Original ONGOING Contemporary Drama Horror Romance Female Lead Gender Bender Male Lead Slice of Life Strong Lead Supernatural Urban Fantasy
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Ray is an aspiring artist trying to live the best he can after he became persona non grata from his rich family and after two dramatic events of his past. Sadly for him, a particular evening going out brings him truths that a normal human being should not have, and one particular truth decides it'll just eat him.

This is the story of his survival, and of the fallout it brings.

[Participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]

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messschieber
  • Overall Score

First of all: I really like this story.

It has lot of the things that make a great one: realistic feeling characters, a unique setup, a unique twist on the whole "monsters of legend in the modern day" thing and a dash of history.

I find it refreshing that  the mc gets aware of the whole "mosters are a thing" thing, but doesn't get the whole alternate history of the world handed to him on silver tablet.

An edit at chapter 20: I haven't really encountered the following issues after the point of the initial review at chapter 9. I am, however, pleased to say that the author has expertetly followed up after chapter 9 with the story. The setting as a whole and especially the dialogues are still continue to impress me. I hope the whole over-arcing narrative can live up to these, as there is still mich to be told.

A point of criticism, however, is that some dialogue goes a bit over the head of the reader and is not that easy to follow/understand. I don't now if that is intentional, as realistically, the characters wouldn't spell everything out ten times over just so that the reader also gets it. Or if the author is deep into the story that he forgot to also explain it to the reader.

Another one would be that some signifacant plot points happen, get somewhat lost in the flow of the story, only to get regulary mentioned by the characters. As the plot points got a bit lost in the flow, it makes hard for the reader to remember. Example: one or two sentences without much focus on them in one chapter, regularly mentioned a couple chapters later. Only then I actually noticed that the two sentences were actually relevant.

Still, all in all, a favourite of mine as of chapter 9.

Andross Guile
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Wow, this is good. There's actual nuance here! It has a Mythago feel to it without being pretentious. The fusing of character is confusing at first but it starts to feel natural after several chapters. This is a proper urban fantasy. It's very light on world building, and the setting isn't clear. Seattle, maybe? I can think of another story, vastly inferior, that is set in Washington with vampires and some not-quite-werewolves.

I do like the very unforced transgender/gender fluid, pansexual elements to this. I have never read anything with that in it that feels like it isn't part of an agenda. It flows well. It fits to the story. I very much enjoy the POV changes and the slow melding of personalities. 

I wonder, if the confusion the reader feels in the beginning is deliberate or a lucky coincidence. It's difficult to engender confusion without it being abrasive. Bloody well done.

Top 10 material. Give another 20-40 such chapters and this'll be a book I'd buy on Amazon. 

Raz
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I don't usually like supernatural, urban fantasy as a genre; Gray wolf however caught my attention and surprisingly I found myself liking it quite a bit. Unlike most books in this genre between the well written action, tension, and horror, the chill moments are still pretty fun and I can just relax and read. Additionally the gender bender thing is done very well. I've noticed in many books where this is used it's either completely irelivant to the plot or pushing some sort of LGBT agenda. In grey wolf, however, it doesn't seem forced and has a fair bit of relevancy. All in all it has a good bit of action, some horror, and an unrevealed yet clearly still there overarching plot. 5/5 would recommend. 

Srayan
  • Overall Score

Excellent Elasiomorph fantasy

Reviewed at: True Friends

Fantasy with elements of mysticism and shape-shifting.

contrary to some other reviews this is Not primarily a gender transference story- as just one of the MCs forms is female human. It's more of a shapeshifter story. The other forms are male human and some kind of super-werewolf. Not just any ordinary werewolf by the way. The transformation process is (relatively) easy, albeit uncomfortable enough that MC doesn't do it for fun....much.

Jbreezy
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A Look Into the Mind of an Ideologue

Reviewed at: Voices in our head

I wrote this in the space to review chapter three, but it got really long so I thought it should go here:

I'm probably going to drop the story here, but I thought it would be unfair to do so without some explaination of why.  The main reason being that it seems like a vitriolic expression of your feelings and ideology at times. 

To start with, I've always felt uncomfortable when the narration talks about being bullied in school by the 'jocks', as its just an easy stereotype that feels to me like a cliche based around the author's own negative expiriences.  Also, there are a few other places where a past for the main character is mentioned, where it just feels more like you are expressing your own expiriences and feelings, perhaps in an attempt to vent, or to persaude others to your side of an argument or situation.

