Its designation was XSS-MK1. It was the first of its kind.
An Artificial Intelligence.
And although its life was short, it accomplished much during the few minutes of its existence. But in death something finds it : There is a lot more to be done. And this times the stakes are even higher.
Will it measure up ? Or will it collapse under the burden placed on itself?
Only time and rust will tell...
Proud Member of "Pendragon", a group of writters, artists & readers on Royal Road Legends.
First fiction and English is not my native language (French Powaaa here). If you find mistakes or errors do not hesitate to point them out.
The first chapter, called "Author PSAs, News, Story Status, Discussion & More.", will contain news about the story, and it's writting status, as well as provide various tidbits of information and a discussion thread to ask me questions.
Have fun reading and I hope you enjoy. :)
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The main character of this story is one of the best thought out characters i have encountered on RRL. While it is an A.I. it feels truly real, it is higly intelligent and this intelligence is reflected in it's actions.
The clichee conversation with the "God" that precedes most reincarnation storys felt actually interesting , because it is rare to find an A.I. talking to someone who claims to be a god. Said conversation took unexpected turns and provided some foreshadowing for the future plot, which I am looking forward to.
The story is cleanly written and has a steady flow to the main plot , not rushed and not creeping.
The characters feel real and the conversations and interactions reflect their personality nicely.
The action scenes are easy to read and keep me glued to the screen. Even if I know the outcome of a fight between a state of the art robot and a human in a hand to hand combat, I still greatly enjoyed reading that scene and to me , this is what matters most.
I am very impressed with this story and can only give it a 5/5 as i can not find a single thing I dislike about it.
Thank you for writing and please don't stop !
First off, Louis, I was the 1.5 score, but that was an accident I brushed the rating stars whilst reading it on my semi-retarded mobile phone trying to bookmark it.
*Skip to the third Paragraph for actual review
On to my review;
And small spoiler, you had my attention with the A.I. experiment from the A.I.'s POV, you had my adoration when you showed the sequence of events that followed. I personally love when an author makes use of real world tech and terms for a fantasy or sci-fi setting, but I find it far more impressive when they don't just make shit up and know what they hell they're on about.
Innovative, reincarnation isn't a new trope in literature these days but to use a martyred A.I. and a terminator style Machine God I was intrigued. The story is very real, racial discrimination, slavery, and it outright explores the ideas of machine sentience. These topics are all well known, but the last is gaining to become pertinent in our lives instead of just science fiction.
XSS-MK1, is golden I am a little bias seeing as I love super pragmatic logic driven characters. Seeing as MK1 uses the female form I will Identify it as a "her" for ease of myself. She only wants to carry out the mission of the admin and save her now kindred species the clockworks but is anything from a classic saviour. Her character is real, all I can is explain it with is are to occasions; Dropped from Orbit,"Aww Fuck." and Upon landing discovers elven scouts escapes past the leader with the snarky remark of,"Make less noise next time".
Last but not least Grammar:
It is much better than some stories written by native English speakers, however, there are minor tense and synonym mistakes for ex."Patients vs Patience" things of that nature. Other than that A fine story that I am ecstatic to read at every new chapter.
A new twist to reincarnation, It's an A.I. this time!
The concepts of both science and magic, their combination and their relevance and explanation is A-OK! Espescially theory behind magic, It was really logical.
This story also astounds me because, Though I'm neither a robot nor an A.I., I can feel MK1's feelings, I can understand where her rage and sadness comes from, It puts her feelings into perspective, and we can easily grasp her thought processes, though only slightly. She also shows emotions like sadness, pride and anger, which just makes her more unique and not like other A.I. protagonists or characters that 'learn how to be a human'
The only problem I found is the slow release (Since I only started reading the novel the day I wrote this and the last chapter was 4 months old...) and the occasional spelling error, now much and doesn't really affect the story line, there were also a couple of simple, not major, plotholes, but I already forgot what is was(Teehee~) and I'm too lazy to re-read.
So, all in all, just freaking read the novel, it's really good. And by good, I mean G-O-O-D.
This really is brilliant. I usually shy away from fiction that focuses heavily on AI, computers, or technology. They make me cringe at the "hollywood truths", such as hacking = exciting montage. The sorts of things that make me give up on my suspension of disbelief.
However, this story is able to describe the tech without going straying too far into the danger zone. It stays fresh, focusing on the characters more than tossing about random jargon. When it does discuss the technology, the analogies are understandable for a non-techie. But as a programmer, I can still nod and think, "Ah, I'm so glad that I have a 452-page reference manual when I need to turn binary back into assembly."
There's obviously a good amount of moral controversy going on, as in any racial conflict story. Of course, the protagonist takes the moral high ground, being the champion of the victimized race. Historical examples of greed prompting a religious crusade come into play. Between propganda and communication problems, it isn't hard to guess why the clockworks are treated as tools rather than sentients.
I was iffy about it for the first few chapters, but it's a good read. (Chapter 14)
Note: this was written after I finished reading chapter 14. I have skipped the intermissions/world building entires so far, but I'll probably go back to read them later. This is written solely with the main story in mind.
Excelent worldbuilding with the Clockworks. Their highly utalitarian nature makes a good deal of sense, and the way they speak/interact with others reflects that nature extremely well. I'm honestly very impressed (and mildly surprised) by how well this was executed. There haven't been any huge contradictions I've run into yet regarding their nature.
