Bookish Wednesday: A Power Renewed by Robert W. Ross

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the first entry in an Urban Fantasy series I ran across recently. It’s A Power Renewed, Book 01 in the Sentinels of Creation series, by Robert W. Ross!

Plot Synopsis: Out of the smoldering ruins of the war in heaven Archangels Raphael and Michael cannot believe the agreement made between God and His Morning Star, Lucifer. Unwilling to either destroy the fallen Angel or leave him with a free hand upon the world, God sets in motion a struggle that will span the millennia from creation to present day. Two Sentinels are invested with the ability to bend the laws of creation to their will and each represents the primal forces of Order and Chaos…

Plot: The plot is pretty good, and it’s also filled with tons of pop culture references which is awesome. It’s not the best Urban Fantasy I’ve read, maybe touching on the quality of Jim Butcher’s work, but not nearly as good as The Demon Accords by John Conroe. Mostly because while the characters are snarky, they just don’t get the same quality and amount of snark out that even a single line of Lydia’s can bring to bear.

Characters: The entire cast is pretty interesting, and while I’m kind of sad that Michael is depicted as an asshole, angels are described that way in lots of the Old Testament. Kellen our main character is irreverent and witty, but it sometimes feel forced with him. The rest of the cast is okay as well, but there are times when I wanted them to stop spouting pop culture references and just get on with the tasks at hand.

Overall: A good, but not excellent, Urban Fantasy series. If you are needing an Urban Fantasy book to read, you could worse than A Power Renewed. You could also do better though.

For those who like: Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Time Travel, Magic, Good Plot, Interesting Cast of Characters.

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

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Anime Sunday: Magus’ Bride Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering my first look at a Manga series I covered a long time ago. It’s my Magus’ Bride Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: Hatori Chise is a lonely teenager who has no family and is shunned by society so she sells herself into slavery. During the auction numerous mages bid large sums of money for her, only for the auction to be interrupted by a strange mage named Elias Ainsworth who immediately outbids every other buyer by bidding 5 Million Pounds…

Plot: The plot is pretty dark, and really faithful to the original source material. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Characters: Chise and Elias are our two leads, and they are pretty interesting characters. Chise is incredibly somber and soft spoken due to her past, while Elias likes to do things with a flair. We don’t really get introduced to the rest of the cast in this episode.

Art: The art is pretty good, although not as good as a ufotable series.

Music: The music is pretty amazing, especially with the opening theme being performed by JUNNA who is a very talented young woman. If that name sounds familiar it’s probably because you’ve heard her sing as Mikumo Guynemer from Macross Delta.

Overall: A good adapatation, hopefully it stays true to the source material, although I wouldn’t mind seeing a happy ending.

For those who like: Urban Fantasy, Slice of Life, Drama, Romance, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Lead Characters, Awesome Musical Score.

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

TNT: Everyone Else is a Returnee Book 03 by Toika

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering the third book in Yu IlHans journey. It’s  Everyone Else is a Returnee Book 03 by Toika!

Plot Synopsis: Having overcome the Reaper that ambushed him in the Abandoned World, Yu IlHan returns back to Earth to work on his equipment in his forge. He receives a couple visitors, one expected and another unexpected, sort of…

Plot: This book moves the plot very quickly along, with plenty of battles to enjoy. I won’t say it’s there isn’t a boring “info dump” because there are some portions that could be called that, but that’s what you get for reading a LitRPG.

Characters: We get introduced to a couple new faces, but mostly it’s just people we know in this book. Of them all I quite enjoyed Lita’s portions.

Overall: A solid third entry, this also marks the first sixth of the book approximately.

Sensate Saturday: Fantasy is the Highest Form of Fiction

Hey all I’m back this week for Sensate Saturday with a quick essay on my feelings about Fantasy. Fantasy is the Highest Form of Fiction, in my opinion!

What do you mean highest form?: I mean that if Fantasy is done correctly it’s the best genre in all of fiction. It serves the purpose of literature to allow readers to experience things they otherwise couldn’t, and while many contemporary fiction books cover rare or hard to experience situations and events, they aren’t out of the reach of people, just costly or impractical, or illegal.

Why?: Well if Fantasy is done correctly than no other genre of fiction can really take you to completely alien worlds and cultures. I’ll point to any of Brandon Sanderson’s many Cosmere works as shining examples of what I’m talking about, and they are also my personal gold standard for judging any and all books. The Cosmere novels completely take you away to worlds that just don’t exist, and yet they make sense to us and we can easily relate to the characters. Not many authors can achieve the mastery of the genre as well as Sanderson, and the masterful way he comes up with complete worlds, with customs, cultures, religions, magic and many other things is truly spectacular. That isn’t even including his incredible pace for writing either.

