Pauliuk

Pauliuk

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Urban Wolf: On The Run

Amazing Action, Terrible Tense

Foreword: This review is based on my experience with it. With that in mind, my review is about my view of the story and has nothing to do with the fact that it was part of a review swap.

This story is about a sword master who is running away from her past and joins a gang. If you are into well-described fight scenes with a thin and drawn-on plot with lots of tense issues then this is for you.

Style: The fight scenes are well described and are the story's selling points. Lots of repetition which I guess is to point out how much the MC cares about their training. The major drawback to the style is a lot of waiting for something to happen. This becomes more apparent in Act 2 of the story.

Story: The story itself is a war about drugs. There is no real goal to the story giving it an edgy slice-of-life feel. There is some mystery about who is selling the drug Teneb (which is the main story) and then some side stories. 

The bland pacing gives for a realistic feel of the world so if you are into that with long-awaited fight scenes then this is for you. Personally, I found myself waiting for the fight scenes or wanting to learn more about other characters than the main plot.

Grammar- Tenses, tenses, tenses. The biggest problem with this story is tense usage. The story uses both past and present tense and sometimes within the same sentence! I tried to reach out to the author about what tense they wanted the story in but they said they would continue with the tense breaking. So you'll find edits about tense in my comments on each of the chapters.

Now there is grammar about swords that an average person wouldn't understand. This problem was fixed recently when the author added a glossary so bravo to that. This really allows the strongest parts of the story to shine through.

My only other problem is the heavy use of "blah blah -describing something or internal thought- blah blah. For me, there are a lot of times the - could be replaced with, and make for a better read with smoother pacing.

Characters: This is where I really have a love-hate with this story. 

The side characters are well written. We have:

Lenny, a higher up in the gang who is a martial artist, torturer, and surveillance master.

Nick, a higher up in the gang as well. He is in charge of distributing drugs and earning money for the gang.

Jack, a PI, who was recently introduced but has a lot of potential.

Then we have June, the MC. June is a very skilled swordsman or swordswoman, whichever you prefer to call her. The woman is also superhuman and can heal much faster than normal people. She comes to a new city to escape her past and ends up in a gang.

June is instantly promoted in the gang because of her skills and also kills people and torture or helps torture some. This isn't bad for the story but she is written with this bare-bones morality where she struggles with killing and torture for about half a second before shrugging it off. It would have been better if she never had this "moral struggle" as it fits her character better.

Later in the story, she only thinks of this quickly before killing who she has to. Of course, the story again tries to use this for one of the more dramatic scenes because the MC didn't kill someone but you'll read that yourself.

In Act 2, this is almost brushed aside, thankfully.

As for the other parts of June, she has an internal struggle with accepting her past and who she is which is why no one has seen her extra ears and tail (I am assuming they look like a dog's because of the story's title).

Her more lovable parts are when she is having more casual moments with others or singing in her band. Those parts truly need to be experienced.


Acacia Chronicle

This is story is a fantastic and interesting experience. The beginning arc Into the Dragon's Lair is a mystery story except the detective is an overpowered lich instead of a Holmes. The world that is being developed is both interesting and organic which also draws the reader in.

Style:
The story is always told in the third person but it follows different characters. This allows us to see into the minds of the characters we are following and get their internal thoughts. It's also written with a lot of descriptive words to help us get a feel for what the characters are sensing. From the aromas that surround them to the touch of the snow on their skin.

Grammar:
The grammar in the story is beautiful and descriptive. I could see no obvious spelling or grammar errors and if I did it was so minor that it didn't ruin my experience in any way.

Story:
The beginning of the story is a mystery trying to find a missing woman. The main character uses strong-arm tactics to get the information she wants and then proceeds to her next objective. A cult devoted to dragons is revealed to be the source of the kidnapping and the reason why they are doing it is explained.

