- Traumatising content
The Academy is where students around the nation go to train up for the Demon War, but the prospects for survival are grim even for the most dedicated of students.
Astral Daamon, a 14 year old accomplished demon hunter is about to enroll for her time at the Academy. But not everything is what it seems...
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The author uses a lot of introspection to build the characters and the world around them. The paragraphs tend to be longer than you would find in most other stories, meaning that you would get more information out of each of them, but they would also be more difficult to read and process.
I had to really slow down and read through each and every word in order to make sure I understood what was going on. After reading the initial chapters, I came to the conclusion that this novel is probably impossible to skim read. You would simply miss out on too much to even get a gist of the story.
Which is probably what the author intended given that this is an intricate world with many happenings, but I feel like it could have been handled a bit better in terms of having a more gradual learning curve and more leniency towards the reader. I'm personally not really into fantasy stories with super intricate worlds so I don't know if the entire genre is like this, but I do think that the same amount of content/information can probably be conveyed in a more gentle way.
The first chapter captures a fast paced scene that is full of action, meant to immediately draw the reader in. The tension was managed well, but as with many others, I think that the drop off in tension between the first and second chapter creates a disconnected feeling between the two sections.
However, I could tell from the amount of revisions and comments in each chapter that the author is making big changes to both the structure and content of the story. It's good that the author is listening to the feedback of the readers, and I'm confident that the story will only continue to improve from here.
Great writing, and great grammar!
One of the core strengths of this story. Each individual member of the cast has their own unique characteristics, and they are meticulously sculpted into three-dimensional, realistic characters.
Overall, I would recommend this story to people who are into thoroughly crafted and well thought out worlds and characters. I can tell that the author puts a lot of work and effort into creating the story and the world behind it. Great work!
This is written for a review swap.
Overall: Solid start. If you like training/magic academy stories (but with demons!) you'll probably enjoy this. The mechanics of demons and how they interact with the world (despite being invisible) are cool. It can be slow in parts, but wanting to understand the world and its history kept me engaged. The best part for me is probably the opening set-up, which hints at cooler things to come.
The author mentioned they are planning to publish this once edits are done and I look forward to seeing the final product!
Style: Can be over-descriptive in some areas and under-descriptive in others. This gets better with later chapters. Sometimes I think "wow, that's brilliant" and other times my eyes glaze over. The author mentioned there is a 4th draft on their patreon, which makes me curious to see how this was tightened up in editing.
Grammar: No problems here, the author is an excellent writer and there are many points where this shines through.
Story: The story starts off with a bang and slows down a bit, becoming sort of magic/demon hunting academy book. The wider populace seem unaware of the growing threat and our heros are gifted compared to their classmates, especially Astral. The author takes their time and leaves small hints and clues to the worldbuilding as you go along. I do wish this was done a little quicker, since the world and demons are the most interesting part of the book.
Characters: It's really hard for an author to get a "prodigy" character right, because perfect/overpowered characters are easily suseptible to becoming boring. I think Astral was done well here, and she's given enough foils in the plot to challenge her. You can also tell whenever a character is behaving in an irritating way that it's a set up for growth, which I appreciate. Seth is my favourite character so far.
If you're interested in reading a story with fairly slow-paced but intricate and compelling prose, then you'll definitely enjoy this story. The worldbuilding is well done and lots of exploration is given to the characters.
Style & Grammar
The style is very literary, and the prose is beautiful, but takes its time. While I liked this style and many others will too, if you are looking for fast paced action then this style isn't going to hit that spot, as the author is much more focused on worldbuilding and exploring the characters.
The grammar is almost perfect, and though there are a couple small typos, this doesn't detract from the reading experience.
The story begins very abstract and intriguing, with much of the prose feeling almost mythical. It soon settles down into a slower introduction to the world and its characters. I enjoyed this change, and having the rich storytelling of the first chapters to keep you intrigued through slower portions really helps.
The characters get a lot of time to shine, and its mostly successful. They feel unique and have complex personalities and inner lives (read the author's note on William in Chapter 2.1 for example!) However, it can be hard to get behind the characters as we don't go through much with them as readers at the beginning of the story. There's plenty of time for this to change from where I read to, though, so I think it's worth sticking with them!
I am really enjoying this story so far. The author has carefully crafted her story to near perfection. It starts out with an intense opening full of action, drama, and mystery. The chapter leaves a strong enough impression that I find myself eagerly anticipating some resolve.
