Book Review: Wise Acres (Heck: Where The Bad Kids Go #7)


Dale E. Basye is a literary genius. No, I’m not exaggerating. After a certain point in the book, I believe that he truly is a genius.

Plot: This is a much lighter book than Precocia. It almost feels as if Mr. Basye was trying to write something slightly different than the normal format, just to experiment for future literary endeavors. That being said, it is not a bad book. It takes the concept of the word ‘meta’ and brings it up to a level that even Phelous, creator of a film reviewing web series, wouldn’t dare to traverse. Unfortunately, to explain further would be to ruin portions of the book and it is too good to ruin.  Wise Acres feels like a gigantic love letter to the art of creating a novel. An art that I wish I could master, incidentally. If I didn’t officially proclaim it before, then this installment officially convinces me that Heck should be on a list of books to go over in a school’s curriculum. Children, teenagers, and adults of any age will most likely love to devour this in a classroom.

Characters: Once again, the deceased real-life teachers are remarkably well-chosen. In all of his books, Mr. Basye crams in intriguing references to life, including one such reference to a pigeon driving a bus in Precocia. Because the main theme seems to be linguistics, it expands his opportunities to tease young readers with the works of classic authors and remind adult readers of the nostalgic experiences in their high school English course. I can not speak for all teen readers, but it inspires me, at any rate, to look up every single reference. It is what TV Tropes calls a “Genius Bonus.” A delightful scavenger hunt of literary goodness! This version of Lewis Carroll especially interests me. I would read a book just about the staff interacting or the daily minutia of life. In fact, if any television executives are reading this, and I doubt they are, then contact Mr. Basye! Create a Seinfeld-esque comedic program about the daily life of the employees! Alternately, a web series. I don’t know what to say, I just want to find out more information about the life of the normal employees!

This is becoming an unfortunate trend, as with the previous review. I have no idea of what else to say. Future plot events are quite nicely foreshadowed, and Milton and Marlo continue to be wonderful. I do feel disappointed by a certain character, who seems to be out of the series permanently. Even so, it was a good run for the character who I will not name, due to spoilers. Unlike the last book, however, I do have two complaints. Firstly, certain portions of the novel were slightly hard to read, but that is a nitpick. I have never been very good at cursive, despite practicing it many times. (Side Note: We aren’t learning cursive in high school, and I think that is a shame. I want to relearn it.) Secondly, I couldn’t find the usual message at the end of the book, stating the title and date of the next book’s release. However, it appears as though some kind of poem was encrypted into the afterword. My sister and I should work on translating that. Wise Acres thoroughly deserves an A+. I can’t wait for the remaining two books. Wait…A possibility of only two books left in the series? To my disappointment, yet another quality book series will end, leaving me to go on the hunt for a new one. Harry PotterPendragonAlex Rider, countless other series…Why did you go? Why?? Have an excellent day, everyone! Keep reading, and pick up the Heck series! It’s a heck of a good time, pun gleefully intended.

Book Review: Precocia (Heck: Where The Bad Kids Go #6)


Dale E. Basye is a remarkably good author. His books are well-written, the characters are interesting, and the puns are hilarious. This book, while not too different from the usual Heck-ish fare, takes a slightly darker turn. Join me, will you, for my journey into the  second newest installment of the Heck series.

Plot: You should know that this is much darker than the first books. An alternate universe is shown for a good portion of the novel and it travels into the realms of the genuinely scary. Not that the earlier volumes aren’t creepy, but this almost delves into “Nightmare Fuel” territory. I believe that if Mr. Basye ever chose to write horror novels, he could rival the great Stephen King. Additionally, the puns partially disappear at the story gets darker. I don’t mean that there is a flaw in the writing, I just mean that they populate less of the book in order to focus on the action and universe. When they do appear, they are spot on and almost calculatingly created. Much like Stephan Pastis, author of the newspaper strip Pearls Before Swine, I believe that Mr. Basye plans out certain puns and in-jokes beforehand, making sure to have them be important to the plot, not just throw-away jokes that add nothing to the book.

As for the other portion of the plot, it continues to be engaging. I truly enjoy seeing the new villains of each book, but that can wait for my opinion on the characters. The plot that they come up with is hard to spot and the climax is masterfully done. Similar to,  although this may be a strange comparison, Seinfeld, he manages to combine two partially unrelated plots into one without it seeming contrived.

