Bookish Wednesday: Challenge by Edward Castle

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering another LitRPG series. It’s the Unbound Deathlord series Book 01: Challenge by Edward Castle!

Plot Synopsis: When virtual reality becomes real enough that people feel as if they’re being transported to another world, Valia Online arrives. A man running from his past joins the game to forget it all. Calling himself Jack Thorn, he chooses an undead race, Deathlord. A mage by choice, and a swordsman by necessity, he soon finds out that he’ll need to use much more than magic and steel to survive; strategy, creativity, and carefully chosen words can often accomplish what simple attacks can’t. As the game becomes too real and touches a part of him that he’d rather leave buried, he is faced with two questions: Who is he, really? And who should he become?

Plot: I’d like to say that the plot synopsis I’ve pasted above is accurate, but it’s not. That’s part of the problem with a lot of books. They give a quick summary or synopsis and it’s just not at all accurate to what the actual book is about. I reviewed a book a few years back,  Nouveau Haitiah. The book’s summary painted some minor character that shows up for a few pages as a main character, the guy doesn’t even just disappear never to show up again, he’s just straight up murdered in some senseless riot that the author cooked up. Frankly that book was absolute crap, probably one of the worst books I’ve ever read and that is truly saying something. Unfortunately for Challenge, this lack of adhering to the summary given or the summary not adhering to the actual plot is a major problem that some amateur authors never really get over.

It doesn’t help Challenge that Jack is some coward running from some “traumatic memories” that really aren’t so traumatic in the grand scheme of things. Sorry pal, but your “I live in utter despair every day of my life” act really doesn’t impress me when I actually have to deal with the real thing due to my severe depression every day, and it never ever goes away for me. I actually experience that, while Jack is a privileged snot nosed asshole who can’t make any decisions worth thinking over. Really I mean he picked a race that is universally hated by everyone in his starting area and he only chose that race because it doesn’t have to sleep? Of course the game is going to force him to sleep, no human can exist without sleep for at least a few hours every few days.

Characters: Jack is a wiseass, which I tend to appreciate. if the character can either, A: Back up the wiseassery with actual power behind them like Chris Gordon from the Demon Accords, or B: Are actually funny, like Harry Dresden from the Dresden Files. So when Jack is constantly being an ass to everyone around him and is pissing off people that probably could kill him and make moot the challenge that he’s attempting to complete, not die for an entire month in the game and be one of the top 1,000 leveled players, it just pisses me off.  The rest of the cast isn’t that interesting either, Ted one of the first players Jack comes across isn’t anything more than another rich snot nosed brat playing the game to piss off her daddy, who may or may not be a big shot in the company behind the game.

Overall: Stay clear of this pile of garbage, I honestly wish I could remove the memory of this book, because it’s truly terrible.

For those who li…: Screw it I can’t even say anything good about this book, just steer clear of it and you should be fine.

 

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Manga Monday: Robot x Laserbeam by Fujimaki Tadatoshi

This week for Manga Monday I’ve got a Quick Review of a series from the creator of Kuroko no Basuke. It’s Robot x Laserbeam by Fujimaki Tadatoshi!

Plot Synopsis: When a high school boy who’s been nicknamed “Robot” due to his unemotional demeanour and lack of social skills encounters golf for the first time, his life takes a dramatic turn.

Plot: The plot isn’t quite as ridiculous as Kuroko, where Kuroko is constantly surprising people due to his lack of presence. That’s actually a good thing. Because, at least in this first chapter, everything that was shown is actually possible by normal people, given enough practice with golf. I can actually personally attest to that, as while what Robot does is not easy at all, it’s possible. I’ve been told by pretty decent golfers, including my step-father whose gotten a hole-in-one on one of the toughest golf holes I’ve ever seen and that includes really famous professional courses, that my own form is pretty good, but that I had trouble with the control of power. Most people have the problem the other way around, easy to gauge power but keeping your form in the correct stance is difficult.

Characters: Robot is a pretty emotionless guy, and while he’s noticeable unlike Kuroko they both are pretty awkward in social contexts. Tomoya, Robot’s friend is a pretty decent guy as well, although his form is pretty terrible, which Robot comments on.

Art: It’s excellent which considering who is the Mangaka and the publisher that should come as no surprise to anyone.

Overall: This is a must read for any Sports Manga fans. It might be a bit less action intense than Kuroko, but it’s still good. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an Anime of this series in a year or two.

For those who like: Sports, Golf, Excellent Plot Fantastic Characters, Amazing Artwork.

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

Delay in Plans

This week instead of the usual Anime Sunday I’m going to make a quick post updating on why I haven’t gotten back to doing a post a day. It’s about my Delay in Plans!

What delay?: Well I really wanted to get back to full steam way back in the middle of May, but circumstances have lead me to be unable to do that. Mostly that’s because I’ve been spending half my time at my parent’s taking care of the family dog who is getting on in years, she’s 13 years old and while she’s still active and mobile she’s started to lose her hearing. This has lead her to being very unhappy when left alone for too long. So any day that my parents are gone for more than 6 hours I end up spending time there. Most of the time before this year I’d have just gone over in the day and walked her and hung out for an hour or two because my folks would be back later that afternoon. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case these past few months and I’ve been spending entire days at my parents. In addition with all the stress of trying to get my data off my old computer, something I’m still struggling with even as I write this, I’ve been thrown off my pace of being able to churn out daily posts.

