Archive for May, 2020


Guest Post Scott Coon

Happy Friday everyone! I’ve got a guest post for you for a sci-fi adventure that’s coming out June second, Lost Helix. In the lead up to that the author, Scott Coon, has been so kind as to talk a little bit about his approach to world building. Enjoy!

Lost Helix cover

When a door opens at the back of a stage, if the audience sees darkness, it doesn’t build the same illusion that a wall and small table would create. However, if someone comes through that door with a tray of drinks, no one needs to say there’s a kitchen back there. The audience knows. By including the right amount of detail, we create the illusion of a complete house without describing it. This is the balancing act of world building—bringing the reader into your world without stopping the story to tell them about it. Achieving this balance requires proper planning and execution.

In planning, the author should know everything about their fictional world that might impact the story plus ten percent. Going far beyond that ten percent is called world builder’s syndrome. You plan every element of a city—sewers, mass transit, even the postal system—for a main character who flies off in a rocket where the real story happens. What purpose did that postal system serve? It’s fun to build worlds but it’s a matter of time management. If you want to write a story, your time is best spent writing the story. You do need to build the things that might impact that story, plus a little more beyond that to help you create the illusion of a complete world.

For our rocket man, if this is the Apollo program, you need to know about NASA and its relationship to the government that created it. You don’t need to imagine the American Revolution or Manifest Destiny, but you might need to imagine Congressional budget fights. You also need the Soviets, NASA’s competition. And you should know that the Soviets value party over people since that would affect your characters’ decisions or at least come up in conversation.

“Our budget is on the line. We have to get this rocket in the air.”

“But, Sir, the safety of the crew? I mean, we’re not the Soviets.”

“You’re right. Scrub the launch until we figure this out.”

If you’re about to outline the history of communism, ask yourself what that has to do with the story you’re telling. If the Soviets are merely the impetus for taking risks, probably nothing. If your rocket man is captured by the Soviets and brainwashed Manchurian Candidate style, probably something because you might want to reference that communist history during his forced indoctrination. The key is to know what kind of story you are writing, where it is going, and decide which planning you need.

In execution, the reader should learn everything about the world that does impact the story minus ten percent. Modern readers don’t like being told how things are; they enjoy figuring things out on their own. This is known as the “show, don’t tell” rule and it applies to everything—emotion, time of day, even system of government. You can show most of your world through setting, dialogue, and action. If your characters are frequently asked to show their papers, the reader knows the government is oppressive without being told.

Some exposition is needed but avoid telling your reader about your world in an information dump. Allow your world to come to light on a need to know basis, with exposition prompted by the moment. Here is an example of a small information dump disguised as dialogue:  “Though the Soviets have lost lives in their effort, they got a man into space before us. Now Washington says we have to stop playing it safe with monkeys and risk the lives of Americans so we can catch up.”

The characters hearing this would know about the Soviets, so the information dump sounds unnatural. But realistic dialogue would leave out key details. Adding a small amount world building exposition to fill the gap can create a satisfying experience for the reader. For example: “It’s official. We’re shutting down the petting zoo.” Around the table, he saw the expected mix of reactions. They finally had the green light to catch up by putting their own man in space. But they also knew the price the Soviets had paid in human lives while the U.S. played it safe, launching monkeys.

As the reader wonders what ‘the petting zoo’ refers to, the question is answered, the reader feels satisfied, and world building is achieved. The reader has enough to move forward in the plot. Later, you can add more about how the cosmonauts died, tying those details to other moments in the story to add emotion. If you start the story with a Wikipedia summary of the space race, listing the successes, failures, and casualties, you not only lose readers’ attention, you undermine the impact those details could have later in the plot. So, don’t tell us about your world. Tell the story and build your world around it.

Lost Helix is the key…

Stuck on an asteroid mining facility, DJ dreams of writing music. His dad is a corporate hacker and his best friend Paul intends to escape to become a settler in a planet-wide land rush, but neither interests DJ.

When his dad goes missing, DJ finds a file containing evidence of a secret war of industrial sabotage, a file encrypted by his dad using DJ’s song Lost Helix. Caught in a crossfire of lies, DJ must find his father and the mother he never knew.

When the mining company sends Agent Coreman after DJ and his guitar, DJ and Paul escape the facility and make a run for civilization. Will DJ discover the truth before Coreman catches him?

