Solomon's Crucible

Sole Survivor Vs. The Wild Game

This review is as of chapter 48, the end of book one and thus contains spoilers.

The story is great. Reminds me of Shadow Sun Survival in that its the beginning of a system takeover of the world. Unfortunately the story does suffer from a lack of other characters and the drama that surrounds interraction. For the first book at any rate, the entire story is pretty much man vs. wild. It's a good version of that and it lays the groundwork for a lot of interesting building to come. 

Style: Absolutely no complaints here. Having listened to the the narrator did a specatcular job. Did notice the occasional hesitaiton which drew me out a little but that's not on the author. The story reads well and I never had a moment of confusion about what was happening or why, that wasn't intended by the author. 

Story: Again, suffers from a lack of wider picture, though this was improving as the story reached book one's conclusion. There are a few other characters but thus far they pretty much exist as exposition boxes. All of them are building to a good story though there's no "final ending" in sight. If that bugs you, look elsewhere. If you're picking this up, you'd better be in for the long haul because its a series that doesn't look anywhere close to a "last book." 

Grammar: No errors whatsoever noted, as expected by anything Jacobk writes. Moving on!

Character: Solomon is well rounded out but I bumped it down because he's a tad generic. He's not "The Land" bad, but he's your average guy who likes guns thrown into a game world with a determination to build guns and eventually builds guns. I personally enjoyed this but I can understand people who wouldn't. There are hints of deeper relationships but none of them are reached in book one.

Also... spoilers but he cuts off his own hand early on in the story and this... doesn't seem to affect him. It's brought up often enough that you don't forget it but its used more as comic relief than the life-altering change I feel it should be regarded as. Just a personal quibble and again, he hasn't exactly had time to worry about such things. Also, this might come up later as again, this review is based upon the content up to chapter 48. 

Well worth the read and I'm surprised it isn't rated higher. Will be continuing, possibly here on RR but I'll more likely wait out the audiobook because...well. I love audiobooks. The voice for it over there is great. 

Tower of Somnus

Real World as Interesting as the Game

This is the first story by CoCop I've read, (though I've been meaning to get to Blessed Time.) This story, completely unedited from what I've gathered, is head and shoulders about 90% of all other game world stories out there.

The concept isn't the most original but as we all know, the execution is what counts. An alien conglomorate gives humanity access to a gameworld for "reasons." Like I said, you've probably seen this before. The setting is what sets it apart from the rest though.

This story is set in a future world where humanity has become quite a bit harsher than it is now. Arcologies rule the world and at first I felt like this story had poorly established its hook. The first two or three chapters set up the real world before the dive into the game begins and when it does it picks up fast with a wonderfully satisfying character change happening right off the bat. 

Style is golden. You won't find purple prose here, but you equally won't have any trouble following along. Almost rated a tad lower because paragraphs tend to be on the longer side which looks a little funny on my computer, but thats more my problem than the stories. It tells a grand tale and tells it well, which leads me to:

Story: The plot takes about two chapters to draw you in. If you skim until the game stuff, then you're like me, but you'll do that and then you'll start getting interested in the real world setting and backtrack to reread the opening because as the review states, the Real World setting in this story is every bit as interesting as the game world. Both work wonderfully with each other. 

Grammar? What's there to say? I think I found maybe one error in 50,000 words? I'm no perfect proofreader but I was never once pulled out of the story by grammar or spelling errors. And this is friggin unedited? Easy 5. Eaaaasy 5.

Character. The MC is surprisingly deep. A product of her society and the world built around her. There is a subtle difference between the humans in this story and normal people that I think is actually intentional. A certain... company-man attitude thats shared by the entire race. An almost indoctrinated feeling of "This is the best we can get, so lets try to be happy anyway." It's sad and its visible through the attitudes and word choices that come from the MC and her family, as well as other sub characters, all in the same hopeless situation, just at varying levels. Its nuanced and its perfectly subverted with nights spent in the game where the pressure is off and the only thing Kat needs to fear is dying.

Its a great story with plenty of meat to sink your teeth into already and a frankly maddening update pace. I'm looking forward to opening Blessed Time already.

RE: Trailer Trash

I don't often leave reviews, but when I do, I like to think its for a damn good story. This is exactly that. 

RE: Trailer Trash does not fit Royal Road's usual mold, but instead is a story that the rest of Royal Road should work to match. The title and summary were initially a bit unappealing, as if the author himself doesn't really think too much of their story, when they absolutely should. On the other end of the story, I actually think this is a part of its charm.

Have you ever wanted to repeat your life? Try things over, and see if you can get it right? Tubby Tabby, Tabitha gets the chance when a freak accident with an MRI sends her mind back to fourty seven years ago... curiously to the same MRI she was put in back then. 

Bound and determined to pull off life "right" this time, she completely upends her entire family structure, makes new friends, relives old traumas, and all around wholesomes her way into a new life. Whether that life is better or worse has yet to be determined, but its certainly as scary as it is exciting. Very much slice of life, but its a slice of a life filled with changes that are unexpected but plausible and interesting.

My only quibble is that the characters can run together. Occasionally you'll find yourself asking "Wait who is Casey again?" This only happens for the sub cast later on in the story as the cast begins to grow, but it happens enough that I'm giving it a 4 in that category alone.

This story is phenominal. For everyone who's ever dreamed of knowing the right words to say after the fact, for everyone who's ever wondered if the popular kids had somehow done all this before and thats why they're so good at "getting it", for everyone who has lived through shit and wishes for another chance to do things better, this is the story for you. 

Give this a read. You won't regret it.