Oskatat

Oskatat

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Beware Of Chicken

I'm not a fan of cultivation stories. There, I said it! Then again, this cultivation story goes far off the beaten path.

In many such stories you meet an old wise man somewhere in a hovel or whatever. he's not hunting beasts, he's not popping pills, he's living in harmony with the world in persuit of his craft or whatever. Where do those insanely strong and talented wise cultivators come from? 

Introducing Jin, who seems well on his way to such a path. Except that he isn't alone up on a mountain somewhere. Picking up companions on his very own Fa Ram and enjoying himself immensely.

Intruiguing, amusing and endearing characters, woven into a story you want to keep reading. The MC seems a bit naive at times, but to me it's more the naivety of someone who decided to look for the best in people, rather than being annoyingly dense. He may not be a genius, but he isn't stupid either.

The point of view changes are well done and add to the story. It really helps in fleshing out the various side characters, who'd otherwise be much harder to understand and sympathize with. Excellent grammar and spelling, the occasional errors are the exception, not the rule.


Glitched Amazon; Ghosts Only Die Once

Excellent power fantasy parody on average MMO games geared towards young adult male players. There will be epic quests, like killing rabbits and wolves, epic loots like earrings to kill for, and yes, a chainmail bikini clad amazon warrioress who is actually a mage. Because, what the hell, why not! Lots of jokes, humor and somewhat absurd situations, great read if you have some time to kill and want something light and amusing

Writing and grammar are consistently good, so if you're worried about that, rest assured.

Some points deducted from the 'story' part for two reasons, though I realize it's part personal preference:

First reason, even if the gods are AI, they get involved way too early in the story. MC has only made it to level 20-ish and is already in the spotlights (she meets someone who is level 350, so 22 is low). Even for a parody, this is very quick. I don't know how long the story is planned to go, but things escalated very quickly.

Second reason: We get it, young adult male audience, amazon, expect lesbian things. No need to rub it in every single chapter.

I'll see how the story develops, maybe I'll adjust this later.

If the story needs a sexual content tag or other tags is up for debate. Currently I don't think so, there is nothing explicit, but it's better to have them up in advance than to have to add them retro-actively because you offended part of your reader base. Only the author has any idea where to take the story from here, so he's the one to decide.

With regards to the characters I am thoroughly impressed. They're given more depth than in the usual power fantasy with perhaps the sole exception of Ilona, but that's still an open path.

The beginning is a little confusing as to what 'ghosts' are and such, but it gets cleared up shortly after.


A Stranger in Sorcererstown (The Stranger Trails Saga)

If you're going to go into this story expecting a completely fresh take on a story with various factions in bitter conflict inside a city, let me set you straight. The novel is in a way an homage to movies with Sylvester Stalone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood, Bruce Lee and the like. Expect one-liners, total confidence in his capabilities, being nice to the dog but not to the bad guys and everything else you can expect from the genre.

Spectacular action followed by some quiet time and then more spectacular action. For all his confidence, the MC is surprisingly frail. Hints about his past lend credit to his attitude - he's been to hell and back. What are you looking at, punk?

All this is wrapped in a very well written package. Only the perspective threw me off here and there.

While the characters are often very stereotypical or trope, they're absolutely appropriate for the story and the setting. I can easily imagine this being a play, epic saga or a campfire story about the day The Stranger walked into Sorcererstown.


I was reborn into a fantasy world as a magic robot?! Automata Prime

reviewed at chapter 24

This novel is a very good read as long as you prepare yourself for what it is. A light-hearted fantastical story about an overpowered protagonist who is indeed sometimes a little stupid. Leave a good portion of your disbelief at the door or you're being too serious

Once you're done being serious and can immerse yourself in some entertainment, the story actually digs quite a bit into some serious stuff, which the MC manages to mishandle badly on occasion. When the author informs us he's writing the MC as if it was himself and that he is a self-proclaimed dork, that actually becomes quite understandable.

I can find little to no fault with the style and the grammar, a rare thing indeed. The first person narrative is consistent and the spelling and grammar on point (though not always on comma, damn you, oxford comma)

The only real demerit are the currently still quite bland characters. They've been given enough depth, so I won't call them flat or two dimensional and are already above average for the genre, but they miss the little details to make them 'alive'. No-one paces around a room in frustration, tilts a head in confusion or nods along with an explanation, it all feels very static in that regard. I did see good improvement on that already, so I'm confident it will get better in the future. Since there is a noticeable improvement, I'm giving it 4.5 instead of 4


Dungeon's Path

I've been enjoying the story quite a bit now. It's a slow paced dungeon building novel without making the dungeon super OP right away. In my opinion that is a huge plus over slaughtering adventure parties in new and possibly amusing ways, as it allows the adventurers to gain characters.

You just need to get through the beginning, which is a bit of a task.

The grammar is ok-ish. Most notably are frequent tense switches between past and present, which can be distracting. The  dungeon and its assistant are fairly standard, but good enough. I'm in for the town developing outside and its founders and to see how you can make an interesting dungeon with goats. So far, so good


Among Monsters and Men

An excellent piece of work here on RR. The premise of the story is recognizable as the ' 'civilized' humans against 'wild' natives'. In that it is not unique, but the setting itself and the story it brings are very much worth the read with their own twist to create a unique story nonetheless.

Many details are given to bring life to the surroundings without it feeling pushy. Where I'm now (chapter 19) it feels like there is much more lore to be discovered, well done for making me curious.

