Ashes of Eternity

by J P Koenig

Original HIATUS Action Drama Sci-fi Multiple Lead Characters Space Opera Strong Lead War and Military
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Sexual Content

An ancient conqueror awakens to find his galactic empire in ashes. A street rat discovers a core that changes everything.  A noble woman must fight for her place in her family and for her very survival. A Relic Hunter finds more to care about than just himself.  All of them are light years apart, but inexorably tied to the ulterior motives of those around them and a shared destiny. But the threats they face are many, and lurking deep in the outer rim of the galaxy, a threat capable of destroying everything is growing...

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J P Koenig

J P Koenig

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David Musk
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With only four chapters in, I can’t say too much about the overall plot yet. The world building is interesting though. My first impression is that we’re seeing a collapsed galactic civilization, possibly with some Roman Empire inspirations. 
 
While Safira’s early chapters are strong, The omniscient viewpoint in Chapter 1 went on for far too long, in my opinion. I can appreciate the work that went into the world building here, but readers care about characters first and foremost. We only start caring about the world later on. I would rather enter it through the eyes of the first POV character rather than starting off with paragraphs upon paragraphs of information.
 
After the first couple chapters though, things improved dramatically. From that point on, the info dumps were much rarer and all the descriptions felt relevant to the character’s current situation.
 
No complaints as far as grammar goes. Words are spelled correctly, sentences use proper structure, and I didn’t notice any typos.
 
The style was pretty good too. Like I said above, the writing is clear and everything makes sense. The dialog and action scenes were the strong points, and I would have liked to see more focus on those and less focus on the big picture/world building. For example, in the beginning of Chapter 2, we have a chase scene where one of the two POV characters (Safira) is escaping some gang members. One minute we’re in the scene with her, the next minute, the metaphorical camera is zooming out to describe the layout of the city, followed by a paragraph or two about the character’s back story. I would rather see the relevant details of the chase itself, and learn the rest as it becomes relevant. The chapters after these felt much stronger.
 
To be fair though, these problems are mostly present in the very beginning of the story and could be easily refined. And when the descriptions are good, they’re good. Overall, I got a very good sense of Safira’s world and I was able to visualize things easily. 
 
One final style complaint is the amount of "to-be" verbs. I counted the word “was” six times in the opening paragraph alone.  Replacing these with some stronger verbs would result in stronger writing overall. (You also also want your opening paragraphs to be as strong as possible since many readers will judge the story by these words alone.)
 
Overall, great start though. Safira seems likable as a character so far, and it will be interesting to see how she develops and stands out from the usual "street rat” tropes.
Rubygold153
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Quality Fiction, Very High Potential

With the intro of Safira, I think you did an excellent job of showcasing her outlook and circumstances, as well as showing the connection to Tanque in a realistic fashion that didn't take long to set up. As the first really developed character, I believe you've done very well in making her three dimensional.

As for the great galactic emperor, I'm interested to see how he develops.

In regards to the plot, I know there are still a couple more main characters to introduce at the time of this review, but I hope that any worldbuilding that is shown with them doesn't reveal that the old empire headed by the first MC just fell apart immeadiately after he was removed from the picture. Like the review prior to mine indicated, if that were to be the case, it would make the idea of an intelligent space fairing civilization completely unrealistic.

However, from the quality I've seen so far, I have plenty of faith that you have a solid history stretched out past his removal. That's what the mention of the junkyard origins has me believing anyways.

Aside from that, I don't have anything to really gripe about or offer you. Your writing is top quality both in style and grammatical correctness. Honestly I'm just waiting for more.

Anyone who is looking this over and considering picking it up, I suggest you do so.

Beyogi
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Interesting story, strong on some tropes

After reading the first four chapters, I think I've got enough of a first impression of this story.

Overall there seems to be two strands. The scientist emperor's return and a rags to riches story of a street rat following in the wake of the scientist emperor's return.

The story is well written so far, the only criticism I could offer at this stage would be to not rely too hard on tropes and clicheed plots. The whole rise of the scientist empire and subsequent fall of civilisation opens a bunch of questions and makes galactic civilisation look really idiotic. Like can't they wipe their ass without the scientist emperor? I hope that'll be explained better in the coming chapters. Meanwhile street rats make good "hard men" protagonists, but they can be hard to identify with.

Overall interesting story so far.

Thank you for writing.

jpuntuned
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I wish there were chapters for me to review but I'll make do with what is on offer.

There was nothing wrong with the grammar that jumped out at me and ruined my reading experience which is a rare occurrence on RR, kudos for that. However, your style wasn't to my liking. There are too many repeated words in close proximity and the prose gets a little monotonous at points.

What shines is your characters. Your first chapter had very little dialogue but still got me very interested in the emperor. Safira is an amazing protagonist.  

Spoiler: Spoiler

 It is very rare that I care about a character this early in the story but Tanque was lovely. It saddens me to see him die this early in the story.

 

Zethuron
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Great start to this grand sci-fi epic

This is a fresh sci-fi story from the author of the amazing sci-fi Post Human, and so far it seems this story will be of the same kind of quality as that one.

