Teenage Badass

Good ideas, but lackluster execution

So, I read all of this story as a part of a review swap and I think it has some problems, but I also can't deny that a lot of soul went into it. It reminds me of something I would have written when I was younger (though this still far more competent than anything I wrote back in the day). 


1. I find the story to be a bit too fastpaced. I feel like some of the characters (Anton and Betty) are under-developed, which is a shame, becuase I think that there is alot that the author can do with them. There is also a shift in what the antagonists' percieved goals are that feels very sudden. It's not a bad idea, but I feel like it could have been exicuted better. Basically what happens (if I remember correctly) is that one character tells Finn what the antagonists are doing and then Finn stumbles upon this thing that is crutual to their plans in a way that feels like an accident. 

2. As I said before the story does feel a little rushed. I don't feel like we spent enough time with Finn in Orsonville to really understand how she feels in the opening chapter. In the opening chapter Finn mentions all of these places in Orsonville and talks like she has a certain level of familiarity with all of them, but we don't really see her spend time in any of these places other than the convience store. Maybe, if this ever goes through a re-write, it would be a good idea to kill two birds with one stone and have Finn spend time with Betty and/or Anton in these places. You have the opertunity to give the setting a lot more character.

3. I did catch quite a few spelling and gramtical errors during my reading. Not a huge deal, but you should always try to look out for those.

4. I thought that Billy's character had a lot of potential, but didn't go anywhere. 

Things that were good:

1. While I didn't care too much for the protganist, I do feel like the author did a good job of keeping her out of Mary Sue territory, which can be pretty hard given the nature of this story.

2. Author did a pretty good job of weaving expositon into the story. Nothing really felt like an infodump.

3. The setting could be better and it is a little obvious that the author isn't writing from experience, but I still like it. It does feel like a place that secrets buried within it (I mean secrets other than the secrets that are litterally underground).

4. Pretty good action sequences

The Future That Never Was — A Cyberpunk/Space Western book series

Short review: It's a fun sci-fi adventure short story series that is handicapped by an akward translation. 

Long review: So what we got here is a series of action-adventure short storys set in a 80s-inspired future. Okay, I guess that if you haven't figgured it out by the description (which does a good job of explaining it), this is supposed to be like what the Fallout games were doing for the culture and aesthetic of the 1950s (both the real 1950s and the sci-fi of the 1950s), but for the 1980s. Also humanity didn't nuke itself back to the stone age.

The protagonists of the story are a talking cat and his woman-child companion. They are bounty hunters who go around the solar system bagging bad guys. It's a pretty good premise and I like the characters. They have some pretty funny banter.

My only real problem with the story is that it's very hard to read. I have a hard time figuring out what the hell is going and many of the sentences are really janky. One good example of this what Meera says about her relationship with the gang in chapter 2 of story 2. The author intended to explain this right at the begining of the chapter, but it doesn't really make much sense. I think that she said that she was being coreced into being a getaway driver for their heist, but I wouldn't bet my life on it. That is probbably the worst example. There are a few others, but they are mostly just akward. 

Now, this is a comedy, and I believe that the most important thing about a comedy is whether or not I laugh. Thankfully, the author is able to suceed at this and there are alot of funny moments in the story. My only complaint is that some of them drag on for just a little bit too long. This is more of a nitpick, since this isn't bad enough to actually ruin the humor. 

Overall, I like what the author is doing here, but I really wish the translation was less janky. 

The Psysword Chronicles (HIATUS)

Opinions on the first 13 chapters [minor spoilers]

Disclaimer: This is an updated version of a review I wrote previously. Since the first review, I went back and read some more of the story. Unlike my previous review (which was the result of a review swap and is included below this review), I ened up reading up to chapter 13 without any promise of compensation. Hopefully that sheds some light on the quality of the story and the integrity of this review.

Also, I should note that this review is also part of a review swap, but that was arrainged after I had already done the reading (hey, if you're going to do the work regardless then you might as well get paid).

Short review: Yeah, it's a pretty fun isekai fantasy story; I reccomend that you read it.

