Asviloka

Asviloka

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Mother of Learning: The AU Chapters

From the forerunner of magic school time loops comes... another magic school time loop! But this time, with an extra twist: another looper gets caught up in Zorian's crazy adventure.

So excited to see where this goes. I love it! Nothing like expanding a story universe with AU what-ifs.


EDIT

Editing your way through immortality

TL;DR: A fun read if you don't mind exaggerated and unrealistic characters.

 

The first chapter is excellent, setting up our main character and premise nicely. The style is personal and casual, the setup rife with intrigue, and with only minor flaws in the writing. I love the inclusion of the conversation snippets at the start of each chapter! Everything about it screamed 'this is going to be good'.

Alas, my expectations were too high. While the writing is good, the style is easy to read and unintrusive, and the grammar nearly flawless... once our MC gets out of the wild and starts interacting with other people, the characters are... bizarre.

I could call them 'anime-ish' perhaps, but even that seems to give them too much credit. I could accept the MC behaving abnormally, due to being an immortal and coming off years of solitude, any quirks of his personality or behavior make sense in-universe. But I literally cannot comprehend the motives or actions of the others around him. None of it adheres to any potential version of reality I can imagine.

Though I'm personally unable to suspend disbelief far enough to continue, I can't deny the writing and flow are good. I really, really wish I could rate it higher, it has so much potential and there's a story here that I'd love to read.


He Who Fights With Monsters

I'd heard a lot about this story, both good and bad, and reluctantly gave it a go. To my surprise, the negative elements that I'd anticipated were nowhere to be found. The character is an annoying character, but he's not remotely a bad one, and is in fact rather charming in his idiocy. He grows and develops, relapses and struggles again and again. I found it entertaining and realistic.

The accusation of other characters morphing into imitations of his characterization, well, that's less easily refuted. The volume 1 epilogues were the most egregious in this respect, and I can see why it would be a problem for some readers.

Side characters vary from well-developed to pretty flat, but with a story this long running and involved I can forgive a bit of inconsistency in character quality.

The individual encounters can drag on a bit, but the overarching story is solid and enthralling.

Grammar issues are present, but not very frequent or overly intrusive. Definitely acceptable given the length and speed of release.

Overall, this was a quite good story which I look forward to continuing. Not any time soon, though - I got so thoroughly entrangled that I missed several nights of sleep and started to spiral my life into madness, so I'm going to disconnect here so I can get my life back on track and not ruin my entire future.

Once the story is complete and available on audiobook, you can rest assured that I'll be back to finish it. Until then, I wish the author the best, but we must go our separate ways.

 

Recommended, with the caveat that it really will only work for you if you click with the main character. He's a specific sort of irritating which I found highly entertaining, but others may find grating and unbearable. If you don't like Jason at the beginning, it's not going to change. :)


Quoth the Catto

This is an excellent poem with humor and cunning phrases and all the good things one would expect of a poem from such an excellent writer of short stories.

I highly recommend it, for anyone who has an interest in fun things even if not much interested in poetry. I know I've heard of but never read the original, but the flow and rhythm of this poem caught me up effortlessly. It's an admirable feat, at least so far as this poetry-ignorant reader can dare attest.


The Beast of Ildenwood

Lots of potential, yet to be realized

An interesting twist on the usual isekai style story, this one is alternating PoV from the mysterious amnesiac 'Wanderer' and his discoverer, a local with a forest domain and her own secrets.

Writing is capable and unobtrusive with only occasional typos.

Though it's too soon to say for sure, there's plenty of potential for new and interesting directions for the story even with some familiar concepts. Or it could veer into same-old generic territory. But I have hopes that it will be the former. :)

The addition of illustrations in the stat windows is a nice touch.


The [Bookworm] Who Couldn't Read

I went into this story blind for a review swap initiated by the author. (Yes, this is a swap review. No, I have not changed my opinion in the slightest as a result of that fact.)

This is one of those stories that's very hard to place a star rating to. The style is unexceptional, the grammar decent much of the time and confusing at others, (lots of misplaced punctuation). If I were rating only on those, it would get an utterly average score.

But then there's the characters and the story, and they're done really excellently well. The story is a fun twist on a generic system-world coming-of-age story, with a refreshing amount of the unexpected. The titular [Bookworm] does not immediately become literate and thus invalidate the entire premise; the rare and unusual class he obtains does not immediately make his life better, in fact it could be argued that it makes things worse.

It's so refreshing to have a story that's not following the same predictable paths.

Then there are the characters, which I alluded to before, but which bears repeating. They're fun, interesting, diverse in their outlooks and attitudes, and developed absolutely beautifully.

I really hope the author is able to find a proofreader or get a grasp on how to use quotation marks to properly denote dialogue, because with a bit of polish I could see this becoming a top quality story.


