Bookish Wednesday: Soulbound to a Dragon by Kurtis Eckstein

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with a rather disappointing book. It’s Soulbound to a Dragon, Pantherians of Azra Book 01, by Kurtis Eckstein!

Plot: The plot is incredibly stereotypical and while there are a few new ideas the fact that the star crossed tragic lovers trope was in full play meant they were not enough to catch my interest or energy to bother getting past a certain point in the book. The setting is okay, it serves as sort of Urban Fantasy/Magitech sort of world, but the fact that the author decided to use the word Pantherian to mean all half breed characters despite the fact that the main character is a female with black hair and cat ears and tail was just the icing on the boring cake. I mean if you use the word Pantherian, you are going to think of a panther. Especially with that cover art. Sure you shouldn’t judge a book by the cover, but it’s a pretty obvious flaw.

I assume that it was a play on the word Therianthrope, meaning a human who can shapeshift to an animal form, but to have our main point of view character be a panther girl makes the entire word choice completely useless and nonsense when the next major character we meet is a half breed of a human and a freaking dragon. Pantherian doesn’t really fit for a species classification there now does it? Frankly with all that and the stupid tragic lovers trope being played straight for all it’s worth, it just meant I was completely and utterly unenthusiastic to bother reading past a certain point. I used to stick to my rule that I’ll finish out a story no matter how bad it is, but with the amount of stories that I’ve experienced over the years, and that has only increased exponentially since I started writing a few years ago, I’ve since had to modify my rules. Frankly the stereotypical plot and the nonsensical verbage all meant I had little reason to continue with the book. I had enough warning flags going off in my head to tell me not to bother with this story, so I listened to my instincts and didn’t bother reading past a certain point. Normally I don’t do this, as even terrible books deserve my time to utterly lambast them, but I had more important things to do.

Characters: Riel is our main character and point of view through which we see this world of Azra. Frankly she’s much too ignorant and way too pessimistic about her situation. Granted she has every reason to be given how ignorant she is, but it’s such an overdone stereotype that I couldn’t bother liking her all that much. The rest of the cast was little better, with Eli being our main male character.

Overall: Skip this book, it’s really not worth your time when you will likely waste reading or listening to this.

For those who like: Stereotypical Plots, Nonsensical Verbage even for Fantasy.

Not for those who don’t like: Either of the above, or mediocrity.

 

 

Anime Sunday: Senko-san Episode 01 Impressions

Hey all I’m back with another Spring 2019 Anime series. It’s my Senko-san Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot: This is a heartwarming, or as some call it “fluffy”, slice of life series, and I’m not just saying fluffy because of the main character’s tail and ears. Honestly this is a pretty laid back and much more subdued series than my usual fare so it’s a nice change of pace for me to have watched this first episode. I’ll most likely get around to watching the entire series sometime in the near future.

Characters: Our main characters are Senko, obviously, and Kuroto who is a fairly gloomy and overworked man whom Senko decides to care and pamper for. The interactions are rather cute, and honestly I enjoyed their relationship quite a bit, if only because I can see the same type of gloomy nature that pervades my own life in Kuroto.

Art: The art is okay, but it’s nothing amazing either and certainly not close to reaching my gold standard of ufotable in terms of quality. That being said it’s not terrible either.

Music: The musical score fits the series perfectly, so I was pretty happy with this first episode in the audio department.

Overall: A solid and entertaining first episode, this looks to be an excellent series if you just want something heartwarming to watch.

For those who like: Slice of Life, Heartwarming Stories, Great Cast of Characters.

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

 

Bookish Wednesday: To Serve and Protect by Glynn Stewart

This week I’m back with a book in one of my favorite genres. It’s To Serve and Protect, ONSET Book 01, by Glynn Stewart.

Plot: Let me get this out of the way, I absolutely despise this book, I’m not going to pull punches, and the fact that this book is an Urban Fantasy is as bad a blight on the genre as Twilight is. The plot is bland, uninsipired and completely nonsensical in terms of power levels for most of the story. Then there’s the constant repetition of the title phrase over and over and over again. It’s fine to make the title a part of the plot, but it is not okay to constantly bludgeon your readers with that phrase. After about the 5th time every time I saw someone say those words I wanted to throttle Mr. Stewart. By the end of the book I was thoroughly done with putting up with the nonsense title, and the almost complete lack of humor throughout the book was unacceptable to me. For me humor has always been a good sign of writing and the lack of it in this book just showcases how poor a writer Mr. Stewart is to me, especially when some of the best Urban Fantasy books I’ve read have humor in truckloads.

