The Gift Of Judgement

This is a first impressions review, as I haven't read what is entirely available, but read far enough to get the gist.


There isn't really a story, like in the traditional sense of a developing plot or antagonists or too many supporting characters that elivate the progression that I read in the 10 chapters I went through.

Tal gets wisked away inside a game he was playing. No real reason was given that he was. Tal kinda sucked at the game, never getting out of the tutorial, so it's not like 'The Last Star Fighter' where the MC is exceptional at it and is recruited to be a fighter pilot.

No Tal is just brought in the game and has to explore the Tower. Can't really say much else.


I can tell either the author has been writing for a long time or he has read plenty of books, because he's got a good base for skills. His narration is solid, descriptions are there for the most part, and he has a good plan of how he wants to tell his story. I would say my complaint is that, although Josh has an excellent array of vocabulary, Tal carries that as well. He sounds so unatural for a kid, whether he is a teen or child. But he could just be a well-read theater teen, so its not that jarring.

However this is another problem with the story. We know nothing about the characters or the setting other than Tal is a bed-ridden sick kid and he is trapped in a game. Its a tower. Really there's absolutely no world building going on. It's like cooking with no taste buds. Sure the food can look pretty, but we dont know what it tastes like. The world is here, its got a system, hes in a tower...thats all we get.

I should remark on the combat, because that's my forte in writing. Josh needs to use less floaty descriptions and focus on pacing and impactful wording. 

I think if the author worked on combat and world building, he would find himself a real solid writer.


Tal....Tal comes off pretty whiny. Maybe it's because I was in the military and went through boot camp, but Tal fought, kicking and screaming his entire way through his training. It was really annoying to read and I rolled my eyes with each introspection of the character.

That too, Tal more or less reacts to things happening, but we really don't learn anything about Tal. We don't feel his emotion about losing his friends or his experience with being on the verge of death and if he left the game how he would feel about being back to being ill. Really theres no true interospection that would make. Any character developement we find is from a blue box. 


Other than an odd mistake here or there, I'd say grammar is in good shape. Nothing that pulls you out of the story.


Over all this story is Infinity Train...but in a tower. Which has some serious potential and if the author improves on some story telling aspects and combat, then this could be a real winner. 

I give it 4/5

Inherit the Earth [A Zombie Serial]

I don't do zombie flicks and video games, so Im not the best judge for horror stuff, but on skill alone, Zaq is a master story teller on Royal Road. Traitors was my fav RR book I read, and from that basis I'll stay tune.


Its only the first chapter, so I can't judge off anything other than:

Ill give a deeper review when theres more of the story out, but for now, let's read on!

1. Characters already show depth

2. Chilling start

3. Good hook

So far its worth the look and Im giving it an early 5/5, let's see if Zaq can keep that going!

The Out of this World Adventures of a Jellyfish Trucker

I normally use my reviews as critiques instead of info on the story to the reader, but I can't judge this story on story telling or story structure merits. It would miss the point of Tea's creation.

This is parody of all those space operas out there that aren't self aware and tongue and cheek. Flash Gordan and Spaceballs instead of Star Wars and Captain harlock.

Its outragious and absurd and just when you are settling into its weirdness it throws more zaniness in your face!

Read it if you need some humor in your day and want a wild ride from start to finish

I marked it half a star off cause its so out there, it was really hard to stick with the story.

The City of Arcanus

There's a vision, but it's not quite there yet.

What we have here is a story that although there isn't many chapters up, you can tell that the author has a vision and they are trying to make it to certain beats, because of the pacing, we miss important details of the world and story itself. I feel like we are dealing with the cliff notes instead on an actual book.


We go with a first person pov, which seems to be the prefered narration of most Royal Road stories. Despite the actual connection to the MC, we get very little time inside his thoughts. However where character developement is sparce, the author is excellent at weaving prose. Their descriptions are also spot on. Sometimes paragraphs get muddled as a character might talk, and then we get narratrion from the MC and then that character would talk again. But mainly the prose are well done.