The characters in this story are amazingly well written, even if we havent been shown much so far. The best characters so far are Safira and Elinor, with the emperor being sort of underdeveloped, but thats due to the few chapters released so far, so this is surely set to change.

Good setting for this story, theres a larger sense of mystery, of just what happened for the seemingly so grand empire to fall. To be fair, the plot hasnt advanced much beyond the introduction yet, but even then im liking it. Basically this story shows a lot of promise, and i trust in the author being capable of capitalizing on that promise by writing a excellent story.

I do have absolutely no problems with the grammar used in this story, the author is very skilled at writing in the English language, and that does show in the story.

Personally i want more chapters already, but im not too sure about the release rate of this story.

I can recommend readers who find this story to start it, even if the story is short so far. This story has the potentional to grow in a sci-fi epic that can rival even the classics of the genre.

tarakis
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Very Satisfying Story!!!

I am absolutely hooked on this story. The story is awesome with it's different characters that have a very well thought out depth to them. The style and grammar are top notch. I cannot wait to read more. I wait with great anticipation how the Author will combine are the character's stories into one great story.

:D CHEERS (c)

weedisdaboss
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To have the chance to read a real epic Sci Fi on a free side, is a chance you can’t let pass, not only does the universe have a rich history on a level you could easily compare to the foundation serie, full of backstabbing politics and old and future Wars, but evry character introduced hace deep/varied life experiences and diverse lifestyles, you can only wounder how they are going to know each other in the later chapters and mutch less how they are going to work together. 

So give yourself the chance to read a Sci Fi you would normally have to pay for.

Thedude3445
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First Impressions: Rough Seas on the Galactic Ocean

It's too early in Ashes of Eternity to give a very thorough review; at just 81 pages in length, the story hasn't even begun to begin, instead continually expanding its scope as some kind of large-scale prologue. I respect that quite a lot, though that means I can't review it except as the prologue it appears to be.

So far, Ashes of Eternity has all the hallmarks of something that could be great, but it's on some rocky terrain that could slip into mediocrity or worse, if the story takes a poor turn. Why is that, you ask? Well, for these first eleven or so chapters (I think the "main plot" looks to start around Chapter 15), we've gotten FOUR completely independent, self-contained POVs that are almost completely unrelated so far. 

The story of this web novel is one of an entire galaxy, a thousand years after its Emperor disappeared. The decay is evident in the pretty crapsack world everyone lives in; aside from the Emperor's story, every world we've been shown so far is far from a fun place to live, and characters are faced with great quandries, whether that be pure survival, or advancing in a harsh aristocratic society. All of these disconnected storylines add up to one truth-- the galaxy sucks.

This is incredibly ambitious. Giving us all these completely separate parts of a giant universe and showing us completely unrelated characters is a setup to something that could be a space opera ensemble story on an unparalled level of sheer size. Whatever the main plot of this story is, involving all of these current POV characters is going to be a feat in megaplotting.

However, as a serial web novel, that may have been a mistake. In just eleven chapters, we've been given four completely separate storylines, jolted from one tale to the next, and with almost no connective tissue between them because they all take place (literally) worlds apart. That kind of thing is going to be a bit hard to follow in serialization, especially when there are only chapters about once every 2 or 3 weeks, it appears. If executed correctly, this could be a classic, but it is going to be a real tough one for author JP Koenig to pull off. 

And because of the disparate nature of all these storylines, so far none of them have jumped out at me, all feeling like... well, prologues. The characters are all alright, but none of them have appealed to me in the way that some of my favorite web novel protagonists have, partially because they just never got to stick around long enough to make much of an impression. Once again, this is something solved with more chapters and more time, so this is just my first impression.

However, something that definitely must be improved is the prose, which puts the world and the exposition in first place, well before actually showing us the story at hand. There are often paragraphs upon paragraphs of long exposition, sometimes even in the middle of action scenes, and it's quite clunky. Instead of showing us the world, the story is more inclined to tell us about the world.

There are also, strangely, some instances where the scenes show us a lot... but maybe TOO much; Chapter 5 has the POV character taking a shower, smelling the cinnamon shampoo, and... it doesn't have any relevance to anything else. It may also be that the POV is a bit too distant, even omniscient, for moments like this to really give us a picture of the character's inner thoughts when we get to these slice-of-life moments. I would recommend the author to try some prose study on authors like Dashiell Hammett who are able to convey an incredible sense of place and action with efficiency and energy, and then to direct some of that study into this story. Some improvements to the prose there could go a long way in making this story something special.

Still, once you get past the prose, Ashes of Eternity has a whole lot of potential to be a sci-fi epic like the web fiction world has yet to see. Let's wish JP Koenig a universe of luck as he embarks on the rest of this story.

Elaikases
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I have been enjoying the development and the multiple threads as this pulls together. 

 

Well worth reading. 

John Marcus
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Good stuff through and through. Characters are all fairly proactive and each have definitive challenges they are striving to overcome. The people surrounding the main characters add compelling context. Having read to chapter 11, which at the moment is the latest release, I can say, "So far so good."