The Epic of the Atlas Dawn
by Ben Arisson
In Altaris, a magical world where mages, monsters, and threats of every kind exist, young Klay embarks on a journey to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming, the Dauntless, one of 9 the legendary heroes of the Kingdom of Acadia. In order to make this dream a reality he must first attend Gran Akademos, a school, where his skills, ambition, and drive will be tested at every turn and new friendships and rivalries will be formed. Klay must find out if he is strong enough to achieve all he has set out for or if his dreams are as fleeting as the wind. This is a story that proves that through hard work, discipline, and with close friends by your side any dream is achievable no matter how large.
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To justify the title of my review, I'll explain.
Style: The story is referential to shounen style series, but it isn't interested in being a direct copy, either. It has an identity of its own and uses that to build intrigue. The whole thing has a sense of fun about it, and that makes the reading experience even better.
Grammar: Nothing to complain about here, really. There's no grammar error that directly impacts the understanding and/or feeling of the scene, and that's what's important.
Story: It's pretty great, in my opinion. The first volume works well to establish the world and give small hints as to where the worldbuilding is heading, and that's one of the most exciting things about it. There are so many places Atlas Dawn could go, so it's easy to trust that the story isn't going to end in a letdown.
Characters: The best part. The story is worth reading just for Gayle and Ayran alone. The characters make me laugh with them while they are also being established as people with specific motivations and areas for growth at the same time. The whole thing is only going to get better.
Additionally, the author of the story is a really great guy who deserves all the support in the world. If you're a person who like to support the work of those you feel are also good people, like I like to do sometimes, you can't do much better than this one.
You can see the effort put into this piece of work in the second chapter, where the author made some comic-book-style pictures to add some flare. The story is well written, with great grammar. So, a well-deserved 5/5 for style (cool pics) and 5/5 for grammar since there were no obvious grammar mistakes that I noticed.
The story is interesting, with some cool magic abilities, great lore expositions and interesting conflict. The only issue I had was, because of the disjointed nature of the first 6 chapters, I had trouble connecting with the story, as you aren't shown enough of Klay (the MC) to really connect to him, and he's not present for about half the first 6 chapters. Other than that issue, the story seems like it's going somewhere interesting as Klay enters the academy.
That said, when you are with Klay, he's written well with the personality of a child (as is appropriate, he is a child). And there are elements of humour in his interactions with his family. There's a bit of humour thrown liberally through the chapters I've read, but I wouldn't call this a full-on comedy.
I recommend this for people who enjoy Manga, as the story elements definitely pay homage to that, and there are even some Manga panels in the story. Overall 4.5/5.
To me, there are two clear standouts in this story: the art from the second chapter, and the dynamic fight scenes. The fight scenes move beautifully and are wonderfully described. However, I do think the magic used in these fights could use some more description and world building. I'm not the biggest fan of minimalist writing, and would love to see more description especially considering this is a fantasy world! It's different from our own drab world, and I'd love to see more about that.
The grammar itself is good. There are some mistakes, but they don't take away from the story itself. The style is also consistent, though I would prefer more description personally. But hey, you do you! It's your style and your story. Thanks so much for writing, and I can't wait to read more.
WHEN I FIRST BEGAN reading this story, I wasn't expecting such an expertly done narrative, nor did I expect to be blown away by the action, which in itself was drawn together using narratively correct writing techniques. It follows more than just the main character, taking us from perspective to perspective naturally and coherently. Actually, I think Klay was outdone despite being the main juice! Hilarious!
The style isn't too simple, and I like that, although I can tell the author stopped at certain areas whilst writing, such as the purple patches of fancy descriptions and the big words. Nonetheless, they didn't bother me or hinder my experience. This definitely resembles many (if not all) of the elements an adventure book should have: well-presented action, witty characters, devilish monsters, and a herculean goal: becoming the Dauntless. If I had anything to compare the style to, it would be, as the title of the review suggests, Scott G. Mariani -- the vampire virtuoso. This is mostly because the action outweighs the talk, for the most part (there are scenes that have too much dialogue in my opinion). A stylistic choice that I believe took me away from the experience was the untimely flashbacks to eight years ago; they sorta presented themselves as a way to spin the wheels and leave you waiting . . . for too long, unfortunately. That's just me being picky, though, and I won't mark the author down for that, mostly because it seems to be essential to the story, and may paint the main character as a dreamer,
(which is what he is characterised as since the beginning).
