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February 13, 2013 / minusbar

Book Review: The Daylight War, by Peter V. Brett

Book Review: “The Daylight War” by Peter V. Brett

Having thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the Demon Trilogy, I found myself highly anticipating this read. I’m a huge fan of the world that Peter’s created, and I enjoy his ability to tell coming of age stories that feel highly original in a genre that’s filled with archetypes.

Inevera, the lovely Damaji’ting donning the cover, is given a lot more background in this novel. This was very enjoyable for me, as I, along with many others, found it quite hard to care for her character in the earlier novels. However, now that she’s been further fleshed out and motivations made known, she is a intriguingly intricate character that, love or hate, is extremely interesting to read. During portions of her back-story the novel retreads some ground that was covered in The Desert Spear. I didn’t mind this, but the similarity of events could be bothersome to someone who only recently finished the second novel. For me, having not read the second book all that recently, I found the quick refresher quite welcoming. Overall, her story arc was very entertaining, and the extra layers given to her story make her previous and forthcoming actions more meaningful because of it.

Once Inevera’s beginning portion is completed, the novel then shifts back to the rest of the characters at present time. There’s a lot of interaction between Renna and Arlen, so it’s best you get used to the Tibbet’s Brook slang fast, because it’s on display early and often. Not a bad thing necessarily, just takes some getting used to when you’re shifting from the Krasian “ting’s” and “dama’s” to the rural “ent gunna tell me nuttin” style dialects. Now, Renna was never a favorite of mine in the last novel, and that trend continued on in this book. Her character is all passion and fire, a stark contrast to Inevera’s calculated nature (and of course, Leesha hangs somewhere between the two). However, her passion isn’t what turns me off reading her segments; it’s the repeated phrases that often come up. If I had a dollar for every time she grabbed for her father’s knife or told Arlen she loved him, I’d be at least a few books richer once I spent them.

The biggest peeve I had with this novel is the sheer amount of sex within the pages. It’s not necessarily the graphic nature of the sexual encounters that bothered me, they where tame enough, but the amount of people who are participating. I get it, times are tough, and physical comfort is a fact of life. However, I found a lot of it unnecessary. Without spoiling who does what, let’s just say a lot of people have sex with more than one person in this book. The concept of monogamy does not seem to be one that the people of Thesa are likely to adopt any time soon…

Now, reading this, you’re probably thinking I hated the book. Hardly! To be perfectly honest, I critique the series I enjoy far more severely than those I don’t. This is an amazing novel, and a great addition to the demon cycle, but I can’t say that I honestly feel it’s a better novel than either The Painted Man or The Desert Spear.

I will say though, Peter has definitely evolved as a writer! The best parts of the first two novels, in my opinion, are the beginnings. I felt the previous entries started really strong and tended to leave a less than satisfactory taste in your mouth at the end by comparison. However, The Daylight War is the exact opposite! The beginning is strong; the middle seems to drag at parts, then the end. THE END! You get a cliffhanger that would make George R.R. Martin proud. For me, the mark of a great writer is their ability to make you crave more even after you’ve just finished. After the gut punch of excitement the ending left me with, I can honestly say he’s succeeded in doing that.


Roger Bellini


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