Pieces of Sonder
Freya Evenkey is the shaman of Safka. Her mundane life includes helping townsfolk and exorcising demons. Until one day she almost loses her life during a routine house call. After picking up a mysterious item she discovers there is more to her world than she ever thought before!
Some call it a game, or is it a curse?
Author's Note: This is a litrpg story that focuses more on adventure than stats. No harem, no romance.
Release Schedule: every Monday and Friday at 9 pm ET
Special thanks to aphin123 for the awesome book cover!
©2020 MintyMintyMilkTea. All rights reserved. This story is also being published on Webnovel and Scribblehub.
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It's an interesting premise fairly well-executed. I'm not one for VRMMORPG gamelit and especially not for "the NPCs are real too" trope, but this fiction avoids my problems with both of those by having it the protagonist be an NPC. Or, well, she's an NPC up through chapter 1, at which point she becomes a player.
Watching the protagonist stumble through and learn about the game, whether she is crazy or cursed, how it operates, how to play it, how to love playing it, and the weird, weird ways that her people don't notice the game is loads of fun and is very endearing. Plus all the little clues pointing to some greater truth about the relationship between Earth's VRMMORPG and this world (I don't remember if it's named) make for a bigger mystery that is clearly going to be the plot driver.
My primary concern is pacing, which is having an impact on both the story and the characters. At 87 chapters in, we've been through roughly 6 subplots or arcs; the plot has not advanced that far and some of the characters are flatter than I would expect this far in. Further, while there have been some timeskips, they've only been a few days at a time, meaning we've been watching the protagonist play an MMORPG for the entire first month of her playing. And it has the feel of an MMORPG where you (figuratively) need to go through 99 quests before you get to the end of game quest, which can feel grindy and tedious. It comes across as almost slice of life.
Everything in this story flows together nicely. At no point did I have to back up and re-read previous sentences, which is a problem a lot of fictions have these days. The dialogue is consistent, and the shifts from conversation to thought are done well in most instances. I never felt like I was straining trying to get through a single sentence. The author does a great time describing things in detail, but not too much detail as to overload your senses.
Thus far, the story has been great. Though not an entirely unique concept, the "NPC" learning that they are in a game is well written. That's if it is a game at all, I don't know, I guess I'll have to read more to find out.
There has not been too much progression from the earlier chapters, but the reader definitely needs the information the MC is learning. This is handled very well by the questions she asks and the answers she receives from her new "player" friends.
There's not much I can really complain about here. I wish the side characters were a little more fleshed out, along with the MC. But there haven't been many chapters, so there is a massive amount of room for the author to do this, and with how well everything is written and edited, I imagine it won't be long for that happens.
Very strong grammar. I am shamed to admit that I take my grammar very seriously when reading novels. In fact, in all that I read, I found maybe two mistakes in grammar.
Pieces of Sonder is definitely something that someone who likes LitRPGs, good story, and great grammar should check out. I look forward to more adventures with the MC and her friends.
Your writing style is really handled well. The sentences flow really well and i wasn't at any point lost in my reading. I don't commonly read LitRpgs so how well written this one was made it a good read. This shined very well in the character duologue which managed to come off as very organic and made the characters feel very human, which is the strength of your story.
Now first, i have had many bad experiences with some unfortunate LitRpgs before. I am glad to say that your story doesn't fall into that trap. The characters and more importantly the world felt alive and existed on it's own. I know how hard it is to nail memorable side characters and you have done well there.
I saw nothing wrong with the grammar and if there were any problems i didn't notice them.
The characters are alive in your story. They all feel distinct and unique and they are fun to read about. I had such a great time getting to know them and seeing their interactions with others.
Overall this is a great story for fan's of LitRpg stories and if you don't don't like such stories, i still highly recommend reading this story because believe me, it will still manage to entertain the hell out if you.
Story: An interesting beginning that becomes exciting. I honestly thought the story was going in a different direction until the end of the first chapter. The MC Freya is performing her standard duties, exorcising demons, when a typical job goes awry. This changes the way she views the world and how she lives in it. The author placed the inciting incident perfectly.
The story becomes a LitRPG that is not only based around numbers. The RP part of RPG isn't an orphaned limb. An example would be chapter 20. A typical gamer wouldn't care about in-game animal rights; they're just data in a game, so who cares. Gamers would solve the quest and get what they came for without thinking about it again. Although the MC has reasons to care, the others don't, but they do. They care about the storyline, which is a fresh take.
