Killing Floor 2 Review

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When I received Killing Floor 2 in a mystery bundle, I was instantly saddened. I personally am not a fan of horror games, so I thought that I would never be touching this one. Now, after playing it for 4 hours straight on Sunday, my opinion of this game has definitely changed for the better.

Killing Floor 2 is less of a horror game and more like COD Zombies. It has some blood and gore, but it doesn’t have jump scares and scary passageways. What also helps is that you are always playing with a team, so your focus is on the game and staying alive rather than on the creepy monsters around you. My only suggest would be to not play this game if you are afraid of clowns, this game seems to love the clown zombies the most.

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I think one of my favorite parts about this game is the different maps. The first map I played with my friend was a Christmas-themed one. The zombies didn’t look festive, but you were in Krampus’ lair. Creepy Christmas rock music played throughout the match, and little threats from Krampus to the elves were written throughout the workshop. Then, there was the Santa’s Workshop map where you escort a carriage with a bomb throughout the map. This one had the epic Christmas music PLUS Christmas-themed zombies! I think my favorite zombie on this map was the gingerbread man.

There is voice chat in this game, but it isn’t used very frequently. If you would like to just be able to play on a team without having to talk to people, that is fine as well. You will do fine on your own as long as you stay fairly close to your teammates or have upgraded guns. And the teammates in this game are pretty welcoming to newcomers, and the healers seem to also be fairly good. It was easy to get very sucked in!

This game also has a system of “perks” almost like Dead By Daylight. The more matches you play, the more XP you get, and you can add perks to your classes. This makes the overall game easier to play, and makes you want to stick with one class long enough to get more and more perks for it. This system also makes me want to play Dead By Daylight, which I have been putting off for almost two entire weeks!

My only real complaint would be that the bosses seem a bit repetitive. I know I have to up the difficulty, but I thought that there would be a bit more random-ness to the bosses. I played the game for 4 hours and had about 6 or 7 matches, and fought the same boss in 2 and then another boss 3 times in 3 different maps. Would be interesting to at least be able to see how the different bosses work and tick.

Overall, would definitely recommend this one. Follow my stream https://www.twitch.tv/briennaij to see when I am going to play this live next!

Overall Rating: 10 out of 10 controllers.

Shadow Eyes #3: Sacrificial Souls Review

Sacrificial Souls (Shadow Eyes Series, #3) #bookblogger #bookreview @dustycrabtree
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Iris has been given a leadership role by Gregory, and Gregory is starting to leave everything up to her guidance and her team in missions. Iris doesn’t think that she can do everything on her own, and begins to resent Gregory for putting them in danger. Donovan keeps showing up, and now she has to try to fight him by herself. Him, on top of all the other shadows that Iris and her friends have to fight. She is glad to have a team behind her, but it would still be nice to have some guidance from her mentor.

I have loved the Shadow Eyes series from start to finish, and I am sad to see it end. This wasn’t the absolute best ending in my personal opinion, but it was the only one that made sense given the circumstances. I didn’t understand why Gregory was pushing Iris so hard, but by the end of the book I guess I kind of understood. I just felt like this was very out of character for him, which made it hard for me to connect with his character under these circumstances.

What I did enjoy was that all the ends seemed to be tied up with this story. I understood the shadows, I understood what Iris’ job was as a light warrior, and I think that Iris did too. It seemed like a very final conclusion to what had been a very long adventure with Iris and her friends. I was happy to see that the drama had mostly disappeared with Iris’ relationship with Patrick and they were able to just enjoy being together. One of my favorite parts of the book was watching Iris help her mother and her mother’s boyfriend plan for their wedding. The simple domestic things that allowed me to see how these characters were transitioning into a new stage of their lives made me enjoy this book even more.

The story flowed well, there were no dead moments that bothered me as I was reading it. The author perfectly balances the action with the main narrative, and I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t see any plot holes that distracted me from enjoying the book. There were no grammar errors or formatting errors as I read the ebook version of this novel. Everything except for the out of character Gregory made this a perfect ending to the series for me!

