Sara Mullins

Sara Mullins

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Reviews
Monillas: Human Garbage

Something about this story feels important. There are hints of wanting to show off the ins and outs, ups and downs of a vastly underrepresented culture, and there's a fascination to that that the description of the story could rise up to more, I think. But, that plus the short chapters mean that I was able to binge the story in a day. This story is definitely worth taking a look at, even if it's to turn your mind off and skim something dramatic but tiny and readable. 

Style: Yeah, there's a sense of over-the-top dramatism that I think works. It could be taken further as an option, to create the sort of character of a godlike narrator to suit the way the story is being told, or we could go for a style that's more in the heads of our protagonists, but it's fairly effective as is. Part of me wishes for more sensory details and scene description, as these are things that, for me, make a story come alive. 

Grammar: So, I'm of the opinion that, so long as grammatical issues do not directly and flagrantly impact the understanding of a story, then it's all good. No story on this site is going to be perfectly grammatical (mine certainly isn't), and even people who have English as their first language will have the same struggles. Essentially, we're all English Language Learners until the day we die. Five stars for comprehension and consistency. However! I'll say that, to most readers, it's probably a turn-off. The story could benefit and probably leave more readers happy from the author maybe finding a writing partner with a good grasp to help them edit. 

Story: Interesting so far, and I want to see where it goes with the author's promise of a multi-arc story focusing on the plight of an entire family. I think connection with the characters will be very important going ahead, and that's worth considering when thinking about the narration style as well. What can the author do to make us feel as tied to these people and their battles as possible? To make the story keep popping, that's what I'd say is a priority. 

Character: There's not too much to say yet. This is a slow story, as the author stated. The character spoken of in the story description has barely been featured, so I'd consider changing the description itself to advertise that the story focuses on many characters throughout the journey of a family unit, not just one perosn's attempt to rise from their circumstances. Just a thought. The characters have got to drive this home, so keep pushing yourself. You've got this, author!


Nifflheim

This is a very interesting story that has the potential to develop into something absolutely amazing. Because I see it as so muhc still in development, I rated the story and character at 4.5 instead of 5. These could easily be full score if the author takes care to make the story and characters continue to take interesting turns and especially if the characters can keep showing us more of their heart, because all of these were great moments. 

Style: Though they at times get repetitive in terms of word choice and content, we get a good deal of nice decriptions throughout the story. It's atmospheric in a very outstanding way. The constant threat of danger makes for an engaging read, and we as readers are right there with the characters when things shift from calm or humorous to deadly in a split second. We're just as unprepared as they are, and that's good for both sympathy and tension. 

Grammar: The tense isn't always consistent, and there are flaws in sentence structure at times. None of this impedes comprehension, though, so I've got no complaints. 

Story: The intrigue is strong here. There's a lot on mystery both on a wider scale and for each of the characters personally, so there's a lot of threads to keep us invested. We have a goal that characters are chasing at this point that could let us explore more of the world we have, which would also benefit in building the sense of danger and the unknown.  

Character: A lot of good stuff here. Asger, our main protagonist, is not what I expected n a very refreshing way. He constantly wishes to improve and thinks of others. It's outside of the usual Norse warrior/viking character tropes, and I really like it. Asger's closest companions haven't had tons of development yet for reasons that are highly justified in the story (having to do with memory), so I'm very interested to see what kind of moments we'll get as these characters get to know themselves at essentially the same time as we get to know them. There's a lot the author could do with that, and it's worth sticking around to find out. 


Natural Alchemist

Alchemy is a topic that is always in need of a twist in writing, since there are so many major properties that have somewhat defined the way the concept is viewed in popular culture. This story is successful at providing a new sort of interest. 

Style: It's a more character-driven story with a greater amount of internal thought than description, and, while more descriptions of scenes, people and alchemy would be nice at times, the style works. 

Grammar: No mistakes get in the way of understanding, really.

Story: It's different to see a story about alchemy focus on someone who initially sees it as beyond them and has little desire towards it. The story has some interesting world building so far. How enjoyable it and the characters are will depend on how much they are pushed to develop in the end. Interested to see how things will take a turn as the story goes more into focusing on the alchemy part of the universe.

Character: Will is a very interesting protagonist with a universal struggle: he wants and needs more money. His thought process and transitions into different social spheres make for good character development. The supporting cast is promising, with Brick's interactions in particular being enjoyable. 

