DanceLikeAFool

DanceLikeAFool

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Reviews
Sara's (not really) Fabulous System Armageddon, Book I: The World Ended at Rush Hour

TLDR: Want a system story that doesn't hammer you with boxes but has them? A story that has a purpose driving it along AND quality of life chapter side-quests and stories? Want an MC that isn't a mindless murder-bot prepper hero #&@^-yeah bubble-gum chewing sociopath? Want to FEEL something?

She's a 10, but she's still purifying her mana channels and discharges gunk.

Merging style and grammar score explanations because you can't stop me.  Grammar is excellent with the very few mistakes. There are a few errors but they're only noticeable if you are actively looking for them, and given the author notes suggesting revision and the comment section pointing them out they'll probably get ironed out. Style wise, MDW is absolutely alright with making the reader go through some things. This is not a start that suggests everyone in the story is going to have a happy ending, or even make it to the end. MDW deals with the reality of their MC's situation with brutality and clarity, showing it to be necessary for the narrative without any weird fetishizing. Very bad people exist. There is a clear driving force to the story with episodic events making the pacing excellent and enjoyable.

Story score: Excellent. There are some bold narrative choices to drive the plot along in the beginning, and they work. It's a system story, and there's a system that the character is eased into instead of drowned in at the start. The MC has a passenger that drives forward emotional development as well as a cast that plays to counterpoints good and bad. Optional "side-quests" make the story flow very well and the landscape of the apocalypse, errr, armageddon, are well-thought out using detailed maps and real-world examples.

Character: Sara is difficult to follow in the beginning because you feel sorry for her right off the bat, which she would hate. There are a lot of relatable tropes and life experiences that were pulled into the generation of her personality. Furthermore, her personality is consistent and compelling. I like her passenger and the obvious way it is developing. I'm not a huge fan of the other survivors in the story, but not because they are written poorly. They are actually written very well, making what would be my obvious distaste and loathing for some of them into tolerant dislike and neutrality. They appear to be developing and growing as characters as well, and I won't be surprised if I actually start liking (some) of them. >.> Sara supremacy.

 


Dungeon Core From Hell

There is always room for more dungeon core story.

One of the pitfalls of a lot of them is failure in choosing a direction in dungeon intent. Floor designed to challenge or murder. Dungeon Centric or Delving. Primo has the potential to jump either way and it is too early to tell. Either direction could be novel at this point.


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Interesting Start.

The problem with accidentally stumbling upon new fics that pique my interest is that I binge them mercilessly. Took me about half an hour to get caught up. Sadfase.

Non-traditional MC with little starter agency with a darker-themed cast being filled out. Seems tower/dungeon climber-esque with detail and follow-through. The battle system introduction feels intriguing but there hasn't been much of it. The obvious bad guys are obvious, and also huge POS's but hey. It's a little grimmer than I was expecting, but that's my fault. I mean, the cover was a skeleton. I'm a sucker for well-done necromancy. Easy follow decision. Keep up the good work author.


[Maid] to Kill: Vive la Révolution

Reasons to read this, as a list.

- Well-written, with few errors

- Inevitable Cleaning Puns

- You have worked in the Service or Hospitality Industry

- You like maids. Hey, no judging.

- Ground floor Fayette supremacy

- You like classes, stats, and cutlery.

- Because *#@&  the bourgeoisie

 

A fine start to a humorous tale about a maid with skills that, through either wordplay or divine providence, begins her path toward... I don't even know. The Black Butler? Combat Maid? The Broom of the People? So far, I'm here for it.


Is It Too Late To Move My Lair?

I'm a sucker for dragons, so here I am.

The story itself is a very relaxing slice-of-life wholesome sort so far, about a dragon doing his best to understand his neighbors while still enjoying dragon things. The tolerance of the dragon is noteworthy and truly admirable, as the humans in the story often react in a very human fashion. Feh. Humans.

It doesn't have blue boxes, it's not a litrpg, and so far there has been no murder-hoboing.  It's nice, okay? Not everything has to be weird murder spree centric.

The title of the review is the feel the story gives off so far. Like a dragon watching a broadway play without totally understanding the language or the story premise but just graciously being appreciative nonetheless.


Stonesong [An Illustrated Grimbright Fantasy Adventure]

TLDR: Worldbuilding. Monster/Fantasy Race Mains. Beautiful Art Priming Chappies. Enjoyable.

Initial impression: The author walks you up to the pool and then pushes you into it at the deep end. After a bit of sputtering, you realize you kind of like it. In this regard you're on pace with Mika.

Style: The author prefers to use art to set some of the chapters and it works. Royal Road needs more art, to be honest. There is a lot of description that goes into the world-building. A lot of names for classes/slang/what have you. From my perspective the writer makes a lot of broadstrokes initially while they sort out the shape they want and then go all in on the details.

