Esbe Esi

Esbe Esi

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Dog Boy

A story of the boy slowly changing into his fursona.

As much as I find it interesting premise, and the entirely valid idea for the story itself, the story itself is extremely slow without any sign of the real plot.

Originally, my review was convering merely a thee chapter. Now, at the chapter 15 it feels I reached the very end of the story as all the conflicts presented to me in the beginning of the story has been resolved. The boy came in term with this changes, boy got the girl, girl is alive and well. Happy end.

Problem is, I am certain this isn't the end of the novel as the author envision it, and that he has more in store for the plot, but if the story can't provide the hook in 15 chapters, it's too later for it. Even for the endless light novel.


Soil and Stars

This can't be unintentional!

Fascinating novel. 

 

My current theory is that this story is the stealth (hidden, unlabelled) parody, or the satire, of the generic iseki novels. 

 

Or the author who saw the Ima, Soko ni Iru Boku (Now and Then, Here and There), wanted to write a “subversion” of the isekai genre about the powerless protagonist, and utterly failed in the shock factor. There is no shock. 

 

I am leaning towards the former, since this story is otherwise too well written to be a product of the misaimed author. 

 

I have never seen a novel that truly captures the dull feeling of the bad, generic Japanese isekai anime. The beginning is dull, generic, and soulless, just as the most generic high-school protagonist ever, Minoru.

 

He can’t do anything. 

 

He can’t decide on anything. 

 

He doesn’t have an agency.

 

The plot moves forward on contrivances, just as it does on anime with audience surrogates, since it would be straight away impossible for him to decide, or survive, without the unseen force brute forcing the plot. There is no reason the novel should work this way. The studios are usually creatively bankrupt, but this author should not be. Not with this good writing and grammar he shows here. Hence, I assume this novel is actually a genius satire, or a hidden parody, as otherwise it makes little sense. 

 

The protagonist doesn’t get any power. Then, despite not getting any power, he survives without a scratch or trauma, because of the battleship level of plot armour, to get with the band of competent protectors. 

 

Then, all of them die, with only the protagonist surviving, for the story to repeat itself, without him ever having to actually do anything. 

Since it (the party dying) happens after 10 chapters, there is no shock. Most people gave up by then, bored by my no action, and no edge, nothing to truly anger or shock the audience. It is just dull, after the monotony of useless and empty 10 chapters, and it cannot do anything to me. Then it continues, and I am utterly bored. 

 

Author can’t possibly think I will be interested in “rising stakes” after failing to present me with any stakes for 10 chapters. I am not interested in what happens to the cardboard cutout with the battleship plot armour convenience.

 

So I assume the author didn’t actually think this is interesting. 

 

I assume this is intentional. 

 

I will assume this story is a genius parody, and I will rate it as a genius parody, which I will give the perfect rating. An experienced author trying to lead us to form the bad conclusion to put a mirror in front of other isekai.

 

(Grammar and Style, 5-star, shockingly flawless. Story and characters are terrible. Which led me to believe this is intentionally kind of terrible. If it is true, and it is intentional, then it is well deserved 5 star for leading the readers) 

 

I suggest you try it! 

 


Death After Death (Roguelike Isekai)

A typical anti-escapism torture p**n obsessed with giving “stupid nerds” reading it a lesson.

 

Although the story is relatively well written, by an experienced author, judging by the style it uses, it is also extremely mean spirited, dark, depressing and essentially pointless.

 


The protagonist commits suicide, and “evil genie” …I mean “Goddess”, who works pretty much as the “evil genie”... sends him to the endless torture cycle where he is continuously resurrected only to die, again and again, for the deadly sin of thinking that his new life would work as a Role Playing Game. And minor sin of suicide, I suppose, which is brushed off immediately. The Role-Playing Games are supposedly the biggest problem humanity has ever faced and they need to be punished for that very thoroughly. At least, that’s the underlying message of this novel.

From this point on, the story is essentially over as there simply isn’t any way for the protagonist to get out of this in any other way than as the broken husk. This is a relatively realistic outcome, yes, but quite meaningless in the long run. There isn’t anything remotely clever for this, no twist, no irony, only sadistic delight from punishing what the author thinks as the sample of their own audience. 

 

.Result is a very typical, very cliched torture p**n story praised by the edgelords for its realism as deconstruction.

 

What is the point?

 

For the author, there actually is a point. It is an extremely convoluted way for him to say how much he hates the escapist stories and their audience, do it essentially through allegory, and then laugh when some misguided fan of said escapist stories doesn’t get the message and praises the author.

 

But for readers?