Character:
The main character is Elena de L'Enfer or simply known as Elena. She is an elven lich who follows the mortal god of this story. During this arc, we are also following a pair of sisters. One sister is desired by a dying dragon for very unsavoury reasons whereas the other sister was simply used as bait to get the other one. The dying dragon itself is extremely powerful as well and is a master of illusions though you wouldn't know that is you based his power off of his useless child.

Anyway, it's a good read and is very worthy of all the praise the other reviewers have given it.


The Beast and The Swallow

If you are looking for a fantasy romance about a couple that should have never been then you came to the right place. It's a great tale of love, power, politics, and most recently scheming. Read the story of Lorelei, the duchess of Norden, as she transforms from a nobody into a graceful white swallow that soars freely and can capture the hearts of many including the most hardened beasts.

Style:
A third-person story that mainly follows the primary MCs though we do get some thoughts from surrounding characters. The author's writing style is very descriptive and they do a lot of research for their story. This is shown within the work and within the end of the chapter "Fun Fact" section to help you understand more about why the author wrote something. It stays purely character-driven the whole story and plot only really affects the beginning to get the ball rolling and around chapter 30 to get the action going.

Grammar:
My rating is based on two things. First is that the author is not a native speaker so I am less judgemental in my rating as the author does a fantastic job of describing the word. The second is that despite the errors the story is coherent and you can understand what the author intended.

Yes, there are a fair bit of spelling errors such as "ate" when the author meant "are" or missed letters in words but that is only more apparent in the latter chapters. The beginning chapters have been polished mostly because that is what most people have read and the author has received feedback and fixed mistakes. All and all a great job though.

Story:
The story starts out slow it gets better the further you go. We begin at the night of the forced wedding and then go to the boat arc. This beginning section is really to develop the characters and the world for all the future chapters. Once the newlyweds arrive in Norden, this is where the story begins to really grow and conflict arises. We learn a lot about the culture of this land and are introduced to magic. We are also introduced to the antagonists of the story as well. During the time in Norden, we are given insight into conflicts that occur to the common man, the man one being a form of racism. This racism stems the story's current and most interesting conflict.

Any person reading this for the romance will enjoy the story from the start but those who are looking for a sense of action. Around chapter 30 is when your patience will be rewarded.

The only problem with the story is that characters are able to resolve things easily so that a problem doesn't persist. It allows for different types of problems to occur but it gives the feeling a lack of an over arcing plot. That is true for a long time but I have hope that this problem with the Red Hand will last for a while as I feel it's the most interesting part of the story and feel that reading this story for anything less than 30 chapters is a disservice to it. Of course, that is my opinion on the matter as I enjoy action.

Character:
There are two primary characters in this story. The first is Lorelei, a woman who spent most of her life being abused and mistreated. Once she leaves her old life behind the meek sheep develops into a woman who is determined, fierce, and understanding. Her abilities to heal the wounded give her praise in the hearts of her new people as well and she is quick to make allies. I found myself really enjoy her chapters even though I'm not huge into romance.

The second character is Noah, the Beast from the North. He is a tragic lord who is forced into taking Lorelei with him. He is an extremely misunderstood character to everyone except the people within his employ. As the story develops we watch him become surprised by the effect his new wife has on him and witness him as a true noble despite his bastard heritage.

For both characters I would love to write more about their fantastic developments but as that is the core of the story I believe that is better left to be read for yourself.

As for the additional characters, they are all well written and really add to the world and the other two characters. My personal favourites are Jessup and Gregor as I feel they have the most personality. Not only this but since I have a real brotherhood relationship with my friends, I can feel that same vibe between them so it resonates with me.


Sparrow and Bright

If you enjoy short stories about the same characters then this will be a good read for you. It gives the feel of past detective novels or tv shows as each arc can be a stand-alone piece. The story stars two heroines that learn to grow through friendship and experiences they share together.

Style:
This is a third-person story that follows the duo MCs. It is written as a collection of short stories that show us the journeys of Hope and Brunhilde. A lot of effort is put into the story making sure that each arc reveals a bit more about the characters as they work their way to restoring Hope to her city in the sky. If it wasn't for this tiny thread of plot, each story could be a stand-alone short story. Individually each story is well done but as a whole makes it less enjoyable because each arc ends with little achieved.

