Skepto

Skepto

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REND

A look into the mind of a villain

Rend introduces us to an alternate-history earth, seen through the eyes of the protagonist, Erind. Erind is a very unique girl who follows a set of mysterious, self-made rules throughout her daily life. As we slowly learn more about her rules and motivations, a strange picture starts to form.

I was greatly surprised by the level of detail put into creating this massive alternate earth. A good part of my enjoyment comes from slowly unveiling the mystery of it all. It's definitely a concept that I havn't seen done before.

Erind is likable protagonist in an unconventional way. She understands that she is different from others, but does her best appear normal to the people around her. Her morality is based heavily on efficiently getting the things she wants, not being evil for the sake of evil, like other third-rate villains.

My only complaint is that the story starts off a bit slow and meandering, but once the author understands the direction they want to take the story, it quickly gets to it's feet. And then it starts to run.


Mark of the Fool: A Progression Fantasy

If you can look past the logical fallacies...

The characters of the story feel very flat, with little depth to them. It feels as if I'm looking at actors reading from a script, rather than people who each have their own beliefs, morals, and values. Especially a lot of the humor feels very contrived, rather than arising spontaneously. I can't give an exact definition of why it feels this way, but it feels as if the world is rotating around the main character, rather than the main character being a part of the world.

The grammar of the story is impeccable, with no flaws that I noticed. The style of the story isn't something that is bad, but it doesn't greatly stand out either. There's nothing that I can point out that says "Only this author writes in this way."

The story and world building is actually interesting and engaging. The chosen hero concept has been done to death, but this is an interesting take on it, with the main character actively fleeing from said duty. My biggest complaint is that the story suffers heavily from Assumption Syndrome.

Assumption Syndrome is when a character makes a completely baseless assumption, that they couldn't possibly have guessed without prior knowledge, but they turn out to be right because of plot convience. A good example would be Sherlock Holmes. He walks into theoretical crime scene and sees a wine bottle, and immediately guesses the wine was poisoned by a threatened butler, whose family is held hostage by the local kingpen. There's no way anyone could have possibly guessed all that just from seeing a wine bottle, but he's "so smart", so it's waved off.

To list a couple of such instances in the story. 

The main character is attacked by a bug monster, and immediately assumes they must have been the soldier version of their species, and that there must also be a worker version of the species, because of course all bugs are basically ants right? How would a character in a mideval fantasy world even know about ant hive structures?

Another instance is when the main character accidently controls an evil dungeon core and immediately assumes there must be a shadow government organization that is keeping all this hidden. Because obviously the previous heros that went missing had tried the same insane act of interfacing with an evil dungeon core after defeating hordes of monsters, and had been killed off for their knowledge.

If you can look past the many logical fallacies that grace the book, it's a decent read. It's not a litRPG or harem, so it's already unique compared to 90% of the other power fantasies on this site. I don't have a problem with either of those genres, but you have to ask yourself, do we really need another one? Thankfully this novel answers that question with a resounding "No!"