Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
As I've mentioned before, I have really, really bad luck with self-published books. Outside of comments I left in others' LJs, I haven't written about Smashwords before though. Where 98% of self-published books are bad, 100% of Smashwords ones are just awful. That makes sense, as Smashwords was offering self-publishing before it became a big thing. (Also, interestingly, apparently the Smashwords company is located just a few miles from me...)
So, that this book was both self-published and a Smashwords book means I almost deleted it before starting it. That would have been sad, as it turns out this book was actually sort of readable. Not good, barely okay, but not god awful as I had expected it to be. However, that being said, a book being "readable" isn't enough to keep me going, and I gave up on it at the 28% mark.
This book was billed as a story set in the Demon Age series, so I had written off the lack of background and worldbuilding info as my fault, since I hadn't started at the beginning of the series. Yet when I checked Amazon for the full title, I see it's listed as Book 1. Also, there were a number of writing/grammar/editing issues, including basic ones like your/you're, but I've seen worse.
The story was about a "halfblood" -- the world was full of demonlords and humans, and apparently the two could interbreed, though it was something both groups frowned on. The main character halfblood was a super human, thanks to his half-demon blood. The character, though unreasonably overpowered, was interesting enough to keep me going for a while, until the plot just seemed to lose track of itself. (The halfblood was captured by humans, and a demonlord showed up to free him on the condition that he'd hunt for some magical item. He got free of the humans*, and suddenly the story was talking about how he had been looking for that magical item for his whole life...)
* The escape was perhaps the biggest cop-out I ever saw in a book. He was captured, no way to escape... then he was just escaped. He had gone into a "blood rage" and couldn't remember anything during it, so the writer got out of having to explain how he escaped from the impossible situation!
While checking Amazon for the official title, author's name, etc (the cover is too small on my Kindle to see those things easily), the authors' names caught my eye. M. A. Nilles and Melanie Nilles. Why M. A.? I wondered if they were maybe a same-sex couple and wanted to hide it for readers of who weren't as accepting of such things. Nope. They're the same person. Melanie Nilles wrote that M. A. Nilles is her "dark side". She gave her "dark side" credit for writing the book...
Game of Thrones: Spoiler for last week's ep (not this week's). [Brief thoughts about the big event from last week.]It all makes sense now. I bet the show runners wanted to somehow free Jon to go elsewhere and be a bigger part of the plot. How to do that, when he's stuck at Castle Black, wouldn't break his "until death" vow? Kill him! Thus his vow no longer applies and he can go south once he's alive again.
Fear the Walking Dead: I finally gave up on The Walking Dead. I was in the middle of the last episode and realized that I didn't have one tiny bit of caring left about what happened to the characters, so I turned it off and never went back to it. Yet somehow I was still looking forward to Fear the Walking Dead. (Stupid me.) It's by the same people, of course the same issues are going to come up in it.
Apparently my patience for Fear the Walking Dead was seriously shortened by The Walking Dead. Last week's "characters acting like idiots just for Drama" was enough to kill my enjoyment of it. I got halfway through this week's episode and realized I no longer cared, so I stopped watching and I seriously doubt I'll be returning to it.
Stardew Valley: Now that I'm no longer worried my save file is corrupted, I'm really enjoying the bug that hit my game. I was in the dungeon, grinding slimes for the "kill # slimes" achievement and special ring. I warped back home to my farm and had to laugh -- I had been killing slimes for so long, I was hearing the "slime attacking you" noise on my farm! Then I noticed it...
A slime had somehow followed me out of the dungeon... You can't see it in this shot, but it nonstop tries to attack me. I hit it with my axe by mistake, and that damaged it, and as I have no idea if it regenerates health at any point, I had to be sure not to kill it. I ended up building a pen for it. Right here, next to my greenhouse, so I could see it every day (screenshot taken pre-building pen). I have no love of farm animals, but an escaped monster that wants to kill me? COOL! *pets it endlessly*
I'm headed into Winter #3 now, which makes me sad. Winter is such a boring, blah season in game. I keep thinking about starting a new farm, it'd be fun to play from scratch again, but I don't need to be more focused on this game and spend even more time on it. :P So I'm resisting making a new one for now, trying to finish the game on this one (all hearts for neighbors, finishing the museum). I'm up to almost four million gold, so it's kind of silly to make more, but I do it anyway. (Once you have your greenhouse full of ancient plants and make wine out of it, you make about 300K every six days, so your money goes up fast -- that's not even counting all your other crops and such.)