Magical Girl Gunslinger

Artful, in a way tragically few are

TLDR: Highly recommend, and so does everyone else. Why aren't you reading it already?


It's always wonderful to see a young writer come into their voice.  The start is clearly still a little searching, but you can tell by chapters 5 & 6 that author was written themselves into a better understanding of their voice, and by chapter 10 you can hear them sing.

Iterative or progressive improvement is obvious as you read, and the beginning isn't weak, but the end is artful.  A great example of this was the transition from utilizing stats and "System" prompts as a "gimmick" or genre requirement, to brief narrative shorthand so one can focus on the meat of the narrative.  The character development is natural from the start, and the dialogue polished.

There are few grammatical issues, and the writer seems receptive to correction in crowdsourced proofreading.  Chapter 13 and later seem to show a greater effort in actual editing--not the same as proofreading and rarely found on this site.  I don't know if that's evidence of outside collaboration or the exceedingly difficult skill of self-editing, but either way it continues to shine.

The world building has just the right amount of ingenuity and humor to sparkle, and more impressively, timed well to direct that light back to the strong narrative driving this work.

All in all, a rare treat that I couldn't recommend enough.  So much so that it pulled a jaded old author such as myself out of "review retirement."

Perhaps I will find the motivation to fight for the rights to post material here again, but I know I will make the time to continue reading this.


Unreadable Due to Grammar

To a lesser extent, tone is also an issue, but poor grammar takes something that could have been interesting, and makes it unreadable.

I was unable to finish either chapter I tried reading, which says a lot considering some of the essays I've had to grade in my tenure. 

The description should have been a warning, but I was swayed by the other review.  I'm uncertain if even Grammarly can fix this, but maybe it could at least catch all the improper capitalization, spacing, and punctuation marks.  Then maybe one can work through the awkward word choices and poor vocabulary.

 I honestly don't mean to be discouraging to the author, but I highly recommend you don't go with the standard advice of "just keep writing," and either come back and start editing from the front, or stop this fiction and start anew with better habits from the beginning.

I am actually finding myself wondering if this was produced by a neural net (AI) rather than a human. In which case: interesting, but run a few iterations including more standard published novels (even open domain), rather than online posts/blurbs/tweets.

Assuming it is, in fact, written by a human, know that I understand that you are trying to write dialogue in an informal dialect. That means, however, that you need to be all the more perfect in your structure and grammar around it. 


Compelling Young Tragic Romance

As of Chapter 14. 

It’s refreshing to find both an actual tragedy and a romance that’s not also trying to be a comedy.  Further, it’s even more unusual to find one so well constructed, and from such a young author.  The grammar is easily within the top 10% of the site, with the occasional word substitutions being only mildly jarring.  As others have noted, the work drives hard towards both sorrow and despair.  For the most part it succeeds in this task, but there are concerns for those of us who struggle with the willful suspension of disbelief. 

First, it is quite evident that many scenes are overly simplified—either from the author’s own lack of experience, or for literary convenience (more often the later).  There is a clear teenage target audience, and I think the fiction excels within that expectation.  This leaves, however, some characters within one dimensional “foil” roles, and their behavior can be unbelievable to the point of pulling a reader out of the story. 

It should also be noted that the story is becoming more reliant on Christian themes and is likely to contain multiple conversion narratives by the conclusion.  I applaud the attempt at a difficult subject, and, as a Christian, I don’t find these sections objectionable. They did come off as a little heavy handed, however, and didn’t ring true to how discussions of faith pan out in the real world.  My hope would be that non-Christian readers would be able to read through these sections in pursuit of the deeper narrative, not drop the work out of hand.

My only other concern is a desire to bring the story to a “happy” ending when it has the makings of a solid tragedy.  I believe it will be much more interesting for the other characters to sacrifice themselves for the main character, but that ultimately such sacrifice is fruitless and causes them material harm (if not religious and/or psychological gain).  For now, I will continue to follow the work in hopes of a clear resolution.

Change: New World

Some of the Best Action Scenes on RRL

As far as litRPG’s go, this is among the best.  The level growth occasionally seems uneven, but I have been more than impressed with the attempt of incorporating the multitude of mundane experiences into an RPG system.

