Shade Touched

by Zat

Original ONGOING Action Adventure Fantasy Female Lead High Fantasy Magic Non-Human lead Slice of Life
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity

A monster is born in the depths of the wilds, but she isn't like her siblings. Curiosity colors her every thought, and a hunger for understanding grows within this little creature. The world is full of wonders just waiting to be discovered! She's not just hunting for her next meal, her prey is something far greater: knowledge. But as wonderful as it is, discovery alone is missing half the point. After all, what joy is there in finding the next amazing thing with no one to share it with?


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Cover art by the amazing Kailey!
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Full-size piece here.

Gore tag for some somewhat graphic fight scenes.
Profanity tag because there may be a few swear words, it shouldn't be excessive.

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Zat

Zat

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vladerag
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*minor spoilers*

After the Isekai and Reincarnation subgenres became popular it was a natural evolution and exstension of them to have the character be born as a non-human instead of a human.  After that, the idea to remove the Isekai and Reincarnation parts and just have an intelligent monster was a simple leap to make.

I have read more than a few, and honestly, they often have an interesting first few chapters and then become more like each other as the monster interacts with people.  The reason for this, I think, is that for the most part monster protagonists have no personality beyond, "survive and gain power."

Meanwhile, "Shade Touched" gives us Shadow the Shadeling who ends up being a little smarter than her siblings.  What does she want?  Power?  Survival?  Shiny objects?

Well, I can't say she doesn't want survival, and she tries desperately to help her siblings do so as well.  However, Shadow also spends a lot of time picking up shiny rocks and shells because they are pretty, or spying on a squirrel and wondering what they fluffy tail feels like.

Later, her life changes dramatically when she encounters what she calls the "Thinkers," and it is absolutely adorable.

But...  Well, there isn't a lot going on in many ways.  Shadow is still a little too simple to really understand her goals, but she honestly doesn't need a goal yet.  The reason I gave this a lower score in style is simply because I think a few sections from the point of view of the people she meets - and them having a larger reason for taking her with them - would go a long way to make the world feel a lot more stable and less like it is drifting.

In addition - and I never expected to say this - but I think this would have benefited a great deal from being a litRPG.  Quantifying Shadow's changes and growth would really help the audience understand how much she has grown from her former self.

Regardless, Shadow is an adorable little murder machine, and really, doesn't that describe all cats?

Kdonm7
  • Overall Score

Really cute and wholesome

Reviewed at: 22. Growing

This story is a very cute and wholesome, "monster" story, definitely worth the read. 

(Ps the reason monster is in quotes is because nothing as cute as shadow should be called one)

SecCcat
  • Overall Score

You should read 5-8 chapters of this story even if it does not sound like something you would enjoy. I was very skeptical and almost...almost passed it by. I'm so glad I gave Shade Touched a chance.

I love this type of story!! Give it a try!

P.S. Mr. Zat, write more faster please. 

 

P.S. If you take my short review/not-a-review down Mr. Wing, I am going to be mad at you.

Toma
  • Overall Score

Down-votes go here

Reviewed at: 24. Stolen

I am most likely going to get a bit of hate for this, but I don't believe this story deserves the praise it's getting.
I want to stress that this is in no way objective; There is no way for me to be objective. So please, read this and understand it is my review. I'm sorry if this in some way offends anyone, it is not my intention.

I'll start with the better parts:
The grammar is good compared to most stories here. You can tell the author knows what he's doing at least, and he uses more than the most elementary words. Everything from fights to descriptions flows quite well outside of a few repeating words(which are not a big deal).
The characters(as far as we know them) are also well defined in their way, and the same could go for the tidbits of world-building we've had dropped so far.

Seeing as the most crucial parts of a good story are all in check, you might be wondering why I had given it only three stars. If so, you'd be missing an essential part of writing, especially on the internet; And that is a hook. A personal touch. Something that makes this stand out from the hundreds and thousands of other stories attempting to do the same. Frankly, "Shade Touched" has nothing of the sort.

People in other reviews have mentioned this story is boring, and I believe that is not an apt term seeing as it is tagged as slice-of-life. Not every chapter has to be thrilling. And the developments can be as slow as the author sees fit. I think it's better to say that this story is dull, rather than boring.

