Grand Design

by TMarkos

Original COMPLETED Action Adventure Sci-fi Female Lead Post Apocalyptic Space Opera Strong Lead
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity

Humanity once ruled space, building an empire that stretched across hundreds of stars.  Now Earth is a cold cinder in the void, its colonies and ships annihilated in an instant.  For five thousand years the surviving races have huddled in the dying light of those few stations which avoided total destruction, eking out their existence in the shadow of the long-dead humans who built their homes.  When a piece of that lost legacy resurfaces, the few who still remember humanity have one last opportunity to find the truth and avenge the fallen.


Cover by Harry Rowland -

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Pffft, Forget Mass Effect. THIS is Epic Sci-Fi.

Actually, don't, that might be a bit of a stretch here. But still, my point remains. I've never been a fan of sci-fi, just a casual observer of the genre. But this story just might change that. And in a good way.

Grand Design is something new in the genre, something that will please both fans and outsiders alike. It is something daring, spanning an entirely new, unexplored stroyline. One that might put reader outside what they've come to expect from the genre. And i love that.


Post-apocalypse. Post SCI-FI Apocalypse. That's what comes to mind when i think of this story. Oh, i kbow that the description doesn't do the story justice, with it's deep, complex gistories and fascinating mythos, but that's what i sum it up as. It tells the story of Jesri Tam, and artificial life form, set on completing a mission she and her sisters were built for by the most brilliant minds Earth had to offer.

After humanity is dead, gone and forgotten. I personally love this narrative, the brilliantly done backstories and the very real feeling of an impossible mission with the highest stakes imagineable. No one knows her and her sisters fight and struggle, and most don't care. Yet, there they are, soldiering on through the eons, always laboring to complete their task.

The very first impression the storytelling makes, and one that stays with it right up to the current chapter, is Quality. Plain and Simple. Instea dof falling back on old plot lines and stereotypes, the author creates something new. So far, we haven't seen the threat they face, yet it feels very real, the effect of it's decimation of humanity still felt centuries after it happened. Go ahead and put THIS galaxy as one of the top five places you WOULDN'T want to live in. That's how dangerous it is.


With a great story, comes a great style. I neevr say much regarding style in my reviews, and I have to say, i like this author's unique touch. The information and description are spaced perfectly, never semeing to drag or rush along the plot. Keep it up.


Again, flawless. A much better job than i myself have done.


Fug, where do i even start?

Okay, the short version. They're awesome. That's all you need to know.

And now, the long version. They feel like people. Like real, live, people. With strengths, weaknesses failings, times when they hesitate. When they lose their way. When you might, for a minute, stop cheering for them, then look back and realize you couldn't have done anything different.

Jesri is someone i both like, and admire as a fictional character. Despite the experience of eons, and mountains of bodies dragging her down, both friend and foe, she soldiers on. She's not cold to the world, but has the feeling of someone who, despite having danced this dance before, is willing to try it again. She's a good person, recognizing her own shortcomings and failings, but sometimes forgetting to adress them. She's not invincible, won't always find that burst of strength at the final moment, yet is someone you want to cheer for.

Anja, is a sharp contrast to her. She's someone who is more effected by what they've gone through than Jesri is, and is harsh and at times, uncaring. The cast slowly grows from there, showing the lives of the mostly ordinary people ( and robot dogs ) that get caught up in a struggle far too big and dangerous for them.

Even the villians, when shown, can be people who view wgat they are doing as the right thing, or making actually logical points about their deeds. I won't spoil, but the latest villian managaed to surprise me somewhat. I mean, i could see what she was going to be a few chapters ahead, but her actual reasoning made sense to me.


Whatever your doing, wherever you're getting this inspiration from, keep it up. We need more stories like this, even if RRL doesn't realize it yet.

Cheers, L.

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Sci-Fi Space Opera 5/5

(review to part 10)

This is an above average sci-fi space opera with a hint of HFY. I highly recommend you read Part 1 and see if it hooks you like this managed to hook me. Quality is quite high.

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Great, but not my cup of tea

Reviewed at: Part 25

I have a bit of a dilemma in writing this review.  On one hand, I did not personally enjoy this web novel enough to finish it; on the other hand, I recognize the quality of the work and realise that it is a very well written novel.

Generally, I score novels based on how much I enjoyed them rather than on their quality; web novels are often written by amateurs and lack the benefits of an editor, so a certain amount of leeway in the technical quality department is to be expected.  However, I find myself doing the opposite for "Grand Design."

I admit, I generally do not read science fiction web serials.  Although I love the genre overall, I rarely have a good experience when I try to find less professional work out there.  I began reading "Grand Design" because I found the premise too interesting to ignore.  It is a common trope for there to have been an ancient alien civilization leaving behind technologies and artifacts to be picked over by the younger races.  We have all seen it a million times, and to a certain extent the trope is over done and boring because of it.

