Graffiti

Graffiti

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Reviews
They Who Rule

Witchcraft magic, gore, and sexy times

I thoroughly enjoy reading fictions that take creativity and originality to a new level instead of following formulas that are known for grabbing attention. They Who Rule is probably one of the best examples of going against the grain when it comes to magic, lore, violence, and characters.

 

Style: The strongest point of the story for me is the unique style that gives it a fingerprint identity from typical fantasy fictions. Everything from the characters, the lore, and the descriptions have a blend to them that makes it a distinctly enjoyable read. Like, there's a scene where a character is getting healed and the way it happens (and is described) is just gross as fuck. And I liked it, because it was different! This played a part in boosting my score, cause trying something new isn't always well received. But I'm all for it.

 

The fighting scenes are also hella visceral and barbaric, which is some of my favorite shit to read. 


Grammar - Pretty much nothing to say here. The names and whatnot might not roll off the tongue when you say them aloud, though. Some of the sentences are kinda clunky too. But overall? Solid foundation. Cant really say you'd be put off by the structure.

 

Story - It's a bloody fighting tournament between different cultures and people with magic and gore. Short. Simple. Works. You're reading more for how everything is told rather than waiting on some miraculous against the norm shock reveal. If you like blood and guts (along with sexy time scenes and horror descriptions) you'll like the story.

 

Characters - Another unique part of the story that I love. Each character has a distinct identity and feel to them despite how ... "odd" their screen time is, if that makes sense? I wouldn't say that they don't get any screen time. But, they don't get enough. I'm capable of keeping up with multiple characters rather easily more often than not. But there were a few times where I had to go "... wait was this the guy from X or Y?" Or similar. Takes some getting used to.

Though, there's a lot of ambiguity in the roster as well, which is a downside. I get not wanting to describe droves of people and only referring to the fodder as well, fodder. But it does drag down the overall tension level somewhat sometimes. Nothing too bad though.

 

OVERALL I like the story and the creative approach so much that my score has been boosted (slightly. Not inflated) the score for me. If you're looking for a more unique type of cold-blooded fiction, this is probably for you.


Dungeon Darwinism

Never read a dungeon core story before. Or at least, not one that I can remember off the top of my head. Been a while, but whatever. But anyway, onto the good stuff.

 

Style - the strongest aspects of the style are the descriptions and the fluidity of delivery. It's a sweet spot mix of words that deliver vivid imagery while also getting the point across. The car crash and the explosion scenes were quite gross to imagine (this is a good thing).

There's really good imagery all around.

 

Grammar - Pretty pitch perfect. Cant say I found anything worth talking about.

Story - A pretty morbid grimdark that revolves around two people that pretty much died in gruesome ways getting their souls fused together as a prank to piss off the god of death. It sounds funny when I put it like this, and in hindsight, it kinda is hilarious in a fucked up way. But, the delivery of it all is still quite an adventure so far.

An interesting prose that is quite grabbing.  

Character - Alverost and Mark clearly don't get along. It's a back and forth power struggle that makes for an interesting character dynamic. Alverost is the more pragmatic and hard assed one while Mark is a man with his priorities usually in the wrong place. It's a tug of war of dominance that makes for humorous banter at times and gives polar characterizations simultaneously that keep things fresh. 

In a nutshell, this story is pretty entertaining. I recommend it ^^


Blood in the Wires

The type of sci-fi I want to read

As a prerequisite, I want to say to everyone reading this that not only did I not find anything (literally) to gripe about in this story, but I'm also the first to review it. Take that. I may give out high rates a lot, but that's because I don't review stories I don't like. This is a story I like, though.

Anyway, this is a dystopian sci-fi that focuses on the high-tech slum and ghetto vibes you see in the movies that never get much attention. It's gritty, it's edgy, it's intense, and I'm all for it.

 

Style - The story is told in a rare present tense perspective, and it's told exceptionally well. The author's writing style is clearly tailored and comfortable with this style of delivery, and it reads just as well as any good written past tense style. 

The present tense aesthetic really shines when it comes to the descriptions and especially the fight scenes. The wording choices are pitch perfect and give you real time imagery of how one action flows into the next, while also weaving in sensory details to augment the imagery. 

Here's a quote of one of my favorite scenes,

Spoiler :
There’s a sound behind her, and she spins, just in time to catch a glimpse of movement in the shadows. Here, the only light is the distant reflected city-light, enough to throw everything into gritty shadows. She moves on, senses sharp – again, the sound of leather scraping against a wall. And then someone steps out in front of her – barely a moment to react, as they raise a weapon. Her senses surge, and she reacts, sidestepping as something narrowly misses her, and then attacking. First strike to an eye, soft and weak, followed by a second to the throat, flesh yielding to the sharp tenseness of her attacking fingers. They stagger backwards, already gulping in breath to sob, starting to fall, head dropping. Before they hit the ground, Alice grabs them and twists, throwing them behind her, in the path of any attackers.

