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.

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Bookish Wednesday: You’re Not Allowed to Die by Kip Terrington

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering another LitRPG series. It’s You’re Not Allowed to Die, Book 01 in the Twenty-Sided Eye Series, by Kip Terrington!

Plot: The plot is pretty standard Isekai/LitRPG and it’s honestly nothing new. There are serious issues I have with the pacing as it’s incredibly slow and not that action packed compared to other series. In addition the plot isn’t all that interesting, and due to that slow pacing I just mentioned it doesn’t go anywhere.

Characters: Joe is one of our main characters and I absolutely hate him. He’s shallow, incredibly childish and a complete dumbass, and even when he’s told straight to his face that it isn’t a game he refuses to believe it. Spooky Joy, the other main character is just as bad. She’s shallow, nor all that helpful and I find Navi from Ocarina of Time to be a better fairy companion than Spooky is. At least Navi helps point out things, Spooky is actively hiding the situation from Joe for pretty much no reason.

Overall: Stay clear of this garbage pile of a LitRPG, it’s a waste of your time to even contemplate reading it.

 

Serial Saturday: Azarinth Healer Chapters 01-09 by Rhaegar

This week for Serial Saturday I’m covering another new series. It’s Azarinth Healer Chapters 01-09 by Rhaegar!

Plot: The plot is pretty great, and considering that the author states upfront that he’s a complete amateur it’s refreshingly well written. It is a LitRPG mixed with Isekai elements, but don’t expect our hero to be going off to slay demon lords to save the world. I won’t spoil it, but it’s a very fun read and these first few chapters are a great start.

Characters: We really only get to meet Ilea in these first few chapters, and that’s okay as she’s quirky and intelligent and very much a badass. The cast does fill out later on.

Grammar: The grammar is very well done, and given that the author went through the trouble of revising their errors out of the early chapters is a very good sign for the longevity of the series, at least in my opinion.

Overall: A fun read, and well worth the read.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Isekai, Fantasy, Magic, Action, Adventure, Female Leads, Interesting Plot, Good Grammar.

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

TNT: My Favorite Japanese Novels

Hey all this week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m back with a continuation of last week’s topic. It’s all about My Favorite Japanese Novels! Warning there will be some major spoilers for Arifureta and Mushoku Tensei this time around!

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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.

TNT: My Favorite Korean Novels

Hey all I’m back for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday with a topic that I get asked about somewhat often. It’s all about My Favorite Korean Novels that I’ve read thus far!

Legendary Moonlight Sculptor: One of the first LitRPGs I ever read, LMS is both a classic and a must read. Weed is a such an unusual main character for those who have never read a Korean novel before. It’s definitely a gateway novel that should be on any LitRPG novelist’s must-read list. It’s honestly a pity that the translations drop in quality severely after the first twenty volumes, but hopefully it’ll be fully translated in a few years with a decent quality. I don’t think that it’s going to happen, but one can always hope right?

Everybody Else is a Returnee: This is a nice twist on the Isekai genre, in that the main character Is literally the only person in the entire world not transported. Yu Il-Han is a fun lead character who is incredibly genre savvy, which is a nice change of pace from some of the dense idiot leads who are so often Isekai main characters. Even better is the fact that the entire series is fully translated into English.

Breakers: This series is a great take on the Tensei genre, with the main character again being very genre savvy. The fact that he has to scrounge his way to the top and isn’t completely overpowered from the start is also great. Sure he has knowledge about events, but he has to use his head to get out situations he finds himself in.

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday!

Bookish Wednesday: Forming the Company by Daniel Schinhofen

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with the sequel to Gamer for Life. It’s Forming the Company, Alpha World Book 02, by Daniel Schinhofen!

Plot Synopsis: Having been given the option to live the rest of his life in the Virtual Reality game Alpha World in place of his prison sentence, Seamus is now known as the Summoner Alburet. He’s made friends and become close with multiple people, a thing he never thought to have again. However upon summoning his third demon it turns out to be Stacia…..

Plot: This entry in the series is quite good, but it also brought up a ton of questions about Alburet’s past and what really happened to get him into prison. The plot does keep plodding along and honestly was quite a fun entry.

Characters: We get to meet a few more people, including a certain expy of a favorite Archaeologist of mine and most likely many, many others. However my favorite has to be Alburet’s party. They are all great characters, and honestly I like the entire bunch of them.

Overall: A solid sequel and second entry in a series that’s shaping up to be one of the all time LitRPG greats.