FBC Review INTRODUCTION In 2009, Brian D Amato published the superb In the Courts of the Sun first in an announced trilogy called The Sacrifice Game The novel was a combination of near future extrapolations, time travel and a wonderful recreation of the Maya world of the 7th century, all narrated by unlikely hero Jed de Landa, or precisely by Jed 1 and Jed 2 as the novel uses a form of time travel which leads to an instance of the consciousness of Jed to be time shifted to the brain of Chacal, a star Maya ball player of the Harpy clan of Ix.Here is my description of Jed in the FBC review linked above born in 1974 and displaced from his native Guatemalan village by military action, Jed is taken as a young age to the US and grows up in foster care in Utah, exhibiting physical frailty since he suffers from hemophilia so any wound or cut is potentially fatal, while showing great mental agility especially in fast numerical computations and ability to play games of skill and chance.I was entranced by the novel and its fascinating narrator and I kept looking for the second book in 2010, 2011 and then sort of forgot about it Imagine my surprise to recently discover that the 2nd Jed de Landa novel that bears the trilogy title, The Sacrifice Game will be published on July 5.As the blurb of the novel includes a major spoiler for the ending of In the Courts of the Sun, I will not include it here just in case you have not read that but are intrigued by the above and want to pick it first, but I will note that The Sacrifice Game starts precisely where the earlier volume ends and the rest of the blurb is both true and misleading in the sense that there is no Jed , but Jed 1 and Jed 2 who diverged markedly to say the least in the first volume and some of the blurb refers to one, some to the otherOVERVIEW ANALYSIS Sometimes at times like this, I d say, especially one might as well just go with the clich I was crushed Yes, it d be nice to come up with a clever word than crushed, but really, why bother Crushed pretty well does the job What surprised even me, though, was how much I wasn t crushed just because I was a lazy slob and I d thought I could relax It was that I even I was rather annoyed, in fact than annoyed, in fact, let s say again, crushed that the world was still doomed And I even realized that I cared about it in the general sense, not just personally, that even if I died back here from my neuroblastomas or in a ball game or by the flint dagger or the wooden sword or whatever, even if I didn t get back to the thirteenth b aktun to see Marena and the gang and catch the next season of Game of Thrones, I still wanted the good old crazy ratty loathsome ridiculous old world to keep rolling on.Okay Look We can do this, I thought The Sacrifice Game is even badder, crazier and explicit and brutal than In the Courts of the Sun which was not tame by any stretch as it is almost all narrated in the same unforgettable voice of Jed de Landa, though Jed 2, the 660 s Maya one and to whom the stream of consciousness musings above belong, carries on for most of the book.Structurally, The Sacrifice Game starts with Jed 1 in the modern world after his momentous decision at the end of the last book and deals with its implementation and a few consequences, but soon it moves to the Maya world where the book just explodes as it gets even better than In the Courts of the Sun with unbounded sense of wonder, meticulous research and all around inventiveness that matches anything I ve read in sf set on an alien world of course here we are still on Earth, but in a civilization where the author hits the sweet spot in the mixture of alien and familiar in describing it A brace of bearers brought in the white wrapped ball Hun Xoc had brought back from 31 Courts, holding the too potent bundle with wooden hands, and tied it to the service cord An umpire inspected the knot, signaled, and the ball was hoisted up, hanging above the central marker stone Now, One, Two, Four, Five, Seven, Nine, Thirteen, the Magister Ludi chanted, switching from the second person plural imperative to the apostrophic tense you used only when speaking to gods, Now Twenty, Fifty Two, Two Hundred Sixty,O Night, O Wind, O Day, O Rain, O Zero,Now, guests, inspect 2 Creeper s blood washed head 2 Creeper had been the greatest Ixian ballplayer in living memory, but he d sacrificed himself thirty nine solar years ago after an ankle injury The Ball had been wound of white rubber around 2 Creeper s skull as a hollow center to increase the bounce and then baked black and studded with painted thorns, like little nails Finally the ball had been purified in two kinds of blood and then washed in original water boiled over the offering fires of both houses grandfathers houses Lady Koh, ultimate Sacrifice Game player of the age and big time politician to boot, 2 Jeweled Skull, leader of the Harpy clan in Ix, second most powerful man there, adoptive