Rating: M 18+ Strong Language
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Honestly, when I found out that NaughtyHippy was making a new fanfiction, I was a little distraught. I loved Re:Lovely, and OP explained that they would not be writing any more chapters for it.
Now that I've read the first few chapters of this, though, I'm not sure I mind the hiatus/extended chapter times on Re:Lovely. This one is even better.
The grammar is flawless (so far as I've noticed), the story is interesting, the plot flows well, and the world is developed in a style that I very much appreciate. Of course, the same can be said about Re:Lovely. What makes this one special for me is that it has a relatively high level of flirtatiousness without the gratuitous sex that occurs in Re:Lovely. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed reading the lesbian sex as much as the next guy--more so after she discovered ice magic--but it was definitely a bit much.
This story also has a more interesting beginning, in my humble opinion. While Re:Lovely used a slightly tweaked, but relatively standard, reincarnation trope, this one relies on time loops--a much more difficult device to use properly. The only downside behind this method that I've seen so far is the limited timeline that the protagonist has: one month of learning to achieve full-body reformation is a bit of a stretch. Still, this is a fantasy fiction, so why not, right?
Overall, I adore the style NaughtyHippy uses and love the story. I have given only 4.5 stars on the character because of the aforementioned limited timeline problem (which makes character growth a little absurd). Other than that, it's fantastic. A must read.
There’s something about the writer’s style that makes you want to keep on reading. I think it’s a combination of:
- A good action driven pacing (only brief descriptions, most of the time it’s the characters doing something, story keeps on advancing)
- More show and less tell exposition (character, world setting, and rules are described through story telling rather than info dump – for most of the time, but IMO it’s impossible not to make an info dump here or there)
- Characters stay true to themselves and any change in behaviour is triggered by something that make it seem natural (well only MC has been really developed so as of chapter 4 this applies only to him)
About the story itself I find the execution makes it very original (as original as one can be in fiction since basically everything has been done in one way or another). It’s easy to root for the MC, even though he is somewhat OP he still has his limits.By the end of each chapter you’ll want to know what happens next.
As far as point to improve upon (and this is just my opinion so take it as that) *** Spoiler I feel a monthly cycle is too little time for him to be learning so much stuff… especially when he is learning and honing his body for the warrior stuff *** end of Spoiler. It just seems rather forced to me.
Other than that I feel the story feels very natural and keeps you hooked, congratulations!
I guess this was also dropped along with RE:Lovely, what a shame.
This is a novel that has a very similar plotline to Mother of Learning. It is very well done so far and I am looking forward to more. I was initially disappointed when the author told us that they would be taking a break for Re:Lovely to write something new. Now that I haave read this, I don't really mind at all.
Here's to another fantastic ff! 5/5
3 chapters so far and already, wanting more as soon as possible just like Re:Lovely.
Story, MC all make for one great FF. The quality of writing is superb and my only wish is that you release chapters for this as fast as possible lol
Because if there were two of you I wouldn't have to choose between this and Lovely! Fantastic stories both
I like this story a lot! The premise and character development seems very interesting. Hoping for more chapters!!
This is a review made by a full member of The Group.
My way of reviewing and rating will be to have a paragraph of notes, then a value which lowers or increases the score. Everyone starts with a score of 5/5, then I lower as I go.
