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.
This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a game that very few people remember now a days. It’s Bloody Roar!
Plot Synopsis: The game’s story centers on a group of warriors known as “zoanthropes”, who have the power to transform into half-human half-animal “Beasts”, and the Tylon Corporation, an underground organization that seeks to use zoanthropes as mind-controlled weapons.
Plot: The plot was decent enough for a fighting game, but it wasn’t anything amazing either. Average would be the best word for it. I’ve played games with worse stories though, so at least this has a semi decent premise.
Gameplay: The gameplay was pretty fun, even if I only button mashed at the time, I was a kid, bite me. The main draw of the game was to morph into each character’s animalistic forms to deal more damage, allow more moves, and be even more of a badass in general. The cast was pretty fun, although this being the first game in the series the character list to select from was fairly small.
Art: The art was great for the time, but it’s aged poorly like most 3D games do.
Overall: This is a great game, if you get the chance to play it do so. It’ll give you an hour or two of good fun.
For those who like: Weres, Fighting Games, Action.
This week for Sensate Saturday I’m covering another One-Shot! It’s Dear Wolf by Asagiri Yu!
Plot Synopsis: Rino hates dogs, and is afraid of them. One full moon night, she finds out that her crush, Misaki, is really a werewolf. And that same night nearby, a janitor was found dead and covered with marks from claws and teeth.
Plot: The plot is okay, but it’s really not that great. Honestly not surprised that it never got a serialization due to how cliche and unimaginative it is.
Characters: Misaki isn’t a bad main character, but he’s very shallow. Rino isn’t any better either really. The rest of the very small cast is also fairly bad.
Art: The only decent thing about Dear Wolf was it’s art, and it’s not that amazing either.
Overall: Skip this unless you really love Romance series and need a quick read due to absolute boredom.
For those who like: Romance, Drama, Fantasy, Slice of Life, School Life, Mystery.
This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the third entry in the Kitty Norville Series. It’s Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn!
Plot Synopsis: After getting caught turning wolf on national television, Kitty retreats to a mountain cabin to recover and write her memoirs. But this is Kitty, so trouble is never far behind, and instead of Walden Pond, she gets Evil Dead.
Plot: The plot in this entry is pretty intense after the first 30 minutes or so, which is a welcome relief. It also is probably the turning point of the series, but I won’t say why, as that’d spoil the book. However it’s a welcome thing in my eyes.
Characters: We don’t get many newcomers in this book, though Ariel is probably the most interesting of them. The rest of the newcomers are good, but Ariel definitely steals the show in that respect. Cormac and Ben show up as well, which is great because I love both their characters quite a bit. Kitty gets to be pretty snarky herself, which is great after the first two books.
Overall: An excellent entry in a great series, definitely worth a read after finishing the first two books.
This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the first book in a series I came across just a week or two ago. It’s Written in Red, Book 01 of the Others series, by Anne Bishop!
Plot: Humans grew and flourished, and gradually expanded from their humble beginnings, but once they reached the borders of the lands they inhabited they learned that there were other sentient beings on Namid, and everywhere else was their land. Wars were fought, sometimes humans won, but mostly the Others won. Humans crossed the Atlantik and settled Thaysia, only to incur the wrath of the Others living there and die. Until the third time this happened, when the human settler’s leader brought things to trade with the Others in order to lease the land. This pleased the Others and they agreed to let humans live on their land, but it was an uneasy peace. Now hundreds of years later, once more the tension has begun to build between Humans and the Others. Now a young woman named Meg Corbyn is on the run from a fellow human and she stumbles into a place where even she’s not sure she’ll live the next minute, land called a Courtyard run by the Others in order to keep humans to their bargain from long ago.
Plot: I just summed up the first 15 minutes of the book, and while I won’t go spoiling it, I will say that this is one of the best Urban Fantasy books I’ve read in the last six months. It’s enthralling and wonderfully well done. It takes a world where instead of Humanity being the dominant predator, we were only the second from the top, which was a really interesting concept.
Characters: I think of all the characters I enjoyed Chester and Winter the most, but I loved almost all the characters. Simon might be gruff, but I still like him, and Meg is wonderfully innocent, a trait in a main female lead that is rather intriguing. She’s not really a damsel in distress, but she’s not some badass like Gin Blanco.
Overall: This is an excellent start to an Urban Fantasy series.
For those who like: What Ifs, Urban Fantasy, Weres, Vampires, Drama, Action, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.
This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the fourth entry in the Jane Yellowrock series. It’s Raven Cursed by Faith Hunter!
Plot Synopsis: The vampires of Asheville, North Carolina, want to establish their own clan, but since they owe loyalty to the Master Vampire of New Orleans they must work out the terms with him. To come up with an equitable solution, he sends an envoy with the best bodyguard blood money can buy: Skinwalker Jane Yellowrock.
Plot: The plot is intense from pretty much the first sentence till the end. I was surprised at how much occurred in this book. That all being said it’s not one of my favorite entries, probably because Agi One-Feather and Bruiser aren’t very present for this book. Bruiser in particular is quickly becoming a favorite character of mine.
Characters: We get to meet some new faces, of whom Adelaide Mooney is probably my favorite. Lots of old favorites like the B twins show up and so does Angie and Molly. Sadly G isn’t present at all during this book either which along with Bruiser being mostly absent is a bummer. G is quite snarky and I enjoy him quite a bit as well.
Overall: This is a solid entry in the series, but lacks some of the more colorful characters we’ve met in previous books.
This week for Manga Monday I’m covering a fairly funny series. It’s Blood Lad by Yuuki Kodama!
Plot Synopsis: Blood Lad follows Staz Charlie Blood, a vampire from the surreal “Demon World” who avoids attacking humans unlike his ancestors. One day, he becomes excited when Fuyumi Yanagi, an ordinary girl accidentally wanders into the Demon World through a portal.
Plot: It’s a fun ride, because of it’s hilariously unexpected plot twists. I won’t say anymore, but it is quite funny.
Characters: Staz is a lazy bones, but he’s pretty neat for a main lead. Fuyumi is also pretty interesting, but her circumstances make the series. The rest of the cast is quite good.
Art: Nothing super amazing, but not bad at all. It’s good, just nothing that makes it stand out.
Overall: This might be for you, if you can stand the comedy.
For those who like: Comedy, Action, Oddball Plots, Excellent Cast of Characters.