Sam is a quiet 16 year old high school guy. He's a nerd and a geek. A pretty typical guy. When his friends try to peer pressure him into playing the tank role for the new VR game they all want to play, he rebels, although he can't quite figure out why. Choosing instead to play as a healer, Sam dives into the world of Pellan Rise as the dainty little healer named Sylanna, where he discovers that the game has a lot more influence over the real world than everyone thought.
Lots of LGBTness in here, as well as unending cuteness. Also, this story doesnt really focus on the mechanics of the game as much as litrpg would, which is why it's not filed under that tag.
This story was my first ever story to be uploaded online. This is the edited version, fixing as many of my dumb mistakes as I can find. Unlike my other story, Kammi Kettu, this one is also much more in line with the audience this site attracts, which is to say it is both an Isekai and a VRMMO story in one :P. I hope you enjoy!
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This review is long and contains spoilers, read at your own risk!
Let me go ahead and preface this review by saying that the story isn't bad by any means. If you're looking for an LGBT novel with a dash of gaming elements, I'd definitely give this story a read. That being said, this story has some serious flaws that I feel the need to point out.
Story - To put it bluntly, this story is a transgender wish-fulfillment novel. The transgender part isn't the problem to me. It's the wish-fulfillment. I found the story to be extremely lacking in tension. Sylanna is lucky, supernaturally lucky. She gets a female body, she has supportive parents, she has supportive friends, and she has a supportive girlfriend. The only "antagonists" throughout the story so far are side characters at school that no one cares about. The entire plot up to this point has been about Sylanna being afraid to come out of the closet. But then she does, and everything goes perfectly.
With the slight exception of Jeremy, who is fine after a few chapters, Sylanna’s parents and friends are instantly accepting. They gender her correctly every time, they instantly switch to using her correct name without fail, and they barely bat an eye at her sexuality.
No offense to anyone, but if my child or friend literally transformed into a different person, I'd definitely be conflicted.
The second main issue that I find inexcusable is everyone’s treatment of the “game”. WHY IS EVERYONE STILL PLAYING THE GAME?! Two people in the friend group have experienced radical physical transformations and they still are “playing” it? They even acknowledge that players in the game could be killing real people, yet their solution to the situation is to try and solve the issue themselves like they’re part of the Mystery Gang from Scooby-Doo. Their initial trepidation lasts a grand total of 5 seconds.
Seriously, here’s a direct quote from the story:
“- We can stop people from earth who are killing what might be other real people,” said Dana with a voice of determination.
We all contemplated that in silence for a few sobre moments, before I cut in with a little grin, “ Annnd, It might be fun as well.”
Like what the hell? That’s it? Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I wouldn’t touch the game with a mile-long pole after all that stuff happened. The serious, world-shattering implications are being shoved into the backseat by Sylanna’s coming-out story. Sylanna's transition and story are important, don't get me wrong. But geez, this is a pretty serious situation, don’t you think? They aren't concerned that there are literal gods? What about the possibility that they could die?
The last part of the story that I take issue with is the sheer amount of coincidence running rampant in the story. Here’s a text message sent by “Sam” in chapter 7.
“Sam: I spawned on the Cragborn Plateau in Pellan. Pretty sure that’s really far from where you guys are now. We might not get to play together for a few weeks at the earliest.”
This line is important for a reason. It makes it sound like the starting location is randomized. So why, for the love of all that is holy, does every character in the story end up in the same kingdom? Sylanna’s entire friend group is in that kingdom. What about the two strangers she meets online? They attend the same school. What about the closeted transgender friend she makes at that school? Yup, also at the same in-game kingdom.
Did I miss something? Is the game actually region-based? Is there a higher power at work?
Karen literally touched some random “spooky” stone and grew a horn and tail. Are the transformations really that common? Surely the government knows, right? Surely this is a problem people around the world are dealing with, right? So why is this not touched upon? Why does no one seem to care?
Characters – Outside of the LGBT characters, the majority of the side characters are underdeveloped and uninteresting. Sylanna’s friend group and parents only seem to be around to provide emotional support and acceptance. What are their struggles? What are their worries? What about their home lives? Are they truly okay with what’s going on with Sylanna? Does Greg serve any purpose outside of being Dana’s boyfriend and the local sleaze? Who is that guy that showed up with Karen? Why is he in the story? Just to confirm Karen's lesbianism?
