To Play With Magic
- Traumatising content
This is currently a completed story arc, though it's not the end. I'm working on the rest of the story, but due to wanting to not make the same mistakes I've made with the story so far, I'll be finishing it, then posting it once it's complete. There will also be edits to the currently posted story based on feedback from readers. This will be uploaded shortly before the rest of the story.
"Hi, my name is Alexis," I say into the camera, as I attempt to calm my nerves.
"And I'm Sab," I hear my best friend add from beside me. It's good to have her there, it's been far too long.
"I'm trying to focus," I tell Sab as I look into the camera. Will anyone even watch this?
"What, just cause I didn't get sent to another world, where magic and dragons are real, I don't get to be a part of this?" she questions me. I can hear the hurt in her voice. I wish she'd been there. Things might have been... different. I can't believe I thought it was a game. If it had been, she'd have been the better choice.
"I said I was sorry. It's not like I knew I was going to be kidnapped by the system," I lamely apologize. She deserves more, but this is important.
"Coming soon, to an earth near you," she might be making light, but I can hear the fear in her voice.
"It's not funny Sab. It really is coming," I can't help but reply to her words, even though I know she didn't mean it.
"Come on Lexi, it's a little funny." she tries while chuckling nervously.
"Sigh. Look, can we just get back to telling them?" I ask, pointing at the laptop.
"Sure, but first you should show them some magic," Sab declares while waving her arms around.
"I told you. It's not that simple. I only showed you because you could tell it wasn't fake. They'd just think it was special effects," or come after me to try to lock me in a basement.
"Yeah, well they're not going to believe you anyway. It sounds pretty crazy, even to me. And I've seen what you can do," she proclaims. I didn't think it was that special, but she was super impressed by my magical abilities.
"Maybe, but I have to try. We don't have much time," I state as I stop the recording, before starting a new one.
"Hello, my name is Alexis," I pronounce, projecting as much confidence as I can at the little camera.
"Remember, the world ends on a Tuesday."
*This is a LitRPG, with attempts at humour, a bit of psychology and a lot of magic. This is a "System apocalypse" novel where the protagonist is sent to another world prior to the apocalypse. It will almost exclusively follow the perspective of Alexis as she makes her way through her journeys.
While I endeavour to deliver a readable story, this is what I would tentatively label the first draft. Feedback is appreciated and while I'll attempt to make clarifications, major revisions will wait until the story has finished.
Guaranteed updates on Monday and Thursday.
This story is only available on RoyalRoad and my Patreon. If you find it anywhere else, please reach out to me. Thank you.
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I have binge-read this novel in two days.
It was a fantastic ride. Now I'm sad that we have to wait a bit for the next arc.
This Story is a must-read for this genre lover. It is immersive, engaging. Will cause laugh, desperation, joy, and sadness. All sign of a great read and a great author.
I love how much Alexis enjoys play with magic, like a little kid with a new toy. Let's be sincere, we all will be the exact same things.
The fights are well made and well portrait, there isn't confusion and errors. Those scenes are really imaginative.
I recommend this novel to all the readers of this review. The story is fantastic.
Sorry for my outrageous English. It isn't my first language. I'm Italian.
Again I'm in need of 200 words in order to finish this review. Come on, even with fewer words is a fine review, I admit, not perfect but it has merits. This rule is stupid. I'm here to thanks the author. Now I'm sad about this. "Shame on you" GOT Reference.
It's time, I must do it. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks
This story has decent writing, brilliant ideas and great ambitions, unfortunately it makes any flaws stand out more starkly in contrast. As this review is for the author I'll be mainly focused on the areas I believe should be focus of improvement.
First, the pacing needs a lot of tuning once the story is finished. As of now the story jumps between sedate crawls, fast paced action and lore dumps. Overall, it makes the story feel very flighty and unfocused. I believe small rearrangements to the chain of events/scenes could alleviate that.
Secondly, there's barely any real interaction with character's outside the 'party' (Raz being a notable exception and Wyonna counting as a member). And even between the members it's kept quite superficial and short most of the time. I can tell it's not a strong suite of the author and it fits the mc's personality but it can be incredibly grating at times. It sadly also enforces the perception of the companions being used as plot or progression devices for the mc. I can tell there are attempts to alleviate this but they haven't been followed through so far. My suggestion would be to earnestly explore these smaller moments. Characterization doesn't need to be sappy 'heart to heart' talks, often more mundane interaction helps to shape a picture. To my understanding you are also trying to advance with every member of the main cast at roughly the same pace when you don't have to. It is easier for the reader to follow and more memorable to go in bigger 'chunks'. A successful one, to my sensibility, would be Josh's and Alexis' spat. For me that was genuine and I'm a bit sad it ended with 'the system did it' instead of a more comprehensive character developement.