Endless cage (Dropped)

As of Ch. 34:

Certainly a more unique spin on the RPG growth character theme.  The chapter end notes sometimes add sufficient humor, and sometimes fall flat, and overall don't effect the story too much in either direction.

I'm beginning to worry that there is a danger of repition in the storyline, but we shall see with upcoming arc.

The Rider with the Golden Torc

Read to completion.  First, that’s a wonderful thing to be able to say about a work, it was posted here to completion.  The style is excellent, the action is wonderful, and the technical writing is easily within the top 10% of this site.  It’s not written in the common tone of web-lit, but rather takes a more Classic (big C) approach.  While prose, if put into a rhythmic form, it could easily pass as an epyllion (a short epic poem—think mini-epic).

I only have two detractions, and that is only because I view the work so highly.  I wish there were parts that made me think, challenged morality, or made a deeper overall point.  This is pure hard hitting action cover-to-cover, which is certainly pleasing, but left me yearning for something a little more mentally engaging. 

The other demerit is a lack of depth in the core group of characters.  I’m not looking for more exposition, but more opportunities for foils to engage the MC so that we can see their depth. 

A great work that I would recommend to anyone, and I look forward to future work by this author.

(Deleted draft)

As of chapter 46.  First if you’re concerned on length, don’t be.  Each chapter/scene is pretty short, but on the whole the work is neither too short nor too long—though I hope the end is in sight.  Others have noted the slow start, but I actually think the charm of the work is the beginning. 

The earlier scenes maintained a comedic narrative, mostly in comedy through absurdity.  Later on it feels like the author started to take the narrative too seriously, and made a more straight forward attempt at the LitRPG genre.  By chapter 25 I rarely even grinned to say nothing of laughing, which is unfortunate because there is some solid comedy in the first 10 chapters.

The grammar is fairly bad, which means it’s slightly below average for RRL standards.  It’s at the level of at least one mistake per paragraph, but not at the point where it constantly prevents immersion.  There aren’t any characters that are likeable, which would be fine if the comedy kept delivering, but it just doesn’t.  By chapter 46 most of the humor is thoroughly rung out, and it’s my hope the author can find some fresh inspiration to finish out the narrative (which will hopefully not drag on to long).  I’m not planning to follow this work, but I may come back time to time and check in. 

Legends of The Great Savanna - Complete Book 1, Ongoing Book 2

Through chapter 10.

This is one of the best constructed LitRPG's on the site.  The grammar is by no means flawless, but the work shows an experienced and well planed mind behind the content.  The style and scope are tight and consistent and the characters are well developed.  The story loses some points for lack any particularly novel or captivating moments, but maintains steady enough pacing that this can be easily overlooked if you're a fan of the genre.

I'm not a fan of most LitRPG's, and I find myself considering following this one (which is about as strong of an endorsement is you can get from me).  There is a bit of an over reliance on what I'm coining as "deus ex calculo machina," or an overriding desire to hang the narrative on needlessly detailed/sysadmin/stats exposition.  I note that complaint is common to the genera, so if you like LitRPG's, you should certainly check this one out.

All of The Angels

As of chapter 10.

This holds a wonderful narrative that gives just the right amount of information at every turn and leads one wanting more. The grammar is in the 85th percentile (top 15%) of RRL fictions. There are a few moments when it will pull you out of the story, but they are not common (and the story is compelling enough to keep you engaged). The dialog really stands out as the best aspect of the work, with an interesting world and plot coming in behind it. The action scenes still need a little work, but this is the only serious drawback in style. The characters are believable so far, but it's a little to early to judge if they will be fully fleshed out (that is not a failing of the writing so far, it's just too soon to tell).

On the whole I am following the work with hope towards the future, and may come back and edit the review as time goes on.

Devious Dungeon [Dropped]

This is certainly worth a read if you are at all interested the "dungeon" gynra.  The story takes several interesting angles on what normally amounts to a series of tropes.  

The grammar could still use some work, even in the rewritten chapters.  The rewrite does seem to improve the grammar and word choice, however.  The world building is sometimes given as an info dump, and the characters seem to wobble a bit under the strain of trying to progress the story.

Even with all that said, it is still an enjoyable story.  I would certainly recommend to a friend who liked online fiction.