- Traumatising content
The Teir, a tiny machine powered by long-lost magic, has predicted the end of the world. Only two students from a prestigious university can stop it by mastering that same magic.
Malou Lamaire’s biggest secret is that she can use what little magic is left in the world, but then she uncovers a plot to steal the Teir. So she steals it first and goes on the run to protect it from those who wish to use its power for their own gain.
Gavriel Eng, her willing accomplice, is accustomed to running from his secrets, but he can’t run from his true identity any longer. Not when it requires him to seek an ancient, dangerous magic to make his own—and he’s not the only one on the hunt for it, either.
Their combined power is the key to rooting out an evil that defies the laws of life and death—and their failure means the end of everything.
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I knew going into this I was going to like this. I know Jess enough to know that she is quick and brilliant and loves her project. But to come into this, read five chapters, and immediately want to drop everything I have to do today to continue reading it is sheer bewilderment. I said it in the comments and I'll say it here.
This story is wasted on a free audience.
The style is well thought out detail, perfectly described, while maintaining the atmosphere that allows the story to be as great as it is. It's intriguing, giving you threads where they are needed while not taking away from any other facet of the fiction.
I, and many reviewers, say this a lot but it's never rang more true. If there were any grammar mistakes, I was so enthralled by the story, that I never saw them. Sentence structure is great. Overall message of chapters are amazing. Nothing is out of place. This is a well groomed story.
This story offers a lot. Magic, political intrigue, mystery, worldbuilding. It's hard to pinpoint exactly one thing, as the orchestra that each part makes up works in concert with everything else. We are given a short glimpse into the world with key information as the plot starts unfurling out in front of us like it does for the main character. We follow them as the plot thickens, and are on the edge of our seat to find out what comes next.
Malou as a main character is a perfect fit into this absolute gem of a puzzle. She knows the world, is key to it, but plays the part of a progression character perfectly. So far, we've been able to see many of her strengths without her seeming like some overpowered character. Her group of friends and the side characters that make up bit parts also carry novel voices, and play their part in the story amazingly.
Overall, I have to say that even though this story is called slow burn, that should never be misconstrued as tedious or boring. The hooks that drive this plot forward paired with well rounded characters and an amazingly well thought atmostphere make for a story that is absolutely perfect. I may rate fairly positively, but without a doubt, this is one of the best pieces of work I've seen on this site to date.
Dang. That was something.
Prose and style are top notch. Professionnal-level story on these points. Not a single line, word and paragraph seemed out of place. You could just stare at each chapter and enjoy them.
Characters are stuffed with good ideas. Really fleshed out. You know pretty quickly who's who and what theyr doing, their relations, etc. The first chapters really do a very good job in terms of quick and efficient introduction. Same could be said about the plot. It is just... well done.
Speaking of worldbuilding, the story is really convicing. The universe is slowy established, without excessive exposure. The balance is perfect; quite an achievement regarding the myriade of details.
Not a single negative comment could be made.
Dang again. The paiting is just as good as the frame.
DO YOU LIKE FANTASY? DO YOU LIKE WELL WRITTEN STORIES?
IF SO, READ ALL HOLLOW
This fiction is well written. Like, really well written. I’m still not very far in, but so far it feels like I’m reading professionally published fantasy. Keep up the good work!
Style: 5/5 Reads like professional prose. The style is smooth, things actually flow from point A to point B without just happening, and the scenes are set and explained beautifully. Pacing of individual scenes is fantastic and doesn’t skip over anything too hard. The author has a talent for describing scenery without being too overbearing or too brief about it, and it’s just a pleasure to read.
Story: 5/5 Intrigue at every corner! Fantastic world you’ve built here—the ‘dark academia’ atmosphere that another reviewer mentioned really is quite prevalent, and the magic is fleshed out and organic, perhaps especially so because so far it hasn’t relied on a litRPG System to explain it like many other fictions do. There’s a whole lot of interesting plot threads regarding the Teir, character conflicts with mysterious groups, and more! Plot threads are introduced naturally and are paced excellently—it might be a bit slow, compared to what many are used to here, but I think it more than makes up for that with its world building. Excited to read more!
Grammar: 5/5 No major issues.
Character: 5/5 ALL HOLLOW has a large cast, which can often be difficult to handle well, but the author successfully makes them feel like real people rather than flat 2D cutouts. Both leads are nuanced, and we gradually learn more about them rather then getting massive info dumps. The side characters feel like they have backstories to them, and their interactions are genuine and not forced for the sake of advancing the plot. Very well done.