Lastly, the mc. With how the story focuses exclusively on Alexis making her relatable or at least enjoyable to read would seem paramount. Unfortunately, for me, the opposite happens just as much. Her pov is incredibly distracted and juvenile most of the time or occupied with her pet and romantic prospects, instead of providing the reader with any insights into her surroundings. Jumps in reasoning and thus story progression happen occasionally whilst seemingly relevant information is not followed up on. Now I don't suggest changing her character or anything in that vein but I believe offering more (in)sight to the reader would be a tremendous improvement.
These are the three most glaring shortcomings to my sensibility and I hope this review provides construcrive feedback.
Thank you for sharing your work freely and may you never lose the joy in penning out your fantasies.
So I came here from another story I liked. I was hooked sometimes and then I disliked some things... It was a weird experience for me, this story.
The grammar is very good, not much errors and the vocabulary is perfectly welded.
My problem comes with the style, the main character's POV and how it influenced the story:
I don't mind present tense and the selected PoV. Being inside the head of the char is cool, but for a normal girl, her way of telling is a bit irritant to me. I don't talk about the first part with josh or what she did to a certain... (spoilers so will avoid). The reason is being inside her mind feels fake or somehow tiring?
The girl has high intelligence, but being intelligent in her feels more like a clairvoyant. Or more lke her thoughts are perfectly pushed by what the author wants so much... It feels odd.
You may think I'm wrong but, the abilities she gets are specialized into system disruption. That means she will get everything like perfectly delivered (Not necesseraly plot armor, but more like the set line destination the author has is so perfect it feels bad... At least to me).
I like the story, it is actually a nice idea. But I hate the odd sensation being inside her head. I felt like a fish swiming with the current, having to comply with the character... But in fact I didn't and in the end couldnt enjoy it.
About the story: its OP yet not OP. The skill she gains is a major disruptor, but she can be said to not be that powerful and has to cope with many restrictions.
About the system:
Its fairly well planned. I like the system a lot even telling the parts of regeneration and having some really well thought classes for the setting. Even the traits, names and all makes it cool to read.
About world building: same. Its very good and intriguing.
But seriously... I didn't like being inside her head, and I'm sad because the story is really good. But alas I cant put the author to change it for just one person. My suggestion is that people can read it and try to see if they can enjoy it. It feels like my reason for turning this one down is something more personal with this PoV.
It got me hooked after the first few chapters, the way it is written and how the characters are presented and how they react makes me want to read more of them.
I dropped this at chapter 69 (nice). My reason for dropping were firstly the characters, but also some other parts. While the dialogue was maybe realistic, it got pretty boring for me. It got boring generally. There were some info dumps, some less forceful while others simply were interludes with stories about the past.
I think this could have been pretty great. The reason it wasn't... well there should be many reasons. The most obvious? Time, and chapter quantity. The whole first story arc, happens within 12 days, not even two weeks. Those of course are stuffed full of content, some fights much dialogue and change of scenery, with the occasional info dump. Even though I dropped this I did read the last 3 chapters of the first arc. Those only told me again why I dropped this.
The characters. Many get introduced, different races, different personalities. Some more likeable than others and some much more memorable. The problem here, for me at least. Was the rush there is no need to stuff every single piece of content within 12 days, when there is a year of time left until the apocalypse.
That span of time also makes some of the relationships a bit improbable, but that wasn't my problem, my problem was how character-focused this was. In the first few chapters there was everything we needed, a goal, training and introduction of everything around the MC. But in the middle it became, less of that. Sure there was still training we still learned about the world. But... it wasn't as exciting as before. The new things that got uncovered weren't that incredible,
The ancient ship for citizens for example?
That was literally a ship of boredom. It was empty, almost nothing interesting was found, and they talked too much while exploring, which honestly, wasn't that interesting, talking isn't always interesting. Even the most amazing person can bore you, if they chose the wrong story to share, or tell you that story in an incredibly boring way.
I mean, now that I think of it.
Almost every single interaction has been recorded within those 12 days.
