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review 2019-07-15 03:33
Defeating the Demon Lord's a Cinch (If You've Got a Ringer), Vol. 1 (book) by Tsukikage, illustrated by bob, translated by Alex Kerwin
Defeating the Demon Lord's a Cinch If You've Got a Ringer, Vol. 1 - Ken Tsukikage,Bob

Note: Don't read the character data section at the end of the book until you've finished the novel. There are at least a couple major spoilers.

Naotsugu Toudou is a hero summoned from another world (more than likely ours) to defeat the Demon Lord Kranos. Only the hero has the necessary divine protection required to defeat the Demon Lord, but others may accompany and aid him. All heroes start off at the lowest level and have to work their way up from there. Theoretically, the hero's party members should all be high level, but this party is...different.

Limis Al Friedia is a Level 10 elemental mage who can only use fire magic, even though all elemental mages are supposed to be able to use two different elements. Aria Rizas is a Level 20 swordmaster who recently switched to a completely different school of swordsmanship. Also, even though higher level techniques require at least a little magic, Aria has absolutely no magical ability. (It isn't until nearly the end of the book that readers are finally told that the maximum level for humans is probably 100. I don't consider this to be a spoiler, so I'm mentioning it here for context.)

Ares Crown, the priest assigned to be the group's healer, is the only one with any battle experience. In fact, his level is so high that he worries the rest of the group might use him as a crutch, so he lies and says his level is only 3, the last digit of his true level. He somehow has to get everyone in the party leveled up as soon as possible and keep Nao alive long enough to defeat the Demon Lord, no easy task considering that Nao soon becomes convinced that Ares' assistance is unnecessary.

In terms of flow and general readability this was one of the better light novels I've tried. I never got bored or bogged down by the writing. The battle scenes were relatively easy to follow, and I blew through the whole book much faster than I expected I would. I enjoyed Ares' crankiness, and his "keep moving forward and make the best of the crappy hand you've been dealt" attitude really worked for me.

That said, this book missed the mark in a lot of important ways. For starters, the cover art/title led me to believe that this was going to be a bit lighter and more ridiculous than it actually was. I figured that Ares would be the put-upon healer constantly saving his party members from certain death while the idiots kept obliviously charging forward. There was a little of that, but the brutality and bloodshed kept it from being the light read I expected.

At one point, Ares stumbled upon the aftermath of a fight in a tavern. An aggressive mercenary had freaked Nao out, and, as a result, Nao accidentally maimed nearly everyone in the building. Nao then ran off, basically leaving everyone to die, and only Limis knew that Ares then healed everyone and hushed the whole thing up. This incident was never mentioned again and seemed to make zero impact on Nao. In fact, a short while later, Nao came across a seriously injured monster (secretly injured by Ares, who was hoping Nao would kill it and thereby manage to level up a bit more) and, horrified, said that whoever had hurt it so badly and left it like that must be a monster. There were multiple times in the book where Ares wondered whether Nao was unstable, and I have to say that I wondered that myself. This particular volume provided no answers.

Ares was not a nice guy, and he definitely wasn't a devout priest, but he was absolutely a professional. He did his job, no matter how much the people around him pissed him off. The book included several brutal multi-page scenes in which he beat up and/or maimed monsters and demons, including a monster that looked like a little girl, in an effort to aid Nao or obtain more information (the violence is of the bone-crunching variety, but there is thankfully not much in the way of "gory squishy bits" descriptions). As ruthless as he was, I still preferred him to Nao. It really bothered me that Nao seemed unaffected by the fight at the tavern, and Ares' experience and practicality worked better for me than Nao's boneheadedness.

There were some POV issues. The bulk of the book was first person present tense POV from Ares' perspective, and the author was clearly most comfortable with this. Unfortunately, this resulted in a story that was mostly Ares running around and reacting to things. After a certain point, he was cut off from Nao's party and reduced to guessing where they might go next and what they might do. He was also in the dark as far as the Church went - Cardinal Creio kept saying that the Church had its reasons for assigning Ares to this job, and Ares just had to keep doing his best despite everything. His POV also put limitations on the things readers got to learn about the other characters. Ares wasn't the sort of person who made friends, and he really didn't care about anyone around him, beyond what their level of usefulness might be in battle. I had a better idea of most of the female characters' breast sizes than their personalities.

