Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

Strip away wants.  Strip away desire, strip away dreams and hopes.  When you peel it back, such things are luxuries only possible when you have first guaranteed your survival.  Survival is everything, and in its pursuit, even the self may need to be stripped away for the survival of the species.  Life, of her and her people, was nothing to the aliens if it was not useful.  So she would be useful, she would be obedient, and she would survive.  Under the control of the new rulers of her world and species, as a pawn in a conflict she could scarce comprehend, she would survive.  And in this cosmic war of forces beyond her understanding, when all that is known is stripped away, survival is not just everything; it is all there is left.

((Hosted for free on Royal Road ))
(( https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/46850/war-queen ))

[Winner during the Royal Road Writathon Challenge Fall 2021]
(( Chapters are 5,500 words on average.  Upload schedule is set to every 2 days ideally, every 3 if problems arise.  You can always find my drafts and first story versions on Royal Road, are able to purchase Kindle or ebook-edition versions here, and if you want to support my work or gain further access to the world of War Queen, consider donating.  Thank you, and enjoy.))

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Author
Illthylian

Illthylian

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50,000 Views
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Top List #300
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Royal Writathon October 2021 winner
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drakan_glasses BE NICE! Fair critique is fair, but be respectful & follow the review rules. There will be no mercy.
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Shygig
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character
It's the first time I've read a novel with a style so unique, but considering what the other reviews say, what I'm saying here isn't original, but I truly feel like it should be pointed out.
 
I feel like this is a proper take on to an alien culture, way of thinking and their interactions during first-contact. It's slow paced, but instead of making things more boring or seemingly stretched out for no reason, it's giving us a good look at this alien perspective on things that are, to them, impossible, and how they're adapting to their surroundings, and this personnaly just hooks me on. And seeing aliens doing alien things is just generally interesting, and the author certainly knows how to make things interesting.
 
I'm going to stay with this one for the long run. I hope this novel gets enough traction and becomes more popular because it certainly deserves attention. I also hope this novel goes on for a long time, it seems to me like there's a lot of potential waiting to be unearthed, and from what I've read up until now, the author seems capable of pulling it out and polishing it.
 

I hope I'm not putting pressure on you Illthylian, sorry if I am ;)

 

 
 
ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss
Overall

Pretty out-there in terms of stylistic influences for RR, but it reminds me of the better stuff in classic sci-fi, where authors really tried to get to grips with aliens and alien minds. These big ants are simultaneously emotionally vivid, and you know, ants.

 

Would like to see more writing like this.

Ruz J
Overall

I hate bugs in real life. Hate, and to a certain extent fear them.

Despite that I can't help but root against humans in this novel. No human character is cartoonishly villain, no they are all normal people (with great character development) who are acting the same way I would if I saw an overgrown bug. 

I want to think that I'd be better than them after encountering a sentient, alien bug, but it would take tremendous willpower in the face of something you were so biased against.

 

Anyway I highly recommend this novel.

Gasmaskbro
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Bugs, Blasters, and Bureaucracy

Reviewed at: Chapter Twenty-Seven

The basic need to know of this story is that it is a very good story of stone age to early iron age eusocial insect aliens encountering a space fareing humanity and the experiences that follow it. The author executes this concept very well making the aliens rather alien but compehedable enough to where you can still identify and empathise with just about everyone. 

 

In full this story is thus far is an excellent first contact story full of misconceptions, misdirections, hope, and betrayal. A story in which all is viewed through the lense of alien species trying to come to terms with a humanity that is in some ways nearly as alien to us as the aliens we follow. 

 

The author has a wonderful means of writing the descriptions and dialog of the characters that does wonders of portraying who they are and how they think. From bugs struggling to comprehend what an APC or gun is while trying to form a counter attack, to the many often times amusing interactions between caste and humans. The imperfect methods of cummunication that are introduced through the story can be difficult at times leaving you trying to fill in missing words or concepts unsuccessfully or wondering if you managed to translate it right at all, but it works for what it is aiming to show.

 

One of my favorite and least favorite aspects of this story so far are the characters for sure as every character has very defined personalities and most importantly of all is that everyone seems to be at least respectably competent. Even better the story manages to weave character goals in such a way that there is plenty of conflict despite the tale lacking any overt villains. There are antagonist gallore, an incompetent and greedy leader seeking to make and oppertune theift, an arrogant commander making a bad and bone headed call due to pressure from higher ups, but no cackling mustache twirling villains. Just people. The problem being is that a lot of the alien characters don't have proper names as we know them, they have a clan title and role. This is not a problem when there is only a dozen or so of them, but when large groups of them are interacting it can easily get confusing who's doing what. 

 

The grammar and puctuation, from what I can tell appears to be pretty good, a few mispellings or odd word choices here or there that can sometimes get one hung up or have to read a line twice, but the author seems to be quick to respond to edits suggestions so I suspect that will be ironed out in time.

 

The story itself is a rather simple concept of first contact and a younger race getting thrown into the deep end and being told to swim, but it is impecably preformed and remains engaging as the plot is pushed forwards by reasonable actions and assumptions by reasonable people. The many curveballs and twist of the story come not from a contrivence or random event, but from a character suddenly realizing that it had misconstrune another's actions or the clash of cultures between two similar but different people.