I would recommend this series to anyone looking for new YA fantasy novels to enjoy.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books.

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Ben Galley Ultimate Blog Tour Spotlight!

@BenGalley

Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut The Written in 2010, Ben has released a range of award-winning fantasy novels, including the weird western Bloodrush and the epic standalone The Heart of Stone. He is also the author of the brand new Chasing Graves Trilogy.

The Written

Book one of The Emanska Series

His name is Farden. 
They whisper that he’s dangerous. 
Dangerous is only the half of it. 

Something has gone missing from the libraries of Arfell. Something very old, and something very powerful. Five scholars are now dead, a country is once again on the brink of war, and the magick council is running out of time and options. 

Entangled in a web of lies and politics and dragged halfway across icy Emaneska and back, Farden must unearth a secret even he doesn’t want to know, a secret that will shake the foundations of his world. Dragons, drugs, magick, death, and the deepest of betrayals await. 

Welcome to Emaneska.

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Chasing Graves

Book one of The Chasing Graves Trilogy

Welcome to Araxes, where getting murdered is just the start of your problems.

Meet Caltro Basalt. He’s a master locksmith, a selfish bastard, and as of his first night in Araxes, stone cold dead.

They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to be its ruler is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead do not rest in peace in the afterlife, but live on as slaves for the rich.

While Caltro struggles to survive, those around him strive for the emperor’s throne in Araxes’ cutthroat game of power. The dead gods whisper from corpses, a soulstealer seeks to make a name for himself with the help of an ancient cult, a princess plots to purge the emperor from his armoured Sanctuary, and a murderer drags a body across the desert, intent on reaching Araxes no matter the cost.

Only one thing is certain in Araxes: death is just the beginning.

Bloodrush

Book 1 of The Scarlet Star Trilogy

Prime Lord Hark lies dead in a pool of his own blood.

The Empire is in turmoil. The Emerald Benches are leaderless. Queen Victorious calls for justice. But none of this matters to Lord Hark’s thirteen year-old son, Tonmerion, who abruptly finds himself orphaned and now in the charge of an estranged aunt. An undertaker, no less, who lives far across the Iron Ocean, at the very brink of the Endless Land and all known civilisation. In a place they call Fell Falls, Wyoming.

In the dusty frontier town of Fell Falls, Merion finds no silverware, no servants, no plush velvet nor towering spires. Only dust, danger, and the railway. Tonmerion has only one friend to help him escape the torturous heat and unravel his father’s murder. A fae warrior named Rhin. An embittered, twelve-inch tall outcast of the Undering whose past refuses to let go of him.

But there are darker things at work in Fell Falls, and not just the railwraiths or the savages baying for blood. Secrets lurk in Merion’s bloodline.

Secrets that will redefine him.

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Heart of Stone

Merciless. Murderer. Monster. He has been called many names in his time.

Built for war and nothing else, he has witnessed every shade of violence humans know, and he has wrought his own masterpieces with their colours. He cared once, perhaps, but far too long ago. He is bound to his task, dead to the chaos he wreaks for his masters.

Now, he has a new master to serve and a new war to endure. In the far reaches of the Realm, Hartlund tears itself in two over coin and crown. This time he will fight for a boy king and a general bent on victory.

Beneath it all he longs for change. For something to surprise him. For an end to this cycle of warfare.

Every fighter has a last fight. Even one made of stone.

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Thank you for 750 Followers!

Hello everyone! I am sorry that I didn’t get the chance to put up a 750 followers appreciation post, but I just wanted to say thank you. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you all, and I am really loving blogging this summer! What I want to do today is to make sure that all of my new followers know where you can find me online!

I love blogging, but I am also on social media quite often, and I stream games on Twitch a few times a week. Here are my links!

I don’t use Instagram that much, but I try to post at least once or twice a week!

I am far more active on Twitter, follow me there to see me interact with different authors and talk about video games a lot.

https://www.facebook.com/brisbooknookreviews/

I don’t use Facebook that often, but I do have a Facebook page!

https://www.twitch.tv/briennaij

I also stream random video games from time to time, come and hang out!

