Fixture in Fate

by Sarius

Heroes aren’t to be trusted. They aren’t to be revered, or to be praised. They are to be feared, no matter the good they do, or the justice they seem to embody. Because it’s all a lie, a fabrication to make you believe that Heroes exist.

Heroes don’t exist, only humans. And there is no scarier monster than a human with a ‘link’.

Yet, what happens when someone tries to be a hero? A real, true hero—fighting to protect the world from those of their own who wantonly dominate and rule? Can a world, betrayed so thoroughly, ever truly want to be saved?


This is a Superhero Fantasy story, set in a world that fears those called Linked. This story is also reminiscent of others in the genre like Worm by Wildblow.

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  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score
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Sarius

Sarius

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1: Concrete and Trees ago
Chapter 2: The Clean and the Dirty ago
Chapter 3: Warm Soup ago
Chapter 4: New Arrivals ago
Chapter 5: Awkward ago
Chapter 6: Willem ago
Chapter 7: Jelly ago
Chapter 8: Protect and Destroy ago
Chapter 9: Control and Stumble ago
Chapter 10: Team Leader ago
Chapter 11: Organ ago
Chapter 12: Dark World ago
Chapter 13: Two Blows ago
Chapter 14: Whisper ago
Chapter 15: Big Fish ago
Chapter 16: Liaison ago
Chapter 17: Kids ago
Chapter 18: People Watching ago
Chapter 19: Dead or Alive ago
Chapter 20: Remembrance ago
Chapter 21: Capital H ago
Chapter 22: Exploding Man ago
Chapter 23: Nightmares ago
Chapter 24: Big Number ago
Chapter 25: Baxter ago
Chapter 26: Examples ago
Chapter 27: Dangerously Close ago
Chapter 28: Awakenings ago
Chapter 29: Teammate ago
Chapter 30: Anger ago
Chapter 31: Date Night ago
Chapter 32: Fat Rich ago
Chapter 33: Unwanted Changes ago
Chapter 34: Domain ago
Chapter 35: Flinn ago
Chapter 36: Crush ago
Chapter 37: Next Time ago
Chapter 38: Fae ago
Chapter 39: Black Spot ago
Chapter 40: Foundation ago
Chapter 41: We of J ago
Chapter 42: Threads ago
Chapter 43: Just Maybe ago
Chapter 44: Shared ago
Chapter 45: Connected ago
Chapter 46: Record ago
Chapter 47: Appraisal ago
Chapter 48: Royalty ago
Chapter 49: Acquaintance ago
Chapter 50: Go Again ago
Chapter 51: Cheap Weapons ago
Chapter 52: Countermeasures ago
Chapter 53: Tradeoff ago
Chapter 54: Overanalysis ago
Chapter 55: Monarch ago
Chapter 56: Change in Attitude ago
Chapter 57: Milkshakes ago
Chapter 58: Necessity ago
Chapter 59: Aimless ago
Chapter 60: Legend ago
Chapter 61: Death Blow ago
Chapter 62: Ante ago
Chapter 63: Line ago
Chapter 64: Humbling ago
Chapter 65: Unlikely ago
Chapter 66: Help ago
Chapter 67: Confidence ago

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pato
Overall

I was going to write a proper review but it's 5am

Reviewed at: Chapter 43: Just Maybe

Basically, some big shot suddenly pays for the creation of a Linked team consisting of two socially awkward young adults from very different socioeconomic backgrounds and two other not-socially-awkward young adults that are difficult to pin down when it comes to exactly how much money they had before this whole training arc. A few of them don't get along too well with each other or the people around them for various reasons that actually make sense.

Turns out their trainer is basically Arnold Schwarzenegger except he's a reticent fellow the size of a garden gnome, their tutor is a sexy Indian office lady who can see the geometric shape of how stupid you are, and the chef at their building is a mute, androgynous, pretty boy who I imagine to look like the archetypical "elegant scholar" in Eastern fantasy. He's also a natural empath who somehow knows the recipe to your mom's chicken tikka masala, even though you're pretty sure they've never met because otherwise he'd be your biological father.

