Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Book review: Dragons of Summer Flame signals beginning of the end

Hi everyone. I know it's bee a while, but I'm back. To signal the advance, I'm going to be doing a review for a book I finished this morning: Dragonlance: Dragons of Summer Flame.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The War of the Lance is over. The heroes who have survived have moved on with their lives, started families of their own. However, things aren't peaceful in Krynn. Takhisis, the Queen of Darkness is still at work trying to rule the world and is sending her forces out to find strategic points. Among these locations are the island of the Irda, a race of beautiful beings who want nothing to be left alone. To do so, they turn to a mysterious item called the Greygem, believing that by cracking it open they will be able to keep themselves from being conquered by anyone. That turns out to be a huge mistake, as they end up releasing Chaos, the Father of All and None. Angry at having been imprisoned for so long, Chaos decides he will punish all his children by destroying the world of Krynn, pulling it back into the void from whence it came. Stopping Chaos will require something that has not happened in the history of the world: The complete alliance of everything. Good and evil. Light and dark. Every nation, every race, they must all put aside their differences and work together or the entire world will be erased from existence.
I've been enjoying reading the Dragonlance series ever since I picked up Dragons of Autumn Twilight. I did enjoy the story and the plot because it was an interesting idea to bring everyone together to fight against something that will destroy all of them. I did enjoy reading about how many of the characters I had spent the last few books reading about moved on with their lives. However, I had to deduct a star because I found the ending lacking. I just wasn't pleased with it like I was with the other books. I won't give away spoilers, but I'm not sure I'll be continuing the series into the new age of Krynn.
Some uses of the d-word and h-word. One use of the g-word. The appearance of Chaos may be in written word, but the description given to fuel the imagination might create the stuff of nightmares. People are killed, and blood is mentioned.
We must honor our parents, but we must also be allowed to choose our own paths in life. Learning from the examples of our ancestors can help us make tough decisions. People can still be redeemed from poor choices they made in life.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Started a Patreon

Hi everyone,
As you know, I started a Patreon last week. The patreon I do is not only for art I do, but I also feature works done by other artists that I commissioned. As a result, the money I earn from Patreon will go to supporting other artists in their endeavors through paid commissions. Here are the rewards you can get on my Patreon. 

$2 - access to my black and white sketches. Also, give suggestions for the names of some made-up beasts for my works. Possible access to pictures of non-Dymos characters that I commissioned other artists. 

$5 - Access to colored versions of my sketches, plus maps of locations of fiction, and access to previous rewards. Access to comics, and can give suggestions as to what comics I commission next.

$10 - Access to previous rewards, plus a say when polls are put up. Also, fully colored maps and other pieces of work revolving around the world of Dymos, and access to the works in progress for comics.

So if you want to help the circle go round, please become a patron. Your donations will go to helping other aspiring artists gain recognition and work, so everyone wins. If you're interested, then click the link and choose your reward tier. However, no one is under any obligation to support me. If you can't afford it, then that's okay. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Designs for Wild Tribes

Hi everyone. Sorry I haven't been posting, but I've been busy. I have been working hard at the world of Dymos, and one of the things I've been doing is developing the Wild Tribes. I even commissioned an artist on DeviantArt to do these pictures.

Yes, there are people in my world who live in the wilderness. I thought it would be a good way to nod the stories written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I know often that when it comes to crafting worlds with prehistoric animals that people stereotypically dress people who are supposed to be primitive in fur bikinis and loincloths. However, there are several reasons why I chose not to do that.
1. Those outfits are impractical. In my world, there are still massive ice caps akin to those that were supposed to have existed during the Ice Ages. That means that the winters in my world will be cold, and a person running around in furry underwear would freeze to death. The outfits here are more for spring and summer, but they also have outfits for the fall and winter. 
2. Historical accuracy. I like to try to make things as scientifically accurate as possible, with the exception of fantasy creatures, and when I came up with ideas for people who live in the wilds of my world I thought that it would be best to model them after the people of the Stone Age and the legends of the Wild Man. According to the artist I commissioned online, these outfits do resemble what people wore during the time, even though I added the blue markings. 
3. Desire to be different. One of the important things an author must remember is that they must find their own way to be unique. Even when people use mystical races like centaurs or elves, each story uses them differently from one another. I decided if I was going to have people who live in the wilds, that I would be different, and go more with what science would say they looked like rather than what people stereotype. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Book Review: Death Weavers weaves an intricate tale of excitement and hope

