Alumni (Artorian's Archives #2) By Dennis Vanderkerken


This book could be a listener's starting point to the series, but I would recommend the previous book in the series as you will appreciate this one and the main character that much more if you do.

In some ways you could almost have a lot of this book take place as a training montage, but the somewhat gentler pace works well with this character, drawing you into the story more gradually, but ensuring you will want to know what happens next with him and his mission.

The narrator does a good job of helping to bring this varied cast of characters to life, serving to enhance the enjoyment of the listener.

Overall, a strong second book in the series and I'll definitely be checking out subsequent ones in the future.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.] 380 While there are some enjoyable moments, several strong flaws really hamper the quality of this book.

As a sequel to Axiom, this book really fails in terms of pacing, tone, and tying up loose ends. It does however have some really fun world building that I really enjoyed and its the reason why I read these books so on net I enjoyed this book, but wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to others. I loved the first 40% of the book where Artorian vibes with the wood elves. I thought the setting and the characters were great (Ember is phenomenal) and my only complaint is that 5 years pass really fast and easy for someone on a rescue mission. However, the pivot to the skyspire introduces some very unexpected bloodshed, feels like a weird tangent and features several time skips which start to cheapen the overall plot. Additionally, it featured my least favorite trope of the Divine Dungeon series, where the ending is prefaced by sudden mass death of civilians. 380 I've been falling behind on reviewing the books I've read.

While I enjoyed most of this book, Vanderkerken is running into the issue where his lost kid premise is a bit distracting. He has LARGE segments of time pass off screen and it I keep thinking about how old the children must be after all that. I though the stretch of time in the first book was excessive and he just keeps piling it on here.

Also, these books feel like two or more books squished together. The narrative will be entirely focused on one event, he'll do the typical build up to dealing with that event, have a climax and then... start into a new narrative and do it all again. It's not usually done very cleanly either, there is a clear break point for the end of a book.

This books has about 3 stories in it. The Elves in the forest, the return to the school, and the invasion.

Given the way people die in this franchise, it's a wonder life isn't extinct. 380 Alumni is the second book in Artorian’s Archives by Dennis Vanderkerken and Dakota Krout.

I was honestly hoping to never leave the company of the ‘Wood Elves’ and Ember the Fire Soul. All of the hijinks that they, the dwarves, and Artorian managed to capture my attention with were vividly fascinating. But most intriguing for the wooden and distinctly inhuman inhabitants of the ‘haunted’ forest was their collective naming system and mind sharing techniques. Ember is hopefully going to become a pivotal character throughout Artorian’s journey to Ascension and reaching all of his lost children.

Later, what transpires on the mountain of Skyspear Academy with his utter destruction of the ‘teachers’ ruling over the student body was such a delicious deliverance of justice. Yet, another instance where Artorian steals my interest and captures my heart with his kookiness and influential character.

I’m kind of scared to see where the depths of the mountain, while running from the reach of The Hand’s attack will take his growing body of allies and the citizens they intend to protect. Further, how much longer his final two children will have to wait to be found? Or almost importantly of all, how Astrea’s infernal alignment differs from the elements he possesses, and what we will come to learn about this mysterious and dark force of nature. 380 Grandfather’s continued adventures to reclaim his children, and correct a grievous transgression

Artorian is the lovable, stubborn, open hearted, patriarchal figure in many minds when we think back to early memories of our grandparents and great grandparents. Bastions of our family, that we often know little of their early lives.
These humorous adventures are always part of the continued learning and growth process that is part of the core of who Artorian is, and what he wants the Academy to represent to the world. Decades pass and his knowledge grows, as does that of all around him as he encourages the sharing and debate of knowledge.
What cultivation craziness do you think he attempted this time? Was the result spectacular? Which of his children do you think he found in this book? Read on to find out! 380

Both better and worse

Better than the first, in that the novel progresses smoothly from the start. There is a continuous motive force to the narrative.

Worse, in that there are several moments where modern concepts or Earth ideas crop up without basis (Gregorian Chants?). Also, a few too many moments of ‘cuteness’ - puns or purposefully inserted animals/beings that are there not to support the story but as writer jokes.

Needs a little more discipline to make it a true 4 star. Still very readable.

I will continue the series. The MC is very amusing. 380 Audiobook. I think I’m being gracious with my rating. I found that while listening I literally fell asleep many times. This tends to make remembering things like the plot harder...sorry just fell asleep read like an encyclopedia rather than a story...maybe an encyclopedia that also loosely told a story. 380 I had two main problems with this sequel.
1. Fully a third of it was set in a forest as Artorian trained. Not much happens there apart from his forming a strong friendship. That section was too long.
2. Artorian has no sense of urgency, despite three of his kids being in the hands of raiders. He happily devotes years in a forest, then years in a college and finally one of his kids has to come to him. That doesn't fit with his character from book one. Sure he trained in the first book, but he had no choice since he was powerless and dying.

There's still a lot to like but it was often disappointing for me. 380 07/16/21 Notes:

Rating Raised for Audiobook to 3 Stars

Audiobook was much better than the ebook, but the plot was not as engaging or well planned as the first book.

01/10/20 Notes:

I only made it to 4% of the Kindle version. I thought really hard about forcing myself to speed read the book & finish it but I decided against it. The series has potential but it needs a lot of editing. If I had a print out of the book, the pages would be covered in red ink for adjustments/corrections.

I'm actually sad that I will not be continuing with the series because I had enjoyed listening to book one. 380 DNF yet, I'm currently at ~50% of the audiobook. Travis Baldree is always nice to listen to.

I hate time skips. I hate frequent time skips even more. I hate frequent, clumsy time skips, that come out of nowhere, the most.

Also, while reading the first book, I kind of understood old dude not going to war immediately. But now, two years later, with three of his grandchildren still in danger, it's just weird, seeing him just mess around and not starting to truly work for 1.5 years. Even after the so called turning point, when his lack of strength cost someones life, he still delays his advancement all the time (). It just didn't feel like he was really trying. Why should we care about his grandchildren, since he clearly doesn't seem to?

The third (or twenty-seventh, if you count each time skip separately) irritation I had with this volume is a bit harder to put into words. The book felt like a Virlyce novel (that's not a good thing imo). The story just meandered around, with no real feeling of cause and effect, like the whole plot was just cobbled together from random thoughts the author had, without said thoughts having any connection to the world, to previously established rules/motivations or to each other. It felt messy.

I'm unsure if I'll continue further. 380

An academy that scrapes the sky. Blight that fills the earth. Two codgers duking it out.

Artorian has decided to live, all in order to save his lost village children. His recent battle against a simple raider Captain has proven that if he tries to charge ahead... he'll die.

With the help of his captors, who quickly turn into close friends, Artorian takes the first steps onto the path of a true cultivator. Finesse, skill, fine-tuned cultivation techniques, and more is within his grasp. Artorian is more than willing to learn; after all, that's his specialty!

This knowledge has strings attached. After meeting the ancient enemy of his trainers, Artorian returns to the place he first studied his true passion of philosophy: the Skyspear. It's under new management, and the alumni have very different ideas about how the students should be trained. Alumni (Artorian's Archives #2)

summary Alumni (Artorian's Archives #2)