Just read this book already. You can thank me later.
I came across this story by pure coincidence--I just happened to cross paths with the author on a forum and liked his book cover. A couple weeks later, I think I'm addicted.
Let it be known that I have a very short attention-span. Most stories don't grip me immediately and I usually give up without even finishing the first chapter. I'm also easily distracted so if a story can't keep my attention, I forget about it. Isaac Unknown, however, is both attention-grabbing and unforgettable. It has hooked me in and refuses to let me go. I often find myself thinking about this story throughout the day, wondering where it will go.
The biggest reason, so far, is the author's writing style. Rarely have I come across someone posting their work online who writes with such fluency and a strong understanding of flow. Every sentence seems to be meticulously thought out; every paragraph has a purpose, and not once have I been bored. This is one of the best-written stories I've read this year, and that's saying something, considering that my favourite books of the year so far are Brent Weeks' The Blinding White and Sarah J Maas' Crown of Midnight. I haven't really read much urban fantasy since the likes of Percy Jackson, Darren Shan and Mortal Instruments back in my teen years, so I don't really have much to compare this to (genre-wise), but I still feel like I can say that Isaac Unknown is exemplary.
Onto grammar. I give one star in this category to stories that are barely legible. Two stars for stories that have too many errors to keep track of, but I can still understand them to some degree. Three stars to stories with some spelling and grammar mistakes that occasionally take away from the story. Four stars for stories with infrequent mistakes, and four-and-a-half stars to stories with no mistakes. But I reserve five stars for writers who have a strong enough understanding of grammar that they can use punctuation and sentence structure to further enhance their stories. Simply put, this author is deserving of those five stars.
The story is clearly thought out and written so well that it paints the scene vividly. The first five chapters are focused on introducing us to the main character, with events that shows off his smarts, quirks, strengths and weaknesses. They create room for character development, while foreshadowing events yet to be written. The MC himself is far from your average cocky underdog that most online stories seem to create. He's nuanced, has the right amount of humour, and even relatable to some extent. Even the minor characters have their own unique flairs and come to life when they interact with each other. Dialogue plays a big role in this, and the author absolutely nails it in that regard. Every human character reads like someone that a reader has likely met, while every non-human character comes across as a larger-than-life being who you can't stop thinking about.
Honestly, I just can't rave about this story enough. I feel incredibly lucky to have found it, and I can't wait to see where it goes. I'll be updating this review as more chapters are released, but I don't think it's possible for my rating to drop. This author knows what he's doing. And I, for one, am absolutely loving it.
I have read up to chapter six, and intend to keep updating this review as I read further. Mild spoilers ahead.
I'm going to start off by saying I left a review after reading chapter one at an earlier date. I had many praises for the author's prose but I felt like there were certain narrative choices that made the overall opening chapter slightly weak. The author promptly got in touch with me to address these issues and even went back to edit the earlier chapters to bring them up to par with his later ones. I can't put into words how much I appreaciate an author who engages with their audience and not only takes their critique into consideration, but also acts upon it. Thye had no obligation to do so, but still did.
They did NOT, however, ask me to continue to read and update my review, I am doing that of my own accord. I intend to give my opinion and critique as I would any other book.
The author clearly puts painstaking effort into polishing their prose, and I can appreciate all the work they've put in. As a result, the writing flows smoothly, it's easy to read and just as easy to become immersed in.
Action sequences are well thought out, giving a strong sense of movement and the surroundings. This is further emphasised when the PoV shifts (a flashback?) to the main character fighting in an arena, a much more tense environment which left me begging for more. I hope the author has as much fun writing these scenes as I did reading them, because they are superb.
The characters in this story seem to be fully realised in the author's mind and he translates that very well into writing. Maatilan, Xaender, Three-Claws and Mera are my favourites so far and they all come to life in the scenes they're in. They're unique, larger than life (as all characters should be), and very distinctive, but still manage to come across as believable through their dialogue and actions.
