Flight of Icarus
Most stories are about accidental heroes, people who save the world without even meaning to, but not this one. There was once a person with a name Kirin. He was tired of people looking at him with admiration and trying to win his favour. He hated them for making him act nicely all the time and testing his patience every day. So, when he finally got the newly come out game called Regal Dream, he entered without a dream to become the strongest of them all. He didn't want a legend shared with many. He wanted one of his own.
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Several laudatory reviews led me to begin reading Flight of Icarus. By the end of the first paragraph, I wondered what those reviewers had been smoking.
Still, Aunt Maud always used to say one shouldn't jump to conclusions because they would trundle up to you of their own accord. So I persevered for a few chapters, until eventually the imbalance between effort and reward became too much.
I cannot believe that the author is a native English speaker: "Ace lied down on the rags and studied the ceiling. 'What's going on with me lately? Twice tonight had I thrash talked about different classes and to people who wanted to teach me non the less. Do I have death wish?' "
More generally, the author's clumsiness of expression causes constant aesthetic pain: "The old assassin made himself some tea and looked at the clinging door". Hmmm.
The best advice I can give the author is to run, don't walk, to the nearest used book store and buy Williams's Towards Clarity and Grace, the best guide to writing I know.
Problems with expressing oneself in a foreign language can always be overlooked if the story itself is good. The obstacle here is that the main character is a dickhead. I very soon lost all interest in his fate. That means the story failed. Some elements of the plot were interesting, but the direction in which the protagonist developed his character was psychopathic in a childishly egotistical and therefore uninteresting way. I am left wondering about those enthusiastic reviews ... could they really have been reading the same story?
How cool would it be to become an assassin, killing anyone you want, hiding your identity and living a double life? But what horrors must one have gone through to lead this 2-faced life? ‘Flights of Icarus’ tells that story, and throws in buckets of fun doing it too. This is a story about assassinations, deception and the darkness in our hearts.
‘Flights of Icarus’ starts out as a tale chronicling the development of a master assassin. He fights, he snipes, he hides in the shadow. He murders in cold blood. Eventually, the story gets darker and more mysterious. The MC Ace starts to act absurdly and in utterly unpredictable ways. More and more, the story leads you to wonder, to doubt yourself, to doubt the author even. Even then there is consistency in the inconsistency. The tale comes together and you blown away by how multi-faceted, deep, and well-woven the main character is. The story is like a puzzle that fits and a lesson in human psychology. Think ‘Inception’. Is the top still spinning? Really cool.
The story is not without it’s flaws. I can’t say I know the author’s planned direction, so these are my 2 cents worth, at risk of being an armchair critic. They deal mainly with the issue of focus.
First, any story needs progression, climax and a good ending. Pushing the story too far leads to a loss of direction. I would personally encourage changes that move the MC forward, each volume resolving one of Ace’s of his inner demons and leaving a happy ending???. (Idk,I’m not the author haha ). That said, Darksun’s really good at showing subtle changes in Ace’s motivations and character through his decisions, reactions and actions.
Second, recent chapters seem to introduce new characters rather more haphazardly. The story focus is given to them and we are led to think they are central, after which they aren’t seen again. This detracts from the strength of the story, which is (imo) Ace’s crazy, his development and motivation. Again, I see it as a matter of focus.
Everything said, this comes as a well recommended read! Darksun has woven an engrossing story that is equal parts witty, deep, and well-written. Worth checking out!
So far (as of chapter 7). There are too many unanswered questions. The main and most painful of them all is 'why is Paradox of such vital importance to the family?' and 'Is Paradox's parents' paranoia well founded, do they have very important jobs in the real world?'
There is no explanation whatsoever about the MC's aim of having to deal with a paranoid and twitchy parents of Paradox, namely, Melinda and Cole. Either it was subtly put or the author didn't bother putting it in. And since the large part of the first arc after becoming an assassin is based around Paradox's party, the whole arc is like a thorn at my backside. Not knowing ANYTHING about why the MC instigated his, almost, leech like grip on this eccentric party and borderline sociopathic or psychopathic parents.
