge of operations isn’t telling Rosie the full story and when he puts an implant in her brain it turns out to be more than routine and when it malfunctions, it puts her life in jeopardy.

Rosie is reluctantly forced to see the help of Cassie, Riley’s gorgeous but unfriendly sister.

And just when Rosie, Pip and Dalton seem to have everything under control, Rosie is double crossed by Agent Sulawayo and might be forced to make a deal to save them all.

Equinox is tightly written and although the fast-pace draws the reader forward, we still feel connected to the characters as if we know them.

Equinox is written by Lara Morgan and published by Walker Books.






Who Is Rosie Black?

Recently, I caught up with WA author Lara Morgan, creator of the action-packed new YA futuristic fantasy series, The Rosie Black Chronicles set in Perth 500 years into the future. (First book Genesis came out this month). Lara was in Melbourne for WorldCon and apart from writing, we chatted for a long time about the future, climate change and space travel to Mars – all of which are featured in Lara’s new book. She says,

I read Tim Flannery’s book and it got me thinking what is our country going to be like if seas rise? What kind of world are we going to be left with? I was interested in exploring the idea.

To celebrate the release of Genesis, Lara is taking her book on a blog tour and I’m delighted to say that it starts right here, right now at Kids’ Book Capers.

I loved Rosie’s bravery and independence, the courage with which she faces the death of her mother and a father who has been severely damaged. Rosie is a great heroine who also has believable flaws like impatience and an inability to ask for help when she really needs it.

Here to tell us more about Rosie is Lara Morgan.

Who is Rosie Black?

The funny thing about Rosie Black is I got to know her aunt, Essie, before I met Rosie. I wrote this short story about a woman called Essie who was a spaceship pilot. She was cool, sassy and just a little bit rude and I thought she was pretty fabulous but the story never quite worked. Then I got the idea of writing a YA novel and I started building this futuristic world and realised it was, essentially, Essie’s world and that Essie Black had a niece called Rosie. It wasn’t even like I had to sit and think about it for a long time and force the creation of this character. Rosie just existed. She introduced herself and we started getting to know each other.

I say ‘introduced herself’ because, even though it makes me sound a bit mad, I do feel with all my characters that they’re real on some level. I may not be able to talk to them face to face, but it’s as if they’re there, maybe in a parallel dimension waving at me across the void. Except Rosie wouldn’t wave, she’s not that kind of girl. She’d probably just raise her eyebrows, frown a bit then find a way to send me a message.

When I was figuring out who Rosie was I had to make sure I had a character who reflected the awful world she lived in but who also wasn’t devoid of hope. I mean, Rosie’s mother has died and her father is messed up and she lives in a crappy part of town, but she still hasn’t lost a sense that she could be more, do more with her life than what she’s been dealt.

She still has some hope, even when things get really bad she doesn’t give up. And she does things herself.  I really wanted a heroine who wasn’t waiting to be rescued, who could rescue herself if need be, but not have to be some super hero karate expert to do it.

Having a character like that of course affects the way the plot will go. And there were a few times when I would plot something out then realise as soon as I went to write it that there was just no way Rosie would do that, or react like that so it was back to the drawing board, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

So who is Rosie Black? Well Rosie is that girl who sits in the back of the class and doesn’t speak much, she’s the girl you see alone at lunch time, the one who doesn’t go to parties, the misfit, but you get the feeling she likes it that way.

Oh and she’s not a ‘beautiful but doesn’t know it’ girl. She’s attractive enough but she’s trying to save the world and doesn’t have time for an eyebrow wax. Although she would rather her hair was straighter, but we all want what we haven’t got don’t we? I hope you like her.

Find out more about Rosie Black and win a copy of Genesis at Lara’s blog:

Or check out the new Rosie Black book trailer and website at

Lara’s blog tour is stopping at all these great blogs.

Oct 11 Who is Rosie Black?

(that’s here)

Oct 12 Writing tips on creating a futuristic world.

Tuesday Writing Tips (that’s my other blog)

Oct 13 The Publishing Process

Oct 14 Writing YA.

Writing a Fantasy Series

Oct 15     Interview

Oct 16 Interview

Oct 17 Writing sci fi

Oct 18 Heroines in YA

Oct 19 The Boy in this story; creating male characters in heroine driven YA.

Rosie Black’s past & future

Oct 20 Interview