The government discriminates against people with Links that don't use the HTTPS protocol because they aren't secure enough, so companies other than the one that operates Whiz, this world's Bing-equivalent, might be able to collect their data and sell it to that one armchair hypercognitive who bought 20 jars of gamer girl bathwater last month for research purposes. It's not a great system because it prevents a number of people who could actually help with humanity's self-inflicted pseudo-apocalypse from acquiring legitimacy as individuals with arguably useful powers, but the Australian government is the Australian government, after all. They could've easily done worse.

Great swathes of the civilized world have reportedly either turned into shitholes or inhospitable wastelands at the hands of irresponsible folks who'd wrongly assumed every superpower was a buy-one-get-one-free deal that came with a lifetime supply of little orange cards displaying Mr. Monopoly in a prison uniform. The governments of the world made attempts to beat them back, but it turns out human trafficking is a more fulfilling occupation than any form of gainful employment; the gangs and cults never seem to run out of fresh members.

There is a silver lining to this enormous turd, however. The marked increase in individuals capable of shooting bargain-bin lightning bolts from their extremities has resulted in a steep decline in the cockroach population worldwide. 

VMJaskiernia
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

This story feels like a little bit of everything to me. In a good way. A little scifi, a little urban fantasy, a little superhero, some more dystpian/cyberpunk overtones tossed in. And it all works well together.

The style is very to the point. Things are happening and people being introduced, all the while a world is being set up. We don't have a lot of backstory or info-dumping, but you are shown things as the story progresses. It's refreshing and fast-paced.

Grammar - one or two small issues that I caught, but nothing major, and certainly not anything that will pull you out of the story.

Story - it seems like we're just starting at the beginning of something huge. Like the beginning of the Avenger's Initiative, or in urban fantasy when the one race of fantasy creatures realizes there are more than just them. I can't wait to see what the big main movement turns out to be. It's a different darker take on superheros that I haven't seen before and feels really grounded and important.

Characters- we have a lot of main characters that we're following around. They're all fleshed out, work well by themselves and while playing off of each other. I really like Aaliyah.

Jonah of the Whale
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

When i saw that this story had been going for 6 months i was shocked quite frankly, i hadn't seen anything about it floating around despite the fact that it is Amazing. The story shares a number of traits with Worm (which the author has stated is an inspiration), such as its general grittiness and use of characters who, in the majority of cases (at least for our leading cast), gained their powers through darker backstories. There are however brighter points, with characters enjoying more extensive moments of warmth as the story progresses. A personal favourite is the creative powers that the author has come up with, an aspect i always relish in this genre and that has been handled with tremendous inventiveness. The greater worldbuilding is also handled exceptionally well giving several insights into the wider world outside of Australia (where the story is based) while not going into excessive detail. The organic nature by which the information is given makes it feel as though it is the charcter's understanding that progresses rather than the reader recieving subtle info dumps, which is just great and something that most stories seem to struggle to do, where as here it is done in an almost easy and stream lined manner. The characters are given depth that is developed as the story progresses, though Walt lacking the traumatic upbringing of his compatriots seems to suffer becoming a little washed out in comparison, not to say that trauma is necessary for a good charcter, quite the opposite, the author could do with trying to work on expanding charcters that don't rely on those past events to shape and drive them as much. On the whole though i think the story is unbelievably good for how little interaction it seems to be recieving and i heartily recommend anybody who enjoys the genre, and even those who don't, to give it a go. Absolutely slaps

NIDHOGGR
Overall

A Deeply Flawed, yet Incredibly Complex World

Reviewed at: Chapter 46: Record

Amazing, wonderful, fantastic.

This story got me good, like a fish drawn to bait. Hook, line, and sinker. The emotions it portrays, and the world it builds. All I can say is that despite the confusing formatting of words, and the occasional spelling mistake, missing letter or grammatical error, I love it.

