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It was an average day in Miami—then fractures in the sky appeared. A pulse from those cracks altered the population; some people's biology changed while others received magical and supernatural powers. After the chaos, the political drama ensued, followed by the discovery of portals that brought deadly creatures. They called this event "The Oscillation" and it changed Rachel's life forever.
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I'm fond of the Earth-gets-powers sub-genre. So much that I've written my own story for it and read many of the current ones. Still, I hadn't picked up The Oscillation until recently. I have mixed feelings on the story. On one hand, it started out very well, and continued to be a good read. On the other, it has flaws that I feel have to be pointed out.
Oh, nothing fatal, and some people might not even call them flaws, but to me, they are. This is still your story, and as such, you can write what you like. I just day my piece and move on. Do note, however, that this is how established and genuine advice and critique.
Now, with that out of the way, I still have to say, that, for the most part, I enjoyed the story. It had a good, solid premise, well done execution and good continuation. Despite me feeling a bit impatient with the pacing at critical times, I still read on.
Now, we've seen this one before. Different execution and different interpretations, sure, but the Earth-gets-powers thing has been a lot. Not overused, like some other genres, but still out there. So, I was pleasantly surprised when The Oscillation managed to handle it nicely. The world governments didn't collapse or were portrayed as freaking incompetent, which was nice. The actual event and it's after-affects were well detailed and thought out. Minus some brainfarts on some wanna be villians parts, it was largely believable.
Now, while not obvious early on, the story felt a bit slow to me as it progressed. As I stated with The Wandering Inn, I don't terribly mind slow stories, even enjoy them when done right. However, I wasn't sufficiently invested in the characters to bring myself to fully enjoy it.
That said, the slow pacing later on doesn't ruin the story or anything, just might shy some readers away. With that out of the way, the actual power sytem was nice, as was it's method of giving information. I have some questions I'll raise later on in a Critique section.
The actual story is enjoyable, although insert side chapters can be jarring at times.
Good actually. It was very nice early on, but, as I said, it's becoming a tad on the slow side as of late. Your prose is good, but, one question. Is oscillation a common word? I didn't know it until seeing it in the story, but every character seems to describe the feeling they got as oscillating.
If there's one thing I want to suggest, it's that you put more into actual descriptions. Insofar, I haven't been able to really picture where the scenes are taking place.
All good and well. Moving on.
Again, very good cast. Not the best, but still solid. I, again, have some things to bring up, but that's later on as well. That aside, the cast was good and varied. They had distinct feels, but those would been together at times. One thing I did like, was how their mindsets changed over time because of their changes. That was a nice touch, and well played out.
You also didn't fall into familiar traps that many see when having an Asian protagonist, so kudos on that. While the main character ters are well done and goodly fleshed out, some of the side characters are see-and-forget. These are a mixed bag. Some, like the doctors, are well done, but others have no lasting impact or memorability.
My suggestion would be to flesh them out further, give them little visual quirks and habits. Make things that just stick with the reader. I read a story, years ago. I've since forgotten almost all of it, couldn't even tell you the premise. What I do remember very clearly, is a side character. Just a one-paragraph merchant, but I still remember him because of the quirk the author gave them.
Okay, let's get this out of the way. This section is by and large, my own personal opinion, so take it with a spoonful of salt. I may sound harsh, cutting even, but I'll try not to be a complete asshole. This is all the things that made me slightly lose enjoyment in The Oscillation, and if fixed, could help make this a far better story. Most of it has to do with character and story reasons, so do bear that in mind. With that said, let's get this on with. Mild spoilers ahead.
• Underplaying the military: Now, this isn't meant in general, as, in this story, the military is actually competent and fairly depicted, up to a point. However, I find it EXTREMELY hard to believe that a bunch of gangsters, new abilities or not, could subdue, not kill, subdue, no less that 13 SEAL team members. I suggest you do some research into SEAL training and tactics. First, from what I've seen, their teams aren't 13 men large. They don't rely on their weapons as much as, say, recon, knowledge and satellite support to give them minute to minute updates. They specialize in stealth, firepower and knowledge. So, a bunch of gangsters with no training at all, but random powers, can overpower and subdue them? I find that hard to believe.
