Serial Saturday: Dao of Magic Chapters 41-60 by Andries Louws

Hey all I’m back for this week’s Serial Saturday and my first post of 2020. It’s Dao of Magic Chapters 41-60 by Andries Louws!

Plot: This is the third set of chapters in Teach’s journey to teach a bunch of illiterate buffoons to wield arcane and immense powers. It’s also the last set of chapters for the first book according to the author. This is a pretty fun set of chapters with Teach really getting down into the nitty gritty portion of teaching his students. Or neglecting them and really half assing his teaching. Honestly it’s a bit of a toss up here. Still I enjoyed these chapters quite a bit and felt that it ends not on a cliffhanger which is makes the author designating chapter 60 actually a good sign that he knows what he’s doing.

Characters: We get to learn more about the students, although Tess is still my favorite. That being said Rhea is slowly climbing the ranks and may eventually supplant her, although she hasn’t gotten nearly enough screen time for me to really consider that for a while yet. Maybe Book 2 will change that.

Overall: A solid and good stopping point for a story arc, these chapters are just a continuation of Teach, well teaching.

Serial Saturday: Dao of Magic Chapters 1-20 by Andries Louws

This week for Serial Saturday I’m back with another series. It’s Dao of Magic Chapters 1-20 by Andries Louws!

Plot: This story is about a Cultivator, who is later called Teach, that gets slapped down into a lower realm and ends up mucking around in that lower realm. It’s mostly a parody or satire on the whole Cultivation genre and it’s pretty hilarious. Honestly if you love the Xianxia or Xuanhuan genres at all, you’ll get a kick out of The Dao of Magic.

Characters: The cast is pretty bare bones to start, mostly consisting of Teach and a few others, like Lola the Bunny. Honestly my favorite character is probably Tess, if only because I enjoy sneaky rogue type characters and she’s a pretty good one. That said Lola comes close, because she’s cute and it’s not at all because I found it absolutely hilarious when Teach starts punting her. Nope, not at all.

Overall: For fans of the Cultivation genre you’ll love this series, so give it a shot.

For those who like: Xianxia, Xuanhuan, Cultivation, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Great Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

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

Serial Saturday: Siphon Volume 2 by Jay Boyce

This week for Serial Saturday I’m back with the second volume of the Siphon series. It’s Siphon Volume 2 by Jay Boyce!

Plot: First let me say that yes I do know that there is an audiobook release of this already out, but I had this post planned for a while and had a rough draft stored in my notes of my thoughts on the original unedited version on RoyalRoad so I won’t be covering the released versions until the third book is released.

With that out of the way let me say that this second entry in the series was pretty good and covered a ton of threads that came up by the end of the first book and has Jade actually attending the school Dracona that was teased way back in the first few chapters. There were some points where I cringed, but that might just be due to Jade being a dork at times.

Characters: We get to meet a bunch of new characters in this entry, which makes sense given all the new people she has to meet at Dracona. Of the newcomers I think Brady is my favorite, if only because he is the small blades teacher and I’ve always loved the rogue archetype. The rest of the cast is good, although there were some characters that felt a bit forced that may or may not show up in the edited release.

Overall: A solid entry, although I do wish the author was more timely with her releases I am given to understand she has been dealing with health issues.

Serial Saturday: Upheaval Chapters 9-16 by Hodhandr

Hey all I’m back again with more of Lars’ shenanigans for this week’s Serial Saturday. It’s Upheaval Chapters 9-16 by Hodhandr!

Plot: Again like the last set of chapters this is really slow and much more Slice of Life than action oriented. That said there is action, just not a bunch of it. Honestly if you want anything resembling a plot, or action you’d best look elsewhere.

Characters: We get introduced to a couple new faces, but they aren’t very consequential in the grand scheme of things.

Overall: An okay set of chapters, but like the last severely lacking in a driving force in the plot or much action.

