Bookish Wednesday: Present Tense by John Van Stry

I’m back with the sequel to Past Tense for this week’s Bookish Wednesday! It’s Present Tense, Book 02 of the Days of Future Past, by John Van Stry!

Plot Synopsis: Coyote has a new task for Paul, one that involves him traveling north hundreds of miles over the post-apocalyptic landscape of California, the place that Paul once called home.  Thankfully, Sarah and Heather have both decided to go with him and between Heather’s shooting skills and Sarah’s magical ones; Paul thinks he might just live through whatever scheme Coyote has enlisted him in. If he can live through telling the girls just what Coyote’s got him carrying in his pack now of course….

Plot: The plot is again pretty good, though not super amazing it was entertaining enough. There is plenty of action and adventure along with harebrained ideas that are plenty of fun to experience through the story.

Characters: We get introduced to quite a few new characters, and while saying who my favorite new one would be a huge spoiler, I will say that Coyote is definitely my favorite overall character.

Overall: A solid sequel and middle book in a solid trilogy.


Bookish Wednesday: The Airship by Skyler Grant

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with the sequel to a fun LitRPG series I’ve covered before. It’s The Airship, Book 02 of the Laboratory Series, by Skyler Grant!

Plot Synopsis: Emma is back! The core has been transferred to an airship crashed deep on the Rim. There, Emma and Anna will encounter feuding factions, terrifying monstrosities, and new powered foes in need of becoming research experiments. With a badly damaged vessel, they must steal, scavenge, and fight for what they need to upgrade to survive. More upgrades, more insults, more science

Plot: The plot is pretty awesome, and just as snarky as the first entry, which is excellent as that was my main draw to the first book. While fairly short it does do the plot justice and I really enjoyed this entry.

Characters: We get a ton of newcomers in this entry, and while I won’t say who is my favorite newcomer, I will say that Emma is just as crabby as always.

Overall: If you enjoyed playing Portal, again this would be the book for you. A solid sequel.

Bookish Wednesday: Io Online by Dave Willmarth

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the first in another LitRPG series. It’s Io Online, Book 01 of The Greystone Chronicles, by Dave Willmarth!

Plot Synopsis: In the latter half of the 21st century, Alexander and his guild mates play Io Online for fun and to earn a living. It’s the largest VRMMORPG on the planet, and the source of income that supports families around the globe. Given the chance to test a new experimental immersion system, the friends must give up their high level characters and begin again at level one….

Plot: The plot is pretty great, in fact it’s one of the better LitRPGs out there. I’m looking forward to listening to the sequel quite a bit. While there are plenty of standard plot devices that occur, they are utilized in such a way that it isn’t grating, at least to me.

Characters: Alex is our main character and PoV for most of the story. He’s a great lead character, and while he’s not the best I’ve ever seen I found myself enjoying his story quite a bit. The rest of the cast is also pretty awesome.

Overall: A good LitRPG and one of the better ones out there. Definitely worth a read if you love games or good Fantasy.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Awesome Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

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

Bookish Wednesday: Past Tense by John Van Stry

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with a series I stumbled across fairly recently. It’s Past Tense, Book 01 of the Days of Future Past series, by John Van Stry!

Plot Synopsis: Paul’s been having a bad day, perhaps one of the worst days he’s ever had. And now into the middle of all this, his instructor just got drafted by some mystical goddess to help save a world. As for Paul? Well, he’s really not supposed to be there, and if he thought he was having a bad day before all of this, it just got worse, a lot worse. He’s now on a one way trip, forced to help a man who despises him…

Plot: The plot is pretty good, nothing spectacular, but not super terrible either. It was entertaining and I enjoy the use of Native American mythology in conjunction with more standard Fantasy. I won’t say more about the plot, because this book is fairly short, but it’s good for quite a few laughs.

Characters: The cast is pretty good, and while Paul is occasionally incredibly dense as hell, he’s not a terrible lead character. Of the side characters I think Heather is my favorite, if only because she’s quite true to her own nature.

Overall: A good first book in an fairly interesting series. Worth a read if you like Fantasy.

For those who like: Action, Adventure, Drama, Romance, Fantasy, Native American Mythology, Good Plot, Decent Csat of Characters.