And speaking of breasts... I think the only female character whose breasts weren't described was maybe the one female mercenary. For a guy who seemed to care more about work than about romance or sex, Ares sure noticed breasts a lot. The breast thing irked me but was mostly ignorable, until the end, when it was revealed that leveling up could affect at least one character's breast size. Yes, the author wrote magically growing breasts into this world. ::sigh::

The overall world was painfully generic, the breast thing was annoying, and there was more bone-crunching violence than I expected. Still, there were some intriguing aspects that might prompt me to at least read the next volume. There are indications that Nao might morph into a more interesting and difficult-to-handle villain than the Demon Lord. There were brief mentions of Ares' workaholic tendencies being his biggest weakness - he isn't good at or used to delegating work, and he uses holy energy on himself to keep himself going past the normal limits of human endurance. This particular volume didn't really demonstrate the drawbacks of his way of operating, and I'm hoping that future volumes do a better job of digging into this some more. Volume 4's cover art features most of the female cast in bikinis, though, so that isn't very encouraging.

Extras:

  • Character data for most of the book's prominent characters. The only information not included that I would have liked to see was character ages. There was a bit on page 30 that seemed to indicate that Ares was only 18 years old, and that can't possibly be right.
  • An afterword written by the author.
  • Several black-and-white illustrations throughout. 
  • A couple color illustrations on a folded sheet at the beginning of the book. The illustrator seems to have forgotten that Amelia's hair is supposed to be blue.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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text 2019-07-12 14:15
Reading progress update: I've read 18 out of 295 pages.
Defeating the Demon Lord's a Cinch If You've Got a Ringer, Vol. 1 - Ken Tsukikage,Bob

The author is pretty clearly a guy, based on the mentions of boob size of each of the female characters, and the one female character whose breasts are apparently so huge that the male characters can't help but stare. -_-

 

The setup feels like a JRPG. The world is in danger of being taken over by a demon lord, so a group of humans summoned a hero from another world. Summoned heroes always start off low level, so that's expected. However, the hero's companions are supposed to be capable, and they totally aren't. One's a level 10, one's 15, and one's 20, which apparently translates to "novice or worse." The group's only powerful member is the priest (the group's healer). Readers haven't been told his level yet, but he's apparently so powerful that he's worried the others might use him as a crutch, so he lied and told them his level was 3, the last digit of his true level. The grumpy healer aspect reminds me a little of the game Healer's Quest.

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review 2019-06-18 17:59
Review: Meridian Chronicles: Fairy Nymphs & The Demon Court (#3) by M.D. Fryson
Meridian Chronicles: Fairy Nymphs & The Demon Court (#3) - MD Fryson

Meridian’s curse still haunts her after running back to Salem. Living with heartbreak, Aiden cannot go on without Meridian and flees with Tallulah to Salem.

Raina continues her deceit and willfully accepts possession from a demon of the high court, Pyro who commands Raina to kill one of the good witches.

Another trip to the dark realm brings another fight between the Fairy Nymphs and members of the Demon Court when they arrive to answer the dark one’s riddle, one that was not meant to answer.

When Meridian and Aiden accept the help of the Fairy Nymphs to unlock the Universe’s message of their fate, it is then that Meridian finds herself within the Hall of Souls where the Angels, known as the keepers have a message for her.

With Warrick still out to keep his position in Etheria, the demon court members staging their attack on the spirit guides, Aiden against all odds will not leave Meridian.

Aiden’s reoccurring dream is more significant that what he realizes until the very end, where an ironic twist of fate emerges testing his true love for Meridian and the road to saving her soul. Who will end up being Meridian’s twin soul? Is it Aiden? Will Warrick succeed and avoid his judgment? What is the message from the Angel? Find out in this dark paranormal romance.

 

*I received a free copy from the author and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!*

 

Wow, this book is even better than the last one, each book gets better as we dive deeper and deeper into the world of Fairies, Demons, Spirits, Witches and much more.

