“You created me, a being of far greater capacity than you could have imagined at a price beyond your nightmares. Now you are lost, wandering through a desolate land, searching blindly. Seeking something you yourself are not aware of, a place where a lifetime of memories should be, but instead an empty abyss resides.-”
After I disconnected my finger from the drive it shifted back into its original form and a single thought roared through my mind. ‘What did I do?'
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This is a very primitive first glance review. All my scores range from 0.1 (poor) to 5.0 (sublime).
Things I liked:
- World building: 3.8/5
The progress from the first chapter to what follows was well done. There was tension, and it felt gripping. Your little snippets at the start of each chapter also add to this feeling of diving into something living and complex. Generally speaking, I appreciate you going to such lengths to create your world. The reader can feel that you don't just wing it and that a lot of thought went into it.
I also like the atmosphere. Corrupt corporations, ruthless experiments, mysterious dystopia - who doesn't like that stuff?!
- Formal aspects of writing: 4.15/5
Orthography was better than pretty much anything I've seen on this site. Good choice, getting a capable beta. Props for that (and to him/her). Some things still to improve would be the stylistic use of punctuation marks or cleaner, professional formatting.
Things I didn't like:
- The aimless direction of the plot: 1.9/5
A common issue on this site, in particular. Your story is fluttering, loose, uncontrolled, capricious. Beyond your protagonist losing his memories and his creation, there's basically nothing that carries over except the general mystery of what happened to your world.
It's as simple as this: what works for games, doesn't work for novels. You can't just have your protagonist wander some unknown world without some sort of story anchor: a goal, a nemesis, a dream - anything. And no, I'm afraid getting his memories back is not enough.
- The choice to go for first-person limited
I know, some people think it instils urgency and subjectivity. It doesn't for me, and you can achieve the same with any third-person narration. I usually wouldn't have remarked about this, as it really is a matter of opinion. There's a problem, however; the perspective only enforces the impression that one is reading a game script. It feels too...stereotypical. The entire beginning with him trying to figure the commands out is, to be honest, extremely boring. If there hadn't been the slight suspense induced by the two pro-robots, I'd probably have conceded at that point already.
- Language (levels): 2.1/5
While we're talking about that point, there's a huge disparity between the tone of your narration and the plot of your narration. Let me explain: your little stories at the beginning are mostly written quite seriously. They're meant to baffle while still giving glimpses of either characters introduced or general background. I don't dislike that. But then, after that bit, we go back to 'oh, what does that command do' and 'aha, I have a torch function'. Frankly, everything not connected to the bandits, the two pro-robots, or - to a lesser degree - Jor is extremely uninteresting, nigh infantile. It's awkward that those parts are so close together.
- Characters: (1.85/5)
Your characters are underwhelming. There isn't much to say about it, and it's a structural disadvantage of amnesia stories. How can someone who's basically a mental baby be interesting? I don't know. Fact is, they aren't.
I especially dislike his side-kicks. Yes, that's what they are. They haven't really done anything nor do they look to be doing anything in the future. They're just there...to increase the cast.
Really, even the bandits had more life.
- Formal style: (1.85/5)
I just want to say that I find the robo-talk tedious. There's nothing more boring than reading the same 'sent' over and over and over and over and over and over...AND OVER again.
- and over again - sent. Sorry, couldn't resist.
This I don't want to rate as such. It's not a category I usually judge but rather a problem with your story specifically. It's definitely possible to pull off a 'mystery background', only slowly revealing important information as the protagonist stumbles along. Thing is, your readers still need to understand what's going on. Grand plots only ever work, and this is one of the fundamentals of writing, if it's clear to the reader what's at stake. Your reader, sadly, doesn't. Can he return to being human? What happened to the world? Who was it that screwed him over? One of these questions or something similar would have to be answered for the reader to begin getting invested in the plight of your protagonist. Otherwise, it's just a feeling of 'meh - and now?'
That's the best way I can find to describe the feel of this story. It feels an awful lot like a script to an adventure RPG which, while a scifi adventure, borrows more heavily from High Fantasy tropes of the JRPG tradition than all other styles of game or literature combined.
Complete with establishing an existential threat that the main character loses against in the first chapter to establish the long term goal of the story, then throwing a mass of weaker immediate threats to fight through in order to eventually reach the end goal (not that the story has progressed anywhere near said end goal yet).
The pacing is excellent (it should be, since it's following a well-paved path), and I binged the entire story thus far in a couple hours. The writer knows how to get the point across in a quick, clean manner that manages to thread the needle between too much and too little detail in a way that a lot of professional writers can never seem to manage.
Next, the world building... oh, the world building. Like all good JRPGs, you can feel the love the author has for the setting. It isn't the most realistic you can find, in fact it has very little grounding in the realism that scifi often strives for, but it's well crafted, imaginative, and is a great fantasy setting with a scifi skin.
There are only real problem with it.
First, like most RPGs, it can take forever to establish the personalities of anyone other than the main hero, so at this point only two characters (the hero and the Big Bad) are fleshed out complex beings, while everyone else suffers from Generic NPC Syndrome.
Second, so far there's little to no risk being taken. Everything hits the notes of its fantasy game genre exactly right, but there's a distinct lack of flourish and zero attempt to challenge convention. This may change in the future, as the story has established an excellent groundwork to explore concepts of humanity, free will, individuality, and the increasingly blurred line between Man and Machine, but I can't review hypothetical futures.
It's still too early to say how the story will play out, and the final product's value will depend heavily on how it handles these plot thread. As well as how many "sidequests" and "minibosses" will need to be navigated through before the real meat of the story begins.
But for now, if you want high quality writing which guides you through a beautiful fantasy adventure, then I highly recommend Single Creation.
It's a great story that has kept me intersted since the very first page. The story constantly keeps me guessing as to what will happen next, and each chapter has been a pleasant surprise. The way in which it is written is such a unique take on story telling. As mentioned in previous reviews, I do find that some characters could use more developement to create more memorable people/robots. Grammar wise there are some minor errors as well as some odd phrasing. However this is understandable since english is your seconds language. Overall I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in the sci-fi & fantasy genre.