Characters: We get a small town cop that gets roped into the supernatural and is one of the most unlikable main characters I’ve ever read. David White is one dimensional, boring and all around a complete and total tool. The rest of the cast is no better, honestly every time a character died I cheered. I don’t tend to do that for characters ever, but because of the awful writing this book has I couldn’t wait for every single character to die a horrible death if it would spare me from hearing the stupid title phrase again. It’s a pity that David has a boatload of plot armor and does not die some horrible death, which is pretty obvious when you consider that this is the first book in a series about the character.

Overall: Stay far away from this book, series and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say author as well. Mr. Stewart took all the good things about Urban Fantasy and completely and utterly ruined them. If you want a good Urban Fantasy go read the Demon Accords series by John Conroe, it’s actually well written, has an amazing plot and cast of characters and is actually funny without any repetition of the title every single freaking chapter.

Anime Sunday: Seishun Buta Yarou Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering a new series from the Fall 2018 season. It’s my Seishun Buta Yarou Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot: The plot of this first episode is very intriguing and it sets the stage for the series really well. I will say that this is an adaptation of a Light Novel Series, but I haven’t read it. I don’t tend to enjoy the romantic comedy series, but hopefully this avoids most of the faults of those Anime. This first episode shows that it could go very well, but that could end up being just a short reprieve from another poorly done romantic comedy.

Characters: Mai and Sakuta are our main characters and they are both very interesting. Mai isn’t a terrible person and is actually incredibly likable from the get go, if a bit surprising in her choice of garb. Sakuta on the other hand is also fairly forthright in his interests with Mai, and it’s a refreshing change of pace from other romantic comedies that always have awkward love polygons for no purpose beyond making drama.

Art: The art is okay, but nothing spectacular. It’s not egregiously bad, but it’s not amazing either.

Music: I enjoyed the musical score, and the opening theme. Not much more to be said about that.

Overall: This could prove to be a delightful series if this first episode is indicative of the rest of the series.

For those who like: Romance, Supernatural, School Life, Drama.

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

Bookish Wednesday: Desire by Cameron Milan

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’ve got another LitRPG. It’s Desire by Cameron Milan!

Plot Synopsis: An all powerful entity bestows individuals with a powerful brand in the form of a tattoo. Using the system that is controlled by the tattoo, you can learn supernatural abilities, acquire knowledge unknown to man, and acquire objects that would only be found in fiction. The world is changing… and it has yet to be determined if it is for better or worse. Two friends who grew up together, Ace and Vincent, have been chosen. Ace lives for physical improvement. He loves the feeling of breaking his records and growing stronger. Unfortunately, he has plateaued in recent months, discouraging him greatly. Vincent is plagued by little to no desire in anything he does. Good grades? Successful life? He feels nothing. Except, perhaps, the feeling of pain and fear. Sadly for him, modern day society is a peaceful one.

Plot: The plot isn’t that amazing, in fact it’s a bit stereotypical. That being said it’s helped by the fact that Vincent is a lot more cynical than Ace. That being said it’s not a bad story, but it could probably go through a couple revisions of editing to get some kinks out.

Characters: Ace and Vincent are the main characters, but the entire cast is pretty interesting, but not entirely original.

Overall: A quick, but fun read. That being said if you are looking for originality you will be disappointed somewhat.

For those who like: Urban Fantasy, Magic, LitRPGs, Drama, Action, Adventure.

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

 

Anime Sunday: Losers of Spring 2018

This week for Anime Sunday I’m back with a look at the series I didn’t find to be that great. It’s my Losers of Spring 2018!

Mahou Shoujo Ore: Now I did say last week that I found Hinamatsuri to be funny. I also mentioned how I find slapstick humor to sometimes be grating and sometimes not. The line that was crossed for me in the case of Mahou Shoujo Ore was the breaking of the 4th wall in the first few minutes of the show. I’m not generally a fan of that particular trope and it was one too many things for me to enjoy the show.

Caligula: This show was just confusing, and I had no desire to continue past the first episode that I watched. It might have gotten better in later episodes, although I’ve heard that it didn’t. Nevertheless it failed miserably in catching my attention.

That’s it for this week’s Anime Sunday. Were there any shows I missed that deserve to be on this list? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Anime Sunday: Winners of Spring 2018

I’m back with a look at the past season for this week’s Anime Sunday. It’s my Winners of Spring 2018!

Golden Kamuy: I enjoyed this series, excepting for the awkward usage of some 3DCG artwork, the series was entertaining on a whole. Whether you will enjoy it is something I can’t tell you, but you might.

Hinamatsuri: This series was oddball enough to make me laugh, but not so slapstick that I couldn’t enjoy the comedy. That can sometimes be a fine line for me, but Hinamatsuri managed to pull it off fairly well.

Series I didn’t get a chance to look at this season, but mean to do so sometime soonish:

Devil’s Line: Being an Urban Fantasy romance series, this might be interesting. Or it could totally disgust me. We’ll see. I may make a post on this series.

That’s it for this week’s Anime Sunday.