Humanity has finally taken the next step into space. Governments run research stations throughout the solar system while private enterprises mine asteroids for rare metals and exotic minerals. However, space remains beyond the reach of the everyday person. In contrast, virtual reality technology has led to an explosion of full immersion entertainment for the average consumer, and many people turned to VR for the thrill of spaceflight.
One game, Parallax Gate, lets its players experience living in an interstellar civilization. For maximum realism, its developers created a world solely defined by the players' personal skills and ability.
Mark Asami, a student of aerospace engineering at MIT, dreams of bringing spaceflight to the masses. To his disappointment, his first year courses barely relate to his interests, so he passes time as Aero Rayne in Parallax Gate with his roommate and their organization, the Temple Wraiths. Before they realized, a chain of in-game events drew them deeper into the game's world and politics than they ever intended to go.
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Imagine EVE Online with full VR in a world not unlike our own; now add a crew of ever so slightly socially inept MIT freshman and a full supporting cast including excitable teeny boppers, roleplaying space pirates — and one Alf:
Not only is this a welcome departure from the standard Gary Stu based Wuxi that litters this site, but the world building itself is refreshing in that it that doesn’t completely leave the bounds of reality behind or subscribe to the infallibility of a genius MC. Most characters have real potential and I’m looking forward to seeing the development of the entire Wraiths team as they learn to come together against the other Dominions and the challenges of developing a new world in game, and the difficulties that come with your first four years in University in the ‘real world’.
All in all a great fiction and I can’t wait to join the characters as they journey from Frosh until they get their Brass Rats…
Review as of Chapter 20 - February 4th, 2016.
As a whole, I really enjoyed this. Coming from an MMORPG background, I found the characters and their organizations (guilds) relateable. Their actions and interactions are realistic for the types of organizations they represent.
Trigger-happy organization leader is totally my spirit animal, by the way.
First impressions are everything, and this is one of the areas that honestly could still use some refining. The first few chapters could use more character introduction, interaction, and development.
I think this is a side-effect of introducing so many characters at once. Because it's a VRMMORPG, there's an expectation that there'll be...well... A lot of people. Otherwise you don't have the "MMO" part at all.
The early chapters left me craving for me information about "who" the characters are. While some mystery regarding characters is good, we should have at least a starting impression of "who" people are upon meeting them.
This is completely understandable and a relatively easy fix; it could be done through descriptive paragraphs or inner monologue. Whichever works for the author.
Thank Cthulhu - there's no status screens!
The writing style gets a big thumbs-up from me. It conveys what it needs to and I haven't really come across any style-related problems or confusion in 20 chapters. That's always a good sign.
There aren't too many or too few filter words and to be verbs in Tidal Lock. The author has hit that balance that so few people on RRL are capable of (including myself probably.)
I'm giving this a 4.5 rating because, for me, there wasn't enough character information or interaction in the first few chapters. If/when ResonantIce decides to flesh those bits out more - my rating on this should go up to a 5.
Aside from shaky beginnings, the quality improved by a landslide in later chapters. Fewer errors, more descriptions, more feeling or "umph" behind the words used and sentences written.
This is one of those stories where not only can you see the characters and storyline grow through subsequent chapters but you can see the author grow as well. That's something I find really cool - and enjoyable.
4.5 because let's face it - no one is perfect.
That said, I found very few errors while reading Tidal Lock. Grammar quality stands quite a deal higher than your average fiction on RRL, which is a nice change of pace.
The few errors I did find...well, I'm a good girl. I PM'd them to the author so he can fix them. This review would be way too long if I turned it into a proofreading session!
I touched on this a little above.
It still gets a 4 because after the first few chapters all the character-stuff gets much better.
The characters are more...well, human. They're easier to relate to. We begin to get an idea of "who" they are through their quirks, humor, interactions, reactions, comments, and thoughts. These are things that should have happened earlier and then continued through the story. It's a relatively easy fix!
Even with the rather chaotic start of this novel I simply feel like I have to give it a five out of five (5/5) in a way this little gem reminded me of my first time, suddenly being thrown in the middle of it, flipping and flailing about like a fish out of water, not having a clue what I am doing or doing it right, but enjoying every minute of it, yet, with time, love, persistence, and admittedly a rather large dash of lust. you slowly get into it, chapter after chapter it just keeps getting better and better.
and then..then there are Pirates, glorious, gangplank'ing space pirates.
(Now on a tad more serious note, while the story starts rather chaotic, if you read past the start, the story simply starts shaping itself, while most characters don't have a lot of descriptions on how they look, I personally think that ResonantIce wrote it that way so that readers have a bit of leeway with their imagination and to keep the fluid motion of this story. I think it fits with the pacing of this story and his writing style*
*At least for this story, I have not read his other works.
To start of, I was so engrossed in the story I haven't seen any grammar or spelling errors, so that means no mistakes or few enough and the story is very interesting!
No walls of unintelligible text, good formatting and style!
