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It is an age of wisdom and prosperity. The world has been at peace for two centuries, all things are available in abundance, and the human lifespan has been extended further than ever before, with many living for five centuries or longer. In this strange era, a class of gifted young arcanists are invited to attend a conclave that pursues the secret of eternal life, but one of the guests, Utsushikome of Fusai, has an ulterior motive for attending. Soon, however, a dark truth is unveiled, and a tragedy unfolds at their hidden refuge.
And all of them must ask: What can be found in the world, that is truly eternal?
The curtain rises on this, mankind's final battle with entropy, and the outcomes are death, and a slightly later, more complicated form of death. Please try to enjoy yourself.
This story is a time loop murder mystery with a slow pace and a focus on psychological elements.
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It's hard to review a mystery without knowing what the resolutions are going to be like; that's like judging a joke without hearing the punchline. Still, this story has a very nicely done setup, though I'm sure that the slow pace might put people off.
I started reading the story with the promise of good worldbuilding and characterization, and felt it delivered well on both fronts. There's something very satisfying about how everything is delivered, both in terms of the prose, and in the way that the author lets everything breathe and be revealed when and where it's necessary. There's a large cast who get introduced quite gradually, each with their own specialities and personalities, which feed into their outlooks and different positions they take on various matters. Most of the work so far is contained within either scenes of characters talking to each other about various philosophical or scientific points, or overviews of matters of art or engineering, and all that stuff is a delight.
The only real reservation I have right now is on the mystery aspects, because it's hard to know ahead of time whether there will be a satisfying payoff, something crucial for a mystery to work. With regards to everything else, there's quite a lot of consideration, so the story has my trust for now, but without the execution present yet, it's hard to say.
Since we've yet to begun the time loop as advertised in the synopsis proper (as of chapter 18), this review may seem rather premature, but I'd just like to write about how enjoyable the story has been so far and hopefully convince anyone browsing to give the story a shot.
First off, I think it's important to note that, as advertised, this story is slow paced. If you're looking to jump right in and get to the action, you might find yourself disappointed. I think that the slow paced and methodical nature of the story works very well, though, both to lay down the groundwork for a mystery/time loop story and to play off the main character's analytical nature.
Speaking of, all the characters so far play off really well together. While they're all entertaining to read, I also appreciate how naturally they all serve to discuss and portray the story's main themes of eternity, death, etc. From what we've seen of them so far, I'm really anticipating how what little we know of their backstories will figure into the overall mystery. Their discussions on their life philosophies especially were always super interesting.
The worldbuilding so far is also fantastic. It's obvious that a lot of thought was put into not just the magic system, but how society develops around it and how it would affect a person's values. I really liked how following the main character's thought processes as she explained the world around her and how she saw it doubled as both meaningful worldbuilding and meaningful character development.
Right now the only bad thing I can really say about the story is the occasional grammar mistake. They're generally not really noticeable or frequent, but they do exist.
To close this out, I'll just say I'm excited to see what's next! I'm confident that the author can pull of something special based on what's been written.
Regardless of whether a story is good or bad, you can be captivated by the style of the writing. Lurina’s writing hits just the right buttons for me. Oh, and the story is good too.
I was really bummed out when their previous story, “Where only names grow”, was dropped; and am glad to find this story doing the same kind of thing, but better. That mysterious weirdness coupled with really strange world-building is super cool to read.
I am unfortunately not very good at describing what I like in fiction, so I’m afraid this review won’t be very useful, but I’ll list some thoughts I’ve had while reading.
The names of characters and places are cool. I’ve found myself multiple times mouthing “Rhunbardic”. The character names are so varied that despite the size of the cast, I have no problem telling them apart, something I sometimes have a problem with in other fiction.
It is really comfortable being inside Utsushikome’s head. I’m not sure how else to describe it. Sometimes in first person stories the main character’s psyche begins to grate on you. Not so in this story.
