- Sexual Content
Arcane machinery built to birth an army instead gives form to a singular paragon of violence - a creature of pure instinct is born and steps foot into a world at war.
Egotistical. Violent. Righteous to a fault.
Bringer of change, destroyer of tyrants.
Awaken, Conquering One, the Wanderer Unchained.
NOTE: Retribution Engine is the title for the first four books, which cover the Blue Moon War Saga. Afterwards the volumes are titled Sturmblitz Kunst, but I'm not including that in the title to help avoid confusion.
Disclaimer: Retribution Engine and its sequel, Sturmblitz Kunst, are original works and are in no way associated with, to, or sourced from existing copyrighted material. The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious.
Copyright: This fiction and all derived works, artwork, fanfiction, derivative fiction, world building, assets, and anything that could conceivably be considered sourced from or created as a result of this fiction are the sole intellectual property of the author, herein known as Akaso. This work and all above terms are © Akaso 2022.
Illustrations by Bradley Burke, David Haire, Nikolai Gorishnii, Albani Rianto, Kuromoro, Seraziel, ValnikR
Further credit to Dream Troll for inspiration and numerous references to their music. Go listen to their stuff.
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This story has the following four things going for it.
The first is that is has its own consistant unique style and I enjoy it, this probably is not the first story the author has developed and it shows.
The second is the story takes place in, so far, a well developed world with its own backstory. It feels like some care was spent designing the different factions, environment, and history.
The third is the grammar is good enough that I've never been taken out of the story by an error. I know this can be a deal breaker for some and my tolerance is pretty high, but I don't think anyone will have any complaints here.
Lastly the characters are well written vibrant and I can see them when reading the story. If the secondary characters are well written enough that I wouldn't mid a chapter about them on their own then that helps immerse me into the story as it doesn't feel like the main character is the only real person.
Thanks for the story I look forward to reading it for a long time.
Genre wise I'm always a sucker for steampunky magitechy worlds and this fits the bill. The story does have a bit of light smut but I don't feel like it detracts in any way (frankly I like a little as long as it fits in).
That 166 up there is for book 2 rather than book 1, here to note that the story is still going strong
Akaso does as they always do, churning up unique, fleshed out settings with great worldbuilding
Characters are well written, and our MC Zel definitely doesn't land in the commmon categories that get dragged around by plot, instead propelling it by sheer force of will mixed with rational decisions. Risky/reckless, sure, but nothing without logic
Pacing varies by the authors will, but updates are frequent, and there's a ton there already. Fight scenes are well written and stay unique, and the in-betweens spend the due time to flesh out the world, show the developments and improvements of characters, and generally not gloss over things to rush them.
The story sometimes hops into other characters perspectives, giving you a peek into their thoughts, secrets/abilities, and perception of circumstances. More natural than forced explanations/glossing over
Fun time so far. Don't listen to haters!
Yeah so, I read like the first arc awhile back. I like the way the setting starts out so bleak and just keeps powering through the awfulness. I decided to drop a review after I saw the disgusting comments you were getting. Hope things improve!
^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^
The MC is non-stop fun and a grade- A ass kicking machine. The world has interesting cultivation methods and the monsters so far have all been really interesting. Looking forward to seeing where the world goes as the MC gets involved in the bigger politics and revolution.
Fun characters and world to fight monsters in!
Filled with action and challenge, this story will consistantly entertain. The characters are larger than life, and the world has a depth of history which peeks through the events and descriptions and leaves the reader wanting to know more.
Style - This is a rousing action adventure with few surprises and little buildup. When a threat is coming, you will know ahead of time, and it will usually be resolved within a few chapters at most. This makes for a read which is easy to chop into short bursts of entertainment.
Story - The author's artistry in creating a fantastic world is almost matched by their ability to lead us through it with an adventurous and potentially world-spanning plotline.
Grammar - The issues with grammar were rare enough that I have neglected to remember the specifics. Extremely rare cases of wrong tense, wrong word, or mispelling. This is a pretty smooth read.
Characters - Complex motivations, contrary choices that fit with natural self defeating human tendencies, and significant emotional depth. They probably won't tug your heartstrings, but they will feel authentic.
This is a work worthy of attention and deserving of monetary compensation, at the very least justifying a few minutes spent on writing a review.
This is an absolute behemoth of a story. That's all I have to open with here, it took me three days to binge this monster, and what a glorious monster it is.
I can't pretend this series is for everybody, and in fact there's some minor aspects that rub me a bit of a wrong way, but the core of this story is sending a very specific message, part of which is kind of about the fact that to a certain degree, personal iddological differences are inevitable and fine. Just don't be an asshole, y'know?
But if you are an asshole, then you're eventually going to get your ass kicked, and THAT is what this story is really about: sometimes violence is just straight up the answer.