Characters are good, not as "perfect" as everything else is, but still way above average on this site and in many of the hundresds of books and novels I read.
I read all this in one go and will support the author given chance! Good job sir/miss!
I'm not kidding, this is actually quite good. The only reason I'm not giving this a 5/5 for everything is because I'm a stingy degenerate who can't ever be satisfied, along with the fact this could be SO MUCH BETTER. Anywho, onto the review.
Style: Your style of writing is fantastic. I love the way you build up a scene/situation while still giving the reader enough information to enjoy it with. Your transitions between scenes is also done well, and I find myself hanging off of every word and cursing as I reach the end of a chapter. The space battles themselves aren't quite as detailed as one would expect, however you supplement this by cramming so much energy into sentences that it hardly matters. And I don't mean "BOOM!" "SMASH!" "WOOOO THEY'RE DEAD COMMANDER", I mean actually well thought out lines. It's amazing. No problems here.
Story: Here's where you fall a little. At first glance, your storyline is fine. No major plot holes, no stupid plot twists, nothing. In fact, that may just be the problem. The aim of the main character seems to be (SPOILER) 'Make a Dominion and blow stuff up'. That's it. There is no flavour to your work. Everything goes right for your characters, and every problem is blown over with a 'Oh, ok, that's nice'. 'Might get a spy? Oh, I can solve that. Ok, cool.' That's a MAJOR issue. There is no real suspense, no matter how hard you make up for it with your style. There is a part where the Wraiths (SPOILER) lose what I believe to be their ENTIRE fleet, which would normally be considered a major loss. But no, they appear to somehow manage to rebuild their entire fleet, which has occurred around twice so far. And it still appears that they have money to purchase a "Forge Ship". It's very annoying. Your characters are all bland as well, leaving no real attachment for the reader. Oh, Alf is this guy who likes girls. Ah, Nova is this girl who is really good at flying a fighter. Were you to add some actual drama, such as having a traitor among the team as well as making the reader feel more attachment to characters, I would be more sympathetic. I am very angry.
Grammar: Perfect. Nothing to say on this one.
Character: I think I covered this in my rant upstage, but i will reiterate it a little here. The side characters, apart from perhaps one are all quite uninteresting. Again, the reader needs more to empathise with a character. If I was you, I would add a new part at the beginning(flashbacks work here too) and give the reader some sort of backstory to the characters. Nova, well, she's good in a fighter but did you know that the Wraiths picked her up when she fought against them over a pirate mining base and lost? ...That was pretty basic, but you have to see what I'm getting at. Give the characters life. You can give the words you write life, now give it to the people you create with them.
Overall judgement: It's good. Don't get me wrong, this is a masterfully constructed Space VR. But it doesn't qualify as a opera until you can give the audience a better show with the story and characters - but until then, it can't reach its potential. So make it better! You have the tools, you have the method, you have the skill. Use it.
And make this thing a 5/5.
Style- The author’s style is still lacking in certain aspects needed for space novels, mainly spicing up space battles and some components outside of space battles. But definitely deserves a 4.5 for ingenuity. From the military jargons up to space exploration. The style could use some improvements but it is definitely solid.
Story- Not your run of the mill space novel. Space+VR gives the story more potential than usual space fantasy. Thrilling space adventure,PVP, and space exploration complimented by ragtag team of specialists that will always make things more exciting.
Although we are still stuck with space fight aspect of the game i’m sure you have plans to introduce more of PG, if not please do reconsider.
The only reason it is not a 5 is the lack of role playing that is expected in a VR environment. How do they get ships? How does the crew inside operate.
Although i’ve caught a glimpse of npc interaction it is severely lacking. How do newbies usually progress from the game? What is the goal of the game? Factions, aliens?world building? technology advancement?Scientific breakthroughs?Bigger ships?!? Darkside?.
Characters- loving them so far, like what PeliusAnar said. So who are the official ships? is Aero x April or Aero x Lily? I’m betting on Aero x Nova too.
Really really starting to enjoy this one. Excellent build up, world building and space combat. Looking forward to see where this goes.
I like how the story is actually quite simple yet descriptive.
It has a flowing story with well done characters.
I find that all The Order of Phantasmal Architects books are amazing
check them out
also thanks for convincing foster to keep the re:ebola going really enjoy that series
So in RRL I got to much used to stats window, and i think the author could easily give some to the readers by deepening a bit in his characters achievements, for example showing from time to time rankings ladder, personal kills, ships specs/armaments,... etc.. i think it would even provide a more syfy like feeling.
But although the lack of those, the story is well though, structured ... and progresses at casual/constant pace, which i can't say for many other stories here, where the authors seem to have either a huge character development in the first few chapters only to latter let them stale.
Anyway keep up the good work, and i just might give you that half missing star.
The story is good. Few grammar mistakes but acceptable level. But seriously there's little space VRMMO story here in RRL. Hope you go a long way with this. AND PLS.. MORE!!! chaps.