Late Night at Lund's
Book 1 - Late Night at Lund's is available for sale on Amazon.
Book 2: The Lockwood Quest continues the story!
A dental hygienist walks into a bar.....
Dental hygienist Isa Chamberlin thought the biggest challenge in her life was getting over a messy breakup, but when she pops into a new neighborhood bar, she finds herself in a different world, one filled with wizards, spells, and monsters. Join Isa as she explores unfamiliar surroundings, uncovers new skills, and learns to level. Magic and monsters, allies and enemies, romance and danger, all of it just on the other side of a simple door.
"Wear these bracers with pride.” the half-orc slid first one bracer and then the other over Isa’s forearms. “Fight with your heart,” he said as he pulled the laces tight. “And come back with a story to tell. That is what an adventurer does.” .......
Thank you for reading, and if you like the story, please rate and review. Isa and I would both like to level up!
This story uses the 5th Edition Open Gaming License for game mechanics. I roll dice for combat outcomes and all skill checks.... which is sometimes surprising!
One side note - I don't have a "sexual content" tag on - this is more romance than romp. But that might change!
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Late Night at Lund's (henceforth abbreviated as LNL) is a recent addition to RRL, and one of the works that I binge read within a day.
I'll start with an easy one, Grammar
I'm giving this a 4.5, but a 5 here is easily warranted. There are a few too many sentences that had an error or were disjointed or wrong for a perfect score. Do note that this still leaves LNL incredibly good, and I'm probably even making this up as I've been reading it at 2AM. Case in point, nigh perfect, minor errors, nothing a proofreader couldn't fix in 10 minutes.
This one's a bit of a doozy. The narration sometimes goes all over the place. There is insufficient differentiation between narration, monologue, and thoughts, and it has made a couple of sentences and paragraphs messy where they were mashed together. Perhaps it is just me, or because I'm orienting this based on past experiences and advice I've personally received from other writers, but I found that annoying on more than one occasion.
As for the narration itself, it can suffer from being too wide on one shot and too narrow on the other, but I don't think that's as big of a complaint. The author has decided which things are worth being investigated (heh) more and which fell into the background, and that's alright.
This feels like a D&D campaign, and it should, all things considered. However, some of the dialogue and descriptions were glossed over or hurried through, while some monologue, especially on the morality axis of the things, were repeated throughout. While I agree that the latter is important, some key scenes felt lacking because the dialogue felt rushed, misleading, or just flat-out dropped. While this may, of course, be a part of storytelling where more information could be relevant later, as is the example with the name in the latest chapter (66), it felt lacking at times to have subjects and matters dropped (both into and out) for no apparent reasoning.
The characters should be the driving force of the story, and they feel like they are, with a few blips along the way. They are believable, flawed in their own way, and have their own reasons for being a part of the story (albeit some of those fall under the story fallacy mentioned above).
Perhaps this review is too early to be telling of how LNL turns out, but I'll be reading it nevertheless, and it may change should the need arise.
I'm giving this fiction a 5. Yes, my other scores don't quite add up, but the story itself is greater than the sum of its parts.
“Why does this never happen to me?”
That was my four-year-old daughter watching a show where a girl is pulled into a magical world and becomes a fairy. I laughed to myself at the whimsical wishes of youth.
Now jump a head a few months. I find myself riveted by Beth Lyons Late Night at Lund’s, the story of a young woman who finds herself transported to a fantastical world after having played a session of Dungeons and Dragons. At the age of thirty-five, I find myself thinking, “Why couldn’t this happen to me?!” Evidently, whimsical thoughts are not limited to toddlers.
That thought is a testament to the unique and refreshing story Beth Lyons has created. Even more astounding is the fact that she has managed to capture what makes D&D so enjoyable, something that doesn’t often translate well into books and movies. She has captured the fun and escapism that makes a successful D&D session so enjoyable.
That said, Late Night at Lund’s is more than just simple escapism and one need not have played Dungeons and Dragons to appreciate the story that is unfolding. Lyons is adept at creating believable characters that readers are eager to return to with each release. The humor is outstanding and well balanced with issues of love, loss, and finding oneself alone in a foreign land, far outside of comfort zones. The pacing is consistently solid, letting the story unfold as it will and masterfully revealing details and backstories as the chapters progress. This is storytelling at its finest.
Lyons writes, “A bard is a spellcaster, entertainer, musician poet. She can dazzle you, blind you, move you, hurt you, heal you. She can make you see things that aren’t there, miss things that are. A bard will stab you in the kidney with a blade and in the heart with a song.” If she hasn’t played D&D as a bard, she’s missed her calling.
For any reader looking for something fresh and entertaining, I can’t recommend Late Night at Lund’s enough. Until this reader slips into a realm of Dungeons and Dragons with my own magical character sheet, I will be returning to Lund’s.
Well written, but the whole experience is ruined by the lead.
Finding herself in a weird situation, and having the luck of finding someone that can help her and give information, she bitches, moans, and acts like a headless chiken. And she has the gall to consider herself someone that "analyses the situation and likes to ponder".
And this is just an example.
This is written in a style that suggests she's a real 28 years old person. Noppe. No one is that dense.
Unless she is supposed to be the caricature of an insecure gender study vegan "feelings over thinking" entitled brat. But even then, even as a caricature, she's just insufferable.
Hoping that your main character gets mauled by chapter 4 is not a good sign
great storytelling and characters. solid and comforting (to those of us who are long time D&D players) thanks for this.
The flow and polish of this story stands out from the get go as being beyond what I normally expect. I eagerly look forward to getting to know the characters, as how this world developes. The dungeons and dragons angle is interesting as well. I am hooked enough that I will be reviewing the srd while spamming the refresh button in the hopes of new chapters. A late night indeed!
BethLyons has a literary goldmine in my humble opinion. The story is very very good so far, good characters, and background, not to mention funny as all get out. Isa is smart and ignorant at the same time, the world she finds herself in is worlds away from what she knows and is coping the best she can. The other characters in this story are great and colorful, helpful and infuriating too. It is very well written and I am looking forward to reading more. :D CHEERS
I've only read the first book as of writing this review, but I have high hopes for the second after a very enjoyable first book. I found the main character Isa likable and generally enjoyed the tone and atmosphere of the story. While some characters seemed a bit aggressive in their social interactions, I felt it was believable considering possible personal and cultural differences between different planes. Isa felt like a real person and acted realistically, there was also a good mixture of positive and negative interactions with the denizens of Varana. Only some battle encounters seemed farfetched, but that's just normal for D&D campaigns.
As an avid D&D player and DM I didn't find the premise of playing the story out or the protocoll chapters after big fights jarring, though I can see that most readers likely wouldn't enjoy them.
My only real critique would be about some of the chapter transitions. At the end of some chapters (mostly at the beginning of the book) something has happened and the chapter ends. The next chapter starts with Isa waking up the next morning. Nothing happened in between but I missed a finalizing sentence like "She went to bed afterwards." Since my expectations for that were not met I went back to the last chapter a few times because I thought I had skipped a chapter.