And from there I'll talk about the characters. Our main character here is a walking testemony to the glory of violence when it is used in service of a righteous goal. In this case, nothing more or less than beating the fuck out of people who maliciously harm others, and MURDERING THE UNHOLY HELL OUT OF IMPERIALIST FASCISTS, OH I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO CATERED TO.
If you're looking for complex and nuanced political drama, this ain't for you. I've got places to go to if I wanna think about the complexities of war and government, if I wanna think about how "war crimes" are only punished instead of prevented.
This story is about punching dictators in the dick. This story is about blowing a suicide bomber's head off before he can press the detonator. It's about nothing more or less than pest extermination.
Sorry, I keep getting pulled back to the story in general. The characters are wide and varied, and we are given a vast spectrum of people to see this world through. Even when we see through the mind of a truly evil man, we are still shown the very worst part about monsters: they're still human. It's awful, that even dictators have favorite colors and preferred bands, that even genocidal maniacs will choose a specific restaraunt to go to because they like the food and service. And in contrast, we are shown the ravages of guilt and the impossibility of innocence, but also that a lack of innocence is not a damnation. Repentance is always possible, even though so few choose to walk that difficult path.
Style wise, the author does something very fascinating with in-scene POV changes to refocus on other aspects of a given situation in a way that speeds up what would otherwise be a tedius but necessary sequence. Where Zelsys has to outline a full design prospect, Zefaris browses shelves and gives us a look at other places of the world. No moment is wasted, every chapter is purposeful to the Nth degree. It's downright masterful.
Grammar wise, no complaints, in fact even in the best crafted works I sometimes struggle to parse a sentence but that just hasn't happened here!
In summation: if you ever think to yourself, "How many people have to die as a result of like three hundred people in power choosing to make more money before people start killing them back," then read this story! Because the main character asks herself that question, says "Three or so give or take the circumstances," and starts killing people and doesn't stop.
This is a rich, deeply-rendered world, full of beautiful details. It reminds me a little big of Greg van Eekhout's California Bones series ... even though that's contemporary California (ish) and this is a gritty, strange, dark, textured second world.
The sentences are sometimes dense, but that is a perfect match to the content, because everything, from the the magic to the politics to the setting, is layered in fascinating and often surprising ways.
Overall, this is a beautiful story, though maybe not for someone looking for a light, mindless read to binge!
In terms of style, as I mentioned, this can read a little dense. Yet that added to the impact of the story, instead of the reverse. I needed to pay more attention than I often do ... and I wanted to.
So the grammar--or not really grammar, but the sentence structure--likewise can be non-simple. But in this case, that's a virtue.
The characters work extremely well. They're the one thing that I found maybe slightly on-the-nose. Though actually, I wouldn't have even noticed that if everything else wasn't so stellar. So 4.5 stars, just cause giving all 5 stars feels cheesy! (Forgive me!)
The story is strong ... and somehow, the absolutely exceptional worldbuilding feels like story to me. I'm not sure how else to say it, but it's definitely a compliment. Beautifully done.
(NOTE: This review is transferred over from a previous page that only had 'Sturmblitz Kunst'. Looking forward to reading the whole thing now!)
This is great, truly great. As the title implies, this has inspired me to a whirlwind of theorycraft and imagination. I will follow your story with great interest.
On the categories; your styling and story are top notch, they flow well, all of the A stories are fleshed out and have an appropriate depth to them, I've yet to find a primary character to be two-dimensional or uninteresting, and the world is developed. While primarily a backdrop, I've found the litmus test of good writing to be how clear a picture of that backdrop the author can paint in a reader's imagination, and this has captured quite handily such a picture. The various plot devices (magic, etc.) have rules, and most importantly, they don't bend, nor break them for the sake of convenience, and the exceptions we see are not willful ignorance of those rules, but rather apply revised understanding of them, through the quasi-unreliable narration of Zelsys and those around her.
The only nitpick I have is with spelling, and even that is fairly minor, sometimes words will be misspelled with letters adjacent on a keyboard to the correct one, or similar but not-quite-right words used.
Overall I can count the times I've recognized those substitutions on one hand, and ultimately it matters not, seeing as I glossed over every one of them before doing a double take.
☑️ Badass female protagonist with really cool powers
☑️ Strong female AND male characters. Shows that there's no need to put down one side to boost another.
☑️ Rich worldbuilding. Immersive characters.
☑️ Technology +/vs cultivation
☑️ Well developed side characters
❎ Changing POV
❎ Confusion and forgettable terms
- LGBT+ relationship. Not a downside, imo.
I don't have much experience in writing reviews so don't expect anything professional. I came upon Retribution Engine when I clicked on the ad for its sequel Sturmblitz Kunst. The synopsis caught my eye and I decided to binge it.
Rating : Really, really good. Not the best but nearly there. (no offence, author)
Description on RR : "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.