10/10 Bears. Definitely recommend. Especially if you fancy yourself a good demon filled book, do yourself a favor and give this a try.
The story is written in 3rd person narrative. Transistions between characters are clear. The narrative is consistent and there are no problem with the tenses. The book is full of detail creating a full picture for every scene.
This is a really clean story grammatically. The author has made many revision to her work and it shows. This makes reading the story a smooth and pleasant experience.
The threat of demons are real. From the first chapter we see the destructive nature of demons. Following that we see how the world adapts to the ever present threat. The threat is something we are just told about in writing. We can see how it shapes the world and lives of the characters.
After the intense first chapter we take a step back to follow the more mundane life outside of demon fighting. The shift helps to build up the world and characters adding more to the stakes when the demon conflict comes back into focus.
The two characters we have been focussing on are Astral and William. William has an inflated ego that I love reading about. Sometimes people have got to tell themselves lies just to get by. haha. Astral on the other hand seems a bit spicey personality wise. I am very excited to learn more about the two characters.
There is also Mathias, William's dad, who is a demon hunter. Mathias seems like a cool guy and I hope we get to spend more time with him too.
The writer has given her characters a lot of thought and it shows in her writing.
I am excited to continue reading this story and recommend anyone to give it a try. Thanks for writing!
A very interesting and intriguing beginning of the story. It seemed to me that the author had a great idea in the beginning. Further chapters ruined that impression. Perhaps in later chapters, the author will return to the style and ideas of the first four chapters. But so far it does not seem so.
So, here's my opinion:
Style: Pretty good attempt to show a dark, depressing society. The author took a very meticulous approach to world-building in the book. In every chapter special attention is focused on this. However, sometimes it overshadows the storyline and the characters.
Story: After the first very dynamic chapters, there is disappointment waiting for the reader. The story will become very boring. Each arc concentrates on some characters. For example, the first one focused on Astral and her appearance. The second focused on William and his family. The third focused on Seth. And if Seth is the main character, and he appears in the third arc, that is too long and confuses the reader. There are gaps in the story between some of the chapters. For example, between 2.5 and 2.6, where the reader is expecting to continue chapter 2.5 rather than abruptly change.
Grammar: It is written quite well. A couple of minor mistakes did not interfere with the good reading.
Character: The characters are well written in contrast to the little attention given to their development. The main characters turned out to be pretty lively and emotion-filled.
Overall: Pretty good reading and virtually no gore. Only in one place at the beginning. If I have time, I will try to read the whole book.
Style: The beginning of word choice was muddled up, but it evened out as the story continued. I love the word style because I feel emotion through the words; and the author wants to make clear what is happening, even though some readers would differ.
Story: I have no complaints about the story. When I read, I clearly know I am in a world that is easy to understand, and the characters belong to that world, it's not a forced mushed up when some have a supernatural world with some magical characters; but in this world, everything fits nicely and nothing is out of the "ordinary".
Characters: My favorite is Astral. It's hard to explain why she is my favorite, but there's that allure to her that the author writes that is so fun to read.
William, I like him. He is that prudish boy that wants more in the world and sees it his way. I am excited to see his character development move along.
Seth is a wonderfully straightforward person. He has his act together...most of the time, and anyone can relate to him the most. I am intrigued by his past which makes his personality.
Overall score: I had a few minutes debating how many stars I wanted to give to this book, but I know to heart that this book deserves more than a four-star, which it has now. Detailed and precise, I can see a lot of love and thoughtfulness for Awakening: Prodigy. And honestly, that's what I mainly look forward to in a book. The passion is written in words.
If you are a reader into a deep dive into the descriptive world and complex, but interesting plot, this is the book for you!
First time reading grimdark fantasy... I think ever.
The author has an exquisite, dreamy, poetic-like prose that reminds me of Lauren Oliver's writing. It's quite wondrous.
Definitely the strongest (and even enviable) asset the author possesses.
But at times it goes on a little longer than necessary. This is noticeable in their descriptions, too. Beautiful to read for sure, but it's like finsihing a filling, delicious meal and then figuring out there's an incoming 2nd round. Food's still divine, of course although, your stomach requests a breather.
Put that bottle of bleach for your eyes away, aside from some ignorable hiccups it's all damn perfect.
