The Oscillation

by Scott Edwards

Original ONGOING Action Drama Psychological Dungeon Female Lead GameLit Low Fantasy Magic Martial Arts Multiple Lead Characters Mythos Non-Human lead Portal Fantasy / Isekai Slice of Life Super Heroes Supernatural Urban Fantasy
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Traumatising content

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.

Cover Commissioned From Likesac   ^_^7

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Scott Edwards

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l nimbus
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Great, but has several flaws.

 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.

Story:

 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.

Style:

 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.

Grammar:
 
 All good and well. Moving on.

Characters:

 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.

 Try that.


Critique:

 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.


Closing:

 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.

Cheers, L.

RedThunder
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Scott Edward has done it once again

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.

hawlol
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Good premise with some problems.

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.

Alexandre Lallemant
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A very promising story, well thought and the author is constantly adding background by writing side-story chapters on the other main characters. The LitRPG system isn't overwhelming at all and is included in the discussions, progressing smoothly. So far the main plot is the only one but with multiple main characters it's very possible and likely that the author will introduce sub plots to further develop the story. I recommend you to at least give it a try, the chapters are pleasant to read I think it's worth giving time.

some_total_kretin
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TL;DR: Author is constructing girl supermonster "idol" group with subdued light novel tropes in western settings and almost nonexistent system on a really slow burner. The villains are so villainous they'd give doctor mengele a creepy vibe and even though it has some dark passages it is mostly on the upbeat side of slightly shonen-ish development. Five stars for excellent plot.

P.S.: No stinking background conspiracy of godlike entities present! Big plus.

 

Started reading this story on a train and binged the whole thing in an afternoon (35ish chapters?). This review is gonna be me having some petty niggles in otherwise perfectly flowing well executed story with characters I'd like to fall in love with.

It is the standard trope of system apocalypse, but with a system that is practically nonexistent without any blue tables and everybody has to dicover it slowly on their own to realize it's even there. What's more it has a supermonster-ish twist (like superheroes, but instead supermonsters).

The MC(s) (there is MC and multiple sub-MCs) are very well done. The main character is a korean girl with martial arts background, but do not think about the standard asian protagonist tropes.

The tropes are there, but are extremely subdued and the mythology is taken from all over. The author seems to go for diverse girl group as all of the sub MCs are women too, not to mention the large cultural and racial spread.

The characters are not clueless goody two shoes always do good superheroes but have complex motivations and goals and we get to watch all of them.Sometimes from several POVs that repeat the events.

The repetition could have probably be reduced a bit, but is not exactly detrimental. It is usually there to explain and elaborate on a subplot, since the author has a tendency to make multiple thinks happen all at once and influence each other.

I'd like to have authors ability to write dialogues. Oherwise it's the mature look at system apocalypse that is not grimdark, but has a dark tone. That said, it is not a depressing read at all, since there is enough upbeat stuff happening.

I'd say it is the look at a group of slightly OP main characters and really evil villains, their backgrounds  and motivations on a really slow burner. It has been four hundred pages and we know pretty much frack all about the system. And the villains are literally child molesting cannibalistic hostage takers terrorists, which is a little bit over the top.

It has gripped me in a way a few things were able to and the other novels got five stars, so this one gets it too. I'd say all of those things are so minor and so well executed that they only count as petty niggles. 

Wayne
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Interesting idea, juvenile presentation

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. 

OrionXV
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Fresh, Creative and Intriguing

I have to say, Scott is a professional - I really find it difficult to criticise his fictions. This book is no exception to that: the setting is well built and logical.

The story has no plotholes or such and I find it intriguing. Contrary to that, at times I lose the motivation to read further, but it is just me; I am sure most people would be hooked to the story. The characters are complex and seem very much real, not like nonsensical and simple characters from most fantasy books. The tone and grammar are amazing even though I find our characters switching to Spanish/Korean annoying at times.

I conclude that this book is another reminder of the amazing writing skills that Scott wields.

RD04
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This is now one of my favorite novel :3 Keep up the great work!

FlavorTown
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short but so far amazingly laidout, things are well descibed and events (mostly) happen understandably. absolutly cannot wait for more!

Stephen Lewis
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I'm personally not a big fan of female leads(because I am the worst) but it's worth seeing if you'll like it

TlDR:concepts good and he writes well