BOOK 1 DONE. THE STORY WILL PICK BACK UP IN THE REWRITE, BUT THIS DRAFT IS COMPLETE.
BIG NOTE: This story is currently being rewritten. However, the rewrite has strayed so far from the original that they're hardly the same story anymore. If you want a better story with higher-quality writing and much better pacing, check that one out.
(If you liked this story and want to show your support, consider rating the rewrite! I would be super appreciative if you did!)
When a mystic has reached the peak of their world’s growth, they are able to ascend, leaving it behind in favor of a higher, more potent plane. Since the dawn of existence, ambitious prodigies have pushed the boundary of what seems possible, ascending beyond countless worlds in search of the peak.
Hong Tang Kiro… is not one of those geniuses. However, his twin sister just might be. Secluded on a border world and selected for their talent in fire mana, the siblings are unknowing participants of a centuries-long experiment, hosted by a powerful eccentric on the verge of immortality. Follow the twins as they learn of and attempt to escape their predicament, before venturing out into the wider world(s).
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This story almost feels like it was written by two authors. The first eight chapters (a rewrite) are phenomenal. It tells the story of a pair of twins cultivating in a Xianxia world, making us feel for their very different social station. It touches on tropes without indulging in them and draws the reader in. Those chapters I would probably give straight 5s.
The remaining chapters still good, I'd say somewhere between a 4.5 and a 5. Sometimes the action gets jumbled- events happen too fast and without explanation (although usually the author does explain things later), but other than that it paints an intersting world with characters that feel distinct.
In short, it's ALL worth reading, but I urge the author to keep up the rewrite. This has the potential to be a top shelf cultivation/progression novel if they keep at it.
Largely good, occasionally the multiple POVs can get a bit tangled, and the failure to describe complex technical details such as cultivation levels can be jarring. Additionally, there are periods where too much is happening at once. The story would benefit from taking a step back to breathe. That said, the things that are happening are interesting and engaging. It's good, it just could be a little better (hence 4 out of 5 stars).
I didn't notice any major problems. Doesn't mean they aren't there, but if they are they're minor enough that it didnt' slow me down.
The later chapters lean a little too much on the mysterious master to push things forward (and not much has happened at the point I've read too). That said, the class structure and twist regardin the initial cultivation world are interesting and well done. I'm confident that once more things happen, the story will pick back up.
There are four main characters and all of them feel distinct. The 'party' doesn't sync perfectly together and the story is better for it. Even in the later chapters the characterization is very good.
Note that this review is for the newly-edited version of the story!
This story is really something special. It's a xianxia, through and through, but one that attempts to put some new spins on tired tropes, and thus far, it succeeds in this endeavor. Instead of a cold-hearted, abusive protagonist, here we have a brother-sister duo who care deeply for each other, trying to make it in a terrifyingly brutal world. The juxtaposition between their characters and the side characters' more typical xianxia personalities makes for a shocking contrast, one that would go completely unnoticed in more standard takes on the genre.
This is the real strong suit of this story. Kiro and Seira are believable, compelling protagonists who you just can't help but feel for. Thrown into a brutal world and treated like objects by their own mother, they support each other perfectly, shining like diamonds in the rough. Luckily their mentor is a similarly-minded character, which is really exciting to see! It makes for a stark contrast with the rest of their clan, who can be summarized as: scum. I'm eagerly looking forward to the demise of their mother along with the clan matriarch. Solid cast of protagonists, antagonists, and side characters. Easily 5/5.
Really good! There are a couple of minor mistakes here and there, but the author is quick to fix issues, which is excellent to see. Sentence construction and flow is among the upper tier of what you see on royal road!
For me, it is the interaction between the cold-hearted killing machines who treat humans as tools, and the MCs, that make this story incredibly interesting. We grow to hate the antagonists. We begin to root for our protagonists, and hope that they grow past the evil machinations of their society. It makes for a gripping story, one that feels like it's just getting off the ground. The pacing may not be the fastest of all stories, but I guarantee it will hook you. Even as early as chapter 10, there are some bombshell reveals that all-but-guarantee your interest. That said, it is still early days, so the story's not quite there yet, hence the 4.5.
There's not a lot of flourish going on here, but I think that is fine for this kind of a story. I especially enjoyed the on-genre analogies that are presented; they are very well done, and fit the narrative beautifully. 5/5.
In summary, while things are still early days, the edited version of this story(haven't read the previous version) is definitely worth anyone's time. If you like xianxia and are tired of old tropes, try this for a breath of fresh air!
Among the giants is a fun cultivation story with likable main cast.
Style - 4.5/5,
The style is good, though the occasional "**************" serving as a break isn't pretty to look at. That aside it's everything you expect.
The story moves forward at a great pace, you never get stuck in one place for too long.