father to Jed Chacal, currently in the contest of his life with 9 Fanged Hummingbird, the Ocelot clan supremo of Ix, Hun Xoc, son of 2JS, lead ball player of the Harpies team and Jed s main adviser friend, 1 Gila, right hand man of Lady Koh and war leader of her followers are back, while of course quite a few new Mayan characters appear As excerpted above there is one unforgettable game of hipball for the fate of Ix and by extension, our heroes and life as we know it, not to speak of many other goodies which I do not want to spoil for youThere are quite a few twists and turns and the author manages a rare feat as first person narration goes while it would be a major spoiler to talk about it in detail, I am sure any attentive reader will observe it by the end of the novel The last few chapters that take place back in the modern world have a thriller ish feel to them after all the book is set in 2012 close to 12 21 12 and the race to avoid the ultimate doomster is the main storyline in the contemporary part of the novel.The Sacrifice Game has another surprising but fitting ending giving the book the feel of a complete experience which also leaves one quite in the dark about where the series will go next as it s supposed to be a trilogy.Overall The Sacrifice Game top 25 novel of 2012 and currently in the number two slot came with very high expectations and I was really surprised by how effortlessly it blew past them and offered the most sensual and visual reading experience of the year for me. Well that was weird BDA is brilliant Big time smart, a polymath And this book is a mind bending second chapter to In The Courts of the Sun All sci fi, all historical fiction, part running commentary on today s world I could go on I won t try to do it justice in a serious summary In short The main character was sent back in time by rogue Mormon defense contractors and tacky, violent utopians to Mayan Meso America, circa 664 AD, to find the psychoactive drugs and methods used by the Maya to predict and thus control the future He is trying to bring back the secrets of the Sacrifice Game to 2012 to avert the end of the world cRaZY Story I really like it and will look forward to the third book. This was a stellar follow up to The Courts of the Sun albeit long awaited, I conversed with Brian here and there about the progress, and being the masterful penman that he is, didnt want to rush on perfection He picks up with Jed where the Courts left off, and plunges you headlong into the total immersion of the Mayan culture You feel like you are there with Jed and Lady Koh, feeling all the excitement and adrenalin as they countdown to the epic culmination of their strategy The use of the language is masterful as well as the compelling draw to see exactly what will happen next and what twist and turn the journey will take you on.If you havent read Courts yet put this one down and read it first I havent quite finished it yet, but it is like a drug that is so addicting you only want and Anxiously awaiting the 3rd in the trilogy.Brian has done it again, only with the icing on the cake as well Well Done Wow, that was intense I would give it five stars, but from a personal standpoint, some of the scenes were so graphic, I became physically nauseous In one instance, I couldn t even stomach the text, and had to jump ahead I never do that The story line is fascinating and unfortunately, we have to wait who knows how long until book three of the trilogy is released.I am completely intrigued by Brian D Amato He is clearly influenced by one of my favorite authors, Frank Herbert, but there is no question, he has his own unique voice I would love to meet him, as I bet his mind is a very multifaceted place To write like that and create a story like that this guy is clearly gifted and touched, if you know what I mean.Highly recommend, but you definitely need a strong stomach. The author s descriptions of ancient Maya, it s people, and culture are so detailed I felt transported back to that time His stream of consciousness style of writing is gripping. Here is something I hate A book that has an interesting plot, but is overwritten and badly in need an editor Oh, and throw in an author who is fixated on torture and writes long overly graphic descriptions of same Very scary.I d give this only 1 star, but the ideas other than the torture are intriguing. The Mind Bending, Stunningly Inventive Sequel To Brian D Amato S In Courts Of The Sun, In Which One Man Holds The Key To Saving The World From The Apocalypse Foretold By The Mayan ProphecyIn Brian D Amato S Cult Classic, In The Courts Of The Sun, A Team Of Scientists Sent Math Prodigy And Mayan Descendant Jed DeLanda Back In Time To The Year AD To Learn The Sacrifice Game, A Divination Ritual That The Ancient Maya Used To Predict The Apocalypse On December , But After Arriving In The Body Of A Willing Human Sacrifice Instead Of A Mayan King, Jed S Experiences