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Showing posts from 2022

REVIEW: DRAGON AGE: THE SILENT GROVE (DRAGON AGE GRAPHIC NOVELS #1)

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A king and his rogues... THE SILENT GROVE  is a graphic novel set in the universe of the   DRAGON AGE video games that I'd picked up at a local comic shop a while ago, mostly because they didn't have what I was looking for and I like the Dragon Age franchise. HOW I RATED IT  3/5  Everything about this was just fine. The art, the story, the characters are perfectly serviceable, but I ultimately found this to be just okay as a tie-in story to the DRAGON AGE video game universe.  CHARACTERS This story stars three highly recognizable characters from the games: Alistair, Varric, and Isabela which is an interesting trio to say the least even though Varric and Isabela were both party members in DRAGON AGE 2 . One thing I will praise is that the writers did a good job of establishing each of them for readers who may not have played through the games which is a nice touch (even though other aspects are less accessible to newcomers). Where I think the characters falter is that there is

JULY READS

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The month of July was an uncharacteristically good reading month for me in terms of the variety and volume of things I was able to read through (though one or two of these were started in June) so I thought it might be fun to rank everything I managed to read under the very subjective criteria of how much I enjoyed each of them.  1. KINSLAYER (THE LOTUS WARS #2) This was a 4/5 for me A fun, fantasy sequel to STORMDANCER , this one picks up almost right where the first began and manages to expand on the original (and somewhat controversial) story in some interesting ways by evolving the politics of the world and expanding the cast of characters. The slowness caused by the constantly rotating lineup of POVs in the middle section of the book, increase in grotesque/graphic content, and Yukiko's relative irrelevance to the majority of the core plot did hamper my enjoyment of this anime-like fantasy epic, but I found it to be an engaging adventure overall.  Full review here 2. SURVIVING

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY: DIGITARUM

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DIGITARUM  is my debut science fiction and fantasy novel about a world filled with immortal deities who create and live in it among the common people that they make in their image. The story is written in the style of old myths and legends and takes inspiration from mythologies across multiple cultures. If that sounds like your kind of thing, you can potentially win a free Kindle copy of the book by entering in a Goodreads Giveaway below from now until August 20th, 2022. 100 copies of this Kindle edition will be given out once the Giveaway closes. Good luck to anyone who enters! Enter the Giveaway Here! Goodreads Book Giveaway Digitarum by Derek Bailey Giveaway ends August 20, 2022. See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter Giveaway or Check it out on  Amazon .

MINI REVIEW: SURVIVING THE ZOMBIE OUTBREAK

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If Z-Day ever arrives... I believe I'd originally received this as a Yankee Swap gift back in college and while I had glanced at it before, I've never read it cover to cover.  While perhaps not the most tasteful book selection given the current climate, I've been trying to move through all the books I already own before I allow myself to get any new ones and this seemed like a quick hit on this list. 4/5  Although I really just picked this up so that I could skim through it and then donate it to free up shelf space, I actually ended up enjoying this a lot more than I anticipated and I think this will be staying in my collection for a while to come.  Structured as a mock survival manual, this tells the story of a zombie outbreak and provides instructions on how to survive it. What probably surprised me most is that I expected it to be much zanier when it came to the zombie humor, but that ended up being oddly dry. What I found to be most engaging were the parts that seemed t

REVIEW: THE SEA

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A memory as dark and turbulent as the ocean... THE SEA is a beautifully written piece of literary fiction that I sadly just found to be an empty and ultimately meaningless read. HOW I RATED IT  2/5  In spite of being truly inspired by the beauty in Banville's writing, I just had too many issues with too many aspects of this novel to recommend it to anyone with similar tastes to myself.  CHARACTERS This is the first and perhaps most important area in which THE SEA fell flat for me. The main character just wasn't someone I felt at all emotionally connected to even though the story is told through a near-continual stream of his intimate thoughts and memories. I am hesitant to share his name since I honestly do not know if it is a spoiler or not given that I don't think it's provided until about a quarter of the way into the book and even then there's a lot of weirdness about it (I'll just call him MC for review purposes). This was probably the least of my issues

MINI REVIEW: EVERLASTING APPLE

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Want a bite?... To start off, I honestly cannot remember if I received a copy of this story for free, bought it, won it, or just picked it up during a promotion. It's been sitting on my Kindle for a long time now and since I wasn't really loving my main read at the moment, I decided to give myself a break with this piece of short fiction. 3/5  Overall, this provided the fun little break that I was hoping for. It's creative, fast paced, and I appreciated how it was split up into chapters even though it was already so short. The premise is an interesting one as it puts the poison apple (maybe from Snow White, maybe not, the parallels are evident at least) to center stage. The apple is far more powerful than you might guess though, taking on a sort of supernatural sentience with some surprising powers that manifest gradually throughout the book. There is a family line tasked with watching over it since it cannot be left unattended and it cannot be destroyed. I found the idea o

