Into the Beyond - Part 1: Fated

Into the Beyond - Part 1: Fated

by Paul James Keyes

A tale of twisted fate…

High school sophomore Lewis Graham is awoken by a seemingly all-knowing creature appearing through a portal in his bedroom. The impish fellow tells him he is important later, and that in order to reach his destiny it is imperative he does exactly what he’s told.

When he follows the creature’s instructions, the cheerleader he’s been crushing on is suddenly within his grasp—bullies start dropping like flies!

But then a Native American girl sneaks Lewis a note containing three simple words, launching him down a frightening and thought-provoking path:

Don’t Trust It.

This time-bending series packs a psychologically spine-chilling punch.

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  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score
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Paul James Keyes

Paul James Keyes

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Hisaxia
Overall

A be careful what you wish for type of story.

Reviewed at: Chapter 8: Jellybeans

To start off I'll say there's a nice amount of chapters here but because they're kind of short it's difficult to give an advanced review.

But I did enjoy what I've read so far, it's fun watching Lewis try to balance doing what's right and what's easy. It's kind of like reading a story about an angel and devil on ones shoulder with Lewis so far trusting the devil (the perks are nice I get it lol) and I'll be looking forward tp see what the consequences of that will be.

As there's only eight chapters right now I'll have to look back at some point to do an advanced review.

Urban Goat Herder
Overall

Lewis is you normal every day highschool dork. No getting around it, he is shy around girls, he is ruthlessly bullied, and his sister is way cooler than he is. For a boy these days all it really takes to make things change is the right friend, or the wrong one. Enter Mr. Grey.

Unseen by his friends and family, with the exception of the household cat, Mr. Grey leads Lewis on adventures, helps him with his game when it comes to the girls, and handles little inconviences for him when it comes to bullies, as only a friend can. But not everything is what it seems and when a mysterious new girl slip him a note of warning, Lewis starts to suspect that Mr. Grey isn't everything he seems to be.

mneue
Overall
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Grammar
Character

Lean, Mean, Gray Machine

Reviewed at: Chapter 8: Jellybeans

Overall Review: This is a masterclass work that deserves to be boosted, especially in the context of this site. There was not much to complain about by the stopping point that I reached. If you happen to hit this story around Halloween and want to read a solid horror novel, then look no further.

Style Score: The pacing, prose, and stylistic choices are what makes this so strong. No parts are a struggle to get through, and the chapters are short and sweet. This cannot be underscored enough. The author knows what's he's doing.

Story Score: It might be a little presumptive to apply a value this early in, but I do think it is worth pointing out how solid the premise is. Ordinary small town has an encounter with extraordinary creature, and it does not go well. What bits that have been revealed have all been compelling, and there's enough meat fed in to keep wanting to come back for more. Should the plot take a turn later, I'll adjust accordingly, but at this point, it is really good.

Grammar Score: Nothing stood out worth mentioning. This has been revised and edited more than once, and it shows.

Character Score: Here was where I lost some points. Because the setting is an ordinary small town, all the characters are also... Completely ordinary. It felt like generic boy deals with generic bully while fawning over generic hot girl, and I had no investment for him. In the context of the greater story, they all fit like nice little pieces, but it all felt... Too safe? Like there were plenty of opportunities to flesh out our MC to be deeper, but he's so pitifully normal, and it comes off as shallow at times. That said, Mr. Gray is so deliciously ominous, all the way down to the tenses he'll use when he speaks. He is very well constructed. Like the story, I can see this changing over time as the characters evolve, but for now, this was my take.

Storypickler
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Overall Review: Well worth a read! Starts a bit slow, but just gets stronger and stronger as it goes along. Characters that seem simple at first rapidly gain complexity, the plot quickly goes beyond the initial premise, and by the end I was wanting more. Good news is, there’s more! Recommend if  you like a sinister mystery and a protagonist with lots of room for growth. 

Style Score: Solid. Flows well from the start and stays consistent or even improves  throughout. 