The characters I've met so far have enough characterization and potential arcs set up for their growth to keep me invested, and most importantly tell the difference from one another (Trust me, this is a struggle I find on this site).
I have nothing but respect for those who attempt to construct worlds out of nothing. I appreciate the strenous effort that goes into worldbuilding and it is palpable in this story. The author has enthusiasm to detail this massive, grim world.
I know a lot of readers on this site like to have their adrenaline spike immediately, but I ask of anyone reading to be patient and appreciate the snippets of information the author sprinkles (and at times "dumps" but it's fascinating, all the same).
Now, for the others that enjoy worldbuilding this is your cup of tea. Keep on going and you'll get your frothable entertainment for sure.
Many people have reviewed the story, some are outdated as plenty of reworking was done on the early chapters. So I do not need to add anything special or explain too much in this review.
Overall - I gave the story a 4.5 score since much thought and time was invested in the story. And it could be seen and felt as you read it.
Style - I gave 4 stars for the simple reason that the written style is technically good but it peppers out as the story progresses. This has to do with a lot of attention being placed on reworking the early chapters, multiple times. Due to it, there is a slight disconnect between chapters, especially since there are multiple characters that need to be presented for plot progression.
Grammar - Grammar looked fine to me. It was easy to read and understand. Saw no obvious mistakes, but I am not the best of judge for this category.
Story - A strong story start is something good for a story that has an initial impact on the reader. This story has it, but it might be too strong as the upcoming chapters are far more invested in worldbuilding and reaching the required plot points that are relevant. This causes a lot of the disconnect between what was expected and what you actually read. Now the story is good, there is no doubt about that. The plot progresses nicely, but slowly. Making the story more slice of life early in the story, contrary to the action that was expected. Especially with the greater amount of descriptions in the story.
Character - Now this is the best part of the story. All characters are fleshed out due to their multiple reworks. Their consistency with their initial character is very good and the interaction between them is fleshed out nicely. There is no need for me to complain in this category.
Overall: Overall, this novel is a very strong example of my title; it keeps getting better. The novel does this in two ways. As the chapters progress, I am drawn more and more into its content - it is definitely a page turner. Aside from that though, the author is dedicated to improving his story based on various cristisms hje receives which is always good...and I think you can definitely tell that in the good quality of this piece.
Style: In general, this story is written pretty well. The sentences flow quite well. Each paragraph transitions into the next such that the next subject of each is not especially jarring to the reader. Each paragraph features plentiful detail, crafting a beautifully vivid scene.
Story: The story itself is a little dark. But in a good way. This is just not something I am used to. It presents itself as a horror novel and this is evident from the beginning. After the initial terror at the beginning of the story, it eases a little bit into something more mundane. This transition felt smooth and was welcome.
Grammar: No worries here. Grammar was perfect.
Character: As the characters progress through each of the storys scenarios their emotions and reactions are in line with what one would expect. The dialogue is fine. Astral specifically stands out as one of those characters that you keep wanting to read more about.
Overall, this story has an interesting premise (once one gets past some of the bad parts). I do, however, have some problems/notes about some of the execution and how things were done.
Style: I don't have much complaints. In general, the way it's written is likely one of the better parts of it; it's reasonably done, and I don't see much errors or problems.
Story: While the story's idea is interesting, there are some drawbacks here. To start, I feel like the first chapter could be better labeled as a several-part prologue - it sets up the action, but also feels like it could have been concluded in fewer parts. That could, of course, be my personal preference of brevity.
Another thing I have to say about story is that, multiple times, I find myself confused on what's happening - during most parts of the first chapter, for example, I didn't know the exact course of events. Otherwise, however, I have no complaints.
Grammar: I don't have much to say here - in general, the grammar's fine. There are, however, a few sentences that read strangely - such as an oddly placed comma here and there - but nothing too distracting.
Character: This is where most of my complaints lie. I'll sum it up with this: the author warned readers about William's character, but I can't see a huge difference between him and Astral - and that's negative on Astral's part. Presumably, William has flaws - selfishness, acting somewhat entitled - that may 'encourage' readers to drop the story. However, maybe because I expected Astral to be more mature than him, I was disappointed to see that she shared one of his flaws - the demanding attitude of a rich kid. Although not particularly jarring, it led me to wonder if the author knew how to write teenagers in a non-bratty way.
(I only read one chapter with Seth, so I do not know if he follows this or not.)