• Dan Cole

Reviews and Words

Things are moving along well here. Summertime in our household usually consists of taking Lily to various weekly events like ballet camp, Y Warriors, Y camp, call kinds of stuff. Obviously that's not happening this summer, so mostly Lily is reading like crazy. She's become quite the bookworm, and we love it. Currently she is devouring Bone, by Jeff Smith. She's reading the colorized digests and she can't get enough. I love it, Bone is easily one of my top three books.

Speaking of books, today's post will feature the first book review on Big Fiction Energy. I'm not the fastest reader, so these probably won't be with every entry, but I'll see what I can do. For our first installment, I have a review of J. Zachary Pike's Orconomics, a fantasy satire. This was highly recommended to me by Tim, the Executive Producer of the Professional Casual Network, co-host of Big Fiction Energy, and friend. He loves this book, in fact he gushes about it in episode 11 of the podcast, make sure to check that out if you haven't already.

I'll put the review at the bottom, but the cool cover here:

Other goings-on include a lot of gaming-related fun. On my Patreon Vlog, Nerd News (over at I show off some of the games I've been playing, like Marvel: Crisis Protocol, Marvel: Champions, Warhammer 40K, and tomorrow (hopefully) I'll be starting The Last of Us: Part 2. I'm super excited for LoU2, the first one is one of my favorite video games ever, and I've heard great things about the sequel.

I haven't been going as strong with the 100 Days 100 Words challenge as I'd like, but I figured I would complete entries when I'm feeling more motivated, instead of forcing myself to every day. Often I just don't think of it, but enjoy it when I do. I'll post all of the ones since the last blog here including a new one for today, after the review.

Thanks for stopping by, and don't forget to check out all of the podcast goodness over at!



Orconomics J. Zachary Pike

Orconomics was recommended to me by a friend who often professes how much he doesn’t read. He does enjoy audio books for his commutes though, and that is how he experienced this. We both love the fantasy genre and my friend is a financial advisor, so this fit him to a T. It’s his favorite book. While it’s not in the top 3 for me, it was quite good. Orconomics had a slow start and a bit of a lull in the middle, but by the final act I couldn’t put it down. I will admit I didn’t enjoy the fantasy world economics as much as others, but it was a fun tweak on the overdone high-fantasy setting. Some parts were fascinating, but as I will keep this spoiler-free, I won’t go into too much detail there. I will say that I did find myself missing out on much of the intrigue of the plot because I realized later I just wasn’t paying attention to parts that were much more important later on.

As a satire, most of the jokes worked. They came a bit too frequently and heavy handed in the beginning, but as the story rolled on and I got to know the characters better, the jokes flowed more naturally and were funnier. The entire idea of the Hero’s Guild and Ranks were nice. I even spotted references to other geek culture such as Final Fantasy 7. The story did turn quite serious, so it was nice that the entire thing wasn’t a joke.

As for the characters, the large party of 8 was handled well. Some got more development than others, but there is a second book in the series, so I’m hoping some will get more *coughGaistcough*. Pike did a nice job making you care about them, as some unfortunate events were truly disheartening, I did find myself hoping no one would die.

Overall I enjoyed it, and while the plot did linger for a while before the action picked up at the end, I fully plan on reading the next part, Son of a Liche, soon.

100 Days 100 Words

38: 6/26- “Jewelry”

Prism wasn't one for jewelry. Her family had pawned anything that would have been handed down generations ago. Now that she was a Hundred Dollar Hero, Prism could afford those finer things, but she just didn't care about them. The only accessory that Prism had was enough for her. A white and purple headband she had gotten as a birthday gift from her best friend, Dahliah, when they were both seven. The headband was made of alternating triangles of white and a bright reddish purple bone beads that had been dyed long ago. Prism cherished the headband like a priceless artifact. She hadn't seen Dahliah since she was ten, even before she joined the Heroes, but Prism knew she would always have a friend because of the headband.

39: 6/28/20- “War and Peace”

The Void War was the beginning of the end for the followers of the Sprites on Andora. Goblins and their newer brethren, the orcs, spewed out of the Void Marshes in numbers never seen before. First to conquer were the dwarfs of the Star Mountains. These hardy people had been the bulwark against the Voidspawn for millennia, but even they weren't prepared for the tide of green bodies that erupted from the swamps. The dwellers of the mountains were overwhelmed within weeks and the Flatlands were next. Luckily the people of the Flatlands had General Hector of Gol to lead their defenses. He was a grand strategist and an inspiring leader. Another advantage was that the Voidspawn were fighting a war on many fronts now, but they had Skorn. (cont.)

40: 6/29/20- “War and Peace 2”

The Voidspawn pushed out from the Star Mountains, sweeping across the Flatlands almost without effort. They sailed to the island of Groq'oq, and there they met their first defeat. A young leader, Ronan and his best friend, a Garoq Primal Gideon, led the charge against the goblins, driving them off of the island after they had established a beach head. The victory was massive, and built up morale among all of those fighting the Voidspawn. Ronan and Gideon joined the mainland fighting, but were sent on a mission from General Hector to find allies. They were joined by a Sylvan Priestess named Thea and the Prince Hamish, one of the few surviving Star Dwarfs, to travel across the sea. (cont.)

41: 7/8/20- “War and Peace 3”

Across the sea, Ronan, Gideon, Hamish, and Thea were found by elves, people not seen in decades in the Flatlands or Groq'oq. While they were in elf custody, they were attacked by Lupine, wolf primals that wanted nothing more than to slaughter the Elves. The party fought free and made it to the elf city in the forest. There they learned a bit about the elves, that they were open Greymelken worshipers and long warred with the native primals. Eventually the Flatlanders were able to make diplomatic contact with the Lupine and learned that the elves were invaders and killed primals on a whim. Ronan and his friends decide to help the primals, and Firenz, a young red Lupine with shapeshifting powers joined their group. (cont.)

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The Big Fiction Energy Podcast is live! Well, really it’s been live for about a week, but I’m beginning a new schedule starting with episode one. From now own, blog posts will be every other week, wit