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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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So the first volume is a fun, engaging, interesting read. I enjoyed reading it and the world building is well done. The AI is fun and you can see it adjusting to the personality of the main character. The grammer and spelling is good with no issues that caused me to have to reread anything to understand. I enjoyed the tech and tech trees that came up along with how crap the world is with corps running everything. Good cyberpunk all around.
Now the reason I dropped the series. The MC is horny 100% of the time. This was acceptable in the first volume since I took it as a defense mechanism for the MCs crappy life and crappy situation. It was there, but wasn't the plot. The plot was survival and then adjusting to her new Samurai responsibilities. This was fun. Now in volume 2, it seems like the plot became the MC just trying to get in certain people's pants, but events keep getting in the way. There was a whole chapter of just her and her girlfriend going at it. I was hoping this would get her to tone it down a bit since she is now safe, with her lover and loved ones, and she is rich now. I was wrong. Instead it made her more annoying and more horny.
That is her character now. A horny girl that an AI keeps dressing up with cat related stuff any chance it gets. Turns out the MC is a flat character that has conflicting characteristics. She is both thrifty and loose with points. She will horde points in one chapter then take the whole next chapter spending those points on stuff that is wasteful. She is a lesbian, but not tolerant of straights(ex. she teases any new female character about doing them or them wanting to do her, then seems offended when some look at her wierd. If a straight guy did this to every female character, it's just as annoying.). Wants to be sneaky, but not really. Very frustrating that she wastes points on sneaky equipment and seems to want to corner that niche in the Samurai market, but a chapter later decides nah its boom boom time. She is suppose to be caring because orphans, but she never seems happy when near the orphans. She acts more like an estranged dad who only comes around for the mother with money for the kids to keep the family happy. This wouldn't be so bad if it was actually on purpose and meant to be her character, but there are paragraphs saying otherwise.
In conclusion, I hate the MC.
Dude needs some help editing. A single scene can be multiple chapters, and that makes the story feel choppy and unsatisfying to read.
Edit: Forty chapters in and the story is still in the same building.
This is good. Like real good.
The world building is fun to read, each chapter at the start have a bit of lore. Lore and pieces of what happened to the world in the story, Cat as someone that lives there would be awkward to have her tell about things that happened 30 years ago, or topics that she herself wouldn't care much about, so having these tiny lore pieces every chapter is good.
So far all of the main cast makes me remember them because all of them cativate in a certain way that makes me explode in sweetness. The interaction between them is another thing that makes this story so worth it to read. The Ai being human-like in teasing the mc is one of the best things that happen.
The volume 1 maybe would lead into misconceptions about the story being all about killing things, until you remember how much time have truly passed in the story.
It was about 6 hours. And in these 6 hours we get a mc that worries about her own, shows why she was chosen to be a Samurai and have awesome character.
And Volume 2 comes and we get a different vibe all together.
we see Cat living her now not that much normal life, time spend with her family, with her girlfriend. Then she goes into another kind of mission that isn't about killing aliens.
Things don't feel forced, the plot just kind of rolls. People exist and they want to do stuff, or to get stuff.
Overall RavensDagger always makes good stories and this is another one of it. If you want to feel good, in your mood give this a try, if you like guns and sci-fi guns possibilities read this too. Raven have made it so that he can make anything just because it crossed his mind and because the mc would want to try that.
An interesting take on a dystopian cyberpunk type world. It's got drama, action, humor, and romance in good measure. And I'm always wondering about what will come next.
Fair warning, some might find the pace a bit slow in regards to time frame. A lot happens in the first twenty or so chapters, but it's all on the same day. You can get a lot of entertainment out of it, but some might feel like there isn't any progression.
I read the blurb and decided not my thing. Post apocoplytic? No thanks. Super hero(ish)? Yeah no. Crippled orphans? I round up the change at the grocery to avoid feeling sympathy.
Unfortunately I ran out of the other things to read. So here I am again. What's one chapter right? After all a couple of the authors other stories are pretty good. Just one little chapter and I'll move on to something else.
Or so I in my naivety thought.
OMG this story is so hilarious and fun. The mc and her interactions with everyone around her are priceless. The characters are vivid and engaging. The story itself I'd give maybe a B or a B+ but the characters really bring it to life.
This is a review of the first volume of Stray Cat Strut.