Definitely try picking it up. It's light but intriguing at the same time.


Amongst the Sky

The prologue sinks its fangs in and doesn't let go, really, and things only get better before and after things come full-circle. 

Style: The writing is incredibly distinctive. There's a horrific quality to the dreamlike descriptions because of what we know is coming and how the looming threat is wound up slowly. Each character has a unique voice of their own, giving them all a sense of verve. Overall, it's a stylish piece of work. 

Grammar: Nearly flawless, and there's not much that can take away from the beautiful descriptions we get. 

Story: The story is elevated by the beautiful way it's told, but it's still got merit on its own as well. The fear and mystery do a good job at maintaining interest and creating emotions that help readers get even more invested. I'm looking forward to even more worldbuilding going forward as the mystery and horror deepen. 

Character: One of the most unique things here to me was a sort of focus on family units. We have our primary trio of young adults, yes, but each of their family lives are highlighted and given a sense of weight in the immediate aftermath of the first major event of the plot. I liked it and found it warming amidst the growing feeling of foreboding. Our main three are all compelling in their own rights, and I'm interested to see how they will develop in the face of adversity. 

It definitely couldn't hurt to pick this up and give the first few chapters a go. 


Musical Land Trilogy

This story had me hooked from the first chapter. That along with the title is all you really need, but I'll go into further details below.

Style: The pages are primarily focused on dialogue and internal thought. The story also remains digestible throughout with a fair balance being struck between me be my things along and pausing to break events and emotions down. Descriptions of scenery are somewhat sparse, but it actually works here since the general settings are so easy to contextualize. 

Story: The school slice of life parts of the story are just as effective as the building dystopian mystery. They work well together because the story gets the reader to care about the characters before starting to truly plunge them into the darker side of their world. As of the chapter I'm reviewing at, things are picking up majorly, and it's very exciting. 

Grammar: Nearly perfect. It's a very well-written story. 

Character: Marie is an incredibly sympathetic protagonist. The other historical figures are integrated into the story in creative and effective ways. The interactions are hilarious, heartfelt, and a major draw. Edgar and Billy are major standouts, and the budding romance between some of the characters is written in a thoughtful and mature but still sweet way that's appreciated. 

Just read it. It's thoroughly enjoyable, and you won't regret it.


The Harrowbird's Crown

Things in terms of plot here have only just gotten to turning quickly, and there are many directions it all could go. I will say, however, that it has a lot of promise and is worth keeping up with. 

Style: Many of the scenery descriptions are lovely and evocative. The overall voice of the story itself is mature and solemn, and there's a strong sense of drama that works well. 

Grammar: It's quite good, with only small mistakes here and there. 

Story: It can get confusing at times (and I'm going to be vague to avoid spoilers, since it's a story better read with a readiness to be surprised). Plot beats happen and relationships can disintegrate without a lot of context. Sometimes later developments make them feel earned in hindsight as pieces of the mystery are dropped, and sometimes they don't. There are so many moving threads at this moment that it's hard to tell what will pay off. We are flat-out told that there are problems on Providence rather than shown, so there's a missed chance to build a sense of dread and wonder. Perhaps some things could be made more explicit. There are tons of hints of some fascinating worldbuilding to come, though. 

Character: There's a lot of great stuff here. Halle is incredibly dynamic, Olivur holds a lot of mystery and foreboding about him, Vendor Pice has both questionable loyalty and sanity to delightful effect, and Hugh is much more than the simple bully he first appears as. I felt a slight disconnect with Corbyn, as so much happened so quickly that it didn't feel like he properly processed or even commented on some things. He's likable though, and he works as a protagonist, but I'm much more drawn to Hugh, for example, as he shows a lot of heart in the interlude chapter with one of his personal relationships being highlighted. Overall, it's a great cast, and they draw me back in. 

Essentially, this is a story that has to follow through on its potential, and I do think it will. Looking forward to the chapters to come. 


This Strange New Life

This is an interesting one. The main draw, to me, and what I think would draw others in, is that it's relaxing. There not a sense of high stakes; even in dangerous situations, there's a certainty that everything will be fine. There's a sort of comfort in reading a story like that, especially if you're just looking to chill out after a hard day/week/month, etc. We all need stories like that sometimes.

