Book Trailers: The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

Every Saturday I share a book trailer of new releases, books we (other readers and myself) love, want to read, and anything that fits in with BA, in the hopes of helping readers find something new to enjoy.

Spoiler Alert: The Daylight War is the third in the Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett. If you’re yet to read The Painted (Warded) Man or The Desert Spear then avert your eyes!

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If you’d like to share a trailer you think other readers would enjoy (including if it’s your book), send me a link and tell me a bit about the book. If it fits in with BA, than I will be happy to share with everyone with kudos back to you.

BA Post Challenge: Meet and Greet

BA’s 26 Posts Blogging Challenge

BA's 26 Posts Challenge for Book BloggersWelcome to BA’s 26 Posts Posting Challenge for Book Bloggers! The aim of this challenge is to create one post a week, focusing on books, book blogs, and a scattering of personal topics, for 26 weeks. You can learn more, or be kept up to date with topics here.

Posts will go up every Sunday, but you can post any time during the week (all topics are pre-listed), and share your posts in the comments for others to find. Please refrain from targeting individuals, bullying, or slandering in your posts. Share your opinions, but keep it diplomatic if anything negative comes up so this can be, and stay, a fun challenge.

This Week’s Topic

 Meet and Greet: Who are some of the authors you have met or would love to meet and why? Continue reading

Book Blogger Confessions: Bookish Wishes to Santa

Book Blogger Confessions is a meme that posts the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, where book bloggers “confess” and vent about topics that are unique to us. Feel free to share, vent and offer solutions.

Hosted by For What It’s Worth and Midnyte Reader. Check out the Book Blogger Confessions Schedule to see what topics are coming up.

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Today’s Topic: Dear Santa! What would you put on your blogging/bookish wish list if the sky was the limit? A new blog design? A house filled with new bookshelves? Even MORE books? Continue reading

Review: Brayan’s Gold by Peter V. Brett

Humanity has been brought to the brink of extinction. Each night, the world is overrun by demons—bloodthirsty creatures of nightmare that have been hunting the surface for over 300 years. A scant few hamlets and half-starved city-states are all that remain of a once proud civilisation, and it is only by hiding behind wards, ancient symbols with the power to repel the demons, that they survive. A handful of Messengers brave the night to keep the lines of communication open between the increasingly isolated populace.

Arlen Bales is seventeen, an apprentice Messenger in brand new armour, about to go out for the first time alongside a trained Messenger on a simple overnight trip. Instead Arlen finds himself alone on a frozen mountainside, carrying a dangerous cargo to Count Brayan’s gold mine, one of the furthest points in the duchy. And One Arm, the giant rock demon, hunts him still.

But Brayan’s Gold may offer a way for Arlen to be free of One Arm forever, if he is willing to wager his life on the chance. Continue reading

In My Mailbox and Peter V. Brett Signing

Peter V. Brett is one of my favourite authors and he is coming to Australia. During his visit in Oz he’ll be signing books so I decided to buy a book just for him to sign.

I was hoping against hope that I’d be able to get a copy of The Great Bazaar and Other Stories because like an idiot I didn’t pre-order it before it was available (I also would just love that cover as a poster). It’s still possible to get copies, but there’s no way I’m getting it at the price I’ve found it. I was very tempted though, but it’s just too much.

I have an ARC of The Painted Man and a trade paperback of The Desert Spear. I was unsure if I wanted him to sign my Painted Man copy or should I get a new one. I have a few signed books and they’re all in mint condition so I thought I should keep that trend up. I went to go find a hardback of The Painted Man – not happening – then I thought why not get a copy of the U.S. one (The Warded Man)? I’m starting to think maybe I should have done that now because I ended up getting a small paperback of The Painted Man and I don’t really like it. I could get a hard back of The Desert Spear, but I don’t really see the point of that when I already have The Desert Spear (it’s different with The Painted Man because one is an ARC and one isn’t). I also can only get a Hardback, with enough time to spare to post it to my friend (because unfortunately I can’t get there, oh the glories of being housebound and yay for having a friend who is a Galaxy addict!), for $45. Do I want to spend $45? I think I might…

I got my copy from The Book Depository and they sent me a cute little book mark with it. Thanks BD!

