Wander West, in Shadow

The story primarily details the travels of two aspiring students of magic as they deal with the dangerous creatures of the world. Its a story of small scale, personal, and filled with tension and a creeping dread.

Style: The style can primarily I think be represented with its two largest components. First heavy description, of both characters and their world, to really drag the reader in so that they might feel as the characters do. Second, slowly layering details of the encounters with the monsters that are the focus of their adventures. Slowly building dread, with brief periods of calm, a welcome respite from the tension. Both are effectively used, and are good choices considering the genre.


Story: As I mentioned, the scale is very close to the characters, which I think is a major strong point. The monsters which are the focal point of the story, are done very well, and appear adequately dangerous. That said, even taking the nature of the story as being one of horror, I think it takes a bit too long. The first arc I think being much better paced of the two. Its very hard to maintain effective tension for too long.

Grammar: Its very good. A few very minor errors blemishing what would otherwise be a perfect score. There is some repetition in the diction, but its a nit-pick.

Characters: While grounded well in archetypes, and well balanced between the two central characters, have enough added dimensions to avoid cliché. They’re interesting, and their differentiation shows up effectively in their worldview, and interestingly in how they perform their art. The side characters despite many not having that much page time, becoming endearing enough in good time to work quite well. Dialog is a bit repetitive, recycling the same rhythms.

Split Souls

Distilled, pleasure of Reading.

A story, that really caught me off guard at first, but in a  pleasant way. The author, clearly has put a lot of thought into this piece, and as the title implies it was a pleasurable read. A refreshing change of pace I think. Lots of stories try to be a lot of things, and this one has a very pure essence, that I greatly apprecaite.


Style: The Style for this piece, is simple, in its basic elements. Simple is by no means a slur. A chocolate chip cookie is simple, but still entirely delicious. I get that same sort of feeling from this piece. Its construction contains only what is essential. Nothing feels superfluous, or overwrought and so unburdned of anything it doesn't need.

Story: I'll admit, off the title and initial prologue and first chapter I thought I had a bead on its direction. It cauht me by surprise though. Its a straightforward adventure, with clean growth arcs, that avoid any needless complexity. I don't know if it would win any awards for most anything, but I don't think you always have to.

Grammar: I saw this author, use a semicolon properly. No body does that. I stopped checking for errors after that. Solid.

Character: Keeping with the story's simplicity, while the characters are not straight cliche, they're not far from textebook, by my reckoning. They core pair are good foils, elementary cast calculus, but at the same time, it's used for a reason. Past writer commentary, They seem pretty fun, and I enjoyed my time with them, I suspect I'll spend more.

In summary, This story isn't the most complex, nor does it have to be. Its good sometimes to find something that's just a joy to read, and this, I think will hit that spot. It did for me

They Who Rule

Strange Review, for a Strange Story

For sake of transparency, this was left as a part of a review swap.

This is a story of gods, of combat, and deception. It takes place in a realm filled with shadow, a grand tournament to see who shall rise from the candidates to become the next Tu'i. Theoretically.
At least, that's as far as I got. As many other reviewers have noted, this story is a challenge to get into, for a few reasons.

To the specifics:

Style: The author has a clear sense of what he wants the world to look like, and it is an interesting world indeed. His action scenes are punchy, brutal, and effective. His dark tone, reflects the tint of the shadow hanging over the strange locales, which he lays out in vivid details. It is excellently executed.

Story: The basic layout, from what I have read appears to be quite straightforward on its face, however due to the meticulous layering of information over time, I suspect it has hidden depths. It is a slow burn, it builds, trickling in information, slowly fleshing out the world, its machinations moving inexorably forward. This story clearly wants to take its time, setting all of the pieces into place. It is though for me, a bit too slow however.

Grammar: The author, has an excellent grasp of the tools of his trade. I only spotted one error in the eleven chapters I read, and it was a very, minor one. There were spots where the writer erred from ‘proper’ structure, however its clearly from a place of knowing where the rules can be bent, coming off more like speaking than writing. It works, rather effectively.

Characters: This is for me, the sticking point. The story, clearly has finds inspiration in older stories, I’m guessing, pacific islander in origin, but I can’t say for certain so my thoughts occurred in a vacuum as it were. They’re not flat, they have clear personalities, and the dialogue quality isn’t low by any stretch. The characters follow very human patterns and are well built.

That said, I find myself not wanting to read any more though, because I don’t like any of them. I would take it a step further, and say the majority I actively dislike. I can find no fault in how they are crafted, yet I don’t want to read about any of these people. So I find myself not wanting to continue, despite the interesting world they inhabit.


In summary, the author is clearly skilled, and knows what story he is building. He is in no rush, to get to the end, and has created a very intriguing world, filled with an unusual cast of characters.


Revelation : Lord of the Kingdom of Bone

Revelation tells the story of an alternate Earth on the brink, sinking deeper into darkness, and very human struggles within that space. With a strong influence from Christianity through the work, faith is explored from both sides, that of the faithful and the unbeliever. Its a gripping tale, with high action, and deep mysteries, and is well worth your time.

Style: The author has a highly detailed prose, with well crafted scenery reminiscent, painting a thorough picture of this grim future. Well choreographed detailed action sequences are tense and well developed. Pacing is used well to build suspense to powerful effect, with splashes of backstory that are done at good intervals.


Story: Having read all that exist at the time of this review, I will admit, I cannot truly summarize the quality of the story.That said from what exists, I am deeply intrigued, and genuinely looking forward to where it is going. It’s a fresh concept, and is engaging. The setting is excellently crafted, and clearly laid forth for the reader.


Grammar: There are no major grammar errors or spelling issues I could find. He has good diction, does not overly repeating any given words, and the work is well crafted. Though on a couple of minor occasions, his turns of phrase did have me having to re-read a line or two. Might just be a personal issue there.


Characters: His characters are believable, well described, and consistent. The dialogue is good, and is used effectively. With that said, while not bad, or dragging down the work, I think its the weakest part of it. I don’t find any of them particularly compelling, inspiring worry, attachment, or in the case of deaths any great sorrow. Though, that may be a limitation of the current duration of the work, and given more time to see them, I would be singing a different tune.


For transparency, this review was left as a part of a review swap, however if I’d happened upon it I would have been compelled to leave one any way. I intend to continue reading past this current chapter, and am eager to read what follows.