Led Him To The Fateful Decision That Rather Than Avert The Apocalypse, He Must Ensure Instead That The World EndsUsing His Knowledge Of The Divination Game, Jed Sets In Motion A Series Of Events That Will Bring About The Destruction Of Humanity, Ending The World S Pain And Suffering Once And For All But Before The Plan Can Be Completed, The Organization That Sent Him Into The Past Discovers His Intention And Devotes Every Resource To Stop HimTaking Readers Back To The Dizzying Action Of Ancient Times, The Sacrifice Game Is A Breathtaking Odyssey In Which Jed Must Survive Bloody Wars, Ruthless Leaders, Shifting Alliances, And Unspeakable Betrayal To Learn About The Game, Before His Time In Both The Ancient Mayan Empire And The Present Day Runs Out Well, one thing for sure Brian Damato has a fantastic way of bringing us back to Mayan times Great storyline, fitting in exactly where In the courts of the Sun left off, which in itself was a hard act to follow, but Brian did it Like its predecessor, this book needs time and attention to be fully enjoyed there is however one thing that tends to minimize its potential and it s that if you are not totally familiar with the Mayan counting system and some street lingo, there are passages that can be hard to follow and even discouraging If you however manage to stick through those harder parts, it is incredibly enjoyable as a story. Well done, and unique on so many levels.The only story I can think of that is told with multiple POV s through a single character. When Jed was a small boy, as depicted in D Amato s first novel In The Courts of the Sun in this planned trilogy, his mother taught him a game that turned out to be a Mayan divination ritual, a game in which one could predict the future and even time travel Now in this second novel, it turns out there are two Jed characters, one who is living in the Mayan civilization in the year 664 and the other who is living in 21st Century America The first puzzle the reader finds in this newer novel is understanding how this divided person can be so different For with the help of education and the financial backing of a research institution, Jed has learned so much about this Sacrifice Game He and others have refined it so that the world can truly understand the Mayan civilization that is so often misunderstood by our century s citizens, too often confused with other parallel civilizations existing during and after the time of the Mayans But what Jed learns in that civilization is so decadent, cruel, and so much that is devastating to him that the Jed living in our world has decided he will fulfill the Mayan calendar prediction of ending the world in December of 2012 The style of this sci fi, gaming novel is unique not quite stream of consciousness but a type of random and linear writing that takes us into the mind, heart, and even body of Jed and others with whom he interacts Allusions to history, mythology, current events, religion, power mongering, and so much fill these pages so that if one is attentive one gets a fascinating education in the connection between supposedly unrelated events and personalities We also see the baser aspects of humanity in the way it seeks to destroy anyone who gets in the way of its motives and plans from the leaders of the Mayan society who practice cannibalism, suicide, and murder without batting an eye and so much for the reader to explore It s not much different in American a la 2012.The central conflict is a battle between Jed who has figured out a way to make every living human vanish in a second, even less, so fast indeed that they won t realize it happened and those who earlier supported Jed and his skills and who discover his intentions They desperately begin to attempt to stop him from carrying out his righteous task, one he believes he is inspired to by the sacrifice game His alter ego, on the other hand, in Mayan society has found a way to save those people from the extinction we know actually occurred There s quite a bit of craziness like having chili enemas or taking mind altering drugs that helps one go deeper in the game , etc., etc.This novel will stretch your imagination and focus beyond where it s been it s like a mind altering drug in itself in a way It will, however, leave readers thinking about the role of humans never learning from history or culture and the underlying tension between destruction and salvation that is constantly going on despite the oblivious lack of attention of most of us It s a read you definitely won t forget If you love classic and non classic sci fi and relish an offbeat, novel approach to stories, this is your book Amazing job, Brian D Amato.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Sacrifice Game (Jed de Landa, #2) book, this is one of the most wanted Brian D'Amato author readers around the world.
- 656 pages
- The Sacrifice Game (Jed de Landa, #2)
- Brian D'Amato
- 06 June 2017 Brian D'Amato