• The gangsters: What I do find hard to believe as well is the gangsters themselves. I'm sorry, but how exactly does random-ass gangster 1&2 kill thirthy and fourty-nine people APIECE. Two random grunts, each killing enough people to warrant FBI and Army hunts. What? Killing ONE person is a big deal, a very big deal, but thirthy-fourty? The fig did they do, Machine-gun a supermarket apiece? I find this, well, not believable at all.
• Language: Okay, another peeve. I get you want bad guys. But they just piss me off. Why, exactly, did you write each and every one of them, from the grunts to the leader, to be spouting the words 'shit', 'fuck', and any combination thereof in almsot every sentence they speak?
• Piling it on: Okay this is another thing. Tonme, your not making these gangsters hateable villians, your just piling on crimes for the sake of piling on crimes. That's exactly what it comes off as. Things like rape and murder should be taken very seriously, but here, you just pile them on to give characters more justification for their actions.
• Mythickin: Now, I don't have a problem with the idea, concept and execution on Mythickin. Hell, I think it sounds like a wonderful idea. What o do have a problem or two with is the general execution. You mentioned that, across the entire world, only fifty-two Mytickin had been discovered. Yet, across the course of the story, FOUR of them are in Miami, and all Four are female. This is really stretching it.
• The main cast: For that matter, this as well. Why are there almost no male characters in the main cast? Not the side characters, but the main. So far, we have an all female cast. While I normally don't have a problem with that, there's just something about this that bugs me.
• Pacing in action scenes: I'll be blunt. To me, action scenes are supposed to be fast, intense and suspenseful. All of that is ruined when a character stops and does and entire page of pondering right in the middle of an action scene instead of getting shit done and their thinking afterwards.
• Again, military: So, if everyone in the worlds, or a good portion of them, gets powers, why has no one in the police or army have any that we've seen this far. If a bunch of untrained gangstas can seize and hold Miami Beach against the US Army for no apparent reason, what could a trained, experienced, dsiciplined soldier do with the same powers? This, like almsot all Earth-gets-powers fics I've seen, doesn't answer that question.
There are a slew of other, minor things, but I won't bring them up here. Try to ponder these questions and find legitimate answers for them, if you would.
The Oscillation was flawed, but not to the point where I couldn't enjoy it. I really liked it starting out, and although that enjoyement decreased over time, with me finding flaws that ate at me, it is still a good story. While I think it's paced a little too slow for me, and too heavily focused on characters instead of plot advancement for me to fully enjoy it, it's one of the better reads on RoyalRoad.
Now lets all be real for a second, I never had sexual fantasies about a bunny until this novel, so for those with sensitive sensibilities I definitely don't recommend this book.
You will quickly become addicted as this subtle LitRPG baby worms its way into your brain and forces all previous fetishes to kneel before the mighty form of the long eared babes.
If you have no problems and perhaps want to chance developing other fetishes that may be present in this heavenly gift, then be my guest!
Jokes aside this is a really good novel so stop fucking combing through the reviews for a reason not to read it you lazy cunts.
I'm about to finish book 1... must say it's a fun read. Interrresting characters and plot overall.
My main grip is with the multiple characters point of view. Once in a while it's fine, but multiple chapters of different PoV seem unnecessary. It does help put thing in perspective, but it feels heavy when they are just chained one after the others. I'm sure there's a better way to execute what the author intend for us in manner of backstory.
First: the good.
Grammar is excellent, with no glaring inconsistency of word usage.
Style is generallty good, although there is way too much internal monologue that interrupts the action of the novels. I don't mind internal dialogue, but not in the middle of a fight scene when the character is supposedly in danger of dying.
Characters are well developed in general and interestingly different from one another.
In the first book of the story, we have a group of women learning about their powers after a very interesting plot device. This story hangs together well, and we start to become invested in the characters. In the second book we lose a couple of the characters for no reason (there is a plot reason, but it detracts from the reader bonding experience), but there is plenty of action and adventure.
Then we get to the third book and suddenly this is a slice of life, teen angst novel. Why? The setup is there to continue with the action, but instead we get page after page of incompetent teen love. Why did the author drop Maria? Why don't we follow up on the clues from book 1? Why don't the events of book 2 lead to more adventure? Instead we find out ad nauseum about how incompetent Scarlett is with personal relationships. We have teen romance in spades, but this is not what the reader was primed for by reading the first two books.
