Collapse Point Harmony

Collapse Point Harmony

by Highlord_of_Iron

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

It's too much money, He told himself. A week's worth just to carry a package? With an extra 100 Abyss possible?

Suspicious but desparate, after giving up going on the straight and narrow, Sid Vicious finds himself taking a job, an anoymous gig off the heavily encrypted black net, leaving him trapped with nowhere to go but deeper and deeper into the inky depths of the underworld.

The worst part?

He just shot the one person who could help him through it.

(Updates twice week, ~Tuesdays and Saturdays)

  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score
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  • Pages :
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Highlord_of_Iron

Highlord_of_Iron

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drakan_glasses BE NICE! Fair critique is fair, but be respectful & follow the review rules. There will be no mercy.
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CloverCloverClover
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

A confusion overload with a possible easy fix

Reviewed at: 15: First Comes the Whistle

Grammar: 

There's no way around it: It's bad. And it is particularly harmful to this story, for it to be this bad. Run-on sentences, commas where there should not  be, missing punctuation, etc. It improves a bit as the story goes on, but it *really, really* hurts the story, really early on.

Let me elaborate. The grammar here is not the worst I've seen on RR. But for a story like this, which is already inherently confusing for a variety of other factors, it is vitally important that a reader not be distracted from the plot by the poor grammar. And I found myself CONSTANTLY distracted from the plot by poor grammar. The number of times I had to re-read lines in order to figure out what was happening was too many to count.

Even having read through it, I'm not sure whether some of my confusion is because of the plot, or because of the grammar confusing me ABOUT the plot. IMO, this is the number one thing that must be fixed about this fic, ASAP.

Story: 

It starts off with an interesting hook about two characters in a divergent timeline. Okay, interesting hook. But some chapters jump to introducing a bunch of new characters that, quite frankly, I have little idea why we are following them yet. That might be something that becomes elaborated on in the future, and maybe it could be interesting, but right now, combined with the grammar issues, it just added too much to my confusion factor and I found myself becoming disengaged during these chapters. Following Sid and Cavalier over a more long-term basis helped to keep me engaged.

Okay, let me put it this way. I think you can expect readers to tolerate a certain amount of ambiguity, mystery and confusion in a story. I think it can even be a good thing. But there's only so much confusion readers will tolerate before becoming disengaged. Doing things like:

1. Leaping very quickly into the action, without much of an introduction

2. Introducing a whole bunch of characters at once

3. Focusing on characters where it's not immediately apparent how they're relevant to the overall plot

4. Having strange slang where the meaning of the words must be inferred from context

5. Having a strange, confusing plot in general

6. Jumping back and forth between multiple POVs

7. Having bad grammar

All of these things add to the overall confusion level of the reader, and too much confusion can cause a reader to disengage. Each on their own, done right (with the exception of 7) can be an interesting device. But this fic does ALL of these. After fixing the grammar, I think t he next thing you need to do is just put yourself in your reader's shoes, and ask yourself: Where do you need to slow down, and explain things a bit more, so that the general overall confusion of the fic doesn't end up overwhelming readers and causing them to disengage?

Style:

I actually liked the stylistic choice in chapter two, where the text aligned itself to the source of the action (for at least a little bit), but it didn't seem to get used anywhere else but there. 

In general, it's told in a 3rd-person POV, focusing on a particular character's perspective each chapter. If you hack your way past the grammatical flaws (not an easy ask) I think you can say that description levels are usually alright. Sometimes the physical characteristics of people in the environment feel underdescribed. It would probably be easier to evaluate this once the grammar was fixed, because needing to reread lines so often really damaged my abiility to form a picture in my head of what was happening. 

Character:

This seems like it could be the author's strong point. They do a decent job of conveying distinct personalities with their characters with just a few lines. None of them have really rubbed off on me yet, at this point - perhaps because the switching of perspectives means we haven't spent enough time with any one particular character, yet. 

Overall:

Please, please fix the grammar. It might seem like I'm harping on this, but it is the number one biggest factor impacting your story at this moment, it makes everything else more difficult to evaluate, and it can be such a relatively simple fix - it requires no structural changes to plot, style or characters. The author does improve as they go along, but right now it makes the earlier chapters a real struggle, and that's when the whole foundations of the plot are laid. The biggest problem is punctuation and comma usage - generally, other rules of grammar are followed and spelling is correct. 

Mad Sadie
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

It's a fun read, well-planned and explained without too much straight exposition.

As far as story and plot, it takes a few chapters before anything is explained. I'm used to not having a clue what's going on in any story I read, so this was fine by me. It's paced well enough that Things! were happening too fast and interestingly for me to wonder too hard about what the hell was going on before the explanations came.