Scott Coon author pic

Scott Coon has enjoyed success as a science fiction short story writer, winning accolades and publishing over a dozen works in various magazines. Formally a U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst and currently a software developer, Scott brings his technical experience into his work, along with a sense of spectacle.

Book Website    Author Website     Barnes & Noble     Kobo     iTunes     Amazon

OGND Dice

I have been busy today. I got some gardening done while the sun was out, got some cleaning done, all that fun stuff. Now I get to talk about dice! These are Dice Envy’s OGND set. If you like them, you can use the promo code NOTEARS for 10% 0ff your order. Let’s roll!

OGND 1

OGND is sort of a throw back to the dice available in the 80’s when D&D first came out, so they’re pretty simple and straightforward. Red acrylic, white inking, though the acrylic itself does have some variation in color. I’m fairly certain that variation is on purpose to make the set seem a little more like the mismatched sets from back in the day.

OGND 2

The white inking is a good continuation of the simple throw back idea and it’s nicely visible against the red acrylic. The inking is well done, no notable over or under fill, I didn’t notice any major thin spots. It works.

As expected for acrylic dice the OGND set feels nice in hand and does not seem to have preferred sides when rolled. So they roll acceptably randomly.

OGND 3

All in all, I like this set. It’s way different from most of the sets I collect, given its simplicity, but I like the differences in the dice and how clear the inking is. As a retro throw back the OGND set is basic in the best way, with super clear numbers and nice casting. So they get a five out of five from me.

As to what kind of character I would use these for, I’m thinking a Human Fighter, probably Lawful or Neutral Good. I’d probably go for a sword and board build, something that would let me tank.

I’m running entirely behind.

Not a lot happening this week. I’m still behind on everything, still haven’t heard back on any jobs or unemployment. Still trying not to be a tremendous downer.

So I’m going to mention a thing that brought me more than a bit of joy. I made a friend!

It’s based off the pictures for this pattern off of Ravelry for a Final Fantasy style black mage, which I would have just bought and followed if I could read a pattern at all. I’m definitely planning on working on neater iterations of it later, and learning to read a pattern so I can support the artist who came up with it an make the other two mages they designed, but I’m happy with it.

As to the blog, I am drastically behind which is less than ideal. I’ve been feeling pretty useless for the past couple weeks and it’s impacted my willingness/ability to really do anything. I’m planning on taking some time over the next few days to try and catch up on writing the “Consumption Incident” posts for a couple weeks and to get further in the book I’m reading. Once I take the time to sit and read it shouldn’t take me any time to finish this book, it’s really well written, I just have to take the time.

All that in mind, I’m going to post up this week’s dice review tomorrow. Next week it’ll go back to being on Monday, I’ve got a set coming from Libris Arcana’s subscription service that I’m planning on covering. It’s the last one before they swap over to their new premium resin dice for it.

I’ve also got a guest post coming up on Friday for Scott Coon’s Lost Helix. It promises to be a lot of fun and I hope you all enjoy it!

And that’s about it for this week.

Standard stuff, if you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like. And, of course, if you really like what I’m doing here you can feed my caffeine addiction and buy me a ko-fi or treat yourself to a set of dice from Dice Envy. In either case, in any case, stay safe and have a great rest of the week!

Alpha Dice Set

I missed the first round of Dice Envy’s Alpha dice set, so it was a long wait to see if they would be remade. This being Dice Envy’s first Kickstarter set it seemed likely that it would happen eventually, especially in light of the company’s anti-FOMO stance. The wait was worth it I think. Let’s roll!

Alpha 1

I like the starkness of the black and white on the Alpha dice. The movement lines on most of the numbers offer a dramatic flair while the high numbers on most of the dice have what looks like targeting sights, which feels excellent on nat 20s as a nice bit of extra confirmation. I would have liked to see the same pattern on the d10 and percent dice, while they still look cool the lack of the sights on the high numbers makes them feel a little less than the other dice. Even the d4, something that cannot follow the pattern due to its shape, had the pattern adjusted to make it work better there.

Alpha 2

The inking on these is interesting, the numbers and pattern have been filled until they’re level with the rest of the die rather than the engraved numbers having been painted. This results in the dice being texturally interesting. The filling should be level, but there are places on many of the dice that it either sank in or was gouged out a bit somewhere along the lines. It winds up being a bit frustrating because I’m not sure how to fix it.