They could be of no importance BUT that is not referred, since Paradox's party is 'led' to meet the MC, almost by design. There is no way they are insignificant. Still, the psychopathic behavior exhibited by the Parents and Monthu are more than simply over-protective. It leaves a very DARK stain in the story.
Be advised, the author did say it has the psychological factor in the story. Another note is that the author SHOULD have also added mature tag. The gore/psycho-related imagery in the story could be very offensive for some people, so the Mature Tag is a MUST.
While I find this story not one of the best that I have begun reading it is a good one. I like the main character but the side characters are somewhat annoying for me. But the story is good but not amazing but I still enjoy reading it. That and I liked reading this story but it is not the best of storys that I have read before.
The story has solid grammar, the social interactions are interesting, and the novel is long enough to ensure plenty of reading. The books strongest point though is the unique situations that can be quite engaging.
That all said there are two major issues with this work that have me costantly questioning its quality.
Firstly the environment, it feels like the author wanted the game world to be like real life but just couldnt figure out the proper catalyst and as a result its just waky. Why are players so afraid of death, why can quests take months, why are broken abilities like stealing all of a person's inventory or permanently stealing control of a person's characther allowed, how is spawn camping possible, what is the value of money and favor.
Secondly, the main characther. This seems to be a point of contention as those who seem to have anything in common with him say hes highly realistic. The trouble is the author does a horrible job of conveying his mentality and nature to those who have nothing in common with him. As a result, if your not someone who had serious emotional trauma at a young age the characther is likely going to seem completely inconsistent, illogical, and unengaging.
These two points become increasingly problmatic given the length of the plot. They just prevent you from really caring about what is going on from arc to arc.
My suggestion would have been to spend alot more time in the beginning introducing the world and the mc even if the more subtle aspects were left to introduce later.
As the tittle says, thanks for this story. It has really been an wonderful adventure tor read this story, that brings one a lot of different emotions, like joy, anger sadness, pity, understanding, frustration and many more. Thanks once again! :D
P.S. Now I´m going in denial about the story is finished for a couple of days like I always do after finishing one. :p D.S
until he fell under the metal’s weight...
I’m a bit late to the party when it comes to this book, a solid seven years to be exact. But when the new recommendation system recommended me this book, I was immediately intrigued. A solid 2000+ pages, I read them in a week.
If you ask me, were this story to be written now, with the current popularity of RoyalRoad, it would be just as popular and praised as MoL, maybe just a bit less, but still; top five easily.
But you’re not here for my fanboying, you’re here for a review, so I’ll give you one. I’ll be a bit overly critical, so take the few bad things I’ll say with a grain of salt.
Flight of Icarus is written in it’s own way. It’s true that it’s not always as good, with a few mishaps, bad descriptions and inconsistencies every now and then, but nothing that distracts you from the story. Hell, during the end there are barely any anymore, and trust me when I say that you won’t notice them after a while.
Okeeeee, where to start.
I’ll start with saying that this fiction, especially during the later volumes, is the definition of ‘dark fantasy’. The mc is mentally f*cked up and has plenty of trauma’s, while it may seem as weird, it’s actually pretty logical if you get further in the story. There is also a lot going on behind the scenes, something that you’ll only be able to truly know during the final chapters, where all of those hints and mini-chapter-parts combine. Becuase yes, a large part of the story takes place in the real world! Can you believe it! Even if the in-game world is taken a bit to serious by some, that’s only normal if you spend that much time with it.
While of course the story does have a few faults, and the system it works on is a bit unclear and weird, and a game world should’ve a lot more monotoring, it doesn’t stop the story in the slightest. It may be a bit weird, but it’s nothing major.
Then let’s talk about the individual plotlines, that are not truly part of one major plotline, seeing as the story is more a journey than a game of thrones-esque book. Some of them are ‘méh’ at best, like the impersonation of a noble arc, a lot of them are pretty good, some amazing even. Once again especially going into the last 3 or 4 volumes.
