There are a lot of good things in this story and it has a lot of potential. Unfortunately, those high points are hidden behind several huge faults that make it hard to enjoy. I’m not trying to be harsh but offering constructive criticism.
First, the writer gives way too much dry detail and tells instead of shows. It’s very hard to read through without skipping. Basically, every paragraph could be cut in half, and really should be. There is just that many unnecessary sentences and words everywhere. Reading through it is a chore, especially since a lot of it is completely unnecessary to the plot or repetitive. You can summarize things the main character does. You don’t have describe in detail his every visit to a shop and everything everyone says to him. Some of the rambling on about the vast future consequences of tiny actions by random blacksmiths and repeated observations about how well servants are trained, told not shown, are migraine inducing.
Secondly, the main character is incredibly dry and somewhat two dimensional. The young teenager acts like a hundred-year-old Zen Buddhist warrior monk in every situation. He is untouched by petty emotions at all times and utterly dedicated to the sword. Hot rich women still orbit him and crush on him, of course. Having a main character with that kind of personality is fine, but there has to be more to him in order for him to be three dimensional. His only real fault is his ‘lack of social skills and desires’, which of course don’t ever prevent him from being liked by everyone important and having all the most desired women crush on him. That is not a real fault, and teenagers aren’t known for their ability to have superhuman self-control and their utter dedication to their chosen path in life. He was raised in a somewhat normal household, so this is a little weird. Everyone has doubts and acts in sub optimal ways.
These criticisms may sound harsh, but there is a good story here, it’s just concealed behind a lot of detritus and normal writer mistakes. If you’re the type of reader who can slog through the bad to get to the good, you’ll enjoy it. If not, you won’t.
Post-apocalyptic LitRPG stories are a staple of RoyalRoad at this point, and most of them are shallow and stale. However, despite technically sharing this genre, The Scourged Earth is in a league of its own.
Taking many of the tropes from the genre, this tale weaves them together with a refreshing mix of gritty realism that combines both light and darkness to prevent grimderp from occurring. The somewhat simple and childish tone that so many LitRPgs have is missing completely because the story is treated as a proper sci-fi and the LitRPG aspects aren't used by the author to cover up for bad story telling or incomplete world building. Everything in this tale has depth and has been very thought out. There is tons of lore and history built in that fills you with curiosity, wonder, and horror. The addition of the LitRPG aspects doesn’t make everything mechanical, make the story depend on copious amounts of Deus Ex Machina, or shove obnoxious amounts of stat boxes in your face.
Thus, we are treated to a fleshed-out world and well thought out system where very real seeming characters struggle to adapt to their changing circumstances and figure out their place in this new world. They are nothing like the usual grinding machines without souls that are blindly seeking power to suit the author’s ends. You end up caring for them.
There are some minor grammar issues, but nothing that breaks immersion, and that's all I care about. I'm pretty lax about typos and grammar.
All in all, I can only strongly recommend this series for both fans of traditional sci-fi and LitRPGs.
I started reading this story, and then I just couldn’t stop. It’s about a young a man who doesn’t know what to do with his life who is suddenly offered a exciting opportunity. Little does he know how much danger he’s putting himself in, or how much his world is about change. Cue the conspiracies, murder, college radio, and invading clone armies.
The story is the strong point here, and obviously contains a lot of research into things like guns and other weapons. It starts off great and just slowly builds up until its even better. My only complaint would be that perhaps things accelerate a little too quickly in the latest chapters, where the main character goes all Rambo.
It has very good grammar with only a few typos, that allows you to immerse yourself fully in the story.
There are a lot of great characters in this story that get really fleshed out. Unfortunately, there are also a few side characters that were obviously added to the story for one single purpose and stay flat. The main character and most the cast are fun to read about though .
I can’t recommend this fiction enough. If you like thrillers, action, guns, school life, and mad science this is a story you have to read.
If you haven’t read this you should be doing so right now! Just a Rock is far superior to all the stories on the Best Ranked List. Here’s why:
-Amazing in your face and rock hard style!
-A deep story that almost brought me to tears with its unexpected heavy emotional twists!
-100% spherical characterizations! Every character is totally solid.
Vocaloid is just a better author than all of you, so get over it!
Astral and Umbral is well written and obviously has a lot of depth. The author has done a ton of world building and succeeds in bringing her story to life. The characters are also very interesting. The plot has a lot of romantic undertone but is also more than a little creepy. A lot of very NSFW stuff is hinted at, so all in all it’s an intriguing mix.
That said, it is very confusing to read. There’s so much depth here and it’s dumped on you right away with next to no explanation. You have multi-levels of gods, angels, mages, empires, history, magic shapeshifting talking dragon-things, creepy Mist, politics, and characters with lost memories.
You’re left wondering how much everyone remembers, or ever knew, a lot of the time. It’s also confusing since some characters seem to remember stuff in one scene but then act as if they’re completely ignorant in others. The thought processes of the characters are also really hard to follow. They make choices that don’t appear to make much sense given what we know. This is probably because there’s a lot about the world we don’t know yet, but it’s still super annoying. I frequently wanted to start yelling at them, “Stop being so stupidly secretive and just talk to each other!”
This was really my main problem with the story. It felt like the entire central conflict could be resolved with a single conversation in the first chapter. That fact that things keep dragging on starts to come across as very contrived.
Grammar is top notch, although in some of the early chapters sentences can be a little complex and hard to follow.
I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys complex fantasy works with both romantic and very dark undertones.
Alright let’s start. The author obviously has a lot of good ideas but isn’t a skilled writer. The setting is interesting and has the potential for some depth, but it’s hard to be sure considering how little has been written so far. The good news is that the author just needs practice and good feedback to make his writing shine, and I hope this review is helpful in that regard.
There are typos, improper tense, run on sentences, and misspellings. I left a comment with a lot of examples and bits of advice on the first chapter. I strongly suggest they use a program like Grammerly or Microsoft Word to edit their work before posting it. On top of that they need to practice how to use a comma to break up sentences.
Also, the author has the bad habit of using the same word over and over again. Maybe they shouldn’t do that because maybe it would be a bad thing. <— sub in a perhaps or something.
Another issue I had was the actions of the characters feel random and contrived. The author should work on making sure their actions are explained in a reasonable way and not just stated. For instance if an old lady wants to give away one of the most valuable items in the world to a total stranger the author needs to better explain why she choose to do that.
Anyway, I hope this review is very helpful and aids the author in unlocking their potential. <— see what I did there?
I like the concept of this story and the idea of the main character. I tend to like dungeon fictions as well. I enjoyed reading the beginning of this, but more and more odd character decisions started ruining the story for me.
The choices and actions of the characters started to feel really forced and downright silly. Especially women and how they interacted with the main character. Eventually I stopped reading before the battle with the supreme. Non of the characters seemed like real people to me so I didn’t care what happened to them.
I’m a harsh critic though, so if you like this sort of story you might want to check it out.