Capital Station

Capital Station

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The Courting of Life and Death

I went into this book completely blind, but what I found was something intriguing and definitely worth checking out! This is a gothic romance akin to classical novels (think Dracula, especially in terms of prose and style) with an interesting and rich lore surrounding death.

Pierre and Elizabeth are definitely a fascinating couple, but I'm not usually the type for romance novels. What really elevates this tale is the inclusion of death itself.I don't want to spoil too much, but I've often read books with death as a character and not enjoyed them, but the way the author weaves in the dialogue and lore is amazing and kept my interest long after I thought I wouldn't have any.

Speaking of dialogue--it's definitely where the writing shines for me. There are great turns of phrases in the narration, and it's beautiful, but I definitely prefer the interactions of the characters, the skillful use of words.

Overall, if you're a fan of classical novels, gothic romance, and great characters who play well together, you can't go wrong here. The first book is super short (didn't even realize until it was gone, lol) and the second book picks up nicely where the last left off.

Definitely worth checking out.


To Cross the Threshold

Skies of Arcadia meets Portal Fantasy

First off, this is a fun tale with lots of interesting characters. We have talking cats (the little naji, Ailuros) AND we have cat-like people (such as the quartermaster, Xander).

Joe, the main character, wakes on a "ship" and is a little confused at first. I love stories like this (portal fantasties are my jam) and the tale takes its time letting the reader get to know the crew, which is always fun.

There are lots of fun surprises (mild spoiler alert)--I thought they were on a normal sailing ship (or perhaps a submarine) but that's not the case. It's an airship flying high over Northern Lights. AND NOT ONLY THAT, this is a sci-fi style world with a red sun. The cover makes so much more sense once you realize this fact.

Grammar: English is the author's second language (as in the description) but that didn't stop me from understanding the tale. AND the author made a pretty great song/poem later in the story that's rather clever. Clearly, the author has a pretty good grasp on English. As long as you don't mind mildly awkward wording, you're good to go.

The characters are the highlight - the crew it likeable, and you want to see them sail the sky together (even the weird doctor who wanted to make pockets on someone's flesh, lol)

Overall, if you like the Skies of Arcadia, or a nice slice-of-life portal fantasy, you'll have a good time here!


Adventurer Book II: Dawn of an Empire [A tabletop mechanics LitRPG]

I went into this book without knowing much (as I hadn't read the first) but I was pleasantly surprised to find a well thought out Dungeons and Dragons style adventure.

(After having read some of the first book, everything makes even more sense, lol).

We're following Eric, a man who has found himself in a real-world table-top game, complete with charts and skills. He picks the name Ciresil after having discovered he's a sun elf vampire (which I thought was one of the most clever character combinations ever, lol). Apparently, this makes him like Blade, because this negates a lot of the vampire disadventages (such as not being able to go into the sunlight).

Again, super clever. I'm all for it.

He can also turn into a bat, which is a fun little side ability. Who doesn't love bats?

In book 2, Cire acquires the Chimera's Mane (a territory) and becomes lord of that domain. He gets the last name Eventide (which I have a special connection to) and then heads off for DnD style adventures, including interacting with the nearby Naga civilization.

I don't want to get into too many spoilers, so I'll say this: if you like DnD, you owe it to yourself to check out this series. It's obviously written with passion, dedication, and someone who loves the game just as much as you do.

Also, the clever use of powers, situations, and team dynamics is top notch. I liked the interactions, I enjoyed the journey, and all powers/charts are easy to understand. The author even includes maps. High quality stuff, right here.

Highly reommended.


The Invisible String

I have to say this is probably one of the most unique stories I've ever read. At first, I thought it was a meta-tale where the narrator would talk directly to the reader. Then it turned more into a regular story (that followed Syndesi and her sister Agape) but then it moved on to Ethan (and in first person).

Despite the many angles, the chapters are very short and easy to follow. One chapter we're baking cookies with the sisters, and the next we're in the hospital. I'm never confused when in the chapter, I'm just confused how all these chapters fit together to form one narrative whole.

I assume the author wants to highlight life and how minor things can bring people together (like the cookies) but the story hasn't quite reached it crescendo, so we'll have to wait and see. Overall, I think this story is more like poetry. If you like abstract word play and story telling, this is the tale for you. There are multiple characters, different angles to see things, and characters who are "growing up" before your eyes.

It's definitely a passion project. I can feel the love from the author, I just think it might not be for everyone. There aren't any dragons to slay here, let's just put it that way.


10,000BCE

First off, this has a similar vibe to the "Clan of the Cave Bear" only this time we have magic, spirits, and shamans. I enjoyed the "ancient" feeling of the setting, and I kinda wish there was more of it, lol

The opening chapter is of Fika and the death of her fellow shamans. It happens brutally and abruptly, but when I love is that we get to see a mischief spirit in action. Fika asks the spirit to help her out, but since its a creature of tricks, it kinda gets her in trouble, and then later makes her invisible (almost like its donking with everyone involved, lol). It was a great way to introduce the spirits and characters, and I loved the ability to see them clearly in my mind.

Later, we get to meet Gord and learn more about godmarked, including dream sequences with him speaking to his patron god. I thought that was interesting, and I can't wait to see more of it in the story. He also gets a "deformed bird" named Sleepy (who I think might be a dragon or a quatl? Something cool, for sure.)