The characters have distinct personalites, which is always a plus. And they aren't annoying personalities, either! Woo!

Grammar-wise, there could be some improvement. The author misses quotation marks here and there, but nothing too bad. Mostly they suffer from an overuse of commas, and have exceedingly long sentences as a result. Either this gets better with time or I got used to it and didn't notice after four or five chapters, idk. Still, I've absolutely seen worse.

The previous reviewer seems to not like the style it's written in. I love it. I have no issue with the way it's formatted, and think it adds a lot to the story. It feels like a deliberate decision, and I think it was the right one. Especially in the second chapter.

All in all, it's a fascinating read and I'll keep up with it!

Sii
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Overall:

I come out of this story very confused but still intrigued. As I gather my thoughts, I float to a very cyberpunk/sleuth-noir feel. It's interesting and there are some things that need work, but the interest is there. A bit hard to get into and through due to the stylistic choices made by the author, I found myself using a text-to-speech function so I could more easily parse what was going on. Apart from that, I think there is enough of an interesting base for prospective readers.

Character & Grammar:

The stronger points, the author has crafted some very interesting characters. Sid, the MC, is an interesting dude who seems to be caught in some interesting situations. Without spoiling too much about the story, the world the story is set in is so confusing and this makes it intriguing in and of itself. The world itself, I would say, is a character with the number of things going on. The grammar is well handled. A few mistakes here and there but nothing too out there, all it would take is some editing passes. 

Style & Story:

By far, Style is the weakest point of this work. The first chapter takes some interesting stylistic liberties with very chunky paragraphs that make it hard to get through. All chapters afterwards are left-aligned, making it feel odd to the eye for most who are used to reading things from a right-aligned perspective. I also felt that the author used commas a little too liberally, which is why we end up with some very long and clunky sentences that make the reading experience harder.

There was also the use of apostrophes to denote dialog rather than quotation marks. I choose to believe that these are stylistic choices but as it is, I have to mark it low due to just how odd it is to read. In all, there are style problems that would benefit from having an outside, unbiased eye taking a look and giving the author feedback.

The story is confusing and there is no way to get around saying so. A few chapters have multiple perspectives that come off as head-hopping. This is an issue as it makes it hard for the reader to keep up when we're jumping from one character to another without clear distinction. And this muddiness adds to the confusion of the story. Like I said earlier, I had to use a text-to-speech app to help me parse out what was going on due to some of the stylistic choices. 

Conclusion:

Despite my criticisms, I still enjoyed the story. What we have here, at its base, is an interesting premise wrapped up in style choices that can be easily remedied and adjusted if that is the route the author decides on. I am still a bit confused, yes, but what I have latched on to holds my interest. I look forward to the authors growth as a writer and the evolution of the story.

TwelveGreatApes
Overall

Metaphysics meet fast-paced Cyber-Noir action!

Reviewed at: 8: No Rest for the Wicked

The story starts with an interesting premise, told from multiple points of view, but with a focus on the main character. Without giving away too much, the plot jumps into gear extremely quickly, and while grounded and accessible, explores some super interesting topics, such as temporal entanglement, causality and divergent timelines.

The world is well drawn, especially considering the lack of exposition. There are no drawn out descriptions of futuristic gadgets, instead the world-building seeps slowly through between the action. It just makes intrinsic sense, which is about as much as you can ask for.

The story is told in a very dramatic and unusual style, narrated like the fast-paced voiceover of an old detective film. Plot points, conversations and witticisms rattle off like bullets from a tommy gun. It’s a very interesting experience, punchy and fast flowing, and when it comes together can be quite brilliant. It's a genuine pleasure reading about the main character (whose middle name ought to be ‘streetsmarts’) expertly navigating his way through a hairy situation. The information given is whatever is necessary to keep moving the plot forwards, and is generally unburdened with any additional clutter.

That said, for the writer of a work, it is hard (virtually impossible!) to be able to assess their work from the perspective of a first time reader, so it can be really easy to leave out necessary packets of information, or quite often include them a sentence or two too late. This work does tend to fall prey to this, especially because the writing style is not overly explicit and forces the reader to keep on their feet. Because of the breakneck pace of the work in general, it can be quite hard to straighten out what is happening while continuing to read, and I found small omissions could quickly accumulate and force me to disengage from the work for a breather.

This is nothing a little editing couldn’t fix, and there is a definite improvement in writing as the story continues. By no means should the general style be changed! It’s impressive, and a little tweaking is all that is required just to make it flow better, so that it does not detract from what is otherwise a really interesting and well paced story! Lots of potential here!