They do, as expected, roll well though. The d6 seems to have a little bit of a preference for its 3 side, but it is the only one and the preference is minor enough that I don’t think it would effect things to terribly much. The filled in inking does not seem to have any effect on the way the dice feel when rolling them, so they still feel quite nice to roll.

Alpha 3

I do feel like the Alpha dice set was worth the waiting for the restock. I like them quite a bit and find the pattern fun but not overly busy. They do lose a point with me for the issues with the inking, more because of how hard it would be for fix than just for the issues existing. So, Dice Envy’s Alpha set gets a four out of five from me, I’m left looking forward to the Omega set arriving on the website.

This is a bit of an odd set to decide what sort of character I would use them for. I definitely want to use them in Starfinder, Pathfinder’s science fiction sibling game, but I’m not certain which class I would go for, probably an android mechanic or technomancer. I might come back to this after DMing a game or two.

House Keeping 5/19/20

I’m behind on everything this week.

It turns out that when I have all the time I could possibly want to do pretty well whatever I want, I wind up distracting myself and then nothing happens.

That’s all to say that I’m not actually sure if anything except this is going to go up this week. I’m badly behind, only about a third of the way through the book I’m reading now, barely started on getting the “Consumption Incident” post together, and I missed yesterday’s dice review because I crashed hard and was asleep all of yesterday.

Yay broken sleep schedule. Time is meaningless.

I think my plan right now is to try and get my dice review written and posted tomorrow, because I really do want to talk about Dice Envy’s Alpha set. Try and get the “Consumption Incident” post written for Thursday, because I want to try and have something like a regular schedule still. And see how things go on the book review.

The book itself is well written so far, I just keep feeling like there’s something else I should be doing and wondering off. It’s kind of terrible because I know, logically, there’s nothing pressing to get done. But isn’t there?

I guess that’s about it for this one.

Standard stuff, if you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like. I’m stumbling more than a bit lately, so there’s not as much to like as I’d want, but let me know what you think. And, of course, if you really like what I’m doing here you can feed my caffeine addiction and buy me a ko-fi, the link is over in the side bar or on my support page. It’s a rough time and every bit counts. In either case, in any case, stay safe and have a great rest of the week!

It occurred to me while writing this that I really want to ramble about a few sub genres at some point. Not sure how well I would do with that, but it still might be fun. This one is from the nice folks at Entangled Teen, here’s Cindy R. Wilson’s Sting. Enjoy!

Sting cover

The Scorpion robs warehouses in the Light District. These raids help the denizens of the Dark District survive as more and more of the jobs they rely on disappear. But it only takes one person betraying her for the Scorpion to be killed off, replaced in the minds of the Enforcers with a teenage girl, replaced  in their minds with Tessa and thrown in jail to rot far from the people she cares for.  If she wants to get out, to even have the chance at revenge, Tessa will have to team up with the prisoner in the cell next to hers, an outcast from the very Enforcers she wants to stop, Pike. Will their escape allow them to pursue revenge or will the attempt doom them both?

In many ways, Cindy R. Wilson’s Sting feels very much like a book failed by its genre. It feels like a book that had romance ladled into it to avoid filling in the gaps in world building. Or like the author really wanted to dig into the basic social stratification ideas that are heavily used in cyber punk but then backed out for fear of really saying anything. But then it really seems to not know what to do with the romance angle either.

Throughout the first third or so of Sting the reader is introduced to the Dark District with its falling in buildings and denizens who can barely find enough to eat and the jail, Decay, which is being used to erase the jobs that people in the Dark District used to work, thus depriving them of a way to survive, but that has more regular meals and solid shelter than our protagonist can ever remember having had. Tessa wants out though, wants revenge, wants to get back to her sister and helping the people of the Dark District. To do that she has to follow Pike’s plan, which means that she and the reader wind up plopped into the Light District. The reader was shown the Dark District in ruins and told that the Light District was much wealthier, that they had electricity and excess food and all the industry. But then it winds up being so much more than that. The Light District is presented as this big glamorous thing with lights everywhere and brilliant colors on everything and expensive parties regularly.

While I am aware that cities exist with this level of social stratification and that there are people like the Enforcers who want to hurt others seemingly just because they can, it just seems comical here. There is a literal closed off border between the two districts of this one city, a closed off border with armed guards all hopped up on propaganda and undeserved power ready to hurt the Darksiders who might try and go to the Light District for a job or something. It winds up being one of those things that, I am certain that something like it exists, but as presented in Sting it all feels like short hand for actual world building. It feels like the differences needed to be made as stark as possible so that the plot could be remembered through all of Tessa’s random moments of angsting over falling for Pike or over the feelings she had for River.