Good day everyone. Today I am here with a review for the most recent book by one of my favorite authors. The book is Five Kingdoms: Death Weavers. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Cole Randolph and his friends are continuing their mission to find Mira's lost sisters and restore their powers while trying to find the kids who were sold as slaves and get them back to Earth. This time, their adventures take them to the haunting land of Necronum, where echoes of people who have died can still interact with the mortal world. Here they hope to find Mira's youngest sister, Destiny, who had the power to know of things that were going to happen. While there, they lose their way of finding out which sister is in trouble and where to look for them, and they run into trouble with high consequences. In an effort to save his friends, Cole must use the weaving powers of Necronum to travel to the mysterious Echolands, where he will face foes with the power of shapecraft and make new friends with echoes of deceased heroes. In the process, a dangerous entity known as Nazeem is threatening to escape the Echolands and return to the mortal realm of the Outskirts. Will Cole be able to fulfill his mission and save the Outskirts? Or will he and his friends be doomed? 
I am a big fan of Brandon Mull, and whatever he writes ends up being good. This book is no exception as it takes the story of the Five Kingdoms series to the next level. Mull has shown expertise in world building and here we get a new take on the concept of the afterlife that hasn't been done before. Instead of the gloom and doom prospect, readers are treated to an afterlife that offers more hope and goodness. We also get to see familiar faces from previous series return, but I won't say who because of potential spoilers. Not only are we treated to a fantastic new take on the afterlife, but we also get to learn more about the mysterious creatures known as the torivors. Given how they seem to keep popping up I am beginning to wonder if we're going to see more of them, not just in the Five Kingdoms, but in future works of Brandon Mull. 
The story itself is also a fun and wild roller coaster ride, full of twists and turns that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Mull has also incorporated some ideas that can help with philosophical thinking, and even given us a look into the origins of the Outskirts themselves. But what I found really impressive what how he has worked with the system of shaping, essentially the force of magic in this world. Brandon Mull has a very clear idea on how it works, and the way he explains it in the novel makes it work really well. It's used in ways that tests his characters, and helps them grow into great heroes worthy of this genre. If you have not journeyed into the Five Kingdoms yet, don't hesitate. This is an adventure you do not want to miss. 
People interact with ghosts, some of whom capture and threaten characters. A horse kills some soldiers. A battle against a demonic creature occurs. Lots of peril. 
Death is not the end. We should be careful of who we deal with, whether on the internet or off, because they may not be as sincere as they claim to be. A strong will and determination can throw off the powers of evil. Even if we cannot see the end or purpose of certain events, we can trust that things will work out for the better in the end. When we help others instead of ourselves, we can achieve great things.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Book Review: The Void of Mist and Thunder is a Shocking Series End

Hallo. Do not be alarmed. We come in peace.

Now that the moment of randomness is out of the way, it's time to get down to business. I'm back with a new book review. The Thirteenth Reality: The Void of Mist and Thunder.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Reality itself is on the brink of collapse. Not only is each reality branch out of control, the Realitants are trying to find a way to rescue Tick from the Nonex. To make matters worse, the fourth dimension has been breached, and a deadly force known as the Void of Mist and Thunder is entering all the realities, and if not stopped, it will consume all of them. Will they find a way to rescue Tick and save all the realities? Or will all be consumed by the Void of Mist and Thunder?
James Dashner brings science to the idea of parallel realities like no one has managed to do it before. And instead of making it boring, he manages to make it one exciting roller coaster ride. Not only will you find yourself on the edge of your seat, you'll be wanting more. This science fiction series is not to be missed.
People in peril. Monsters are consumed and mutated even further. A woman is described as being merged with shrapnel. Battles are fought and people die.
Sometimes our enemies can become our greatest allies. A common enemy unites even the oldest of foes. If you do good, you will be rewarded in time. Even when things seem hopeless, we can believe that everything will work out in the end.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Book Review: Strange Stories, Peculiar Lessons is a new collection of fairy tales

Time for my second review of the day. This one is for a collection of short stories done by Stephen Groll, and it's Strange Stories, Peculiar Lessons.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
This book is actually a collection of short stories which feature kids learning life lessons through a series of strange adventures, or misadventures. Some of those stories involve the characters from his novel Beyond the Dead Forest, continuing their adventures. Several of these stories he's shared in the past, but there are some new tales in the mix as well, such as a Christmas adventure for Carter and Kat. It was good to read each of these tales, and Stephen Groll has shown quite the imagination in crafting all these unique places each character travels to, and comes up with a lot of monsters found nowhere else in fiction. These tales are reminiscent of the Tales of The Brothers Grimm, while combining with the morality of the Tales of Hans Christian Anderson. And just like both collections, these tales can be dark and scary as each character faces the problems they go through. But there is still hope, as there is always hope, in living our lives to help others instead of ourselves.
Children in peril. An implied death. Some monsters may be scary sensitive readers.
We find more happiness and joy in living for others instead of ourselves. Bad things sometimes happen to good people. We can learn from our challenges and become better people.

Book Review: Object Lessons for Children's Sermons gives fun ideas for teaching kids

Hallo. I'm back with a couple of new reviews. The first is for Stephen Groll's Object Lessons for Children's Sermons.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
No real story in this book, but the author gives several fun tricks to do for an audience, and how to do them. He does give a caution that some involve fire, and practice will need to be done in order to perfect these tricks. In addition to each trick, an object lesson is tied in to each one, so if you're trying to teach your children about Jesus Christ and what he did, these lessons can be a fun way to reach them. Even if you're not Christian, you can still use this book to learn how to do magic tricks for a talent show, or to just have fun with your friends.
Some tricks use fire. Probably a good idea to practice with someone to watch.
We can find goodness in all that we do.