Bookish Wednesday: To Serve and Protect by Glynn Stewart

This week I’m back with a book in one of my favorite genres. It’s To Serve and Protect, ONSET Book 01, by Glynn Stewart.

Plot: Let me get this out of the way, I absolutely despise this book, I’m not going to pull punches, and the fact that this book is an Urban Fantasy is as bad a blight on the genre as Twilight is. The plot is bland, uninsipired and completely nonsensical in terms of power levels for most of the story. Then there’s the constant repetition of the title phrase over and over and over again. It’s fine to make the title a part of the plot, but it is not okay to constantly bludgeon your readers with that phrase. After about the 5th time every time I saw someone say those words I wanted to throttle Mr. Stewart. By the end of the book I was thoroughly done with putting up with the nonsense title, and the almost complete lack of humor throughout the book was unacceptable to me. For me humor has always been a good sign of writing and the lack of it in this book just showcases how poor a writer Mr. Stewart is to me, especially when some of the best Urban Fantasy books I’ve read have humor in truckloads.

Characters: We get a small town cop that gets roped into the supernatural and is one of the most unlikable main characters I’ve ever read. David White is one dimensional, boring and all around a complete and total tool. The rest of the cast is no better, honestly every time a character died I cheered. I don’t tend to do that for characters ever, but because of the awful writing this book has I couldn’t wait for every single character to die a horrible death if it would spare me from hearing the stupid title phrase again. It’s a pity that David has a boatload of plot armor and does not die some horrible death, which is pretty obvious when you consider that this is the first book in a series about the character.

Overall: Stay far away from this book, series and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say author as well. Mr. Stewart took all the good things about Urban Fantasy and completely and utterly ruined them. If you want a good Urban Fantasy go read the Demon Accords series by John Conroe, it’s actually well written, has an amazing plot and cast of characters and is actually funny without any repetition of the title every single freaking chapter.

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Serial Saturday: The Undead World by Donkereweg

Hey all I’m back with a review of a series I was asked to do much earlier this year during my Hiatus for this week’s Serial Saturday. It’s The Undead World by Donkereweg!

Plot: This is a typical Isekai/LitRPG but it’s much too dark just for the sake of being dark. The current big go to genre word in the fiction community is “Grimdark” and every newbie author is just tagging it into their stories just because it’s the new fad. Like Twilight and all it’s ilk, most Grimdark stories are utter trash and this one is not much different.

Example: Not only does the MC get NTRed in the first few chapters, which is always a mark in the negative for me, but he loses his first friend he makes after dying. Why? Just because the author felt like being a dick and trying to be dark. There are ways of creating conflict without killing off every other named character or making every MC an edgelord. Take some of the classics like Lord of the Rings. Of the main characters only one dies for good, and even then it’s after being a dick and betraying the party that said character dies.

Characters: Our main dude Dantalian or whatever he goes by now is not interesting to read about and about as 3-dimensional as a sheet of a paper. The rest of the cast is no better, and most character are either killed off or just forgotten because they’re no longer important at all to the Author. Heck even the weapon-smith that Dantalian meets in the Undead City is unnamed in a later chapter. Classic sign of laziness by the author right there.

Grammar: For being a non native English speaker and this being their first work the author’s writing here is about the only good thing I can give this story a plus for. It’s not amazing grammar, but I’ve read worse. Still needs a lot of work, and honestly it could use a few editing passes at the very minimum just for grammar.

Overall: Steer clear, it’s a blatant attempt at trying to get into the writing business by jumping on the latest genre fad, Grimdark.

For those who like: Terrible Stories, Twilight.

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

Retro Game Friday: Rainbow Six

This week I’m back with an oldie for Retro Game Friday. It’s Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six!

Plot: The plot is okay, but pretty standard Clancy fare. If you’ve read any of his other books you’ll get the basic picture, US government agents and/or spec ops agent(s) go against foreign antagonists to save the day. Pretty cut and dry.

Gameplay: This is a tactical shooter, which means that you are given limited assets and you can’t go in guns blazing to win. You have to use your head in order to make it through each level and plan ahead if you want to win. Most levels are actually really short in terms of actual gameplay, but the planning of each mission takes much more time and if you do it poorly you’ll most likely fail. This did a fairly decent job at pulling off this concept and set the stage for many future games in the Rainbox Six series.

Art: The art is pretty terrible now, but back then it was fairly awesome. Still it’s nothing great looking at it now.

Music: I don’t remember much of the music, but I remember it feeling appropriate it for the game.

Overall: A fairly decent game, but later entries do a better job and look better as well.

For those who like: Tactical Shooters, Planning, Forethought, Tom Clancy.

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

Movie Monday: The Hunt for Red October

This week for Movie Monday I’m back with another true classic. It’s The Hunt for Red October!