On another note, I also was turned off by the way that this story made me feel like I was in a sociology class, or listening to someone tell me about their opinion on gender, sexuality, and race.  As much as I know that this is something that is popular in culture today, and in many ways I agree with you on these subjects, it feels like something that is the main focus of the story, rather than being something that just exists within it.  Perhaps that was your intent, I don't know.  For many examples, you start with your lesbian-goth friend, talk about white privilege (twice in as many chapters), discuss income inequality in society, discuss gun violence, have your main character's brother be trans (sister? I don't know what the proper way would be to discribe this with the timeline), discuss how good of a person your main character is for still caring about said brother, among many other things that I can't remember.  I'm not saying any of these things are bad, or even can't be in a story, but with all of them, it is very clear what the ideology being pushed is, and it certainly is being pushed.

Perhaps my critiqe can be sumarized by comparing this situation to that of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien; two very good and very successful authors, as well as good friends.  One of their main literary differences was their ideology as it pertains to writing fiction.  Both were Christian, and some part of that went in to the writings of each, but in Tolkien's case, significant amounts of subtlty was used, while with Lewis, Narnia was very direct in its symbolism.  In Lewis' case, he convinced no person of the truth of the ideas of the bible, and made a successful book series.  But for the most part, his success came in the form of Christian fans, who enjoyed seeing the ideas that they already held in a work of fiction.  In Tokien's case, he wrote the most success series of fantasy books of all time, and while he also likely didn't bring anyone over to his chrisian ideology, he at least didn't turn them away by attempting, unsuccessfully, to push his ideas on to them.

I wrote way more than I planned to on this, but college is done so I have time to waste I suppose.  I don't know if you'll give any thought to this review, or just dismiss it as me being a person who disagrees with you in terms of how to write while including some amount of your worldview.  However, if you do read until this point, and get through all of my negative thoughts, I should say that I really loved many of the other parts that didn't talk about this stuff.  I like your writting style. Your grammar and punctuation had some mistakes, but whose doesn't?  The story, as much as I read, was interesting and engaging, and had some really creative ideas.  The only real problem I had, as I discussed above, is that I think that it comes across as pushing an ideology, which even though I don't disagree with it for the most part, still breaks my immersion into the story itself, and starts to feel like a teenager giving me a lecture on perfered gender pronouns; more annoying than it is informative or persuasive.

As a side note, I should say that this story is only just starting where I dropped it, and likely improves in many ways, but for as long as the same aspects exist, I can't enjoy reading it.

sabazurc
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Firstly I will say that I've never been a fan of gender-bender. I like to know how MC looks like and while in this novel there are descriptions of their male and female forms, you can forget which form MC has sometimes since they change gender so often. Even now while reading this I have no idea which form MC uses, so I even have trouble imaging situations because I have trouble imagining MC himself/herself. Also, the problem with introducing such troubled and dramatic love life is that it takes too much space and needs too much attention in the story, what I prefer is learning more about the world, supernatural, some good action and myth of the story, and not drama. Maybe some female audience will prefer this since usually (not always) females prefer such relationship-oriented overcomplicated dramas or generally over-complicated relationships in novels but I'm finding it less and less interesting. The last thing is even more biased, I personally prefer MC with the same gender as mine since it makes easier to imagine for me. 

Leonardo Nascimento
  • Overall Score

I really like this book, the mc is good, the world is believable, and the story is growing well. I wish I could read the whole book right now.

Zak
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An improved, and fun, take on a common theme.

Reviewed at: Invited

First, I am not usually a fan of urban fantasy. Of the few I have read, though, I am reasonably confident that this is one of the better ones.

Story has no problems in terms of grammar.

Plot is similar to other urban fantasy stories, but all around it is pretty good.

Style is okay, but with the somewhat consistent gender and PoV changes, things can get a little confusing.

The best part is the characters, and that they seem very well fleshed out. This seems lacking for many urban fantasy, and it's nice to see that pitfall avoided. 

Most importantly, in my opinion, it's fun. If I wanted a great book, I might pick up Lord of the Rings, or some other genre defining book. But this is a book for enjoyment, and it certainly checked that box. 

dak'kon
  • Overall Score

Gender-bender that wants to be horror

Reviewed at: Estranged routine

The story is not written badly from a technical standpoint just confused about its identity.
We have in the first chapters a transgender, lesbian, and a gender-bender. none of this is bad, but it sends a message about the themes the story wants to explore.
If you add the low key racist, boomer parents, and the artsy(and angsty) millennial protagonist the result is not something I want to read about.
The characterization is done well. the characters are distinct have history and personality.
There is a plot, which I found not to be an obvious thing sometimes, while it's early to comment on quality it does have a direction the author's ability with characters leaves me hopeful.
Suggestion to the author -

Add in a visible place a gender-bender warning.
Attract readers that want to read about the things you want to write.
...
Profit?

Elchen Warmage
  • Overall Score

I've been looking for a gender bender where the main character can swop between both genders, this as close as I have ever come. It is a highly enjoyable story.