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The rewrite for this story has been posted as Mark of Time.
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This is a difficult story to write a review for. Usually, I'll read 10 chapters, then I have a good sense of the story and what works/doesn't, and what other readers ought to know that isn't disclosed in the synopsis.
Even after 16 chapters, I have a hard time putting together my thoughts here. But, after skimming through the other reviews, and seeing no one pick up on my concerns, I will (with some regretful crudeness) put some words to paper finally (PM me if I overstep here).
Overall, it's... okay, I guess. Things feel a bit disjointed and it feels like we're flying by the seat of our pants.
The first several chapters in particular are a rush. Bumbling headlong forward until the first time-loopback. In media res, I suppose, but it makes for a rough start, like walking on sharp rocks. The hectic pace though turns into a crawl after she
runs into another mark, and now we're like a half-dozen chapters taking place within the adventurer's guild. Yay group meetings. The plot's gone on vacation while we address both exposition and training montage.
On a related note, the protagonist seems to lack agency and self-determination. Things are happening to her and 16 chapters, she's still largely just going with the flow. It oddly means that I think the protagonist may be one of the least-defined characters and I have a hard time stepping into her shoes.
All in all, I'll continue to read it for a while yet, though I have lingering concerns about how this is all supposed to pull together into a cohesive narrative.
UPDATE: So, my thoughts and feelings on the book are largely the same. I did hang on until the end of book 1, so it's not that bad. But wow were so many chapters infuriating.
A good story, with a lot of potential. That said, also a lot of room for improvement.
The story follows the premise of similar time loop stories such as MoL and Re:Monarch, and it does kind of presume familiarity with the genre and tropes, the same way the litrpg elements assume you know what a blue box means, and the broader assumptions that go with it. The world building goes to other elements instead though, so it's all good. Still a bit early to judge, but overall the story seems solid.
The style is my main gripe with the story. It's not bad, but it lacks the punch and intensity to keep me reading, at least in the first few chapters, and I found myself skimming a lot to get through it. It's definitely not bad for a new author though, and KrazeKode's writing improves pretty quickly after the time loop. I expect with a bit more practice and a rewrite of the first few chapters this would jump up to 5* easily enough.
Grammar is good. Maybe some runon sentences, but overall nothing to complain about, very well proofread.
The characters are good, there's a fun variety that fill different roles, and they service the story quite well. That said, they do play very hard into their archetypes. Dwarf Smith, honorable knight, young noble prodigy, etc. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as said, they work fine for moving the plot and are entertaining, but hopefully they do get a little more nuanced development down the line.
Overall, a solid start, can't wait to see how it improves. (Feel free to remind me to update this once it's further along.)
This is a wonderful start to a time loop story. Gives a good foundation for the character's ways of thinking, and has been building some small tidbits of the world with every chapter. Further, it flows very smoothly and makes me want to keep reading it.
while there is a bunch of unknown information on the plot so far, it doesn't feel so trite and seems to have set up some higher-order magic systems, enemies, and a lot more to come.
Further, this does seem to be a very well merged Lit-RPG and Fantasy setting. While there is incorporation of game like elements, it has not become all encompassing, and merely seems to add flavor to the genre while helping to run with expectations. This, in conjunction with the smooth writing does bode well!
As of this review, 3 MAY 2021, we have the foundation of the main character, along with two other seemingly main characters, a family, and a possible antagonist. No overused tropes, and it feels like a really genuine insight into characters that will have a significant source of depth as the story goes along. Further, the main character is not a blank slate, which is always nice!
I am excited to see how this progresses!
I've been with this story since damn near the start, and I've never regretted following it. The characters are varied, the villains are villainous, and the magic is fun. Some people might complain it's not an instant power rise, but I think this story has more worth with the protagonist not instantly becoming some mega god of magic. It makes every improvement more significant. All I can say is that I had fun reading it, and that I'm eagerly awaiting Book Two to begin.
Alright I'm going to start this by saying, this is an amazing story that I very much enjoy reading. It's the first, and potentially only, time loop story I've enjoyed. Normally I don't enjoy the loop sub-genre and I skipped over this story many times before giving in and reading it.
I proceeded to binge it, it was that good.
I'm going to address the things I enjoyed the most first, then the things that I believe a bit of tweaking could address (nothing a dedicated editor wouldn't fix mind you)
So one of my favorite things are the characters. Not only is the MC fleshed out and realistic a good bit of the supporting cast are too. .
We don't run into any Mary Sue "everyone loves the MC" tropes here. Anyone she meets who doesn't know (or remember) her has to have trust built up. And we get to see the many different ways she approaches remeeting her old allies as her knowledge grows with each reset. The MC slowly grows from a mildly mistrustful but ultimately naive girl into a calculating and mistrustful woman. (Rightfully so as trusting the wrong people has resulted in her death. Not necessarily because said people were inherently malicious but because loose lips sink ships)
My only gripe with the characters are that some of them are very one dimensional. Her family for example are little more than props. Twice so far she's given her parents information(after about 4? Deaths) and the formula follows a strict pattern. Mom is upset, Dad calms mom, dad tells MC to do her thing. Her brother has had maybe 2 whole lines this entire story?
What's weird to me about that is before the whole mark thing the MCs driving focus was to become an enchanter to fix her dad, implying deep familial bonds that we see absolutely no evidence of. It's a good example of telling instead of showing. We're told the MC cares for her family but shown that they don't matter that much to her.