Grammar:
The grammar in the story is beautiful and descriptive. My only personal problem with it is that the author uses the word "span" instead of "spun" which comes up a bit.

Story:
There really isn't a story per se. This is more of a collection of short stories about this duo of traveling women. Each short story reveals more to us about the characters but could almost be read in any order. The only over-arching plot so far is Hope to get revenge on her mother and to find a way home. Outside of that, the duo solves a problem they have but never seem to be rewarded when they finish except to better their bond.

Character:
The primary characters are Hope and Brunhilde. They are the driving point of this whole story so if you don't like them then you won't enjoy this series.

Hope is a princess from a forgotten palace that is from the sky. At first, this fact is hinted but is later revealed to be true. She possesses great magical powers and an amazing mind. Not to mention her mastery of fencing. She is able to bend light to her will or even tell another creature's magical abilities by looking at them thanks to some magical eyes she has. For example, she was able to notice that a creature was moving through time or gift her sight to Brunhilde temporarily. Her personal quest guides the journies. She ultimately wants revenge against her mother for making her an outcast it seems.

Brunhilde is meant to serve as the opposite of Hope being more down to earth. She is a barbarian from a village that teaches through stories. It is very reminiscent of a Native American tribe. Brunhilde has great physical prowess and uses runic magic to help her. She seems to be a hired companion of Hope, though this grows into friendship later. She talks about a special mission she is not but it hasn't been revealed yet. She is more crude and savage than what Hope is used to which makes for great dialogue between them.

Every other character in this story is just someone for the tale happening around them and seemingly have no purpose past their intended arc. 


The Chaos Within

From the Gutter A Monster Will Rise

If you enjoy a face-paced story that is easy to read and quick to enjoy then this story for you. It's a modern-day setting about a boy who's luck changes as fast as the world around him. It's a chain reaction of events that will be sure to make you come back looking for more. A tale of deceit, love, battles, and espionage.

Style:
This is a third-person story that follows many characters. The story is written in a style that could remind you of watching a TV show. You read one thing that is happening with certain characters then it goes to different things occurring for different characters as you slowly watch the branches merge together. The scenes are clearly separated so there is no confusion and each scene serves to enrich the plot instead of adding filler.

Grammar:
The grammar is good and seems well thought out. I don't recall anything that forced me to have to read it over again to understand it.

Story:
The story is very fast-paced which allows the story to stay interesting. Not only this but the reader watches multiple story branches at the same time. It's not clear what the end game is because of the quick-paced episodic nature of the story but you best believe it will somehow lead to the opening scene of the story. Most problems or plot things are dealt with quickly (in a chapter or two) while new problems arise just as fast. It's clear the author has a goal but we as the readers are just meant to experience the story as it happens.

Character:
The primary characters are Leo and Kira. Kira seems like your ordinary girl who got caught in the middle of extraordinary circumstances. Her kind heart and loving attitude allowed her to be next to the story's other main character, Leo. Leo is a boy who is hated by everyone because he is homeless. He survives any way he can and later in the story fate has deemed him fit to wield fearsome power. I can't go any further without spoilers so I suggest you read it to find out more.

As for other characters, the is Kira's father Smith (who reminds me a lot of General Hughes from FMA), Marcus, who is a doctor trying to find a serum to save his daughter and the reason Leo becomes special, and Nyxx, a rich businesswoman whose character holds a lot of mystery.


System Change

Once It Gets A Plot It Will Be Gold

This story has a ton of potential and could be the next big thing on the website. Sadly, it's still in its sapling stage so we can know for certain but the fact that this story was or still is in the top 300 of the Best Rated section should tell you how much this story is in demand. I myself have been looking for a great LitRPG story ever since I finished reading ELLC and I think this story could give the readers an enjoyable OP story that we haven't seen before. I'm excited to learn more about the void, and what does it mean to be a champion of it.