So what now?: Well for the time being I’ll still be attempting to give out a weekly review, of either a book or game, and I’ll be keeping to every other day posts. I’m hoping to get back to full steam by August, but at this point I’m reluctant to make any solid promises given how stressed out I’ve been.

That’s it for this little update, Anime Sunday will return in two weeks with a look at the Summer 2017 Anime Season!

Launch Imminent

Hey all, I’ve finally gotten my new computer, however due to my old computer being a 2008 Mac Pro (I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did) I’m having to wait on some specific cables to get my data off the computer. Because some of that stuff is stuff I’d rather not redo, or replace unless I absolutely have to, I’m not going to be resuming my writing until I get my data off the computer.  As for my Game and Book reviews, I’m waiting till the end of Pesach (Passover) because I have a free source for Microsoft Office, but said source is observing Pesach and I’m going to give them that time.

I also injured my right hand index finger while on the way to the local grocery store.  I was trying to open a gate whose lock was broken, and I cut open a chunk of skin on the finger pad. It’s not terrible I only got a bit of skin layers and there probably won’t be any permanent issues, but I’m currently typing without using said finger. It’s highly inconvenient and I’d like to give it another week to heal. However I anticipate all of these taking only a week. So unless my plan to get data off my Mac Pro fails miserably (and as far as I know it shouldn’t, but you never know) I should be back up and running by next Thursday. I thank you all for the understanding and giving me this time. I hope you all will enjoy reading my content again.

As a final tease, I’ll be give you the names of my next few game and book reviews.

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto

Dark Souls III: The Ringed City

Snake Eyes (Demon Accords Book 11) by John Conroe

The Librarians and The Mother Goose Chase by Greg Cox.

As one last question and I’d really like to get any feedback on it via comments, would people mind if I eased back into the writing gig? I have been gone for more than a month and while I could dive straight back into the writing daily posts, I was given advice to take it easy for a while. I’ll probably be doing 3-4 posts a week, hitting Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in one week, the rest of the weekday content in the following week.

Update on Hiatus

Hey all I promise I haven’t forgotten about my blog. I finally got my new computer ordered and it’s being shipped soon, however I don’t know when exactly it will arrive this month. I will be back and I hope to do so in the next couple of weeks, but as of right now I can’t give a specific time frame other than it will be by the end of the month at the latest barring any issues that I can’t control, i.e Shipping and the like.  I hope to be back soon with new stuff to cover and I hope you all will be back once I am. In the mean time check out my reviews of books and games at gameindustry.com, there are some great stories there as well.

Temporary Hiatus

Hey all, It’s with great sadness that I must inform you all that I wont be able to write any posts for this blog for a while. My Mac Pro is giving up the ghost after nearly 9 years of use, it freezes constantly and I haven’t been able to fix it thus far. I’ll keep trying of course, but I’ll also be trying to build a completely new computer for myself. Hopefully it will be by the end of March, but it might be a bit into April before I can resume writing these daily blog posts. I’ll try to keep writing some book reviews with my old iPad, but it would be a very frustrating to try to write daily blog posts on that, and the quality wouldn’t meet my standards so I won’t attempt to do so.

If you have want to see some writing in the mean time, my game and book reviews on gameindustry.com will be going up still, I have a few in the queue and they should be going up in the next few weeks. The book reviews will only be for print and ebooks however as I can’t load any audiobooks without my computer functioning properly.

So until I get back to writing the daily blog posts I ask for your forgiveness and I hope to have you all come back in the near future to continue enjoy my columns. Thanks for your understanding!

1096 Days!

third_anniversary

Hey all I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled Retro Game Friday to write this instead. It’s been three years, or 1096 days, since I started writing daily without missing a single day. I’ve gone through deaths in my family, moving, getting sick for over a month, and various other forms of distraction for the past three years. I’ve had a blast writing and will continue to do so, but I wanted to state some of the new things that I’ve been doing in the past year.

Tor: Last year, shortly after my 2nd year of non stop writing, I received a group email with some of my fellow writers at GiN from Tor the big sci-fi/fantasy American publisher and I’ve since started doing reviews for them in addition to the reviews I’ve been doing with Audible. I alternate between the two formats, with occasional breaks for a indie author’s book. If you haven’t been looking at them I highly suggest you give them a read. I’ve been submitting them nearly weekly for the past year, so there is plenty of content for you to enjoy.

Video Game Reviews: I’ve been continuing to receive various video games to review, most of them indie games. Some of them have been great, most haven’t been. I also get some AAA games, like Destiny’s “expansions” and various JRPG/Anime related games. I hope to continue doing these, and you’ll be able to read them at gameindustry.com as well. Just so long as they don’t make me vomit like Coffin Dodgers did. Ugh…

That’s it for this post, next week it’ll be back to Retro Game Friday!