Jonathan H Knight

Jonathan H Knight

Retribution Engine [DEPRECATED - SEE SYNOPSIS]

Rising From the War of Fog is not your usual lit-RPG. Dieselpunk is a sub-genre that doesn't get the love and attention it deserves and every story written in it is always very welcomed in my opinion.

This particular one is well written and mature with its own unique storytelling style. Easy to read and easy to understand, yet not too simple. The only issue I could mention is the length of the chapters, or more like the lack of it. I understand that the short chapters were an authorial decision which makes frequent posting possible, but even so, the very short chapters are breaking the flow of the story somehow. That isn't a big issue, just something I, personally, cannot agree with.

The story itself starts strong with an exciting opening situation and will soon slow down a little, which is not a problem whatsoever because even without a fight in every second chapter it can grab and keep the reader's attention with the colourful and interesting world around. It's not fast-paced but I wouldn't call it a slow burner either, it found a pace that works perfectly, letting the characters and the world show themselves. 

There is not much to say about grammar here, as far as I can tell, there are no major problems, as I mentioned earlier, the story is very well written and easy to read. The vocabulary is quite impressive.

As for the characters, we don't have a lot of them at first. The main one, Zelsys is trying to find and define herself at the beginning, but one thing is clear at first glance: she is a strong woman, which is always a plus. Especially because she can be tough without being manly, and she has a good sense of humour too. Bottom line, the main character is interesting and capable enough to lead the story forward, keeping the reader's attention. The three others that came a tad later showing themselves slowly, but they are becoming more and more interesting chapter by chapter. 

All things considered, the story is worth checking out, by all means, it's a good and interesting read that just gets better as you go forward.   


A World of Monsters

The concept this story based on shouldn't be working at all and in my opinion it was a great risk to take from the author's side. I mean, who cares about a caterpillar, right? How would someone make it interesting to read?

Exactly like this here. This story made me actually afraid for a bug, made me sympathise with it, rooting for it. I would never think that a fight scene featuring a caterpillar is something I've ever wanted to read but turned out it was, very much so. 

And it is because of the almost flawless storytelling style which made the adventures, or more like daily struggles of the little caterpillar not only an interesting read but a quite enjoyable one. The only issue I could possibly mention is the length of some chapters, but that fairly depends on preference anyway, for my personal taste some of them were a little too long. 

The story itself, at least up until the point I am giving this review, is very small and personal, circling around learning and surviving on both character's side, but every chapter hints that something else, something big is on the way. 

Hard to say anything about the characters, one of them being a caterpillar with not much going on its life apart from trying to stay alive. Yet, it has a personality under the sheer will to live, a personality engaging enough to make the little caterpillar interesting, which is another sign of how well written the story we are talking about is.

As a lot of writers on the site learned English as a second language, I try to be more laid-back about grammar errors, because I believe the content itself is more important. That being said, I never had to remind myself about this while I was reading this story, if there were issues, the general style and natural flow of the story made me miss them entirely. 

Bottom line, I can recommend A World of Monsters to anyone, it's a unique read with great potential.