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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TNT: Only Sense Online Volume 05 by Aloha Zachou

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering a series I haven’t covered in over a year! It’s Only Sense Online Volume 05 by Aloha Zachou!

Plot: The plot is much less action oriented in this volume sadly, and while that does fit this series well, it will turn away those who are looking for more action in a series that sometimes lacks it quite a bit. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the short action sequences were very lackluster and don’t really involve our heroine Yun. That said it’s definitely a more “fluffy” series like Kuma Kuma Kuma, but some may not enjoy it.

Characters: We don’t get any newcomers in this entry in the series, and it mostly reintroduces us to some people we didn’t see much of in the past volume. It was an okay entry, but short on character development.

Overall: An okay entry, but light on the action.

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!

Serial Saturday: The Dragon Within Book 01 by SlyOkami

Hey all I’m back with a series the author of Our Chaoz; Our Reality requested me to review. It’s  The Dragon Within Book 01 by SlyOkami!

Plot: The plot is a lot darker than OC:OR, and while that’s a good thing for a lot of readers I don’t particularly enjoy it all that much myself. This is a personal issue that ties into my own psyche and how I immerse myself into stories I enjoy. Frankly while the story is quite good in my opinion, I won’t be continuing with the series until it’s finished as I’m hoping for a happy ending to the entire story. One thing I will say is that this series takes place in the same universe as OC:OR so some things will be familiar for those who read that series.

Characters: Our main character is Erik, and he’s a bit of an asshole at the beginning of the story. By the end of this first book I actually enjoyed him as a character. However my favorite character is probably Thea, because she’s got very good depth as a character and I enjoy her personality and what she does for Erik. The rest of the cast is equally good as well, but for me the stars are Thea and Erik.

Grammar: There are occasional small issues, but for the most part this is easily readable and not hard on the eyes at all like some of the other stuff you’ll find online written by novice authors.

Overall: A good book, and series. If you enjoyed the darker parts of Our Chaoz; Our Reality you’ll love The Dragon Within.

For those who like: Fantasy, Magic, Dragons, Great Plot, Awesome Characters, Good Grammar.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or Darker Fantasy.