Cocop (Cale Plamann)

Cocop (Cale Plamann)

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Fictions
Reviews
Enigma's Multiverse (Rewritten, link in description)

Despite some stylistic liberties from the author, this is very much a fun and fast read.

Style
This is the novel's weakest point.  The fighting is great and the character develoment is great, but it isn't uncommon to run into a tonal shift or a narrative shift. as well as the occasional 4th wall break.  I think this novel could do with a proofreading draft, but outside of some of these worldbuilding/musing moments, the stroy reads very smoothly.

Grammar
I noticed one or two issues, but not much more than that.  It's really not a problem, but I did notice infrequent issues with phrasing etc.

Story 
The story is half cliche and half new.  System Apocolypses are incredibly common, and the character's life is fairly standard fantasy fair, but the addition of cultivation/daos shakes things up.  That said, the pacing IS a good grip faster than I'd like, but beyond that the story was fun, albb

Character
Characterization of the main character and his family are probably the best parts in this story.  It can get a little exposition heavy at time, but we have a back story, and the characters react naturally to it.  The story introduces some trauma for the MC early on and as he develops we learn a little about his own role in perpetuating his own suffering.  Overall, very good.


The Precipice of Power

cultivation but with characters you care about

This is a rewrite of a cultivation novel that I greatly enjoyed the first time.  It's better.  It has all of the tropes you come to expect with the genre- unfair worlds where strength rules all, alchemy, and mysterious masters, but it does it with a light enough hand that they don't FEEL overdone.  It's a little early in the story's development, but it has more than enough potential to follow at this stage.

Style
The story does a good job of advancing hte plot with alternativing third person points of view.  There were one or two spots where things went a TAD too fast and it got a little confusing, but beyond that pacing, word choice and tone are all very good.

Grammar
I didn't notice any mistakes.  They might be there, but they didn't jump out at me.

Story
Right now we're just in the foundations of the novel.  We're spending more time learning who the characters are and what the world is than we are watching them DO things.  That's the only reason for the half star ding- nothing has happened yet but that isn't a bad thing.

Character
I liked the characters in the first iteration and I love them now.  They feel real as I read them and I'm interested in each of their goals, struggles, and trials.  If this story follows the pattern of the original, that will be the focus going forward and I'm looking forward to it.


I'm Not A Monster, It's Only A Mask

Only a mask is a mixed but very positive experience.  The concept is phenomenal and the author carries out the core of the story extremely well.  The main characters are debt ridden screw ups that end up as supervillian henchs to make ends meet.  I LOVE how the author wove absolute brutality and office worker banality together.  Half of the story is people bored and gossiping, and the other half is characters bleeding out in alleyways because being a hench sucks.  In short, the author has a gread idea and is on the right track.  Just ignore the speedbumps along the way.

Style
The style is very much a mixed bag.  Most of the time it's just fine, but perspective is third person omni and from time to time the author slips into passive 'narrator voice,' more or less breakin the 4th wall and talking directly to the reader.  That said other than some idioms that don't land correctly, the story is well written and engaging.

Grammar
The grammar is good, but there are some word choice issues that are a bit glaring (especially in the first couple chapters).  I generally consider poor/inappropriate word choice under grammar (as usually they're connected) but this story is a bit weird in that the grammar was actually very solid.

Story
The story concept, world, and crafting are all A+s.  I am more than willing to overlook the above two concerns to keep reading about this plot/world.

Character Score
There are multiple well fleshed out characters.  In fact, characterization is flat out a strength of this novel.  That said, one of the MC's is so grating and frustrating that I struggle to read her.  It's their personality/in character, but it just saps some of the fun out of the story when they're being purposefully difficult and causing problems for everyone else.  Still, if you can get past that, all of the characterization is A+ caliber.


First Contact

A Melange of Every Science Fiction Show/Movie You've Ever loved

So your 'TLDR' is that this is REALLY good.  If you have even the slightest inkling that you want to read epic science fiction, give this a try.

Style
The story has a massive scope, entire stellar empires getting wiped out massive.  There are a lot of POVs which at times can be good, but at times is a distraction.  I know that some of the story arcs feel like throw aways that I scim past because I just don't care.  That said, when it works (most of hte time) it WORKS.  The chapters skim past quickly and it's hard to put down.

Grammar
Overall good, but I noticed the occasional missing word that threw me off.  Not enough to really disrupt my enjoyment, but I noticed it.

Story
Yeah, the story is amazing.  Post scarcity humanity in all its unfocused and manic glory replicating the science fiction from old while fighting ancient enemies.  There are plenty of pop culture references, but it's literally references to a half forgotten and legendary pop-culture so it works.

