- Traumatising content
To be a synth is the greatest privilege an individual could be born into. What greater purpose or grander sense of fulfillment could one hope for than to be a tool of King Decon, the ruler of the Galaxy?
09T07 doesn’t know what more they want, but they know they’re missing something. Friendship? Intimacy? This seems to be the answer when they find others who are also not as King Decon intended them to be. However, how long can such things last among tools to be used and discarded? And how far are they willing to go to protect their loved ones in the face of duty?
Thanks to Julia Peitzer for consultation regarding gender-expansive and non-binary identities
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When I started reading I assumed the story would follow the family in the prologue, without going into any spolers, that's not what happens.
Grammar 5/5, no mistakes that I could see.
Story 4.5/5, I'm not really a scify kinda guy, but the story doesn't focus on the scify, it focuses a lot more on the characters.
That's not to say that the world isn't well thought out and detailed, I liked the way the synth food rations were described in some of the early chapters, I reccoment you read it yourself, it's the third or forth chapter I believe.
The Style 5/5, the style of the story is nothing out of the norm, arguable that's a good thing, you can jump right in and enjoy the story without dealing with fancy indentation or anything.
Where I think the story shines is its characters, at first they seem almost indestingushable, but in a strange way, that almost fits with the setting.
Over time you begin to like the character, their inner thoughts and how they deal with the odd and downright tragic world they find themselves in.
This is an emotional story foremost, with a promise of future action and a good deal of humanity locked deep down, trying to get out. This story will make you feel for the synths, who have had their entire lives engineered and crafted, so that they are little more than property in service to the galactic king.
Rarely do I give a story full marks on character, but the MC and growing group of misfit synths dare to be subtly bold as they defy their own creation and strive simply to be...to love, to find friendship and purpose. As you read, you get the sense that this will not be allowed to continue...for this world has Royal restrictions upon synthetic lives.
The prologue opens up with a brutal promise of sci-fi revolution. Then, we delve deep into the synthetic experience...training and setting take a bit of a back seat as the author explores the complex and forbidden relationships of a "strange" synth and their rare companionship with another stranger (in different ways) being. Although the sci-fi aspect is there, it serves as more of a backdrop to the investigation of powerful character driven themes. Personally I would have preferred more action and less talking, but that is just my preference for popcorn fiction. I cannot mark this down for this, since it is a much deeper story and will be appreciated by those with such tastes.
This is well written, with a simple focus on TO (the main character) and their eye-opening infanthood (a bit of a misnomer, as they come out of the vat fully formed, but ignorant of the harsh realities of their decreed existence). There is an initial promise of action and tension in the prologue, which left me wanting for a bit more as the story went on. I also found some of the dialog and exposition to be a bit more on the telling side (as opposed to showing), but it isn't a glaring fault.
Some will find the use of the plural pronoun "they" confusing. As used to refer to the synths, I find it appropriate, but sometimes you need to read paragraphs a bit slower. I had more of a problem with the dialog tags (periods instead of commas, capitalized tag pronouns, etc). It's more of a nitpick than anything, and the work is more than readable. There are a normal amount of minor typos.
I'd say yes, with a smile, for those readers who want to become invested in the painful, earnest growth of a lovable MC. Those looking for straight up sci-fi action might not find their appetite sated, but that is not the point of this beautiful story.
I can already see the darkness and cruelty sfter just the first chapter. It really pulls you in and allows you to see what's going on with the world, especially underneath whatever curtains may usually be in place. It was unexpected in a good way after reading the summary.
Overall, the grammer seems to be done fairly well. I like the characters, as well. I enjoy how they seemed to be de-humanized but still maintain some sembelance of their own identity. Also, well done with using numbered identifiers but not to the point where everyone is confused. Style is acceptable. Story is good so far. I wonder where it will lead. I'm also glad there seems to be constant updates. I'm interested to see what the future holds.
This is a fiction centred around a synth known as 09T07, who upon awakening quickly finds they don't exactly fit into the strange society they have found themself in.
It's well written with no major issues that I can see.
The setting is very interesting, but there is definitely a lack of action as promised by the fiction's action tag. The sci-fi elements sort of fade into the background in lieu of characters, which isn't entirely a bad thing as long as you are into that. I don't want to bash the author for plot holes, especially as I didn't get that far into the story, but a few nitpicky questions remain:
- How do these "strange" synths exist? The king shows his willingness to terminate unruly individuals, and they are easily detected by other synths from the get go. Considering he cares nothing for them other than their potential use, there should really be standing orders to eliminate/repurpose them immediately.
- Limits on mental imprinting. Loyalty can be forced upon the synths while they are being grown, but not the ability to use their new bodies properly? Or at least not fully. Seems awfully convenient (for the story, not the king).
(No points were deducted for these)
The use of "they" takes some getting used to, but this is more a limitation of the English language than an error in this particular fiction. However, dialogue and actions tags need to be redone. Most readers probably won't care, but it's a fact that they are consistently used incorrectly. Some small number of typos can be found, as well as oddities with tense during individual paragraphs, but these are minor.
The characters are great, and the main draw of this fiction. The struggles of the main character as they adjust to their newly discovered reality are well written, engaging, and believable.
It's a fun story about 'people' that don't fit in, set within a sci-fi world. If you like reading about the struggles of well-written characters in such a scenario, you should give this a try.
Grammar: good enough to be published.
Style: Easy to read and follow. One thing that's glaring was how the mc constantly referred themselves as 'they'. It's grammatically correct but it breaks immersion.
Story: this is about a robot that suddenly gained sentience and tried to help others like it. But it has a unique twist to it especially when you consider that 'Episode 0 scenario'.
TO is Helen, I bet.
