Bookish Wednesday: Otherlife Awakenings by William D. Arand

Hey all this week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with the third book in Runner’s adventures. It’s Otherlife Awakenings by William D. Arand!

Plot Synopsis: Runner and his team managed to bring peace to Tirtius, successfully log the crew out, and have begun settling in to make a home on the isle of Vix. North Wood fort itself. Fate isn’t going to let them go that easily though. She clearly hasn’t decided on what to do with him. Plots are in motion. Threats local, outside of the ship, divine, and abroad in game scheme to exterminate Runner and the threat he represents. The possibility of what he could become. To top it all off, the server is clearly ramping up towards a full awakening. What does one do with an entire world of “living” beings who are aware? It all comes to a head when an assassin attempts to take his life in his own home. Now comes the true test. What is he willing to wager to build the future he wants, both in game and out? Or rather, who?

Plot: The plot is awesome, with plenty of revelations all around about the world Runner has come to inhabit. It also deals with Runner’s severe depression after the events of the last book, which I won’t spoil. There’s more “idiot plans” and new additions to Runners group of close followers.

Characters: Of all the new characters I found Satomi to be the best, though that may be slightly affected by the soft spot I have for the name as that was one of my teacher’s names in my Japanese High School class. That said Runner still was great to live the world through, even if Scott and Linda weren’t as present in this book as I would have liked. The rest of the cast was great, but truly the female leads were awesome in this entry with plenty of screen time for Grace, Sparky, Minxie, Brighteyes, Angel, and Bell.

Overall: An excellent ending to the trilogy, but not the end of the series apparently. The series will continue in the future, hopefully by the end of the year.

Bookish Wednesday: The Secret of the Dark Forest by Vasily Mahanenko

Hey all, I’m back with the third entry to the Way of the Shaman series for this week’s Bookish Wednesday. It’s The Secret of the Dark Forest by Vasily Mahanenko!

Plot Synopsis: The Virtual World of Barliona is a place of rest and entertainment – but not for everyone. It has become a survival arena for Daniel Mahan after he was sentenced to 8 years in its virtual jail. Mahan has been through it all: the back-breaking work in the mines, betrayal by other prisoners, and finally, the retrial which has released him into Barliona’s common world. What more could one want? Mahan could have kept a low profile and enjoy relative freedom while serving the rest of his time. But being a Shaman, he can’t help himself…

Plot: The plot of this entry is pretty good, and while there were a few annoying parts I didn’t mind it all that much. That being said if you weren’t a fan of the previous books this won’t change your mind on the series.

Characters: We get introduced to a few new characters, but really the stars of the show aside from Mahan are Anastaria and Plinto, both of whom were pretty awesome. The newcomers were good, but the character we had already met are better. That being said if I had to choose a newcomer as my favorite it would be Barsa.

Overall: If you enjoyed the previous two books, The Secret of the Dark Forest will be just as enjoyable for you. Otherwise you’ll probably not enjoy it all that much.

Bookish Wednesday: Soulstone Awakening by J. A. Cipriano

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m looking at the first entry in another LitRPG series. It’s Soulstone Awakening by J. A. Cipriano!

Plot Synopsis: Aaron Hope plays video games, like a lot, just not professionally. When he entered the EpiX! Games! PVP World Championship on a lark, this college senior never expected to make it to the final round, nor to get drugged and shoved into the alpha test for World of Ruul.

Plot: This book tries too hard to be something it shouldn’t be and it has a lot of tropes that have made up the LitRPG genre, stuck in a game, permadeath etc…  Frankly betweeen the somewhat stale premise and the various references that litter the book about other series like Legendary Moonlight Sculptor or Sword Art Online, which aren’t even hidden they are just flat out mentioned, it’s pretty obvious that this is the authors first attempt at writing in the genre. Frankly anything slightly original in this book just doesn’t make up for the pure boredom the story gave me.

Characters: Aaron is a smart ass, and while I tend to enjoy that in a character, the entire cast is pretty unlikable including Aaron. In fact I hated just about every character.

Overall: Stay away from this book, and series. There are plenty of more entertaining and better written series out there for those who want a good LitRPG book.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Mediocrity, Stale Plot, Dull Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Bookish Wednesday: Star Alliance by Ken Lozito

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This week I’m covering the third book in the Ascension Series. It’s Star Alliance by Ken Lozito!