 

There isn’t much.

 

Though, I must still admit there aren't any grammatical or stylistic errors. You can’t really fail at the story as there isn’t one, and it sends the message, so it’s not like I can give it a bad rating.

 

This story is actually excellent in what it does, sending the message to its audience what the author thinks of them, so I guess it succeeded in what it aimed to do.

So, I'll rate the style 5* because it actually is well-written when it comes to actual prose.

I'll rate it 5* because I found no grammar issued.

I'll rate characters 5* because the protagonist does react realistically, and motivation of "Evil Genie" a.k.a. Goddess is likely meant to be incomprehensible.

I'll rate 5* for the story because in due technicality, this does have the valid story, even if depressing and pointless one.

Now I can watch the news, they won’t get more depressing than this.

 


Nevermore/Enygma Files

The author is a much better artist than they are a writer. 

 

Yes, if you feel nitpicky, writing is a form of art, but I don’t like to use the word “painter” 

 

This novel has been written by an experienced artist with hundreds of highly detailed works published on Deviantart, and who knows how many more they had to draw to get this level of skill. Skill in this area is undeniable

 

The writing, however, is not that good. The story itself, along with the basic plot, and the setting, seems fair, and show the notable amount of effort put into it, art is exquisite as one would expect from a professional artist, just the prose is a little bit … off … 

 

The way the story is written reminds me more of the movie script, slightly better dramatized and with some details, actual scripts don’t have included, but it is still very simple, formulaic, and reads more like the instructions on how to shoot the movie than the actual novel. (and the sex scene is funny, but I don’t mind it, from a narrative perspective it should be there). It feels like someone hastily tried to convert a movie script into prose, only to leave the most of narration and drama.

 

The fact that this novel has rich illustrations in every chapter is really a saving grace. 

 

This should never be a novel.

 

A Visual Novel, perhaps, would work perfectly. How well it does in the Light Novel format is debatable, many Light Novels are lost in translation. 

 

This should be a comic - or manga if you like - which the author can make himself, they do have a skill.

 

It is very clear that the author can imagine the scene very well. A strong visual imagination is a must-have trait for an artist after all, and dialogue does work, there is the plot, there is worldbuilding being done, it has just one point of failure: scenes described are not delivered very well in text. 

 

Overall, I would still suggest you check this out - if this was a manga, I would absolutely love it, its appeal is however just dulled when tried to be delivered by conventional prose.


Fame and Glory, a rat's story

Remember when the dog ate your homework and no one believed you?

It happened again!

The rat ate the status screen!

I swear! It was the rat!

The story is experimental to say a very least, first chapter is extremelly brief doesn't reveal much about the story, but it feels like this is going to be a parody. Give it a try, though probably after a few chapters, if first chapter is any indicator, they are going to be quite short.


Remember the Red

It is obvious that a lot of effort has been put into writing this story, the narration is very rich, and the setting is a relatively unique blend of post-apocalyptic and fantasy. A lot of effort has been put into worldbuilding, to lift the story above the usual generic affairs of fantasy. 

 

Too bad it is too hard to understand. 

 

The problem isn’t necessarily the writing, the author is a skilled writer, and does an excellent job is setting the atmosphere from the very start. Worldbuilding done is excessive. 

 

And when I say excessive, I mean excessive. 

 

The relentlessly throws new terms to familiarize yourself with each chapter and never stops. 

 

Blink and you would be confused.

 

Shattering, Rot, Blight, Arks, Paragons, Rites - all capitalized, all very unique to the setting, creating an extremely confusing mish-mash of lore that practically requires its own wikipedia at hand to understand what the hell is going on, who-is-who and what-is-what, and we are merely 6-chapters in. 

 

Getting a grasp of the setting, and the basic plot is truly a major struggle and put strains on the reader.

 

This is far from being an easy read. 

 

It isn’t bad to read, per se, but it isn’t for everyone considering this is supposed to be serialized work published in web novel format, and the average readers also read other novels in the meantime before the next chapter comes out.

 

In the conventional novel format, it wouldn’t be that much of an issue, as readers usually don’t start several books at the same time.

 

Overall, I would suggest it, though be prepared for the challenge unless you are marathoning it sometime in the future when the author would finish it. 


The antique shop of the devil

The idea behind the story is interesting. 

 

It was captivating, and it made me read till the latest chapter in the breeze… 

 

Execution isn’t the best.

 

It abruptly changes the point of view, sometimes more than once during a single chapter, though I am not certain whether it can be executed better considering the premise, and main plot, of the story. 