My complaint with the the style would definitely be the pacing and lasck of world building details. We are briefly introduced to a "must wear a mask" concept but without an explaination in the author notes, the book provides no imformation itself. Finally let me touch up on the abruptly ending chapters. It feels like thge author rather cut off a complete thought instead of find a natural ending for their chapters. Honestly the first 3 chapters could have easily worked as one chapter with how fast the pacing was. You get maybe snippets of important info and like 3% of it is actual character developement.


The plot of the story is that the main character gets a letter from the guards that he has to go to the main floating city of the nation...thats all we know. Seriously, no reason why or what he would do in the city...just "You're going" and that what the story consists of so far. If we shared with the same confusion the reader had with what the main character was experiencing that would feel warranted, but the main character takes real well. I know the author is supposed to hold out information, but i really feel like they are blinding us through this book


Some mistkaes and there, common ones such as dialogue ending with periods and dialgue tages being capitalized. Some tenses being mixed up from time to time, but nothing that draws you out of the story. Honestly, between the authors prose and their descriptions, the author's skill level is pretty decent


The character developement really suffers due to the pacing of the book. i feel if the author slowed down on the need to reach each character beat, they could flesh out the main character and interactions. As is, there is little to no personality of the character being shown or any depth.


I can really see there might be a story blossoming here. The author has a vivid idea of the setting and world, and there are hints atr actual world building. I feel like if the author got a hold of their pacing and pulled the reins, theyd have a much better story on their hands.


Red Mist

Another delightful Entry to the Weaver-Verse

Like Riverfolk, Red Mist could easily fit in the redwall book universe, but it brings its own style and feel to the table as well. Its quaint, charming, slow--but robust. if you liked redwall or beyond the western deep, then definitely give it a look!


this book also reads like a Jane Austin book. It takes pleasures in weaving (no pun intended) a small tale (another pun, im so bad) about the coming of age of a mouse maiden in a historical fiction time period of balls, suitors, but has a hand with more pagan territory of druids. There are hints to wars, spies, and dastardly play on politics. I'm sure at one point we get to experience that all, but for now he have to stick with Freya learning to be a proper maiden, impressing suitors, learning the waltz, and applying makeup. This is where the slice of life comes into play and the coming of age story shines. As I said its a slow story with quick chapters, so if you like to wander through the daily life of Freya, you'll find your time enjoyable


I was introduced to the Weaver-verse through his other book on RR, Riverfolk, and like this book, Weaver yields his expert world building into Red Mist as well. There are so many little hints of a deeper world at play, but he chooses to focus on a mundane life of either Chip the Otter as a Fish Vendor in Riverfolk, or in this case, Freya the little mouse maiden.

Im sure a million pages in we might one day see the dashing side of his world that he hints at, but for now we are drip fed it.


Weaver's grammar is incredibly strong and never once was I taken out of the setting from poor grammar.


I think where Weaver shines more than his world building, is his characters. They feel fully realized and bursting with personality. You really pull for each of them to find their place in the world and you cheer for them when they accomplishing any sort of victory. I hope Freya becomes a druid!

As I said before, as it is a slice of life story, its a little on the slow side, but Weaver's genius skills of world building and likable characters are unmatched on Royal Road. Please, please, PLEASE sit in a big comfy chair, pour yourself a glass of milk, curl up with a pet and enjoy this book! Its the only true way to do it =) 5/5 (I see so much potentail in Weaver's writing, I know he's going to do something great in the literture world!)

Free Lances

Gritty and grim. A dirty look at war.

Here we follow the cat-man Reinhardt as we are taken close into his blood soaked life as a soldier in the Free Lance Mercenary Company.

Style: The style of this story is decriptive and methodical, it boils slowly, but when the action hits you feel the impact. My main complaint is he use of word territory.

For example:

"Good gods…" muttered Hannah from her perch on Rodney's back. The young man had his right arm broken during the ambush, and was the only other in their group unable to fight well. Because of that, he was given the task to carry Hannah on his back. The therian girl was slung over his back, tied to him with some ropes so she wouldn't just fall off. "These people are rank amateurs, aren't they?"

