AliceBSullivan

AliceBSullivan

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Reviews
Diaries of a Fighter

Reviewing Chapter One: Interesting Concept

I've read the first chapter od Diaries of a Fighter, and I must say, the author has a clear idea of his character. I know nothing about MMA fighting, but it does seem the author knows a thing or two, which is refreshing. Nothing seems unbelievable or "over-the-top", which you can find a lot in action fiction, unfortunately. So much of the time are MCs perfect, knowing exact what to do and how to do it, with a flawless execution. Not the MC. Though arrogant and made out to be perfect in the beginning, that big head of his is soon deflated, which is a nice touch, even if it was predictable--not in a bad way, though. I assume the reader is supposed to know the MC loses this fight to set him on his journey for the rest of the story.

Style: The narrative is told in first person, and the MC's voice does shine through. It's easy to read, I wasn't tripping of the stylistic choice.

Grammar: I didn't see any issues with grammar in this first chapter.

Story: This is my only gripe with chapter one. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. I don't think it deserves less than 3 stars because I understand this chapter's intention; however, not many readers will enjoy reading an entire chapter of backstory, let alone the very first chapter. Though nothing but backstory, it's still engaging to keep you reading to find out how it all plays. Even if you're meant to expect the MC to fail, you want to know how, and after reading chapter one, you'll want to know why and what happens next.

I like reading stories that place you into the story and sprinkle backstory here and there, and I think this story would've been fine with that method: placing the reader in the moment after the fight or months later--what have you--peppering in exposition so the reader understands what happened, rather than using the first chapter to tell the reader what happened (though it does show you how the fight played out, and I extremely enjoyed that. You got a piece of the MC's thoughts--panicked, aware they know better but unaware to react accordingly. It was such a nice touch). I think I craved more story than backstory for a first chapter, something to put me into the current situation, rather than the past, since I don't know the characters yet, so hearing backstory doesn't make me feel much for them yet.

Character: you're introduced to a few characters, but only the MC really stands out. He's cocky, arrogant, self-absorbed...the typical characteristics of someone on a win-streak. I'm never a fan of characters like this; however, it's meant to be this way. The reader is supposed to see how the MC was and compare him to how he is after, and it's a good starting point. As stated above, though, much of it is very tell-y rather than engaging. The MC is simply telling you rather than the reader getting to see much of it themselves. I can appreciate a character that starts off as an asshole only to be knocked down a few pegs and learn a hard lesson about life.

Overall: I craved something more out of chapter one, but that doesn't mean it isn't a good chapter for what it's meant to be. Many, many people expect something different from a first chapter, but just know that you're getting nothing but backstory to set you up for upcoming chapters. It's written well-enough, not clunky or hard to read, engaging regardless of being backstory, and leaves you with a hook that makes you want to know what happens after, makes you want to know where the MC will end up because his dreams are already dashed and he made a fool out of himself, especially after being so cocky.


The Future That Never Was

Reviewed at Chapter 3: Fresh & Super Fun!

I read up until episode three of this bounty hunters in space story, and I must say, it delivers. It has such good oner-liners that I can't help but chuckle or laugh! It's a fresh perspective (Lee the cat), and I'm living for it. Here's a breakdown of my scores:

Style: I love the style. The narrative voice surely matches that of which I imagine my personal pet cats, and I'd hope so, because the narrator is a cat! The author does a good job sticking with the character's personality in the style. This story is also episodic, and I think it suits it well. I can appreciate it, and I've enjoyed it thus far.

Grammar: This story was translated from French to English, so of course, things won't be perfect, but any errors don't hinder the experience, and for being translated, they've done a really good job. The story and sentences still flow nicely! Well done.

Story: As stated before, this story is episodic, and I think it fits nicely. I have no qualms about this choice of story-style because I can appreciate the continuing story or a story containing separate stories each episode. I think this style is handled well.

Character: I do love Lee. His personality and one-liners get me every time. The only beef I have with characters has to be with Ali. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate her character: snarky& badass/kickass; however, sometimes I feel as if she's a little over-sexualized, which sort of makes the charcater a little superficial at times. Maybe it's just personal preference. These isntances happen a few times, but she's still the cheeky badass when it comes to fighting, which I appreciate and enjoy. I didn't hate her character by any means. She has her own one-liners and depth. Just a few moments where it felt like she's only eye-candy for the story, which happens often with female characters. By no means is it overexaggerated the entire time. Like I said, she carries her weight, and she's already carrying a heavy weapon, which she uses flawlessly. She's still a good character in her own right!

