The Shipbrain's Magic (old version)

The Shipbrain's Magic (old version)

by Zenopath (AEV)

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

Currently undergoing a rewrite. Will update description when new version is ready.

Sam Deckart sacrificed herself to save her starship from a jumpdrive malfunction. That should have been the end of her story. But instead, she's given a second chance at life as a Shipbrain, the organic half of the computer that runs the ship. The bad news is; that jumpdrive malfunction? It stranded Sam and everyone in her ship in a different dimension where magic works. The good news is that it turns out Sam has magic, awoken within her during the crisis that cost her body. Alive only as a brain in a jar, hooked up to a damaged colony ship orbiting a strange alien megastructure, she's got to use that magic to save her crew and the ten thousand colonists in cryostasis, and protect them from the threats they will face in this new universe.

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Author
Zenopath (AEV)

Zenopath (AEV)

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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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WarLadle
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

I can't get into the world or characters.

Reviewed at: Chapter 10: The issue of reversibility.

The premise of the story is really intriguing, and the first couple chapters drew me in with the promise of an interesting world, both the original universe and this new one they seem to have foudn themselves in. 

However, ever since those chapters, I feel like I've been prevented from immersing myself in that world. 

We stop getting indepth exploration of the world so that we can focus on the one dimensional assholes who make up the cast, and these characters blur into each other because we never have the time to get to know them, nor, more importantly, are we ever are given a reason to even **want** to know about them. All of them are unrepentant dickwads with no redeeming or individual qualities, except for being slightly snarky or promiscuous.

It doesn't help that so far the Main Character is both adapting surprisingly fast to being turned into a brain in a jar, and surprisingly slow to having newfound authority and power.

Not to mention the fact that anytime the MC seems to have control of any kind over any part of any situation, its suddenly revealed with little to no set-up that actually one of the assholes is holding something over her or going behind her back without her knowledge.

The rules of the universe also seem to bend themselves forwards and backwards whenever they feel like it, with the MC supposedly having power over something, then losign that power, then regaining it immediately. 

Overall, the story just seems to float along without coming to rest anywhere interesting for enough time to get invested. Each time it seems to be building some character or momentum the author goes "oops, MC is powerless again because that's funny/dramatic, hope you weren't looking for progress of any kind". I just can't get to the point of suspension of disbelief.

 

As a side note, the bit where the MC gets **raped** was jarring, and the way the **rapist** immediately gets hacking powers seemingly out of nowhere and re-inserts themself back to the MC's side was quite offputting (as well as falling into the 'rule bending' criticism).

MxCrossbrand
Overall

Interesting, but I have to get this off my chest.

Reviewed at: Not a chapter: I'm going to do a rewrite.

I'm leaving this review up for now, but I'd like to mention that the author intends to completetly rewrite this story in a way that should make this review out of date.

I apologize for any sloppiness, but its 3:00 AM. My cat woke me up, and I couldn't get back to bed because I was thinking about this.

The Shipbrain's Magic is an interesting story that I would normally rate somewhere around 4.5 stars. However, there's one plot element that concerns me greatly and lowers my score in regards to story and style. Here goes.

In chapter 6, a side character RAPES the protagonist. My issue is many-fold; for one, the author dresses it up and calls it less aggressive things than the rape that it actually is (this is part of why I'm putting so much emphasis on the fact that it is rape). As a second and more serious issue, it is a mind rape. By this point in the story, the protagonist is a ship brain, and a woman twists around the protagonist's mind and rapes her while she's lucid dreaming. 

While the author writes out this rape scene instead of fading out, it is used for plot and character development (rather than possibly just being used for other reasons). However, some of this plot and character development is the main character and her rapist forming a sorta partnership?/friendship?/assocciation? and it seriously rubs me the wrong way when the rapist is trading pop-culture references with her victim (the protagonist). Then they have "consensual" sex in chapter 12 when the protagonist is in the a very similar position of powerlessness, and I just have to call bullshit on that. You can't consent from a position where you have no power or control. That's why everything that happens in BDSM includes a safeword that shuts everything down, no arguments.

To be clear, I don't have a problem with rape being used as a conflict in storytelling. Hell, the author might be doing something really clever; since the rapist is a woman, everyone (including the protagonist) trivializes her ability to rape people, and this social blindness is compounded by the protagonist being forced to face as a man, which makes it all the harder for anyone to acknowledge that it was and is rape. The author might also be planning to use the mind rape aspect as a plot point, as the rapist manipulates, brainwashes, and reprograms the protagonist to a degree that wouldn't be possible in a story where the protagonist wasn't a brain in a jar.

However, I did feel like it was necessary to both give fair warning for any people coming to read this now that it's hit trending, and to call the rape out for what it is.

DIceWolf
Overall

I want to like it but everyone's a dick.

Reviewed at: Chapter 13: Concequences, again

There are exactly two decent human beings in the story. And one of those is an AI. Everyone else is such a jerk that it's just cartoonish. I'm not surprised that the first thing that happened is the spaceship that exploded. I am Honestly surprised that this crew did not self-destruct before the story started.

I just can't enjoy a story where I am starting to root for the one sane character to snap and go all murderhobo on everyone else in existence.

mightykk
Overall

The author has succeeded at the first task of writing, ie. having a good hook to draw readers in.

It's still early days with only 4 chapters up and I am looking forward to more.

The grammar, characterization and writing are very good.

Four stars so far, will up to 5 if execution remains good in future chapters.

If you are trying to decide whether to read this, I encourage you to give it a try.

SpaceWizard
Overall

The author has created interesting characters and given the story a great start.

Most of the characters seem to be a bit 2Dish but hints of further characterisation are present. If the story remains on course it seems that the characters will develop into something deeper than just ‘Jim the engineer’ who speaks technobabble.

The grammar is decent and any mistakes I found are minor.

The story has made a great start, if the author can keep this up I would highly recommend you read this.

 

solopath
Overall

Shipbrain explores the interaction between technology and magic and does so from the perspective of newly minted Shipbrain Sam. The author brings several innovative ideas to the table, with a technology tree that fits together smoothly and hints of a broad magic system.

All the characters introduced so far have unique personalities and quirks, though it sometimes feels like they are little more mechanisms to drive the plot forwards.

The story is well written, with my only complaint being the author's tendency to insert paragraphs of introspection into the middle of conversations. The early chapters are also heavy on the exposition, as the author devotes space to explain the universe he has invented. These complaints clear up as the story progresses and the author hits their stride.