The grammar was a little choppy, but not too bad. It never dragged me out of the story, but I didn't think a few word choices were questionable (and some names were too similar for my liking) but overall, it flowed really well!

The characters were definitely fun, and I want Fika to get revenge, for sure. It's too early in the plot to see if it happens, but I definitely want to see it.

Overall, if you like fantasy (or Clan of the Cave Bear) I'd give this whirl, for sure!


Mercenary Mage - Book One

So, if I could give a 6 or a 7 for characters, I would! Reeve (the main character) and Red (the IA) and Novu (the magical nanites? Brought to life? You have to read to see) are an amusing group of characters. From the very beginning of the story, I enjoyed Reeve, I enjoyed his time in the tech world, and I SUPER enjoyed his banter with the others.

The plot follows Reeve, a mage, as he's thrust into a sci-fi (litRPG-like) world. The status sheet and computer booting program screens are amusing (especially his mental status labeled as "confused" and "disbelieving") and the entire story has a mildly sarcastic vibe to it all.

The only flaws I would give to the story are the random grammatical errors (we all have them, some chapters in this more than others - nothing a good proofreader wouldn't catch) and the almost vague mystery of Reeve and what he's doing. Fortunately, the great character interactions carry this entire story along. Even if there isn't a clear destination, I'm totally in the car next to them, waiting for the next funny thing they'll say.

I had a ton of fun reading this, and I wish there had been more chapters for me to consume.

This story is definitely worth your time.


Bonespore

So, I have to say that I love school animes. The class dynamics, and lots of personalities in the same place, are right up my alley. If you love academy settings as well, this is just for you!

First off, I love the cast of characters. Tommy with his odd sickness, Jaiga with her rich-ness, and the newcomers who may or may not be too arrogant for words, are all great when they're interacting together doing "magical academy business."

The chapters are set up well, and I like that Tommy comes across as a badass with a problem. We learn more about the world in dynamic ways.

The grammar is a little rough (missing commas, wrong capitalization, etc.) and it did pull me a bit out of the story, but it's nothing a proofreader couldn't fix.

The style of the story (in one word) is: verbose. There are several sentences that use a lot of words when just a few would do. OR sentences that use thesaurus words when simpler ones would allow us into the story faster. Example:

“It was at this moment that an epiphany manifested in the crevices of his mind, one that awakened long repressed memories.” 

“The tintinnabulation seeped in the atmosphere.”

If you like writing that involves unique words or verbose sentences, this is the story for you. It’s written this way throughout, and definitely gives the tale its own “style” it’s just not my personal cup of tea.

Otherwise, it was fun, I enjoyed the romp through the magical academy, and I can’t wait to see more of Tommy and Jaiga (and maybe Lucius, too, lol).


Saga of Steel and Bone (Ashes & Phoenix)

This is definitely a slow burn character drama (think Citizen Kane meets Jekyll and Hyde).

The story follows a werewolf-like individual who is often refered to as "Kursk Scum" or some version of "Kursk." (But his real name is Roland, though he keeps it hidden for the most part)). The MC is no shifter--he's more a Beast with a werewolf like appearance (or straight wolf) when transformed. The MC wants to roam the wilds and be free, but the story cleverly starts with an attack on his home.

Immediately, we're thrown into a world of captivity. The warnings on the tale are accurate! A lot of messed up stuff happens to Roland and his family. For several chapters its a trek to the slave pits, and Roland's captors are vicious and just straight evil.

This is definitely the type of tale you want to emmerse yourself in and not get up to do something else. It has its own atmosphere and tone, and the writing is actually quite good. Lots of instresting descriptions for the environment (and emotional state). I like that Roland never truly gives up, and that he's willing to save those around him.

I definitely wanted Roland to bite a fool at some point, or generally fight someone with unbridled rage, but this isn't that kind of story. It's more about keeping hope in bleak situations and protecting the people you love.

Roland has some amazing internal dialogue with himself (speaking to "the wolf" so to speak, about how he should act) and I honestly wish there was more of that!) Really enjoyed that part. It was rather clever.

So far, this is a great tale if you're into character drama.

There are a few grammar mistakes, but they're mostly capitaliztion issues, which never pulled me out of the stroy (I just noted them because I'm insane). This is super easy reading.

I recommend.


The Harmless Sweetie is Far From Harmless [CANCELLED, REWROTE IT IN ANOTHER BOOK}

I thought with a title like this, the main character wouldn't find too much trouble. To my delight, there are a lot of interesting events! First off, I like that the main character (Clailip) tries so hard. Even when he's first learning offensive magic (and combines the dew and gust abilities) he's trying his best--and I love that in characters, even if they're not as kick-butt as all the others. Clailip's magic seems greater than the others, but in a subtle way.

I also really liked the first appearance of the snake, and how it helped out. Definitley had me chuckling the entire time.

Oh! I also liked the frequent use of golems. They're one of my favorite fantasy creatures, and they don't get enough love. (Also loved some of the abilities, like the mist spear).

As for the grammar--there is a frequent misuse of present tense and past tense throughout. This could easily be fixed with an editor or proofreader, though. While it did distract me at a couple points in the story, I could march through and still have fun. If you enjoy sweet characters, and scenes that will have you guessing what happens next, I definitely recommend this.