Book Review: Beyond the Shadows by Brent Weeks

Beyond the Shadows (Night Angel, #3)Beyond the Shadows by Brent Weeks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You know that feeling you get when you’ve just finished reading a really good book? The joy, the sorrow, the need for the bathroom because you couldn’t stop reading for the final 100 pages. Well this book wasn’t one of those, it was three of them: the Night Angel series by Brent Weeks.

I read this series back to back, buying the second two on my Kindle immediately after finishing the first (a curse on the publishers who decided to charge a ridiculous price for them). It was a good thing too, since each book was about double the size of the thrillers and crime novels that make up the majority of my reading, no way I’d feel comfortable killing that many trees. There are many advantages to long books and to series. Long books can be more entertaining, a series can give you more value for reading. But the disadvantage is that authors who write long books often try to pack a lot of filler into the books. The thing that I liked about each book in this series, and the series as a whole, was the lack of filler.

So, if you haven’t read the adventures of Kylar Stern – the Night Angel – I suggest you start with the first book, The Way of Shadows.

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Compulsory viewing for thinkers

The first time I came across Brian Brushwood it was a video on how to escape from hand restraints and using those restraints to shim a door lock. I swear that I was educating myself so that I could write an escape scene in my novel. You can’t prove different!

Anyway, this video is part of a lecture that covers a lot of the scams that are going around and how to spot them. Once you’ve seen this video, check out the rest of the lecture here.

Writing to publish

I always liked the quote from Lee Child: If you have written something and nobody has read it, did you really write it. In the sciences we have a similar saying, that if you haven’t published your research then it was never really done. Let’s all make sure that someone reads the stories we write, to make sure we share our brilliance.

I received my first story rejection

Yes, I have now experienced the bitter pill that is publishing. I’m not that fussed, as the short story wasn’t in the publisher’s hands long enough for them to have actually read it. Having submitted scientific papers to journals, I know that rejections are often just due to having had enough submissions already. Time to resubmit!