Localforeigner
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Well Written Superhero Story

Reviewed at: Chapter 7: Jelly

Fixture in Fate is a slow-burn story with a deep world setting and detailed characters. Supers exist, but their impact on the normal world has been anything but four color. Much has been implied about the depredations of 'powered' individuals, and very little of it is nice or heroic.

But we have the government attempting to organize super teams, ostensibly to help with this. Though most of our main characters are unfamiliar with their powers, some exhibit truely potent abilities. It will be interesting seeing how they develop and grow these abilities.

Style-Style is good. We have multiple POVs and the author juggles them quite well.

Grammar-Few wobbles here and there, but nothing that really threw me out of the story.

Story-My only real complaint is that no one mentions the elephant in the room. From context, we know that suprs can be bad news, but no one comes out and says why. I am sure this is building for a big reveal, but I tend to hate when the audience is denied things the POV characters clearly know. Otherwise though, I like the set up and where the story is going.

Character-The characters are diverse and distinct. They all have distinct voices and I really like that. 

Publius Decius Mus
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

The author is an honest wordsmith, who knows their trade well. Frankly, I am amazed by the effort and thought that went into creating this story. I haven't read the author's other pieces, but if those are anything like this one, I can only shudder to imagine how many ideas and claviatures did the author burn through till this point.

Style score:

As I said, honest worksmith. The author really took the "show, don't tell" maxim to heart, and they are building up the world very gracefully. We always see the world through the point of view characters and every time we receive a piece of information, usually one of the characters has lacked that particular piece of knowledge. So we are always given in-universe reason for info-dropping.

Story score:

Superheroes in a post-apocaliptic environment. Really, it sounds tropey, but actually I prefer the word streamlined. Yes the author does use panels that can be found in other works of the genre, but they are built into the plot seamlessly, there is no unsightliness here. The pacing is good, it takes time to gather steam, but I think that's mostly because the story will be of truly epic proportions. At least that's what I suspect given that the author gives thirty :O advanced chapters on Patreon. I'd say this story can stretch to 2-300 chapters without an issue. It still won't feel a soap opera, because there is clearly enough meat for that on the story's well-crafted bones.

Grammar score:

No problems I have noticed, maybe an occasional typo here and there.

Character score:

Probably the best part of the book. Clearly a lot of thought went into the cast of the main characters and their group dynamic and their interactions with side characters. The budding friendship between Chef and Mira is especially heartwarming.

All the characters are their own person, with their own set of belief, worldview, past and presumably future arc that they will have to complete. I think the characters are even more interesting than the world or the plot, the author has really worked miracles on them.

All in all, I recommend this book to everyone.

Suspened Fractals
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Realistic characters and a compelling plot

Reviewed at: Chapter 63: Line

This story has an intriguing premise that doesn't feel tired or overused despite it's general popularity in this genre. It combines informed and intelligent interpersonal and introspective writing, with realistic characters that feel truly human. It has some of the best compelling story telling without the need to jam every other line with action (though the action is just frequent enough and we'll thought out). It brings up questions of morality and the nature of good and evil, in a way more approachable and inviting than wordy and philosophical text. It explores concepts that engage, many layered social interactions with far reaching effects that some stories overlook, and delivers lots of pertinent information in manageable manners. Overall this story has a great setting, better characters, and a defined and thought provoking style that will have you coming back for more. There is little critique I feel qualifed to give outside of urging you to continue with your in depth look at the relationships and spider webbing connections they weave throughout this world, as well as pursuing the concepts already established about human nature and how power can (and in some cases often) lead to the breakdown of ingrained human moral codes and beliefs. 

Icelos
Overall

Kinda like a good blunt. Slow but intoxicating

Reviewed at: Chapter 63: Line

It take a bit to get going and sometimes the sudden shift in between characters perspectives gets a little jarring, but once you get use to the shifts it adds to the story. My only hangup is the slow burn. The squad takes forever to make any real progress with their powers, but it worth it in the end. Sadly I'm all caught up, so wait between chapters is agonizing. 

