Stray Cat Strut ⁠— A Young Lady's Journey to Becoming a Pop-Up Samurai

by RavensDagger

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content

In the year 2057, the world has become a corporate-run utopia for the super-rich, and a hellhole for all the rest. 

Catherine 'Cat' Leblanc is an orphan that is about as far from super-rich as one can be. When the Incursion alarms start blaring and the sky starts raining hungry xenos, it's just another blemish on an already piss-poor afternoon. 



A cyberpunk magical-girl alien-invasion LitRPG.

It’s exactly as wild as it sounds.

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RavensDagger

RavensDagger

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter One - Pop-Up ago
Chapter Two - Walkabout Punks ago
Chapter Three - Incursion Detected ago
Chapter Four - Pole Dancing ago
Chapter Five - Dying is For Other People ago
Chapter Six - Pill Pusher ago
Chapter Seven - Hummingbird ago
Chapter Eight - Piss Poor Disguise ago
Chapter Nine - Saint ago
Chapter Ten - Done Dirt Cheap ago
Chapter Eleven - Like Santa, but With Guns ago
Chapter Twelve - Vending Machines ago
Chapter Thirteen - Talking To Yourself ago
Chapter Fourteen - Curiosity ago
Chapter Fifteen - Worm ago
Chapter Sixteen - Life Finds a Way ago
Chapter Seventeen - Mall Cops ago
Chapter Eighteen - Going Back Up ago
Chapter Nineteen - Future ago
Chapter Twenty - Rescue Quest ago
Chapter Twenty-One - Descent ago
Chapter Twenty-Two - Cheesing it ago
Chapter Twenty-Three - Sludge ago
Chapter Twenty-Four - Dumb and Dumber ago
Chapter Twenty-Five - A Pad on the Wound ago
Chapter Twenty-Six - Masks On ago
Chapter Twenty-Seven - Stairs ago
Chapter Twenty-Eight - Speared ago
Chapter Twenty-Nine - A Crying Shame ago
Chapter Thirty - Model Six ago
Chapter Thirty-One - The Bigger They Are ago
Chapter Thirty-Two - Fried ago
Chapter Thirty-Three - The Perfect Fit ago
Chapter Thirty-Four - Rule ago
Chapter Thirty-Five - Death Flags ago
Chapter Thirty-Six - A Matter of Trust ago
Chapter Thirty-Seven - Armed and ready ago
Chapter Thirty-Eight - Flesh Melter ago
Chapter Thirty-Nine - Long Odds ago
Chapter Forty - Rooftop ago
Chapter Forty-One - Anti-Air ago
Chapter Forty-Two - Back Against the Wall ago
Chapter Forty-Three - Armed ago
Chapter Forty-Four - Machina ago
Chapter Forty-Five - Air Superiority ago
Chapter Forty-Six - A Call ago
Chapter Forty-Seven - Shopping Spree ago
Chapter Forty-Eight - Rail Shooter ago
Chapter Forty-Nine - Hunters ago
Chapter Fifty - Milk Run ago
Chapter Fifty-One - Along for the Fun ago
Chapter Fifty-Two - Down Down Down ago
Chapter Fifty-Three - Z-Word ago
Chapter Fifty-Four - Setting to Boil ago
Chapter Fifty-Five - Low Expectations ago
Chapter Fifty-Six - Leaving a Gift Behind ago
Chapter Fifty-Seven - Collateral Damage ago
Chapter Fifty-Eight - Hot Stuff ago
Chapter Fifty-Nine - Looking Like a Big Damn Hero ago
Chapter Sixty - A Unique Combat Doctrine ago
Chapter Sixty-One - Trapsetter ago
Chapter Sixty-Two - Honour and Flames ago
Chapter Sixty-Three - People are Stupid ago
Chapter Sixty-Four - Tougher Means More Boom ago
Chapter Sixty-Five - A Change in Tactics ago
Chapter Sixty-Six - Impaled... Again ago
Chapter Sixty-Seven - Life Story ago
Chapter Sixty-Eight - Hitting the Fan ago
Chapter Sixty-Nine - Nice ago
Chapter Seventy - A Respite ago
Chapter Seventy-One - Tail ago
Chapter Seventy-Two - In Service to the Prevention of Stupidity ago
Chapter Seventy-Three - Forms ago
Chapter Seventy-Four - Thoughts and Prayers ago
Chapter Seventy-Five - A Flock of Trouble ago
Chapter Seventy-Six - The Big Players ago
Chapter Seventy-Seven - Anticlimax ago
Stray Cat Strut - Volume Two - A Young Lady's Guide to Exploding the Corporate Ladder ago
Chapter One - Heart-Warming ago
Chapter Two - A Slice of Happiness ago
Interlewd One ago
Chapter Three - Post Coital Interruptions ago
Chapter Four - Mean Minion Mode ago
Chapter Five - Professionalism ago
Chapter Six - Armour Up ago
Chapter Seven - Lending an Ear ago
Chapter Eight - Hover ago
Chapter Nine - Twitchy ago
Chapter Ten - More Questions than Answers ago
Chapter Eleven - Nobodies ago
Chapter Twelve - Doorframe ago
Chapter Thirteen - I Have Paws ago
Stray Cat Sidestory: Canta Clause ago
Chapter Fourteen - Mesh ago
Chapter Fifteen - Surfing ago
Chapter Sixteen - It ago
Chapter Seventeen - Dial-Up and Lag ago
Chapter Eighteen - Gotcha ago
Chapter Nineteen - Log Off ago
Chapter Twenty - Warpath ago
Chapter Twenty-One - God’s Righteous Fury ago
Chapter Twenty-Two - Reaction Time ago
Chapter Twenty-Three - Phones ago
Chapter Twenty-Four - Choosing to Die ago
Chapter Twenty-Five - Ramen Break ago
Chapter Twenty-Six - Red Carpet Treatment ago
Chapter Twenty-Seven - Sometimes a Girl Just Wants to Blow Shit Up ago
Chapter Twenty-Eight - The Opposite of Reassuring ago
Chapter Twenty-Nine - Spider Cat ~ Spider Cat ago
Chapter Thirty - Blueprint for Success ago
Chapter Thirty-One - Obsolete Worries ago
Chapter Thirty-Two - Basse Couture ago
Chapter Thirty-Three - Stealth, But For Real This Time ago
Chapter Thirty-Four - Thump ago
Chapter Thirty-Five - Dog Gone Wrong ago
Chapter Thirty-Six - Catkiller ago
Chapter Thirty-Seven - Cash Money ago
Chapter Thirty-Eight - Kittens! ago
Chapter Thirty-Nine - Where Things Go ago
Chapter Forty - Bicker Bicker ago
Chapter Forty-One - Big ol’ Mecha Cats ago
Chapter Forty-Two - Invasive ago
Chapter Forty-Three - Comfy Morning Rituals ago
Chapter Forty-Four - Kinda Cute ago
Chapter Forty-Five - Realtoring ago
Chapter Forty-Six - Impeccable Mathematics ago
Chapter Forty-Seven - Closing a Deal ago
Chapter Forty-Eight - A Date ago
Chapter Forty-Nine - Being Hella Fancy ago
Chapter Fifty - Salad ago

