Jonah is a college senior who can't seem to score an internship, so she's returned to the summer job that she's had every year since she was old enough to work: lifeguarding at the run down waterpark on the outskirts of her small town. Things take a turn for the worse when a dismembered body is discovered in the lake that feeds the park's attractions, and the whole staff becomes convinced that they are the murderer's next target.
[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]
(this story is complete as of 12/3/19, though no promises I won't make edits at some point lol)
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Arcadis Park is a concise, self-contained mystery story (no fantasy or sci-fi elements to be seen) following beleagured water park manager Jonah as she tries to deal with the fallout from a sinister discovery while simultaneously wrangling a cast of unruly employees and an uncooperative boss. I don't read many pure mysteries, but this one held my attention captive from start to finish and did not disappoint.
The first thing that hit me about Arcadis Park was the level of legitimacy in the detail. I went into this knowing nothing about water park operations and came out feeling like I'd learnt a thing or two. This story achieves something relatively rare in free online fiction (at least among stories I've read): a convincing level of knowledge about the subject matter. It's told so easily, interwoven so seamlessly, that it feels natural to read about every step of the way as Jonah traverses the pitfalls and challenges of her daily work routine.
It should go without saying that, stylistically, this story was a dream to read. The plot took a while to get going but I never found myself caring. The semi-surreal world of the water park and its employee group dynamics were more than sufficient to entertain and hold my attention. The immersion in this story was second to none; the setting so vivid it was almost like being there. Characters painfully real and flawed in the best possible way. And the long setup pays off later down the track, when you can look back at the characters and justify their actions in keeping with how their personalities have been established.
Grammar-wise, I noticed exactly one error in the entire story. As far as I'm concerned, that makes it essentially perfect in this regard.
The mystery investigation itself was a satisfying ride, eschewing a more traditional climactic structure and pacing for a more thoughtful, considered and realistic denouement. There was one particular moment towards the end that made me sit up in surprise and dismay, but even that was given a satisfying resolution before long. Arcadis Park's characters, too, all avoid common stereotypes and tropes often played for unnecessary drama, and all come across as believable, rational people, even when they make mistakes.
In short, I highly recommend this one. It's definitely underrated, and is worthy of your time. I honestly can't think of a thing I would change.
So, the reason I pick this story is because it's been a long time since I read a novel with an ending. Now this one got a different genre than most stories on RR. I depicted myself as if watching a mystery/thriller movie and the plot length is just right with the number of chapters.
So this novel stellar point is about the interaction of the characters with each other. No magic, blue boxes, cultivation, just a story about two girls dealing with an incident involving a corpse in their normal lives. There's enough bite in the story that tickles your sense of curiosity to hit the next chapter button.
All in all, I think this is just perfect for others that want to read a compact story that you could finish in a reasonable amount of time. Not too short, not too long. I enjoy reading this, that's for sure.
So, one of my favorite authors is Ian rankin he is a Scottish crime novelist with a dash of mystery and slasher thrown in there for good measure, which means this novel was right up my alley. That being said I know for a fact that if you are not writing a traditional fantasy, litrpg, or vrmmo novel then royalroad may not be the place for it. People tend to not want to branch out even when the novel is particularly good.
This novel feels like one of those fun summer slasher films from the ’90s and I mean that in the best possible way. It's really good at what it does and aside from the mc’s actions near the end not lining up with her actions in the beginning this is quite the impressive work.
My only real issue is the fact that pov changes should be announced more clearly, I was confused at first with some of them but once I picked up on how it worked I was fine.
Tldr: give it a chance it is fun.
From the first chapter to the last, Arcadis Park was an enjoyable read.
I discovered this story by deciding to take a step outside my comfort zone and use RoyalRoad's search option that gives a random fiction. Glad I did, because fate bestowed upon me a story that I can forever pull inspiration from for when I write in a modern setting.
Arcadis Park did nothing spectacular. If summarized to me before I read it, the plot wouldn't have intrigued me at all because this isn't the type of stuff I'm into.
But I'm sure glad I read it, because it's a good example of how to take something mundane and make something quite entertaining from it.
STYLE SCORE: Great writing style, no faults to it. Everything was clear and concise, unlike some of what I write xD
What I enjoyed most were the bits of comedy sprinkled throughout scenes that I didn't even consider could be funny, but were.
STORY SCORE: Solid. Again, nothing spectacular, but it doesn't have to be. It just has to be solid. Which it is, because it takes a simple setting and premise, and does a great job of executing it.
GRAMMAR SCORE: Um, what else can I say if I gave it 5/5 stars? The only detail I can recall of the grammar is that it was consistently great... Oh yeah, there was, like, 1 typo that I can remember? That matters, right? xP
CHARACTER SCORE: THIS is what matters! Arcadis Park has realistic characters, above all else. Not only are they varied in personalities, but they consistently worked off each other for great dynamics. It all felt like I got a peek into the lives of real people, like a really good TV show...and I don't watch/like TV shows!
This story, even tho not my usual read, is at points quite entertaining and very well written. I planned to only read the first few chapter for this review, but in the end finished the story anyways.
