Welcome and Thank you -
It is wild to think we've gotten to monthly newsletter #2. I'm grateful to you all for sticking around so far!
I hope this newsletter finds you well, and I hope the world is treating you kindly.
My 'Apocalypse Assassin' audiobook just came out on June 13th. To celebrate, the ebook is also discounted to 99 cents until June 18th. I'd love for you to check them out and/or share it with your buddies - Offer Expired.
Either way, have a great month and thanks for being here,
What to expect in this newsletter
Target 75 Progress
Some fun images I created for the release of Apoc Assassin
An early sketch of a character from Target 75 (first look!)
My review of May's book club book
June's book of the month!
Target 75. Target 75. Target 75.
In last month's newsletter, I was at twenty-five thousand (25k) words. I am happy to say I'm now at fifty-five thousand (55k) words! I have some great ideas I'd love to put to paper, so I've been pushing to get more words out each week.
Book 1's themes were around trust, acceptance, and anger. Book 2 picks up where Book 1 left off, but the themes expand quite a bit as Claire's world opens up and certain people take a larger role in her life. I hope to discuss those one day :).
Some of you probably don't know this, but my wife is expecting! Our first baby is due in October, so wish us luck. Between my day job, expecting a baby, my wonderful wife, and still trying to have a social life... sorry the book is taking so long!
Plus, I've been having fun creating images with some of the commissioned art I received last month. Here are a couple of the ones I created (using character art commissioned from @yirienkaki on Instagram)!
Spoiler Free Review of Amelia
I think this book excels in the characterization of its main characters. I find V.A. Lewis/MelasD to be an amazing character writer, and from the beginning of the book, I found that Amelia's character tone felt abundantly consistent. Additionally, Noelle was a good character opposite to the stoic and crass Amelia. They both had a character arc that I thought was relatable and well done.
The secondary characters also had some very interesting characteristics that made several of them stand out. A couple were a bit odder to read than others (e.g. Evan and Nicole), but overall I thought there were some standout side characters. Two side characters, especially, one very large and one very small, added some interesting humor to the story and their backstories were both interesting to read.
In fact, I think the characters drive the story's plot quite a bit. Without spoiling anything, Amelia's story is one of melancholy and confusion as she arrives in a foreign land. It's an isekai, with a bit of a twist, that doesn't forget that it's an isekai within the first couple of chapters (as some of these stories often do). That said, much of the plot centers around people who are not Amelia. Which, if you've read One Punch Man, is exactly what you would expect.
I enjoyed parts of this format, because you learn about different people, their stories, and get to explore the world through different eyes. Still, I can understand this might be jarring to some who might expect a centralized focus on the main character at all times.
The author, V.A. Lewis, is an absolute pro at their craft. Still, the story was originally serialized, which oftentimes causes sequences to be repeated. Said differently, the format of the story causes the author to re-explain what is, or has, happened. I understand why, but I found that the repetition was, at times, a bit jarring to read in novel format.
To finish, let me say that I loved several of the fighting sequences in this story. I found a good mix of blow-by-blow explanations and short action clips that kept you guessing how things would end. I also envy the author's creativity with Skills and power sets. Each character's skill set was very diverse from the next, and that is not an easy thing to do. And lastly, the characterization, again, was on point.
That said, I'll give this story 4 stars overall. I believe it was a great way to start the book club, and I hope people had fun reading along.