I confess, a lot of my frustrations here are made much worse by the ending. It feels far too tidy. Too like Wilson was dedicated to that ending from the start and refused to adjust it in light of how dark her antagonist wound up being. It sort of casts everything that came before it in a very artificial light. It feels unearned in a couple of ways.

From a genre angle, as much as I want to compare it to cyber punk, the comparison does not fit well. It is not technology making the Darksiders’ lives worse. Technology really fails to feature heavily, Tessa’s scorpion bots aside. Everything that makes the Darksider’s lives worse is down to one single antagonist and his underlings. The romance plot is certainly key to Sting’s word count, but manages to feel unnecessary and over done. It tends to feel more like filler than important to the character’s arcs. The scenes where Tessa thinks about her feelings for Pike were, at best, frustrating interruptions to what felt like the actual plot even as it feels like the reader is never properly let in on what Pike’s plan is. I kept waiting for something about that to come up, for us to get a better look at how they were planning to deal with the antagonist and show that Pike is as clever as the reader is told he is, but then it never came up.

There was so much here that had the potential to be well done if only given more room for development. So much that should have been given another pass or two before this was sent to the presses. And it just makes the finished book so much more disappointing that the potential was there and not given the development it needed. It took me multiple weeks to finish Sting, not because it was terrible or insulting, but because it was so easy for me to just put it down and do something else. I found other things to do because Tessa getting torn up over her feelings got old just so, so quickly. I came closer to just not finishing Sting than I have any other book in the past three years. For that, it gets two stars.

I have figured out how to make granny squares in a shape other than a square. Reality was not ready for me to have this knowledge. I’m trying to make a bag to take to the local farmers markets once things have started up again.

There’s a strawberry you pick not far from here that should be safe to go to if they’re open right now. The mask will keep me from eating my weight in berries while I’m there. But that just means I’ll eat more on the way home, right? I’m more than a little excited, it’s been awhile since I got to visit a you pick.

My tomatoes are doing well, just got the cages on them a few days ago because they’re growing like crazy. Both of them have several blooms already, so I’m hoping I’ll have tomatoes soon. The cherry ones especially should be great for snacking. The herbs are doing pretty great too, though the basil isn’t wanting to grow well just yet. The mint is more than making up for it.

I’m shaky on what I’m wanting to do blog wise. Just now there doesn’t seem to be a ton of interest in either the dice reviews or the “Consumption Incident” posts, which is kind of a bummer because I enjoy doing both. I don’t think I’m going to stop doing either, but I might pause on the in character story notes for next game. Pause on it here at least. It’s one of those places where I joke about void yelling, but then that isn’t actually a lot of fun.

Of course, by the same token, I’m considering getting a dice tower at some point to better test roll the dice I review. The duality of me there.

Speaking of all this, both the review for the week and the “Consumption Incident” post should be up some time on their respective days. I’ve just got to figure out a good way to separate two weeks worth of game into different posts without the excuse of it being a character’s personal journal and also without the character having a smart phone to just be emailing all this to her friends on the go.

And that’s about it.

Standard stuff, if you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like. I feed on positive attention. And, of course, if you really like what I’m doing here you can feed my caffeine addiction and buy me a ko-fi. It’s essentially paying for my next flat of instant noodles at this point. In either case, in any case, stay safe and have a great rest of the week!

Eggbite

I’m late on this one. It’s been an odd day and it feels like I’ve simultaneously done nothing and all the things. Mondays, right? These guys are Dice Envy’s Eggbite dice. Let’s roll!

Eggbite 1

I think I initially wanted to check out the Eggbite set because they didn’t look like anything else I have right now. The pictures are, as ever, a case where my camera does not do the color of these dice justice. The yellow of them is sharp and vibrant and stands out so well with both the white bits and the inking. That very clear delineation of the opaque white and the clear yellow is delightful and gives the dice a very clean blend of colors. It’s bright and happy looking.

Eggbite 2

I think the use of blue for the inking is pretty brilliant. The blue used is a nice bright color so it fits the dice even as the contrast with the yellow makes them easier to read. I did not notice any thin spots or spill over on the inking. this set turned out really well there.