The skills are, as I said, a bit all over the place, but the MC has a skill called: “Childish innocence”. I won’t tell you what it does, but for an assassin you can guess it’s pretty good, yet the mc hates it. Why? Well, that’s because of that major behind the scenes part! I won’t spoil it, but it explains a lot and is a major plot component, executed quite nicely, if you ask me.
Now on to:
The grammar is pretty good. Every now and then there are spelling mistakes or a sentence is structured incorrectly, but that’s to be expected. It’s proofread and it’s solid. It won’t distract you.
Ok, this is a difficult one. Even if you take it one by one.
I don’t want to make this review waaaaay too long, so I’ll summarize it.
There are a few cliche characters, but they are far and in between.
Almost all characters, even the supporting cast (if less than the rest) have legitimate reasons to act as they do. It makes the story that more beautifull.
The interaction between characters is incredibly well done, especially in the main cast.
The mc, Kirin/Ang/Ace/Silver Wing has some severe issues, woth explained reasons. He’s written very well and fits those issues, I really felt for hime.
Aurora is a bit bland and unknown, but she didn’t play a huge part, she, however, also does have a weird thing going on. Is she here out of free will?
The archer who’s name I keep forgetting is pretty epic, we got a few glimpses of his backtstory and his personality is nice to read. Overall a good fit.
Paradox is a child, and a friend of Ace. We don’t know what’s up woth him until later, because his brother and family are overprotective, but he’s interesting and fun to read. He’s a perfect fit in the story, especially because he allows for the existence for a lot of the others, and is the main plotpoint for
Monthu, the brother of Paradox and a honourable but suspicious man. Why is he so overprotective though? And why does he like and not like taking care of his brother in the game? Who is he and what’s going on behind the scenes? (You’ll find out)
L is a character that’s introduced later in the story, he is a major plotpoint and is well written, he fits in the story.
Vera/Veronica. F*ck this overprotective bitch. Well written though, and a major plotpoint for Kirin.
I think you guys see what I’m doing with the well-writen en good fit for the story, so just copy and paste that for every character and it works.
tl;dr : It’s a damn good story on the level of MoL if you ask me, a good binge as well. Noce and long chapters with good characters. Good luck and most important: enjoy!
This is a first time I feel so much negative emotions about a book, that I feel a need to write a warning for others. Especially because the beginning is very good. Well, I suppose for some this may be an encouragement, not warning. Anyway.
This book caused me nightmares. Seriously. And not because of the story itself - that would be actually quite good (as a horror). The way it was written is the reason, the "style" I suppose (grammar is good enough actually).
While reading this book, after some time, I started to feel like I was reading the dream of a madman. The time skips show up randomly, it feels like there is something wrong with places and order of events, and the characters are starting to act more and more strange as time passes. The MC has extreme mood swings sometimes, or rather "mentality shifts"? Well, he is mad in some degree... and a very 'black' character to boot.
The world and mechanics stopped to have sense at some point. I am allergic to incoherency in worldbuild though, so maybe I am exaggerating a little.
That is all. Have a good day.
Overall, the story is fine. The problem is simply one of consistency, especially with the characters. People frequently change from being one sort of person to an entirely different sort with no warning, explanation or even acknowledgement of the change. Once it happens, its simply assumed that they were always that way. This creates plot holes of various sizes throughout that part of the series which I read (up to chapter 43) and prevented me from developing any sort of attachment to the characters or the worlds they lived in. (This is in addition to the normal plot holes that the poorly built world has inherently).
Each individual chapter is fine really, but the whole is less than the sum of its parts as the randomly shifting narrative and inconsistent characters continuously highlight the author's lack of interest in continuity, his own characters, his own story and any sort of long-term, cohesive narrative. Its fairly clear that sufficient thought was never put into where this series was going or who its characters would be and I'm no longer willing to try to connect with characters who cease to exist only to be replaced by vaguely similar doppelgangers.
To put it another way, the author can't decide if he's writing Lord of the Flies, Puck's (or Loki-wannabe-of-your-choice's) Adventures in a VRMMO or Angst Ridden Teen Novel #3, and it shows.