Review – January Black by Wendy S. Russo

Fantastic! Intelligent! Sweet! & Well written!


A novel should make you feel something. It should spark your imagination and grab your heartstrings. January Black does not disappoint and has so much more to offer than the casual page turner! It is a thought provoking puzzle intertwined with history, sweet first love, family secrets, and political dissension.

Matty Ducayn is an upper-class teen in the city of Aventine. After being expelled from school for outwitting his instructor, he is given a task by King Hadrian. Matty is quickly entangled in a behind the scenes, political exploitation of his intelligence, naiveté, willingness to bend, if not break the rules and laws that govern his world, all while falling deeply in love with Iris.

Although the novel is set in the future, I feel that the story is relevant to the present. The scenes are descriptive but not wordy. The future technology is imaginative but not farfetched. The characters are well written and relatable. The dialog extremely enjoyable. It is a fascinating tale where seekers of freedom and a new beginning end up with a government that sees and controls everything – or at least tries to.

Is Matty being unfairly manipulated, or is he part of a greater scheme for a better future? You’ll have to read it to find out.

I would like to add one humble note: I do not care for anyone to push their thoughts, opinions, or beliefs on me and this novel DOESN’T come across that way at all. It is a story. Well told and inspiring.

My only regret about January Black is that I didn’t read it sooner.

Released from Crescent Moon Press 2013

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