Villager Three

Let's not beat around the bush on this one. (I worry the bush might hit back.) This story is good. I've needed a story like this for a bit now. So far it's been funny, cute, light-hearted, and plain good for the soul. 

I skipped by this story quite a few times before I gave it a chance. I've tried to read a few stories with similar settings in the past. Magic has been introduced to the word! There's a 'system' now. What will people do? Until now, the stuff I've read in the genre has only disappointed me. I generally only managed to get through a few chapters because I just ended up bored. Maybe I just haven't stumbled on a good one until now, but in these stories, the characters haven't interested me, the settings felt like generic boring versions of our world with not a lot going on except a magical 'system' thrown in, and the writing just wasn't the greatest. 

I suppose part of that is intentional. There's a bit of an audience for stories about boring characters with dull boring lives who somehow become interesting/awesome when magic gets thrown into the world. But that's not for me. It's not that hard to write interesting modern fiction imo, but these stories don't often care about that part, instead just focusing on the magic/system/litrpg aspect. I enjoy the gamelit genre, but personally, I need more to a story than well-thought-out bluescreens and talk of how the MC is gonna increase their stats. (And please gods, no more 'lone wolf' characters who basically never interact with other characters.) A problem I encountered with my most recent attempt at reading one of these stories was one that plenty of other stories fall into as well: telling rather than showing. 

This story does none of this. It skips over the three-chapter-long examination of the status screen and the clumsy (and generally boring) learning how to fight and use skills and such. I've seen all that before, far too many times now, and the story is tons better for leaving that sort of thing out. In fact, the story cuts out a lot of the needless filler that so many stories of the genre fall prey to. It gets right to the meat of things (the actual story, for instance.) You can tell the author has put thought into what is important to put in the story and what bits can be left out. (I wish I could say the same about my reviews! =p) This leaves the story to be quite well polished, not loitering on needless info or filler, and giving a smooth enjoyable experience leaving me only wanting more and more. 

Thus far, I've loved the characters of this story. They all have struggles they're dealing with. The main character, Kira, is cute, not because she is described as cute or because other characters say she is cute, but because of the things she does and the ways she interacts with people. There have been a few sad and serious moments already as of chapter 7, but mostly things have been light-hearted and have me more prone to chuckling than anything else. The author lets us in on quite a bit of information that Kira doesn't know, and we can tell she's going to land in quite a bit of trouble in the future. Or as one character put it: "This is gonna get messy." 

The setting itself has ended up surprisingly very different from most stories in the genre. I really didn't expect it, but it was a very welcome surprise. I won't spoil how. You'll have to find out yourself. As of the seventh chapter, the plot is still coming together. We have an idea of who some of the antagonists might be, or at least who they're associated with, but whatever grand moves they're making is happening in the background. I'm eager to find out how things progress. 

Do I need to say anything else here? I certainly don't think so. Give this story a try, even if you're like me and haven't liked similar stories. You'll just have to trust me that this one is different. As I said in the title, this story has really been medicine for the soul for me, and I really can't wait for more. 

(Also, if you end up liking this, check out Kruos's other story Villainous. I read that one first and enjoyed it as well.) 