There were a couple faces on the d4 that seemed over sanded. The numbers were fully filled in with ink, the engraving was just super shallow and worn partially away. It didn’t make the die unreadable and it doesn’t seem to have greatly effected the balance on the die, it just doesn’t look as nice as the other dice. These being acrylic dice, the balance seems fine on all of them. There were no visible bubbles and the did not seem to have any preferred sides.

Eggbite 3

I really like the Eggbite set. It’s bright and fun and I more than kind of want to either chew on the dice or go make scrambled eggs from playing around with them for the review. They do lose a point for the over sanding. While it is not going to greatly effect my using the set, since it’s on the d4, it is a technical issue that the manufacturers should have been keeping a better eye on and I don’t trust that it hasn’t effected other dice in less harmless ways. So the Eggbite set gets a four out of five from me.

I also know exactly the character I want to use them for. I’ve got a catfolk baker turned adventurer fighter planned up for the next time we run Pathfinder, Gib Baguul. The colors and name just make these feel like they’ll be a fantastic fit for one of the sets I use for her. Planning out the sets I want to use for her just gets me more excited to play her later on, so she’ll probably crop up here again.

Meeting 5

Two weeks of being quarantined and I think I might have gone a bit off if not for the web pages I’d found in that weird untranslatable language. There was nothing else to do besides research, so I eventually asked my linguistics prof. if she’d help me with what I thought was a code that I’d found. It took a few days for her to get back to me, but it was a lot of help, she figured out the sentence structure and picked out the parts of speech for a fair few of the words used there. I’m picking away at it a little at a time.

I did find out, while I waited on that, a big part of why my protective charms for everyone weren’t as effective as I would have liked. I used symbols that would have been effective for me rather than taking into account what would have worked for each of them. Working on fixing that now. I’ve got a Ghostbusters logo for Louis. One of those Darwin evolution fish for Matt, gonna see if I can weaponize his doubt here. Skip’s working on some kind of nested geometric pattern he figured he could use. Still trying to figure out what to do for Jimmy, but I want to make something for him. Something for Viv too, I guess I’ll have to wait on that one though. I hope it’s just waiting on that.

The upsides to working on translating these web pages, I’m pretty sure all this research means I could double major in anthropology and linguistics, but more immediately it also means that I turned up something about all spirits having something called a “ban” that can ward them off or even be used to seal them.  That at least seems to be the gist of it. The flip side, of course, is that I also think I translated a bit about the Uratha having upwards of five different forms rather than just the two we already knew about. The more I find out about them the more they seem like some kid’s edgy original characters, many formed werewolves that police the veil between worlds and hunt spirits that dare cross over. I can only assume that they’re less that in the flesh, there’s got to be limits on how the number of forms works or something.

Of everyone involved in the attempted exorcism it looks like Jimmy’s the only one who was inflicted with TB, which suggests that Consumption can direct where it wants the infection to go. I mean, I’m assuming that it eventually wants the infection everywhere, but knowing that it can direct it like that should be important to trying to fight it, I think.

Either way, we met at the same time and place as usual for the club. Matt’s acting as the president for now. Louis had fixed up his ghostblaster after it got smashed and Skip had picked up a taser, so if we run into anything dangerous they’re at least armed. More importantly Louis found an absolute treasure trove of Victorian literature about tuberculosis and the “Spirit of Consumption” from back in the day, absolutely confirming that that’s what we’re dealing with, and Skip got the pictures he’d taken during the exorcism developed. They showed this massive shadow behind Viv, not quite shaped like her but decidedly attached to her. We’re learning more about it.

That meant a trip back to the drainage ditch to see if we could find a lead on the Uratha, sort of an enemy of my enemy deal. They’re our only lead on stopping it, so it seems like our best bet. Initially all, “all”, we found were dog tracks that turned into human tracks and then back again in the mud and a rough carving of a rat with three stars in front of it in a tree. There was a flash of fur in the undergrowth that might have been one of the Uratha or it might have just been a stray, but then a guy popped out from behind one of the trees with a knife longer than my forearm demanding we stay quiet because he was trying to sleep.

It turns out that foolishness gets worse if you’re in a group because we mostly ignored that and asked the guy about the carving and the Uratha. He didn’t want to talk unless we paid him and waved the knife a bit when we didn’t give him enough, which is a pretty big warning sign, but he put it away pretty quick once money was involved. He knew about what happened with the sky being torn open and that something really big had come out, called it a spirit of Avarice, said that it had attached itself to the new Amazon CEO who wants to make them a general retailer rather than specifically a bookstore. Said that it was at his left hand already, that something of that scale hadn’t shown up in ages and could change the shape of the city forever. We’re talking Rockefeller here, robber barons, bad all around.