Thank you so much for supporting me for this long, and I hope that you stay to love my book reviews!

Borderlands First Impressions Review

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Borderlands is a game series known for being absolutely hilarious. You are a person who has gone to a place called Pandora to hunt for a mysterious “Vault” full of unknown treasures. The first thing you meet is a little robot named Claptrap, who helps you start off your adventures in Fyrestone. Then, a strange lady starts to speak to you, saying that she will help you find the Vault. It is up to you to meet the people of Pandora, and start your adventures on the planet of Pandora.

I have played this game for almost ten hours at this point, and I would say that I am around a quarter or so of the way through. Maybe a bit more, but it tends to take me a bit longer than average to finish games. I am enjoying it, even though I usually don’t play FPS games. The gameplay is fairly simple, and even as a person not skilled at FPS games I was able to pick it up and go pretty easily. This game has actually made me better at other FPS games, just by being able to practice in such a relaxed environment.

The world of Pandora, aka the Borderlands, is chock full of unique characters. I guess you could say that a lot of the characters you meet would be the “villains” of other games, but in this game they are the main NPCs. One of the first people you meet is Dr. Zed. He is honestly one of my favorite characters, next to T.K. Baha, but he is a doctor who has some…unconventional practices. He got his license taken away, and now he spends his time cutting up the corpses of those Vault Hunters who don’t manage to make it to the end of their trip. He has plenty of business, as no explorer has made it to the end yet. T.K. Baha is a weapons inventor who lives on his own and is missing a leg, and who lost his wife to the skag/wild dog Scar. There are many other characters, but these are the first two you meet, and are therefore not spoilers. But these two characters show you just how wild this game can get.

Overall, I have had a pretty positive first experience with this game. I am definitely planning on finishing this one.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 controllers.

Flowers and Keyboards #1: Her Elysium Review

Her Elysium (Flowers and Keyboards 1)
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Her Elysium is a romance novel by Emmy Engberts about two girls who find each other by playing an MMORPG. Fleur thinks that the tank of the guild is a cute guy named Alex, and she starts to fall for him before even getting the chance to meet him. To her surprise, Alex is a pretty girl who has been crushing on the talented healer who recently joined the guild. Fleur has never had a girlfriend before, but she can’t seem to stop thinking about Alex. She fell for Alex the person; does it matter if Alex is a boy or a girl? Alex knows that she and Fleur could work well together, but she wants to make sure that Fleur is ready for a relationship first.

I randomly stumbled upon this book, and I am so glad that I did! Not only is a LitRPG book where the author actually knows a lot about games, it is a really sweet YA romance novel! When I heard that Fleur was going to be a healer, I was bracing for the typical “gamer girl” stereotypes to come out. The healer can’t do anything, and so girls choose to be healers so they can rely on the guys in the game to do everything. Some girls might do this, but I personally don’t know any who have. Instead, Fleur is a really talented healer! Good healers have to make sure that they stay out of harm’s way while keeping the whole team alive. Fleur had to know the battles by heart in order to learn the boss’ patterns and be a better healer for the team. This is what real healers and people who play these sorts of games would do, and I was happy to see this represented in this book!

Back to the romance. I like that the author didn’t make this an ultra-sexual romance novel simply because the two characters were both female. In fact, she went on to discuss in the novel how people unfortunately believe that LGBT+ couples are more sexual than straight couples. Alex and Fleur were just two normal high school aged girls who liked each other and were happy going out with one another. They became close friends first because of the game, and then they continued to play as they fell for each other.

Overall, this has been one of the best F/F YA romance novels that I have ever read. I would definitely recommend it, and I am definitely going to read more books by Mrs. Engberts!

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books

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My Best Friend Runs Venus Review

My Best Friend Runs Venus
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My Best Friend Runs Venus by Katrina S. Forest is a story about a pair of friends named Kade and Tamika who are members of a group of children who live in robot bodies on planets across the solar system. Kade is tech-savvy and uses that to his advantage against the adults who only come to the planets for hours at a time to teach the kids. Tamika’s only friend is Kade as many people think that she is just like her mother, a criminal.