Overall, ALL HOLLOW is a very lovely read. The world, characters and story line are well fleshed out, interesting and wholly unique. I love that there is a map including the locations so you can easily assess where and what is going on. The MCs are both intriguing and fun to be within their own respective. The female MC is the perfect mix of soft and hard without being overly one or the other. Her reasons for her decisions are all well within her character profile—nothing OOC. The male MC provides a nice source of additional mystery and intrigue into the story as a whole. You can tell these characters were carefully crafted and the story right along with them. The plot moves at a steady consistently scaling up pace. This is neither too slow nor too intense and gives the reader just enough respite between intense action sequences. Alongside the plot, world and characters as a whole, the story itself is written with a unique and entertaining voice. This lends well to the feel of the story and serves the plot well. I noticed no issues with spelling or grammar, which always makes a read better. Strongly encourage giving this story a shot if you enjoy magic, a little mystery and some badass characters. Looking forward to more.
This is a slow-paced story that requires some cognitive effort to enjoy thoroughly. The characters show phenomenal complexity and the story itself is complex enough with various plot threads moving and combining together at their own pace.
Style: The author writes like a pro in my opinion. The sentences strike a proper balance between making the scenes intricately vivid and reasonably comprehensible. The way the author pulled me into some of the atmospheric scenes was unlike any I have read on here. I also loved how the motivations, body language, and inner psyche of the characters were explored through the writing style.
Story: The story itself is of politics, personal agendas, secrets, and at the same time there is an overarching plot involving the Teir(was quite surprised after I learned what it was and eagerly looking forward to learning more). The magic system is not yet explored but we are just at the beginning of the story and I think something great is coming up.
Grammar: Not really adept in this area but I loved the flow and found myself always immersed. So, I didn't notice any grammatical issues even if there were any.
Character: The best part of the story for me without a doubt. The characters show such tremendous complexity and are written so well that I think this could easily be converted into a professionally written popular work someday and I myself would buy it just to read more about the characters and their interactions. I seriously wanted to know more about the inner worlds of each of the characters and that is something rare for me while reading fiction.
A story with dark academia vibes, tons of mysteries, political manipulations, secret societies, and contraptions that border the magical, All Hollow shows a very solid base for a great story in the future.
With only ten chapters in, this story is still in its preliminary stages. But even this early, it's readily apparent that it's high-quality writing. It employs vivid imagery that is controlled and doesn't breach into purple prose while being easy to read. I already like the main character even with just ten chapters (technically nine because one is a side pov). I can see this as a draft of a published book; with more polish, I won't be surprised if I see this level of writing on a shelf in the bookstore.
Since reviews are for prospective readers, I suppose I have to say that this is different from the usual books here in RoyalRoad. It is also on the slower-paced side (but that's mostly because RR stories are extremely fast-paced compared to the norm). It also has many plot points, compared to the linear plot progression of most RR stories. The disadvantage of having many story threads and mysteries in web novels is that it's hard to keep track of for readers given the serialized release.
So...if you ever come across this story, I recommend following it and letting the chapters stack up for future bingeing. Given what I'm seeing now, I'm sure when chapters have piled high, you'll be in for a treat.
The cover drew me in and the summary gave me a good idea of what to expect. The writing and characters delivered actually beyond my expectations. Really good so far.
The style is what really got me. Really good writing here. There's good voice, good dialogue. The descriptions are so visual but not overwhelming. I also feel like the style really gives a sense of the world, too, because some of the phrases and words that are used. It could be really easy to go overboard with it, though.
There weren't any mistakes that caught my attention here. Seems pretty proofread.
The first five chapters do a great job setting up the world, the characters, the mystery, and the action to come. There's a lot going on for these first few chapters without it feeling too fast or too slow, and I'm excited by the threads that the author started to weave together. I got the feeling that the story could be super epic but also could just end up all over the place, but as the chapter count builds, I get the sense that this story is in good hands. There's a balance of foreshadowing its epic potential while also staying very focused on the immediate plot line. Very curious to see how the genres will all mesh together, as it seems the progression aspect is only just beginning.
Although it's in standard 3rd person POV, there's a lot of characterization done through voice here because of the style I think. I get a good sense of who the first MC is and what her goals are. We only get one chapter in the POV of the second MC and while I have a good idea of his goals, he's not quite as fully realized yet as the first MC. I do think his POV was well-introduced and wasn't a surprise given the tags and the summary. The secondary characters introduced are all interesting and seem to have their own various agendas.