The world of Wayward Soul is not explicitly said and instead, the author focuses more on the character’s movements than on Info Dumps. A good option. Hippy allows the readers to try and immerse themselves in the story from the start using the travels of the MC. The traveling is really the only way we, the readers, know anything about the world. The world is also revealed through whatever news the MC gets. Because of this, the story is mainly one that reads like a documentary in that the information centers around the MC. Halfway through the story, I was thinking it would have been better if it was a First Person story instead of a Third person… oh well. (Story + 0.5)
Story is rather slow or instantaneous. Unless the author adds conversations, the story skips a great deal of the daily life and similar events. What I mean to say is, we are told a great deal about what the MC does and shown little. For example, the part where the MC is going to join Regis (the artificers?) is told in one paragraph and we are not shown a situation where he explains why he is going or what he is going to do. In this, the author allows for the plot to progress quickly but at the expense of detail. (Style – 1) (Story – 0.5)
The writing in Wayward Soul is moderate-high level. (nothing)
Quality of descriptions
Here is where I explain my earlier comment on the moderate part of ‘moderate-high level’. Although Hippy’s writing is rather high quality compared to the rest of the fics on the site, I can’t help but think there could be more. Although this may lengthen the story quite a bit, I have to say that Hippy needs a lot more description in the story since I couldn’t imagine some of it. An example of this is the Holy Capital. Hippy does a quick line about the building height and then goes on to the crowds before moving back to the MC. Simple and quick, but leaves me wondering what was so important about the ‘Holy Capital’. Could the MC see some important landmark of the capital? I was thinking he may have hoped to see the wondrous Cathedral or some other Holy landmark, but failed and was slightly disappointed; something like that. Or how about other important buildings that could make him amazed. I don’t know if I’m explaining this well or not. Basically the story is missing the important details that would make it more… excellent. Descriptions of the famous buildings in the ‘Holy Capital’ for one. Maybe some terrain details (“barren plains, lush forests, rocky crags, mountainous hills, or deserted ruins” do we even see this or is he imagining them?). Overall, I think Hippy does a wonderful job in spelling and grammar, but descriptions and details tend to be a little lacking and causes readers (me) to feel detached from the story. “Seconds later a dragon the size of four buildings descended. Its jagged white scales glowed ominously as flames and molten lava spewed across multiple streets… Magus were so distracted with the dragon that nobody noticed the threat closing in from their flank.” Where did the mages come from? An awesome section that seemed to have been pushed aside so the timeline for that loop can just end… (Style – 1) (Story – 1) (Grammar – 0.5)
And a little bit more of this… When you have your character move around, I can’t help but feel as though he’s moving through the streets as the throng parts before him. He doesn’t take notice of the other people much and the lack of details causes my imagination to view the MC just moving around with no one around but the occasional patrol. Is there some big crowd that he maneuvers through? Do the people view his shoving with displeasure or does he feel that way? Have your character experience and show how he moves around instead of telling that he moves from point A to point B. This gets somewhat better later on but details are still skipped after the initial introduction to the… area. (Grammar – 0.5) (Style – 0.5) (Character – 0.5) <— counts for even the nobody crowds.
Character depth, consistency, development
The character is somewhat unique… I honestly don’t like him much. He seems to never fit one type of personality – something the gods find interesting it seems. The MC is a captive of his family and hidden from the outside world (so hidden that people are shocked he exists and isn’t a rumour). His personality is one where he feels he deserves to be free from the previous shackles and goes out of his way to do what he wants. He does change later on in the story though. He experienced death and torture. He saw the deaths of people he liked. These events take a toll on his mind and this is shown when he grows on a person and they die. In this, I think he grows a little bit after each death and maybe more callous with each restart. An example of this is when Neris and his mother died and he griefed for a short while before comforting Luke who showed waaay more development… In the end, I support his character growth, but still think badly of it… pluses and minuses… (Character – 0.5)
Interaction of characters
The only real repeating side character is the hot police officer in the beginning. She is the one constant relation he has and is actually quite a good character. The other characters seem like side ones you introduce and get rid of in one or two loops. Some don’t even accompany him all the way through a loop. An example is Peter who he meets and we don’t hear of anymore. I can understand that the chances of Peter appearing again is very high, but I am talking about what happened to him after he gets introduced. He seems like a character that you popped in for a future arc and that was it. The way the MC treats other characters seems odd too. When he gets the information from them – or doesn’t want to listen to them anymore – he ignores and tunes them out. An example is Lisa Devroe who helped him for a bit before getting tuned out. She seems like someone that the MC could spend the trip talking to, but was tuned out so we can see some inner turmoil… If he was afraid of closing his eyes and seeing dead people, he had a pretty girl to talk to… (Character – 0.5) (Story – 0.5)