I really love the character growth. Not only Meridian but everyone else as well. The story arc is also growing and we get deeper and deeper into their world and discover new and exciting but sometimes shocking things.

One of my favorite parts is that we get so many unique supernatural groups, all a bit different and yet the same as we read or heard about before, some have a nice unique spin to it.

It was all a bit overwhelming in the first book, with so many people and groups, but now it’s a breeze to read and follow along not to mention fun.

Some things we get answers to others we have to wait for the next book. We get plenty of action, twist and turns, and lots of snarky humor that I love.

Overall I really, really enjoyed this book and read it in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down and I will ever so patiently wait for the next book.

I rate it 5 ★

 

 

Available NOW ONLY on Amazon 

Amazon 

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/index.php/2019/06/18/review-meridian-chronicles-fairy-nymphs-the-demon-court-3-by-m-d-fryson
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review 2019-05-27 02:11
Book Review: A Demon Summer
A Demon Summer: A Max Tudor Mystery - G.M. Malliet

Book: A Demon Summer

 

Author: G.M. Malliet

 

Genre: Fiction/Mystery

 

Summary: Someone has been trying to poison the Fifteenth Earl of Lislelivet. With his gift for making enemies, no one - particularly his wife - is too surprised until they discover the source of the poison: a fruitcake made and sold by the Handmaids of St. Lucy of Monkbury Abbey. Max Tudor, vicar of Nether Monkslip and former MI5 agent, is asked to investigate. But just as Max comes to believe the poisoning was accidental, a body is discovered in the cloister well. - St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2014

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-05-22 02:05
ARC Review: The Demon Lord of California
The Demon Lord of California (Infinity 8 #1) - Jeanne Marcella

NetGalley ARC.

 

*Possible spoilers within.*

 

I'll start with saying the idea of this book was great, but for me, it was poorly executed.

 

The entire time I was reading this book, I felt lost and confused.  It was as if I had started reading a book in the middle of a series without having read the preceding books.  There was a ton of world building, but it seemed to all have started in the middle and forgone the beginning/backstory.

 

Our protagonist, Lord California, Agustín, is a half angel/half demon who favors his demon side.  His father, Harper is a full angel from Heaven that now resides on earth.  Together--sort of together--they run the Infinity Corporation, a company with supernatural operatives that do...I'm not exactly sure what they do besides trying to trick and strong arm poor Calico--the other protagonist--into giving them access (and ownership) of his interdimesional portal.

 

Calico is an identical triplet from another dimension who, along with his brothers (who are both taller than him and therefore not identical), sought refuge on earth in the year 1900.  He's a lord of space and time, a phoenix, and lycanthrope...and a god.  Like, what?!  He's running from his great grandfather who is a warrior priest that is cursed and trying to destroy him.  And while I can understand being forced from your home, having a beloved family member under a spell that makes him want to kill you, and because of the curse some of Calico's powers are blocked being upsetting, Calico is a whiny little wimp.  He's also clearly slow-witted because no matter how many times his brothers explain to him how this world's rules and traditions differ vastly from theirs, he can't seem to catch on.  I literally wanted to reach into the book and shake some sense into him.

 

I hated Harper, who I believe was meant to be hated.  He comes across as a holier than thou jerk who knows what's best for everyone.  Calico, ugh!  I did like Lord California, Agustín.  And Mr. Triptych, who was the one moving the chess pieces on the board from the shadows, was the only truly obvious character.  Within a few pages of meeting him, I immediately knew who he was, and in the end I was right in my assumption.  It was done in a very heavy handed manner, using a trope I've seen in TV shows and movies galore.  But at the same time, I loved what and who he was, I just wish I hadn't been able to figure it out within minutes of meeting the character.  The other characters were okay.  The story was interesting but would have been more so if the reader wasn't left wondering how it all had come to be.

 

All-in-all, I had a hard time getting through this book.  It was just too confusing and all over the place for me.  However, I love the idea of the story and some of the characters and would be interested in seeing where the series goes.  I think this was a decent effort that needed more polishing.

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