What really pulled me in to both “Names” and this story were the amazing pitches that Lurina posted on reddit. (I think. I might not remember this 100%.) The promise of a solvable mystery combined with that one chapter in “Names” and the Intermission in this story has me giddy with excitement. I really enjoy putting explicit rules on the narrative in a way that is reminiscent of Umineko no Naku Koro ni.
I have not read the new beginning, but I really enjoyed the original “The End” chapters. I support any decision the author makes if it makes it more likely that the story is finished, but I felt the in medias res beginning helped solidify what this story is going to be about.
This is not a web serial where I instantly read every new chapter. I have to set off time and get comfortable to make sure I can appreciate it.
I had a good time reading this.
Here, we can find mystery and magic, lively characters and weird sci-fi.
Sadly, the story is not without fault. The pacing is a bit uneven.
The hooks do come slowly and a lot of time is spend exploring part of the world that seem unimportant for the story. Those descriptions do give hints about the world, but those are a bit too spread out and do not inform the story enough. I spent some time wondering what was the point, what was the focus.
What's the most understandable and relatable (making a trip to attend a conference to present a project to renowned researchers) come very slowly and is not used as a building block to tell this story.
The main character most mysterious and awesome quirks only come laters, and that's quite sad.
Ran is a mixed bag. She is interesting but seems so unreadable. I'm not really sure what the state of her friendship with the main character.
And yet the mystery is deep, the world is impressive, and i'm hooked. Everything is getting better with each chapter, and if the story is far from perfect (from a sorta narrative and exposition standpoint), the words flow freely and most of what is happening is compelling.
I'll keep reading every part of this.
TL;DR: JUST READ IT ALREADY
Insanely high concept, touches of dark comedy, characters that react accordingly to contrived situations and a commited fair mystery story. Cool magic, cool wordlbuilding, cool chars; the only bad thing about it is that more people aren't reading it. I would even say this is too good to be on RR but we live in the age of surprises.
What is there to say about this story other than it has been strongly recommended and taken root in the most unlikely of places? Regardless to anyone reading this review we recommend patience, for every moment spent reading will pay off greatly later on.
Let's start off by talking about Grammar, there's a few typos that have slipped by but they are small things, mostly a letter missing that could easily be the act of an errant spellchecker or missed keystroke and the odd missing word but I can say that in fifty chapters we have only found four of them, which means that it should not be a problem.
When it comes to style the prose is verbose at times yet elegant, it is nothing spectacular but it is serviceable and at times capable of evoking some poweful imagery. It's just a shame that the Cuneiform script that is sometimes used glitches out on the browser currently being used, this is a small thing but still bears mentioning.
As for the story and the characters? Oh, where to start?
The characters are well realized, oftentimes you will see two people chat amicably with each other with the ease of longstanding friends, well aware of their quirks and with a hints as to their history together. Over the days I spent reading this story I can say that I have grown to care for some of these delightful messes and their motivations.
There's an interesting spread of cultures, attitudes and what not. Something that bears mentioning is that there is a pleasant amount of diversity when it comes to the characters and it is done in a manner that does not feel out of place. All too often people lose sight of the story in the hopes of promoting diversity.
Of the story I can say little other than it's chock-full of mysterious circumstances and unrevealed secrets. The beginning leaves you with a lot of questions and as you read on the questions seem to multiply. The few answers that you get are incredibly satisfying and leave you wanting more. What's more the author has managed to tap into several themes and tropes that are of a personal interest and because of that has managed to greatly capture our attention.
Within these pages you will find intrigue, fantasy, and mysteries aplenty. Highly recommended for those who value questions as much as answers, if you are like us you will find yourself pondering the implications of many of the observed details.
In conclusion, this is a story that is slow to start, taking it's time to lay the frameworks for the start of the action but when it gets going IT gets going. Highly recommended, employ some patience and perhaps have a drink of something comfortable as you venture within this absolute acid trip of a setting.
I've really enjoyed following this story! It features a very unique and interesting mix of fantasy, sci-fi and murder mystery elements, with themes of mortality, identity and transhumanism that are explored in many interesting ways.
