Day Boy by Trent Jamieson
A Recommended Book of the Month
Mark is a Day Boy. In a post-traumatic future the Masters - formerly human, now practically immortal - rule a world that bends to their will and a human population upon which they feed. Invincible by night, all but helpless by day, each relies on his Day Boy to serve and protect him. Mark has been lucky in his Master: Dain has treated him well. But as he grows to manhood and his time as a Day Boy draws to a close, there are choices to be made. Will Mark undergo the Change and become, himself, a Master - or throw in his lot with his fellow humans? As the tensions in his conflicted world reach crisis point, Mark's decision may be crucial.
My first vampire movie fortunately was the 1922 Nosferatu and being a young child I can honestly say it scared the living daylights out of me. However, over many years now, I have come to be disillusioned by modern vampire portrayals, to the point I can say I am no longer a lover of vampire fiction, whether its TV shows, movies or books. The best and most simple way I can describe why is a simple exaggeration: I am walking down the street and a vampire jumps out in front of me. It screams a trite and clichéd line, "I vant to sucka youra blood, bro," which gives me a chuckle. Turning my back I walk away. I know if I looked around I would see a once fearsome, primal creature of myth and legend standing under a shining sun, in designer jeans and leather jacket, languished head in hand sparkling like the diamond he is.
Yes, I understand this is a somewhat sweeping embellishment, but the sheer over-saturation of these once terrifying beasts of imagination in popular fiction has created a melting pot of banal and bland stereotypes.
Thankfully, gratefully, delightedly Trent Jamieson has been able to summon up a vampire novel without relying on the now apologetic modern day Vampire norms. It's also important to note that the actual 'V' word is never used in the book, something for which I am very happy about. Instead, it is left to the reader's own imagination for the most to attach their own words and feelings to the beasts. Jamieson provides the physical definition of the creature and their visage of once humanity, but the impression, thought and the fear of them is left for the night and blood, doled out with a subtle hand and gentle pen.
The world that has been created is highly expressive in its imagery, set within a backdrop of a future Australian country. There is slow, languid feel of the land and the home the characters live in. Dry, rolling heat flows from the page in waves of long days and even longer nights. If I could describe Day Boy in words, it would be to call it a quintessential Australian piece of literature, which draws the reader in a withered and fading outback of a ‘to be’ Australia, mixing in refined fantasy fiction masterfully.
Mark the main character is a day boy in service and apprenticeship to Dain, a Master, a creature who rules and protects the land and its people. We follow Mark's path as he finishes his indenture and the choices, limited as they are, that are afforded to him. There is a hopelessness, longing and outward fragility to Mark which is contrasted against a desire to rebel, push at the boundaries of his life and tackle the harsh realities of his world head on. He is a character of layers, starving to find his own place in a world and is a wonderfully engaging character to read. Mark's personality and its interaction with Dain, the only father figure in his life make for an interesting dichotomy. A restrained monster with an outward glamour of the last visages of his previous self set against the vitality of the young and the guidelines the older and wiser try to impart.
Each moment of Mark's story is told in the moment and the now, and the consequences there of. Details of the world in which he lives, such as the rise of the Masters are hidden in the lost in the past, a secret tantalizing the reader and just waiting to unfold. It is a sometime failing of stories to indulge the reader with a lengthy backstory and in a series, which may run for three, six or ten books there is a definite benefit. However, Day Boy, as a possible stand-alone novel lays out these moments in such a way that the past can remain just that, the past and it doesn't detract from the story in any way.
Day Boy is a coming of age story set in a world of harsh truths, blood, death and survival. It is a poetic story of humanity, of monsters living in the Shadow of the Mountain, bitter cold and open to the burning of the clear night sky.
If you are interested in reading more about Trent you can check out our interview with him about Day Boy here.
This Day Boy book review was written by Fergus McCartan
Have you read Day Boy?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Day Boy reader reviews
9/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula with the purchase of a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client and his castle. Soon af...
The Stress of Her Regard
When Michael Crawford discovers his bride brutally murdered in their wedding bed, he is forced to flee not only to prove his innocence, but to avoid the deadly embrace of a...
Anno Dracula series
It is 1888 and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort Vlad Tepes, the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar character...
There are worse things in this world than al-Qaeda and North Korea, Zach. And they are just waiting for their chance at us. Sharp and ambitious, Zach Barrows is on his way ...
Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she's the most important person in the whole world. She is. Anthony Carter doesn't think he could ever ...
It wasn't that she feared death. She just despised losing. Genetically engineered warrior Sephti would go to any lengths to destroy the fae that made her their killing ...
The Dark Angel
Meredith Ann Pierce
The Darkangel, a vampire of astounding beauty and youth, can only summon his full power when he finds his 14th and final bride. But for Aeriel, whom he kidnaps to serve his...
Raylene Pendle (AKA Cheshire Red), a vampire and world-renowned thief, doesn’t usually hang with her own kind. She’s too busy stealing priceless art and rare je...
The Eastern Seaboard of the USA is experiencing the worst winter weather in living memory, and John Redlaw is in the cold white thick of it. He's come to America to inv...
Southern Vampire Series
Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much - not because she's not pre...
The Danilov Quintet
On 12th June 1812, Napoleon's Grande Armee forded the River Niemen and crossed the Rubicon - its invasion of Russia had begun. Charged with delaying the enemy's ine...
It wasn't that she wanted to live forever. She just didn't want to die. When artist James Wesley realizes Evie Reed is dying, he is so moved by the beautiful report...
Fae exile Amalie Shepherd takes refuge from her nightmare past by burying herself--and her heart--in operating her Texas horse ranch. That's where the immortal Nick Fle...
The Last Vampire
Kathryn Meyer Griffith
The earthquakes with their falling ash, the global floods and the devastating fires arrive first. Then the worldwide plague with its stench of death. And as mankind suffers...
When Kassina’s sorceress mother and vampire king father are brutally murdered, she forges a pact with Shindar, the Demon of Darkness. In exchange for her soul she obt...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
The precarious equilibrium among the four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise. Kell - once assumed to be the last surviving Antari -begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. Lila Bard, once...
Sebastien de Castell
Falcio val Mond, First Cantor of the Greatcoats, is on the brink of fulfilling his dead King's dream: Aline is about to take the throne and restore the rule of law once...
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest night the world has ever seen, Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation. But Dr Madeleine i...
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow's Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow...
A Tale of Time City
Diana Wynne Jones
When Vivian is evacuated from London in 1939, she expects to be staying in the countryside. Instead, she is whisked away to Time City – a place that exists outside ti...
The Guns of Empire
As the roar of the guns subsides and the smoke of battle clears, the country of Vordan is offered a fragile peace... After their shattering defeats at the hands of brillian...
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth....