Musings on writing, lessons learned by an aspiring professional, book reviews, movie reviews, an occasional t.v. show review, and unashamed opinion.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mini Reviews #4

Wow. Time flies when you're busy! I've been neglecting the blog for a while for several reasons, but mainly because I've been in a funk for the past month that has been hard to shake. Here's hoping that's all done with. I have several posts in the works--a few more What the Crap? posts and other things besides reviews. It's been so long, though, since I've posted that I need to get these two reviews out of the way before I forget what I want to say about these books. So here goes.

The King's Blood, by Daniel Abraham. It is the second book of his Dagger and Coin series, and picks up right where book 1 left off. In my opinion, TKB takes this series to a new level, and my respect and admiration for Abraham continues to grow. He is proving to be a master at epic storytelling. The pace of the story certainly quickens in this volume, and the characters end up in some surprising places I hadn't foreseen. I can't wait to see what happens in The Tyrant's Law, which is schedule for release in a couple of months.

Abraham is a subtle writer. I never feel like his characters are beating me over the head with their ideologies and positions. It is impossible, I think, to feel completely for or against most of the cast. (I said most, not all.) Abraham is patient with his story buildup. He carefully lays groundwork for every twist and turn. This might be a deterrent for some who want action packed fantasies. Trust me when I say the wait for big things to happen in this series is worth your time.

The King's Blood gets 5 out of 5 stars.

The second book is The Daylight War, book three of Peter V. Brett's Demon Cycle. This book was one of my most anticipated releases of 2013, and I have to say that it let me down in almost every way possible. I've had several weeks to think about the book since I finished it, and so can now separate the mixed feelings I had after its end. I hope I can do so without insult to the author--I do think Brett is among the best of our current crop of fantasy writers, and enjoyed the previous installments in the series immensely.

The biggest problem was that the plot wasn't advanced hardly at all. Book 2 suffered this problem as well--retelling a large portion of the story from another character's point of view. In the last book it paid off enough that I didn't mind all that much. It was just too boring to do it a third time. Also, (spoiler) the Daylight War, the prophesied war that this book gets its title from, never happens. Why did Brett mislead readers so much with the title?

The sex was way too gratuitous for my comfort. I think The Daylight Porn would have been a more apt description of the book. And lastly, the "cliffhanger" ending felt a bit smug in its cliffhangeriness.

The Daylight War gets 3 out of 5 stars. I hope that this portion of the story will feel more natural by the time the series is completed.

That's all.