The frequent shift between the PoV characters, especially early on, makes it a little harder to invest in the characters. A bit later characters get more than one chapter, which I appreciate. Speaking of the characters, they're well worth reading. Even side characters get some time to give them a personality and the main cast is deep and, if not relatable, at least understandable.

The writing itself is excellent. No grammar or spelling errors I could find. A few times where I'd have chosen a different word, but that is a matter of taste. This makes for a nice, flowing reading experience so you can get lost in the story an the world.


The Courting of Life and Death

A menage รก trois with additional mysteries in a mysterious land.

If you enjoy romance and mystery or just one of them, pick this up. If you don't, give it a try anyways, you will likely be pleasantly surprised.

Normally this is not the kind of novel I'd choose to pick up, but it was recommended to me by several sources. I can still say this is not the type of novel I'd choose to read, but I have no regrets. 

The story is compelling and fascinating, with hints and bits about what might happen, is going to maybe happen or has happened. The pace is slow and the writing has a stately feel to it. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the stilted and elaborate etiquette in court functions - and the ways people find to circumvent such.

Due to the slow pace and the writing style, the writing itself sometimes felt a bit heavy to me, I'm not sure if that's a completely subjective experience, so you'll have to see for yourself.

There are some phrases I personally would have done differently and the occasional rapidly repeating word and that is the worst I could find. In other words, excellent grammar, spelling and vocabulary. 

Due to the slow build-up of the story, the characters take a lot of time to present themselves. While they are rich in flavor, each with their own particularities and details to make them distinct from one another, the characters are slow at going deeper than surface reflection. However, there are plenty of hints of deeper things happening.

As an example, the familiar who supposedly shares his life and his secrets for quite some time already, feels less real than the new assistant and could do with some attention.


The Misplaced Dungeon

One of my favorites. A human-turned-dungeon gets her hand on some knowledge about genetics and genemodding and goes wild. She won't be in danger from adventurers, we'll head for the gods straight away. By skipping the mandatory 'dungeon is weak and needs to grow' time we can get right to what makes the story good. An extra powerful dungeon setting her territory down on several planets. She isn't a fan of people unless they are her people, but she's nice enough to help if it doesn't actually cost her anything - especially if it means you owe her a favor

The writing is excellent, both style and grammar, though there are quite a few eyes we'll be looking out of. If I have one criticism it's how inflexible most earth governments seem to treat it and her. Earth has the invasion of the blue screens, they can see what it can give people. While I get that they don't want to acknowledge her as a goddess, they should at least have more of a clue as to how powerful she could be.

Enjoy the read


A Dragon Idol's Reincarnation Tale

Girl who wanted to be an idol is reincarnated as a baby dragon and probably meant to save the world. Well, who said you can't do both?

Let me first say what I like about the novel: It's the characters. Rarely have I found a novel where the characters seem superficial only to show surprising complexity and this is one of them. Take your average isekai'd classroom with all the stereotypes you expect to see in a Japanese light novel, but give them actual personalities, hopes and dreams that may not fit their stereotype. Then add the MC who is severely spoiled and insecure without giving me a headache about it. Full marks here.

The story is just picking up towards some actual plot, so I've given it a cautious 4.5. It's hard to make out who the 'bad' people are, which I am pretty sure is intentional. She's maybe supposed to avert a dissaster or put something wrong to right, but it's up in the air at the moment.

The writing is easy on the eyes in excellent English, with some German curses thrown in here and there. Yes, there are mistakes, but they are not bad enough to interupt my enjoyment. I'm fairly sensitive to errors even while I can easily read past them at the same time, so you might have a different experience.

The style gets a slight minus due to the parallel minds. I didn't mind them as much as some seem to do and thought them a sign of the MC slowly going insane. Instead of talking to a tree she was talking to herself, pretending they were other identities. I could already imagine her being in company again and casually saying "Oh, one minute, I gotta talk to the voices in my head for a bit." Otherwise they pretty much reflected her own state of mind, so I'm not calling it more than a minor blemish for execution, rather than a bad concept.

All in all a relaxing and entertaining read.


The Man Who Killed the First Monster

 You know that SOAB adventurer, at or near the top of the rankings? Arrogant, careless of the safety of his companions and indifferent of the safety of others? Somewhat entitled and doesn't hesitate to extort, threaten, intimidate or outright take what he wants from others and actually thinks he deserves it? Have you ever wondered where he came from and how he got that way?

Well, this is shaping up like the origin story of such a villain.

Be mindful of the grammar, it can be rough at times. I can make sense of everything relatively easily and it is absolutely not the worst I've seen, but it's something to keep in mind.

He starts out as ordinary, sort of willing to help if it's not too much effort, much like you and me. His first shifts in personality make some sense, but it's starting to get a little strange at the point where I am while writing this review. Hopefully we'll gain more understanding later? A little frustrating is the complete lack of reaction from anyone around him. He must be almost a stranger to them, the way he acts. Hoping to see more of that in the future and I'll update my review if it does, but so far I'm a bit disappointed by the characters.

Nothing against a jerk as MC, btw, but he needs a bit more than that to remain interesting. Right now he is just as interesting as the average 'nice' isekai protagonist, except that he's 'not nice'

The story is... ok. Nothing much to makes it stand out from other system apocalypse novels. Not too much deus ex machina or plot armor feeling going on here, except in the beginning. That is a technique choice - setting up the insurmountable opponent, miraculously making it out, now the story can start. He does have plot armor regarding the treating of other people like shit without consequences. Might makes right?

I can't recommend this as light reading as the tone is a bit dark, nor can I recommend this as a really good novel. It's not bad though, quite good even at times. It just gets stalled by being not that special and having an MC I currently find hard to enjoy.