After the author edited chapter one, it now reads much better. Each scene is given the desirable amount of attention to detail, while also propelling the narrative forward. I'm not sure how much the author edited the other chapters as I have only now read them, but they also have a sense of flow that gives this story it's own unique style, while still being able to fit into the mainstream genre. It's an epic tale, and it reads as such.
I still have a minor gripe with the dialogue. The author could benefit from using a few more dialogue tags every now and then, just to avoid confusion. Still, this is only a personal critique of mine, as I feel that other readers won't have a problem with this. In any case, (as bad as this sounds) I don't want the author to spend time, going back to edit the chapters they've already written, when they could use that time to write new chapters. I, for one, can't wait to read more of this story.
To conclude, I believe this story deserves more attention than it's currently recieving and the only advice I have for the author is to keep at it and hopefully people will find this hidden gem.
(I can't find a button that will tag this review as including some spoilers, so beware of spoilers!)
I've been looking for a werewolf story with a unique twist for some time now. This might be it, but there's a lot of work that needs to be done. So, to begin with the critique.
The story begins with an action scene and it's immediate the author doesn't have much experience writing action scenes because it lacks excitement. It does, however, create some intrigue, so I'll give it that. One tip I'd like to offer is to do some research into the concept of 'showing' rather than 'telling'.
Staying on the subject of 'telling', the majority of the first chapter is info-dump after info-dump. In fact, we are told the backstory of almost every major character introduced. Not much really happens in chapter 1, besides all the world-building, which I feel was a missed opportunity. Some sort of prologue in which we see one of their backstories first hand might have been a better choice. Another option could have been extending the action sequence (which only spans a paragraph or two) into something much more tense, that takes up the majority of the chapter, would certainly have hooked me in more effectively.
Onto the topic of grammar. This is where I think the author struggled the most. Paragraph structure in general needs a lot of work: some paragraphs are far too long and contain several different topics, and dialogue isn't separated at all which further adds to paragraph length. On occasion, the narrator switches between third-person limited to third-person omniscient, which can be quite confusing. In one instance, present tense was used instead of past tense, pulling me out of the story for a short moment. All-in-all, I get the impression that the author hasn't been writing very long, so hasn't had the time to perfect their grammar.
However, I do give a higher score to the characters. It's easy to see that the author is passionate about their story and has fun writing it. And to me, that's all that matters. I also had fun reading the first couple chapters. If you can see past the errors, there is a decent story in there. I really hope the author doesn't take offense at my review and instead sees it as constructive criticism, showing areas in which they can improve to truly help their story flourish. I know that when I was a teenager, I probably wouldn't have had the courage to post my work online, and I know that even now my work isn't perfect and can recieve its own fair share of critisicm.
So, to conclude, there are some unique plot points and hints at further intrigue. If you like reading werewolf stories and can forgive an author who hasn't quite perfected their craft yet, but is still growing, you should definitely give this story a try.
I'm going to start off by saying I don't enjoy reading sci-fi. However, I did enjoy reading the 'Sword Art's Online' manga and watching the film 'Ready Player One'. I never thought it could be translated easily into a traditional book format. It seems I was wrong, because this author has not only done an excellent job of it, but also made it look effortless.
Reading this, I get the familiar feeling of a gamer who was incredibly good at one game, only to find that the game has shut down or gone out of fashion, and then forced to play another game in which his skills don't quite translate as well as he first thought. It's a very intriguing basis on which to form a story, and like I said before, I never would have thought it works. But it does.
I have some small gripes with the first chapter, in that it feels more like a third or fourth chapter. It almost feels like the beginning of the second book in a series, where the reader is expected to already know certain things. However, the more you read, the more it becomes clear that the author chose this stylistic approach to convey the main character's experience. We are not beginning at the start of his adventure, but rather at a significant turning point in which he must rediscover himself.
Again, though this may not be my preferred genre, I'm quite sure I'll stick around to read the rest.