Style:
This is a third-person story that follows the MC, Derek, and his sidekick, Thomas. The author is very meticulous about balancing his system in terms of exp growth and combining two systems into each other. I also give the story credit for using an uncommon element as the MC's elemental type. A great amount of time and preparation is clearly shown within the story which makes it a fantastic read.

I will also say that I think the class system looks interesting and I love how portals work in this world as well. If this was to become a game or TTRPG, I think it would be an interesting system as well.

Grammar:
The grammar is easy to read and isn't wordy. It does a good job of giving the required information to the reader. Hardly any grammar or spelling mistakes.

Story:
The story is pretty bland at this point and has no real plot. That being said, the story is still in its early stages and has a lot of time for the plot to develop. There is a goal that is hinted at which is to find out what is happening with the forest but there isn't a huge sense of urgency to it.

Now things are happening. As the title of the story suggests, it's about learning the new system so most chapters are about Derek understanding the new world he has found himself in and learning how to advance within it. So far, I'd say it's more about developing the MC and after that is done I am hoping the plot will pick up.

Character:
As for the characters in this story, there are really only two. The first is the MC, Derek. He is an OP player from a different system who got accidentally sent to a new game world and is too strong thanks to his old stats not resetting to zero. He has a mature and cold attitude that you would expect of a person sucked into a game world where death is real and had survived into the later levels. In this new world, he starts at level zero with dormant abilities that he can reawaken and still gets to enjoy that amazing power spikes of early-game leveling.

Thomas is the other character. He is more of the new player type character. He knows all the rules but has never really played. He serves as Derek's guide and is meant to show us just how great Derek is. He will probably become a student to the MC but only time will tell. 


Angel's Dirge

A Story With Great Potential

Overall score - 5
Style - 5
Grammar - 5
Story - 4.5
Character - 4.5
 
This story is building up to be an epic tale of humanity vs the unknown power of angels. The potential of this story is limitless and only great things can be expected. And as such this story is based on its current state and the potential it has as it grows. (I will come back in maybe 10 chapters to update but I doubt the score will change.)

Style:
This is a first-person story that follows the main character Peri. It is expertly written from how this young woman is feeling to the complexities of her thought process as the ideas in her head swing back and forth. It also does a fantastic job of slowly building the atmosphere and future impact of the story.

Grammar:
I think it's pretty darn flawless. It is very obvious that the author takes their time with their story and the editing process.

Story:
The story is a slow build. As of now, the only action the occurred was in the beginning but it is promising an epic fight for humanity later. I can see the story progression and even though the current section is predictable in the fact a training segment is going to take place over the next few chapters but once that is over, the ball is in the air. At that point, the author will be able to get creative and unleash their story's potential. It will be exciting to see the other powers of the Changed and how they will fight the angels.

Character:
The only character we know of is the MC. She is a very powerful young lady that has all the typical emotions that a young woman would have in their mind. She is a protector type of lady who would defend herself and her friends to the bitter end. She wants to be tough in front of others as she doesn't want to appear weak. After the incident, and she became Changed and gained powers of self-healing as far as we know. This really fits her personality as she'll be able to protect others and herself more effectively.

Besides her, the only other character we really know of is a mysterious man named August. Who is he and what his plans are, remain a mystery.


A World of Monsters

An amazing story about the progression of a being that doesn't belong but struggles for survival for he not Mortal and only Mortals can grow in peace. This being is Immortal and Immortal grow through the odds that have been stack against them. A beautiful tale of metamorphosis both internal and external.

Style:
This is a third-person story of the primary MC, who is unnamed, and beings his life as a caterpillar, and a secondary MC, who is a boy trying to achieve a class for himself. The story alternates regularly between the two, with longer chapters being about the main MC and her/its life as an insect and shorter chapters being about the boy. Now, sometimes the story may come off as a bit wordy but that is because its intentional, its meant to stretch your brain and get you to think beyond your normal scope as the author is also leading you on your own journey of internal growth.

