- Sexual Content
I've been made aware that the discord link in my post-chapter plug is dead. Use this one until I fix it. Discord
"The War of Fog is over. Every major city is under occupation. Now we prepare to take back our home."
- Unknown Soldier
The world's great heroes have slaughtered one another for the ideals of their countries, but the world keeps moving.
The industrious nation of Ikesia lays still smoldering from the nigh-apocalyptic War of Fog, yet it stubbornly forges onward, shielded from further invasion by the impenetrable Blackwall. Its leader - the Sage of Fog - has disappeared, yet his influence is still felt everywhere, his plans and contingencies still in motion - even the Blackwall is said to be his last, desperate creation.
New heroes have begun rising from the war of fog, and there is more need for them than ever. A towering foreigner has emerged from the desolate Exclusion Zone.
She strides into the war-torn country without the intent to pick sides, but is soon forced to do so when the machinations of malevolent others collide with her own ego.
- Overall Score
- Style Score
- Story Score
- Grammar Score
- Character Score
- Total Views :
- Average Views :
- Followers :
- Favorites :
- Ratings :
- Pages :
Leave a review
This is a fascinating story with some things that could be improved.
The setting - a mashup of magitech/mad science post-WWI intrigue, cultivation, and fantasy litRPG - is the glory of this work, interesting both for its own details and mystery and for the new light in which we see the tropes of its constituent genres.
Characters are distinct and well done, and Zelsys, with her self-possessed directness and slowly-filling-in ignorance of the world, is a central figure who perfectly sets off all the complicated stuff around her.
Finally, the first part (the numbering is confusing but 0._ is part one and ARC 2 is part two, directly picking up) shows the author's ability to write great fight scenes and confrontations.
What's the issue, then? Well, first, updating both the revised first part and the current second part makes it a pain to read the whole thing through, as you currently have to go back to the deprecated initial version of the first part to read the part where it leads into the second part. This will fix itself soon enough, though.
The major issue is that the author can't ever skip to the next important thing. If there are five floors to a dungeon with multiple paths, we're going to see every single one. Perhaps the author saw that the first part got really unbalanced by the sheer length of the dungeon crawl - some of which had key powerups and world revelations, but not nearly all - and is revising to cut some of that, but even in the current part he is unable/unwilling to skip anything (or any amount of time). If a character talks about doing something, we will not only (eventually) see that but also the leadup, some incident in between, often the literal walk to the thing, and sometimes an alternate character's perspective on the same as well. This worked at the world and characters were coming into focus, but is becoming more of a liability as more characters and plot threads come into play.
Honestly, just who comes up with this stuff? This might just be a genre I haven't delved into ever before, but just where did the idea of Fog come from? Seriously. It's some cool stuff, even if I didn't understand half of it(purely my fault. No shame to the author for my own incompetence).
To sum up that point, I like the system laid out for the magic, or whatever you can call it. It's cool. Love it. And there are other aspects that I should mention as well. The characters, as an example, are great additions to the story. Especially the descriptions, though that might be due to my love for tattoos. Love the art for it(except the one with the homunculus eye or however you spell it. That one creeped me out).
Nothing else to say. Style? Great. Grammar? Couldnt find any mistakes. Pace? Pretty fast, compared to the other stuff that I read. Overall some nice stuff. 5/5
Certainly one of my favorite stories here. Very enjoyable blend of action, romance and THE SMUG. Only complaint would be the downtime and setup, which can get kinda long, but honestly I don't mind that either. So I'm not complaining. It's like an old unboosted diesel, slow but it'll get you to the action guaranteed. And when it gets there, it really gets there. The action is superb, really well detailed and immersive.
The story itself is great, it had me hooked from the beginning. Progresses along nicely, again, sometimes slows down, but you never get the feeling that it's spinning in place.
I'm really bad at reviews so bear with me...
The grammar is good. A typo here and there, but sentence structure and tenses are usually on point. My brain kinda glosses over the typos anyway.
The characters? Well, they're probably my favorite part of the story. All of them have their own roles and never feel redundant. Zelsys, the main character, is amazing, headstrong and SMUG, very confident and capable. None of that "your average Japanese highschool boy/girl" bs, there's nothing average about her, and she's not letting the uncertainty of her origin mess with her confidence. I won't go too in-depth with the rest of the cast. I'll just say they're all well thought out and incorporated into the story. They all have agency and never feel like dead weight.
That's about it, I highly recommend giving it a try. Note that as of writing this the prequel is being added to this entry, but isn't all there yet, so I recommend reading "Rising from the war of Fog" first. All the chapters of that will find their way here eventually, of course.
Quite like it's name the novel story goes like an engine. The world, it's events and characters are there for a reason and they work. The litrpg is there but it's not that blue screen that keeps popping up and eventually gets to big/full with things most won't remember or care. Love the combat aways exciting. Can't say I've seen anything bad with the grammar. There's no pointless filler drama. The characters are more than interesting enough for me to want to see their journey to the end.
This is apparently a sequel to previous works I have not read, so take that into consideration.
Style: Akaso is a very effective writer, I read about 20 chapters in before I felt the need to look at the glossary. The world itself is incredibly detailed, I don't think i've seen this much worldbuilding effort on RR before. If you want a rich, lore-heavy story, this is definitely for you.
Story: My main criticism with this story is the pace. 40 chapters in and the plot has only inched forward, its just a whole lot of setup for what I assume to be the action packed back half of the story. I can't give less than three stars for this because its a sequel and I'm guessing the idea is that readers will already be invested in the story, world and characters. That's perfectly reasonable imo so I can't really penalise it too hard but new readers should know what they're getting into and ideally read the first installment before this one.