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Reviews
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todd
Overall

Aw shit, here we go again

Reviewed at: Chapter Seven - Hummingbird

Well, this isn't what I expected to stumble over, but I have to admit I'm more than a little enthused about it. The setting is a distinctly cyberpunk future, with malware packed into even official programs and large corporations slapping their name on anything and everything for advertisements. Seven chapters in, and it's already a pretty significant departure from stories like Cinnamon Bun or Love Crafted, but it hits the ground running. The protagonist being a crippled orphan who picked up responsibility for the rest of the poor forgotten kids at the orphanage, and who's best friend cheerfully navigates around on crutches, builds an instant sense of misfit status and a (true to authorial form) oddly endearing little community. There's also a very immediate sense that even in a world with incredibly advanced technology, they've been swept under the rug and forgotten. Oh, and terrifying aliens are regularly falling out of the sky. That's an important factor too.

Honestly, there isn't too much material to directly review at this point, but if you take the time to read the first few chapters I doubt that you'll be disappointed. The protagonist falls right into the 'Jaded but good-hearted' box, without the slightest bit of manufactured tone, and it meshes with the cyberpunk setting perfectly. Not to mention, there's a single chapter with action, and it charges headfirst into desperate brutality. It's a bit of a leap from the innocent monstrosity of Love Crafted, or earnest effort of Cinnamon Bun, but like I've already said, perfect for the current setting.

So, this may rather early in the story's life cycle to write much of a review, but considering the quality of writing that RavensDagger has already put up on this website, I feel pretty confident in recommending the story off of nothing more than the currently posted chapters.

BookMouse515
Overall

Pretty good twist on the normal System plot, both in the setting of a futuristic distopia and in the main character by an author whose already proven he has great writing skills. The dialogue is believeable, the fights thrilling, the cliffhangers wrenching, and the characters sympathetic. Can't recommend more, and I promise that you'll be entertained if you give this story a try.

LimitNacho
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

If you like any other RavensDagger works, stop reading reviews and just read the story! It has a great cast of characters and riveting action scenes right off the bat. Every chapter leaves me wanting to read more.

Cyberpunk action? Hell yeah!

Family-oriented mc kickin' alien ass.

Runehkt
Overall

Cool story but chapters are way to short, by the time you start getting used to it the chapter ends. The frequency helps mitigate that a bit but it's still stops you from immersing yourself. Highly recommend if you're going to read this to Wait till multiple chapters are out before reading. Not good for chapter to chapter reading

Leckan
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Read a few of your stories and found the others a bit too far into silliness for me, this story hits right in my comfort zone though. Good action, nice banter and likeable characters.

