This page sponsored by any of you still up in the air about which parent Sydney takes after. Also… everyone at Patreon… look it was supposed to be a joke to justify a page about Syd Sr. drifting away mid conversation. Also an excuse to draw purple stripey cleavage, not that such a thing ever needs an excuse.

To be fair to Syd Sr., non-magically hypnotic boobs are still pretty hypnotic, especially when packaged and presented like that.

Yes, I considered making a scheiße reference in panel three, but I assumed most of you would get there without me.

I have a novel series to recommend, with an asterisk. Destiny’s Crucible.

Elevator pitch: A chemist gets tossed onto an alien planet with ~1700’s tech. It is what I would describe as a slow burn isekai. What I mean by that is that in most isekai books, the MC shows up on the other world, and after a week or two, maybe a month, tops, he’s established that he’s going to be a mover and shaker. He might already be out-leveling his traveling partners and it’s obvious he’s going to take down the corrupt duke or whatever. That’s generally fun to read, but there’s a lot of books like that, so that’s why this series caught my attention, because it takes a lot more time – for one thing the MC doesn’t know the language when he arrives and has to learn it.

The asterisk is that if anything, the book leans a little too hard into the slow burn. Like it takes the MC six months before he’s like “Shit, I’m a chemist, I should invent stuff.” The really big asterisk is that, honestly, by book four, it was starting to feel like a real slog. The audiobook for book 1 is 15 hours, book 2 is 17, 3 is 21, and book 4 is 28 and it really feels like it. Not a single conversation goes unspoken, and there’s stuff like scouting for a place to try and lure an enemy army and they visit 3 or 4 different potential locations three separate times and have lengthy conversations about the geography and tactics and “what if we dam this river” every time and it’s just a lot. I really think book 4 could have lost 6-10 hours and it would have been better. All that said, I still pushed through and continued on through book 7 and am still mostly enjoying it. I really liked almost all of books 1-3, book 4 just took some work. On the plus side, the narrator kind of sounds like Stanley Tucci some of the time.

Minor complaint, the book also does one of my least favorite book things, the flash-spoiler. “He boarded the flight, little did he know this would be his last day on Earth.” or “He hoped to have the troops trained within six months, yet events would overtake the hope.” Don’t stress me out like that. The flash-forward micro-spoiler does nothing narratively. (Yes, I know Grrl Power starts off with a flash forward. If I could do it over again I’d probably cut those first four pages.) It doesn’t add the tension of a good thriller that makes me want to race forward to the overtaking events, it just adds micro-anxiety, which is not why I read(/listen to audiobooks.) I don’t think I’ve ever seen it used in a positive way. “…little did I know my birthday party would be the best night of my life” etc. It’s just a pet peeve of mine and it’s not like every other sentence in the book does it. I just hate it and wanted to rant.

Oh, and the book also has chapter titles. I hate those too, especially when they’re like “Chapter 18 – Betrayal” or “Chapter 21 – Everything that was wonderful is now ash and life is a harrowing torment beyond comprehension.” or “Chapter 30 – You know that character you really liked?” Okay, it doesn’t go that far, but ambiguous micro-spoilers add stress to my primary source of recreation and I don’t like it.

Bottom line is if you’re a little burned out on the typical isekai stuff, and are also into fairly detailed Napoleon-ish era ground warfare tactics in the later books, then I think you’ll enjoy this series.

And yes, I wishlisted a bunch of your suggestions from the last page, so thanks for those. I’ll start tackling some of them after I finish book 7 of this series.

Tamer: Enhancer 2 – Progress Update:

OMG it’s so close. I was working on it before posting and looked up and it was already 11 pm.

This month’s vote incentive guest stars Lana of Spying with Lana. One of my own secret agents, Pixel, is trying to assist, with various levels of success and… nudity. Well, in the Patreon versions. The Vote Incentive will give you a pretty good idea of what might go down. Here’s a dedicated post in case you want to comment.

Check out Spying with Lana. Their current vote incentive features a certain gold-plated glamazon. Also it’s a funny comic with tons of skin.

Double res version will be posted over at Patreon. Feel free to contribute as much as you like.