A Review of The Sun’s Blood from a non-cyberpunk fan

It’s heavy, it’s gritty, it’s one that will linger on in your mind long after you’ve turned the final page.

The Sun’s Blood is a cyberpunk fantasy page-turner and currently at #1 in military fantasy, of all categories, as I post this review a few days after its review. Congratulations to a respected peer and friend, Jeremy “DB” Bai!

I’m etvolare and translating Chinese fantasy is my usual forte. I’m the hugest fan of anything fantasy, sci-fi, and a lot of YA. I love Andre Norton, Garth Nix, Mercedes Lackey, Rick Riordan, Star Trek, and of course, wuxia and xianxia that is my bread and butter. However, I’m not very interested in tinkering with stuff, which is what steampunk is to me.

Honestly, my friend, I referred to your new series as steampunk for the longest time. It wasn’t until I checked your Twitter before I posted something about it that I realized it’s cyberpunk. Oh shit.

I have no idea what the various -punk categories are. Readers, if you’re anything like me, I speak from your perspective! The twists and turns are delicious, but I’ll speak more from the perspective of book one than anything to prevent some serious spoilers.

Just look at this street cred, DB was kind enough to send me the first book back when it was three books and called The Heretic Peacekeeper!

This section’s for readers who already picked up the OG: This is a good collector’s version to grab for the year end holidays. It’s an omnibus of all three and if you like pretty cover art on your bookshelves, the revamped cover packs a helluva punch.

I would like to specifically mention the new prologue. It really sets the stage well and I think it does a much better — and needed, job of transitioning into the world that DB’s created and setting expectations. If you’re a long time xianxia reader, there’s mentions of cultivation and sects, so it doesn’t all feel so foreign. But there’s also gunfire, nukes, and tantalizing names that greatly hint at a very different power system. It’s also not a once and done deal. I’m always a fan of details introduced early on that stays relevant throughout.

The prologue preps you properly for the rest of the story to come, the mental equivalent of settling into a cozy couch, bowl of popcorn at hand, and fire crackling in the fireplace. The first time I read the original, it was all very new, very fast, and I wasn’t fully in the proper frame of mind until later on.

ON WITH THE STORY! …BUT SERIOUSLY, WHERE ARE WE?

cyberpunk: a genre of science fiction set in a lawless subculture of an oppressive society dominated by computer technology.

Despite not having the foggiest clue what cyberpunk was, it didn’t prevent me from being absolutely fascinated with the world DB’s built. To me, this is the strongest part of The Sun’s Blood. I can see the nods to real languages, history, and the world as we know it, but nothing’s done in a heavy handed manner. Long time web novel fans, you know that that inspiration often end up being. It’s all self contained and works just as well without digging deeper for references to reality.

I’m immediately trying to place if we’re in a post-apocalyptic world. Our main character’s ruined limb is made whole with technology, but scoffs at mentions of the ancients having computers so advanced they were intelligent. Smoking used to cause disease? Paper used to come from trees? Nahhhh. It’s a great dichotomy that plays on throughout the story. Or are we in the Glade or E