Long review:

So what are we dealing with here? The Psysword Chronicles is an isekai fantasy story centered around Kendrick, a guy with amnesia who happens to be from our world and his two love int... I mean friends Bellara and Sahni, two magic-users. The three of them have to work together in order to stop demons from taking over the world. Now, yes this does sound a little generic and there are some elements that feel like they've been ripped out a JRPG, but overall the story is pretty well-written. The characters have some depth and it's pretty fun watching them confront challenges and interact with each other. I genuinely want to see what will happen next. Although parts of the premise leaves something to be desired, the exicution more than compensates for this shortcomming. The Psysword Chronicles might not be the most innovative story within the isekai fantasy genre, but that doesn't prevent it from being a pretty fun read. 

As I mentioned previously, I generally like the characters. I've previously criticized some elements of Bellara and Sahni (blue oni, red oni; unclear motivation), but I think that chapters 6-13 mitigate or adress these problems. They do still kind of fall into the 'blue oni, red oni' trope, but they're still fairly well written characters and this doesn't really bother me all that much or detract from the story.

Kendrick, the main character, is probbably the one character that the author did the best job with. Everything that I said previously still holds true and is even built up.

For those of you who don't want to go back and read what I wrote before, allow me to elaborate: Kendrick manages to avoid many of the common pittfalls of protagonists in these sorts of stories and protagonists in general. He's not a prick or overpowered. He is given alot of responsiblity early on and he's told pretty much right from the get-go that he has the potential to be the most powerful person in the world, but he still has to earn it; and boy, does he earn it.

The author also brings something new to the table with Kendrick's amnesia. I don't know exactly where he's going with this, but I think that he is making an attempt to try something other than 'loser otaku has an unfortuante meeting with Truck-kun' and I like that. 

Overall, the main character is relatable and sympathetic. Good job. There is one other thing that I wanted to talk about, but I'm afraid that would go into spoiler territory, so just trust me here.

The magic system in the book feels rather meh. I am somewhat disapointed that very little is explained, but at the very least we have a mostly-clear picture of what the various characters can and can't do. The author does introduce this DBZ scouter thing early on that informes the reader of various characters' powerlevels, but that's all it really does. The author does try to keep this consistant and explain it, so when you get numbers thrown at you they actually have meaning. I guess this could have been more interesting, but the author does manage to avoid turning it all into a confusing mess.

There is one big problem that emerged as I was reading through chapters 6-12 and this does kind of relate to something I touched on before: the world building. I feel like there is a sort of dissonance between what the characters say about what is happening in the world and what we see. Basically what's going on is there is this evil army of demons that is slowly taking over the world. Now, I don't know if this is not approriate or applicable to the genre (and I don't want to be that guy who wants to insert realism where it doesn't belong), but I think that the whole demon army situation would have a much worse impact on society than the story shows. One example where this is most evident is the food. The characters are frequently able to eat in taverns where there is plenty of food to go around, but I think that the combination of the demon army seizing arable land and the influx of refugees attempting to get away from the demon army would create a food shortage. Maybe people use magic to solve this problem, but it's never explained.

Actually, the limits of what magic can do in a non-combat context are not really well defined and that is a small problem, though it doesn't come up often. 

One minor thing that bugged me is the author's use of the word 'village' to describe a community of 'nigh a thousand' people. I don't know if a pre-industrial village would be large enough to consist of nearly a thousand people. If we assume that the average family size in this community is five (two parents and three children), the exact population is 990, and each family lives in a single-family home, that would mean that there are 198 houses in this village. That sounds too big for a pre-industrial village.

One final thing: I couldn't find any spelling or grammar errors in this story. Good job.

At the end of the day, I think that my overall opinion of the story has improved slightly and I've raised the rating by half a star to reflect that. Overall, the story is pretty fun and I reccomend it.


Old review:

Well, I read the first five chapters of this story, and I think it's off to a pretty good start. I would like to preface this by saying that I'm not the biggest isekai guy, so this will be from the perpective of an outsider looking in. 

