I only managed get half way into this before finally relenting and giving up. I'd forced myself to get that even far as a result of the all hype surro...moreI only managed get half way into this before finally relenting and giving up. I'd forced myself to get that even far as a result of the all hype surrounding such a 'classic' book, but in the end I did not enjoy it at all, and getting to the end of the next page was an immense challenge. I'm going to put this down to the writing style of the late 1940s when it was originally published, and there was a very difference literary style with which authors hooked their readers, and unfortunately that has left the book today earth-shatteringly dull.
Back in those days, I'm sure the portrayal of the UK as a Soviet-esque dictatorship where every single aspect of people's lives is monitored and controlled would have been somewhat thought provoking, but it feels obsolete in a world where people going through school and university, where it's most likely to be read in the first place, have only heard about the Cold War from books and movies.
In a world where books like DaemonDaemon exist, I think George Orwell is destined to be consigned to the English and Politics classroom rather than the bookshelf.(less)
This book didn't manage to hook my after only the first few chapters the way The Magicians' Guild had. It was actually pretty boring with nothing at a...moreThis book didn't manage to hook my after only the first few chapters the way The Magicians' Guild had. It was actually pretty boring with nothing at all happening until the last couple of chapters, and it's only the epilogue that makes me want to read the other two books.
I always try to avoid reading other people's reviews of works of art before seeing them for myself, so I can go in unbiased and without any preconceiv...moreI always try to avoid reading other people's reviews of works of art before seeing them for myself, so I can go in unbiased and without any preconceived notions of what to expect, and in this case that almost worked against me. Several times I came very close to abandoning this book early on, all of them before the half way point, because the pace was infuriatingly slow and the plot excruciatingly absent. At one point I actually told myself I wasn't going to waste my time reading something I didn't like, and reconsidered after realising you can't judge a story fairly until you've heard the whole thing, so I pressed on and it eventually realised I had almost made a huge mistake in giving up. I'm writing this review in the hope that other people aren't as strict about reading reviews as I am, and I can persuade them to persevere until the end.
In the world of The Painted Man, the once great civilisation of mankind has been reduced a few small towns and hamlets, where everyone is simply living to survive the coming night and the daemons it brings. The only defence the people have against the daemons are the wards they paint on their walls, one of the few relics from the past that still remain. They paint them on their walls and doors and pray they didn't make a mistake. The story follow three children from different villages ravaged by daemon attacks who each decide to 'fight back' as the blurb reads.
At least that's what the reader expects to happen. The story doesn't follow the typical three act structure most novels use, where the first few chapters serve as the introduction to the world, the characters and the plot, with the main cycle of events kicking off at the end of that. Instead, it jumps between these three characters, all of whom come from different villages and lead different lives, with the only connection between them being their survival of a daemon attack. Each chapter jumps between the characters as it tells the story of a day in the life of each. It's only about three quarters of the way in that they finally meet and the plot starts up.
The book is the first in a series called The Demon Cycle and it seems to me that instead of writing each novel with the three-act structure typical to fiction, the author has written the entire series in that vein and simply broken it down into smaller units, so this novel serves as the introduction to the entire series. In doing so, the characters are extensively fleshed out, with all the events that eventually shape them described in great detail, providing the reader with an insight in the personality and motivations they wouldn't normally get in other novels/series. In my frustration with the pace, I feel I missed a lot of what the author was trying to tell me, so I'll be rereading this one at some point in the future.(less)