It’s been THE most anticipated book of 2013 for me. Having reread The Painted Man and parts of the Desert Spear, I‘ve been eagerly awaiting The Daylight War. I loved the Painted Man, but the Desert Spear left more to be desired. I’ve had my hopes up for the Daylight War.
Unfortunately, The Daylight War suffers from the same disease as Desert Spear. Half of the book is flashbacks. And though they are exciting, they are really not tied into the overall storyline, which hardly progresses at all.
The story of Inevera is exciting and refreshing, but largely unnecessary. As a character I never liked her until now. A lot of time is spent on factoids and interesting stories, not central to the storyline. Inevera has a rich backstory, and getting to know her and the secrets of the Dama’ting was a deft touch.
In Desert Spear I felt it was a weakness, and though it is done much better in Daylight War, it’s still superfluous. Unfortunately, there is no benefit on spending this many pages on the upbringing of Inevera, as it has little to no impact on the overall story.
The central storyline progressed very slowly, if at all. We pick up a few hours after the Desert Spear ended, and although not much happens story wise in the whole book, several characters have changed overnight.
The Painted Man, who has done everything to keep his past hidden, goes off spouting Arlen Bales of Tibbett’s Brook this and Arlen Bales of Tibbett’s Brook that, to everyone in the first 250 pages. It gets old really quickly!
The story takes a backseat for much of the book, and instead we are left with feuds about sex and relationship trouble, with occasional appearances by supporting-characters!
The first two thirds of the books felt like an extended episode of Days of our Lives. It’s doesn’t read well, and I found the endless gush of vomit-inducing jibber jabber, about who did who, boring!
The backwater-lingo used in The Daylight War starts off quite annoying, but you get used to it as you move on.
The change in Arlen and Leesha is not believable. The difference is huge compared to Desert Spear (as well as The Painted Man). This change hurts a bit too because I loved those characters.
When the story moves on, we get to follow Arlen while exploring his newly won magic. He has a lot of learning to do, and getting to know this magic alongside Arlen was great. But at some point, these magic abilities turn into superpowers. Needless to say, this does not turn out well.
Because of these magic powers, many thrills have been removed. The fights are essentially boring, because we know that the Painted Man is more powerful than anything but the strongest Demon Princes. There’s too much deus ex machina, and the narrative itself begins to rely on these powers to reveal key details and progress the story.
My hope for the series as a whole, and the next book in particular, is that Brett will stop using unwanted flashbacks, and instead focus on the story.
In the end, the criticism of The Daylight War is much the same as the Desert Spear. The Daylight War redeems itself with a phenomenal ending but still only scores 2.5 out of 5 stars in my view. The ending has persuaded me that I will finish this series, but it has yet to deliver on the potential of The Painted Man!