Don’t get me wrong, I still love the art work, but I really don’t like that colour. It doesn’t look that bad in a photograph, but it’s more on the orange side. Kind of an orange that makes me feel a little ill… Here’s my other copy with it.

And here’s a close view of the bookmark if you want to check that one out. I think it may be my very new favourite.

Now if you’ve made it to the bottom here and are waiting patiently for the details on the Peter V. Brett signing then thanks for being so patient and here they are.

Where: Galaxy Bookstore
143 York Street, Sydney
When: Wednesday, September 8 at 5:30pm

And if you’d like to see what else he has planned via his travels check out his post on Peephole In My Skull.

Review: The Desert Spear

If you have yet to read The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett or even read The Painted Man (the book that precedes it and also known as The Warded Man in the US) you may not want to read any further as it can be somewhat harder to avoid spoilers in a review for the second book (or at least I think it is). If you can’t read further, just keep in mind that it is an excellent book and I highly recommend it. I also highly recommend The Painted Man, but if you’ve read The Painted Man already and plan on reading The Desert Spear keep in mind that The Desert Spear is somewhat different, but still an excellent read.

Synopsis

The sun is setting on humanity. Demons rise each night to prey upon a dwindling population. Legends tell of a Deliverer who once drove the creatures away, but those times are long past and the return of the Deliverer is just another myth…. or is it?

Out of the southlands rides Ahmann Jadir, leading an army of desert warriors and proclaiming himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer. Sworn to follow the path of the first Deliverer, he has come to bring the scattered city-states of the north together in a war against demonkind – whether they like it or not.

But the green-landers claim their own Deliverer. The Painted Man, whose skin is tattooed with wards so powerful they make him a match for any demon. He teaches men and women to face their fears and stand against the creatures that have tormented them for centuries.

Once the Shar’Dama Ka and the Painted Man were brothers in arms, but betrayal has turned them fierce adversaries.

As old allegiances are tested and fresh alliances created, a new breed of demon waits in the shadows, more intelligent – and deadly – than any that have come before.

It was yesterday that I finally finished The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett, but I started writing a review for it after the first 100 pages. The reason being is I was very impressed with it’s start which was following the Krasians and their culture told via the lives of two of the main Krasian characters. I wrote so much about that first section (the novel is written in several sections, lives of the Krasians being one of them) it became one of the longest reviews I had written in some time and that was only a small part of the book.

There are several reasons why I was so impressed and was going to number them, but I’m all over the place today so will just type them up as I go and see what happens. I also want to point out that there are some things I’m disappointed about which I’m going to mention because there are a lot of things to mention about this book, but at the same time on sites that I rate this book I have been rating it 9 and a half stars out of 10. Apart from The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, The Painted Man was one of the best fantasy series starters I had read in the last few years and I still really enjoy the trilogy thus far so these disappointments are slight, but enough to grate on my nerves at times. I’m not sure if that’s personal taste and preference or more generalised so please read it and make up your own mind.

The Desert Spear kept me up very late. I found myself not wanting to actually pick up the book and start reading because I knew if I did I wouldn’t be able to put it down and the first thing I wanted to do when I woke in the morning was pick it up again. It is a very engrossing book and it drove me up the wall because of it. I think some of that is, thanks to it’s previous book, I already found the story and idea very entertaining. Even though for me it was a predictable story, which was unfortunate and I started to predict the story back during Painted Man, but even so it wasn’t so predictable it was off putting. Then again, maybe I’ve read so wide and so much that it’s too hard to surprise me anymore so that might be something you should see for yourself.

I think it’s great that the first section is dedicated to Krasia the desert and warrior culture in the story.  It fascinates me because it is a very Spartan culture and one of the main characters it follows is a very interesting character who is so determined and strong, but at the same time he ends up being a puppet for someone else. Yet I don’t feel sorry for him. In fact, compared to the first book, there’s only one character I actually feel any sympathy, empathy, and pity towards because to me the other characters deserve the tight spots they get themselves into. They’re quite daft characters in a way, but I’ll get into that a bit later.

