If there was a way to fall onto the keyboard as an expression of exhaustion I would totally do it. Short of keyboard mashing - xhjhwehjabjkdf,loao/a/a - the only other way is to just say… I am EXHAUSTED. Just typing that in caps lock exhausted me further.
But hey, a little context: I work in a factory and recently our schedule fell far behind and they went to every shift and did the whole ‘everyone needs to pick up extra shifts’ thing. Cause two of the shifts are short (one of them mine). It was phrased as ‘mandatory overtime’, which I know is a bullshit concept, but then they offered double time on every over time shift after your first one and I figured ahhh fuck it. Why not?
The over time resulted in me working seven days straight at 12 hours a day. That’s 84 hours in 7 days. The average work week is what, 40 hours in 7 days? Merrrrrrrrrrrr.
However, at the end of that hellish 7 days was a reward: the book signing of Dark Age by #PierceBrown!
Can we say holyfuckingshitballs? If I thought I was losing my shit over Iron Gold (the last book in Brown’s incredible series) then Dark Age lived up to its title and gave its predecessor a spanking.
Other than getting through the 7 days of work, my other challenge was getting Dark Age read before the book signing. And if you’ve looked at how big #DarkAge is… it’s fucking huge. See exhibit right. It released on July 30th. Around my 12 hour days, I’d managed to get through it by August 6th, with the signing on August 8th.
What was brutal was being one of only 9 or so people in the crowd of a couple hundred that turned out for the signing who had read the book. It meant I was banned from spoiler related questions and OMFG IT WAS SO HARD NOT TO SCREAM ACROSS THE ROOM ABOUT MY ANGUISH AND WHAT THAT BOOK DID AND HOW BADLY I NEEDED TO ASK ABOUT MY FAVORITES AND WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM.
So on that note, this rant slash review slash hi I’m still alive post does contain #spoilers.
Dark Age is a violent descent into a new level of Hell that even #Dante didn’t find. The complexity of every character, the society they exist in, and the vastness of the war they fight across the universe is awe inspiring. Brown’s mind must be a terrifying and brilliant place.
We have Darrow agonizing over his decision to not return to Luna and his actions in the war, Lysander slowly descending from his lofty ideals of mending a broken Gold society, Lyria and Volga unifying thanks to a redeeming Ephraim, and finally, we have Virginia, an insight into her mind, her path, and the weight she carries being both a leader and a wife and mother.
It was brutal and it was vicious and it was heartbreaking in so many ways, and I lost more characters I’ve grown to love and adore. Brown approaches storylines with a reckless abandon that lets the characters rise to astonishing levels and then plummet just as quickly, taking us careening with them into the abyss.
So when I got to meet the man behind the massacre it was brilliant. And while I couldn’t shout my questions to him across a room, I was able to whisper them in his ear during my signing (to avoid ruining it for people in front of and behind me).
My three questions included (#SPOILERS) if a name was left from the list of characters at the beginning intentionally to avoid spoiling the climactic fucking ending (which he laughed at and said ‘obviously’), if Sefi, in her brutal ending, will have the last laugh by poisoning the one who killed her (to which he gave me a cheeky smile and said absolutely nothing), and then if Lilath was a tongue in cheek reference to Lilith, the mother of all demons (and once you’ve read the book, you’ll understand why). For that last one he looked me dead in the eye, smiled and fist bumped me, adding ‘someone’s a pro’.
Now, I don’t know if any of you have received that kind of compliment from someone you admire epically, and in a field you’re desperately trying to break into, but I all but melted on the motherfucking spot.
So here I am, basking in the after glow, and doing my damndest to persevere. I’ve been considering some huge changes to my own novels, specifically a POV change to my original concept. That kind of a rewrite is enormous and draining, and I really want to think about it before I make the decision because damn… that’s gonna take something from me to touch it again just when I thought it was nearly there.
But hey, I will have this moment to remind me and inspire me. I CAN do this and I WILL do this. One day, I’ll be standing next to Pierce Brown as a colleague, not just a fan.