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

Bookish Wednesday: The Beginning by Charles Dean

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the first in a rather interesting LitRPG series. It’s War Aeternus: The Beginning by Charles Dean!

Plot Synopsis: Lee is a quiet and unassuming office worker who leads a life of solitude, comfort, and routine. Day in and day out, he shuts off his brain, keeps his head down, and goes about doing his job and minding his own business. That is, he does until a drunken god shows up randomly one day and whisks him off into another world, demanding that Lee serve as his pawn in a game between the gods.

Plot: The plot is fairly typical LitRPG mixed in with the Isekai genre that you’ll probably recognize from many books or even Anime. However the new thing here is what Lee has to do in this new world he finds himself in. I won’t spoil it, but it’s probably not what you are thinking. Some people might offended by it, but the fact that Lee is so uncomfortable with the job he’s tasked with mitigates any offensiveness in my book. Not that I was particularly offended at all mind.

Characters: The entire cast is awesome, but Augustus is probably my favorite. However Lee is the real star of course, and it shows. However if Augustus is my favorite, a very close second is Lin. And by close, I mean I only picked Augustus because of his eccentricities, otherwise it’d be a straight tie between the two. The

Overall: This is a great read, or even better listen, for those who like the LitRPG genre.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Isekai, Comedy, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

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

Bookish Wednesday: Endgame by Justin Miller

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the final entry in John Hulett’s adventures. It’s World Seed Book 04: Endgame by Justin Miller!

Plot Synopsis: John Hulett faces new enemies, the likes of which he couldn’t imagine. Fighting against a hidden trauma and a conspiracy that goes beyond anything he can believe, and discovering the ultimate truths behind the events of the universe, what will be the final outcome for him and his family?

Plot: This is a fairly decent book, although I am not happy with the final ending at all. This entry also features a huge tone shift compared to other entries in the series, and frankly it’s a bit disheartening to see such a funny series take such a different tone. I won’t say anymore than that, and frankly I feel like it was too much already.

Characters: We don’t really get any new characters in this entry, it’s all old faces from prior books. Frankly with the tone shift that this book has compared to prior entries the cast seems less enjoyable to me.

Overall: Not a solid landing for the finish line for this series, it’s not terrible, but it’s not great either. You could probably never read the final book and just enjoy the ending of the third and be happier with the overall story.

Bookish Wednesday: Dungeon Lord by Hugo Huesca

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with another LitRPG. It’s Dungeon Lord, Book 01 in the Wraith’s Haunt series, by Hugo Huesca!

Plot Synopsis: Dark forces have extended Edward Wright an offer of incredible power at a terrible cost and Edward has chosen to make them regret it…

Plot: The plot of this book is okay, up until a certain point which crossed one of my bottom lines that I have in regards to stories I read which resulted in me immediately dropping the entire story, even if I hadn’t finished it. I’m going to break a rule of mine by stating what they did and as it’s a minor spoiler this is your only warning.


Still here? Great, so the author has a Point of View of a random villager kid. Normally I wouldn’t care about this except that later on the author kills said kid in the most horrific way possible and it’s highly disturbing. It’s so disturbing that I almost threw up, and I’ve read and listened to many, many books. I can’t stand seeing horrific deaths of kids, it’s an instant reason for me to hate with an utter and extreme intensity that almost never goes away towards the person performing it. Now you might be saying “Michael, it happens all the time in books!”. Well yes it does, however it’s off screen. I have no problem with this writing trick as it is just words on a page. You never really meet the characters, nor have them as the Point of View you see the story through. This author did that, and I had to immediately stop the book. I can’t stand authors who resort to this sort of trick, which is why I have such a dislike for authors like George R. R. Martin. However those are at least somewhat merciful deaths.

Mr. Huesca introduced this character solely to kill it off in a truly terrible manner.  So I didn’t finish this book. I’m also advising everyone to not read this.

That’s it for this Bookish Wednesday, sorry for such a short post, and abbreviated review. I was torn between writing this and potentially giving the author more readers or writing it and potentially warning others about the truly dark nature of this book. However I thought I might as well try to tell others to steer clear of this book, so this post was written.