So I found some books that I really enjoyed, and I thought I’d make a separate post about them. It’s actually two series, both by the same author, Daniel Schinhofen.

The first thing I will tell you is, don’t worry about the covers. He’s kind of famous for having bad covers. The cover from Apocalypse Gates looks like a flat lit Doom 1 level.


The series I really liked is Binding Words, the first book of which is Morrigan’s Bidding. One of the things I liked about it was the book is very good at laying out the rules of the world the MC finds himself in. This might seem like a minor point, but the rules of this world are quite important, and some books don’t do a great job with set up. I will admit, I also like the fact that the MC is kind of OP, even though (and I don’t want to spoil anything) there’s not a lot of action in the first book. I’m sure some of you are like “How is he OP if he’s not kicking ass?” Ah, see? You gotta read it to find out.

One caveat – you guys know that I like the slice of life stuff, right? I mean, if you’ve been reading Grrl Power, you’ve probably figured that out. That said, by the time I got to the third book in Binding Words though, even I was like “I don’t really need to know what they eat for every single meal. It’s okay to skip ahead a few days.” But don’t let that dissuade you from checking out this series. I’m definitely snapping up the next book when it comes out.

After finishing all the released Binding Words books, I jumped straight over to a new series he’s working on called Aether’s Blessing. Or… the series is Aether’s Revival. Book 1 is Aether’s Blessing. It’s fairly different from Binding Words (though there is at least one common theme)

Some of you may be familiar with his other series, Apocalypse Gates and Alpha World. I have tried to read Alpha World on numerous occasions, and I can’t get into it. It’s not because the writing is bad, but I just cannot get into books that are set in video games. I just can’t bring myself to care about what happens, because no matter how it’s set up, whether it’s VR, or the character’s brain is trapped in the game or whatever, there just aren’t any stakes for me. If a horde of demi-liches are about to sweep the last bastion of humanity, I can’t help thinking, “Yeah, but what happens if some developer patches the game and now all the liches are covered in Mt. Dew branding like a NASCAR driver, or are accidentally flagged as neutral?” or “What if a janitor trips over the power cord to the server?” And also, what if the main character does defeat the horde of demi-liches? Do they just respawn the moment he turns his back so other players can take them on, thereby lowering the stakes even further? It’s a bad set up for a book. If an author wants to put game like stats in his novel, then just have the character wear some sort of contact lense that scans everyone’s strength levels, or make it a spell, or have aliens rip out everyone’s eyeballs and replace them with cyber eyes that give them special skills and make them duke it out on a planet full of dinosaurs. It’s just lazy writing IMO to make it a video game.

I’ll probably try again to read further into Alpha World, and maybe I’ll get to a point where I can ignore all the game stuff, because I really liked the two series I recommended above, but man, it’s tough. “Oh, he finally met a girl that’s probably going to be a love interest… but has he? Or has he met a lookup table with some clever dialog trees?”

Anyway. I liked his other books and maybe you will too.