Character
The good characters are REALLY good.  I found myself enthralled in and getting emotional over the struggles, failures and triumphs of aliens.  Moreover, the aliens were ALIEN.  Not just a person in a bog monsters skin.

 


Vagrant — CYBERPUNK / SCI-FI

Time to get chromed up street samurai

Royal Road has nowhere near enough viable cyberpunk.  Sounds of Hysteria is trying to fix that in a good way.  Namely, we're looking at the seed of a very unique cybrpunk novel.  The cyberpunk I'm used to features the runners, fixers, and samurai that hide in the shadows, ekeing out a living from major corporations.  This... is different.  The world has the same neon glow to it, but hte focus is on the disaffected daughter of an important figure falling in with the Wrong Crowd and ending up way over her head.  In short, color me intrigued.

Style
The style is my only real knock on this story.  At times, especially early, the paragraphs can drag on and become a smidge clunky.  It's not bad, still slighty above average for this site, but not quite silky smoothe.  I think a once over by the author to improve flow would go a LONG way on this.

Grammar
The only issue I noticed the author changed literally while I was reading it.  If there are other mistakes, they didn't impede my reading.

Story
Vagrant is a mystery/thriller (at least so far) and it's excelling at that.  The MC falls in over her head, and everything after that is a combination of tension and paranoia so thick you can almost feel it.  All the while you have two POVs, one in the underworld and one amongst the rich that both seem to be progressing the plot simultaneously.  In short, the story is great.

Character
There are two povs and both are great.  They feel and act like distinct individuals and I enjoy how they view each other a LOT.  Chipping beneath an arrogant character's swagger to see their anxiety is a novel and fun feeling.  

In short, this story is carried by its story and characters, but that shouldn't be seen as a knock.  Those two factors are most of the novel and they're great.


This Quest is Bullshit

To start, this is a lighthearted and fun book that you should be reading right now.  The world is interesting, the banter is witty, and the progress is fast paced.  

Style
A very well written adventure comedy.  The action feels natural, transitions and progress are smoothe and the story feels kafkaesque (and is mined for most of the story's humor).  My only gripes are that the dialogue/banter can be a bit 'mile a minute' and the chapters feel a bit short for me.  That said, this appears to be by design.  The conversations come off as fast and madcap, and they serve the characters well. 

Grammar
There might be mistakes, but I didn't notice any.

Story
The story rudimentry, but it doesn't matter.  At its core this is a book you've read 100x before if you're on this site with any frequency.  Teenagers get quests and classes and go on adventures to conquer them.  There are enough twists and new takes to keep it fresh, and more importantly, the characters are funny/intereesting enough to keep you fully engaged throught he process.

Character
The characters are lighthearted and funny with occasional moments of gravity sprinkled in to make sure the mood isn't entirely cotton candy sweet.  I very much enjoyed reading characters struggling against a dumb and unfair world while maintaining unflagging optimism. 

TLDR:
Read it.  The chapters are quick enough that you arent out much if you don't like it, and in all likelihood you WILL like it.


The Calamity of a Reborn Witch

This is one of the best novels I've read on Royal Road in a while.  Without getting into spoilers, it's an Isekai where the MC is stuck as a minor/discriminated against noble in a world where the laws and customs stymie her at every turn.  That said, her extreme competence (dare I call her socially/politically OP?) carry her through.

The pacing on this book is close to perfect.  It takes things slow while still raising enough questions to keep the reader guessing.  Only after I'd read about 50 or so chapters did I realize that not a a whole lot of time had passed, but I didn't care in the slightest.  The plots/dilemmas in that short time kept me enthralled.

As a note, there are multiple POVS.  They work very well, don't worry about it too much.  Every character gets devleoped.  The chapters are also fairly short, but there are a ton of them them and if you're not careful you'll fall into the trap I did.  Reading it until 4:30 a.m. when you need to get things done early the next day.

Style
The pacing and flow are top notch.  I've seen one or two meh turns of phrase in something like 350 pages.  This is borderline published quality.

Grammar
I don't think I've seen any errors.  It looks like the author corrected some previously, but I didn't notice anything.

Story Score
A perfect mix of world building, characterization, introducing mysteries and giving those mysteries payoff.  The early chapters leave plenty of breadcrumbs making you wonder WHY things happened.  The middle chapters answer those questions and then ask more questions, all while building the world.  The only slight quibble I have is that the world's magic system has begun to feel a bit like an afterthought, but around the time I first thought that, the author introduced a new peril for the MC based off of it.