This book had an interesting premise, but I believe that it got lost along the way. At first, I thought the story was going to mostly be about Tamika finding out the truth about her mother, but it was mostly about just Kade and Tamika running around different planets and meeting different people. This wouldn’t have been a bad thing if the story was more coherent. The story was too short for me to really understand who was who. I couldn’t remember the important things about each character, which meant that big “reveals” had me more confused than anything.

If you read the synopsis of this book you read that Tamika is a princess. Now, even though she is a princess, I did not get the feeling that she “ran Venus” at all in the story. At best she was a princess in hiding, and that wasn’t even the main focus of the novel. The only person even protecting her was her best friend, some random kid named Kade. It was more interesting learning about the other kids who seemed to be somewhat rich and have somewhat positions of power, even if they weren’t using them for good, than to learn about Kade and Tamika in this story.

The one thing that I did like in this story was the premise of a world with minimal interference from adults. Since the adults couldn’t physically stand to be in their bodies for too long, the children basically ran around on the planets by themselves. It seemed a bit unrealistic that adults could only do it for a few hours at a time but Kade and Tamika could literally spend months outside of their physical bodies, but it made for an interesting story arc. I wish that the whole “adult-free world” idea had been expanded upon more. Like what sort of crazy things would these children build on these planets without adult supervision for hours at a time. Their imaginations could literally go wild, but they seemed to be bound by technology in this book.

Overall, I wouldn’t really recommend this book. It had an interesting premise, but the overall story seemed as if too many things were going on at once for me to keep track of everything.  

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books

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Webtoon Wednesday: MadHattey!

This Webtoon Wednesday, I’m highlighting MadHattey from Instagram! She draws comics based on characters from the plays Dear Evan Hansen, Be More Chill, and writes unique stories for her own characters. Many of the characters she writes are LGBT+, and she explores who each character identifies as in different comic arcs. I love all the couples that she writes because they are all just so positive and supportive of each other! Even though I am always surprised by the new couples she creates, I always end up loving them in the end! She has even gender swapped a few of the couples she created, and I just…I loved it.

My personal favorite pairing is Timmy and Rich. Timmy is MadHattey’s own character, and he is autistic. Rich is a character from Be More Chill. He had the SQUIP and was the one who told Jeremy how to get one, and he burned down a house accidentally while trying to get rid of his SQUIP at the end of the play. They make the cutest couple, as Rich helps Timmy through his sensory overload issues and bad memories of his father and Timmy helps Rich through his post-fire PTSD. Here are two of my favorite comics of the couple!

A color version!

And here is my favorite gender swapped version of this couple.

Nevertheless, not everything she writes is romance. Some of the stories she writes are about family and issues that come with that. There are other characters in her universe that have stories about dealing with mental health issues, ADHD, abuse, homophobia, and many other things. Honestly, a lot of these comics can get pretty angsty, but I love angst so that’s no problem for me. If you aren’t into angst, there is plenty of fluff to go around. You won’t be bored!

If you like LGBT+ and neurodiverse webcomics or are a fan of the play Be More Chill, you should definitely follow MadHattey on Instagram. She comes out with new content on a very regular basis, sometimes almost daily! I am always excited to check and see what else has come out of her amazingly creative mind.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 paintbrushes

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Comeback: A K-Pop Novel Review

Comeback: A K-pop Novel
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Comeback: A K-pop Novel is a book by Lyn and Rachel about a K-pop star and a stranger he met one night. Emery is a star, but his family never approved of his career. He almost quit his group NEON in their early days because of their first album’s failure, but he met a stranger one night whose love for music convinced him to not quit NEON. They felt an instant connection, and now he is a member of one of the most successful K-pop groups in the industry. When the girl shows up again as a staff person at one of his music shows, he knows that he has to speak to her and thank her. A scandal would ruin NEON as a whole, but Emery just can’t help but get to know her. On the other side, Alana used to love music. Then, her brother Alex died, and music reminded her of him. Then, she runs into M, the member she met that night. He seems to show up everywhere she is, but she can’t let herself get close to him.

