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.

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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: Ghost in the Game by Christopher Keene

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the third entry in a LitRPG series of a reader of mine. It’s Ghost in the Game by Christopher Keene!

Plot Synopsis: Noah has made a deal with the devil. In return for access to Wona’s inner circle, he must guard their Dream State game. It could be worse. After all, the Dream Engine saved his life, even if it ended so many others’. But his new alliance didn’t come without a cost. It turned many of his friends against him. Luckily, the company has assigned him a new team: Catastrophe. But leading Catastrophe takes a dangerous turn. At the grand opening of a new game zone, a vicious attack puts even the Wona President on edge. As Noah digs deeper, he discovers hacking beyond anything he’s ever imagined.

Plot: The plot is okay, but was also a little predictable. At least it was to me, and that’s probably I’ve because I’ve read so much. I won’t go into the plot too much, but it was a good entry in a LitRPG series that is fairly decent. It’s not the best, sorry Christopher, but it’s definitely not the worst. The biggest problem I have with the story is something that I’ve had since the beginning of this series, and that’s the use of drugs to game properly. I’m not a fan of implying that gaming is so addictive that it kills the user, which is the underlying tone that happens with this story consistently.

Characters: Putting aside the fact that all the characters are essentially drug addicts, the cast is okay. It’s not the best cast of characters, but I’ve experienced much worse characters. Noah at the start of the series was a decent guy, but it’s quickly become very obvious that he’s slowly growing into what he despised at the start of the story, a druggie. I don’t like the implications of this, not at all.

Overall: A decent entry, but I’m getting more than a bit tired of having the drug usage included in this story. Sensing a theme? I hope so.

Serial Saturday: Apex Predator Part 01 by Caerulux

This week for Serial Saturday I’m back with the first part of a series that I rather enjoyed quite a bit. It’s Apex Predator Part 01 by Caerulux!

Plot Synopsis: Earth is a fairly small place, but it’s all Bath has. It’s the only home he’s ever known for all of his 500-or-so-million years of life. One day, Bath realized his treasured Earth was being drawn into the next mass extinction ahead of schedule. So, fascinated by the humans and their quick rise to power (after all, setting off a mass extinction is a pretty sizable achievement), what’s a nearly all-powerful, somewhat bored, morally ambiguous, savagely violent, shapeshifting alien entity to do other than assume the form of a human and do some front-line investigating?

Plot: These first chapters are really quite interesting. Bath is probably one of the most entertaining non humanoid character I’ve ever read and these first chapters do quite a good job of introducing him.

Characters: Bath is our main lead, but he’s not alone in this story. The rest of the cast is quite good, although my favorite one other than Bath is Lisa.

Overall: A very solid start to a series that I rather enjoy.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Intriguing Plots, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

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

Personal Status: On Hold, Letting chapters accumulate so I can binge read it during this summer, if I can last that long without wanting to jump back into the series.

Bookish Wednesday: Pet Peeves

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m continuing my mini-rant on things that make me drop a series or even an author if they do it even more. It’s all about some Pet Peeves of mine.

Pet peeves: I have a huge list of pet peeves that will get me to stop following an author or dropping a series entirely if enough of them pile up. But here are some that really get on my nerves.

#1 Killing Off Love Interests: I hate this plot device and frankly it’s not quite a bottom line, but it’s damn close. I respect that sometimes characters have to go through adversity, but we read fiction for a reason. Keeping a bit of hope in a story is a good thing. Dark and dreary stories are not fun for me to read, and that may be because of my own mental health issues. However this is one of my  personal pet peeves. Now killing off parents of characters? I can deal with that, it’s a different sort of emotional impact for both the character and the reader.

#2 Separating Love Interests: Chinese authors have a terrible habit of doing this, and it ticks me off. They are often poorly done harem stories that has the main character leaving behind his loved ones at every freaking opportunity for no particular reason other than to go galavanting off on an adventure. It doesn’t matter how it occurs, it’s a stupid plot device. It also cheapens the loved one as a character. If they get left behind they aren’t going to grow, either emotionally or in more concrete things like strength.

I will admit that Eternal did one thing right and that was keeping the main characters. who are soulmates, together. They overcame every obstacle together, and frankly there’s no reason why other authors shouldn’t do the same. Having some random teacher drag off the main character’s loved one to get training is also bullshit plot device that I despise and I sincerely hope never gets any traction in the Western world. Having a couple that can actually fight together and work together is a great way of showing character growth. Because anyone who has played a team activity will tell you that no matter how much solo practice you do, it still requires just as much if not more time practicing with your partner(s) so you don’t get in each other’s way. But the character’s will never learn that if they get separated.

#3 Dense Harem Leads: If an author has to write a freaking harem story, at least make the freaking lead character open to a more diverse relationship with all of their potential love interests. Because frankly no matter what the author does, they’re going to piss off one reader or another. Yes polygamy and polyandry are illegal in most of the world, but here’s the thing. It’s a freaking story, and the author can write it however they wish. Maybe they have to deal with the social backlash of being in such a relationship, would make for great character growth.

#4 Forgotten Side Characters: I hate it when authors leave side characters in the dust and just forget about them. This ties into #2 a bit, but more than that some authors are just terrible about remembering all the various side characters they introduce. I Eat Tomatos in particular is a notorious author for doing just that. “Cough” Haeru “Cough”

Those are just some of my personal pet peeves, and there are like I said above many more. But that would be a very long post and frankly I’m not interested in listing every thing that ticks me off in a story.  That’s it for this week’s Bookish Wednesday.