There are plenty of descriptions and very vivid fight scenes, my only other complaint is the short chapter length, though it's not a big issue.
Gramma - 5/5,
While I saw some comments adressing a few slipups, personally I didn't notice a single mistake.
Everything is written every nicely.
Story - 5/5,
Like previously stated the story moves pretty quickly, it follows a cast ranging from under dogs to big important people of high rank.
Character - 5/5,
The characters are great, without going into spoiler territory, I have to say my favourite character is a certain saint ;)
The characters feel real and relatable.
Overall, while I'm not really a big fan of cultivation stories I became really invested with this on,
It took me maybe ten chapters to click the follow button and I reccomend you consider doing the same because this story deserves more attention for sure.
This author takes a fan favorite of this site, Xianxia, and makes it unique. As many have said, the author takes a spin on this classic tale that makes it feel fresh, unique, and entertaining. Each chapter entails an adventure or character development that makes you want to turn the next page and learn more about this story.
I think the author's strongest trait is the way they are able to characterize their protagonist and side characters. I want to know more about them, about their ins and outs and what makes them tick. That is such a hard thing to tackle, and as a writer, I respect them for that immensely.
Overall, if you enjoy a classic Xianxia story, but appreciate the creative touches that make it fresh, you will want to pick this story up.
Fantastic worldbuilding and characters.
I love that there's the inclusion of Chinese alchemy into this world. The concept of Saints is a nice bridge that expands on the bureaucracy often in eastern mythology, and makes it easier to understand from a Western point of view.
The characters are amazing, the situations they are in are great. I can't wait to see what happens to the twins as I read on, and even the chapters without much action are interesting and keep you entertained. Definitely Following.
This story is pretty interesting so far and worth following!
While it is a slow build, that is often typical of the genre. So, don't expect fight scenes and assassinations right away. But that's not necessarily a bad thing since we learn about the universe and it's troubles fairly early. We also get a better understanding of the characters as most of the time is spent on them and their problems, and what is a story if not it's characters?
Its still early on in the story and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes and finding out more about the techniques of this universe.
This is my first read of a xianxia fiction and I'm glad it's this story. The worldbuilding isn't heavy to follow and the story keeps on getting interesting as you progress.
I gave it 5 star because even though I prefer 1st person perspective, the 3rd person style of this story is well-executed and written. I also like the pacing and how long each chapter is (some say that it's on the short side but for me, it's just on the right side)
Nothing too much to note. There were a few errors but because some readers actively mention it in the comment section, the author can fix those immediately, making me read it in an already fixed state so yeah...5 stars
The story is interesting. At first, I'm just interested in Kiro's improvement but as I continue reading, I also got intrigued on Seira's growth too. The story folllows the adventures of the two so I gave it a 5 star.
I like the twins character and I also like how the story didn't introduced too much characters in the early chapters. That's my problem to some stories I've read here in RR and reading this fiction like this made me give it a 5 star.
Over-all, it's 5 stars too me until chapter 10. Looking forward on how will this story unfold.
Among giants is cultivation about a young who was born without mana and thus disgraced by the unfair society he lives in. That sounds rather 08/15, so why do I say that it feels different?
One major reason is simply the general atmosphere of the story. It is just so positive. Even though our MC Kiro has to face an oppressive system, one never gets the feeling that things are hopeless. There's always a light at the end of the tunnel. and not just in a silver lining kind of sense. Especially during times in times like these, it is always good to be reminded of that.
But besides that, the story is interesting. What at first seems like your typical Xinxia setting slowly turns out to be something more mysterious and strange. We have an isolated island in a vast sea that covers the entire, apparently empty world, citizens that seem to live much longer, and two clans who seem to be working towards an unknown goal and are willing to cross any borders. And of course, there is the question just what happened after the birth of main character Kiro.
While Kiro is a sympathetic fellow and following him just fine, he gets overshadowed by his sister. I'm not just talking about power. Seira steals the show. She's just a bundle of energy, that brings positivity into every scene she is in. Even though Kiro is the MC, Seira so far feels like the real star of the show. While that is good for her as a character, it also means that Kiro so far can't carry the novel. Usually, that is fine, but he's supposed to be her narrative equal. And while he starts to grow a spine and take the initiative, for the majority of the first part he was extremely passive and it felt like he was actively ignoring the plot. As for the other characters, Aer is interesting and rather different from the usual mysterious mentor archetype, so that brings a breath of fresh air. All the other characters so far seem only to exist, though given the direction the story is heading, they were never intended to be more than statists.
I also liked Mentor Ming, but then he disappeared.
There were a few mistakes here and there, but nothing that should reduce your enjoyment much.