This infomration that Hannah is on Rodney's back continues. As does the word territory:

 He winced in sympathy when she winced in pain from her obviously hurting side,

Other than the word territory, the story is well written.


Other than a few missuses of what word to use, I really wasn't taken out of the story, Id say mainly spot on.


As I only read the first 5 chapters and the prologue, I don't know the actual plot of this book, but if it were just the Free Lances drivin' and survin' in a world of fury and fighting, I would have been just fine with that.


The Characters are all interesting for the most part, its the world itself that had me interested, as the main character is a cat-man, but also with dwarven blood, his mate is a human and his daughter is part human, catfolk, and dwarven. We see Reinhardt described a few times, but really, I was more interested to know what the daughter looked like! xD

World Building:

Its not listed as a scoring aspect, but i find fantasy books need to have good world building to thrive. The author's world doesn't shine too much in the first 5-6 chapters, but what I see, im invested. The use of the quotes, songs, and poems at the beginning of the chapters is a nice touch, and the many different races we see are excellent as well


This is a story worth checking out and I see much potential for a series. 4.5/ 5

Eyes of Bloodshed

Freya's debut fiction is takes a real strong shot at your gut with this story. You're left breathless with the unique take on storytelling and beautiful prose. Not only that but despite being in a different pov each chapter, you still feel connected to each character we are introduced to. The world is vast and Freya will be damned if she doesn't make you cherish each person we meet.


The story is more of a backdrop for the real effort that Freya is going for. With each chapter being a character study through the the emotion of fear and the need for survival, the actual over arching story serves as a back drop that links each character in each chapter. I dont know if this was on purpose or just interestingly timed, but we find the characters dealing with a border country invading their nation and about how each character deals with this news. Each character brings the threat closer and closer, much like an actually clock for the reader that by the last character all you can say is "Time's Up." 


I had to check my spotify play list for its name, but there is a song from the rap group Fort Minor that sings this song called "Right Now" that has the same style as this story. Each character is a self contained story and the next chapter picks up with the last other character the pov met. There are no main characters in a traditional sense, for every character shares the spotlight as a main character. And because this is no traditional story, you will find this story reshingly creative in a sea of genre trending litrpg and cultivation stories!


Freya must have had a good editor, I found no errors!

Character Score:

As I've explained, each character repesetns each chapter and their daily life dealing with the looming threat of the plot. I can't stress this enough, you don't spend a lot of time with each character, and yet they come to light right off the screen, their developement is masterfully done but in travel size packages. Detailed through and through with a sense of realism in their personalities.


Fantastic story and fantastic format. This would make a terrific short story. Freya is a fantastic writer and right now, Royal Road's best kept secret. Go, read, enjoy!!!! 5/5

Code Name: GLITCH

Top gun meets a High School Drama

So as there are only 5 chapters out right now, This will obviously be a first impression!

First I'd like to welcome Mo to Royal Road, I hope you enjoy your stay!


Glitch is about Major Xiomar Haydn being assigned to fix and pilot GLITCH, a mysterious AI controlled mech with a checkard past. Xio must delve into the root of the AI to find out how to repair and control GLITCH before it kills him

The story reads with the angst of 90s teen drama that takes place in the Army and the coky piloting antics of Top Gun, but the soul of Big Hero 6 or Short Circuit. So you have this young guy (or kid, since he acts like a 16 year old all the time) and his misunderstood robot vs the military complex. I'm sure there will be more mystery and excitment in future chapters, but right now its Degrassi meets Top Gun meets Big Hero 6.


The style here relies on heavy dialogue to tell its story, very little naration and prose, but I love dialogue in stories and implement it as much as possible in my own books. Xio's personality really shines in his dialogue and everything about him you learn through dialogue. So if Mo wishes to tell the entire story through Dialogue, at least they are good at it =)


Nothing that sticks out here, so Mo's good to go!