Serial Saturday: Upheaval Chapters 0-8 by Hodhandr

Hey all I’m back with another LitRPG for this week’s Serial Saturday. It’s Upheaval Chapters 0-8 by Hodhandr!

Plot: The plot is really quite haphazard, and doesn’t really go anywhere. It’s very much a Slice of Life series that has LitRPG elements. That’s not a bad thing exactly, but for some they’ll only get pissed off that the story doesn’t really ever progress. If you were expecting it to be like most other LitRPGs with tons of action and adventure, you will be very disappointed.

Characters: Lars is our main character and he’s very much an airhead. He does things that most would either find horrific or does stuff that most people would think is really stupid. Granted that the plot allows for some ridiculous things, but honestly I don’t like the main character all that much. The rest of the cast is fairly boring at the moment, though it does get a bit better later on.

Grammar: It’s passable, but it can be grating at times. If you are expecting quality work here in terms of grammar, you will be disappointed, but not to the point of wanting to throw something out or through a window.

Overall: An okay series, but it’s not that great. If you’re bored there are worse series to read out there, but there’s also better series to read.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Slice of Life, Fantasy, Airhead Lead Characters.

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

Serial Saturday: Azarinth Healer Chapters 10-18 by Rhaegar

This week for Serial Saturday I’m back with the second set of chapters in Rhaegar’s first novel. It’s Azarinth Healer Chapters 10-18 by Rhaegar!

Plot: The plot moves on pretty quickly and we finally get to see Ilea really put her powers into action against things other than Drakes. And it’s quite a blast to read. That’s all I’ll say, because if you enjoyed the story up to here, this set of chapters isn’t going to change that opinion.

Characters: We get to meet a few new characters in this set of chapters, but my favorite is Ellie easily. That being said Ilea is still the star of the show and I can’t say that it’s a bad thing since she’s such a fun character.

Overall: A fun and very good set of chapters in this series written by a complete amateur.

 

Serial Saturday: Azeal Neralum by Kazi

This week for Serial Saturday I’m back with another series I got asked to review by it’s author.  It’s Azeal Neralum by Kazi.

Plot: Let me get this out of the way, I would normally have never bothered with reading this series, and I must have either missed the Grimdark genre tag or it was added after I had bookmarked it as a potential series to read. Either way I find the overly dark nature of the “genre” usually makes stories I tend to despise. Azeal Neralum isn’t an exception to my distaste. I honestly don’t enjoy the overly dark fantasy epic craze that’s seem to come up in the past decade. Even one of my most adored series, Mistborn, is a bit too dark for me. While I’ve read the entire thing once, I probably won’t ever do that again due to that darkness.  However other than the tone there are other serious issues I have with Azeal Neralum. Mainly the constant switching of points of view that is happening, and the lack of forward progress with regards to the main character. I don’t care about some random fort getting slaughtered, what does it have to do with the main character? If the answer to that question is “nothing” in the next 30 chapters I’ve just wasted my time reading extraneous world building that could’ve been experienced through the main characters point of view instead.

Characters: Azeal is a mediocre main character, he’s got nothing extremely likable about him that makes me interested in him as a character and the rest of the cast is just as bad. It’s even worse with the most recent chapters that the author wrote. I don’t give a rat’s ass about some “hero” or gallant general that is dying if he’s being introduced out of the blue and has no noticeable connection with the protagonist. If I had met that character 100 chapters before and grew attached to him I might feel a bit of sympathy over his death, but the way the author the author brings up these characters out of the blue is more than a bit annoying.

Grammar: The grammar is okay, but the writing itself seems off. I can’t put it into words much better than it feels just a bit wrong when I read it. Either the way the author writes is grating on my internal sense of how a book is supposed to read, or the issue is something else, but I just find it’s “flow” to be not pleasing to the eye.

Overall: If for some reason you love dark fantasy, Azeal Neralum might be up your alley after a few editing passes have been done by the author. Otherwise steer clear of this.

For those who like: Fantasy, Grimdark, LitRPG.

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