I am a huge fan of many different K-pop groups, and my phone is full of bookmarked fanfiction about those groups. When I heard that this book about a fictional K-pop group was coming out, I knew I had to read it. Lyn and Rachel have managed to write an accurate portrayal of K-pop culture.  They show how hardworking K-pop groups and their staff are, the stigma against Korean music artists, and the fan culture. I could understand every part of this book and relate it to something that happened to one of my favorite groups in real life. It’s not all pretty, but it does show why some groups have such a strong connection with their fans and vice versa. It was also awesome to see how the members of NEON interacted with each other, I started feeling as if they were a real group rather than being fictional, the characters just jumped off the page.

This book discusses serious issues, like how having unsupportive parents can affect someone’s mental health. Emery didn’t have supportive parents and the only thing that kept him from a miserable life was Alana and her love for music. Her brother loved music, and then he was gone, and she was forcing herself to be miserable to have a “real” job as a makeup artist. Emery and Alana could help each other by just being there for one another. No one was there for them the way they needed, so they were there for each other. It was really a sweet friendship/romance, and I definitely would love a sequel with these characters!

This book flows smoothly from chapter to chapter. Even though there are POV switches, I could always tell who was talking. There were no giant time-skips that made me confused, even though the book does take place over the course of several months. Also, there were no grammar errors that I noticed in this ARC, which is impressive!

I loved this book, and I can’t wait to read more by these authors. I would recommend this novel to any YA contemporary romance fan or any K-pop fan who wants to read a novel about the secrets of a fictional group!

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books

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Vampires of Shadow Hills #1: Flesh and Blood Review

Flesh and Blood (The Vampires of Shadow Hills #1)
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Flesh and Blood by Willow Rose is the start of a YA vampire series. Robyn’s parents always favor her older brother, and the favoritism has been getting worse as her brother is about to go away to college. She just wants to be able to spend time with her best friend Jayden, but her mom is threatening to take her out of her school if they are caught hanging out together again. Soon, her older brother Adrian starts to display some strange behaviors, and people start to get hurt around the town. Robyn’s parents don’t see anything wrong with what Adrian is doing, but Robyn knows something is wrong, and she is determined to get to the bottom of it with Jayden’s help.

I was really looking forward to a good YA vampire novel, like the ones from the early 2000s, but this one was just disappointing. For starters, these characters acted far below their ages. I had to constantly remind myself that Robyn was supposed to be 16 years old, most of the time she read like she was 13 or even maybe younger than that. She wasn’t even smart about half of the stuff she does! At one point, even though her mother had told her not to have Jayden around, she had him sneak into her room? That’s like….literally the easiest way to get caught. There were so many things they could have done to avoid getting caught together, but it’s like they didn’t even know how to do basic things. If you can’t text the person, use a messaging app on your computer or something. If your mom only sends you to school and home, you could just meet up secretly at school. So many opportunities wasted, and I was just shocked that they couldn’t think of a single good idea of how to meet up. And their little “arguments” made me so mad, like they bickered like 8-year-olds in the middle of an important investigation that involved both of their brothers. It was honestly just so funny that I couldn’t take the story seriously.

Getting back to the brothers, I couldn’t understand the parents at all. They want to keep their daughter locked up, but they literally don’t care about the other kid getting hurt, caught, or possibly doing something to hurt someone else. I will get more in-depth with this in my review of book 2, but I couldn’t skip over how ridiculous the situation was. If their parents really had a secret to hide, why wouldn’t they hide one kid and then not even take precautions for the other. That’s putting a lot of trust in the other kid, which doesn’t make sense given how off the kid had been acting most of the time in the book.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book. I am halfway through book 2 as I am writing this review, so I am going to finish the trilogy, and my opinion hasn’t improved any. Definitely skip this trilogy!

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 books

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