Xiomar is supposed to be a 24 year old Major in the Army. He acts like a 16 year old snot nosed angsty teenager. 

All of the characters are officers in the military, they all act like they are teenagers in high school. If you are going into this as a veteran and expected for the officers have enough maturity to lead their own men, you're going to need to shut off your brain.


Over all I think this is going to be a fun read of someone that loves sci fi and 2000's toonami on anime. Zoids, Gundam, Outlaw Star, Evangeleon! 

This clearly a love letter to the classic anime Mo might have grown up with  4.5/5 stars for me! Connect the Dyno-Therms, pop in your synthe wave cassette, and punch it to the stars!


The Traitors Saga (book 1 complete!)

Dresden Files, Meets Men in Black, and More!

The Traitors Saga has the making of a fantastic graphic novel that belongs on the shelves of a comic book store, but for some reason ended up in Royal Road. It follows Mark, a magically attuned detective of the Traitors Agency as he is assigned his newest rookie partner and go through his every day life of as a pseudo detective of sorts. Think Dresden Files, meets Men in Black, meets Constatine, with a dash of Hellboy.

If you are into the urban fantasy with the style of a detective story, buckle in, you are in for a wild ride!


The story actually picks up deep into the main character's life. Already he is a seasoned vet detective with years of advenutes and mishaps already worn in his life. His ex wife betrayed him, and he has strained releations with his former partners after incidents that the story doesn't readily get into. Its like Traitors is more like a old comic book series and you pick up at new arc instead of issue one. However it is written in such a way that although yearn for the past arcs, they are not required to get into the story. I will patiently wait for a prequel, but I am more than happy with the current story to not need one.


What can I say about the style other than its slick and the world building is ultra tight. The magic sytem is soft, but theres countless possiblities of how it can presetn itself. Each human gifted with their powers are because of several types of err umm "beings" or as the author calls them, "patrons" think like the Spren from the Stormlight Archives. Beings made for the purpose of furthering their primal nature. Traitor or Guardian is the primary "Spren" here. it gives Marc, jay, Lily, Hana, and Riley their powers in order to protect the people of Chicago from its malevolant kin.

The world building really S tier, more so than most other Royal Road stories. 


The characters are beyond fleshed out. When they speak of their past, you feel the the age of the stories told. Scars, betrayals, friendships lost, friendships gained, friendships rekindled. Each character has a story to tell, so listen to them.


This might as well be a professionally published book. I think I found one error and I immeadiltly forgot about it because I was so enthralled with the story.


To pick up Traitors was a treat. I have often stated that some of these stories that I review are sleeper hits. And I noticed some of them have picked up steam, but if Traitors doesnt become the next Wandering Inn or Beware of Chicken in popularity, than that will be a crying shame. Royal Road is beyond lucky to have this story in its library. Everyone should read this story which we can read it for free.

10/5 Perfection!


First Impressions (re-reviewed)

I read and reviewed this in April of 2021, and at the time the story had charm and heart, but from a technical standpoint, it was a clunky mess.

However the author recently contacted me that he rewrote his story and felt that his present writing no longer reflected my review. Always one for encouraging constant improvement in one's writing, I had to check this out.

Lo and behold, the writing GREATLY improved. The descriptions were beautiful, the dialogue flowed natural, and the action was well done too.

I'd say my only complaint is how Noir is still refered to as a "boy" by the author despite him being 20 years old, and I'm not a fan of how the author writes Noir's thoughts as if they were dialogue said outloud. Its a bit jarring.

But over all, this author has improved greatly and if you were turned off by its past iteration, I can proudly say that the story is polished and technically sound.

There is a quote in the first chapter I'd like to share with you all for I feel like the quote was meant for the author themself

"Don't worry, Noir. Failure is the foundation of any great swordsman. Successes only make us arrogant, unable to want to learn more things. You are different. You know how to fix your mistakes and you're hungry to keep learning from me. That's the most important thing." - Castiel

Good job, you deserve the new praise. 4.5/5