If this isn't an example of what a smooth fucking fight scene is then I don't know what is. I wish I was able to write like this, and will definitely be following this author's example in scenes for myself in the future. 

Story - Can't really go into details without getting into heavy spoiler territory, but I will reference you to the synopsis, as, the author says in so many words the same thing id basically say in this regard. It is a unique tale of an "on the run" type of story with all of the common elements.

It excels in the aspects of intensity, pacing, logic, and dynamic. I wasn't wanting for anything more when it came to following the plot. 

Grammar - Impeccable. Nothing to say here aside from sometimes I noticed a few extra commas than needed, but I do the same thing. So eh. 

You won't be put off by the writing at all, though. Just look at the spoiler I posted above for the proof that you need.

 

Characters - By far my favorite aspect of the story is the characters, especially Alice. The way she's portrayed as a street smart badass with something clearly being "off" in her head gives a strong sense of uniqueness. Every time she gets mad, or even irritated, I get the feeling that a caged beast is about to break free until her harness brings her back under control. 

She's like a lioness trapped inside of a body unable to handle her ferocity, and I love it. Her interactions with the rest in the slums, how they know her and fear her, along with other aspects make for an interesting character dynamic. Every encounter is a joy to read and hype, especially when she fights or you hear about her fights (she instantly kicks dudes in the dick if need be and it's savage af).


Side characters like the paranoid fucker are also very well done and believable, and expand on the type of environment you'd expect a web of low life's to inhabit. 

Overall the story was a very enjoyable read so far. Adding it to my list of many stories that I tend to read when I'm out in the field doing nothing IRL. 


This Strange New Life

If you're looking for a chill, feel good fiction, look no further. This one is probably the most feel good story around, honestly. There's no excessive violence, dark and edgy ambitions, or immoral undertones that challenge a person's humanity. It's pretty chill and a change of pace from the dark and gritty stuff I typically read (and write).

 

Style - Pretty good and neatly designed. Smooth and pleasant read. Nothing jumped out at me that made me scratch my head. Sometimes this category in itself is always hard to describe. 

I will say that it gets points for the different introduction with the MC starting off as a fetus. I'm typically grossed out by bodily functions, especially with birth aspects, but I managed to push through and enjoy it nonetheless. 

Never thought I'd read about an intelligent fetus tho lmao.

 

Story - I can't say that there's a "story" in the sense of a plot you'd expect from works like Harry Potter, Underworld, or anything of that like. It's more of a "come and follow along" type of fiction if that makes sense. You're more reading it to see how things interact than for the eventual big bad boss to show up.

Its not a bad thing though. Different strokes for different folks. It DOES have its darker moments, though, despite this. I'm more talking overall in aspects that it favors the warm and fuzzy side. But I guess that makes the heel turn all the more prominent when it comes.

Grammar - Ain't found anything worth catching my eye so far. So it's probably perfect.

 

Character - The whole alter ego vs reality type of deal with the MC. Basically an adult limited by the limitations of a newborn infant. It's like if Stewie from Family Guy acted like a real baby outwardly but kept his mental intelligence. It makes for an amusing read that I'd say is the selling point of the story. It allows a bit of relatability.

 

Overall this piece is tailored to those who want more familial and relaxed things to read instead of those who want to read intense action and impending doom plots. Tis worth a try.


Everyone is a Superhero! Apart from me

Overall this story is probably the most LitRPG, LitRPG I have read on this site. It's pretty much taken videogame mechanics and put it in writing ramped up to 11. It's creative, but can be a bit intimidating to start off with. Still, overall, it's a pretty solid piece.

 

Style - As I've said, this story takes "videogame" aesthetic and ramps it up to eleven. You've got your typical stat screens, your exp points, your level ups, your hit points, all of that. What separates this fiction from every other that I've seen, though, is the usage of color coding to identify items and monsters. 

The color coding is frequent and numerous, which, for a person just hopping into the genre (like myself) can be a bit overwhelming to remember and hard to keep track of. Especially since there's so many levels of items like common, epic, mythic, along with color-coded enemy types like fire, water, ice, (for example), etc.

 

Its a lot to take in. But if you're up for the challenge of memorizing it all, the story reads exceptionally smoother later on. Because at that point everything instantly is identified the moment you see the color. It's a very creative approach that takes some getting used to, but does make this piece stand out.

 

Story - The main premise follows Eugene the most as the MC and is your trademark underdog story for the most part. It starts off a bit slow and jumbled (following three characters with one taking the lead each chapter) but you get accustomed to it. Nothing really I can say about this category. The pacing is slower than normal, but it picks up later on. 

It's more of a comedy and lighthearted adventure than it is the grimdark edge.