Characters: Milton and Marlo are as well-characterized as ever. I particularly enjoy seeing the moments where it shows that they do have affection for each other, despite the occasional taunt or threat of bodily harm. In a way, it reminds me of Gravity Falls, though a cartoon is very different from a book, Dipper and Mabel are less argumentative, and they are not dead. (As far as we know. Alex Hirsch, the creator of the show, is also an excellent writer.) As for the teachers, I am amazed at the amount of work that Mr. Basye has put into his characters. I would wager that he spends most of his time researching various historical figures to use for the next book. The characterization in them is so astounding, I find myself wondering if that is what they would actually act like in real life. When they were alive, of course. An interesting thing to note is that I didn’t recognize Yung or B. F.  Skinner when I first perused this book. After the first semester of A. P. Psychology, I can definitely recognize those names. Thankfully, a certain Sigmund Freud didn’t appear, but I do suspect that Mr. Basye may have toned down certain…aspects of his studies for the book. On the other hand, maybe not.

I really don’t know what else to say. The writing is truly engaging. I can’t think of anything that I didn’t like about Precocia. It earns an A+. I hope that the next installment will be just as good! (It is as good, but I wanted to end my review in a good way. Of course, I have ruined that with this sentence, but we will disregard that. Just go to your local bookstore/library and pick up this series. Make fan art and fan videos. Make fanfiction if you want, I don’t know about Mr. Basye’s opinion on that. You will have to ask him.) Have an excellent day, readers!

MAKING OF: “Bizarro Atop The Fourth Wall”


  • This is the website that I used in order to find the lyrics. Additionally, I used multiple rhyming sites, even though it still sounds bad. I am proud of the “Louvre” rhyme, however. Something about it makes me happy.
  • Near the second half, it starts to get worse. Actually, whenever I reread my own writing, it just starts to sound absolutely horrible, regardless of how much I enjoyed it during the writing process.
  • The bum reference was meant to be a reference to Chester A. Bum. What’s the opposite of a classy singer who wears a tuxedo? A homeless bum who raves about movies…maybe.

SONG PARODY: Bizarro Atop The Fourth Wall (Extended Version)


I have not had any ideas for blog posts…UNTIL NOW! As long as I’m making a warped version of  Linkara’s theme song, I may as well borrow a catchphrase from his show: Time 4 Backstory!!!!!!

BACKSTORY: Atop The Fourth Wall is a web series about reviewing bad comics. I recently discovered that one does not need a Twitter account in order to browse other people’s Twitters. Linkara has a Twitter. I read it for fun and updates on his work. A conversation ensued between Linkara and Spoony, one of his friends. Here is a summary.

Noah Antwiler ‏@TheSpoonyOne  2h

GO AWAY UNDER FOURTH WALL WHERE GOOD COMICS FREEZE! GOODBYE! #BizarroLinkara @Linkara19 #LeagueOfBizarroCritics

It is a reverse version of Atop The Fourth Wall‘s theme song, based on a Superman villain called Bizarro, who had a shtick that consisted of doing everything backwards. (Ex: “Goodbye! I am Bizarro! Are you having a bad day?” )  Okay, so I’m not the best at imitating it. Anyway, I received permission from Linkara to create a bizarro version of his theme song. Here is the song. Special credit goes to Linkara, for giving me permission, and Spoony, because I’m going to borrow some of his tweet. And, if you want to use it in your respective web series, feel free to. Not that I think it’s good enough to warrant that, but I’m in a goofy mood. I apologize for the harsh rhymes and for my usage of Larfleeze. I have no idea who the character is, but it rhymes. Indeed, this song has quality. Finally, ‘boy’ is the opposite of ‘man’, according to some sources.

Bizarro Atop The Fourth Wall: Extended Version

Composed by Zachary Krishef, some lyrics taken from Noah “Spoony” Antwiler”

Go away, Under The Fourth Wall,  where good comics freeze!

Kinlara’s going to drain your brains of everything but Larfleeze!

Brodsky, your lessons are so smooth! Liefeld, you belong in the Louvre!

Anyone who’s been rejected, it’ll never be your turn!

Kinlara!

He is a boy! Kick! Wears striped socks!

Kinlara!

He stole a microscope! Why’d he need that?

Kinlara!

Dollars, meatbags, humans, and Segways!

Kinlara!

THIS COMIC IS GENIUS!

Kinlara stands up, wearing a dress,

and speed-reads his way through it.

Well-written, great pencils,

but no one cares about it.

And it’s time Kinlara browses TV Tropes!

They filled his quotes page with all kinds of rage

when someone bugs him about the History Power Rangers

but it’s overshadowed by the 60s Kid!

Chilling with crossovers, one-shots, and tie-ins,

Kinlara sleeps, having no bias

under the fourth wall, looking around for guidance.

“Of course! He doesn’t know anything about science!”

There would be worse books on his show,

but he felt too much woe,

there’s something stuck on his shoe,

it’s the One More Day comics of joy for you…

Kinlara!

He is a boy! Kick! Nothing on his leg!

Kinlara!

Never breaks the mistake alarm!

Kinlara!

Country classics, Sane-as-can-be, a homeless cup-wielding bum?

KINLARA!

 

UPDATE:  Yes, this is DEFINITELY good enough for Linkara to use! *laughs egotistically and maniacally*