Perfect Shadow – by Brent Weeks (Review)

Night Angel #0.5

Fantasy, Novella

Orbit; November 7, 2017

131 pages (hardcover)

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7.5 / 10 ✪

Gaelan Starfire is a farmer, a husband, a father—and an immortal, a man who’s seen countless lifetimes, and is peerless in the arts of war. In past lifetimes he’s been a leader of men, a war hero, a villain, a rebel, a tyrant.

In this life he is no one.

Was. Was no one.

When his wife and daughter are killed, Gaelan takes an assignment assassinating assassins for the beautiful crimelord Gwinvere Kirena, in order to escape. But it turns out that this escape may cost him more than he bargained for.

Yet, it may also provide Gaelan with the answers he desperately seeks.

This was to be my first kill for hire. It’s good to start with the impossible. Make a name for myself. Enter with a splash.

A bit light on details, but a lot more depth than I’d expect out of the common backstory novella—no wonder it turned out longer than the author had planned. The tale of Gaelan Starfire includes twists and turns, ups and downs, but only the one lifetime (though there are glimpses of more beyond). If you liked the Night Angel trilogy—or even didn’t; I was on the fence, personally, and only ended up reading Book #1—this is a nice piece of lore to pick up, as it explains so much that is just taken for granted in Way of the Shadows.

I haven’t read a book in the series in several years, but had no trouble getting immersed in the world. In fact, even after finishing Perfect Shadow (which took me about a day), I still only remember glimpses of Book #1: the world, the ending, and… that’s about it. The point is that this novella can be enjoyed without any prior knowledge of the series, though if you have read some of it, this adds a bit more depth to your understanding.

There’s also a short story included: I, Nightangel—which fills in… not much, honestly. I found it a bit worthless and ended up skimming it. So, the novella itself I’d rate at 8/10 ✪—while the short story maybe 4ish. Luckily, the main event is the novella itself, so I only ended up docking half a star for this, as the reason you buy the novella is for the, you know, novella.

TL;DR

If you’ve read any of the Night Angel trilogy, or are curious to do so, I’d definitely recommend Perfect Shadow. It’s a good judge of whether or not the trilogy would be right for you. I’m not certain that the short story is included in the ebook version—according to the Amazon page, it is, but the hardcover edition claims it isn’t supposed to be.

The Life of the Lightbringer – Beautiful World of Books

If you follow me, you probably know that I’m not a huge fan of Brent Weeks. His Night Angel stuff was alright (though I haven’t finished the series), but for me his Lightbringer series is a miss. After DNFing Book #1—The Black Prism—I also DNFed Book #2, The Blinding Knife. Apparently Kip didn’t stop annoying me anymore between Books 1 & 2, not to mention my disdain for most of the other characters. Despite my feelings about it, I still hear about this series quite a lot. Many of my friends love it. Many of my followers love it. Lots of random people love it. Though, I’m not a fan of the series, there is one thing I love about the Lightbringer.

The covers.

I mean, y’all saw that coming, but still. The covers are quite pretty. No US and UK differences here, but the shared covers are still quite impressive. There are two different covers for the first book, the Black Prism, but the rest of the English language ones feature what is obviously the same artist.

Though Richard Jones’s artwork adorns the cover of the initial Black Prism release (the one on the left), I’m not sure whose covered the others. The remaining books (starting with #2) are the Blinding Knife (2), the Broken Eye (3), the Blood Mirror (4), and the Burning White (5).

While all of the covers are strong, I’d have to say my favorite has to be the Burning White. It’s just the rainbow of swirling colors that gives it the extra edge. Next… is probably the Broken Eye—for that nice bit of poison-green and the ominous tree and crows. After that, I’d say in order goes the Black Prism (on the right), the Blinding Knife, the Blood Mirror, and the leftmost Black Prism. But it’s not like I’ve thought about it much or anything. Certainly not more time than I spent reading the actual series surely;)

What’s your favorite cover? And did you like the series? Hope everyone has a great weekend!