Style: Magical sci-fi isekai-ish and all that entails. Go for it. Dialogue-heavy and definitely more of a character-driven story. Impressive for a story that's being plotted as it goes along, and I think this will lead to some great creative moments, as the author clearly has ideas. 

Grammar: The author's work to improve their grammar is really admirable (just look at the comment sections on the chapters), especially given the fact that it wasn't even that bad to begin with. No problems, really. The small typos don't impede understanding of scenes. 

Story: This is where I'm mixed but still generally positive. Worldbuilding doesn't really show itself until the twelfth part or so, so the narrative to this point can be a tad confusing. The story would benefit from a little more exposition and more focus on sense of place in scenes, I think. There's attention given to the emotions of the characters far more than the scenery around them, and a blend would take the story to the next level. But that's just me personal preference as a reader, too. 

Character: Our main character is also someone I'm mixed on. One one hand, watching her be determined to protect her family is adorable and endearing. On the other, we don't actually have a firm grasp on her backstory and how previous experiences have shaped her (as of part 16). If/when we do get to learn more about her, it will add more weight to her desire to learn about family. Without the context of her previous life and previous views on family, relationships and life, it just doesn't hit as hard for me. The other characters, I feel positively about and am looking forward to seeing further developments. There's promising stuff, and the entire family dynamic is adorable and oozing with genuine care that adds to the general comforting feel of the story itself. 

Definitely wouldn't hurt to check the story out. 


Everyone is a Superhero! Apart from me

So, I'm glad this story popped up on my radar. I enjoyed reading it. It's pleasant while still being engaging, and there's hints of some great future developments.  

Style: It's very successful at blending RPG elements into prose and having the considerations the characters make in everyday situations reflect this. The humor feels natural. Minor thing, just don't expect the chapter titles to necessarily correspond to the content of the chapters themselves. It's fun to just appreciate the jokes, and there's tons, and they work.

Grammar: Yeah, there are typos, but that's bound to happen. Nothing impedes comprehension of the story, though, and it's improving as it goes along. There are also some nice sense of place moments where a few simple sentences build a scene with precise wording, and that's appreciated. 

Story: Like the title of the review says, it's promising. Most of the chapters to this point have been a slow burn to establish characters and the functions of the RPG element within this specific world. The excerpts before the chapters do very well to give a sense of looming and lingering danger, so that gives me faith that the premise outlined in the story description will have a pay off. The whole thing has a simmering sense of intrigue that, again, makes me think we should all stay tuned in to see what happens. 

Character: The characters are probably the best part so far. Based on the popularity poll included in one of the chapters, I'd say that Melodi is very underrated. She's relatable, and she balances Eugene out very well; they compliment one another's strengths and weaknesses, and the stage has been set for us to see how their basic teamwork will get them through more difficult situations in the future. It's a character dynamic that's been done a lot (the insecure but powerful female lead who beats up the loveable asshole male lead), but it's effective here too. They're characters that can be rooted for. Lastly, there's Azra. Hints at his backstory definitely draw me in to keep reading, personally. All that said, I think the characters are one of the strongest elements of the story so far, and I'm interested to see how they will develop. 

Nice work. Definitely going to check out the author's other stories. 


The Epic of the Atlas Dawn

To justify the title of my review, I'll explain. 

Style: The story is referential to shounen style series, but it isn't interested in being a direct copy, either. It has an identity of its own and uses that to build intrigue. The whole thing has a sense of fun about it, and that makes the reading experience even better. 

Grammar: Nothing to complain about here, really. There's no grammar error that directly impacts the understanding and/or feeling of the scene, and that's what's important. 

Story: It's pretty great, in my opinion. The first volume works well to establish the world and give small hints as to where the worldbuilding is heading, and that's one of the most exciting things about it. There are so many places Atlas Dawn could go, so it's easy to trust that the story isn't going to end in a letdown. 

Characters: The best part. The story is worth reading just for Gayle and Ayran alone. The characters make me laugh with them while they are also being established as people with specific motivations and areas for growth at the same time. The whole thing is only going to get better. 

Additionally, the author of the story is a really great guy who deserves all the support in the world. If you're a person who like to support the work of those you feel are also good people, like I like to do sometimes, you can't do much better than this one.