What is Yesterday’s Demons?

I have been writing a lot about Yesterday’s Demons, book 1 of The Verdant Revival, which goes on sale in ebook on April 12. You can pre-order it now. If you follow this blog you probably already know all that, you’ve seen the cover, you’ve read the first chapter…  but today I’d like to tell you about it from perspectives other than plot.

Yesterdays Demons Cover Final (Small)

Audience
Yesterday’s Demons is a young adult novel, but its main characters aren’t teens, they’re 20-24. That makes it more “new adult” than young adult, but I still call it young adult because it’s definitely the kind of book I would’ve wanted to read when I was a young adult. And content/rating-wise, it lines up with that group as well.

Genre
Yesterday’s Demons is an epic fantasy. But it has Western elements, too — horses and six-shooters and such. It also has a healthy dose of science fiction. One of the characters carries not a revolver but a laser gun, for example.

Theme
Yesterday’s Demons is a story about fear. Fear has so much control over us in ways both healthy and not. We save money out of fear for a “rainy day” when we have none. We wear seat belts when we’re in a car for fear of reckless drivers. We set two alarm clocks for fear of not waking up for work on time. But we also push people out of our lives out of fear they might hurt us. Politicians make careers by exploiting our fears of people who are different than we are. We do stupid things to prove we’re not afraid when deep down, we’re really afraid. Fear can cripple us and render us unable to leave the house, or it can drive us to change everything and make the world a better place.

Tribute
Yesterday’s Demons is my love letter to the Japanese role-playing game genre. My love of fantasy was born by playing video RPGs, and many of them remain my favorite fantasy stories. The Phantasy Star series, Wild ARMs, Final Fantasy VII. Skies of Arcadia! By design, Yesterday’s Demons celebrates many of the tropes that make this genre beloved. Here’s a few spoiler-free ones:

  • It’s an epic story about heroes who rise from obscurity to save the world
  • Along the way, these heroes make new friends,  unlock old secrets, and awaken ancient enemies
  • Both magic and technology play a part
  • Saving the world requires a long journey across it
  • That travel is interrupted by encounters with monsters
  • The group starts with two members and new members are picked up along the journey
  • High-tech weapons like laser guns exist side-by-side with low-tech weapons like swords and bows and arrows.
  • But no two members of the group use the same weapon type
  • One member of the group is physically strong but possesses no magic
  • Another member wields incredible magic but not much physical combat ability
  • The way the ending… oh, wait, spoilers

The Start of a Series
Finally, Yesterday’s Demons is the first book in a trilogy called The Verdant Revival. But it is also a self-contained story with a beginning, middle, and end. I love series of books, but I feel each installment also has to be its own story — no “overgrown prologues” as my editor would call them. Yesterday’s Demons gives you a complete story but also will leave you wanting to read more about planet Verde and the young heroes who live there.

You’re going to love it.

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