The detailed story in the beginning with the Krasian perspective helps to give the whole story a new twist and it was refreshing reading it from another perspective, particularly when you come across dialogue with certain characters that had been in the previous book because in this instance you get to see it from the Krasian’s point of view and what their intentions were.

I think the author has done some great, solid character work within the first 200 pages (the Krasian section) which seems like a small part (the novel itself is just shy of 600 words in a tall softback), but really it’s quite a fundamental part of the story and influences the rest of it. I think this is where my disappointment begins because even though I still enjoy the story and there is some great detail after this section, I feel towards the end of the novel the characters had started to meld to a degree. Characters that I felt had charisma early on in the whole story (including the first novel) lost it at some point, especially Jardir who really is such a great character to read. He sets out on this holy expedition that he so fervently believes in and has set his whole life around yet he gets so tricked up later on. All the characters seem to, what I thought were smart characters end up making some very dumb decisions, and they don’t end up coming across as very well defined anymore.

Which is why I’m really grateful for the introduction of the new species of enemy and a re-introduction of an older character. One is very intriguing and adds a new element to the story. The other (which explains the new picture on the author’s website – check it out at your own risk because it is a potential spoiler), even though I could see it coming from a mile away and at some point she turns out to be very similar to a lot of the main characters, she’s still refreshing and charismatic.

Around the time I noticed the characters melding I also noticed how much the language changed and it frustrated me because yes it’s two very different cultures, but the writing style was affected in such a way that it grated on my nerves. I don’t like saying anything bad about the author’s writing because I really do like this author, but it was frustrating because it felt like the two different cultures influenced the style when I don’t see why it should have. It felt like reading two different books at times. Then there was change in dialogue which drove me bananas, but this is the part where I’m not sure it’s personal preference or is really something others are going to notice so you have to read it for yourself to decide.

There’s also one aspect about this book that highly amuses me. If I had an opportunity to ask the author one question about this book I’d ask him if he was watching Firefly at all while writing it. Sure it could be just a coincidence and most probably is, but towards the end I started noticing more and more how the characters used the term sunny because they did use it more (another thing I noticed about the dialogue). I know that night is used as a curse and exclamation, so too with sunny, but in the beginning (after the Krasian section) sunny wasn’t used as much as night was and as the story drew on it seemed to appear more often along with sunny. I’m not going to say it was a reference, because the use as sunny as a term makes perfect sense in this story, but it still did remind me of Firefly. I kept expecting characters to come out with shiny, goram and even the way they cursed with corespawn and variations of night made me think of Firefly.

I think this review is long enough and even though I have some gripes with the book it is one of my top ones. If anyone reads it please let me know what you think. I’d love to read your thoughts on it, even if you completely disagree with me.

Review: The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett

I read The Painted Man (also known under the title The Warded Man) two years ago before it was published in Australia and seeing as The Desert Spear was released not so long ago (I’ve been waiting and waiting so patiently for that book) I thought I’d re-read it.

My copy is an unproofed version of it which has me constantly wondering how different a proofed version would be and because of that I’m not going to be doing a full review of it. I don’t think that would really be fair to the author (even though two years ago I did review it) as I have no idea how much has been changed or if all the niggly bits that bug me have been fixed (that’s mostly wording, sentence structure, and time line so I’m guessing they would have been). Mostly I’m going to share a few thoughts on it first before reading and reviewing The Desert Spear because I really do like The Painted Man and it is one of those books I have been mentioning to people in hopes that they’ll read it.

Synopsis for The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett.

Mankind has ceded the night to the corelings, demons that rise up out of the ground each day at dusk,

killing and destroying at will until dawn, when the sun banishes them back to the Core. As darkness falls, the world’s few surviving humans hide behind magical wards, praying the magic can see them through another night. As years pass, the distances between each tiny village seem longer and longer. It seems nothing can harm the corelings, or bring humanity back together.

Born into these isolated hamlets are three children. A Messenger teaches young Arlen that fear, more than the demons, has crippled humanity. Leesha finds her perfect life destroyed by a simple lie, and is reduced to gathering herbs for an old woman more fearsome than the demons at night. And Rojer’s life is changed forever when a traveling minstrel comes to his town and plays his fiddle.