RavensDagger has created a compelling and interesting future world that straddles hard scifi and science fantasy. Cat, her orphan friends and the other samurai are all well-drawn and interesting. The first volume is let down by a lack of real peril or a coherent antagonist, but I have high hopes for the development of this story and will definitely keep reading.
The author's voice is clear and strong, which is to be expected from an experienced writer. However, the pace rushes occasionally, with quite short chapters and choppy action transitions. There is room, however, to polish this within the short chapters, adding more of the sensory detail that's missing and providing some welcome respite in the relentless pace of the action.
Barring a few minor typos, there are no mistakes or errors of grammar or spelling worth pointing out. But, at the same time, RavensDagger doesn't make much, if any, imaginative use of grammar or sentence structure in a way that would earn a full five stars. That's not really a criticism, though. It's still 4.5 stars for grammar.
The first volume is a pretty linear plot. There's little sense that anyone Cat cares about is every truly in danger (arguably, other than herself - but she's the title character and, hence, unlikely to die). But, to be fair to RavensDagger, this first volume is really just laying the groundwork of introducing Cat, her world, the samurai and the invaders. Although I think more work could have been done to make the story more compelling, with more conflict and tension, there's no denying that the journey through Cat's world is captivating and horrifying in equal measures. If nothing else, it's an easy read.
This is where the story shines. Cat is a convincing young punk, golden-hearted under her crusty exterior. As such, her ascension to samurai feels both just and logical. A hero who's an orphan could come across as an easy reach for someone with no obligations or responsibilities. But it's quickly and persuasively shown that Cat has endless obligations and responsibilities and, for all her flaws, handles them as well as she possibly could. It also meshes well with her ascension that her priority will be using her new opportunities to make life as good as it can be for her charges - but also that she's already got a bit of a hero complex, so she's not going to shy away from doing the job of a proper junior samurai.
For all that this may feel like a critical review, the pleasure of the narrative lies with the compelling journey of its protagonist and, although I think that journey could have nicer scenery, that doesn't make it not worth your time.
Stray Cat Strut is, at time of writing, the story on RR that I most look forward to seeing update and I'll still be here to write a review of the second volume when it's done.
The story is a mix of litRPG, cyberpunk, and an alien invasion. It sounds ridiculous, but it works out quite well. It's not a serious, rational fiction, but it is a fun read that has you cheering for the MC.
The plot is pretty straightforward: It's around the mid-21st century, and alien invasions are threatening Earth. The government has basically given way to corporate overlords who control much of society. Everything and everyone is judged on how much they are worth, and there's a huge disparity between rich and poor. At the top of this system are the Vanguards, or Samurai as they’re more commonly known. People who are granted power to fight the aliens by another race of advanced aliens.
The story centers around the MC who gets caught in an invasion, and finds herself isolated. The MC needs to save her friends, and gets a "system" that allows her to do so. She kills the aliens, gets points, spends points on weapons to better kill more aliens and get more points, and so on.
The characters are fun. They have personality and are likeable. The MC, Cat, is a one-armed, one-eyed orphan who (with her two, also crippled friends, is in charge of a group of younger orphans in one of the poorest orphanages in the city.
The world is interesting. It’s a dystopian cyberpunk setting, where megacorporation set the rules. It’s pretty well fleshed out and doesn’t go too far that it becomes ridiculous.
As far as grammar, it’s well-written. No obvious mistakes, and good sentence structure and word-flow.
All-in-all I’d recommend this if you just want something fun to read that’s not too deep.
Very well written, believable characters, and a (to me, at least) unique world.
I really enjoyed it so far and am looking forward to (hopefully) a lot more.
If you enjoy snarky banter with powerful AIs, a rags-to-superpowered protagonist and many gratuitous explosions, you will be very happy with this story.
Do you like love sex robots? Of course you do... In which case read this right now. It's one of the most epic, snarky, bitchy, funny, epic did I say epic stories on the site.
The characters are funny and I love the interaction between them, the action is epic and evil plant space monsters being killed en mass by a snarky quipping hard core orphan just makes me laugh
stry cat strut is a fun magical girl style story girl is caught in the middle of an alien ivasion only to be given fantstic cyberpunk style powers by an cybernetic familier and the expected shenanigans begin from there raven always has a way of making hte characters fun and interesting