Character : characters behave mostly as they are supposed to. Robots like robots.
I'll recommend this for any SciFi and intergalactic wars fan.
I was already somewhat attached to the characters, having known the character of DH from Witch of the Rock's other fiction work, a creation toserve as a foil for her interpretation of the main villain of She-Ra, Hordak. Reading this story without the constraints of fanfiction is a delight, but it's also a great read for everyone new to Witch of the Rock's writing style.
It's thoughtful, the pacing carefully measured, no action is wasted and makes me dread the firing of every Chekhov's Gun I can spot and I always manage to miss some, which speaks volume about the subtlety that she is able to bring here.
There are a couple of minor typos that I spotted during a reread. Noting major or jarring unless that's what you were looking for.
The storyline will draw the readers in.
The author is creating an intricate alien experience that will capture the very soul of the readers and make them beg for more. The story is developing well from the last time I made the original review.
The writing style is omniscient third person narration.
It's no secret that omniscient narration is very effective when there are multiple, equally important characters present at the start of a story just like this one. Here, omniscient narration enables the author to show how different characters feel and think. This multi-voiced narration is very evident in this work as we can see how the author is developing multiple strong characters who each have their own individual arcs that unfold simultaneously. This is a well executed style.
The grammar is of top quality.
The grammar has improved tremendously, and is efficiently used.
The characters are one of the strongest qualities of this book.
The author is able to create different characters that are exceedingly intriguing. Taking us deep into the mind of different species, and then, incited their emotional feelings, thoughts and perspectives in us as the readers, is simply amazing. This is all due to their well defined characters that perfectly fitted their roles.
Well done author. Keep it up.
Did you ever think that being a weird outcast in highschool could be improved by crushing loneliness and absolutely justified paranoia about being murdered or lobotomized for being different? No? Huh.
This story is absolutely adorable and set against one of the most stark and dystopian backdrops I've ever read. It's all about friendship, petty drama, cliques, and a tyrannical empire that won't hesitate to murder you if you step out of line.
The chapters are light and flow together nicely. In fact the entire story feels light and fluffy and it shows in the writing. The author does a good job of switching tonally between awful tyrannay and childlike naivete.
If there were errors the author fixed them before I found them
I combined these two categories because the story is of a character with almost no prior knowledge trying to find themselves and friends in a hostile and brutal world. The characterization, excitement, hopes and insecurities of the main character and their friends are written extremely well. Also they are cute as heck despite everything awful going on. Read this story for them if nothing else.
„Doesn’t it feel wrong to you? How C12 described us… Like we’re a screwdriver, or a piece of machinery, or-“ “Or a tool?”, TO asked, glancing up, “We are. That’s what we were made for.”
TO is soley created for serving King Decon, that is all they should strive for. Because they are a Synth, his army of engineered soldiers to secure his empire. But soon they find themselves longing for more, wanting friends, wanting to learn, wanting to make an impact. Struggling to navigate their drill, they find two others like them, but also run under the constant threat to be “reprocessed” for not functioning as they should. For they are a tool, nothing more.
I love clone liberation stories, watch them realized that they are maybe a person and that they deserve agency and come into their own, like Sonmi-451 story in Cloud Atlas or Hordaks in She-Ra. It raises some very interesting questions of what makes someone a person, of agency and free will I love to see explored.
Most science fiction stories have a fairly large scale and large stakes, but at least the part I read of this novel differenciates from this (maybe it gets higher stakes later, but it begins like this). It’s a very quiet story, small in a good way, that just explores the everyday live of these manufactured people and thus lets the horror of their situation shine even more. It is not explosions and gore but a faint but pervasive background noise of dehumanization that is all the more disturbing. There are no large rebelling gestures because TO and their friends grew up in this system, for them it is right, and I love this aspect, because real life oppression is very often like this too, it becomes so normal that you have to actually learn that it is wrong and you internalize it.
We follow a synth who gives themself the nickname TO through their training. Both the look of this slave species and their entire situation is clearly inspired by the species lovingly called “spacebats” by fans from “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power”, who we get to know in this series by former big bad Hordak. But for me, TO reminds me more at another clone struggling against the system that oppresses them: They are quite observant, intelligent and capable, and to curious for their own good, just like Sonmi-451 from “Sonmis Oratio” in Cloud Atlas. They are too bright for this system but because its all they know, all they can hope for, they just try to excel. Later there are quite some heartbreaking scenes how their heart goes in the way of what they are forced to do, a part of them knows why they have to do is wrong, but when its all they know, when for everything else they would be killed, what can they do?
The first they meet who is like them is DH, who stands out through how articulate they are and that they are quite lively. They and TO quickly become friends over seemingly being the only ones who feel unfulfilled and alone. They help each other through the training, but there is the ever present threat to be “reprocessed” for standing out to much, not functioning like they should enough. The constant use of this so casually dehumanizing word for what is murdering and harvesting their organs is one of these subtle but deeply disturbing things I love about the world the author created.
Third in the group is GiDi. Oh GiDi… Seeing them caught up in this horrible system perhaps hurts the most, because they are such a innocent, good person. They feel too deeply for this world. Their dynamic with TO and DH is very interesting, or generally the dynamic between these three, because they come to the group later, and neither of them really knows how to manage interpersonal relationships, because they are not supposed to have any at all.
Another aspect I really liked and that was quite unique was that yes, these clones are nonbinary. It makes sense because why would a slave race need human mainstream gender, and yet it is not nothing I ever saw explored before anyway. A nice side effect of this is that there are just so many nonbinary people in this novel, I think there were only like two cis people in it at all? Its so casual.
I am really curious where this story is heading.
M.K. Lambert is a promising and innovative new writer. My attention was grabbed from the first page. I look forward to following along on this journey.