>!So, in short, certain group of cities tried to unite and form a country (Ikesia) under a guy called Sage of Fog. Other powers, Empire and Merchant led country didn't like that so they sent their cultivator to put them in their place. Ikesian brought out the big guns(literally). Sage had started a technological revolution in Ikesia and taught them about modern warfare. Guns, artillery, trenches, tanks, etc. Ultra powerful cultivator with flashy techniques can't do shit when struck by mortar or High explosive tank ammunition. Both sides suffered huge casualties. Sage raised a giant freaking wall which doesn't let anyone with bad intentions to Ikesia enter and then disappeared. So the war has entered a lull. The story starts from here!<
The novel is set on a world filled with 'fog'. This is the basis for most cultivation methods, kinda similar to Qi in CN. In this case, fog-breathing (qi cycling) is much more..... technical? It's not as simple as cycling fog through channels in certain way and shooting out fireballs and shit. It's much more complicated and there are tons of different methods.
Style : Well written with minor grammatical errors. The story is written in such a way that even the info dumps are interesting to read.
Worldbuilding : The lore is deep. The world itself is pretty small - limited to a single continent. There are major countries with their own special setting. Pateiria Empire ruled by Divine Emperor (fuck this guy), Grekurians by merchants, etc. Beyond the continent is the Sea of Fog which only Kargarians (travelling merchants) can transverse. Everything is well established and rich with history, which might capture you or annoy you depending on your preferences. Also, there are elves, so there's that. They don't usually come into play and there are only few of them around. The reason behind their origins is pretty interesting.
Characters : Another strong point of this novel. Almost every major side characters is deeply written and well fleshed out with their own backstory. Main character is smug, prideful and narcissistic (in a good way). Other characters include - A traumatised sharp shooter. Alchemist swordsman. History teacher turned soldier. Retired warrior Governor trying to protect his city-state. War criminal with his mech armour. Inquisitor. And few more. All these characters come into play as the story progresses and enhance it. There are hidden masters too, watching and recording everything from the background. Occasionally manipulating things.
Power system : There are tons of cultivation methods which rely on breathing fog and more. It's kinda hard to explain but will become clearer as story goes on. The interesting thing is that Ikesians (the people of country torn by war) and Grekurians (inquisitors, specifically,) use technology to add to their cultivation. Plus, they specifically developed weapons designed to be used by common soldiers which could take down cultivators. Main character uses engine type cultivation, she basically treats her body like engine and fog as fuel. My favourite though, is the singing variant of Victory Demon which uses sonic waves at various frequencies to mush up your insides. Imagine a flaming guy killing bunch of people by singing his national anthem. However, power isn't limited to cultivators alone. There are tech which can tear apart cultivators - cannons and mech armour which is shown later in the story. I don't wanna spoil much but technology plays a major role in this story.
The romance between MC and another character is done pretty well. There's not much character development for MC but side characters grow as they progress together.
Confusing terms. I would advise you to read the codex before starting the story cause various terms get confusing later on. It's hard to keep track of what means what.
Changing POVs. It felt abrupt in the starting chapters and kicked me out of the flow. I would have preferred if author put the name of person in bold heading before starting another pov. You get used to it with time.
LGBT+. Not exactly a negative but some people might be uncomfortable with it
I started reading because it had daily updates, and the more I read the more I loved the story. There are fairly few errors, and the writing is pretty solid in general. I feel like ti bears mentioning that I started reading after the revision, and feel like Retribution Engine is very solid. There are NSFW parts between the main couple
Zelsys and Zefaris, so it's lesbian sex. Zelsys does grow a dick eventually.
, but reading those is not required to follow the story, although the NSFW parts do develop their relationship a bit.
Akaso somehow has a fairly unique style, and manages to be original in a genre that's saturated with slightly different versions of the same characters doing the same things, just with different names. Akaso seems to be a bit of a sucker for big, dramatic moments, there are a lot of impromptu speeches and declarations, and it's fairly common to see characters developing or perfecting techniques in a flash of insight mid-combat.
The story is solid. There's a very well fleshed out world that we're only seeing the surface of, and, as I mentioned above, while there is a fair amount of characters developing/perfecting/revealing techniques mid combat, I don't feel it's at the level of plot armor, since each reveal is really just pieces that Akaso has been laying out as the story goes finally coming together.
The characters in this are great. None of them ae 1d, including side characters and even just grunt soldiers on the enemy side. Zelsys is very smug and egotisitical, but in a lovable way. The juiciest character developments for me revolve around the protagonists other than Zelsys, though that's not to say that Zelsys doesn't grow and change as the story goes on.
There are occasional errors, but none of them have been enough to bother me, which is well above the norm for webnovels, and Akaso is happy to fix errors if they are pointed out.
TL;DR Give it a shot. It's got the all the good parts of progression fantasies bundled up with an epic storyline, and a vibrant world full of interesting people and many mysteries to uncover.