I'm calling this a promising gem because there's so much going good for it so far. Definitely going to watch and see.
First... I recommend not reading this review. You need only go to the first chapter and you'll know everything my review can tell you. You'll be hooked, line and sinker. That said, I will update this review as I get further along the story.
~ Style. Gorgeous. It's compact, fun, and flowing. There is an epic mastery here, drawing you from one paragraph to the next. You forget these are squiggles and symbols. You are in the story, not merely reading about it.
~ Story. A dab (or more!) of intrigue, a deep lingering hope, and friends along the way who you want to both stab and hug. Deep, deep world filled with spies, political and social intrigue, and layers (so many layers!) which will turn you inside out and flip you on your head. And that is just so far. I can't imagine what is yet to come, but I'm way too excited to find out.
~ Grammar. Flawless. Not a single typo or word out of place.
~ Character. It's a rare occurrence to find a book able to turn each character into individuals you love to love or love to hate. Sure, many tales can do this for a few characters... but this is not that. This is deep ties to every character who you seem to know, even if you've only experienced them for a few chapters. As for the MC... it feels we are only tipping the iceberg. She's working hard to live up to the expectations of those around her and those she has of herself, all with a diehard attitude I respect, a pinch of sarcastic humor that made me smile more than once, and a little magic and snarky AI to help along the way. Even the AI secretary feels more real than most of my characters. Awesome job here.
Overall, this tale will turn you on your head in a world of intrigue, mystery, and individuals who you want to meet... or not. Be ready for a wild ride and your brain to spin circles as you try to work out the many intricate threads between the echelons. Be ready, and make sure your brain is up to par.
Fair warning, this tale will pull at your heartstrings while making you laugh.
Highly recommend. If you made it this far into my review... just go read it already. Enjoy.
*gets on soapbox*
This story is definitely going to blow up and you should read it!! Also, it has a lovely cover. :)
*gets off soapbox*
Style: This is a very well-written story. It's definitely complex and takes a bit of concentration and thought to truly enjoy. You might find it to be a slower read like it is for me, but it's well-worth the time! I will say that the amount of names, terms, and heavy worldbuilding taking place in the first few chapters can be difficult to keep track of at first, but that shouldn't deter you. The author even has a little website set up with a map and definitions of some of the worldbuilding terms. Awesome! I might have to do something like that for my own story!
Story: We've got quite the complex plot going on, and the promise of it getting much more complex and dramatic (in a great way) as we get further into it. We've got mystery, secret societies, and not to mention our MC's AI assisstant...who I adore. I'll take that technology, please.
Grammar: Grammar is perfect, haven't even found a typo.
Character: This story is in 3rd person POV, but that doesn't take away from how close we feel to the MC. She's smart, sneaky, analytic, but all in a very human way that just makes us relate to her all the more. There are quite a few side characters and they all have personalities that pop off the page, even if they play bit parts so far. And, like I mentioned, I love our MC's AI, she has a lot of personality herself and even more snark. Snarky characters rule fiction.
Most of the chapters are from our heroin perspective, a student lost in her past mysteries and secrets, doing her utmost to break them. She evolves in a deep world full of political intrigues and people hiding their feelings.
Style score (4.5/5) - There are a lot of world building details jumping from every chapter and it's really awesome. The world seems incredible and the tone is well set to describe it. The only drawback I got is that we get introduce to so much people with complex names and titles that it's a bit troublesome at first to follow everything going on.
Story score (5/5) - The story is very good. We've got our fair share of suspense, mysteries and revelations. There is always something going on and it's very cool. The story is slow and complex, we haven't gotten yet to the main plot as the blurb described it but we can feel it coming. A nice setup.
Grammar score (5/5) - Flawless. There a lot of vocabulary though and I imagine it could be hard to read sometimes if you're not really fluent with them.
Character score (5/5) - The characters add a lot to this story, as they should for any politcal plot going on. They feel real and most have hidden agenda and it's very well done. Without such a successful trope of characters, the story wouldn't be the same and it was probably not an easy fit to got them all setup. Good job for that!
It's a really great story, but be warned, it's not one you can scroll through with half a mind, especially in the begining. There is a lot going on and so much tiny details that turn this into an incredible story.