But these three children all have something in common. They are all stubborn, and know that there is more to the world than what they’ve been told, if only they can risk leaving their safe wards to find it.

There’s so many things I love about this book. I’ve been a fantasy fan since childhood, but fantasy also pisses me off because there are so many clichés that can’t seem to be avoided and fantasy, especially classic fantasy, is rarely original. One reason why I love this fantasy is because it isn’t over burdened with clichés and it has a dark edge to it. When I first read The Painted Man I hadn’t read many fantasy based novels with a dark side to it that included demons of some kind (that’s not including supernatural creatures in dark fantasy – shape shifters, vampires, and all that jazz) so I fell in love with the concept and ate it up.

The second time around I’ve loved it just as much and yes it has taken me longer, but that’s not the books fault. I went a little game crazy and couldn’t seem to focus on reading. However when I picked the book up again I was able to get right back into it as if I had never put it aside. I even read it till the early hours of the morning because it’s a really hard book to put down even when you know the story. I’m not a fan of the old school use of fantasy clichés in this, but they aren’t so dominate that it turns me off, instead I can barely notice them and when I do it’s from a writer’s point of view and not a reader’s (it’s really hard to review from only one side).

I also enjoy the main characters, but really love the character Arlen. They’re all stubborn, as it says in the synopsis, but Arlen just takes it to another level. I love him because he is bad arse, but at the same time he is written in a way that you get a feel for his vulnerabilities showing you he really is just one messed up kid. That probably sounds like it would be a possible Gary Stu character and even I would expect that reading my thoughts on it, but fortunately Arlen doesn’t end up that way at all. I think that has a lot to do with how Brett has written him, the characters in general, and his writing style.

Back to Arlen – What I particularly love about that character though is how far he will go to see his goal to the end, even when he loses his way a bit and it all gets skewed. There’s one particular section (I promise that even though this sounds like I’m about to give away a spoiler, I’m not) in the book where he discovers a solution to a problem, but the solution is a little f*cked up when you think about it and yet that doesn’t phase him. He has the mind set where he figures something out or sees something and decides to just do it.

I’d say that section would be the pivotal point in the story where these three people have gone from being these young kids to turning out to be the people they will be through out the story. I think that’s why I love that part so much, besides the darker side of it, but if you want to find out about it you’re just going to have to read it (tease aren’t I?).

For me too, I think Arlen is the driving force for the whole story. Yes you follow the early lives of all three characters, but when it comes down to it, I think Arlen is by far the most interesting and enigmatic character of the bunch. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the other characters, but the female character does grate on my nerves a little bit (I was thinking about this early in the morning when I had finished The Painted Man and realised there are few female characters I actually like in fiction so that might not be a reflection on the character or how she is written) and Roger’s character isn’t exactly delved into that much or as much as I would have liked. Actually I feel there are parts missing giving it a slightly disjointed feel, but not enough to dissuade me from enjoying it or reading it.

And here I’ve gone and done a review rather than just commenting… I can’t help myself. The more wrapped up I get in a book the more I have to dissect it or at least certain aspects of it and I really do love the concept and highly recommend it. It’s not just the characters of course, they do add a lot to it because it feels to me that it is focused around the characters rather than the story, but it’s also the story itself and the imagery. I was particularly impressed with some of the fighting scenes because there was just enough detail there to really help you imagine it, but at the same time it wasn’t over detailed so as to confuse the reader.

I’m going to shut about this book now and go and start the next one because I’m too excited to keep typing. I need to know what happens next!

… Ok one other thing – Something else I love about this book is that in a lot of fantasy there’s quite a religious aspect to the story with characters being religious themselves, but in this one the main character is a man of science. I think that is brilliant. There’s still religious characters of course, but religion doesn’t seem to be such a focus and it’s really nice to have a few characters in there that don’t think much of it. That makes my day. I just had to share that, so highly recommended if you like a darker edge to your fantasy, or fantasy that isn’t stereotypical classic fantasy, or body art in fantasy.