No wonder I got bored. I mean how interesting would it truly be, if someone could share every moment of, let's say two weeks with you, without you knowing about it. Not in the creepy way, just 'normally'. Not every moment would be exciting, funny, sad or even memorable. There is a reason why we blank out at certain times, or simply forget simple actions. There just didn't happen anything interesting during that action.
This of course would be different in a fantasy world with lots of exciting things. But even then, wouldn't some moments still be boring? That is exactly what happened in my opinion. Every moment was written, sure maybe some details were only told in passing, but still. I think this correlates with style.
The style here was about writing down every single dialogue, where someone else would just have written something like: We talked for a while after that, until noon, where we separated and went to sleep.
Relationships take time, but rest and distance are needed as well. And, now that I think about it. Wasn't Alexis quite the loner on earth? How come she didn't need any distance from her teammates (her possibly being an introvert), I mean not everyone is like that, but sometimes it can get too much, no?
Another point would be the other characters, many were shown, this is 'Name' she is a 'Job' and we need her for 'Task'. Of course this is overly simplified, but some characters had almost no screen-time and were easily forgotten, at the epilogue2 for example I did not care for that character, at all. I mean who even was that. Maybe that is because I dropped this and didn't come to the part where she/he was introduced, or maybe she/he was an easy to forget character.
Lastly the grammar was fine with some minor mistakes here and there.
Tl;Dr: 12 days stretched out on over 90 chapters, with almost every second recorded = boredom. Too much happens within a very short time. (Realistically PTSD would most certainly be a consequence, but the stats probably negate that.) Also quite rushed, and TMI.
Well, even if I dropped this and got bored halfway through, still props to the author for the beginning, that part at least, was almost full 5 (maybe for grammar 4,5 or 4 if it was before the editing).
Edit: The author's been doing a great job of taking criticism seriously, without taking it as personal insults. The current state of the story is far far better than it was originally, so if you dropped out after a few chapters before the revisions, I'd recommend giving it another go.
I'm still not fully caught up; once I am, I'll redo this with more specifics.
Edit: I'll leave the original review in a spoiler block for posterity, but I've bumped the score from 2.5 to 4. The author revised a lot the early interactions between the MC and the others; she seems a lot more human now, if still a bit shallow; once I get the bad taste of the MC's original form out my mouth, I'll come back and give it another go. Just know that if you like chosen ones and litrpg, then you should give this a go, and ignore my ranting in the spoiler section; some, but not all of the ranting is still valid.
MC spawns in her cat onesy and her friend spawns in a pink bathrobe, but the old guy spawning in a pajama suit is too much, he is creepy and not deserving of the potentially life saving information that she has to share, so she's not going to share it with anyone, because he's just that creepy (to her). The old guy isn't actually described as being any creepier than any of the other characters.
She'll risk death before associating with he-of-the-pajama-suit, and people will ask him for help and immediately attack him for being too friendly.
If you can stomach overtly unlikable characters who are fawned over and praised by everyone in the cast, then by all means, the story might be readable for you. If you're alright with the author's prejudice leaking into the story, then also, pick it up.
The writing is well done, the prose is good, the premise is pretty cool, and the general frame of events is all right, but the MC is such a terrible human being, but the author seems to absolutely adore her, and thus, so does everyone else in the story.
I'm a big fan of this story. An interesting premise, some cool powers, and complex characters are all shaping up well from what I've read so far. The author is still trying to dial in a few plot points, so we're seeing some edits in response to (deserved) criticisms of character interactions in earlier chapters. Definitely worth a read, or at the very least a bookmarking to come back and check it out after the the story is polished. This one has the framework for something special.
Thanks for the novel enjoyed to read it and like it very much and have alot op pleasure to read it and again thank you for it! It really is amazing story that you must just read and it really gives the vibe of enjoying to read the story.
Characters having foundational memories formed from a past perspective grants a depth to characters that may just be unique (I haven't seen it before, I don't claim to have read more than 1.5k-2k books which is a mere fraction of all )
Read it up to 1.28.
Really nice story. Some likable characters, other, not so much.
Some decent character development, interesting abilities.
Really good grammar, compared to the average RR novel.
MC is basically a chosen one with outstanding powers and emotional baggage to last her a while. Her group is a mesh of interesting characters with 'meh, whatever' ones.
Hope it keeps going on the right direction.
Some other reviews talk about how the main character is terrible mainly because of how she treats others. At the beginning of the story, I agreed. However, when the main character's backstory comes into play, her bias makes much more sense.