Grammar - I don't remember seeing any spelling errors or weird sentences. Everything read rather fluidly. So, no points off right there. 

Character - The story gives you a rather distinct set of characters that follow basic tropes, but are not reliant on them. Eugene, for example, is the goof that thinks he's the greatest thing since sliced bread but trips over rocks when he tries to show off. 

When you read about him, you can easily pinpoint the tropes that inspired his personality. The portrayal is amusing to read, especially when it comes to his undeserved ego during interactions. The other characters follow similar pathways in terms of archetype. 

Overall if you like light novels and anime in general, this fiction is a comfortable piece for you to hop right into. It's one of those staples of the genre that everyone likes and will always be open to reading a different version of. And on RR, the creativity of this one stands out from the rest. 

I give it a 5 overall because of this, and recommend giving it a look.


Void Breaker

Going to start with an immediate admittance to having an "average" expectation toward this story, as LitRPG as a genre, in general, doesn't do it for me. Just not my thing. So when I gave this story a try, I expected decent content, but that was about it.

 

I was wrong. If more LitRPG were written like this as a whole, I would be on the hype train for them every time a new one popped up. Before I get into it, I'll also say that I haven't found a single grammar error, missed punctuation, or anything of the sort. So for that, it gets a 5 without a doubt. Now that the easiest category is out of the way...

 

Style - Void is a very accessible and easy to follow along LitRPG for anyone that is either new to the genre or, like myself, not too knowledgable on why people like stat screens and whatnot so much on this website for. The exposition's delivery for the stat screens is very well executed, the stat screens themselves are easy to follow along with (even if you typically spazz out from the sight of them as I do), and the general flow of it all meshes together well. Null clearly is an experienced writer that has shown that they know how to write coherent fiction.

 

Story - The story revolves around Liz after a sudden bombing took her ability to walk from her and devastated her spirits. In an intense first chapter, we find out that Liz prided herself on her ability to sprint and that her entire world revolved around such a talent. This critical loss of her legs transitions into the world being pulled into what's called "The Void" a while later, which is where the stat screens and stuff come into play. 

 

The Void comes off as an organic type of system integration. It is both a blessing and a curse for Liz in the sense that she recovers her ability to walk (after a serious sacrifice) but is then quickly thrown to the wolves (The Void and its world) to fight for survival. The prose is technically nothing new, but Null's delivery and flavor have added to such a simple theme are what makes this story pretty lit. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

Character - A strong suit of the story, just like the descriptions and stat screens, Liz, as an MC, is pretty interesting and believable for a character. Her initial reactions during her sprint before the bombing, to the bombing itself and the aftermath, to the Void coming, and so on were grounded in relativistic realism to me. It was easy for me to get invested in her excitement when she saw a chance for her to walk again, as well as her fears when she encountered her first fight thereon. 

 

This trend follows pretty much everyone that gets introduced. I've yet to find a character that I particularly felt alienated by. 

 

All in all, if you like LitRPG or want to like it but don't know how to ease into the genre as a whole, Void Breaker is a gateway story to get you going. I highly recommend it!


Death in Siberia (The Last Woman on Earth)

Before I get started, two things. The first is that as someone in the military, I applaud the writer's realistic portrayal of war. It's not pleasant, and it certainly isn't anything like what you see in media like Call of Duty. The shit is awful, and there's no "valor" or glory in getting shot at. 

Secondly, a world without women sounds awful. I'm glad I'm not a character in this kind of universe. Sheesh...

 

Anyway, getting on to the overview, this story takes the horrors of war from the infamous days when force on force warfare was a bloody endeavor and blends it with a bit of mysticism and low fantasy. It's honestly a tricky kind of prose that, quite frankly, I'd have never thought could work together. Amazingly, though, the author made it work.

 

Style - Typical format for the most part for a web novel. The switching of first to third person at times is easily worked out (the explanation in the author notes the first time really helped me flow into it) and gives me flashback vibes like you'd see in an action movie of sorts. 

The descriptions are short and impactful, and really drags you into the shit show of a war that Alexei is in straight from chapter one. In fact, the first chapter where they're all holed up in trenches in the freezing cold while getting shot at hit me harder than I planned. It captured how exceptionally shitty it was to be a soldier back in WWII. Do you have real life stories from people of that age, author? 

Story - Call of Duty WWII pretty much, only without the bullshit Hollywood action that cuts out all of the shitty parts, and more grounded and savage characters. The war is endless, and the scale of it is ambiguous. Soldiers are pretty much bred like clones from Star Wars, and are used as cannon fodder for the war. It's an endless cycle of tragedy that has very little in the way of happiness.

 

I know that review swaps are generally positively rated, but I kid you not, this shit is dark. Not a story for the faint of heart, even if the ridiculous intros and homoerotic (also an army thing irl, though, we have women around, so it's not this fucking extreme) culture is kind of funny at times, especially if you have military experience irl. 

