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A young woman finds herself dead and is given the chance to reincarnate in another world with cheat-like magic powers. She accepts, only to find that this world treats magic users the same way hers did— by hunting them down for heresy.
My name is MELAS?! Like... Salem spelt backwards? Oh my God, and my mother is a Witch. I am SO going to be burned at the stake!
Melas is a story about action, adventure, and most importantly, survival in a world that isn't always kind to the MC. It's a slow progression fic, and although it is NOT a SoL/fluff story, IMO it's NOT a Grimdark fantasy either; in fact, I'd be inclined to believe it's closer to the opposite, although sometimes 'dark' aspects of the world will be explored within the story. However, I've tagged it as Grimdark since that apparently fits RR's definition of the Grimdark tag. It takes some inspiration from the real life relationship between Witches and religion, involving a setting that is closer to the period of an industrializing world rather than the typical medieval fantasy-type setting.
It isn't the pinnacle of writing, nor does it pretend to be anything truly novel: I'm simply writing what I want to write.
Book 1 (Rewritten, Completed): Chapters 1-38
Book 2 (Ongoing): Chapter 39-??
Covert art by Boboplushie (WARNING SLIGHTLY NSFW)
This is a rewrite of the original of the same name. I do not recommend reading the original as the original is discontinued and this version is far superior.
Disclaimer: The "Strong Lead" tag means "Weak-to-Strong", and not immediately strong. If you're looking for an immediate Strong Lead, then this story isn't for you.
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I've been an avid reader of the original version for a while now. It's one of the few serials I read release-by-release, and of course, this rewrite is no exception.
Something I truly appreciate in any author is when they don't desperately try to chase the newest trend or meta, and writes purely for the sake of writing a good story. Genuine, heartfelt writing, in short. I've spent a huge chunk of my life slogging through this website, so believe me when I say: this isn't your usual regurgitated copy-paste isekai.
Everything a good fantasy story should have, Melas has in spades. An interesting cast of characters, solid worldbuilding, and a story that poses real, consistent challenges for its actors instead of going on a break for an instant gratification power trip every other minute.
This rewrite fixes the issues and rough edges that plagued much of the first take. The grammar is fixed, prose tightened up. The pacing issues that had been grating me on the original are now gone. I'm looking forward to what the author can do with this story now that they have so much more experience under the belt.
It has above average world building and below average character development. It finally ended its first major arc but it fell quite flat. It has the same problem that most portal fantasies do — the author can't decide on how to characterize their protagonist.
The first arc ends with some "twist" about one of the characters not being who you thought they were. Unfortunately, since the author struggles with character development, it’s particularly uncompelling.
The story being from Melas' perspective and her not having all the information is no excuse, the twist villain's character wasn't fleshed out enough for this to be a compelling "plot twist". It was never believable that he was a good guy in the first place. The fact that the author had Melas actually believe that he was and had her shocked at this development is why she's naive and childish, her actions afterwards have nothing to do with it.
Characters not being all that they appear to be is a common trope and there are many examples on how to do it well and how to not do it.
A conversation about missing women the paragraph before the villain is introduced and a very blunt sexist diatribe isn't foreshadowing, it's just telling the reader exactly what's going to happen. It was so obvious that I thought it was a ham-fisted attempt at purposefully making the reader and Melas dislike him, not a rushed attempt at foreshadowing. Melas rationalizing away his comments just adds to the impression of her being childish and unbelievable and the villain even getting mad at Melas in the first place makes no sense either and is antithetical to his goals. It’s an all around contrived situation intended only to push the plot forward.
Trusting a self proclaimed terrorist and zealot whose job description is nothing but breaking the law is something that a child might do. A real child.
Melas is not a real child and It breaks suspension of disbelief for someone who is mentally an adult to find any of this surprising and to react so much like a headless chicken. She can go ahead and take the actions that she did, it doesn't matter because that's not the unbelievable part of the situation.
This entire plot point is like reading a story where a woman befriends a high ranking mafia member and then the author expects the reader and the main character to somehow find it surprising that the mafia member is a criminal.
Can't wait till this catches up with the first draft. Many flow issues have been resolved, characters are slightly more consistant. Not to say that the orignial was in any way actually lacking but the rewrite is pretty damn well polished.
What I said in my initial review in the first draft of this story still holds true.
"Better than the vast majority. MC with character, solid plot, progression, worldbuilding, great hook, fun side characters, full kitchen sink, wait. There are some small rough spots but they don't really matter. I certainly have no regrets picking this one up. Look forward to more from the author."
It is not my taste. The author told us it was weak to strong but this felt like those chinese novels with more plot armor and mary sue moments. I came thinking that Melas will grow as a character after the first tragedy or the second one that happened, but no I didnt get any of that for the first arc. She mary sue her way out of some many situation just for the plot to continue. This will be for other people but ill have to leave.
Continue reading this review with a pinch of salt since this is my first written review. In short, unless you are someone who wants the lead to see a situation and understand that sometimes an act of small good can do more harm than good, and are just here to understand whether this is even worth reading, give it a try.
This story has an interesting world where magic is actually considered a forbidden practice. The style is pretty good and the story seems to be building up to be something bigger judging from the interludes. While the world is sort of dark, it's not enough to be considered a grimdark fiction so if you cannot take lead characters which have to get down and dirty with what they do and cannot swallow any morally questionable act then you don't need to worry. Honesty, I believe if you are reading this and are just like what I just stated, you should give this a try. For those who want to know why I dropped this, read the spoilers.