Rise of the Last Star - A LitRPG Adventure

This story does touch on heavy subjects, so be warned. 


Style: Solid, evocative, and does a good job drawing the reader into the MC's life. It's written in third person, mainly limited, but with some omniscient creeping in. I don't mind omniscient, so it didn't bother me. It has a vaguely light-novel feel to it, the way things are written out. 


Grammar: Quite good. Has a few flaws, but overall there is little to complain about. Above average.


Story: Some events felt a bit abrupt and rushed. Chapter 4 in particular was more difficult to suspend diseblief for and once we get into the game part, the main character seems quite overpowered for someone in his situation. 

After the very grounded and largely realistic intro arc, it felt jarring to be thrown into a more typical super special MC with unique powers story. 


Character: I have a problem with two supporting characters being named Arthur and Albert; I keep getting them confused with each other. Thankfully, there are enough descriptors sprinkled throughout that it was only minorly jarring, but it's still worth mentioning.

There's a disconnect between the feel of him in his initial chapters and the version after attaining his system abilities. It felt almost like I was reading a different story about an entirely different person, with only occasional asides to remind us of who he's supposed to be. 


Overall: Based on the intro arc, I expected to rate this story much higher. Unfortunately, the genre transition proved to be too jarring for me. Still, despite my personal falling out, the story is quite well done for what it's trying to be. 


Truth Seeker: A LitRPG Timeloop

It's a loop, it's a loop, it's a loop loop loop!

I've been reading this story for quite some time, but found myelf at a loss for how to review it. However, now that there are many chapters available both here and on Patreon, I feel the time has come to proclaim my thoughts and feelings on the matter. Without further ado:

 

STYLE: This is a story which improves dramatically as it goes on. The early chapters are somewhat average and nothing exceptional, but it would be a mistake to judge the story too harshly on those. It improves quickly, and by a lot.

GRAMMAR: Solid and unintrusive. Any mistakes pointed out are corrected with alacrity.

STORY: Here we have the point of it all: gamelit. magic. time loops. I'm here for the loops, you're hopefully here for the loops, and boy do we have loops. Slow loops, detailed loops, with lots of scrumptious worldbuilding and magic and fighting and mayhem in between. The chapters leading up to the first loop reset are unexceptional. I mentioned this already in style, but it bears repeating. Solely because it doesn't stay unexceptional. If not for the promise of loops, I'm not sure I'd have made it through the early chapters, but boy am I glad I did!

This is exactly my kind of story. If you like loops, if you like fun fantasy worlds and exciting battles and drama and loops, then it's probably your kind of story too. Don't let the early averageness keep you from jumping in on this fantastic little adventure. I'm at chapter 26 of the advance chapters, and oh man things are getting awesome.

Ahem. Right. Not going to gush too much.

CHARACTER: Here, alas, we have the one weak point of this otherwise fantastic story. Not to say the characters have anything wrong with them, merely that they are not as exceptional as they could be. Jen, our MC, has hopes and dreams and goals. The side characters... it's hit or miss. Some seem well planned and detailed, while others seem merely to exist. I wish a bit more detail could have gone into the supporting cast, but that's the only real criticism I have to offer.

 

IN CONCLUSION: if you like a loop, a magic loop, a magic loop in a game-system fantasy world, then this is the story for you. I love it, and highly recommend it.


Vainqueur the Dragon

This is not an unknown work, so I doubt anyone actually needs my recommendation to make up their mind about this story. But I greatly enjoyed the journey, so I feel somewhat obligated to say as much.

It's a very interesting look at a dragon adventurer, and the hapless thief turned primary minion along for the journey. Self-contained, long without being unreasonably so, this was a very entertaining adventure and I highly recommend it.


Thy Secrets Should Be Sung

This is a lovely, relaxed sequence of distinct scenes, each a worthy short story in and of itself, but weaving subtly together into a tapestry of words such as I fail to properly describe. It is eloquent and quaint, simple and beautiful, old-fashioned and timeless.

Delightful, soft, and unwavering, the style is one of this story's many strong suits. The interweaving of action and dialogue is exquisitely done, perfectly matching the tone of the work, and I can find no fault with it.

Grammar, while excellent, is flawed in some instances. Specifically, quite a few homophones have slipped through, which do distract jarringly from the otherwise perfect prose. This is the only thing holding it back from a perfect score.

The story is simple in conceit, but layered and unfolds delicately across the chapters. The characters are multi-faceted and well considered.

I must confess I haven't finished the story yet, as it feels best served unfolding a chapter at a time, with space to breathe; taken as a sequence and not as a single thing to rush through. I've been so impressed with it so far I feel compelled to write this recommendation as soon as possible. It is also possible that, like so many other stories, it could fail to stick the landing. But I'm not sure that would really matter when the journey has been so utterly enjoyable.