On the eve of his discharge from the army, a soldier, Seth, and the rest of his team get roped into a suicide mission by their General.
Armed with runescrived weapons, armors, and items, they're sent to investigate the ruined temple of a fallen god.
Author's aside here:
I am writing this mostly to improve my writing and storytelling skills. During the course of developing and writing the first volume of this project, I've learned a lot, but I've also come to realize I have so much more to learn.
I appreciate any and all suggestions, comments, corrections, and observations if they are, of course, reasonable.
I hope you genuinely enjoy the story.
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Not the smoothest segue into the info dump, but clearly a good enough first chapter to deserve a 5-star kickoff review. The chapter ticks many of the boxes required to hope for a good story: 1) an early commitment to developing side characters with idiosyncrasies, 2) a mix of dialogue, internal thought, and 3rd person observations, 3) a polished writing style, and 4) early worldbuilding. There is also no prologue, which can go either way but is often a poorly used crutch, so that bullet was dodged. None of the above positive indicators are fully realized, but this is the author's first fiction and I believe the first chapter shows enough potential to justify starting the early reader cycle, with a long-term shot at reaching "rising stars" if they can keep the output and quality up. Hopefully this advanced review will attract more readers to give this author a shot.
Damn it is so hard to get these kickoff reviews long enough to qualify as an advanced review. But the algorithm is so reliant on these that feel like I need to type these long wordy ultimately useless reviews so we can get more new blood in the popular this week community.
Up to the end of the first Arc, I'd give this story a high rating. But from 11.1 onwards, things have changed. Pacing is glacial and its just not interesting anymore. I'm going to give this a chance because the start was very good.
I will edit my review and add more details once the story has more meat to it.
It's a fantastic story with complex and we'll developed character motivations and enough intrigue to keep you flipping through the pages.
I love how it switches between critical plot development and raw action.
You can feel what the characters feel and actually relate to their pain. Sometimes it hits really close to home because while I can't cast runic magic, I have to relate with people in many of the same ways as the Raven Squad.
The fear, courage, determination, and jest; it all feels real.
The author spent a lot of time introducing the characters in the beginning and I remember thinking, "just get to the good stuff already."
But it all paid off! When they got down to brass tacks, you could understand why everyone acted the way they did, and it made the story all the more exciting.
I am actually rooting for the main characters. And that rarely happens because many times, I'm just spectating to see what happens. I actually hope they get what they are after. Lol
And don't get me started on the action scenes. They are so descriptive that you almost feel like you're watching the characters fight.
I also love how the power levels of the characters are very consistent. Nobody is doing any over the top stuff that they shouldn't be able to do. It's very important in stories like these.
My overall score says it all. It's really good stuff. I can't wait to see where the story goes.