Book Review: Perfect Shadow

Title: Perfect Shadow: A Night Angel Novella
Author: Brent Weeks
Publisher: Orbit Books

I, like so many others my age, stopped reading altogether in high school and college.  I loved reading as a kid and devoured heaping piles of books from the local library, but assigned reading killed my love of books for a number of years.

Until, on a whim, I picked up the first Night Angel book by Brent Weeks.

I cannot recommend the Night Angel trilogy enough; I’ve read it more times than I’d like to admit over the past few years and I’m thinking about reading it again after tearing through this novella.  His characters are fantastic, there’s just enough of that Robin Hobb-esque gut-punching to make it feel like the main characters are fallable, and, really, it’s about assassins with magic.  How much cooler can you get?

Brent Weeks’ writing has improved greatly in the years since the Night Angel trilogy, most likely from his work on the fantastic book, Black Prism.  Most likely due to the short format, his writing feels snappier, the action is more concise, and the revelations come quickly.

Perfect Shadow is, at its core, about the beginning of Durzo Blint, one of the two main characters in the Night Angel trilogy.  It’s also about the rise of Gwinevere Kirena, a main player in the world of the trilogy.  Much of the information in Perfect Shadow was revealed before, but the change in perspective to Durzo himself gives it a whole new dimension.

There’s little else I can write about Perfect Shadow without giving away major plot points of both this book and the previous trilogy.  Though it’s positioned as a prequel, Perfect Shadow feels like it’s best enjoyed after the trilogy itself, even though the end of the novella does lead directly into the first book.  If you’re a fan of the Night Angel trilogy, hopefully you’ve already picked it up.  It’s cheap, it’s a snappy, quick read, and it’s incredibly satisfying.  If you haven’t read the Night Angel trilogy, I’m clearly a fan and suggest picking up the whole trilogy.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I may have a trilogy to re-read.

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About Michael Hannon
Podcaster, blogger, writer, geek. Host of That Video Game Podcast (TVGP) and Dynamic Soundtrack. A big fan of stuff.

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