Overall: Please, please read this story. It's witty, action-packed, and humerous. You'll enjoy it!


Web of Secrets [Modern Cultivation]

This is a very interesting beginning to what I assume is a very interesting story.

Right off the bat, Akari is the underdog, which readers can relate with and appreciate. You're introduced to her character, her motives, and the world quickly and precisely, which can also be appreciated.

The worldbuilding is clear right out the starting gate. Three ranks and three distinct lifestyles, which are shown immediately with such a simple line of: "She even spotted a cluster of Golds lounging on the benches, taking up twice as much space as they needed." With that line alone, the reader just knows the type of people most Golds are, and I liked that a lot.

The only thing I'll comment on with these first two chapters is the first chapter dives straight into Akari's motives without allowing the reader to understand her motivation. Chapter two quickly shows you the why but following chapter one, it seemed out of order. I think I would've almost liked chapter two as chapter one and vice versa.

Nevertheless, it's still an interesting start to a story, allowing the reader to see the world and the character immediately, giving a character the reader can root for and relate to, showing a world not so different from our own.

I would also like to comment on the narrative voice. The POV is third person; however, the style and voice make it seem like Akari is the one narrating, and I thoroughly enjoyed that. It was easy to read!

The first chapter will definitely hook you. Give it a read for yourself!


Black Sun Rising

Interesting Worldbuilding, Neat Ideas!

I read the first 2 chapters of Black Sun Rising as part of a review swap!

In the first 2 chapters alone the reader already knows the author has big ideas and has taken nice care of this universe, which is respectable and appreciated. Apocalyptic fiction is my favorite genre (and the genre I write), so I was very interested to see this author's take on the genre.

I wasn't disappointed with his ideas or concepts. He put a lot of heart and soul into this universe, and like I said, it's evident just in the first two chapters.

However, as another reviewer mentioned, the story is not without its flaws and could do with some polishing.

Remember: my impression of the below categories come from the first 2 chapters, which I believe is nearly 12k words.

Style:

The narration definately has its own style, and it isn't a boring one. The first chapter is first person, told from Sel's POV and his voice really shines through. The second chapter is third person omniscient, which has its own flavor, though some parts were a little strange and broke from narration. I think it had to do with characters' personal thoughts, but it was difficult to tell.

The alien text that appears is strange. I understand it translates to the book's title, and it's actualy very interesting the author has invented his own alien language; however, I found myself distracted whenever it popped up because it didn't have anything to do with the scene or the chapter. I think it's more of an Easter Egg, which is cool on its own but can be distracting.

Grammar:

The grammar wasn't awful, though it does need polishing, and there are times where tense shifts between past and present, so it gets a tad confusing.

Characters:

In the first two chapters, I've met, hm...8-9 characters, I think? I might be wrong.

Sel is the MC in the first chapter, and I appreciate his desire to stand out., despite being a clone, like wearing the worn-out leather jacket. I really liked the touch by the author. It's realistic to strive for difference in a world where there's nothing but conformity.

The group in the second chapter had distinct characteristics where I could tell them apart, and I also appreciated that. I enjoyed Sykes' humanity knowing his pet was to die.

Overall, I do think the dialogue needs another look. It didn't strike me as realistic in some situations, but that could just be me.

Story:

As I've mentioned twice, I've only read 2 chapters, so take this section with a grain of salt. I liked the ideas and concepts the author had, but there was a lot of info-dumping that slowed the story/narrative down. The first chapter was mostly exposition and not much action/character interaction. It tells you what you need to know about the world, but I do think it could've been done better in such a way that doesn't slow narrative and keeps good pace, but it's all about stylistic choice, and I know many readers like this approach or don't mind it.

I liked chapter 2 more than chapter 1 because, though there was still a lot of exposition, there was more action/character interaction. There was the introduction of the moonbase, and I thought the explanation of the moon habitation at the beginning was a bit much that it slowed chapter 2 down quite a bit, but it does show the author did his homework, which I appreciate and respect. I just think it could've been conveyed better, like I said before, in a way that doesn't slow the narrative and take away from the story.

Overall:

I like the ideas the author has. His universe is obviously well-cared for and well-thought out. He knows how he wants things and everything seems well-outlined. I think there's a lot of exposition that needs to be re-thought, re-purposed, and re-positioned, but I appreciate how well the author knows his universe. I feel like not many writers go into the story full aware of their entire universe and let many things blossom as the story unfolds. This author knows exactly how his universe is and isn't afraid to show it, and this is all just from reading 2 chapters.