The Malice Hardcover – International Edition, April 21, 2016
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|Hardcover, International Edition, May 31, 2016||
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About the Author
Peter Newman lives in Somerset with his wife and son. Growing up in and around London, Peter studied Drama and Education at the Central School of Speech and Drama, going on to work as a secondary school drama teacher. He now works as a trainer and Firewalking Instructor. He sometimes pretends to be a butler for the Tea and Jeopardy podcast, which he co-writes, and which has been shortlisted for a Hugo Award.
- Publisher : Harper Voyager (April 21, 2016)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0007593163
- ISBN-13 : 978-0007593163
- Item Weight : 1.54 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.26 x 1.57 x 8.94 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,564,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Striking the just right blend of humor, dialogue, poetic prose and emotional investment (Duet!), this book- and series- should be on everyone’s short list.
Eager, now, for book three.
Welcome to a future world, that’s kind of dangerous but not really. Where a young girl can ham handedly traverse the country side and not die. If it wasn’t for the authors writing skills the book would be unreadable.
Top reviews from other countries
I caught Fantasy-Faction saying they weren’t sure who to compare Peter Newman to. Well, for me, it’s China Mieville. It’s a weird, alien world with intriguing characters, twisted plots and gripping storylines. Nothing’s conventional, nothing’s cliché, and I love it.
The Malice isn’t quite as good as The Vagrant…but only in the sense that The Vagrant was a 5*, and this is 4.5*. It just doesn’t have that linear plotline, that gripping tension, that made me read The Vagrant from end to end in one sitting. But it’s as good for characters and for world-building, and I read it in two halves, so…it only loses a little! It’s as enthralling and as entertaining as the first.
It’s wonderful to see more of Vesper, and more of the same world we saw in The Vagrant. Vesper travels through the same territories, the same landscapes, as she heads towards the Breach – but her reactions are different, and I think that’s what I love most about this book. Vesper is a very different character to The Vagrant, and even with the Malice on her back, she carves her own path through the politics and problems that she encounters.
We also get more of the history behind the Shining City and the world; I’m really hoping this will all tie into the next book in the series, The Seven, released in April.
If you loved The Vagrant, you’ll love The Malice – and if you haven’t read either and want unique, character-filled, heart-tugging fantasy in a truly unique world…read these.
The Malice is hands down a brilliant and well written fantasy novel, Peter Newman's compelling writing style is also what makes the series so compelling and awesome. Written in the second person which I will admit might make it difficult for some coming in to this series (I will admit it was a challenge), this is what makes the world and story Newman writes about so compelling.
The Malice continues the story established in The Vagrant, the breech that has remained quiet after the events told in that story stirs and a new evil is rising. The Malice (a awesome and scary sword) stirs but it's owner has a life that he cannot ignore so another answers the call, her name is Vesper. Be prepared for a awesome story that is relentless and exciting and tense, make no mistakes this is a story of the end the world with mankind struggling to survive.
The world that Peter Newman has created is compelling, dangerous and exiting, humanity is on the back foot, but there is hope, it is fleeting but it is there. I personally love novels that deal with this scenario, the humanity shown by characters and the hopes and fears are on full display and it truly makes for some excellent story making and telling. The Malice is a novel that I highly recommend, and if you have not read anything by Peter Newman then what the hell are you waiting for??!!
I always try to keep my reviews spoiler free as I wouldn't want my reading of any fantasy novel spoiled.
Peter Newman makes dozens of them, and makes them into full-blown characters. And he makes his humans equally real, with full quota's of vulnerability, weakness and nobility.
(He's also quite good with goats).
As in the first book of his series, an unlikely assortment of possible heroes journey across a dangerous and tainted world. However, this time they are not trying to escape from it, but to get to the heart of it. It's an enthralling journey. Along the way, you can consider the question of what makes a monster evil, and what is evil anyway. Not always as obvious as you might think. But you can skip the deep questions and just enjoy the vivid scenery and well developed plot.
You'll also get some fascinating insights into the deep past of his world which will explain some of what is happening. But not everything - I'm looking forward to reading the final book of the trilogy which I hope will have a very satisfying denouement!
The Malice starts very strongly - the world created feels both relatable and also very strange. This sums up much of the novel. The main characters of Vesper, and the Kid, are introduced very quickly and immediately feel like realistic characters. Yet the author's writing style is spare, almost to distraction, substituting words that sound like what they describe as opposed to describing them, for instance a WarMech. For me this meant that I was constantly grasping at even the smallest amount of description, which was strange because I often find author's engaging in too much description and it annoys me, this was the complete opposite.
For all that, the world is richly imagined, in all its strangeness and it is very strange, and this makes it, at times, quite a difficult read, and that's why it's taken me a month to read because I just had to take a break half way through because the 'weirdness' and the writing style was giving me something of a headache.
For all that, the book is worthy of perseverance and I'm looking forward to reading The Seven.
All in all, not an easy read, but quite an intriguing one.
Vesper is an unusual hero. She all but drags herself into an adventure she knows nothing of, and is wholly unprepared for the terror and chaos she faces during her journey, but rather than trying to escape her fate she approaches every challenge with conviction, with the belief that she is doing what needs to be done. Travelling with her are Duet (one half of a harmonised pair charged with guarding Vesper) and a young goat who seems to enjoy the adventure far more than his companions. As they gradually make their way south to the Breach they encounter various remnants of the demonic armies left over in the aftermath of book one (The Vagrant), making friends and enemies as they go.
Setting-wise, the world of this trilogy is an interesting mix of post-apocalyptic nightmare coupled with some slightly more traditional elements of fantasy. It has righteous knights in shiny armour, but it also has airships, submarines and bio-engineered critters. In occasional interlude chapters we're gradually shown how the world came to be the way it is, how the Breach was first discovered, and why the world's protectors, The Seven, were created. It's a world brought low, with little hope of salvation even for those fortunate enough to live under the protection of The Seven and The Shining City.
Stylistically, Peter Newman's writing leans very much in the direction of literary prose, reminiscent in some ways of Cormac McCarthy or China Miéville. For me this just adds to the book's charm, giving the narrative a strength I don't think it would have had with a more traditional style, and while the prose may be sparse, barely a word of it is wasted. This is showing not telling at its finest.
While I can see that Newman's style might not be to everyone's liking, if you like fantasy that's decidedly different to the traditional fare then I'd still suggest you give this trilogy a chance. You don't necessarily need to have read The Vagrant to enjoy this one but it is recommended. As for this entry in the trilogy, I'd say it's a well-deserved four stars and I look forward to sinking my teeth into the final instalment soon.