12 Miles Below

Good Hook, Good Worldbuilding, Interesting Setup

This story, and particularly the way it starts, hits a number of my sweet points as a reader. I've always loved anything that feels like lostech (a post-apocalyse society where once great technology is still present, but scarce) and the story grabbed me from the first chapter with the basic explanation of how and why suit tears are deadly. The writing quality is excellent as well, and I can already tell the author is building both the characters and story steadily. It feels like there's a plan.

The MC is relatable and a bit of a wiseass, which also works for me, yet also flawed, both in his focus on lost technology over daily survival, and in his impetuous actions in the uncovered bunker. I'm never a fan of MCs that have it all together from the drop, as this leaves far less room for them to grow and change.

His sister is interesting as well, and while she's obviously the MC's rock, I do wonder if she's already spreading herself too thin acting as a barrier in what is obviously a highly dysfunctional father/son relationship. I look forward to learning more about her and, in particular, where the dysfunction comes from. There's several mysteries, large and small, revealed in the first few chapters, and it seems like at least some of those will pay off. So I'm invested.

Finally, the battle scene between the reactivated turret and the father's armor is well done. It's tense and fast-paced, but easy to follow. I like the idea that whoever died in the uncovered bunker would leave behind a boobytrap as one last middle finger to scavengers--it drives home just how cutthroat the world has become--and the idea of the father's armor being handed down through generations, like mechs from pre-3025 Battletech, which were often family heirlooms.

Overall, I'll keep reading and this story honestly feels more like post-apocalyptic scifi rather than fantasy, at the moment, but I'll be fine with either so long as it develops a steady pace.

Beware Of Chicken

The chicken on the cover drew me in, contrasted with this being one of the most popular stories on Royal Road. I mean, a chicken. WTF, right?

Yet the story kept me interested from the first page and kept me skipping straight through to the next section without even thinking about it. The only complaint I have is it's sometimes a bit disorienting when the narration moves quickly from one character to another, but I catch on quick.

It's just a charming, enjoyable read I'll continue to burn through as I get time.