I picked up this book because my loving husband threw it at me and told me to stop reading the series I had been reading, and to read this book. In all fairness, this book has a lot of factors that would contribute to it being something I should like; and based off the title alone, I probably would have picked it up at some point. In any case, the throwing it at me got me to read it sooner than I would have. Level Grind is a collection of the first four stories of the Twenty Sided Sorceress series.
Jade Crow, the main character in this book series, is a sorceress. We discover that she has been running from an evil sorcerer who wants to kill her and eat her heart to gain her power. The only way to kill a sorcerer or sorceress is to eat their heart, anything less than that and the person can heal themselves. This evil sorcerer, who goes by the name Samir, can track Jade by the amount of magic she uses, so she hasn’t been using very much since she is in hiding. Jade runs and operates a comic book/game store. She doesn’t have spell books for her magic so she wields the power as she would d&d spells. By the end of the first story, Jade decides that she is tired of running and is going to stay and grow her power and fight Samir when he comes to kill her.
This book has a lot going for it. The main character is female, a badass, and a giant nerd. There was action and adventure and just enough of a love interest to keep me happy, but not so much that it was annoying. There are a lot of pop culture references to classic nerd things, which I enjoyed because you could tell that the person writing the series was actually a nerd and the books are an embracing of that culture. Jade feels very real as a character, she has gone through a lot to get where she is and we see glimpses of that, which make her human. She also messes up and has to learn things the hard way, by fucking them up to figure it out. I enjoy reading about characters with amazing power that are also flawed, because it makes them so much more relatable. I recommend this book to nerds everywhere, it is the book I will be pushing on all my friends.
I rate this book 4.5 stars out of 5.