Why isn’t (Insert other Genre here) as good as Fantasy?: Because if done correctly it’s still a world that is Earth, or a culture we can relate to because of it being distinctly “Terran”. That isn’t to say there aren’t masterworks in other genres, I’m not arrogant enough to believe that and I personally love many other books that just aren’t in the Fantasy genre. The Harry Bosch series is one of my favorite series of all time and yet it’s completely grounded in American culture. Connelly pulls off amazing mysteries, but they just aren’t as unique or otherworldly as stuff Brandon Sanderson writes.

This is all of course my opinion as is everything else I write and personally I’d love to read other’s thoughts on the matter. Do you agree or disagree with my claim that Fantasy is the Highest Form of Fiction? Leave your comments down below.

Anime Sunday: Youjo Senki Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering one last series from the Winter 2017 Season. It’s my Youjo Senki Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: Youjo Senki takes place in an alternate world’s version of World War I, but there are mages who take the place of aerial support instead of biplanes. In the Rhine there is one very young lieutenant who despite her incredibly young age is quickly gaining her foothold in this world. But there is something a little odd about her and her speech that makes her seem much older than she is…

Plot: The plot of this first episode is really intense, it’s pretty much nonstop action the entire time, and while there are some more low key sections in the episode they are only low key in the term that there isn’t any physical combat occurring. I really enjoyed this first episode and while I have yet to watch the entire season’s worth of episodes it will be watched in the next few days. However based on this first episode I’ll be incredibly surprised if I don’t love the hell out of it.

Characters: Tanya Degurechaff is our heroine, and she’s a feisty little girl who somehow ended up on the front lines in the Rhine theater. She’s not the typical heroine, and that’s all I’ll say about her. The rest of the cast is interesting as well, although Vicky is probably going to end up being my favorite side character.

Art: The art is excellent, by a studio I’ve never heard of NUT before. It was quite well done. I hope the quality sticks throughout the entire run of episodes.

Music: The music was equally as good, although we really didn’t get to hear the opening and ending themes I’m going to guess they are just as good.

Overall: This is definitely a must watch for any Anime fan. Although the subject matter is probably not appropriate for children so don’t watch with them.

For those who like: Fantasy, Military, War Fiction, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Amazing Artwork, Great Musical Score.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but really you ought to give this a chance.

Manga Monday: Black Torch by Takaki Tsuyoshi

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This week for Manga Monday I’ve got another Quick Review, although this is a very new series. It’s Black Torch by Takaki Tsuyoshi!

Plot Synopsis: As a descendant of shinobi, Azuma Jirou has been learning ninja techniques his entire life. But in addition to that, Jirou also has the ability to talk to animals. One day when he rescues a strange black cat named Ragou, he learns that the world is filled with spirits called mononoke that can take the form of both people and animals…

Plot: The plot of this first chapter was pretty awesome, and while there were tropes aplenty I didn’t really mind them. That being said some will probably be less excited, but personally I think this might just become a great series in the future. I’ll probably hold off on reading the second (and latest chapter) until there are a lot more chapters to read.

Characters: Jirou is a pretty interesting main character, he’s a pretty slick young man who seems to have his stuff together pretty well, although he is a bit arrogant. Ragou on the other hand is pretty snarky, which was fun. I hope he keeps that quality as the series continues, as I always enjoy snark.

Art: The art is excellent, but given that this is a Shueisha publication I expected nothing less.

Overall: Giving this a go ahead, though with the warning that it’s only got two chapters thus far.

For those who like: Urban Fantasy, Ninjas, Supernatural, Action, Adventure, Drama, Great Plot, Excellent Characters, Awesome Artwork.

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

Bookish Wednesday: Dancing with Flames by Susan Illene

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This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the sequel to Stalked by Flames! It’s Dancing with Flames by Susan Illene!

Plot Synopsis: Dragons are on the warpath. Two heroes will risk everything to protect the ones they love. Bailey Monzac slays dragons. Between her imperviousness to their flames and the training she received from the shape-shifter Aidan, Bailey can finally hold her own. When her ally is called away for clan business, the slayer must go solo to investigate a horrifying case of children being abducted by dragons. And the only way she can find them is by killing a whole lot of the fire-breathing beasts. Aidan’s father is dying. The pendragon will appoint a successor through a brutal competition, and Aidan may be the only one willing to play by the rules. Escaping with his life could be his toughest challenge yet.

Plot: After having become a full Dragon Slayer at the end of the first book, Bailey is now a full fledged badass, and she now knows that. This entry is pretty great as it expands on Aidan’s life with his clan, while we see Bailey deal with her own problems as a growing Dragon Slayer. I was thoroughly hooked to the series by the end of this book, so that should tell you something.

Characters: We get to meet a few new characters, but Phoebe is probably my favorite side character in this entry. She definitely has much more of a presence in this book than in the first. That all being said I found Aidan and Bailey to be my favorites overall.

Overall: An excellent sequel, this series has quickly risen to the upper reaches of my watch lists. For any Urban Fantasy fans, you’ll love this series.

For those who like: Urban Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Action, Drama, Romance, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

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