Plot Synopsis: A daring rescue resulted in one of their own being captured. A soldier desperate to prevent the enslavement of humanity. Held prisoner by a vicious alien whose race is determined to conquer the galaxy, Zack wakes to find that he is cut off from everything. Zack must figure out a way to escape his captors and a prison full of dangerous aliens to get back to his ship. Did his friends even know he was still alive? Kaylan commands the Athena, Earth’s most advanced spaceship. The crew is far from home and caught in an intergalactic war. The Boxans demand that they leave the star system, Xiiginn warships are hunting them, and the Athena is hopelessly outclassed. Kaylan must choose between leaving Zack to his fate or risk the lives of the crew for the slim chance of rescuing him…

Plot: The plot of this entry is pretty good, although there were parts that I wasn’t very happy with, particularly the sudden love triangle between Kaylan, Katy and Zack that popped up at the end of the last book.

Characters: We get introduced to a few newcomers, but mostly it’s still the same cast as the previous book. That being said I enjoyed the Boxans quite a bit. Though Klaadamore is a bit of a pessimist….

Overall: A good entry, marred with some really frustrating plot devives.

Bookish Wednesday: Work Experience by Christopher G. Nuttall

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This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the fourth entry in the Schooled in Magic series. It’s Work Experience by Christopher G. Nuttall!

Plot Synopsis:n the summer between Second and Third Year at Whitehall, Emily accompanies Lady Barb on her rounds of the Cairngorm Mountains bringing magical help to the locals and searching for new magicians. For Emily, tired and broken after the events of Study In Slaughter, it should be a chance to relax as well as a visit to a new part of the Nameless World, to put her responsibilities aside and just be herself.

Plot: The plot is pretty good, and we finally get to see a new side of Lady Barb, someone who is increasingly becoming a more central figure in the series. That being said this wasn’t the best entry in the series thus far, I think that honor lies with Lessons in Etiquette.

Characters: We don’t really get introduced to any new people in this latest entry, which is a pity. That being said we get to see Lady Barb and Emily bond, which is nice.

Overall: A good entry in the series, but not the best.

Bookish Wednesday: Star Divide by Ken Lozito

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This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the sequel to Star Shroud. It’s Star Divide by Ken Lozito!

Plot Synopsis: After initial contact with an alien entity leaves Kaylan unconscious, she wakes up to discover that she’s now in command of the Athena mission stranded in a star system far from Earth. The ship’s computer is malfunctioning and former hacker and astronaut trainee, Zack Quick, is the only one who can fix it. If he can’t figure out what’s wrong, they have no hope of getting back home.

Plot: The plot of this second entry was pretty awesome, but it had some hiccups. The relationship between Zack and Kaylan and Katie leaves a lot to be desired. I’m getting tired of these love triangles/polygons. Except for that, this entry was excellent.

Characters: We get introduced to a bunch of new characters, but I won’t spoil and say who. Katie is still my favorite side character of the bunch, for being a bad ass woman. Redford is still an ass.

Overall: A great sequel, this is a must read in a must read series for Space Opera lovers.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Space Opera, Exploration, Drama, Action, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or love polygons.

Bookish Wednesday: Books to Watch for in 2017

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This week for Bookish Wednesday I’ve got a list of books to look forward to. It’s Books to Watch for in 2017!

Etched in Bone, The Others series, by Anne Bishop: This is the latest book in an awesome Urban Fantasy series, if you haven’t been reading it yet you need to. It’ll release on March 7th, 2017. Possibly the final book in the series, we’ll see.

Silence Fallen, the Mercy Thompson series, by Patricia Briggs: This is the 10th entry in another amazing Urban Fantasy series. I’m looking forward to it, as Mercy has always been a favorite heroine of mine.

Oathbringer, Stormlight Archives, by Brandon Sanderson: Another in the Cosmere Mega-series, this is releasing sometime this year in the fall.

Cold Reign, Jane Yellowrock series, by Faith Hunter: This will be the 11th in this Urban Fantasy series, another female heroine I enjoy quite a bit.

Honorable Mentions:

Peace Talks, Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher: It’ll be the 16th book in the series, hopefully it’ll be out this year, but I said that last year too.

Doors of Stone, Kingkiller Chronicle, by Patrick Rothfuss: I really hope this releases this year, but again I said that last year. Maybe it’ll come true, at least I’ll have something else to look forward to, in this year that has been anything but hopeful thus far.

Winds of Winter, A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones), by George R. R. Martin: Supposedly it’ll release this year, I’ll believe it when I see though.

That’s it for this week’s Bookish Wednesday, are there any books I missed that you feel I should’ve included? Leave a comment with their names below!