Have you ever noticed that the letter Q is unnecessary? It doesn't provide any function to the language. Any word spelled with it could just as easily be spelled with other letters. Does that mean it shouldn't exist? Of course not. In this universe, everything has a place. Cosmic balance, Karma, God's plan, the laws of physics—they're all trying to describe the same thing. There is nothing that exists without purpose, and nothing without purpose that can exist. You can take solace in knowing that, just like the useless letter Q, you have birthright to exist in this world. Nothing can take that from you.
Unless a creator God breeds technicolor angel-beasts hellbent on ripping you out of reality, of course. When Mina learns that she was a cosmic accident—a being accidentally created without purpose—what was once an easygoing life starts to entwine with conspiracies, impossible occurrences, and deadly occult mysteries. Not to mention friends so dangerous and unpredictable they make the cosmic horrors look normal by comparison.
When the questions never stop piling up, it's hard to know where to begin. But I'll give you a hint: they all begin with a Q.
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Part 1 - PULL
Part 2 - EYES
Part 3 - PAIN
Part 4 - COPY
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So, uh, I'm nineteen chapters into this story and have yet to find a reference to the letter Q, although I will say this is a story which gives the phrase 'four-letter words' new meaning.
For those who may be confused by the synopsis, QQQQ is essentially an urban fantasy on the bizzare side of surrealism. We follow main character Mina, an ordinary young woman with an uneventful life, with perhaps the exception of her two somewhat eccentric friends.
So far, so average - until some things begin to happen which are a bit... odd. Like Mina's unassuming friend commiting murder without blinking an eye, computers behaving oddly, and the mysterious intrusion of four-letter words in places they shouldn't be turning up. It's a slightly slow and subtle build at first, but absolutely worth the wait as things start to escalate and more questions arise. I absolutely lap this stuff up.
It's extremely reminiscent of the more fantastical stories by famous surrealist author Haruki Murakami - and of the quality to match. The grammar quality and overall writing style are easily publishable, with clever snippets of philosophical thought experiments, infohazards and mildly obscure mathematical/puzzle references woven in continually throughout, all while pursuing an intriguing mystery. I get the impression the author knows what they're talking about.
Despite initially coming across as the quintessential Average Jane, it quickly becomes clear there's more to the main character than meets the eye. What this story does incredibly well is conveying Mina's frustration to the reader as the story progresses - we feel her confusion because it is confusing. We're being pulled along with her into this strange, surreal world, and are also having the covers slowly pulled away from our eyes. In the most satisfying of ways.
QQQQ is an incredibly unique read, and defies easy description in a lot of ways. It's eerie, haunting, and a little like descending into the chilling, rather than crazy, side of madness. Although it is crazily good. I hope the author continues with this story, because this is right up my alley. By far its biggest problem is that it has such few readers!
This is a gripping start. QQQQ raises lots of questions, but it's told so clearly and confidently that I can't help but stay strung along. And I can feel the depth in its characters and in the story that's unfolding.
It reminds me of Monogatari in certain ways. Strong characters. Complicated "friendships." Introspection, even some philosophisizing. And so many bizarre, memorable, unpredictable moments. Plus, it's freakin' stylish.
This is some freaky-deaky shit up in here, yo. Seriously. It's like, mega-whack. I don't even know what's happening here, but I do know that I want to know, you know? Like, Author my dude, or dudette, or whatever, this story has one hell of a hook.
And it's not even that it's a singular hook either, I can't clearly define the bit of it that's hook-shaped, it's just in the way it's written, it feels like it's a blanket made of shark skin except the shark skin is tiny velcro stabby things instead of just sharp. The entire thing is the hook, you feel me?
I was drawn in by the weird title, further intrigued by the synopsis, and utterly shnockered by the latest chapter. Turns out people can bleed in words made of pure eldritch what-the-fuck.
It just made so much more sense when I thought of it in the context of their style. Very abstract, very weird, not exactly nonsencial but more than just bordering on that aspect, and detailed enough to make one wonder just what the hell is going on.
I can say that I would have never thought of something like this. QQQQQ is something few would ever think about, dream about to such a level that they make a whole story out of it, with a world around it as well. Q
Subtle enough to make me feel smart. 5/5