Plot: This a military thriller in the truest sense of the words, and the plot is pretty amazingly done. It’s got pretty much everything you could want from political intrigue to heart-pounding action sequences. I can’t say much more without spoiling it, but I will say that this has the Jack Ryan character from many of Clancy’s other novels and movies featured prominently in this one as well.

Casting: Sean Connery is cast as the Russian lead, Marko Ramius who pilots the titular Red October and Alec Baldwin who portrays Jack Ryan. The rest of the cast is just as well done, but these two really took the spotlight and they did a great job of it. Ironically Connery was not the first pick for Ramius.

Cinematography: It’s very well done, and considering how impractical filming on a real sub is they did a great job portraying it. The effects weren’t super amazing, but they weren’t terrible either.

Music: The music was pretty great, which is pretty obvious once you consider it won an Academy Award for Sound Editing. While it’s mostly done in English, the switch between Russian and English at the beginning was pretty well done.

Overall: A fun movie that you probably ought to watch if you haven’t seen it before.

For those who like: Military Fiction, Thrillers, Drama, Action, Sean Connery and/or Alec Baldwin.

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

TNT: Maou na Ore to Fushihime no Yubiwa by Kankitsu Yasura

Hey all I’m taking a look back at a series I read years back for Translation Necessary Thursday. It’s Maou na Ore to Fushihime no Yubiwa by Kankitsu Yasura!

Plot: The plot is very mediocre, and is more focused on the romance comedy drama than it’s action from what I remember. I’d give a more detailed critique, but honestly I can’t be bothered to remember it since I don’t recall anything but being bored reading this entire series. I think I read it all in a single day half a decade ago and it wasn’t that great which is fairly obvious since I can barely recall a thing about this series. The characters are all super stereotypical and the plot is a drag.

Characters: Chiharu is our male lead and I honestly don’t like him all that much. He’s bland and not that interesting. The rest of the cast is little better.

Overall: Steer clear of this series, it’s not worth the time.

Anime Sunday: Most Anticipated Summer 2019 Anime

Hey all I’m back with a look at the upcoming season for this Anime Sunday. It’s my Most Anticipated Summer 2019 Anime!

Arifureta: This is one of my all time favorite stories, so I’m really hoping they do the original light novels justice with this adaptation. Considering it was pushed back and that they are almost done with the main arc of story (there’s quite a few afterstory arcs that I’m hoping get published) I can only hope it adapts all of the story in a well paced manner.

The Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II: This is yet another Fate series, but it deals with an old character from Zero, Waver Velvet and him solving various mysteries. If you aren’t well versed in the nitty gritty details of the Nasuverse this might be a bit out there for you, since this goes more into the Magecraft side of things rather than dealing with Heroic Spirits.  Still I for one am looking forward to this series very, very much.

Cop Craft: I’ve always loved Buddy Cop movies, and this seems to be a Fantasy/Mystery mashup that promises to be just such a story. I haven’t read the original source material for this series, but I’m hoping it’ll be good.

Isekai Cheat Magician: This is another Isekai series, but I hear it’s actually very good though once more I have yet to read the original light novels. Considering that the illustrator for the series was one of my more admired artists though, Nardack, I’m looking forward to seeing their designs animated.

Maou-sama Retry: Again this looks to be an Isekai series, but since I enjoyed Isekai Maou’s novels I’m hoping this adaptation does well also. We shall see.

Okaa-san Online: The full name is really long, and more than a bit ridiculous, but I’m looking forward to seeing this, I’ve yet to read the original light novels but they always sounded interesting I was just waiting to let translations progress so I had more than a volume or two to read at once.

Honorable Mentions:

Toaru Kagaku no Accelerator: This is another Toaru spin-off, this one centered around Accelerator and Last Order (the final Misaka sister), so this is one to look forward to.

That’s it for this Anime Sunday.

Bookish Wednesday: Dungeon Crawl by Skyler Grant

Hey all I’m back with the first entry in another LitRPG series for this Bookish Wednesday. It’s Dungeon Crawl, Book 01 in the Crucible Shard Series, by Skyler Grant!

Plot: The plot is mediocre at best, honestly it’s a rather poor LitRPG series. Though considering it was the authors first series I can’t say I’m too disappointed since the Laboratory was much better. Later books improve a bit, but overall it’s just not a good series.

Characters: Liam is our lead character and he’s very much a tool. He’s dull and boring and does things for absolutely stupid reasons in addition to being very amoral for little reason. The rest of the cast is little better with one of our female characters being a chronic kleptomaniac with serious mental issues and the other guy being a boring and dull spellcaster know it all.

Overall: Stay away from this series, there are better ones out there.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Action, Adventure, Drama, Anti-Heroes.

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