So you get a 5 stars rating from me bub.

Cestarian
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

A bit (A LOT) too slow...

Reviewed at: Chapter 66: Help

The story starts off fantastic, I love the 'main character' right from the start., at least the one that seems to be the intended main of the 4... It's hard to tell with how divided the POVs are between chapters, but at least it's done in such a way that the pacing isn't slowed down by the pov changes (that said, the pace is slow to begin with).


My issue with this story however is that it doesn't really take off. Here I am, 33 chapters in, and if the distribution of words is fairly even between chapters, then according to the page count metric of royalroad I am through close to 300 pages, which is like a feature length novel.

Nothing has happened in the story at this point, the most exciting thing that's happened is literally some guy stepping in to stop someone from bullying someone else...

And yeah, that leads into my other problem with this story... college for superpowers is kind of where the story goes from the start, and that's where it has stayed.

There's been literally nothing in this story except some training and exposition dumps some of which are under the guise of lessons from teachers...

4 strangers picked to form a team and sent to college for superpowers, that's all the story is at the moment, there's some exposition, some worldbuilding, but there's absolutely no plot to speak of yet besides maybe finding out who this mysterious sponsor that paid for all this is.

There's a lot of promise of future plot, but come on, I've read enough for a future length novel and all I have is the promise of a plot in the future? That this story is eventually going somewhere, just not right now?

That's not enough for me.

The characters are decent, above average I'd say, especially the supposed protagonist, who is implied to be the protagonist only because the first chapter was about them and because the tags say 'female lead'

The grammar is decent

The story... I mean I can only give it a low rating because besides how the world is at least somewhat interesting... there IS no story yet, the premise is still being laid out at a painfully slow pace

Last is the style, multiple pov style... it's not for me, it's done better in this story than most and I didn't actually hate it here, but it's not done well enough for me to actually be able to say it doesn't bother me at all, it does, if only because it feels like it contributes a bit to the pacing issues, and because I don't feel like it's actually done well enough to be worth the bother. Well done multiple pov, you'd know which POV you're reading from without the author spelling it out for you because you'd recognize the way the character thinks and acts and all that, you'd get a 'feel' for the multiple lead characters, but there's none of that here even if they have distinct recognizable personalities of their own, it just doesn't show that well when reading from their perspective and it happened to me several times that I didn't know which characters perspective I was reading from.

Another issue with the style is that it's not always clear who is speaking during dialogue, a horribly bad pattern I noticed is that sometimes the author puts the reactions of characters to dialogue, right next to the dialogue, which would normally imply that this character just spoke, but in reality it was the other character who spoke and the reaction should therefore be in the next line rather than the same line as the dialogue.

The main reason for the low style score however is of course the pacing, that's what's disappointing to me about this story. A feature length novel's worth of text I have read and practically nothing has happened, the plot has not taken off, the characters are still in the early stages of their training....

I'm disappointed. This story could be good. It could be great even! The author's got that little spark needed to write a great story... But they clearly don't have the experience or skill needed just yet, letting their story get bogged down by details that could have been shown instead of told, or maybe weren't really important at all and could have just been skipped over entirely just to maintain a good pacing...

I can only read so much of exposition and training programs before I get bored, and that point was reached before I wrote this review.

It's a rather well written bunch of exposition, but it's still nothing more than exposition in the end, which is disappointing.

My advice to the author would be not to front-load the worldbuilding so much, deliver it in bits and pieces over time when those bits become relevant to the story instead of starting off the story by shoving all the details of the entire world in the readers face with no mercy.

Update: 

I read the rest of the available chapters, now adding up to about as much text as two feature length novels. Right in the next chapter I was reading originally something happened in the story that seemed to be finally going to accelerate the plot...

