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DOTS - SciFi Adventure with a Hint of Romance
Mankind has discovered Genius. With two simple tests, not only can a person find out if they're a Genius, but they also will be told what they're a Genius at. Unless they find out they're a Dot. The only thing a Dot knows is that the world hates them.
That is, unless you're a Dot named Hank. The world discovers quickly that it needs Hank very much. But he had better hurry. Bad guys have a use for what they know Dots can do and they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal.
Read DOTS and see Hank use his Genius to somehow Save the World.
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The premise is familiar, there's a system imposed in this world, the main character doesn't fit in the system. The MC will then carve his own path, whatever that may be. We have seen this in many stories, the question now is how does this story set itself apart from others with this familiar premise.
We have to talk about my impressions of the system (without going into spoilers). Enough of it is in the synopsis for a potential reader to get the gist of. It is a deep system that I haven't seen before, turning the familiar (the premise), into something wholly unique and interesting. It goes deeper than most world systems in stories we usually see, involving philosophy and world bending realities.
Moving on to the characters. The first part of the book focuses on three of the main cast, and the interaction is top notch. The characterization of each one is carefully crafted that you know and can differentiate them, their personalities, their quirks, etc. And because they feel so realistic and diverse, the reader can easily connect to them.
Now onto the shortcomings. At first I was really drawn in with the exposition, the world is that unique and interesting that I didn't really mind the info dumps. However, the problem was that the first book is heavy on exposition (12 chapters) and I couldn't ground myself to what was explained because I couldn't see the bigger picture in action. The prologue seems a bit confusing too and appears to be very far into the story that the reader wouldn't care about it for a long time. Lastly, the story is a bit on the slow side since it tries to carefully build up its world and characters, although some readers may be used to a faster paced story.
The writing is good, above RR standards I might say. The explanations are clear, and they need to be considering the difficult concepts in the world of the story. There are some errors and typos, but I can read past that, nothing that really took me out of the story. The author also adds in some passages from books and philosophical discussions in the notes that I find entertaining.
I mentioned character interactions before, and I just have to emphasize that this story deals into interactions and emotions perhaps more than the average RR story. That would depend on the preference of the reader how they will receive it. But it is a breath of fresh air to have this level of realism in the characters.
With well-crafted characters, and a creatively forged world, more people should try this.
P.S. That thing where the story is chopped up into books that are the opposite of the seven deadly sins is a neat idea.