 

This is a wonderful story that I'm very glad to have stumbled upon in a wander through recent updates that I firmly believe could be published with but a couple more passes by an editor. I eagerly await to see more from this author and hope they find insperation aplenty.

Entitled Infracaninophile
Overall

Unique, alien-only view of human invaders

Reviewed at: Chapter Nineteen

Wow, what a rollercoaster! I've just binged 107,907 words from a purely (yes, 100%!) alien perspective on an accidental invasion / botched first contact with humans, who encountered their first aliens. And... it's fantastic! It's mostly hard science fiction, but with some subtle humor that made me laugh out repeatedly when trying to understand what was actually happening on the human side, what they really were saying , what those bloody (in the good sense) humans were actually doing as interpreted by the MC... hilarious, and sad, perfect. Humans are also done realistic, neither all bad nor all good. Also, an unexpected, very well done, only hinted at, barely intimate scene among aliens which rings completely true and is done in an elegant, subdued way. Very well done.

A diamond of a story. Congrats to the Illthylian, and thank you for writing and sharing your story!

Total recommendation for readers who enjoy hard science fiction with aliens that are truly far from humans.

The_Eternal_Palace
Overall

A lot of the story is explaining human concepts from an alien perspective. How a different point of reference changes the view. This is how the story is framed.

The rest is about the alien overcoming human's vast technological advantage, and doing whatever is needed to survive as a species. This is the underlying narrative.

Rheneria
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

An uncommon take to your Scyfy reading.

Reviewed at: Chapter Six

(Mind you, I am a novice reader, consuming a few books per year, and have read up to chapter six.)

"War Queen" provides an honestly, unique perspective within the genre. Even at your most careful, the story and each chapter have a habit of catching the reader off guard of what's to come; meticulously weaving you into a web of mystery. Ample consideration is forged into the world building with clever inspiration leaving you a reverse feeling of what naturally feels home verses alien. The writing itself is an implicit teacher unabandoning their pupil for those of us unfamiliar with the terminonlogy in play. Then, there is appreciation for the strategist's mind at work, to which I will be most excited to see more of as new chapters are released. The recanting and focus around the protagonist may feel tedious in a few chapters, though the build up is worth the time spent in constructing a proper back drop, alongside explanation for said character's actions. While the aliens have a seemingly unnatural, disturbing to borderline horrific descriptions leaving your skin to crawl where it would not normally do so towards such familiarity.

(Wishing to avoid potential spoilers) offer the chance of the prologue to capture your attention, only to leave you with more questions needing answers.

TwoChaptersAndADream
Overall

I love this so far.  It's humans reaching for the stars,  from the perspective of its existing, technologically less advanced inhabitants. It goes about as well for the bug-like aliens as it did for the indigenous tribes of the Americas. 

The author of this story manages the tricky balance of making the aliens symphatethic and understandable,  but also very inhuman. Half of the story you are drawn in by their plight and struggles, cursing the humans for being *bleep*'s, only to be suddenly and starkly reminded that the protagonists are also giant monsters with minds as sharp and alien as their scythes. The fact that you (as, i presume, a human) can understand why the humans are and rightfully should be afraid really upgrades the story from a more generic "space racism" plot. 

The relationship and tension between the aliens and the humans is the main plot point of the story,  and I'm looking forward to see how that develops. Extra points for the translator; many of the things humans say are directly translated which makes for a fun time figuring out what was actually said.  

Warfox
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Promising Right off the Bat

Reviewed at: Prologue

The writing style is unique and interesting. There's a seeming lack of certain language conventions that gives the text an odd punch in the same way phoenitic writing can. It can be hard to adjust to, but I'm interested to see where this goes, and when we get a better look into the main character. I'd love to see what got her to the point where she can see lives thrown away, and order men and women to die with no hesitation, and what the psychological effects of this will end up being. She seems very caught up and forced into the role at the moment, but even in that she's creatively thrashing out her own niche in an oppressive situation.

The aliens themselves seem suitably monstrous, and the bugginess of the translator does a great job giving the reader opportunity to wonder and guess at the meaning of the words we're unable to read. It's fairly clear at all times what is going on, and I'm hoping this continues as chapters come. The way the main character seems to act as an unexpected variable in what was a seeming stalemate between two factions of warring aliens is always a good spot for a character to carve out space for themselves.

Keep it up! I'll adjust my review as needed, but for the moment I'm quite pleased with what I've seen and I'm interested in seeing more.

Razbius
Overall

Fresh perspective and excellent execution

Reviewed at: Survival: Chapter Eighteen

Superlative history that could be a reflection of our own because, as Arthur Clarke said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic".


You will find a new point of view in the discovery of a new civilization but from the perspective of those that are being discovered, with all the challenges and hurdles that such situacion may produce, and the struggle of a technologically inferior civilization to not be erradicated.

This history really deserves all the high ratings and good reviews that is has received, and I dearly hope that this quality can be maintaned in the future.

Cheers to the author.