Story Score: The initial story seems simplistic at first, but quickly gets more sinister and intriguing. The interplay of characters as the story goes along keeps you guessing, as information is slowly revealed about what’s really going on.  OR IS IT?

Grammar Score: No issues, has as much or more polish than some of the top stories on RR.

Character Score: Saw some criticism that some of the characters are shallow, but I didn’t really get that impression. There’s a difference between a character (or person) being shallow, and a character who is not explained at great depth. We see what we need to see of the characters to move the story along, and also some of them are just shallow characters, but that’s by design. Mr Gray is fascinating, and makes for an intriguing…villain? Sinister for sure, but also leaves you guessing about his real motivation. I love that style of unreliable narrator, and the mystery was well woven. The protagonist isn’t an idiot, but isn’t a perfect wish-fullfilment trope either. Comes across as what he is, a slightly awkward teenager with a decent moral compass, which I appreciated. 

Forsaken Fry
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Originally, I was going to complain constructively, a little, about all the information fired out in the first chapter, but no. I was wrong. You need it. This is a fast-paced ride from chapter 2 onwards. Buckle up! 

I took a little break after the first chapter, grabbed a fizzy pop and sat back ready for the same pace going forward, but I didn't stop until I got to the end of Chapter 8. A single tear rolled down my cheek when another chapter wasn't available (I kid... maybe). 

Style: I gel with this type of writing. It's fast, but avoids 'talking-head' syndrome by explaining what the reader needs and letting them imagine the rest. Well done. 

Grammar: I noticed a single spelling error, but it was one I probably would have made, so no biggie. It didn't pull me from the story and the author was quick to fix it. 

Story: I'm interested to see where this all goes! We don't yet know the motivation behind the mischievous Mr. Gray, nor do we know how other aspects and characters will come together, but I'm stoked to find out. 

Character: Mr. Gray... what are you about? Love the characters from the semi-helpful/bartering little sister to the Fate who's "helping" the MC. I want to know more about all of them so far. I think Lewis trying to balance desire against morality is a great plot device and it'll be interesting to see what happens in the future. 

Overall: If you want to run instead of leisurely lounge, this is a book for you. Just push through the first chapter. It'll load you with the base info you need, then you can fire off into the chaotic twists and turns of Paul's tale. 

As more chapters get published, I'll come back and update this review. 

Lodus
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A slow start that rapidly becomes a page turner

Reviewed at: Chapter 20: Beyond

This story took a few chapters to make me bite, but once the hooks were in, it just kept pulling. I didn't even realise I'd read through almost the entire thing in a single sitting until the ending to part 1 came around.

Style: This is one of those stories that clearly comes from an experienced author. There's a certain poise here, and you can tell that this isn't from an ameteur at all. Dialogue feels natural and in-character, the descriptions are well worded and overall the style is quite polished. The only reason for the 4 stars and not 5 is because there's a fair bit of "telling" going on, instead of showing. However, that's ultimately not the biggest issue in the face of all that the style does right. 

Story: Again, I'd happily give this a 5 star rating if it weren't for a very minor issue. The first few chapters are very slow, which is certainly intentional. It's an urban fantasy story, so by its very premise it's "fantastical stuff happening in the regular world". Nothing wrong with that, but the opening to the story really hammers in the "regular world" a bit too long. The pacing isn't very fast at the start, and there's a fair bit of explaining and exposition happening before we get to know or care about the characters. 

However, I don't even know which chapter it happened on, but pretty quickly all of that is fixed. The pacing ramps up quickly, dropping most of the explaining and exposition in favour of engaging events. We're pulled in head over heels into the story, and once it starts, it doesn't slow or stop even once to the end of part 1.

Grammar: Nothing wrong here at all. Without doubt one of the cleanest and most polished stories I've read on RR. 

Character: As of the end of part 1, we haven't spent too much time with the characters yet, so this is an early review. However, they all feel competently written and engaging. Our protagonist starts to show some real initiative towards the end, and his interactions with Mr. Grey are pretty enjoyable. The supporting cast hasn't seen enough time to be fully developed yet, but the foundations of some really solid characters are right there. I'm excited to see these characters grow and develop as time goes on!