When I talk about purple patches, I mean sentences that draw attention to themselves by being overly fancy; I do that myself for dramatic effect, though, I just thought I'd put that out there in case the author was not aware of its purpose in literature, which, by the way, can be seen from a lot of different viewpoints.
The pacing was on point, not too fast nor too slow (except for the areas with flashbacks, which significantly slowed down the plot). I'm usually a fan of the slow-burn beginning, and although this wasn't slow by any means, it still immersed me quite easily. Fiction is, of course, all about how you present your ideas, but it has to make sense to you, whether that be through fast-paced action or slow narration ready to put you on a boat and send you whirling through an ocean festured with fantasy. This author presents it naturally and uniquely.
In terms of grammar there were the intensely small mistakes that literally EVERYBODY makes on this site -- well, most writers. And that is the following: mixing up dialogue punctuation. So easy to fix, yet so irritating to do. One or two words were technically misused in a traditional sense, though, I can see where the confusion came from, what with Google describing the words themselves instead of proposing the context for which it should be used. A lot of words are that way, which is why I don't normally use the first pop-up on Google; instead, I look at the official sites for definitions. There are tense switches here and there, but mostly in the opening chapters, and I'm not sure if they were intentional in the prologue. They were certainly jarring, regardless; I won't mark the author down for that because the level of grammar outweighed the mistakes made, even whilst they may have been incorrect, it is important to take everything into account and not just the minor details. I can tell this work has been edited, whether that be by the author or someone else, and that's a good sign. It's ornate and easy to follow; but, and this is controversial, the writing seemed a little timid at times. By that I mean it really made sure not to make a mistake or miss a detail. When I already had the full image in my head, the extra tautologies just further emphasised it when unnecessary. Overall, it was very good, and a clear indicator of quality prose.
The characters were one of my favourite features in the story, as they should be. Klay is a moron, which is shocking. Rarely do you see that type of character take the lead. As well as that, I felt he was outdone by all the other characters, who each felt more in sync with what was going on. Klay still seems too dreamy even after years and hasn't developed much, not in the ways I would expect anyway. Everything seems like a joke to him. And maybe that's the point, I don't know. Does it matter? Probably not. It just struck me as odd. As well as this, I found that the multi-POV was a great to tell the story, even if it took focus away from Klay. Now, I can't comment much on the characterisation since not much is supposed to happen in the first 100 pages of a novel with regards to that (we're supposed to get the know them before they change for the third rail), so I do hope Klay develops accordingly with the plot whilst becoming the Dauntless in the end -- not just nominally but in character, too.
One might argue that the characters don't have enough description themselves, but to me, that's a stylistic element that even published writers use. I could still not tell you what colour the men in The Stand by Stephen King are; they could be green for all we know. Same goes for this story, and it doesn't matter, mostly because people create an image of a character before they even see them. We do it in real life, too, not just when reading. And isn't it funny how we're almost always right? Crazy.
The story should probably go without saying: it's very good. It's believable, it's worth your time, it's precise. There's not much to go off of yet, but it sure seems to be turning into a thriller of sorts!
Overall, I highly recommend this piece to anyone interested in fast-paced fiction or adventure. Fans of Scott G. Mariani would love this work, especially from my experience with his books. Keep on!
The prologue gave me a very dark souls origin vibe. While the introduction of the main character gave me a shounen vibe. Overall the plot of the story is good, nothing intresting so far cause the it is still new and not much has developed, I assume that once the story gets further and the plot thickens it will get intresting. Grammar wise a few mistake here and there, but I can't really judge since my grammar is bad as well. Character wise, I find the characters hard to visualise as there are alot of characters being introduced and very little descriptive words about the characters maybe its just me. But the best part about your light novel is the way you write your story, you have a unique way in changing scenes and explaining what is happening at a certain time in two different locations props to that. Keep writing as I see alot of room for growth plot wise.
I am a sucker for a good fantasy story with great world building. From reading this story i can tell that you put a great deal of love into the world and its characters, that is something i must first commend you for. The grammar is great and i didn't see any mistakes.