Nothing bad to say about grammar or such, just solid writing to me.

I kinda have to say that your title pushes my buttons a little bit though, should just keep it to "Stray Cat Strut" and leave the rest. In my mind a Title should be short and attention grabbing. Just my opinion though.

That aside, if i had a bit more spare cash lying around i'd definately support your writing, but real life is as it is.

Keep up the good work!

LostAncilla
Overall

Word count isn't too high so far but what's been put down sets up an intriguing powerset, primary conflict and sociopolitical setting. Cast seems faceted and reasonable so far - traumatized does not mean unreasonable, authoritarian does not mean inflexible, this sort of thing.

Great start!

vini_kal
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Reviews must have a title. This is a title.

Reviewed at: Chapter Twenty-Four - Dumb and Dumber

I'm not usually a fan of cyberpunk-esque stories,  but there's something about this one.

Well written,  great style,  few to no errors,  still too early for better info on the characters,  but seems solid,  if a little but cliche.

Love the offhand criticism on privacy and invasive advertisements, as well as terms and conditions for everything.

My biggest issue with this story is quite simple:  there's not enough of it.

Ravens, do us a favor and stop wasting time sleeping,  your story needs you.

P.s.: it's a joke,  take care of yourself.

 

openbookworm
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

A cyperpunk story that you didn't know you needed.

Reviewed at: Interlewd One

For the style of the story, it feels like the author has put a lot of work into imagining what a realistic cyperbunk setting might be like and, most importantly, I feel that they've done it well. Unlike a lot of cyperbunk stories, which go a bit too far in the grimdark direction, the world of SCS feels realistically shitty. There's a logical progression from our current conditions to those of the future with the introduction of an out-of-context problem.

For the actual plotlines of the story. The first arc felt exciting and pulled me in quickly. I felt on the edge my seat as Cat struggled to survive the Incursion and I felt relief when she and her family managed to make it to safety. With the ups and downs of the story I felt the accompanying irritation and amusement, proving that I was invested in the story. However, my minor point of complaint is that at the moment it feels very reactionary, Cat doesn't seem to have any overarcing goals to pursuit now that Lucy and the rest of her ragtag band of orphans are safe. It's amusing to read, but without a strong focus it's a bit harder to stay invested.

In terms of grammar, I don't believe that I'm fully qualified to judge the quality. As long as it's readable I'm happy, so I tend to ignore what might be considered minor mistakes.

I love the characters in this story. They're real, relatable, amusing, and annoying. It feels like the author has managed to avoid any glaring cliches. My favorite character has to be Myalis, the snarky and exasperated AI that she is. It's interesting to wonder just how much of her personality is original and how much is just the projection of Cat's expectation and/or subconscious. In any case, I like the comedic back-and-forth relation that these two protagonists share.

Brights
Overall

Fun, slightly lewd, worth a read.

Reviewed at: Chapter Forty-Two - Invasive

The future has arrived, and it is VERY profit hungry. Upon invasion by a hostile all devouring race humanities hope rests firmly upon the shoulders of the Pop up Samurai, ordinary people chosen by an alien system based upon their actions upon encountering the enemy swarm. Need new weapons? No prob, kill a tinne of invaders, then trade in the points to the voice in your head for bigger and bigger booms. Meet one of the ones standing between you and the menu, Stray cat, amputee, orphan, rude, lewd, and crude. Yet without her her friend a pyromaniac nun, and the girl who holds her together humanity is definitely screwed.

Brightsea
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Good Enough it's Hard to Find Meaningful Critiques

Reviewed at: Chapter Twelve - Doorframe

Just gonna spoiler all of this for safety's sake.

Stylistically, there are a few small blips here and there where the author assumes the readers will read between the lines and maybe oughtn't to. In particular, I completely misunderstood the relationship between the MC and the love interest until halfway through the first book. I could be stupid, of course, but it did surprise me momentarily.

The story is solid, although the second half of the first book doesn't necessarily seem to follow from Cat's initial motivations. That said, I think there's a subtext about the way becoming a Vanguard and the Vanguard system in general changes motivations for Cat (and others) that may be called back to later.

Grammar and characterization are solid. There might be a tense disagreement or two, particularly early on, but they were easy to ignore. Cat and Myalis are both engaging characters who 100% deserve one-another's ribbing. The Kittens are perhaps a little two dimensional, but that's mostly a function of screen time. I'd like some more time with Lucy that isn't either mid-action or Lucy-as-sex-object (which isn't to say she's objectified, Cat just seems to have a one-track mind). 

The setting is stellar, and the unclear intentions of nearly every actor capture the moral hazard inherent to cyberpunk very well. In a week where cyberpunk as a genre was done something of a disservice (okay, a lot of a disservice) this was a nice counterpoint to read.