Grammar: There's nothing jarring or horridly inconsistent. You can tell the author gives it a once over, which is a lot more than I usually ask for from someone without a professional editor.

Character: There isn't a whole lot of agency for the main character initially, but being swept up by a vast array of interesting and deep characters works. Just ask studio ghibli.

Story: I call it a slow burn dark fantasy because there's no obvious point A to point B plot mechanic. Mika has goals and does her best to work toward them, but all in all the story is revealed minute by minute, chapter by chapter, making it seem aimless when instead it is just a layer of threads leading toward a larger design. The majority of the story centers around lost knowledge, and the writer correctly(in my opinion) doesn't just give you the knowledge at the beginning.


They are Smol

Somehow Missed This For... THREE YEARS?!

I like chaos and absurdity.

There's a special place in my heart for the word Smol.

I'm re-reading this fiction but if I were to give an impression it would be like if Heinlein had a side-hustle and had ready access to memes. Memelord Heinlein. Yeah. I like it. The fact that I understand most of the references in the chapter titles and get a lot of the pop cult. jokes makes me feel like I've been on social media, but the fun part, not the doomscrolling corrupt politician wildfire ocean dyin-- Ahem. The fun part.


How It Ends

TLDR Overall: Came to see How It Ends out of curiosity, pleasantly surprised by the quality and scope. The running joke where I'm from is that everyone has their own plan for when things go off the rails, and in a lot of ways that's what the premise of this book is about. Part Doomsday Prepper, Part Best Friends Against The World. All Very Good.

Grammar/Style: Grammar exists. Words were typed. Words were read, they were gud. The author's style focuses on incredibly specific details of objects at a location, pairing them with dialogue that doesn't sound like the same person with a different name talking over themselves. Otherwise known as excellent prose and great character interaction.

Story Score: The story follows a believable tracking of events, making me nod along sometimes with how the author thinks the authorities, the locals, and the billionaires(hah) would react in a true crisis scenario. I think they are even over-generous but I'm a bitter soul. The characters are driven by circumstance, friendship, and are doing their best. 

Characters: I love certain aspects of Kyra and John, foremost the way they drive each other's character development. That they each have unique traits that I despise makes them all the more real to me. The fact that both are a far cry from perfect make them more real to me, and worth investing into.

I'll likely continue following this and let some chapters accrue.

Edited to Retract the Horror Tag Suggestion, as I see it's on there.


Oathholder (Heretical Oaths)

TLDR: Overall, there's something about Revenge, capital R, it's important, that speaks to an audience. The story itself starts out with Revenge as a premise. The premise begins to encounter all the sane things that the premise should, well, encounter. Then plot takes logical twists as a result to character dvelopment. It's a fun read with a surprisingly comfortable marriage of magic and some modern science. There's also a very blunt realism that any system/story should have if it explores monsters, magic, and adventuring youth.

Style Score: I admire the amount of detail in the setting. It was sparse enough in some respects to make you want more of it, but that's ultimately the goal of a good fic in my opinion. The synergy of spoken dialogue at odds with internal dialogue made it refreshing for me. It would be remiss of me to not point out that the oath holder system the author employs is incredibly good.

Grammar Score: It was fine? Yeah. It was fine. Words happened. They were read. 

Character Score: Lily goes through a tremendous amount of growth and I like her. There, I said it, I enjoyed Lily as a character. I can see that a lot of people would label her anti-hero and I don't necessarily disagree. I would like to point out that it's probably more accurate to describe her as not Lawful Stupid, as so many MC's are/become. The LGBTQIA+ representation was excellent. Without getting into spoilers, I'll just leave it at that.


All The Skills - A Deckbuilding LitRPG

TLDR: Young protagonist start. Slow satisfying burn. Grim setting. Feels Witcher-esque. Give it a shot.

Grammar/Style: Lumping these two together, as there isn't much to say other than -- gud. Excellent prose and painting of setting. The use of a passive narrative voice doesn't intrude on the dialogue or action and adds to the world-building. 

Story Score: It's nice to not know where a story is headed after chapter 5, beyond the 'things will happen' and, hand wave, 'stuff.' As a warning, the story starts off pretty grim, which I wasn't necessarily expecting. The background and side-characters are polarized to the extreme, which works in this case. 

Character: Arthur is a kid, and as such, does kid things. I don't know why that's hard for people to understand. If anything, Arthur is raised in a place where kids grow up far too fast or not at all and the author does a fantastic job of showing growth from chapter 1 onward. Intelligent fantasy creatures confirmed. The nobility seem to still be a bunch of mean creeps, even in this setting, so don't worry! 

Easy story follow, author follow, and 5 star. A welcome addition to Royal Road.

Three more words.