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.

Bookish Wednesday: Stalked by Flames by Susan Illene

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This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the first entry in a series I found recently. It’s Stalked by Flames, Book 01 of the Dragon’s Breath series, by Susan Illene!

Plot Synopsis: Bailey Monzac has just graduated college and is leaving town for her parents’ ranch in Texas when a massive earthquake unleashes the unthinkable on the world: fire-breathing dragons. Chaos erupts as people flee for their lives…

Plot: The plot of this first book was pretty awesome and had me hooked after the first chapter. I found the switching between points of view between the two leads, Bailey and Aiden to be very interesting. It gave great insight to their respective perspectives. The plot wasn’t Sanderson quality amazing, but it wasn’t far below that.

Characters: Bailey is a kick ass female lead, something that longtime readers of my columns will know I always enjoy. Aiden on the other hand is a pretty awesome male lead, but not quite what I was expecting either. The rest of the cast is pretty great as well, Conrad was my favorite of the side characters.

Overall: This is an excellent Post-Apocalyptic Urban Fantasy series, that will satisfy lovers of either genre.

For those who like: Post-Apocalyptic, Urban Fantasy, Dragons, Magic, Great Plot, Excellent Cast of Characters.

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

Bookish Wednesday: Dragon Mystics by Jaymin Eve

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This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the sequel to Dragon Marked. It’s Dragon Mystics by Jaymin Eve!

Plot Synopsis: When the formidable power of Jessa Lebron’s mark was unleashed, during her impulsive foray into Vanguard, the American supernatural prison, she learned the truth. She’s a dual shifter: wolf, and as an added bonus, dragon – of the fluffy persuasion. Yep, she’s one special cupcake.  Now, pursued by the Four, powerful hunters of the dragon marked, she has no choice but to run. At least she has her impossibly gorgeous and infuriating best friends by her side, the Compass quads. Not only are they powerful and hella useful in a fight, but most of the time they’re also semi-entertaining too.

Plot: The plot of this entry wasn’t as good as the first, in fact it was pretty troperific. It had so many stereotypes pop up that I was actually really annoyed by the end of the book. I’m still debating whether I’ll listen to the final book after how bad this entry was.

Characters: We get introduced to a couple new people, but mostly it focuses on the people we knew from Book 01. The newcomers were all pretty annoying to me for the most part.

Overall: A pretty mediocre sequel, you may want to pass on it.

Bookish Wednesday: Dragon Marked by Jaymin Eve

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This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the first in a series I stumbled across recently in my local library. It’s Dragon Marked, Book 01 of the Supernatural Prison series, by Jaymin Eve!

Plot Synopsis: There are supernatural prisons hidden across the globe. Contained within these fortresses are some of the deadliest criminals from the five supernatural races: vampire, shifter, fey, magic users and demi-fey. Jessa Lebron, twenty-two, has spent her entire life in Stratford, Connecticut, one of the gateway towns adjoining these prisons which protect the fortified borders. She’s a wolf shifter, and her father leads the town council. She learns that much of her life has been hidden from her, secrets which threaten to tear apart the very fabric of her world. Especially the biggest secret of them all.

Plot: The plot is fairly good, it’s nothing like Sanderson levels of amazing, but it’s hundreds of times better than something like Twilight. This all being said I had a fun time with this book and I’m looking forward to enjoying the rest of the series.

Characters: The cast of characters is pretty interesting, although my favorite is probably Jessa because of her take no bullshit attitude. That being said the Compass brothers are pretty awesome too. The rest of the cast is great, although there are some things that could probably be improved with some of the other side characters.

Overall: This was a fairly fun book, probably a great read for young adult readers. More mature readers may find it less appealing.

For those who like: Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Magic, Vampires, Dragons, Shapeshifters, Fae, Good Plot, Interesting Cast of Characters.

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