REVIEW ROUNDUP: THE FOREVERS

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INTRODUCTION  THE FOREVERS is an odd series I discovered while wandering around a local comic book shop. The strange art style and mysterious premise grabbed me as well as the fact that the series is pretty new. It's probably a little outside of my usual comfort zone as far as language and overall mood are concerned,but I'm giving the series a chance in the hopes that I've found something different and  special. Update:   I originally published this post on 4/20/17, but then never came back to finish of the roundup. Years later, I randomly realized that while I did pick up the remaining three issues from my the local comics shop I used to live near (I had the series on a pull list), I never read them. I was probably discouraged because the owner of the shop told me that the series got cancelled, which isn't totally true since it does have an ending, so it seemed like it was deliberately concluded, not necessarily cancelled mid-run. Now, I am happy to have finished the

REVIEW: KINSLAYER (THE LOTUS WAR BOOK 2)

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The Lotus must burn... Bloodier and more explicit than the first entry into this trilogy, KINSLAYER delivers on a dark, epic fantasy adventure that fumbles around slightly before picking up steam in it's third and final act.  4/5 Although I loved the first part of the trilogy, a meandering plot, unnecessarily gruesome moments, and perhaps a maturity in my own social awareness have dampened what I still find to be a really enjoyable story with an engaging cast of core characters.  SETTING/WORLD The way that this dystopian society is (very) loosely based around Japan has been a polarizing factor for many readers. For clarity, the setting is actually a fictitious country called Shima, but the ties to real-life Japan are undeniable in the way that various Japanese words, salutations, and names of weapons and clothing are used throughout the story. Personally, I enjoy that this isn't yet another fantasy world set in a vaguely Western European setting. I also love the steampunk eleme

ANNOUNCING THE VOIDWALKER COLLECTION AND GOODREADS GIVEAWAY

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THE VOIDWALKER NOVELLAS  is a series of eight episodic novellas that I recently finished up releasing on Kindle. Now that all eight books are available, I am releasing a special collected edition that is available in Paperback, Hardcover, and Kindle formats. With the release of this collection, I am also initiating a Goodreads giveaway for 100 Kindle copies of THE VOIDWALKER COLLECTION. Enter the Giveaway Here! Goodreads Book Giveaway The Voidwalker Collection by Derek Bailey Giveaway ends July 01, 2022. See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter Giveaway or Check it out on Amazon . You can also check out the full series here

REVIEW: LEGION: THE MANY LIVES OF STEPHEN LEEDS

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When having imaginary friends is a superpower... Stephen Leeds lives a wild existence filled with dangers both real and imagined. HOW I RATED IT  5/5  Fun, snappy, and semi-serialized, LEGION: THE MANY LIVES OF STEPHEN LEEDS is a must-have collection of three episodic novellas. CHARACTERS Stephen Leeds is the main character of all three novellas in this collection, but to say that he is a complex and dynamic character would probably be an understatement. Right from the beginning, we are told that he sees people who aren't real, at least not to anyone beside Stephen. He calls them his "aspects" and each comes with their own special function as a repository of knowledge or skills that he can draw upon during the different cases he takes on as a private investigator. These aspects all have names, backstories, and personalities distinct enough where I found myself getting just as attached to aspects like Ivy, Tobias, and J.C. as any of the "real" characters. Of the

THE VOIDWALKER FINALE!

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THE VOIDWALKER NOVELLAS  is a series of eight episodic novellas that follow a character named Bryan through a dark fantasy thriller. The first two entries into the series were released back in 2016, but I didn't market them at all or even seek out any reviews since I had to step away from the project almost immediately after those titles launched. Years later, the rest of the books have been launching every Wednesday. On June 1, 2022, the eight and final novella releases on Kindle. To celebrate the launch date for this final entry I am making the first three books in the series available for free!  Dark Horizon :  on sale now In celebration of this launch, the first two novellas free all day on 2/27/22. Definitely check those out and maybe give them a download while they are up for grabs.  The Manor of My Dreams:   free 6/1 Paradise's Vexation:   free  6/1 Dark Horizon :  free 6/1

REVIEW: IMMORTAL: CURSE OF THE DEATHLESS

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When being un-killable isn't as fun as you think it would be... IMMORTAL: CURSE OF THE DEATHLESS is a truly unique and sometimes excessively gruesome dark fantasy adventure through different realms and planes of existence.  HOW I RATED IT  3.5/5  While this work of indie fiction as a lot going for it, this is one adventure that is definitely not going to be well-suited to everyone.  PLOT/TONE The overarching tone of this novel is something that is really setting it apart from a lot of traditionally published fiction in this genre. The author weaves juvenile slang and catchphrases into prose that is decidedly more adult to create this sort of intentional tonal inconsistency that some readers are going to love and others will likely despise. For me, I thought the tone shifts helped keep things from getting too grim as there is quite a lot of content here that would have been quite bleak and hard to get through without some comic relief. On the other hand though, the main character&#