The human/demon/elven/dwarven/dwarven culture have been only explained in a limited manner, but I trust that this will develop appropriately given some time. The hints of the nomadic history/the clockwork war were there, so I'm not too worried about that.
The MC- Excelently done. A highly believable MC (assuming she's an AI). My only cripe is that due to her nature, she might be too perfect. The information she has is inherently limitted, so therefore her ability to respond to her situation should be limited as well. She seems to have all the right pieces of information at the right time, which might prove to be a problem as the story drags on. Just something to consider.
A contradiction to her nature I can't seem to grasp is why she hasn't gotten her hand on at least a basic weapon yet. Fighting with your hands is generally considered less than desirable, and not having a weapon to at least augment your strength on the most basic of levels (especially when info on who your enemies are is limited) seems like a very non-utalitarian approach.
Hesca (scroll down for tldr)- Her internal monologues that reflect on her perconcieved notions of reality and her position as a "human" next to someone who represents the clockworks is quite interesting. Her emotional responses to the MC are well reasoned and believable. I believe she has a lot of potential as a character, but she does have her share of problems:
Firstly, the introduction of Hesca as a character was a tad, er, cliche and honestly not the greatest. This has been a pretty common introduction for female side-characters in several fantasy/reincarnated genres and I'm not really a fan of it. Sure, it's realistic and can most certainly happen in this type of society, sure, it can pull the heartstrings of the less well-worn reader (many who've read this backstory time and time again to the point where it becomes a "trope" rather than something to even empathise with), but at the end of the day, unless it's going to serve a specific purpose, it doesn't do anything except turn a portion of your readers away. Unfortunately I didnt think the implications of her introduction served much of a purpose other than a tragic backstory that she'll need to overcome (and not in the character-development type of overcome, just the "past fades into the background never to be talked of again" type of overcome).
Next, Hesca's backstory lacks much depth. She got attacked during an escort mission, but what type of events caused problems? Surely there were other adventurers alongside her if it was an escort mission. Girl from rural area goes off to become an adventurer is also a pretty common one. I advise you expand on this since as it is right now, I can't help but see Hesca's backstory as extremely trope-y and under-explained. Honestly Via's backstory seemed to have more depth. That's problematic.
TLDR: Her character has a lot of potential when you consider her interactions with the MC, but her backstory is tropey (in turn, kinda dull) and unexpanded on.
Grammar: I had little trouble reading it (in fact, it was quite easy and smooth to read. Nice going on the spacing).
Story: Very nicely paced. The premise overall is interesting. Good stuff :)
Style: Yes, this is the engineer's wet dream, but a lot of the technicalities can be a tad overwhelming when entire chapters are dedicated to the inner workings of certain machines/things. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy this, but this seems like something that could hold your story back if you aren't careful.
All in all, I'm impressed with this novel thus far. Nicely done!
Great story that revolves in a normal tempo instead of trying to rush through all the objectifs. Usually an objective will be given in the beginning of the storie and than the writer tries to rush towards the solution. This is not the case in this story. You will also notice that the mc does not suddenly get curtain powers or objects when it is convenient for the storie. The grammar and spelling is great. I only found a few mistakes and then only when I was looking for them. I really hoop the writer does not drop the story even though the release schedule has been erratic.
This story is amazing. I don't know what else to say. It's thought provoking, it's interesting, it's action-packed, and the characters are just incredible! Keep it up!
I just finished reading all currently released chapters, 12 at the time of posting, and found myself reading with zeal only induced by literary artworks like "Game of Thrones." I'd recomend this to anyone looking for a well writen story on this cite. I eagerly wait for more.
Not much of a review, but rather just my opinion on a few things.
Great quality. I understand you are just proofreading things yourself and for that I commend you! The grammar is good, the story simply flows. The concept of having robots in a fantasy world is a mindblowing because I don't think I've read a fantasy fiction which uses this concept.
Honestly, you had me at the prologue.
Feedback & Constructive Criticism:
- You should humanise the MC a bit more. Allow her to make mistakes, give her some flaws. Right now, she is ... too perfect. Too perfect meaning it's hard to relate to the MC as a reader. Humans inherently have flaws and quirks. Give some to the MC. All I got from her is that she is a robot (well duh, she's designed to be) and thus analyses a lot.
- This was mentioned before, but I'll mention it again just in case. The story just so happens to meet the Prince of the kingdom. It's a bit too much of a coincidence and it feels forceful.
- I like how each 'race' (? kingdom, area, tribes?) so far have their own culture. The nomads have their own tribal traditions, the robots have their unique way of speaking. It really helps the worldbuilding since you show rather than tell - and that is a plus for me
Overall, goodwork! I hope you continue this series. I couldn't help but notice theres like an 11month gap between Chapters 7 to 8. Maybe you could write a backlog of like 10 chapters or something before your next chapter release? Then upload a new chapter say every month or so if you are having trouble keeping a consistent release schedule.
I enjoy reading this fiction, the grammar is good and readable and the flow is also good and I think this fiction has great potential. The concept of your world and the plot of the story is something different from most fictions on this site and is worth the read. I can only recommend it.
Thank you and keep up the good work.