 

Hasegawa Kein
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I started reading the story today and finished it in an hour. While the story has only a few chapters so far, the pace of development is starting to get pretty fast as the chapters go by.

Overall Review: The story is engaging and easy to follow and has a solid build up of the characters as well as the settings are well described.

Style: English is not my first language but I use it almost 70% of the day. That said, I must point out that the pacing and prose of the story is very good and I definitely enjoyed it. Easy to read and understand without leaving out Lewis' descriptions and feelings about the strange situation he is in with Mr. Grey.

Story Score: At this point I wouldn't know very well what to say since it has 10 chapters and I think it is a story that presumably will be much longer. So far the premise is very interesting and I like it, I have no complaints whatsoever.

Grammar Score: I didn't detect any problems at this point.

Character Score: Lewis is a normal boy with the problems that any other boy his age would have. He has problems with girls and the bullies at school, but he is still trying to adjust to his new reality with Mr. Grey.

Mr Grey on the other hand is a character that seems much more sympathetic even though his advices doesn't seem to be very good sometimes, although this may be because he is a being that is out of human understanding and with completely different moral values. Even so, the dichotomy between the two is interesting and we will have to wait in the future to see how they continue. I can't say much about the other characters since the story is short for now but I like the development.

prodigyab
Overall
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Ohh wow, reading this was honestly such a pleasant surprise. From the synopsis, I realized I would be in for something good, but it turned out that good was a massive understatement. I actually really enjoyed it, it's great!

First of all, the writing style is absolutely amazing. Leagues above what the majority of the rest of the site is like. This is at a professional level, the author could be an actual big-name writer someday.

But of course, writing style merely makes a story better and more enjoyable. What really shines is the incredible creativity the author has infused into this work. The story is original and suspenseful, full of life and detail. It's like you're actually transported into a different world, it's like watching a movie. The words paint a very vivid picture in your head, and you are never bored for even a second.

I love the attention to detail, and just how much information is packed into every paragraph. It feels like every word is worth reading, every word is important like a painter's brushstrokes on his magnum opus. 

The style is absolutely fantastic, the grammar is top-tier, but what really has me hooked is the story and the characters. Wow, I was eating dinner and I kept thinking about the story! Usually I daydream about something random, but this time I just kept playing the movie of this novel in my head, eager to figure out what would happen next.

It's an amazing story, and I can't wait to read more of it. I'm more excited for it than any other novel!

Domoviye
Overall

Into The Beyond starts a little slow, but once you're past the first chapter, which isn't bad just a bit heavy on the info dump, things rapidly pick up speed. 

Mr. Gray is suitably weird and creepy, for an inhuman alien. His cheerful demeanour in nearly all situations is perfect for the character. Seeing his glee as his plans fall into place is chilling and works extremely well. 

Lewis is a fairly typical shy and bullied student. But unlike too many similar characters, he doesn't just lie down and accept his fate. He does try to improve things on his own, taking chances at talking to a girl he likes, and at least showing a bit of a backbone to his bully.

The story itself is overall quite good. There's the mystery of who and what Mr. Gray is, and why he's helping Lewis. How Josie relate to all of the story. And Lewis discovering that being invited to the popular kids party isn't all its cracked up to be.

My only complaint is that Mr. Gray might have shown his amoral side a bit too soon.

Overall the writing is good. It's nicely detailed, usually pretty snappy, keeps my attention and gives all the necessary info in an interesting way.

So if you like creepy, give this story a read.

larareispoetry
Overall

From the First word to the Last one from chapter eight, I couldn't stop being immersed in this little urban story. About a boy meeting a mythical (modern version) of Fate - Mr. Grey.

Although the scenario and characters seem out of a typical teenage movie - the description, dialogue, and little plot twists fall perfectly into each other. It is such a remarkable work!

The story has me immersed until the end. I have nothing to point out besides when chapter 9 comes. Seriously, when is it published?