lkal92

lkal92

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Reviews
Lady of Beasts

The dark, imaginative world of Sin.

Style:

A fascinating, dark story written by an author with quite a bit of potential. I love a good dark fantasy and the imagination here is stellar. The true nature of Sin, the appearance of Yggdrassil, etc. all with a somewhat horrific eldritch undertone that appeals to me personally. I've not read many stories with a straight up villainess lead instead of an antihero, so this is a fascinating perspective. Going against the heroes, dominance at any cost, demons and queens and miscellaneous others battling it out...I'm in.

Grammar: 

I have to take a couple points off here because of some formatting and overall grammar issues, but credit to the author for breaking up the paragraphs into much more manageable chunks. I would just encourage her to continue understanding appropriate paragraph breaks and comma use. Often what should be ellipses for pauses in character dialogues are communicated with a comma. Also try to separate out paragraphs where people are speaking, if two people are talking they should be separated like so:

"Hi," said 1.

"Hi," said 2.

Opposed to the author's occasional use of something like:

"Hi," said 1. "Hi," said 2. 

It's something that will come with time and paying attention to how other authors consciously break things up.

 

Story:

I will continue reading this story but she posts fast and I'm swamped recently. From what I have seen so far, our main character starts meek, before discovering she is the heiress to a sort of beast dynasty based on conquering everyone else, aided by an entourage of imaginative demons. She deeply despises the "heroes" revered in her culture, and her remaining family is not to be trusted. In the beginning she is kidnapped then saved by a horrific, murderous demon that declares its undying loyalty. What follows is an interesting look at the darker side of power that Maria pursues, from learning her first magic to encountering other queens and building up her beast menagerie. 

Character: 

At first I thought the MC Maria was a bit timid and uninteresting, but she certainly developed and took initiative. I also started to get the impression that the character is fairly unhinged behind her timid exterior, creating an interesting dichotomy that leaves one interested in how she will develop.  The character of Sin is very interesting in particular, a brutal and loyal boyguard, essentially OP but not completely unbeatable. The rivalry/relationship between her and another very important character has a lot of potential to go down some interesting routes, I wonder how that will end up developing. The author has a lot of imagination when it comes to depicting various atypical characters, none of which really look the same, while remaining macabre and creepy.

I will continue reading this story and will update this review in time. As I suspect the author will only continue to improve in her style/prose/grammar, the story will only grow better. 


Ancients [An Epic Litrpg]

Promising start with some interesting mysteries.

Overall a good story with a catchy beginning and good pacing. It is still early on as of this review so I can only speak to what I've read, but the author is improving each chapter and has an excellent imagination. While it has many of the familiar xianxia tropes, they are executed with skill and an original touch.

Style: The author started with good prose and it has only improved as the story goes on. The pacing works nicely and there are some excellent turns of phrase, mostly when the author is describing the environment. 

Grammar: Some small errors throughout that also faded away as the story progressed. The grammar is certainly a step above most other stories on this site and is never distracting.

Story: The story has only started but it is promising as we begin to reveal some of the first mysteries. I am curious what alignment/path the MC will end up taking in the end, especially after what happens in the prologue. The story definitely fits the sort of litrpg/dungeon crawling style so far, and the author goes straight to the action on that front. The execution and imagination are good so far, so I trust the author will continue on nicely.

Characters: The MC is likeable, a victim of his circumstances that is attempting to overcome the situations he's been forced into. He hasn't had to make too many choices so far, but he is mostly selfless and cares deeply for his father, which helps emphathize with him. 

Definitely worth a read overall. Continue the story! 


Reaper of Cantrips

An original, well-written story crafted by a clearly experienced author. An interesting premise in the existence of the reapers and in the character of Pan, who as we experience her point of view seems like an entirely different sort than the others who had her mysterious power.

Style:

The author writes with clear, concise prose and an economy of words. This allows everything to be easily understood, while leaving irrelevant bits for the reader to imagine. Not to say it's boring prose, and the author has some good turns of phrase, but it does not dress itself up in an effort to impress. The style is more focused on the character interactions, their relationships, solid dialogue and character building, and the prose allows these strong points of the author to shine. 

Grammar: 

Near impeccable. Anything I have noticed is extremely mild to the point it's not worth mentioning. I assume the author is intending to release this is a true novel, in which case an editor will smooth out what little tics remain.

Story:

I found the beginning a bit slow but it is time used to introduce characters and give background on the world. I was initially a bit confused in the opening chapter by some things like Pan being grey, some terms, etc. but the author smoothly reveals worldbuilding that explained these concepts. The concept of the reaper itself is interesting and the story begins to pick up pace after the author sets the scene. A lot of interesting paths the author could go down. 

Character:

The author really excels in character interactions, giving them believe motivations, and having a varied cast with unique voices. I'm more of a fan of male MC's personally but Pan is the type of character that has wide appeal---some snarkiness and casual disregard, like a toned down version of Gideon the Ninth and whoever the MC was from Ninth House. The dialogue is also well-written, with a proper flow and rhythm that's a lot more true to life than most amateur stories. 


Memento Mori

A solo adventurer finds her group.

An enjoyable read. A bit outside of my typical style but it definitely fits well into its genre. As another reviewer mentioned, there is some element of 'right place at the right time' that can be avoided to make things fall together less coincidentally. Overall it is fast-paced and enjoyable, with distinct characters and a solid direction in mind. 

Style: 4/5

A fairly lighthearted (kind of, since there is action and killing after all) adventurer story with a hunter-type main character. The writing is technically proficient, essentially sticks to a third person limited POV. The author does well in explaining the concepts of the world. There is a sort of eclectic mix between Norse naming conventions and some Japanese thrown in there, though I suppose it's nothing more jarring than Final Fantasy 7 having Yuffie for instance. 

Grammar: 3.5/5

Mostly good, but some issues with comma placement on occasion. The author gets this right more often than not, would just review some grammar specifically in breaking up clauses. The dialogue tags here are far better than most stories but something I would do to cut out fluff would be to, for instance, turn:

“Gross,” Embla said. She looked down at his pants and saw a massive wet stain.

into

Embla looked down at the massive wet stain along his crotch. "Gross."

Condense some unnecessary words and take away the "said" tag if the reader can clearly figure out who the body language is linked to. There's often a lot of "___ said while doing so-and-so" that could be simplified down.

So no spelling mistakes noticed anywhere, just some minor comma stuff. 

One thing I would also recommend to any writer is saying your dialogue out loud and seeing how it flows. There is the occasional bit of dialogue that seems like it would be an unnatural mouthflow if verbalized. The occasional humor in the dialogue is refreshing though. 

Story: 4/5

So far it is relatively generic but the setting has some potential and this is early. There's a formula that people like and nothing wrong with sticking to it as long as the author adds their own panache. Fairly standard setup of introducing the tension of the story (MC's missing sister) and introducing the other characters so far. Good amount of action interspersed in there and the magic system makes sense. The plot is logical and outside of coincidences bringing the group together nothing that occurs seems a stretch within the internal consistency of the story. 

 

Characters: 4/5

The main character is a fairly standard thief/orphan type with a little sass.  Nothing wrong with that. The Memento Mori troupe have fairly distinct personalities and consistent motivations. One thing I found slightly jarring is around Chapter 6 where they kill some bandits without caring but suddenly one of them putting a magical bomb in their chest to make one behave is going too far. Still, the bandit sequence was a good way to display their powers and have a nice action scene, that particular bit just stood out to me, sandwiched as it is between them slaughtering enemies. 

Overall a good story that has a lot of potential to go its own way while having enough familiarity to attract casual readers of the genre looking for something nice to breeze through.