 But ended up being a thinly veiled excuse to make all 4 lead characters progress at a ridiculous speed instead of just using the good old tried and tested timeskip to make their growth curve stay sensible

Needless to say, I have been disappointed yet again, all that's happened in the other near-300 pages I've read is that the lead characters training progressed at least somewhat meaningfully... 

But not meaningfully enough for me, you see I noticed another problem. We have here a very dark urban fantasy world, even darker than worm, easily... And aforementioned superpower college is a semi-official but not government related organization that trains anyone to use their superpowers (even known criminals)....

Yet I find the training to be extremely lacking for such a world, the training seems like something right out of a shounen anime or something, they're just being taught to better utilize/control their superpowers, or output more power, you know, the usual, they're taught basic hand to hand combat on top of that and go through a rigid fitness schedule along with some history lessons that seem to be entirely for the reader more than they are for the characters (e.g. exposition)...

This is all good, but there's something missing, remember this is a Dark world, story even has a grimdark tag on it! They're slated to eventually, one way or another, fight opponents that totally belong in such a dark world...

And they're not being prepared for it in the least. They do not explore weapons training (even when for the supposed main character, her entire combat style should revolve around weapons because it's the only thing that makes any sort of sense for her, and nobody's even pointed it out, including her supposedly overqualified instructors!).

One of the lead characters has a power related to axes, they do not explore this, they do not explore different kinds of axes, they do not explore custom made axes, they do not explore equipping him with more axes at once, dual wielding axes, etc, there's absolutely NONE of that.

Another lead character has elemental magic, you know, fire, water, earth, air. He only ever uses one element, the one that's easily least useful too. He never even touches the other three even if he's supposedly decent at using at least one of them (which means he has no excuse for not using it).

The last one has a power that gives her different effects (sometimes area effects that affect others even) based on her emotions, she only uses one emotion. Doesn't know what all the different possible emotions she's found do, has not bothered exploring it at all.

There's just something that doesn't add up here, they're being trained so leasurely that even BNHA has harsher training than this...

It feels like the lead characters potential isn't being explored at all, and that they're being set up by absolutely everyone in the story (including themselves) to go out there after their little superpower school arc (I say little but it's already as long as 2 feature length novels) and that they're going to die in the first combat encounter. They're going to die because they've been trained like kids cartoon superheroes while the world they're in is super dark and full of overpowered people who could and would kill them with a snap of their fingers.

Pacing also feels even slower, there's now quite a lot of repetition (different chapter, same stuff that's been discussed to death in previous chapters, it's like defiance of the fall all over again), and quite a lot of POV breaks away from the main cast that feel like they're not really adding anything to the story (besides just dragging down the pacing).

The world this story is set in is something I like, it starts of great, but it feels like the entire main cast is dragging their feet, not bothering to explore even an iota of their true potential, their trainers are dragging their feet the exact same way by not pointing it out to them, and it feels like the story is starting to fall apart at the seams because of this huge disconnect between the actual world that has been stuffed in our faces without mercy through tons of exposition, and the actual training that the protagonists are going through, it even feels like the character's very personalities are disconnected from it as well because these are supposed to be intelligent individuals...

And they're being trained like wannabe spidermen and going along with it in a dark world which has supposedly already shaped their personalities to know better.

Things just are not adding up in the end, and I'm feeling very disappointed. My score remains unchanged though.

I can see that there's a lot of potential in this author, and so I'm gonna check out his other stories because I know he can do better than this... And I hope that when he writes his next story, he will take greater care of the pacing. That's really the biggest issue with this story in the end. The dead snail pacing.

Hantaros
Overall

REMINDS ME OF WHEN I FIRST READ WORM

Reviewed at: Chapter 61: Death Blow


It's basically Worm but in Australia and I say that in the best possible sense, a messed up society of superpowers with underdog protagonists who have interesting powersets(/spoiler/ a gentle giant who can spiritually align with his axe, basically the avatar, She-Hulk with a different color/power for every emotion and a Divination Wizard