Style: The style is clean. The prose is sharp and flows without forcing you to read ten filler words for every word that matters. A lot of work has gone into sentence structure. It looks like the author does a fair amount of line editing, which is very time-consuming. It's third-person POV limited and does a great job maintaining that POV. There's no head-hopping sometimes, then going back. It's consistent that way and keeps you immersed.
The author also makes good use of showing. Many people believe showing only applies to describing a character's looks or the landscape, but they miss the most important part, actions. Body actions are tied to emotions, and for the most part, they are universal. If you describe the character trembling as they back away with their eyes darting from one side of the room to the other, I know they're terrified. You don't have to say, "MC was terrified." The author understands that.
Grammar: The story is polished. Well polished. It reads like something that went through a lot of proofreading. When you listen to a story read out loud, you catch small errors. I wouldn't be surprised if the author committed to that step.
Character: The characters are excellent. Freya has a real background. When she does something, you understand why she's doing it. Her emotional responses and actions match her backstory. This applies to Infamous Biscuit also. The characters are built slowly, without info dumps that you forget.
I'm honestly surprised this story hasn't blown up already. I'd recommend this to anyone regardless of the genre you typically read. It has something for everyone.
But good enough for me. In this story, we follow the adventure of Freya and Infamous Biscuit. The world in this book revolves around gaining Sonders through collecting pieces, but like Freya said, no one knows what it is. It creates enough intrigue for me to keep going. The first chapters are mostly grinding for EXP, fighting bats and stuff. I hope they will start fighting bosses soon.
Once again, I am reviewing on an absolute scale, where average stories would receive 2 stars and the very very best story would receive 5 stars. Note to self, this review was done at chapter 29, which is probably at the early start of the story. I should look at this again once the story has hit a hundred chapters.
So, I'm starting with grammar, a very objective criterium. I say it's good, but author may want two get ride of the small errors that autocorrect can't find. At least two per chapter that I spotted.
The style is very enjoyable, reading the chapters goes smoothly and it's not getting boring or repetitive yet. It is point of view of the MC, who is a character in a fantasy MmorpG who is made aware of its nature.
Now here come spoilers: Geographical worldbuilding is skipped, because every playee is able to quick-travel twice per day. The world is fantasy-medieval with no grimdark elements yet, and outside of dungeons it feels pretty much like a safe candyfarm fantasy most of the time. Well, I like it. It also focuses on slice of life.
What the whole plot is about? Too early to tell, goal of the game is collect pieces of "Sonder", which is apparently macguffins. No big bad or ultimate goal has surfaced yet.
The story is introducing many characters, both players from Earth and NPCs from Sonderworld. Their interactions, likes and dislikes might drive the whole story further, and so far, they are very lifelike and well done.
Final note: If you like "Pieces of Sonder", also check out "Artificial Jelly", these two stories have similar premises and give me a similar sweet feel-good vibe.
Style: The style is most likely my biggest gripe. I do not like LitRPG for various reasons, especially the (in my eyes) unnecessary gaming elements in what could still be a fine fantasy or Sci-Fi story. The language has most in common with very modern language, which ruins the immersion somewhat, especially when words like "cool" pop up.
Story: I mentioned my dislike for LitRPGs, but I must qualify that by stating that in this example, the story beneath the gaming elements is not something to be scoffed at. It starts rather timid and uninteresting, involving and NPC sort of "becoming" a player character without player in an MMORPG setting, but flows very naturally between events and story beats. Later, the story hints at unique and interesting fates in the setting of the world. The setting or world itself is not too eye-catching and confuses not witrh endless lines of background
Grammar: There is nothing especially wrong or right with the grammar. The author's vocabulary at times seems poor or at least misapplied. Word choice can also be somewhat jarring as with the aforementioned vernacular.
Character: The characters are where the fiction so far shines, with some good character building moments, although one particular character development seems to come out of nowhere with no good trait supporting it.
Summary: I don't like LitRPGs, but this one was actually a good story behind those dreaded elements. Maybe I will read ona few chapters just to find out more about one aprticular character's fate, but we'll see.
Just finnished binge reading and enjoed every minuet. What I enjoy the most is how the balance between story/world building/game aspects worked out. Too many LitRPGs eventuallly end up wiht the MC as either an OP cheat or min/Maxing munchkin stomping through every encounter with the power of "Guts!". I also find that the MCs growing awarness of the veil that she now been brough through brings a wonderful depth to her development. Also, our esteemed author (or their proofreader/editor) understands and makes expert use of spelling, grammer and punctuation. Allowing the story to flow nicely with out the rough and choppy breaks and skips that can result in loss of immersion.