An experience to read if you like war history and wanted to get a glimpse of some of the suffering soldiers went through WHILE getting gunned down. Trench warfare wasn't a pleasant thing. 

Grammar - Immaculate. Some of the best and most cohesive writing I've read so far. Professional level shit.

 

Characters - Oh lord, if there was any one word I could use to describe the type of characters in this story, it'd be "fuck". Alexei is a cynical dude with symptoms of depression that I've easily picked up on even without the need for it to be said. Trauma is a constant median for everyone introduced, and the society is more visceral than what one would expect when they run across a bunch of dudes. 

The introduction of the woman was rather wild when I got to it (in a good way). The way the soldiers freaked the fuck out ("Can I touch your chest?") and how they talked about heavy homosexual activities made me feel like I was reading about cavemen when they discovered fire. There's a primitive wonder about the woman that is well executed, especially since the "female" side of humanity was supposedly extinct. 

Lord, just imagine how the woman feels? Especially since she has no fucking clue what's going on and she's likely THE LAST FUCKING WOMAN ON THE PLANET! Can you imagine what would go through your head if you were a girl in her position, or a guy that stumbled across her after having never seen one before? Like, just thinking about it instills a bit of terror in me. 

Before I ramble on about everything in this story, I just want to reiterate that this is the type of military science fiction that gets emotions going. The typical HOOAH motivational badass shit you see in movies and games ISNT real. In fact, despite being science fiction, this story portrays what a soldier in war went through far better than the common stuff. It was a really enjoyable read. I read far longer into it than I planned, and I wasn't disappointed. 

Splendid work for its genre. 10/10.


The world traveler from the future

This story is a prime example of how technology isn't guaranteed to make you the winner in conflict. Charles is a man pulled into a world he didn't want to be in and forced to fight for his life. His biggest problem, though, is that the only advantage he had to protect himself was compromised (his gun).

 

Now the man is stuck with only an imperfect system known as LAI ingrained into his body to help him survive. LAI acts as a makeshift sixth sense that calculates probability of survival and controls Charles in dangerous situations. It's a gimmick in hindsight, but one that I think works quite well in the story. 

In terms of grammar, the story is pretty much picture perfect. Didn't find any errors as I read, but I wasn't looking for any to begin with. The story is great enough to follow along with. I've been slowly reading it through my backlog when I can. 

I already pretty much gave you a synopsis of the story in my initial paragraphs as well. So, if I had to give a score for style and story, it'd be a 5. Author took an interesting concept and executed it in a way that makes everything feel unnaturally fresh. Creativity of it all is great.

 

As for character, I like combatively flawed characters, which the MC is. The image of a man with no guns (or specifically ammo) at his disposal anymore and forced to rely on primitive methods to survive in the hands of his LAI brings out attributes that normally aren't seen in people. It's a callback to how gritty survival used to be. I like it. 

Overall this story is top tier creativity. Everyone should give this a try.


CZEPTA // Light from Darkness

As a comic book nerd, plenty of things about this story instantly appealed to the typical flavor that you find in a comic book. It's darker natured, there's grey morality idealism, and there's best of all, action. Sweet, sweet action. Cultivation and martial arts mixed with magic is always a good blend (even if there's a lot of DARKNESS mentioned). 

I wish stories like this got animated or something. It'd really bring out the beauty of such settings and action. A man can dream, I guess. 

Give it a try! You'll like it!

 


Rise of the Mechanar

If you like lengthy chapters and heavy scenes, this is right up your ally. Getting the simple stuff out of the way first by saying that the Grammar and Style (hard for me to grade the latter, tbh. Such a weird category) are pretty much top notch. The only reason I docked .5 is because the chapters are rather long (easily 4K+ words each) and its a lot to take in, in one sitting.

BUT, that's nothing game breaking.

Moving on, the story is rather simple in terms of goals, yet has easily recognizable potential to be something that has you in it for the long run. The lore and descriptions are vivid and rich, and there's no cramming it all down your throat with pointless exposition. You pretty much experience it all as if it were some cinematic experience.

My favorite parts overall are the fight scenes. The one against the Harpy, for example, was short, intense, and powerful. It fulfilled a hunger for action that I readily thought would take longer to do so. The Latin styled attack names are also some of my favorite kind of flavor in the story. 

As for the characters: The MC is a man that knows what he wants, and as another reviewer said, stands out from a lot of the typical MC I've seen on the site in stories. He gives off a more grizzled, calculated, and mature vibe like a veteran. So far his reactions and actions have come off as pretty reasonable and badass. He's kind of the spotlight guy, though. I wish the other characters got a bit more limelight to stand out as well (as I'm a character interaction nut.)

But again, it's hardly game breaking. Overall, I recommend the read. Especially if you're into eating hours away in books.