Grammar: The grammar is polished to a degree that implies professional work, I wouldn't be surprised if Akaso hired an editor or is one themselves. Easy 5 stars
Character: The characters are another strong point. You don't often see fics on RR that really delve into political and ideological tensions and I love the fact that each character has a distinct set of beliefs and ideas about the world, and they make congruent sense when you take into account their backgrounds. An example of stellar characterisation imo
Tl;dr - This is worth a read. If you can handle the slow burn pace of the story, read it now, if not, read the first, then read this one
I haven't been reading this for long, but so far the development is very organic, the characters are very fleshed out, and the worldbuilding is quite detailed. The magic system has a lot of thought behind it and is internally consistent, which is always a plus. I haven't gotten far in but due to the length I figured I would go ahead and give a review now and just edit it later once I finish the book.
This review has been updated to highlight some changes.
Retribution engine is a technically well-written story with good dialogue and characters. The most unique aspect of this novel is its detailed and lore rich word, but if you have not read the first story in this series, like me, you'll most likely be lost. Luckily, the author released a glossary recently, which gives a nice explication for the big names in the story.
The story is paced well, there isn't much I can say about it since pacing is different for everyone. But I found the story to be going at the right speed for me.
Descriptions are also well written and detailed, with lots of lore and mechanics in them. Generally, one can infer what all these things mean. I had previously mentioned a glossary, which the author provided. This certainly helps clears things up a bit, and makes reading easier. I would prefer an explanation within the story, but a glossary is better than an info dump from a side character.
One thing I found a bit annoying were the character names, Zelsys and Zefari. I find them too similar and can be confusing, especially abbreviated to Zel and Zef. I don't think the author can go back and change this, but it's something to note, especially for me who has a hard time remembering names.
Perfect, extremely well written. I found no grammatical mistakes, typos etc. Technical ability is definitely one of the author's strong suits, it feels like I'm reading something professionally edited.
This story is a direct continuation of the previous novel in this series, but Retribution Engine doesn't really clarify or mention in the text what really are the goals of the main characters are, except for Crovacus, who intends to recruit the main heroine. So I don't really know what's going on with the story.
I love the setting of the story, the world it takes places in is so unique and creative it really draws you in despite the current lack of plot. Everything feels well established and rich with history. It leaves you feeling like a person lost in a foreign country, which depending on the type of reader you are, will either intrigue or annoy you.
Lack of plot or even general direction, alongside a lot of unexplained mechanics, will leave a majority of newcomers alienated or disinterested. I would recommend the author to determine everything necessary for a newcomer to know, and then implement that information in the early chapters.
I like the characters of Zelarys and Zefari, their relationship and attitude towards each other feel natural. And Zelarys is a veritable badass with a few secrets of her own.
I am also partial to the character of Corvacus since I am biased toward sneaky politician types.
In general, I enjoy the dialogue between characters. It is well written and you can surmise a lot about the characters' personalities from the way they speak.
To conclude, Retribution Engine is an extremely imaginative and special novel, but the glossary / prior investment is mandatory. Purely on a technical level, its obvious that the author is talented, and I would recommend them to prioritise writing only the most interesting and essential elements of the story,
A story mainly following the travels of two women in love, one being a hulking mass akin to Guts with lightning powers and the other a more dainty, though not much, shooter. Not entirely my preferred genre, being that it holds written-out sexual scenes, but the rest does well at holding my interest.
Style: Rather than reading like a chapter-by-chapter release, each part feels more like a page in a book. This has its pros and cons, the most notable downside for me is that 3 segments make up an entire scene at times, creating a weird disjointed feel as it progresses. I end one page with dialogue, for the next to continue it. Since I can binge tons of pages at a time it isn't as bad, though I can see faint memories creating some issues here going between releases.
Story: Since each release is shorter than most, around 1000 or so words, the story goes along slower than usual. Even more so when just like in Style, a scene can take over 3 releases to complete. This isn't a bad thing though, some like slower-burn stories and it just appeals to them more.
However, the constant jumping between the views of several characters is a bit jarring, from the main party, a scientist in his lab, talks between military folk, to a shopkeeper Zel and Zef just met. Without reading the previous story it can be hard to feel anything for these "random" people we are learning about. For the most part, you don't need to read the prequel story, however, it feels like I have missed out on a lot of lore and backstory. My personal preference for this would be that it is clearly stated when a change of view is made, since one of these happened and I didn't know who it was until 3 paragraphs in.
The author has written up a key as it were for major names, but without living a story with those in it, the key does only so much to help. The repeated references to Elixirs or Vitamax and the like have me at a loss too, as I was unsure at the beginning if they were just snake oil or true magical potions that helped bodily functions. There is also little to tell me of what has happened or the current goals, until several chapters into the story, I was just following some adventurers in a Metro 2033 style traversal back to town.
My cons of this are more on me not reading the prequel, though the note in the blurb does state this is intended to be read without a need of the previous story. Some refresher text spread about would be needed to make that a solid point of the design, but right now it takes quite a few chapters to learn about the referenced items/terms.
Grammar: I found very few issues with the grammar, I pointed out at least one, though other readers found more before I got to the story. Some of the sentence structures also made it hard to read at times, though wasn't a major hurdle.
Character: There's a whole lot of characters to go through, we learn about 4 in the beginning parts with Zel and Zef the duo-leads taking a major part of that time. Without a full of description of their looks, simple notes about hair and such, it is hard to get a clear visual of the characters aside from their art. Again, I feel like the prequel story may have filled me in on more of these details. Thankfully, their aesthetics are referred to later on, both the duo leads and side characters, but it often feels a bit late.