In short, it's VERY good.

Character
The characterization is good.  The MC is competent and rational (without being a sociopath too!).  Each POV is well fleshed out and intriguing in its own way.  One thing I enjoy is that the 'bad' characters are SO bad.  Absolutely rotten people.  Watching them squirm as they earn and the suffer from their comeuppance is a VERY good time.

Summary:
If you don't mind tension/stakes created from something other than leveling/combat, read this.  Like, immediately.


Among Giants

Good and Getting Better

This story almost feels like it was written by two authors.  The first eight chapters (a rewrite) are phenomenal.  It tells the story of a pair of twins cultivating in a Xianxia world, making us feel for their very different social station.  It touches on tropes without indulging in them and draws the reader in.  Those chapters I would probably give straight 5s.

The remaining chapters still good, I'd say somewhere between a 4.5 and a 5.  Sometimes the action gets jumbled- events happen too fast and without explanation (although usually the author does explain things later), but other than that it paints an intersting world with characters that feel distinct.

In short, it's ALL worth reading, but I urge the author to keep up the rewrite.  This has the potential to be a top shelf cultivation/progression novel if they keep at it.

Style
Largely good, occasionally the multiple POVs can get a bit tangled, and the failure to describe complex technical details such as cultivation levels can be jarring.  Additionally, there are periods where too much is happening at once.  The story would benefit from taking a step back to breathe.  That said, the things that are happening are interesting and engaging.  It's good, it just could be a little better (hence 4 out of 5 stars).

Grammar
I didn't notice any major problems.  Doesn't mean they aren't there, but if they are they're minor enough that it didnt' slow me down.

Story
The later chapters lean a little too much on the mysterious master to push things forward (and not much has happened at the point I've read too).  That said, the class structure and twist regardin the initial cultivation world are interesting and well done.  I'm confident that once more things happen, the story will pick back up.

Character
There are four main characters and all of them feel distinct.  The 'party' doesn't sync perfectly together and the story is better for it.  Even in the later chapters the characterization is very good.


The Cursed Witch (Book One)

The core of this story is something that I both love to read and write.  The gloss and glamor of a cheerful magical fantasy world with hints of a darker seedier underbelly just beneath the surface.  It's the story of a quartet of friends that are trying to find out the mysteries of both magic and the foreboding magical academy that they're attending.

As a warning, there are multiple POVs and the MC is a bit arrogant/bratty, but in my opinion it works and works well.

Style
This is my lowest score for two reasons.  The pacing/scripting of scenes can be a bit jarring from time to time, and there are times when the images are described in such a way that they confuse the reader.  That said, other than that it shifts between POVs smoothly, takes risks, and invests you in the world/characters smoothly.

Grammar
There are noticeable mistakes but they aren't terribly frequent.  Further, the author is making active efforts to clean them up.  The mistakes don't hinder the reading and are largely cosmetic so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Story
At its heart, this story is a bit of a mystery.  The main character lived a sheltered life and now we are exploring the world alongside her as she ventures into the wider world.  The story does a good job of pairing the excietment, danger, and menace as the MC explores her magic and the potential political/social ramifications of her actions.  The plot has multiple moving parts that are handled well, and of the multiple authority figures that the POV characters are choosing between, we still don't know who is good, who is bad, and who is grey.  In short, it does a very good job of adding suspense and conflict to an almost slice of life scenario.

Character
Outside of one sudden and abrupt introduction to a character that jarred me, I really like the writing of all of the characters.  I got a feel for all of them, and generally, I found them interesting.  Each and every one of them moves the plot forward and by chapter 20, I was invested in all of them.


Synth

Dystopian Bat Highschool!

Did you ever think that being a weird outcast in highschool could be improved by crushing loneliness and absolutely justified paranoia about being murdered or lobotomized for being different?  No?  Huh.

This story is absolutely adorable and set against one of the most stark and dystopian backdrops I've ever read.  It's all about friendship, petty drama, cliques, and a tyrannical empire that won't hesitate to murder you if you step out of line.

Style
The chapters are light and flow together nicely.  In fact the entire story feels light and fluffy and it shows in the writing.  The author does a good job of switching tonally between awful tyrannay and childlike naivete.

Grammar
If there were errors the author fixed them before I found them

Story/Character
I combined these two categories because the story is of a character with almost no prior knowledge trying to find themselves and friends in a hostile and brutal world.  The characterization, excitement, hopes and insecurities of the main character and their friends are written extremely well. Also they are cute as heck despite everything awful going on.  Read this story for them if nothing else.