Well, I am going to keep this short. Melas finds out her teacher is a rapist. Magic is a forbidden practice in this world and his teacher is part of an organisation fighting to legalise it. The organisation, hereon referred to as DC, decides that they want her teacher to capture a fort and keep it under DC's control stealthily. He rapes the captain of the guards after taking them prisoner and Melas finds out. Her reaction is to free the captives, of an attack supposed to be kept under wraps , and to confront her teacher about his actions. Let it sink, she decides to talk to him after freeing the captives(who he planned to rape and thinks is his right beacuse of certain psychological scars) and making him fail his mission which is ruthless because the war to legalise magic is ruthless. And she expects hopes her teacher to understand that he is wrong after thoroughly destabilizing his mental faculties by giving him this blow. How she managed to kill her teacher after that is something that I can't even begin to comprehend. The only reason I didn't rate it further down is because the rest of the story is well done and I believe that for those that actually like these kind of MCs it will be an amazing novel.
Was pleasantly surprised reading this story, both for the writer saying that they hadn't even read much before 2019 and because he was always apologizing (but hey, Pirateaba from Wandering Inn also apologizes at least once per chapter so maybe it's a trend of good writers)
The prose is good, solid. Not too flowery and not too sparse, giving a good amount of information on descriptions and lore dumps without feeling dreary. Not often do i read all paragraphs without jumping out of descriptions, but Delta managed to retain me in his writing.
Grammar is, until right now, perfect. Except for a single verb that is in present tense instead of past tense that i failed to report because i really wanted to keep reading. Sorry Delta, that's your own fault for writing a good story.
Good story. Yep. Delta manages to write a good story on his first (re)try. It seems to follow a classic coming of age structure with hardships first so the main character can grow later. As of right now it has been mostly hardships but that's how this kind of stories start.
Between the sadness it can be seen sparks of light beautiflly written, that given the contrast to prior scenes makes me get emotional, which is always a good thing to happen, and means the author knows what he is doing (or in this case maybe he is just magically good (first try, really?))
The story is helped also by the interesting worldbuilding, that has some mixes that i feel rather interesting. Won't say examples though, it's better to preserve the sense of discovery.
Now, my only caveat with this story (that present verb notwithstanding). This may change later as the story continues, but i don't see the need to make this story an isekai. I find that as of right now, if the story was about just a girl born in that world in the circunstances she does, the story wouldn't have changed a bit, and the author wouldn't have to struggle that much with her character (not that it makes her a bad character, just that it could be easier)
Aaaaand i think i'm done. I just wanted to write a few sentences but somehow ended writing this.
So, people that managed to get here, read this series. And Delta, stop apologizing for f sake.
I am not one to write much, so, to be simple and direct: the plot is awesome, slow-paced but realistic. I kind prefer slow-paced novels since you can see the character growth, and this is what you get with Melas: yes, a weak character that grows through pain, through the "tragedy" many reviews are complaining about. I was caught on the flow just as soon as I started and this is now one of my favorites.
Read the first 3 chapters, then you will be the judge of your next hours!
Who likes dark stories go on. But I would not rate this story fairly because there was no drama tag where it must be put with big label upfront
Typical witches vs church where church is bad and the winner writes history.
Has kinda good start, but quickly develops in typical tropes of tragedy from string random coincidences
The thing about "reincarnation in another world" stories is that they often rely on a gimmick of some kind; a unique selling point that makes them different from the others. They rely on this because the genre is oversaturated, and many web novels and light novels have set the bar low.
In some ways, the first chapter of this novel could be swapped with the first chapter of nearly any other reincarnation novel and the casual reader would be hard pressed to note the difference.
However, I think that this novel's USP is a good one and as a result it is worth a look at.
So obviously the character dies in a truck related accident (hail our lord Truck-kun and his unknowable ways) and ends up in front of maybe God. She died because of God so he grants are a request for her next life, to which she responds that she wishes to be the greatest magic user of all time. So far, so generic, however the next part is where things diverge because magic is illegal in the world she is reincarnated in.
On the whole, this throws a twist into the usual formula and the author has thrown in a couple more twists as well. I will stop talking specifics here because this is where it matters, things are bent enough that it doesn't feel like every other reincarnation story, and that makes it worth reading.
The only real problem I have is that the protagonist constantly talks about how mature she is with her adult mind, but is actually only occasionally mature. You would think that someone planning to be a lawyer would know that you can't make everyone happy but this girl simply can't handle the idea that someone doesn't like her.
Someone calls her out for her use of illegal magic in a catastrophe and instead of saying, "we can talk about this after we escape the giant death monsters," she runs away. When confronted with some random ass who doesn't like her because he thinks she is weak, instead of laughing at his frankly ludicrously childish philosophy, she agrees and tries to prove herself instead. When working to escape from a horrible situation, she simply cannot seem to wrap her head around the idea that people near her could get hurt.
I wouldn't mind her inconsistency in the maturity of her actions if she didn't bring up his mature she supposedly was all the time though. Most people would not have the level of maturity to act properly in these situations, but since she brought it up...
Tl;dr good story, worth a read with a slightly whiny protagonist. (Perhaps deservedly whiny though)
I really like the premise but the author has an unfortunate habit of having brief bits of dialogue separated by just explaining things to the reader instead of telling a story. A good rule of thumb is just to imagine if each sentence could be incorporated into a movie, if it can't, leave it out/change it. *spoilers* For example in chapter 4, instead of explaining to the reader about the characteristics of inquisitors and then just saying that is what her mother said you could have actually just had her mother explain it to her in dialogue.