Selkie

Selkie

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Paranoid Mage

Is it paranoia if they're really out to get you?

Paranoid Mage!

For reference, I got an advanced reader copy, and I've read all of book 1. This review is based off of that.

 

Paranoid mage is the story of Callum Wells, who gets thrust into the world of magic.

At 30. 

Said world of magic is autocratic to the extreme, and Callum wants no part of it. The world of magic wants a part of Callum though, and will stop at nothing to get him. 

When you're paranoid and suspicious of the whole world, when you refuse to extend any trust, how can you get trust extended back?

Overall score - 5 stars.

 

Style - 5/5 The story is a page-turning thriller, and after a *slightly slow* start - and by that I mean the first few paragraphs - it picks up quickly. I found myself unable to put the book down, ignoring my own responsibilities as I needed to know what happened next. At the same time, the book doesn't rely on gimmicks or cheap cliffhangers to keep me interested and engaged - it's pure, solid, strong writing all the way through.

 

Grammar - 5/5. Perfect from what I saw. The author uses an editor, and it shows! The author also takes extensive time to perfect their craft and story, and it's gone through multiple iterations. The only strange wordings I found were entirely deliberate, and meant what they said.

Story - 5/5. Engaging, gripping, everything I want. The character's means and motives are clearly spelled out, along with others motives and desires. The story flows naturally, with no cheap gimmicks, special coincidences, or deux ex saving the day. 

Character Score - 5/5. Callum's personality is well-defined, and he sticks to it brilliantly. His slightly warped view of the world is consistent and persistent, and the character is smart and capable without being a Gary-Sue, a tricky balance to pull off! 

 

It's the rare novel that's a perfect 25/25 stars, but Paranoid Mage certinaly makes the cut, being one of the best books I've read in the last year. Give it a try! I know I can't hype it enough.


Dungeon Devotee

Dungeon Devotee by Nixia is an engaging, gripping tale of Madness made manifest. One man's fight against the impossible. 

 

Edmund is chasing after the Eternal Depths, a deadly dungeon that generates loot and claims lives in a carefully calculated balance. It is unclearable, adventurers and the desperate delving into their depths for fame and wealth. 

Edmund has a personal grudge against the dungeon, and will stop at NOTHING to see it finished, cleared, and slain - however a dungeon is killed. It is his own personal obsession, his own Moby Dick. (The author has a nice nod to that with his middle name being 'Ahab'!)

It's an engaging, face-paced descent into madness, and all the horrors and traps that lie within.

Overall - 5/5. Love the story.

Style - 5/5. Fantastically done, you can feel Edmund's obsession and madness around the issue, without it getting weird.

Grammar - 5/5 no errors that I noticed.

Story - 5/5. Simple premise executed well

Characters - 4.5/5. There's Edmund, and... that's pretty much it. He goes solo, more or less, and the rest of the characters aren't terribly fleshed out because they get so little screen time. 

 

Worldbuilding - carefully thought out and planned, Nixia has gone through great efforts to make the implications of an endlessly-loot generating dungeon clear, along with how they work.

Overall- go read it!


Hive Minds Give Good Hugs

I have boob armor, and I’m not happy about it.

Hive Minds give good hugs is the story of Evelyn, who finds herself YOINKED to a distant planet, and modified. 

Sadly, when being asked "What do you wish to have?", she still thought everything was mostly normal, and made an entirely earth-appropriate, new-planet inappropriate wish.

Oops.

 

Character score: The characters are rich and vibrant, written in thundamoo's excellent style. The characters and personalization carry this story hard, and everyone is a delightful treat to interact with.

Grammar: A team of beta readers bonks thundamoo whenever she makes mistakes, which results in virtually no grammatical errors slipping though. I'm not going to say no errors slip through, because I just KNOW someone will find one and point it out, but - I haven't seen one.

Style: A+. Thundamoo's one of the best writers, and her voice and style carry through in a strong, entertaining way.

Story: Fairly standard so far. There's nothing super special, nor is there any weirdness going on. Just a solid, strong story of a woman who's become half-bug, in a world where everything's trying to grab a fast snack. You know, fairly standard stuff.

All in all, HMGGH is an excellent novel, with the biggest problem being the abbreviation. It sounds like someone's consipated or something.

Mango front: 0/10. Unless she's deliberately left them all for Elaine. Then 1/10


The Calamitous Bob

Well thought out, brilliantly written.

The Calamitous Bob is by Mecanimus, the author of Journey of Black and Red. I knew I was in for a treat when I heard it announced, and Bob has delivered in every way. 

The story follows Vivi... errr... Bob... as a capricious god decides to take her place on Earth, and on a whim, shoots her back to his original planet. Let the adventure begin!

 

System: I like 90% of the System I see so far. Fairly straightforward, not terribly complex, but with enough levers and "play" to it where there's meaningful discussion. The parts I dislike are "mental" attributes (Because of the implications of "willpower" as a stat, for example), and, up to where I've read, the lack of a seeming limit to the number of skill slots. The lack of limitation *tends* to go horribly awry in litRPGs, and the author has already needed to have a few round of "compress skills into one big skill", although those were only the initial skills. However, the author is careful about adding new skills, and it looks like it's not going to bloat too badly.

 

Style: I love the style. It's clear what's going on, who's doing what, and Mecanimus is a master of the language. The author can write in 10k words what it takes others to do in 100k words, without readers thinking they missed a thing. Compact but complete, every word Meca writes is brilliant. 

Grammar: I've noticed no errors. 

Story: I'm loving just about every moment! All the characters are busy running around following their own motives, and the story is engaging and gripping.

Character: Each character is well fleshed out, and well thought out. There's never any question who's talking, and character motives, wants, and desires are clear without ever being explicitly stated. Solfis especially is a real treat. 

//Empathy Expressed. Returning to the main objective.


Vigor Mortis

A hilarious take on necromancy!

A hilarious, heart-warming, heart-wrenching tale of Vita, and her desire to get some darn food.

Souls. Souls work as food. Tasty, tasty souls.

Hopefully not human, but when a girl's hungry...

Vigor Mortis follows Vita in a beautiful and bizar world, where everyone* lives on floating islands, mysterious powers are granted to most, if not all people - although good luck getting a powerful ability - and monsters roam outside the gates of the city.

I can't wait to get more chapters, and I look forward to each day (currently releasing an impressing 5x/week) where there's a new chapter with glee.


Style: perfection. You really feel Vita, you feel her hunger and desires, you see the world through her warped lens. Excellently done on all counts here.

Grammar: I've noticed 0 typos, which is enough for a perfect grammar score from me!

Character score: Vita single-handedly carries this category. Other characters are slightly less fleshed out, but they all have their unique aspects and quirks. Brilliantly done cast.

Story score: Pacing is spot on. It's not too slow - we don't spend 30 chapters on one thing - nor is it too fast, where we blink and miss stuff. Spot-on.

*Everyone we've seen as the time of writing this review.