Stampede! Legend of a Magical Space Cowboy

Ever wondered what it would look like if an aspiring isekai hero wouldn't get summoned to fight the demon lord to safe a fantasy world, but instead abducted by an alien to fight an interstellar demon empire to safe the whole galaxy? 

That's what this story promises to be about.

It starts off with a training and exposition arc though. The world-building is interesting and solid. Especially the ideas behind how magic works and the insights into the thinking process and epistemology in general. (It's one of my favourite parts.)
But it also makes the beginning of the story a little bit slow and exposition-heavy. Maybe also a little bit too dry for people who aren't interested in the underlying concepts.

There is interpersonal conflict though. It is mainly a journey arc for now. One in a space ship with a whole lot of empty void all around. So conflicts tend to be social in nature. There is a bit of action there too, though. And at the point I read to before writing this review, more action is to be expected to come soon.

Narration is in first-person. For both POVs. I usually prefer it when additional POVs to a first-person MC are written in 3rd-limited but that's only a personal preference and it never gets confusing because there are no POV-changes mid-chapter. 

Dialogue has very few qualifiers but the author already mentioned that in the synopsis. It never is unclear who is speaking but it can make the conversations sound a little bit too impersonal sometimes? I don't know if that's the right word. It's a stylistic choice though, and it works well so far.

The MC is very naive in the beginning. But it fits his background and upbringing. He also behaves like the teenager he is. Wanting to be treated like a responsible adult in one moment but being all too happy to refer to someone with more experience when he feels out of his depth in the next. I liked it, but I can understand if he appears indecisive and/or stupid to some readers. I wouldn't agree, but I see where they would get the impression. 

Grammar seemed perfectly fine to me, but I'm not the best to judge that in detail. There was absolutely nothing that jumped out to hamper my enjoyment of the story.

Most of the side characters need a little bit more time before I'm sure about them. I liked the abductor. Her POVs didn't feel quite 'alien' enough for me though. Traces of this were there, of course. And again... this is probably more 'personal preference'.

I'll continue reading this story. Wouldn't want to quit now when it finally appears to have reached the 'starting line' :)

Amongst The Sky

The horror creeps up on you

It's like one of those good old horror movies, that get you with their atmosphere and not cheap jump-scares or special effects.

The story takes it's time in the beginning to establish the 'normal' of this 90-years-into-the-future world. We have a group of very authentic (imo) teenagers, who get along with their daily life, but from the beginning on, 'strange stuff' keeps happening and keeps adding up. 

This 'stuff' gets dismissed, of course, right until 'shit get's real' a few chapters in. I really don't want to say more about the story to keep this relatively spoiler-free.

The narration is authorial, but most of the time it reads like a third-person limited. The narrator seems to have their own voice though. It feels sometimes a bit like someone is telling a story. It's not off-putting, I quite liked the style. It tends to be very flowery at times. Maybe a bit too 'purple' for some tastes. I liked it though.

I can't say much about grammar since that is a bit of a week spot for me. I only found a minuscule amount of typos now and then. It looked very clean and carefully edited otherwise. No easily avoidable mistakes either.

The characters are great! They are teenagers and they behave as if they are! Can you imagine that? It's glorious. Even the change in behaviour when they interact in their group, in contrast to how they act around their parents or authority figures. Oh, did I mention that they actually have parents they interact with? Incredible, right? ;)

The only thing, and I can't really put my finger on why, is that I couldn't really bring myself to care about what happened to them. Maybe there just wasn't enough time yet to get familiar with them, but probably it's just me. 

I really liked the mystery. I gladly went along with them to find out what exactly is going on and why. It's just that... At no point in the story was I afraid for them or cared for their safety. 
Maybe that's just part of the genre? That you're making bets on who's going to die first? :D

The Simulacrum

Love the humour, love the banter, love the references and tropes. 

This is a well thought out story. Despite it appearing increasingly random from time to time, everything comes together at the end of an arc in a huge hilarious mess. 

The story doesn't take itself seriously at all. We have a main character who gets bombarded with clich├ęs and tropes without an end in sight. And he is completely aware of it... and annoyed beyond rescue. 

It's a very fun if slow read.


It's pretty much slice-of-life, but only most of the time.

I like the story. It's just really slow. I can see how it may be a bit too slow for some. But I never once had the feeling that there was no plot development. A story about crafting is bound to have a lot of... you guessed it... crafting in it. That might not be too exciting most of the time but I didn't notice anything yet that could be described as just 'filler'. The goals of most PoVs were always clear as well so far.

I like the characters. That doesn't mean that I would like to know all of them on a personal level though. On the contrary, there are several characters whose personality hits far too close to home for me. A couple of them I know for a fact, I wouldn't like as a person. But they are believable characters because of that, not despite that. ^^

I like the overall style. The only little gripe I might have had is that every PoV is a first-person narrator. But since it was always sufficiently marked, I got used to it with time.

Shade Touched

Non-Human Lead with a Non-Human Mind

(reviewing at chapter 44)

It's cute, it's funny and let's you take a look at culture through the lense of an alien mind. 

This monster-lead really is an animal that somehow achieved sapience. Not an otherwise human mind that somehow got transferred into a monster body. I don't see that often and done as well as here even less.

So far, the main plot point seems to be the main character genuinely discovering and learning about civilisation for the first time. So if you are looking for fast paced carnage and action, because the lead is a monster, then this story is probably not for you.

On the contrary. Conflicts are more often than not of a social nature. Doesn't mean, there is absolutly no violence, but it definitely takes a backseat. (at least so far)

The characters are great, the style is pretty lighthearted. I didn't notice any jarring issues with grammar, but I'm not the best person to judge that.

All in all a great read.