 

The story is essentially about the shopkeeper in the Urban Fantasy universe selling cursed, powerful and dangerous magical items, without knowing or even believing they may be supernatural forces at work. He believes the world is entirely mundane, even in the middle of the constant infighting between clearly supernatural factions or police that are supposed to suppress them. There is a stark contrast between what the shopkeeper sees, and what the rest of the world sees, which demands abrupt changes of point of view to paint the scene. It’s amusing. And it’s pretty much the point. 

 

Without it, the story would not work.

 

However, with it, it’s still confusing. 

 

But I have to shrug and admit, that there is no better way.


Beneath Within

Beneath Divergent, Story Lurks Within

Young Adult Novel by the books.

 

It has everything, from the very special protagonist to the dystopian setting, and confusing factions. It’s almost like Divergent.

 

To be fair, this novel is probably better than Divergent. Beneath Within certainly feels better than the relatively famous YA novel I decided to compare it against, thanks to its seemingly original fantasy setting, greater attention to detail and more effort put into the characters. 

 

And that’s a good thing. Especially if this is supposed to be written by an amateur writer.

 

I bet there would be some “surprising” reveal in the future, just as other YA novels tend to do. Possibly a very unoriginal one, though I don’t mind this - it's a genre convention, and I don’t complain about the genre itself. Being of one genre isn’t a flaw. 

 

What might be a flaw is its multiple points of view.

 

Having multiple points of view isn’t the problem, though the way they are organized seriously challenges the reader’s understanding of the system, i.e. how the society works in this particular setting. Which is actually crucial to the reader’s understanding of the plot, and switching POV too often seriously challenges the readers. 

 

Many readers hate puzzling stuff together even if they say it aloud.

 

I don’t think that other POV should be removed. They are crucial, and they should be there, though the main POV should be the person who is the most confused about it and we would be introduced to the problematics through her. Leliana and Nadira shouldn’t be the introducing perspectives, because they have conflicting ideas about the system and have some background and experience. Even with multiple protagonists, an inexperienced protagonist is best to introduce the story. There is the reason why Divergent must start with Beatrice before the Ceremony. And this story is similar, even if I think it is comparatively better. 

 

Otherwise, there is nothing really bad about this. 

 

Assuming you successfully combat the confusion, and provided you are a fan of the YA novels (and target audience) you will enjoy the story.


Ben 10 - The end of an old story

A fan-fiction of the old cartoon called Ben 10.

 

Read only if you watched the cartoon, even if the author claims otherwise:

 

The entire story starts with the premise of Ben, the alternate version of the original cartoon protagonist, receiving his canonical magical device along with a rundown of the cartoon itself, with a prompt to “change destiny”.

 

It feels like a thinly veiled attempt to hide self-insert.

 

It technically should be a darker and edgier version of the story instead, judging from the synopsis, but it doesn’t feel like one. It doesn’t do a good job to show us the story, instead spent a lot of time explaining the things you would know if you watched the cartoon, or even explaining to us why this Ben is different from canon one. A lot of telling, no showing. 

 

This story needs canon context to understand why any of this is important as it just keeps telling us stuff, without necessarily engaging us in any way. Technical plot information is fed to you, context is dependent on watching the originals. Otherwise, this just flows over one's head. 

 

Overall, I would say this story is quite boring (despite the interesting premise), and I struggled with it quite a lot. 

 


Awakening: Prodigy [Hiatus until March 2023]

This seems to be another story which on the one hand has been carefully written, with a great focus on the atmosphere and overall feeling it is supposed to inspire, but it soon fails in actually delivering the matching story. 

 

A story about horrors from the different dimensions seeping into our reality is soon forgotten for sake of personal drama with an utterly disrespectful student and far too lax mentor, and several other characters, where the reality of the invasion is put into the background. 

 

It almost reminds me of Young Adult novels with their strong female lead, despite the novel wasn’t clearly intended to be one. It isn’t quite horror, it isn’t quite military sci-fi (science fantasy), it is … I am not sure. The author continues to deliver a quite impressive job with its writing style, but it simply fails when dealing with characters and story progression as it doesn’t simply feel as dramatic as the introductory chapters once the initial scenes pass. 

 

I am slightly confused about the setting as well but honestly can’t say if I have too much information, or not enough, perhaps in time, this made me pay less attention to the story than should. It feels like a ton of interpersonal drama with stiff dialogues, which is on the one hand omnipresent, on the other, it is quite dulled when the author tries to do something different, like the actual world’s magic mechanic, but neither feels done properly. 

 

Overall, it’s not a bad story, but it doesn’t simply feel entertaining or impressive enough