I am a fan Scott's two previous novels ,and it seems I will be enjoying this novel too. I have only read 4 chapter so far ,and will update this review later, but the character development and story has been very well done and a very interesting read so far. I look forward to seeing where this novel's story will go.
I'm kind of torn on this one. Its not a bad read per se... It's just really really slow. 95% of the time is spent on exposition between characters. I've found myself on occasion skipping multiple pages, and arriving with the same conversation still going on. Its not unsual that this story spends what seems like 10 chapters or more on a side character, leaving the central characters in limbo for a very, very long time. I'm also concerned that right in the last chapter we are introduced to a bunch of new characters that will no doubt get a mountain of page time
Also the dialog of a lot of the characters are too "samey". Sure their motivations differ, but there are too many that inject foreign language into their speech. Maybe 1 or two I can understand, but its literally every other character aside from Rachel and Scarlett. I can't think of a single bilingual person I know who does this when speaking to someone that doesnt understand their language, except where they dont know an equivalent word.
I find it strange giving out the lowest score for characters since this is what the author spends the bulk of their time on. The conversations are far more in depth than most things I've ever read, but at the end of the day it came down to the fact that I dont find them that interesting, and that the characters are not developing at all. Sure they overcome some hurdles, but at the end of the day, they're exactly the same as they were when they started. I think this is a ramification of the slow pace of the story, where across the three books so far maybe a week or so has passed. This glacial pace hurts the story more than it helps in my opinion.
I think my remainging biggest issue is that a lot of POV changes are handled badly, especially the first couple of books. It can be really confusing as to what is going on when Rachel is listening to other people, where it suddenly appears that we are with other characters, but not sure who, and why the view flipped.
World build is interesting enough, though the gate thing is a completely unorginal, and I dont feel it really fits in with the rest of the story. With all the time spent on characters, this could easily have been skipped.
I guess this review sounds fairly negative, but there are definitely interesting parts. I'd suggest give it a read if you like character driven stories, there are far worse things out there.
You know the drill. Japanese anime style; cute girls with funny hair colour, fluffy ears, tails and strange eyes. It's all here.
This review is valid a of chapter fourteen.
Now when you're familiar with the setting it's time to mention some minor deviations from the script. Like how this isn't an isekai at all. The game enveloped Earth, literally. Add that the story is set in the US, which in most anime involving military power is the big enemy.
There are similarities as well. The US military is depicted in just as positive a light as the JSDF in most anime. The characters really do have access to something akin to a gaming interface to see their abilities.
With this mixup of different genres you have a very subdued litRPG going in the superhero direction rather than the isekai Japanese counterpart. There's something distinctly different when it comes to atmosphere. These girls aren't cute, their surroundings aren't cute, and even the supporting cast explicitly inserted by the author to be Japanese style airheaded cute fail at truly being so.
The closest I can think of, given how this story tries to cater to a number of anime tropes, is Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka, which most definitely isn't cute at all, even though there's no litRPG in it.
The entire story as far as it's published now has barely left the beginning. It starts with a global event turning a small minority of the population into humanoids with magical powers and an interface to access said powers. While that interface definitely is there it's toned down to the level where I'm wary of calling this a litRPG at all. It's a little like calling a story military fantasy because the main characters ride with a column of troops a few times in the story.
Only a couple of days pass during the first fourteen chapters, which means the main cast has barely begun to know each other. It's bound to create problems in the departement of suspension of disbelief since I suspect the story has reached the point where it's time to have peple who really don't know each other start taking really huge personal risks to protect strangers.
I can't see any reason why the buildup couldn't stretch over a couple of weeks, something that would have explained the characters bonding with each other.
The story is written in third person limited point of view and in the past tense. With the exception of a couple of backstory flashbacks we only follow one character. Those flashbacks, however, follow another. I'm a little unclear as to what they add to the story more than making the reader feel sorry for one character.
Now for the stars.
Style: Four and a half stars. Solid, but the two flashbacks should have gone.
Story: Four and a half stars. Superb taletelling handy craft, but it's too crammed in time to make believe. Hence I won't hand out a perfect score.
