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Review | The Demon Cycle quintet | Peter V. Brett



The Demon Cycle quintet by Peter V. Brett takes place in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world. When the sun sets, demons terrorise the earth; humanity now cowers behind magical defensive wards salvaged from the old world in order to survive.


What Dave liked

✅ an interesting — albeit shallow — magic system


✅ well-written, easy-to-follow structure which paints a vivid visual picture in the mind; I always had a clear understanding of the setting


✅ the pacing in the first book was great — I couldn't put it down!


✅ contains many small details that the reader can pick up on, for example, before the demons ruled, during ‘The Age of Science’, humans made vast progress on machines and medicine. Throughout the story, there are characters who are old and feeble at 60, with others thriving at 100 — showing the genetic benefits of those whose bloodline comes from the old world


✅ Brett is not afraid to explore the darker side of humanity; there are some truly horrific people and events that take place leaving memories that I won’t forget


What Dave didn't like

✖ everyone spits when they say something in spite. Everyone.


✖ all breasts are called ‘paps’ in this world for some reason; paps are mentioned more often than you would want or need


✖ Brett doesn’t write characters very well — especially women; they are either too vulnerable or too powerful. For example, Renna, a girl starts off as a simple lass with little aggression, to then becoming a friggin' berserker fighter who won’t take crap from anybody over the course of a few chapters


✖ Leesha gets her own dishonourable mention — she starts off as an innocent little rich girl with no self-esteem, to the fearless town healer, to a ancient wards expert, and then finally to a formidable fighter; she is supposed to be some kind of genius, but she constantly makes illogical decisions. Oh, and she's also so beautiful that almost every man she meets either falls in love with her or tries to rape her


✖ the writing quality and pacing falls apart after the first book; new characters are hurriedly introduced and killed off; humans learn more magic and it basically becomes a way for them to do ANYTHING — in the final chapters of book five, one character just started flying.


✖ so many character perspectives — 4 in the first book, 8 in the second, and then they keep growing. I cared about none of them except for the main character, Arlen. Others I came to despise, and was glad when they were killed off, since I wouldn’t need to waste any more time on their meandering story arcs


✖ the second book spends the first 246 pages on a new main character. Ok, fine, it’s a different perspective of the world, BUT then the 3rd book introduces ANOTHER character perspective for the first 278 pages! With Arlen only appearing in a handful of chapters throughout the whole book!


✖ after the disappointing sequel, I kept on thinking "maybe the next book will be better". It wasn't.


✖ predictable story arcs for most characters with a very predictable (and kind of stupid) ending.


Verdict

A fantastic first book, followed by four disappointing books.

Book 1: 4 🌟 Books 3-5: 2.5 🌟

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