This is the kind of story that really wants you to think about it and get deep into it, with many layers to the setting and characters that are gradually revealed in a way that really immerses the reader in the world. Despite the setting being so fantastical and otherworldly, the story unfolds in such vivid detail that there's a sense of "reality" to it that feels entirely convincing to me, and I found myself really caring about the characters and their struggles rather than just seeing them as pieces in a puzzle as can happen in some mystery stories. Indeed it's often hard for me to distance myself and try to solve the puzzle in a detached way because I get so absorbed in the characters' perspectives! But I consider that a sign of a really immersive narrative.
The story is slowly paced and has a psychological focus without much action, so it may not be for everyone. But if you're a patient reader and you're looking to really sit back and get immersed in something well-crafted and thought-provoking, I would definitely recommend giving this story a shot. I would especially recommend it if you enjoy visual novels like Umineko and Zero Escape that feature a mix of character-driven mysteries and philosophical concepts. (Conversely, if you enjoy this story, I'd also recommend giving those series a try too!)
I really enjoy the style of Lurina's writing. She has a real gift for evocative metaphors and meticulous worldbuilding, and her characters have very distinct and memorable personalities and interact with each other in realistic, engaging ways. The narrator has an interestingly sardonic sort of personality, and her observations of the people and the world around her often made me smile. If there is a notable flaw in the writing, there can be quite a few spelling and grammar errors at times, but once you really get into the story you'll barely notice them.
The story is also consistently updating once a week right now, which feels remarkably fast for the quality and depth of the content! The mystery is really getting going right now, so it's a good time to jump in!
A very fun story that I couldn't put down after the first couple chapters. A distinctive and unique setting that serves the genre (murder mystery) in compelling ways. I find myself as interested in solving the mysteries of the setting as I am in the plot itself.
Lurina has a meticulous style of writing, with great care spent describing the environment, arcitecture, and clothing. Where her technique shines most is in the interactions of characters, whose relationships at times can feel painfully real. Our protagonist Su is a reliable but biased narrator, filling our point of view with a commentary that is simultaneously skeptical, apprehensive, and endearingly naive.
The story sports a fairly large cast, but there are no throwaway characters. Even those with relatively little screentime are written with depth and mystery. The main cast, a group of magical grad students pursuing the science of longevity, have a fun if sometime dysfunctional dynamic. Each feels like a full character with unique personalities driven by clashing goals, motivations, and histories.
Definitely a slow burn as advertised, but for good reason. Lurina's style is to build layer upon layer of question, clues, and answers which lend new context to the previous chapters. Without going into the specifics of the story, it is an absolute pleasure to read. I cannot recommend this enough to anyone with an interest in fantasy, science fiction, or mystery.
Been following this for over a year now, I guess it's time I finally write a review.
The tl;dr is this story is great, and I look forward to the updates each week.
The strengths of this story are its worldbuilding and characters. The worldbuilding is incredibly unique, with its fantastical bronze age aesthetic that I don't see much around here, the way it blends that with its sci-fi elements, and all its crazy history and mechanical setting details.
The characters feel diverse and fleshed out, many with their own voices, and each their own viewpoints on the philosophical questions the story raises. The protagonist herself is quite something. She's quite neurotic and probably isn't for everybody, but I think she's great.
The story is a little slow-paced—it is only starting to pick up “action wise” around chapter 50. That's not to say nothing happens for the first 50 chapters! This is a mystery story, and there are a lot of mysteries that stack up in that time, lots of juicy bits to sink your teeth to, and I've enjoyed rereading what's here to try to process all the unanswered questions and hints the story doles out. And of course, you have the fascinating worldbuilding & characters to pull you along for the ride.
Awesome worldbuilding, and guessable mysteries that you can endlessly theorize about. Do you like Umineko, Zero Escape, Danganronpa or even just Ace Attorney? You're gonna love this.
If I had to mention a flaw, the intermissions are a bit abrasive and jarring, but they're a very small part of the story.
Features probably the least annoying way of introducing 20+ characters I've ever seen.