The story was easy too read and had a quick, nice flow. But what I think is Among Giant's biggest issue is that there is so far little telling instead of showing. While that is a standard for light novel-esque stories, it brought me out of the immersion too often. Instead of being told that something had happened, I would rather see what happened. A trick for that is to imagine a scene like a movie. Describe what one sees in any particular scene. Write that, then rewrite it to make it atmospheric and one more time to create a better flow.
Another problems were the use of anachronistic words. The setting seems to be ancient China-esque. As such, some modern words just don't fit.
Reading the story was really relaxing. Sometimes, after a long day, you just need that. Fans of Xinxia/Cultivation stories will definitely enjoy this. It plays with the usual story elements and thus keeps the genre fresh.
Like most Xianxia, there are your typical super-selfish evil characters in this fiction, but the two main characters and their mentor are bright lights of positivity.
The world opens up fairly late, and you see that the parochial society "Paradise" that the MCs start in is just a tiny corner of the universe. It would be nice to see that earlier.
There are some slips in tone, where the characters says things anachronistic or just strange for Xianxia, but they are minor.
The action is a bit confused at times but is mostly good.
This is a good, interesting read and with some edits I feel it will be pretty great.
Just as a heads up, this review isn't to bash the Author by any means. It is intended to give insight into how I felt about the story and how I personally believe that is could be improved in future. The issues I have with the story can definitely be fixed.
Also remember: this review may mean nothing to you, take it with a grain of salt. Also read when it was posted (24/06/2020) to see if you should even take what I am saying seriously, especially if there are 50 more chapters out that might solve issues talked about here.
First of all, the style. It is decidedly average, and palatable by all means, but I found the writing somewhat detached from the story itself. It felt like things that were meant to have emotional impact just weren't portrayed correctly for me to create an emotional bond with the situation.
This could be from a lack of descriptors, or just a lack of sufficient time for the emotional impact to be built up and then released, I'm honestly not quite sure.
The idea is there, and there are definitely interesting ideas to be pulled on, especially with the sect and what that is all about. However, I feel like it continually falls flat with not giving enough time for things to develop and continuing on anyways. This happens continually throughout the story and I feel like each thing that is happening needs far more build up time and intrigue for it to be really impactful as a plot point. As of writing this review, thing simply seem to be just happening to the main characters.
It’s grammar. It isn’t world class edited but has minimal mistakes.
Potentially the biggest downfall of the story is the total lack of character growth and depth. This will be written in spoilers for obvious reasons.
The characters initially start off pretty strong. The connection between a brother and a sister that have ended up in different social castes simply by fate, and the brother having a mentor/someone higher ranked looking out for him was a fun dynamic. This initial part of the story is really the only reason why I continued to read further on in the story.
As soon as the Saint appears, character development and interaction takes a nose dive. For one, when Kiro finds out that Seira was, for all intents and purposes, going to literally abandon him to a sect that is a massive Guinea pig experiment, he wasn't angry at all.
I don't even think they talked about it. He wasn't even slightly mad that she hadn't confided in him that she had been approached by someone who was tantamount to a god to them. There was no anger from Kiro, no apologising from Seira, and no resolution or bonding moment. As soon as the Saint showed up, they were off to another world without a moment of reprieve suddenly becoming almost entirely different people.
Rynn is another example. We heard about Rynn precisely once before he was on this magical journey with the brother and sister. Kiro seemed to think he was a pretty alright guy but turns out he is a massive douchebag.
The three kids (who are apparently in their late teens if not twenties) have barely spoken to each other, and if they have it has been off screen. They haven’t had a heart to heart on anything, they just exist separately from each other except when something super obvious needs to be said.
The Saint also turned out to be a massive douchebag. She slaughtered a bunch of people for seemingly no more reason than they ticked her off, but it’s all good now guys because she picked up a few rag tag kids and taught them magic. She dropped a bunch of kids onto a new world as told them to 'survive'. There isn’t much cool about her other than she's powerful, has killed a bunch of people because she had a bad day, and doesn't like being called 'honoured saint'.
The characters desperately need more time together to figure out what the fuck their relationship to each other should actually be, because at the moment they are all basically on Mrs Frizzles magic school bus with Aer at the helm, and the kids in row 2, 7 and 13, not talking to each other.
This is not even including how, in the more recent chapters, Kiro is killing people who are really powerful and seems real capable. When did that happen? Nothing interesting happened to them other than they got picked up by a Saint that would justify that kind of personality/power change.
This review may be seen as overly harsh, but I feel like the Author has a lot more potential than what they are currently displaying. The characters need desperately to be worked on more. More time needs to be given to each plot point so that the story doesn’t just feel like a flurry of things happening so the story can keep moving forward, heedless of the character development being left on the table.
I hope that this story lives up to it's potential in future.