I would describe what I read as a little bland, but also also engaging and compentent. The world does have this generic RPG feel to it and the only main characters I've been introduced to so far have been Kendrick, the amsensac protagonist, and his two female magical girl companions (who somewhat fall into the 'blue oni, red oni' trope), but that didn't stop the author from keeping me interested in what happens next. Now, I ain't got no fancy literature degree, but I think that whether or not I want to I want to keep reading is one of the most important indicators of a story's quality, and The Psysword Chronicles clears that bar with realtive ease. 

The characters are a little bland, but they are still likeable. The two witches do feel like the 'blue oni, red oni', but their dialouge feels nature and pretty well-written (actually I think that applies to most, if not all of the dialouge). I still feel like their motivations need to be fleshed out a little more. I can understand why they decided to be witches, but I would still like some explainaiton on why they felt like it was nesscary to break the law to bring Kendrick into the world.

Kendrick seems pretty alright so far. He's not a prick or overpowered, so I think it's safe to say that the author managed to clear those hurdles. He may be some sort of 'chosen one', but he does start out as a weakling and has work hard to improve. I also think that the amensia part of his character might be going somewhere. At first I thought it was the author just being lazy. I thought that he just wanted a blank slate for the audience to project onto, but he does have these mysterious flashbacks that I feel are adding up to something. I don't think this guy was just some generic student/office worker that had an unfortunate meeting with truck-kun and I like that. 

The only sin that the author might have commited with Kendrick is setting up what is envitably going to be a love-triangle, but that is nothing I can't forgive.

The magic system is interesting. The author is going for some sort of hard magic system with this DBZ scouter thing that tells you everyone's powerlevel. I don't know if I like it yet. So far the characters have used magic do a lot of things and there aren't many established rules (so far the author might add some later on I haven't read that far). I think that whether or not the magic system turns out to be crap will depend on whether or not the author fully clarifies what everyone can and can't do. If the author can pull that off then I think everything will be fine and I don't think that he's managed to write himself into a corner yet.

One thing that irked me so much that I had to mention it is that there is one point in the story where the three main characters sit down to eat a meal that turns out the be the fantasy world's equvilant to pizza, but it doesn't have any tomato sauce. I know that this shouldn't be a big deal, but it just irks me. I have never heard of a single pizza with no sauce between the cheese and the bread. What you are discribing is a cheesey-bread that just so happens to have meat on it. Very disapointing. 

As I mentioned before, I feel like the world needs a lot more detail added to it. I'm 10,000 words into the story and I still don't know how the government works, how do these different races get along, and how are the bad guys impacting society. Maybe I just need to keep reading. 

One final problem I have is that the protagonists goals should be clarified a little bit more. I don't really see how clearing the shades out of this village connects to the two big problems the protagonists have (Bellara and Sahni are wanted fugatives and the forces of evil are trying to conquer the world). It does feel like a side-quest. I think that this could be fixed by just having one of the witches tell Kendrick how this extermination quest fits into their grand plan beyond 'you need to farm for XP'. 

Quick note before we end: There were no grammer or spelling errors in these five chapters (or at least as far as I could tell). That's pretty good. 

Overall, I think that this is a good story that has some potiential. I will probbably read further just to see what happens next and I reccomend that you do too. 

Prophecy Knight

Review of the first chapter

Hello, this is my first review on this site and I am not really a writing expert or anything like that, but this what I think of your story so far:

It's pretty good, but it does have some problems. The first thing is that I think that opening is somewhat weak. I have a feeling that this bedtime story was put in the first chapter for a reason and it probbably will have some larger signfiicance later on in the story, but it kind of fails as a hook.

I also think that some parts of this bedtime story drag on for a little too long; they're too wordy. 

Everything else is much better. I didn't find any gramtical errors. The only other problem I had is that I don't have a very clear picture of what the protagonist's prediciment is. It's clear that he wants to escape, but I can't tell if he's an employee of this Irene woman or some sort of slave. You don't have to solve this problem with an infodump (one common pitfall that you managed to avoid; good job), but a little more information would be nice. Does he just want to change where his life is going and avoid and awkard conversation or is this guy in for a beating? Please make that clear.

So thats, what I think. There are some minor problems, but it has a lot of potiential.