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Nowadays, I call myself Cat, short for Catherine. I usually don’t use her full name for reasons that will become clear soon enough. It’s been a few months since I became her and I’m still adapting to my new reality. Being in someone else’s shoes, especially someone with a life so complicated as her, was a challenge. One I must overcome or perish. I finally accepted there is no way to go back to my old life.
Yes, old life. I was named William Cooper when I first came into being. I was 30 years old and about to marry when Catherine accidentally killed me. This is the story of how I became her and beyond. How Catherine was reinvented.
I guess I should start on the day of my fateful and forceful meeting with Catherine. I apologize for talking about myself in the third person, but I’ll try to keep this narrative impersonal. Trust me, my head nowadays is a huge mess and 100% too crowded.
Cover credits (public domain): Hernan Sanchez, https://stocksnap.io/photo/architecture-building-MI902J0X1H
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I feel a warning is in order. The title of the story, the cover image, the description and even the tags imply the story is mainly a drama or slice of life focused around the gender bender mishap of Catherine and William.
And for the first 20 or so chapters it is, and it's great. 5/5. The only complaint I had was about the occasional breaking of the 4th wall, which I do not enjoy in my fiction. The rest was excellent, however. Chef's kiss.
But then the author completely switches the direction, pacing and basically the genre of the story away from a carefully thought out gender bender slice of life drama to an action packed urban fantasy filled with classsers, reincarnators, returners, magical wolves, angels and demons, basically anything and everything you can think of and that is related to fantasy in any shape or form.
The scope of the story is forcefully expanded from a personal drama to a conflict on the scale of a multiverse. Politics between worlds and their implications on earth. Large-scale action scenes, people dying all over the place. Magic cast willy-nilly in what initially was just a modern world with a lil' bit of a supernatural twist. Now it's full fantasy.
The careful pacing and character building disappear as we get introduced to many new characters, concepts and situations that have next to no build up or reasoning. Why a story about Catherine (2.0) needs classers, magical bag inventories, magic pet wolves, LitRPG stats and every other Royalroad trope under the sun? And why suddenly introduce these concepts 20+ chapters down the road with no build up?
Catherine or Cat now isn't any of those things and the story even acknowledges it by not giving the abilities to her. Author attributes all the aforementioned tropes nearly entirely to secondary characters, which adds nothing to Catherine's and William's story. It instead muddles the focus of the story, or rather changes it completely.
Apparently, some of the newly introduced characters and world building come from author's previous work which I have not read. The description also doesn't show that this is a sequel requiring additional reading elsewhere. So the 180° in pacing and plot direction gave me a whiplash.
At the end of the day, this is not what I signed up for. This is not what the front page of the story communicates or what the first ~20 chapters are about. This story is at least two (if not more) unrelated stories slapped together and it does not work for me.
I love the story, and the way it was written, but I wanted to leave a review to let the author and audience know a potential problem. While I don't mind it, as it is the type of thing I love, I have seen some people get turned off by the more magical things introduced into the story later. Just a warning to new readers that the supernatural tag is for more than just the revival. It might be good to mention something like that in the synopsis so it doesn't blindside readers.
This story is awesome.
All the awesomeness of a MDW story without the main pitfall.... The story is complete!
As usual the charcters are engaging, real, with their greatness and weaknesses, with their bouts of genius and periods of stupidity... Real awesome people.
As usual, the world is complexe and the hurdles terrific and crazy and the MC manages to si. By grit, wits and guts.
The storytelling is compelling and well done.
Congrats 3 times!
(Contrary to some other reviews, the foreshadowing of fantasy to come is present way before chapter 20...)
Let me start by saying how spoiled I've become by long running stories with monster chapters. I consider this story "short and sweat".
74 chapters is not short.
But it felt like that, because I absolutely blasted through that in a few days.
I have a thing for contemorary stories with fantasy elements, and Cathrine 2.0 scratched that ich just the right way.
Sure, the inclusion of the "hidden world" was a little abrupt, but it was right there in the first few posts, you just had to look for it.
Belivable characters, behaving in belivable ways.
Oh, and STONKS. Can't forget about that.
I was a little sad when-
Will died, and his poor wife-to-be was left alone.
A little more Mrs. Stonks time would have been well appreciated, but this story was not about her.
All in all, this is a solid, character driven story, and if you're down here, reading the reviews, waiting for confirmation, then this is it.
What are you waiting for ?