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Brush With Darkness
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message 1: by J.A. (new) - added it

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Brush With Darkness (Arts Reborn: Book I)
Historically-Inspired Fantasy in a Rome-like setting
Brush With Darkness (Arts Reborn, #1) by Jamie Maltman
Amazon for Sample
Web Sample
(Originally posted by Jamie)

message 2: by J.A. (new) - added it

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Brush with Darkness

A qualified thumbs up based on how suitable that lovely cover really is...

Cover - it's stunning but unfortunately makes me think of a non fiction art manual. Not sure it fits the book.

Blurb - good. Love the concept. Got me intrigued.

Book - aside from the fairly minor niggle that it's a massive cliche to have a dream sequence/ wake up sequence at the start of a book, I really liked what I read. I think the dream does actually set the scene and it's handled differently enough to avoid being too cliched. The pace is good. Spelling etc is fine. It seems more of a told story than a shown one at this point but it's not dry and fits the scene so far. I really like the gradual introduction of the culture. And the MC is intriguing enough for me to want to know more.

I would read on.
(Originally posted by me)

message 3: by J.A. (new) - added it

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Appraisal - Brush with Darkness - Thumbs down, reluctantly

Cover - nice color, looks professional. The style suggested Steven Saylor or Lindsey Davis, either of whose readers would be expecting Roman murder, but not magic elements. But that may just be me, I'm an avid reader of that genre and less so of fantasy. The word 'with' in the cover is so small the eye skips over it, especially in the thumbnail form, which makes it hard to read the actual title.

Blurb - Good length, spelling and punctuation fine, and it sounds like an intriguing story.

Looking at the content. There's a red flag here. The copyright page claims the book is published by 'testudo press' and a quick google search reveals there's no such company. Feels a bit false. I'd not expect a $2 book to be on a publishing deal. I'm not sure if general readers would notice this, mind.

The story. Spelling and punctuation good. Nothing jarring in vocab or sentence structure. Dream sequence has nice imagery, painterly quality consistent with what we know of the character.
Gets a bit bogged down in history lesson once he wakes up. Not sure we need all of this to get to the next bit of the story. There's a couple of lines of dialog and then another two paragraphs describing the setting and the background before the next line. Having read a few pages in I'm
finding it tough going, and I wouldn't buy the book. When I read a historical novel I tolerate a fair amount of description because it's a lesson in real history. I'm not willing to invest that much in a fantasy world. Your mileage may differ, as they say.
(Originally posted by Richard 2060)

message 4: by J.A. (new) - added it

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Jamie wrote: "Brush With Darkness (Arts Reborn: Book I)
Historically-Inspired Fantasy in a Rome-like setting
Brush With Darkness (Arts Reborn, #1) by Jamie Maltman
Amazon for Sample
Web Sample"

Cover: Nice and very professional. Good hints for what is inside, and I love the colors. Bright, vibrant, and eye catching.

Blurb: Intriguing. I may not have picked it up initially, because I usually avoid something with heavy political themes, and that would have been a shame.

Content: Very tightly woven story, nicely evolved from start to the end of the sample. Another one I would definitely continue reading with pure enjoyment. I can't quite tell about the magic system in the short sample, but it appears to be well thought out, and manages to provide a feeling of "the sky is the limit" without falling over into a "godmode" style system. Well done, and a fun read.

Appraisal? Enthusiastic thumbs up
(Originally posted by K)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Thumbs up

Cover: Very polished, professional, and eye grabbing.
Blurb: I'm biased here because the mention of art being used as a plot device intrigues me. I'm an art junky. Looking past that, this gave me a Star Wars vibe for some reason. This is a blurb I would read to the end if I was browsing (I mentioned in another post that this is rare for me).
Look Inside: I only got through the dream, which had beautiful imagery. I didn't want to go much farther because whether this gets to the review stage or not, it went on my to read list.

message 6: by Jeno (new)

Jeno (jenomarz) | 52 comments Brush With Darkness (Arts Reborn: Book I) – Thumbs Up

Cover: I like the cover, especially the colors. Everything’s in its place, fonts readable. The design seems to be well in tune with the content.

Blurb: The blurb was intriguing. I’m hooked.

Sample: I don’t think the dream sequence is a cliché here, since it blends well with the theme and the character. The imagery is vivid and the pacing is good. The narrative is tightly packed yet enjoyable.

Overall: Would I read on? Yes.

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
Since the links in the first post didn't copy across as live...

Web sample @ Amazon

@my website:

And I tweaked part of the second part of the first chapter based on some things I've always wanted to change a bit, but wasn't sure how. So those are live (as of middle of last night) on Amazon and my website.

Anthony Deeney | 81 comments Hi.

My thoughts: Overall...Thumbs up!

Title: There are about 3 other books with almost the same name on Amazon! I don't think that's good, but it may not matter much.

Cover: Striking, colourful, but perhaps not indicative of the content (no indication of military or magic).

Blurb: Simple and clear. Interesting enough to download a sample.

Content: Firstly, military books are not my thing, but I could get into them (One of my all time favourite books is "Monmouth Harry").

Spelling and punctuation good. (Though I think there is one sentence that begins with "And" but you may have purposefully intended this.)

Dream sequence is well written, engaging and hints at the ambiguity of the tem "arts." The imagery is powerful and really quite inspiring. Military knowledge seems convincing, but I am no expert. I got a little bogged down with the new names, ranks etc. after the dream sequence, but I often experience that with books at the start.

So: Summing up... would I read on. Yes.

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
Looks like I hit 5 thumbs up this morning. :) Thanks everyone for taking a look.

And the book is FREE on Amazon, today through Nov 4th:

(and any of the other Amazon stores too)

Just in time for anyone who wants to review it now or any time in the future. :)

(first ever FREE promotion, timed at the beginning of NaNoWriMo since a good chunk of it was written during NaNo 2012)

message 10: by Richard (new)

Richard | 490 comments Mod
This one has reached 5 thumbs up, so no further appraisals needed thanks!

message 11: by K. (last edited Dec 06, 2014 01:12PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments Reviews for Amazon and Goodreads forthcoming - just finished, and loved it. Wanted to drop a note to let you know.

Goodreads review:
Amazon review:

(I think that's all of the edits... I hope.)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
My review is up:
Great book! I will be reading the rest once I have the time.

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
Brush With Darkness and its sequel Blood of the Water are both on sale for $0.99 today as part of a bigger fantasy and sci-fi sale!

message 14: by K. (new) - rated it 5 stars

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments Reading Blood of the Water now. Having fun with it.

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Just got Blood of the Water!

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
I was thinking of you two when I put it on sale. :)

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
And with the bonus proofread from finally getting around to print proofing. Paper should go live today sometime. :)

message 18: by K. (new) - rated it 5 stars

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments Finished Blood of the Water. Haven't gotten the review out everywehre yet.

Blog (and to twitter):


Will update, once I get it out to Amazon as well.

Keep up the fantastic writing!

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
Awesome! Glad you enjoyed it! (I like it even better than the first one.) I'm currently revising the novella that comes just after that. Would LOVE some feedback there, since the tone is so different.

message 20: by K. (new) - rated it 5 stars

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments I'm almost through the next book in my TBreviewed pile, so would be glad to add yours to the list. Hopefully, I won't have another major cover reconstruction to do for a while, so I can write/read until school starts.

It's been great being able to catch up with some current stuff.

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
This one is less than 1/3 the size of book 2, so it's a quick read. That's incentive to get this revision round done ASAP. :D

message 22: by K. (new) - rated it 5 stars

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments lol.. When ever you are ready to share. And, thanks for letting me be one of the guinea pigs.

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