Other than that the characters are quite delightful especially her master and Nathaniel whom she spends the most time with.
Next up is the story. I have no complaint shere, it's a wonderful story
Where the MC has to try to stop her city from being destroyed by rival marks. And every choice she makes seems to end in death. It's very reminiscent of a mystery puzzle game to me where the MC finds a good path but ultimately makes a wrong choice down the line and has to start over. As the MC is always trying to find a different path rather than going through ones that failed previously it's not boring and tedious but rather exciting as we the readers try to figure out how it'll fail this time around.
Style score, overall I'm fairly fine with the style of the story. It's easy to follow for the most part.
My only gripe is that occasionally the author leaves out necessary context that has to be later explained in the comments. It's become habit now for me to check the comments of each chapter because sometimes context can be missing. This is easily rectified by inserting the context into the chapters via a sentence or two.
A good rule of thumb is, unless it's a spoiler for a future chapter or plot point, if your readers need to ask about it you probably didn't explain it well enough in the chapter itself.
But this is not too big of a deal and the story is strong even with occasionally missed context.
Last one here. Grammar. Now I'm always rather forgiving for grammar to an extent as most of us here on royal road don't have access to dedicated editors and proofreaders and spell check and grammarly can only do so much. Generally the grammar is good, and typos don't happen often enough to break immersion.
However the author does have a few grammar issues. One has become a running joke in the comments and at this point I don't want it fixed because it's entertaining. Using it's rather than its.
The other, and this is something most won't notice and I only noticed because I myself make this error in writing, is overuse of a word. Typically a verb. Now again not a big issue as most will not notice it. But I wanted to give the author a heads up. What I mean by overuse is using the same word in quick succession often times in the same paragraph or sentence. Off the top of my head I can vividly remember two but I also noticed it happening at least once a chapter. Examples being using flashed twice in two sentences, or crackled. Not a big deal but it is a bad writing habit. But once it's pointed out it's one of those habits that becomes easy to monitor as you're now aware and looking for it.
Overall a lovely story that I plan to follow along with until we come to conclusion of Jenns looping adventures. Any and all errors I pointed out don't detract from the story and are ultimately minor gripes. They certainly couldn't stop me from binge reading it!
From the start, I was intrigued by the minimalist take on a LitRPG in a fantasy world that intrigued me with its hints of mystery. The style isn't groundbreaking, but I love the snappiness of the fights and the use of the different senses. There are lots of small details added to the story that greatly increase my enjoyment and immersion. The story itself does impose quite a few questions and keeps me wanting more. And I love having a female POV for the lead character that isn't forced into any stereotypes. She's her own person and her emotional complexity easily trumps the majority of sociopathic mcs from the power fantasy stories I've seen of late.
This story could easily be translated into a comic or graphic story. The use of the senses is incredibly appreciated and the snappy use of sound in combat adds to the image of a hectic or scary fight. I am loving the fight scenes in this; they aren't a master craft but they are just plain fun to read. The stakes are there, the pace is quick, and the blows land in a satisfying way. Hopefully, this continues through the story.
I have nothing terrible to say about the grammar at all. Their use of different descriptive words was top tier. There writing flowed nicely. A few things could have been expanded upon but nothing about their writing drew me away from the story.
With a quick delve into a dungeon, I knew I was going to like the story. The fights are nice, the puzzles are enjoyable, and the mystery is palpable. I am left wondering about the litRPG system, the politics of the world, and the new ability the mc gains. Personally, with the time loops, I'll be watching for a butterfly effect. Currently, the MC has found themself in some sort of struggle, a trial they must complete, that pits them against other powerful characters. Excited to see what comes of this trial.
I am enjoying the MC, Jennifer. She is intelligent without the story ever having to tell us that. It's shown in her actions that she makes wise choices even when struggling against normal instinctual reactions to danger. Her motivations are humorous and understandable. And her reaction to the events she survives is very relatable. Her only partner in these first few chapters is a man named Irwys who is a bit of an engima and a little more than intriguing. I will be reading more to see where he comes up in the Trial of the Seeker.
In short. I like this story. Will continue to read.
Edit: Eyyy its getting better.
I love time-loop stories and this one is off to a great start. 2 loops in at chapter 27 and you can see how the MCs strength and decision making is changing based on her experiences. The start is a tad slow but it picks up after the first loop. I plan to stay with this story for the long haul
So far I've read up to Chapter 16 and I love it! The characters have a good foundation. The main character is very weak at the moment but I'm looking forward to seeing her get stronger. While the story has a fantasy setting, the plot is believable- there are no forced parts or stupid cannon fodder that only exist to make the main character look better in comparison.
I would recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for an enjoyable book to read. It will definitely keep your interest! Many thanks to the author for all your hard work!
The title says it all its a intersting read. Its one of my top 5 stories to read.
Style- It flows together really well. The pacing isnt too slow or too fast its just right.
Story- Its really well written. The fight scenes in particular are really well written.
Grammar- The mistakes are very few and they are quickly fixed once pointed out.
Character- The characters are well written and thought out. They feel like real people, not flat cut outs of people.
I really got into this one. Great story. It has a rewrite which is even better. The question of how to treat the people around you each loop is a favorite conflict for me.
Time in loop stories is hard to keep logically consistent. My worst criticism is it breaks a bit when non-loop characters begin maintaining knowledge across loops.