Thankfully we’re only 25 chapters into the story. There is plenty of time to develop everyone further.
That being said, the confrontation between Jeremy and Sylanna in chapter 23 wasn't bad. It was nice to take a look into Jeremy's mind to see how he felt about the whole situation. I just wished we got to see more.
Style – The style isn’t bad. No complaints here.
Grammar – Pretty solid but a proofreader wouldn’t hurt. There were a few sentences that didn’t make any sense and a few spelling errors that could be fixed.
If this review feels too ranty, it's probably because it is. I really like Pellan Rise. I want to care about the world, but I'm struggling to look past some of the issues.
In the end, the story is a feelsgood LGBT novel. If you’re interested in heartwarming moments of acceptance and love and you don’t care about the overall arc or plot of the story, then give this a read.
I should have gotten around to reading Pellan Rise a long time ago.
Vale shows a fairly indepth knowledge on the type of game Pellan represents and all the fleshed out mechanics actually make me want to play something like it, if only the technology was there. I'd love to create my own character.
I like a lot of the characters, highlights for me include Greg and Syl's parents, along with Syl herself. Also Liam, who strikes me as perhaps one of the more relatable characters for me.
Its also gearing up to show its villains. I'd love to see where certain characters head direction-wise, because I think some very interesting paths could be taken. All in all, Pellan Rise is excellently written and well crafted. I really am excited for the future of this story.
I have been following Pellan Rise over on TGStorytime, and I'm glad to see Valerie bring it over to here as well. As someone who has read up to what is it now chapter 23? Of the story, I adore it. I adore the characters, the relationships, the world building and game structure.
Syl is an absolutely adorable goofball who deserves all the hugs, and I can't wait for you all to meet Izzy later in the story.
Especially because Izzy is my brand of trans girl in regards to living while closeted.
+ Incredibly cute Main character. Syl is just a darling. I wish I could be like her
+ That romance... Super adorable and heartwarming
+ Gripping story you can immerse yourself in
- Let me sleep, Vale. I just couldn't put it down, meaning, I lost 2 hours of sleep. Only after forcing myself away from the story, was I able to sleep.
This is the story that caused me to fall in love with Valerie's writing style. There is a reason why this tale has stolen so many people's hearts.
Syl, like all of Valerie's protagonists, is cute as hell. I for one am partial to Karen. There's the right balance of action and emotion present from the very beginning. Pellan is a sort of Isekai, but the changes following our heroes out to the real world is a lovely twist that is quite enjoyable.
Usually I don't give a shit about VR stories. They don't grab me. But pellan has so much emotion put into it. For a story about an egg becoming an elf girl, it feels so human and real. Like I could go to the mythical fantasy land of New Zealand and just hang out there for a while with these kids.
And that's the real magic.
For as long as I can remember reading, I've wanted a story that deals with a sudden, unexpected sex change in a serious and satisfying way. Most manga and light novels (even web novels tbh) treat gender bending with a light tone and, sadly, are often irreverent towards identity, treating it like putty to be molded and toyed with. QuietValerie treats her characters like people and handles them in a way that makes sense given the confusing mess that is gender and sexuality.
I wanted something like this long before I knew I was trans, and this story finally satisfies that long held desire.
P.S. If you were also dreaming of a story like this, you might be trans.
Okay, honestly I am terrible at writing out my thoughts and can't judge style for shit, but here goes nothing. I love this story. As with QuietValerie's other stories, it is a wonderfully written story with great worldbuilding, plot, and characters, all tinted with trans subjects and lesbian action.
While the whole MMO trope has been done, QuietValerie puts her own spin on it and ties it in with a bigger plot reaching across several stories, weaving an epic tale that makes you wish she wrote faster.
I really love the character set up and the confusion/acceptance that is going on and am so looking forward to this continuing for a few *hundred* chapters. *cough*
Pellan Rise was the series that made me fall in love with QuietValerie's writing and her worldbuilding and why later on I ended up writing with her for her Kammi Kettu series.
Pellan rise is full of adorable characters, epic worldbuilding, cool abilities and fun adventures.
A must read if you like any of her other work!
I thought this looked familar :) Yet another great piece by QuietValerie
Although the use of "not just a game" is a little overdone, the execution and repurcusions of it stunning in this piece
All in all, if you enjoy gamelit (not litrpg) and tg stories where the genderbending isn't played for laughs, you'll love this