It did not remind me of Locke Lamora, it reminds me thieves guilds in Neverwinter or something like that, a classic videogame from the dawn of this century.
the narrative is clear, though the use of present tense narration is a risky business, and this book walks the edge between it being grating and it working as intended, I.e. to heighten the suspense. At least every few paragraphs it made me think, ‘it would have been smoother in the Past tense’, and I would have preferred it not go past prologue once the cat is out of the bag with Draken’s hidden talent. But, what can you do.
I liked the use of dialogue in this book. It flows well, conveys the conflict, is terse in the right places. The use of dialect speech does not obscure the meaning of what is said, and does not trip the eyes.
Draken emerges immediately as the main character of the book, and stays firmly at its core, leaving no doubts that it is his journey. His character is not particularly pleasant, with lots of rough edges. He prefers his profession as a thief to being a mage, but you get te feeling early one that he will be coerced into using his powers. It is a time-honoured plot, very few protagonists seem to actively work towards being something special.
The book makes it intersteing to guess if Draken falls into the tough with a golden heart archetype.
The side characters are sketched in, which helps the pacing. the book is not overflowing with them, so it is possible to keep track and stay with the narrative. On the downside, it’s hard to like anyone but the MC, so if you did not buy into the MC, there is nobody to keep your affections anchored to.
I did not catch backdrops that had significance to the narration, I felt that the book relies on me to picture the crooked alleys, dives and warrens of the maybe late medieval cities in Faerun’s bend. I did not get a feel of a particular century or a country that the book references — one of the big departures from, say, LAmora’s escapades.
The way the book is formatted and presented is problematic for me, between the numerous pictures in different styles all over the text — it is hard to say if the author illustrated himself or borrowed the clip art. This many illustrations is always suspect for not enough descriptions to keep the imagery coming. The continuous asks for geld, twice per chapter, do not help the enjoyment either & ruin immersion, as the author now competes for attention with his MC.
in summary, if you were born in the Present Tense is In Era, and looking for a young rogue’s adventures with a magic twist, in an classic videogame setting, check this book out.
* based on Five opening chapters, likely more than 10K words.
first things first - the book does not have the usual pitfalls of the webfiction, as in poor grammar, badly realized first person pov, undeveloped narrative skill and losing steam by chapter 3.
in terms of setting, I picked up the classic space opera and sic fantasy influences, so if you are hot on Dune, Star TReck and Mass Effect, you will be in familiar waters. Some themes linking more directly to the angel-demonic epoth of some post-apocalyptic works are also noticeable. The space flight is space opera rather than realistic like in, say, Expanse.
The book builds up on the sci fantasy fascination with the space feodalism and space mystesism, relying on visions and theology to deliver information and conflict.
however, it blends it with interesting technological lifeforms, such as one of the pov characters, a chibi like AI, Shindow.
The main pov character, Gideon comes from the corporate feudalism type setting, a son of a powerful figure, one of many siblings. What sets this archetype apart is that Gideon is separate from his siblings as he is unable to assimilate the cybernetic implants, but he is cherished by his family. His is also not entirely idle unwilling adventurer, as he works towards his test pilot role, and is accomplished in his field. His relationship with his father is something that adds a wonderful human dimension to the book.
the already mentioned Shindow is another memorable character, with an obvious feminine aspect to her, and a strong arc starting up, hints of personality and feelings.
the cast of characters probably would be a bit too large for someone who cannot easily navigate Marvel Infinity Wars, but even if you get lost in the secondary name characters, Gideon, Shondow and Gideon’s unforgettable talking pooch are there to anchor you in the book, and help you with the direction.
you will enjoy this read if you want a space opera in your life to sink your teeth in.
I am not familiar with RWBY, but it is clear from the text that it is a monster fighting universe, and I have a soft spot for the folks that love the source material enough to write fanfictions.
There are interesting parallels to the fairy tales - the MC fights werewolves in the first chapter while wearing a red riding hood.
In terms of writing, there are a couple of technicalities to watch out for - you shift between present tense and past tense very often; and you use filter adverbs that can be eliminated for clarity (only, really, very).
I did not understand what ammunition the character needs for scythe - it might be better to explain this lore bit.
It is up to you how deep of an impact you are looking for in your writing. At the moment, you skim through the moment that can be focal, like, for example when you tell me that she quickly disposed of the total of fifteen werewolves.
The games or anime often give you that impression of awesomeness of the protagonist by giving you a flashy move that lays waste - and it is hard to capture it in writing vs visual, but I think it would be good if you tried that, instead of just tallying it up.
The ending of the first chapter comes to a good hook, the meeting of the MC and the sensei of sorts, who tells her that she'd passed a test. To fortify your hook, if desired, you can make the fight more suspenseful, less abbreviated, giving the feel of actual struggle.