Quality of dialogue
Ah, this is where the sparkly things show up. There is a lot of dialogue in Wayward Souls. Something that isn’t seen a lot in other fics. This is where you need to give him a plus… until you cringe at some of the things that come out of the characters’ mouths… specifically his pick up lines with the officer… Funny, but painful. I’m one of those people who can’t watch someone embarrass himself. (Style + 0.5) (Grammar – 0.1)
The MC has a few (well, more than a few) moments of inner monologues, but they seem to mostly center on the deaths and killing he couldn’t stop. I understand he was greatly impacted by those, but I wish to see how he would use his new looping abilities in more detail. Just training isn’t really going to cut it. How would he deal with the assassins? Or with his parents? Or even how he would get the hot officer to like him. Anything than more thoughts about the depressing dead people or his time being kept hidden in the tower. Although the inner monologues show his change in character from a kid to a person with a goal, I can’t help but think he could have used those thoughts in a more progressive manner… (Character – 0.5) (Story – 0.5)
Long. Could do with more line breaks instead of being told he does things, but meh. (Nothing)
Honestly, this is waaay too close to Mother of Learning. Only real difference is that the MC’s body is kept when he loops. So more in line with Time Travel than Soul Trap. The main parts are similar though. MC dies during the first loop and finds he goes back to a specific time. One story goes the direction where he wants to start the future problem, the other goes in the direction of saving the people he likes (which means stopping the future event in my opinion). Only difference is MC. One is hard working but not talented. The other is talented but lazy… Like the first one better… (Story – 0.5)
Logic… logic… hrm hrm… I don’t see how a world of magic doesn’t have a different way of keeping identification other than the standard ID cards? I would imagine Magic pretty much makes counterfeiting IDs very easy… How do you go about making fake crystal cards? Anyways, seems too odd. Forgive me since I’m reading Coiling Dragon and they have fingerprint magic cards… No worries, not lowering marks…
The story is overall an alright fic. Not having read any of Hippy’s other stories, I can only be amazed at the grammar level being used, as well as the dialogue amount. The story seems to be something unique, but I unfortunately read the one story that is similar to it (Mother of Learning). Quite recently as well… I won’t be reading this frequently, and hope Hippy will read some of my suggestions below.
Read up to Chapter 6 on February 10th, 2015.
1: More detail. Your cities are cities for some reason. Your holy capital should have some sort of important landmark that tourists go to. Even just short visitors should see something that catches their eye and makes their heart beat faster. Maybe the other cities are located in areas that causes them to become more important? Mining town located near mountains and a great deal of Blacksmiths there, or just one large and famous blacksmith school? Magic towns located near a forest or some other area with an abundant of magic? Something. One of the pros for Third Person is that the reader gets a wide view of the world the MC lives in. First person seems more suited for this fic than third person…
2: Show instead of tell. Expand on the events. You are too quick to skip past large scale events and progress the story. You spend pages after pages on conversations but when you have the enemy attack the MC, or you have the MC participate in a war or battle, you tend to just tell the story instead of show it. These scenes are things you shouldn’t just inform the reader of. The MC is smack dab in the middle of these, yet we only get told what he does instead of being shown. Very lackluster.
3: Watch out for missing some details. You sometimes erase character existences and forget to add some detail. Some examples were the ones I already stated earlier. Peter is not given an exit from the story and is just erased. The Mages fighting the Dragon appeared rather randomly. I would have had Peter try and say goodbye to Nathan, but was unable to wake him up. The mages could have poured out of their homes and formed groups that cooperated to cast greater and more effective spells.
I think wayward son has a lot of potential but there's a few major issues that's keeping this intriguing time travelling story from shining, despite the potential and the good grammar.
1: The MC. His whole background reeks of a poorly thought out plot. He apparently was content to sit in solitary confinement for 7 years because he didn't want to reveal to his parents that he could use magic. I'm sorry, but there's no way I'm buying that.
2: The story is rushed. Major events such as entire invasion is handled in just a few sentences and at times it's hard to follow what's going on. I would especially like to see longer interactions with his sister and even the daily mundane life could be extended to add further depth to it.
3: Descriptions. The author needs to go into greater detail when it comes to describing the world.
So, when are you gonna finish this, so you can get back to Re:Lovely?
No offense, I really like this one too, but you sorta ended the other one at a pretty juicy part, which is kinda cruel of ya...