"Grand Design" flips this on it's head by making humanity the ancient aliens who left artifacts all over and then went extinct.  None of the characters are human, and the two main characters are essentially artificial cyborg super soldiers that were built by humanity in the distant past.

Its a pretty great idea, and the execution of that idea is excellent...

But it simply was not for me.

So that leaves me rating this web novel quite highly and recommending it heavily even though I did not personally enjoy it because I feel a great deal of science fiction readers will enjoy this fresh spin to an old trope and the excellent adventure and action that goes with it.

Edit: I read all the way to part 25 before I lost interest even though I was not particularly keen on the novel to begin with.  Anyone who even somewhat enjoys this type of science fiction should have no issue finishing it!

Pale imitation
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Almost perfectly written

Reviewed at: Part 10

The plot flows perfectly and the sci-fi makes sense. So rare to find a story on RR that I can not complain about. The writing is fast paced and efficient, no wasted words. Every scene builds to something and has a purpose.

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This is a wonderful sci-fi novel set in a large and well constructed universe, but focused on real, empathetic characters.

The setting is post apocalyptic, the goal is revenge, and the stakes are immeasurable.

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I never knew I needed this

The story is just amazing. The world has such depth, large amounts of backstory and knowledge are introduced without it ever feeling like an info dump and the characters feel so real. Its been a long time since I found a story where the characters really felt REAL and that is the best part.

Plus the setting is unique for this site and its been years since I read a good sci fi novel. Ill have to come back later and make an in depth advanced review since its hard to type on a phone but I had the urge to post something now so the word gets out faster.



Style: Has to be one of my favorite parts of this story. The points of view are beautifully balanced, the text is easy to read and know who is talking and what is happening. 10/10


Story: Very unique. 99% of this website is composed of VR, LITRPG, OP MCS, harems and self inserts. This is one of the rare stories taking up that 1%. Good scifi stories are rare but the world was entirely unique without any copied ideas I could notice. The end big bad was something ive never seen in any work be it book, movie, game, or whatever. World has EXTREME depth too. Just as a reader there is easily enough world built in the story for me to attempt a side story from a different race or something. 


Grammar: Full disclosure. I have to use grammarly for my own stories and confuse my your youre their theirs theyres and so on. My shabby grammar skills however have noticed no issues, reads like a book id buy at barnes and nobles. 


Character: Easily the best part. Anyone can world build and anyone can design characters. Actually bringing them to life though? Making the readers truly care? Everbody has SO MUCH depth to them its unreal. 

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I made an RR account just so I could rate this: great writing, great story, nice comments from the author at each chapter and great closure at the end.

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What sci-fi genre can be - art.

 First of all, the first chapter gets you hooked, the rest of the story just finishes you off. There is no other way.

To split this all by categories:

Characters: Beliveable and impressively varied, with very well executed insights into a character's thoughts. Each and every being feels unique, a bit of spice to their thoughts and actons, carefully revealed over the course of the story itself.

Grammar: There isn't really much to say. Grammar in this fiction is impeccable. 

Story: Deep, with a surprising amount of its own history to make all the delicious and heartwrenching plot twists even more believable. Starts off fairly meek, but soon you get pulled along for the ride, and what a ride it is...

Style: Perhaps better explained in the upper two categories, tbe style of this story is amazing, making for a smooth and enjoyable read. 

Overall, this fiction is a piece of art I would definitely recommend. 

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The most professional story I've ever read online,

I think there is a lot of reviews telling you what the story is about, so I'll skip that and go right to why I think this is the most well written story story I've read on RL. 

The major elements of the story was clearly plotted out in advance, and it has a hugely positive effect on the pacing. There is none of the janky everything happens at once then several chapters of slow exposition that plagues so many web serials. The characters are fully fleshed out from the start. The author have mastered show - don't tell ,allowing the reader to slowly learn more about the characters, and infer more about them from their actions and words. 

The writing is not only practicly flawless, but also flows smoothly. This is more comparable to a bestselling book than a web serial. In terms of writing - grammar, flow, sentence structure, etc, it is on the same level as Worm, The Wandering Inn and other such renovned web serials. However in terms of introduction (the first arc(s) of those web serials are subpar compared to the rest) and the pacing this is even greater. A closed, relatively short, story such as this may not be as complicated and intricate, but it has that advantage. 

If the story sounds interesting, if you like HFY or if you just dig a good story, give it a read. 

Allan V
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I have avoided reading this novel for some time now because it had a female lead. I have nothing against female leads, just a matter of preference.

That was a grave mistake on two accounts.

First, is that I almost missed on a top-shelf novel. The story was well-planned, the execution was flawless, and the characters were nothing short of endearing. I was hooked. I found myself cheering, crying, and saluting while binge-reading for 2 days.

My second mistake was that the true protagonist is not female and neither was he human.

The Grand Design is an epic and thrilling tale of a dog who, along with his captain, was dragged along by two borderline psychotic warrior sisters on an impossible quest to change the fate of the universe.