Our main character has nothing to set her apart from every single "Cute MC" out there. Excuse me for not linking examples for comparison, but suffice to say there is nothing imaginative here. "Shadow" could be in any other story where someone is "reincarnated" into a monster, and it would feel right. She'd fit in perfectly. And this isn't one of those Isekai stories, that says something. Why go the length to create a human in a different body? Where is the creativity? I can understand the want to make a memorable character, someone who isn't bound by our body. But when you use the body of a different creature to express that, you're using a shortcut(it doesn't lead anywhere, just a sign) such form of writing seems empty to me. I realize the hurdle of trying to write something that doesn't think as you do, but that is what distinguishes "Non-Human MCs", it's why(I believe) people read these stories. They want something different. Those people will not find any of that here. Not in terms of characters, not in terms of world-building and not even in the written style.
I mentioned there was a bit of world-building before, and I wrote that it was well defined so far. How could I say that barely knowing about said world-building? The author has not raised one different or captivating idea. His design of monsters and magic conforms to that of everything I've read here before. It seems well defined to me because I already know it. I knew this world before I read about it.
All of that regarding the world-building could be fine if the author managed to nail the rest. But he hasn't. As I've mentioned, our characters are bland and offer no contrast to the world they're set in. Their thought process and actions are predictable. They feel just real enough to be believable but don't go any further than that to engross us in their personalities.
The only saving grace here is that the descriptions are clear and concise. There were barely any points in which I had to re-read something or stop to understand what was going on.
But the writing too, as I have mentioned, doesn't stand out apart from being above average for RR.

Hopefully, I have managed to get the point across: This story is not engaging. It could very well be intentional the author wrote something simple in form, either way, I believe my points against their work still stand.

Project503
  • Overall Score

Honestly really enjoyable. Never been huge on stories with intelligent monsters (mainly the ones where all they do is use their advanced intelligence to hunt better) but this one uses her brains to be fucking CUTE!! Thats it.

Thephesis
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A fun story that will hopefully maintain quality

Reviewed at: 25. Consequences
Spoiler: Spoiler

 

 One of the widely agreed most artistic forms of story telling is the tale of the "human perspective" showing "real" people who embody human nature

I love the inhuman perspective. Stuff like this where what should be a monster is given a bit more thought prowess than their ilk. 

This is to an extent one of these stories. And given my score I absolutetly adore it. However saying it has good grammar yadda yadda is pointless, so instead I will say my qualms with the story and be brutally honest.

First of all and most importantly I said that this is "to an extent one of these stories" that is because as others, as well as the story has pointed out the main chatacter is largely just a very intelligent child., at least once they start interacting with others. At the start they battle with their instinct, relate to their peers and draw contrast between them and their kin. This is quickly lost in favor of a more human dynamic. This does not make the character worse per say, but I could see the "magic" wearing off. I'm optimistic that we will get some return to form as they become more human and thus can be properly compared with their own inhuman nature becoming pronounced by comparison. Another potential is that they may return to their kind in some way as the story seems to have alluded to how dangerous they would be, and well chekhov's gun has that covered. 

Next and to be honest lastly for the moment. The other characters. Without getting into too many details the other individuals introduced thus far while interesting personality wise have provided very little in terms of backstory/goals/drive. And while that could come later I fear that it should have already happened, and it scares me that the author might be putting it off because they might not really have anything to show for it.

Again great story would reccomend, but heres my honest qualms

McKing
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REMARKABLE MONSTER STORY

Reviewed at: 24. Stolen

This story has a soul, no doubt about it. The MC starts adorably naƮve and it's a blast to see her development and overall extremely consistent behavior. Interesting story, full of potential, flawless grammar and style.

Valkemin
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I love this, this is probably one of he greatest novels ive read in a long time, not only is it fun to read but it has inspired me to write stuff in much greater detail than what i used to do. Keep up the good work! :)

Felix Helixihare
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Here we follow the adventures and life of a loveable shadeling. I like her. Her personality comes off as non-human despite the smattering of anthropomorphism. She has a very interesting personality, powers, and desires. Her desires are simplistic but also gave her a spot of humanity and charm. I don't particularly care of the human characters so far, but I like them because of proximity to our little shadeling MC. I have no complaints anywhere.

SunnyShim
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Fun and cute story about a cute little shadow cat exploring a new world!

Reviewed at: 22. Growing

This story is a fun little story about a monster that has a lot of curiosity which makes this story really nice to read about. The story is just beginning so it's hard to know what the bigger picture is going to be but I'm sure it'll be an interesting and fun read!