Sunchild - A Starfall Chronicle

I Was Delighted to Find I Enjoyed This

If I sound unkind to this story at the beginning of this review, stick with me, because I do think it's worth giving a read. The first 14 chapters plus prologue that I've read have me eagerly wanting to read more. If that's all you need to know, then good! Feel free to stop here and give it a read. Otherwise, I hope you stick with me to the end in fairness to the author. In fact, most of this I write more for the author's benefit than the reader's.
We've all heard the premise of this story: A group of adventurers are off to fight a monster. A classical high fantasy setting with a classic adventure. I will admit I went into this story expecting to possibly not enjoy it (though I say that about most stories I pick up to read, online or not.) The premise to me just sounded a bit... bland? I came in basically thinking 'I've already heard this story.' In some ways I have. The story's description isn't a false one. This is a high fantasy story about hunting down a monster (though it has plenty of other things going on too.)
If you're expecting some groundbreaking new fantasy material here, perhaps your bar is a bit high. I'm a firm believer that nothing is ever truly or completely original. All ideas evolve from others, and generally, 'originality' consists of combining these already existing ideas in interesting ways. While I enjoy finding stories that make me go "whoa, I've never seen that before!" that's not the only reason I read them. In fact, I've begun quite a few stories where I've encountered things that seemed quite new and original to me, yet not long after put the story down to never be finished. Why? Because it's not usually originality that draws me into a story and keeps me reading, it's people. I read to experience things, to connect with characters, to feel the things they feel. I ultimately read for the emotions, as simple as it sounds, to sorta live through someone else.
This brings me a bit full circle back to where I started with this story. As I read through the description, I was close to giving the story a pass. It was only the last line that caught me and made me decide to give it a chance. "but unknown to them, it is among themselves that rests the kingdom's greatest threat. " This simple line held the promise of one thing: this isn't just another dull fantasy story about going off the slay a monster, it's a story about people and the conflicts around and within them.
After actually reading what's here of the story so far, I think the description gives it a bad appearance. Not because the things it says aren't true (though you could say there's a bit of deception going on there,) but because it makes it look a bit like this story is more about kingdoms in times of trouble and monsters that need to be slain. These things are important to the story, but I wouldn't say that they are what the story is about, nor did they draw me in to want to read more. Most of the fantasy stories I've read have kingdoms in troubled times and big bad monsters. I appreciate what the author was going for in establishing the awe and other emotions for the setting, but I think it ultimately does a disservice to the story overall. I've enjoyed this story not necessarily because of the setting (though I do enjoy fantasy) but because of the characters and their interesting qualities and actions. It is the characters that are magical (in multiple senses of the word.) Yet the characters are a barely mentioned footnote in the story's description. It tells us nothing about the MC at all, or even that there is an MC.
The short of it is - for the author, reconsider your story description, and for the reader, don't let the description (at least as it exists as of writing this) make you pass this by. The setting may seem like nothing new, though most fantasy settings are nothing new, and I will note this story does provide it's own little twist on things as well. To me, however, this story is good because I've enjoyed the characters, have been interested by the decisions they've made, and have found myself at the end of chapter 14 basically thinking to myself: more trouble is marching forward, and a metaphorical storm is beginning to reach the shore. How will Azara(MC) and the others handle it? What further decisions and plans will they make? If one thing seems clear to me, it is that they will not come out the same people that they went into this as.
I could give you an idea about the characters and what they face, though I think I'd prefer to allow the author to do that for you. Partly because this is all already fairly long, and partly because I personally tend to prefer to not to spoil things the author may not want spoiled. So I apologize if this isn't a 'typical' sort of review. Will you enjoy the story? I have. Ultimately, I say "read it and find out."

The Girl with the Crimson Hair

I was nervous when I first started reading this story. A story with no reviews? About a Princess? How good could it really be? I was quite surprised by the answer I found: It's fantastic!

There are some stories on this site that you feel you can put down for later. Either the plot slows down, or the writing needs a bit more editing, or sometimes you just find something you're more interested in reading. This isn't one of those stories. From the beginning, I was captivated, and I didn't stop until I'd read through all ten of the chapters that are currently up.

The writing is frankly excellent, a story about a young girl in over her head, trying to escape her evil pursuers, and confront the web of mystery and riddles surrounding her. The characters are complex and intriguing, the story kept me reading and wanting more, but most of all, I must say I loved the author's style. It's a battle of wit and one that got me to realize just how much I enjoyed a good riddle contest. 

So, do I recommend this story, you ask? Most definitely! 

Kammi Kettu

Yet Another Biased Review

Another one, you say? 

There's a reason why this story has so many biased reviews. Before I decided I wanted to hop on the Kammi Kettu writing train (sorry, my story chapters aren't up on RR just yet), I was just another reader. Val has created a wonderful little universe here full of complex characters and a bit of a mystery in the background. It's not a story that's going to be liked by everyone; no story with trans characters and an acknowledgment of racism in America will be. It is, however, a story that I've thoroughly enjoyed so far and can't wait to see what happens going forward!

A Soul's New Home

I liked this story up till the pedophilia

To set the stage here, I feel like F-Rank Human's review said it well. "A Cute and Fluffy Story With Some Gore." That's what this was until it took a turn towards- well.., you read the review's title. The MC, Snow, is by all accounts an innocent and naive child. Yes, she's also a bit of a bloodthirsty vampire who happens to have a soul that is quite old (a fact which is effectively irrelevant since that soul had no real life experiences during its long period of nothingness,) but it's made quite clear in the story that she is mentally and physically a child regardless. She's described as such clearly throughout the story, as she plays with other children, and is basically adopted by her two travel companions. She's a young impressionable child who is learning about the world and looks up to her adopted parents.

It's a cute story. Or... it started as a cute story. Then came the weird sexualization and pedophilia, which reached a very literal climax in "How and What They See 4." It would be one thing if the story was clear on how totally fucked up this is. But that's not what happens. It's clearly intended to be somewhat of a touching/bonding/whatever moment between the protagonist and her... adoptive mother? This is clearly not a story about how terrible pedophilia is. Instead, it's basically swept under the rug of normalcy and acceptability because 'well, she's enthralled to a vampire so *shrug.*'

Haven't read anything past that chapter and don't plan to read further. Obviously, I would not recommend the story, especially to those who have experienced trauma from things like rape and molestation.