The guy told us the Uratha would definitely want to know anything we had seen, that we should go to Pearly Oaks and ask to speak to Alpha Uratha. We aren’t supposed to bring anything silver with us.

This just keeps getting more and more complicated. We’re having a hard enough time with Consumption having possessed the club president, much less something bigger having possessed a big company’s CEO. Apparently the Uratha are having a hard time figuring out what to do with that themselves. It’s starting to feel like we’re taking a step forward and then three sideways, progress is happening and we have a next step but there’s always something else that’ll need to be dealt with, some new problem. At least we know where to go next though, right? We’ll figure this out eventually.

This one has been a long time coming. The folks at Berkley were nice enough to provide me with an eARC for review and then I fell out of reviewing several times for one reason or another. From Kali Wallace, here’s Salvation Day. Enjoy!

Salvation Day cover

Ten years ago the House of Wisdom was the sight of a horrific viral outbreak, there was only one survivor and the ship has been locked down since. Zahra’s father was blamed for the outbreak, resulting in her mother fleeing to the wastes with her and her siblings to escape retribution for it. Now she and a team are set to make the House of Wisdom a home for the whole Family. They just have to abduct the lone survivor, Jaswinder Bhattacharya, use his genetic signature to access the ship, and get it up and running again in time to meet everyone when they arrive. There are some things better left buried though and there is a reason the House of Wisdom was allowed to sit derelict for ten years.

Kali Wallace’s Salvation Day feels largely like a book with quality writing and far too short of a timeframe. As the title suggests, Zahra’s group only has about a day to get the House of Wisdom ready, so everything that happens, happens within about a day. That leaves some things feeling rushed, like the viral recurrence part of the plot or big chunks of Zahra’s character development.

The character work in Salvation Day bounces a bit. For many of the characters it feels really well considered, even antagonists feel fairly well rounded. There are a couple of characters who feel flat, but it fits them and their function in the book. But then we reach one of the major antagonists and the split between how he is described early on and how he actually behaves when he is introduced is a bit jarring.  It works on a level, because the antagonist needs to be fairly awful for certain aspects of the book to stay on course, tension needs to be maintained. But the contrast also comes with a change in reactions from Zahra that feel off. At first he’s the Family’s leader who’s done all these great things for her and the rest of the Family, she wants to prove herself to him and feels proud to have been selected for this mission, but then later on she starts expressing tremendous fear of this guy and what he might do to her siblings if the mission fails. It coincides with the reader learning more about what happened on the House of Wisdom and with Zahra becoming more and more a sympathetic character, but it also feels like it happens because she is meant to be more sympathetic rather than because she has started realizing how dangerous he is.

Additionally, the cult leader, Adam, feels almost cartoonish in some places. Largely, I think, because of both the need for Zahra to have that turn from the cult and because the reader is not really given space to feel the weight of the House of Wisdom take over being slowed and threatening to fail. If there had been a longer time frame and the reader had been shown the Council breathing down the group at the House of Wisdom’s necks more or if Jas and his classmates had been able to contact the Council while they were away from their captors and we were shown that being brought to bear against the Family over even a handful of days, it feels like a lot would have settled better.

The more I think on it, the less I really feel like I can say about Jas without spoiling aspects of the story. It generally feels like he gets the parts that focus more on furthering the reader’s knowledge of what had happened and uncovering the series of events that lead to his survival and the virus being contained. His sections generally felt slower where it seemed like Zahra’s sections were more action focused. He did feel a bit more complete as a character in some ways, his arc being mostly about facing his past and getting out alive might be part of that. I think I appreciate where the ending took him, it feels like a good stepping off point for more story without feeling like a sequel hook.

Salvation Day is a book that, for one reason or another, it took me a while to review after reading it. I was never quite sure how to talk about it and so I’m left with the parts that stuck with me, some of which are things that I want to leave alone as they are parts of the ending itself and do not really feel fair to talk about. Mostly I find myself thinking that, while I would definitely read Kali Wallace again and while I would really like to see more of the setting, Salvation Day is the kind of book that I enjoyed while reading it but that I probably will not read again. I give it a three out of five with the note that that would have likely been higher if I had made myself write the review earlier.