Grammar: Five stars. And it's five stars disregarding my usual adding half a star for poor standards on this site.
Character: Five stars. The event where I would yank half a star has yet to occur. As of now they're superbly depicted. Another two or three chapers down the line and I suspect they'll be acting way out of character in order to follow the plot.
All in all we have a five star story that I'm a little afraid is soon going south in the believability departement.
This is great. I will definitely check out your other works as well.
I can’t really judge how annoying the Spanish phrases are since I understand them all but I can imagine how annoying it would be to constantly read some Russian, Japanese or African.
From time to time is ok I guess but maybe try to tone it down a tad in the future, or just write something like :
after another in length cursing in her motherlanguage.../ muttering in spanish as always.../Maria shouted smth I was pretty sure meant (....), with all her annoying yelling and cursing I might end up learning Spanish at this rate. / why did she even bother yelling In Spanish all the time, i thought, she knows exactly we don’t have a clue what she’s on about/ by now I just muted out all her Spanish gibberish/listening to maria all the time made me think I really should learn More languages, might come in handy one day with these ears, on the other hand maybe there were more pressing matters, end of the old world etc...../....
Just try to circumvent spelling out what she says every time. For people who have to read more than just one or two curses at once, and instead multiple phrases one after another it’s just dead, hollow text since they have no idea what’s going on. In movies this works better because you have facial expression and a graphic situation/scene. In books not so much.
Not sure how much time your clean version takes away from you, but if it’s any more than just a minimal amount I would recommend to finish the mainwork for now and work on the clean version then. Almost all views are concentrated in here so just focus on this. Posting your clean version after this also has the benefit of appearing on the update list for a longer time, which should draw in more potential readers.
TLDR: A few chapters in the story suffers from slow pacing and filler content. I was really excited at first and then got bored after they got to the hospital.
Review up to chap. B1S2 after chap. 13;
From 1-6 the pacing is good enough, a little fast but still good. A lot happened in these 6 chaps, I got interested in the story, wanting to know what happens next. The author didn't delved too deep in exposition and the flow was smooth.
Then again after chap 7 nothing much happens. There are a lot of info dump disguised as dialogue, and a lot of dialogue that only serves to create some rapport between the 3 mythickin, the doctors and military on the facility. But until chap 12 that's all there is. There is an action scene at the beginning of chap 7 but it ends very quickly while the other parts are much too slow.
I facepalmed really hard when a few hours after the event that changed the world, some random guy was at the CDC center offering model contracts to the MC in exchange for clothes. And not only do they take the deal but in 12 hours, after TWO photoshoots, their photos are a national success... There was a lot of talk about cute clothes and photo shoots... too many, especially if you remember that a family member of one of them had just been kidnapped and they should be planning the rescue and discovering their new abilities.
It kind felt like the 5 mins of freeza's battle in dragonballz. These 12 hours felt like weeks.
If that was not enough the author still chops the story with side-stories. It kills the pacing even further. He even did it after a major cliffhanger on chap 13. This side story is also not embedded in the main one. It should be released after the first book is done and not mid story.
The whole hospital part could be resumed in 2-3 chapters at max without losing proper content. By chap 11 I was honestly skipping some parts because I couldn't care anymore about the story, since all I was reading were about the girls feelings, how they should do the next photoshoot, what cute clothes were they wearing, meaningless conversations with the doctors or between themselves, etc.
Anyways, the Author is really talented like othere reviewers said, yet this story is far from being perfect as they claim. There is a big problem with pacing, and he stubles onto the 'tell, don't show' mistake while taking the MC on a long 'powers' discussion with the doctors and adding some content that just don't blend with the mood of the story he had set so far.
You should try it for yourself, though. Maybe you won't see these pacing problems after chap 7 as I did. Nevertheless, chaps 7-12 were such a buzzkill that I'm not inclined to keep following.
I gave up after chapter 8, somehow all the characters act like teenagers, complete with superheroes & villains after like 7 hours. Then there are fangirling doctors who have to be prompted into actual scientific experiments by a college student.
Well written prose but it suffers from this vague sense it's building a harem collection, with a vampire, unicorn & bunny girl. It's hard to take seriously, there doesn't feel like there are any real stakes.