Grammar:
Because the grammar can get wordy, you either wind up with things that make no sense due to a typo. Or there is a lot of repetition that leads to some confusion as well.

Story:
As I stated, this is a story about self-discovery. A marvelous tale of a creature transforming into a greater version of itself. As of this review, the creature has morphed into a being capable of unlocking hidden potential that is strongly foreshadowed in the boy's part of the story. The MC not only has to battle with other animals for its survival but also itself.

The boy's story is very much one of mental self-discovery. As of now, it seems like the boy's story helps the reader understand more about the world and the things the primary MC will be able to do. It serves as a good way to build upon the world without feeling forced. It is unknown how the two stories will link if they do.

Character:
The primary character is the nameless MC who is an insect. We learn about the former life of this being and how the her of its past will help shape its future. The reader gets to witness the cleverness and growing intelligence of this bug. Not only do we witness its body changing but also its ego, its sense of self. The next character is a bit duller, which is the boy. He has been sent to learn a hard to get class by his family. He struggles to earn this class as he is given knowledge about the world the is also convenient for the reader when comparing what the boy just learned to the life of the insect. There are other great characters as well, one that puzzled me and I hope to see more of is the Tier 4 teacher from the boy's story. This character was introduced in a bonus chapter but his creepy atmosphere and how he lives are really bizarre even in this world.


DREADWOLF

A Tale of Growth and Romance

Overall score - 4
Style - 4
Grammar - 5
Story - 3.5
Character - 4
 
This story is advertised as a revenge story with an MC that has turned into a monster to allow him to complete his goals

Style:
It is a third-person perspective that follows the MC. It shifts styles after the character Opal is discovered from power fantasy or revenge to a story about a growing fetish. Now, this may change in the future but that is yet to be seen. If you are into the monster romance genre then this is a fantastic story for you.

Grammar:
Very good grammar, with only a bit of repetition.

Story:
The story starts off as a revenge plot for what the people at the beginning do to the MC. It follows his growth from a weakling into a power-seeking monster. The plot becomes stagnant in terms of progression but becomes more focused on the relationship between the MC, Rain, and his sidekick, Opal. At this point in the story if you are not into growth or monster romances that are becoming popular then this might be your dropoff point but I am hoping that the story realigns itself back down the revenge plot.


Character:
As for the characters in this story, there are really only two. Rain, the MC, who has become a wolf-man and is seeking power and growth through devouring creatures, and Opal, a small goblin girl who is aiding Rain in his quest. Opal's goals are to watch Rain get bigger and Rain wants to get bigger but it feels that because of this dynamic the plot got put on hold.


The Atropos Schema

A Very Nostalgic Feeling Story

An excellent LitRPG that gives the feel of an RPG where a veteran player and a newbie are forced to play together. As in most cases, the younger and new player enjoys listening to the older and wiser player so they can feel that taste of winning, but when the newer player does the things the veteran didn't suggest the veteran's mood sours. It's a cute relationship that can either turn mutual or devastating.

Style:
A great first-person story where the MC was a run of the mill guy to trying to become a high-level player in a game to save Earth. We always get to hear the thoughts of the MC and so does the AI in his head which gives us a unique twist on inner dialogue.

Grammar:
I could barely notice anything worth mentioning, an excellent job.

Story:
The story is about a man who was forced into a tutorial to learn how to survive the new way his planet will function. He spends the first 14 chapters following a very linear path given to him by the AI and doesn't complain often, but as of chapter 15 and onward, he is back on Earth ready to do the goals he had set out for himself: Find his family and protect them against the evasion. The AI does her best to guide the MC but are her intentions pure? We'll just have to wait and see to find out.


Character:
As for the characters in this story, there are really only two. Jarek, the MC, who was forced into his role by forces unknown, and the AI, Samantha, who was placed into his head. They both share the mutual goal of survival but after that, they have different plans but only one body to share. It's an interesting concept where Samantha shows Jarek a shadow of what she'd like him to do and it's up to him if he chooses to follow that image.