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.

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.

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: 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.

Serial Saturday: Siphon Chapters 1-36 by Jay Boyce

This week for Serial Saturday I’m back with a series that just had it’s first volume published. It’s Siphon Chapters 1-36 by Jay Boyce!

Plot: The plot is pretty great, and while it’s nothing groundbreaking or revolutionary it is a fun read. It reminds me of series like Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, in that it’s more Slice of Life than anything action oriented. That isn’t to say there aren’t action parts, but they are few and far between. The plot starts off a little slow, and Jade our main character is apt to break out in song which can be a little grating, but given her background I don’t find it super annoying.

Characters: The entire cast is pretty awesome, but Jade our lead is definitely the star of the show. My favorite side character is either Camille or Stephen, but I’ve got a hard time choosing which.

Overall: A fun and lighter read than some of the LitRPG series out there in the English market so far. If you enjoy Slice of Life Siphon will be an awesome choice.

For those who like: Slice of Life, Isekai, LitRPGs, Fantasy, Magic, Female Leads, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but you should give this a try.

Serial Saturday: Arcane Emperor Chapters 33-39 by Aternus

This week for Serial Saturday I’m back with more in Rainer’s journey. It’s Arcane Emperor Chapters 33-39 by Aternus!

Plot Synopsis: Having ranked up to the second tier and become an Archon, Rainer is now much more powerful than before, and just in time as Kara and Gunthar were being attacked by Fae assassin’s sent by Luna’s mother to retrieve her….

Plot: This is an excellent set of chapters. I could say more, but that would be so spoilerific that it’d be a shame for those who have yet to read this series.

Characters: We get to meet quite a few new characters, but my favorite is probably Theodore. And that’s not just because he shares the same name as my favorite historical president.

Overall: An incredibly solid set of chapters. If you haven’t started reading this series, you ought to do so.