First of all, the dialogues are written very well and feel like people talking to each other. The descriptions are mostly on point, giving a good idea about what's happening, sometimes they get a bit to much detailed, which is why its not a 5/5
#Grammar 5/5 (perspective of non-native speaker)
There were no problems or weird constructs in the sentences, i also encountered nothing that would severly impact my reading flow.
The characters were written believeably, and had their own characters. The 4/5 was mainly given because Jonah's actions were not always understandable, especially towards the end. This might be my personal bias though.
DUe to my girlfriend being an absolue horror/slasher fan, I watched tons of movies which deal with similar topics as this story. Overall I'd say
its a well executed story with above average plot, but nothing that makes it really stand out. An enjoyable read nonetheless.
I should first state two things:
I do not usually read corporeal fiction and this is a part of a review swap.
The fiction is set in a character-driven cynics dreamland. Or at least the closest thing to it a water park can be. It follows two main characters, a newly promoted manager and a new worker at their summer job at a horribly mismanaged water park. It paints a picture that at first feels a bit like a workplace horror story from Reddit and the setting plays very well into that image. After a few chapters and introductions to the overall situation, the author brings in the mystery aspect of the story which I would rather not spoil.
Style: 3.5/5. First I should state something that doesn't affect this score, but should be considered by the readers. This fiction is very unlike most things on this site. Royal Road is a nest of fantasy in all its forms, something this fiction is clearly not. I try to be as objective as a fantasy fan can be, however, I am not sure whether I could completely suppress my bias against the setting. With that being said, there were two bad things that stood out to me enough to point out. First: The first time we get a pov transition, it is not very well indicated which left me very confused for the first couple paragraphs. Even later on in the story when I open up a new chapter I occasionally had to take a few seconds to realise which character's pov I was reading. That effect is only made worse by the fact that the two characters often reference each other at the beginning of the chapter. It is something that interrupted my reading quite a few times and could definitely use some sort of countermeasure. The second thing is the needlessly long photography technique analogy without proper explanation. I am not saying it should not be there at all, I think it does serve a proper purpose, however, as someone who never held a decent camera in their life, there are moments where I just feel completely lost as the author describes photography using technical terms for photography enthusiasts. They should either be shortened or properly explained. I have no clue whether a 600 dpi film is a lot or a little, but I definitely know that I don't enjoy not understanding that at all. I felt left out as the author describes something he had apparently researched in-depth at some point in his life.
Story: 4/5. I think the story is pretty good. It serves well the purpose of a story in a character-driven fiction: It develops the cast as it should. It doesn't stand out nor does it disappoint. There is definitely foreshadowing, albeit a bit obvious at times (but that just might be me constantly overthinking every detail). Nuff' said. It's pretty good.
Grammar: 4/5. Occasional misspelling and the usual inevitable mistakes. I never felt that they broke my immersion nor did they feel like the author is not knowledgable about grammar.
Character: 5/5. The undisputed best part of the fiction. The characters each feel like real people, something vital for a corporeal story. The cast is alive as they interact with each other and their development is moving along nicely from what I have seen. I also want to say something that might be controversial on-site like Royal road, however, I liked even when the characters did stupid things for the simple reason that those dumb decisions felt like something those characters could really do in those situations.
In conclusion, I think this is not a story that comes with characters. Rather, it is a group of characters put into a story. Something that might not be up to RR trends, but if it still interests you, I believe the fiction is worth the read. I also want to recommend to the author that he tries some different sites (if he hadn't already) where such work may receive far more positive feedback.
This is part of a series of reviews where I read the first 50 pages of the book and give a verdict on if I wish to continue reading.
This was an exceptional hard fiction for me to review, because its the sort of book you'd practically to pay me to read. With that said, while I didn't continue it, if you're interested in a modern murder mystery you'd be hard pressed to find better on RR.
Characterization & Setting. I'm lumping these together because of how integral they are to the experience. Both the park, and the people working in it feel real. Conversations between various co-workers feel exactly like the sort of conversations me and my co-workers had during the unpleasant summer I spent working at an amusement park. Its not only the characters, but also the little details in the setting that really capture the feel of working at a summer amusement park.
Most importantly, beyond just feeling authentic the characters in question do feel multi dimensional. Even in the relatively short segment I sampled you get to see some interesting elements of the various people that aren't immediately apparent at first glance. This goes for the setting as well, with attention paid to the little details of how the park runs.
I will say as well that the photography aspect promises to introduce an interesting element to the murder mystery story that I suspect a lot of readers will find intriguing.
Least Favourite Part
Scene transitions. There are a lot of mid chapter scene transitions with associated perspective changes and while some of them are handled well, I got lost during others. Sometimes wondering how a character would be reacting in a particular scene only to realize they'd left at some point.
Aside from a little hiccup or two that necessitated some rereading the scene changes didn't have a major impact on my ability to understand what was happening. However, a little bit of tightening around those transitions would elevate Arcadis Park from a fiction that is great, to excellent.
Arcadis Park wasn't for me, but I passionately avoid reading things set in analogues for our modern world. If you're at all interested in reading about the experiences of a bunch of young teens working at a water park where a murder occurs. Arcadis Park is for you, and you'd be remiss not to try it.