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.

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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.

Retro Game Friday: Indiana Jones The Infernal Machine

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a game that I can barely remember playing. It’s Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine!

Plot Synopsis: The story of the game is set in 1947 and depicts archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones returning to his digging career after his involvement in World War II. Sophia Hapgood, an old friend of Indiana and now a member of the Central Intelligence Agency, visits him at his dig site in the Canyonlands, and informs him that the Russians are excavating the ruins of Babylon.

Plot: I’ll be frank I don’t remember much of this game. I remember having fun, but that’s about it.

Gameplay: I played the 2D version of this that was made for the GameBoy Color, so despite it being a port it was actually the full game. It was however really frustrating to die and have to restart a level, and I’ll be honest puzzle clues were pretty non-existent. These are pretty much the only things I remember, probably because I got so annoyed at the game.

Art: It was purely 2D so it’s aged alright, but it’s also not that amazing.

Music: I don’t remember it at all, sorry.

Overall: Probably worth skipping playing, but if you want the story you can probably watch a Let’s Play on YouTube or something.

For those who like: Puzzles, Frustration, Indiana Jones.

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

Bookish Wednesday: Fearless by Elliott James

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This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the newest entry in the Pax Arcana series. It’s Fearless by Elliott James!

Plot Synopsis: Someone, somewhere, has declared war on Kevin Kichida, and that someone has a long list of magical predators on their rolodex. The good news is that Kevin lives in a town where Ted Cahill is the new sheriff and old ally of John Charming.

Plot: The plot is pretty great, and it covers many more mythologies from around the world in this entry than in previous ones. Which is a great thing, and I particularly liked it. I’m a sucker for mythology and this series has proven to be awesome for that.

Characters: Kevin and Sarah are the two newcomers that I enjoy the most, but of the previous cast Molly is still my favorite. She might be slightly insane, but she’s a fun kind of crazy.

Overall: Excellent entry in a series chock full of mythology. A must read for Pax Arcana and Urban Fantasy fans.

For those who like: Urban Fantasy, Mythology, Action, Drama, Great Cast of Characters, Excellent Plot.

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

Bookish Wednesday: Charming by Elliott James

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This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m taking a look at a new series I stumbled across the other day. It’s Charming, Book 01 of the Pax Arcana series, by Elliott James!

Plot Synopsis: John Charming isn’t your average Prince… He comes from a line of Charmings — an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chain mail and crossbows to Kevlar and shotguns, John Charming was one of the best–until a curse made him one of the abominations the Knights were sworn to hunt. That was a lifetime ago. Now, John tends bar under an assumed name in rural Virginia and leads a peaceful, quiet life. That is, until a vampire and a blonde walked into his bar…

Plot: The plot is very fast paced and I love it. I also love that it takes mythology from pretty much every religion, legend and makes it a part of the world in this series.

Characters: I love pretty much all the characters we get introduced to in this book, except Vornik and Kayhill they are assholes. That being said my favorite is probably Molly, an ex priest who is slightly insane. It makes for a great character. That isn’t to say John isn’t good, he has everything I like in a main character, snark and badassery. But I just like Molly better.

Overall: If you love Urban Fantasy this is a must read.

For those who like: Urban Fantasy, Action, Drama, Mythology, Excellent and Fast Paced Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

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

Manga Monday: Nurarihyon no Mago by Hiroshi Shiibashi

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This week I’m covering a series that was cancelled much too soon, although it ran for a good 4 years. I’m talking about Nurarihyon no Mago, or Nurarihyon’s Grandson by Hiroshi Shiibashi.

Plot Synopsis: Rikuo Nura is 3/4 human and 1/4 yōkai. He has a human form in the day but transforms into his yōkai form at night. He lives in a house full of yōkai along with his yōkai grandfather. Trying to escape his fate, he does good deeds in order to avoid becoming a yōkai, despite his grandfather’s wish that Rikuo succeed him as the Third Head of the Nura Clan. Rikuo is different because he helps humans.

Plot: The plot is fairly good, although it devolves into a battle series there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I love seeing all the different Japanese monsters from Mythology, the Yuki-Onna (Snow Lady in Japanese) is probably my favorite. That said I wish the series had continued as it was definitely cut short.

Characters: Rikuo is a likeable guy, and while he’s always so courteous as a human his demonic form is a real jerk sometimes. The rest of the cast is memorable and interesting.

Art: The art for this series is amazing, which is why I started reading it in the first place.

Overall: If you like a good action series, or you want to learn more about Japanese Mythology, you’ll love this series.

For those who like: Shonen Jump, Action, Mythology, Great art.

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

Light Novel Thursday: Campione! by Taketsuki Jou

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This week for a Light Novel series I thought I’d go over one that I enjoy a lot, Campione! by Taketsuki Jou.

Plot Synopsis: Godou Kusunagi, a recently graduated middle schooler, is asked by his grandfather to return a stone tablet to a friend in Sardinia named Lucretia Zola. After meeting the demonically manipulative sword-mistress Erica Blandelli, he encounters a god of war, Verethragna. After killing the god, Godou becomes a Campione, or god slayer. His duty is to fight heretical gods who start changing things to suit themselves, usually at the expense of the people in the area. One of the problems associated with being a Campione, is that his status keeps attracting attention and difficult girls. Blandelli, who strongly professes her love for him, usually creates awkward and misunderstood situations for him in particular.

Plot: This series takes the characters from many different world mythologies and uses them spectacularly and it’s informative in an interesting way that textbooks never can be. The plot is pretty standard battle stuff, but it gets more interesting in later volumes.

Characters: Godou is probably the least interesting of all the characters, but Erica has most definitely earned her title of “Diavolo Rosso”. Plenty of familiar gods make appearances in this series, and that’s not counting the other 6 Campione that are out in the world.

Art: From what we see in the volumes it’s alright, but it’s nothing amazing either. The real hook in this series is the plot and characters.

Overall: It’s pretty good and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes mythology.

For those who like: Epic battles between gods and godslayers, Harem situations in which the male is thicker than usual, Mythology.

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