Daniel J Hull

Daniel J Hull

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Reviews
Spirits Awakening

Better English than most native writers

I'd like to start off by saying that I really enjoyed reading this.  I was able to read it all in one go, which is saying something.  As my title states, the writing is below par (that's good) compared to those for whom Englishis a first language.  It is definitely slower than most of the literature I've read on this site, but for me, that's also a good thing.  The author takes time to develop the characters without making it boring, which can be hard to do for any author.

Stylistically, the little mysteries that the MC keeps coming across work to keep the reader engaged and wondering what'll happen next.  There are some times where the author takes excerpts from a fictional treatise on Shamanism that seems much too large.  I think the author could have taken a smaller excerpt, a summary perhaps, to get the point across much quicker.  Otherwise, the style was top notch in my opinion.

The story itself seemed fresh with interesting and somewhat tragic family dynamics playing a roll, though it's too early to tell how big of a roll that'll be.  I would have liked the author to include a very high level explanation about what Shamanism is in this world, perhaps within the excerpts of the treatise.  The old man's ominous statement foreshadows a very interesting chain of events that are about to begin and the interplay with the ex-girlfriend proves to be exciting as well.  It keeps the reader wanting more, at least for me.

The characters are all unique and each developing their own personalities as the story progresses.  All are believable and consistent.  The dialog is fresh and natural amongst them which is great.  I really have no constructive criticism in regards to characters, well done.  Just keep it up.

Now, the grammar is really the reason I couldn't give the full five stars.  Now, I will say, I'm writing this review with the same critical eye I give to every review, so I'm not pulling punches just because the author's first language is not english.  I will say, however, the grammar as is, all things considered, simply spectacular.  However, there are a few very awkward phrases sprinkled throughout the story.  The worst part though, is that the author keep switching between present and past tense, sometimes in the same sentence.  That may be a language barrier thing, but it is very distracting when reading.

Over all, however, the story is extremely good.  The fact that I could so readily overlook the present/past tense issues and still enjoy the story immensely should be a testament to that.  There's only four chapters so far, but they are all very good and I look forward to new chapters.  This story is definitely one of my favorites on this site.  I'd recommend this to anyone that has an attention span longer than six seconds.


Strange Aeons

Another great addition to the Isekai subgenre.  The story starts with a lot of angst before the new world, giving the plot some grit.  It is advertised as a dark tale, and there are definite hints that it is going in this direction.  After a couple of chapters, the character sheet mechanics are handled well and don't overly detract from the story.  It also seems like the author is coming into their won as they write because spelling and grammar issues clear up considerably after the first few chapters.  There weren't a ton to begin with, but the grammar is solid later on.  I love the way the author adds little bits of lore at the beginning of each chapter, where an impatient reader can skip them if they desire.  I read them all and they were each enjoyable.  There were only a few things I found less than optimal.  The story is written in third person but with occasional fist person blurbs which I found distracting.  The hero is given abilities ridiculously easily in my opinion, but that may simply be part of the mechanics.  Strangely, most of the characters seem very friendly on the surface, but troubled/complicated underneath.  This isn't really a bad thing, considering this world is supposed to be a bit dark.  The dialog is good, and other than occasionally not letting us know who is saying what, helps to define the various character's personalities.  The overall flow is good with very little filler prose or boring moments and it keeps you engaged as you read it.  Other than the couple of minor points to help the author improve their writing, I thought the story was interesting, unique, and with the hint at several layers that the reader will love to have pulled back for them as they go.  I'd definitely recommend this for Siekai, gameLit, and dark fantasy readers alike.


A Sinner's Eden

Great writing and story starts out great

This was the fiction I've read by Andur and it starts out with a bang.  The first twenty-something chapters are well-paced and keep the reader wanting more.  You are constantly wondering how the MC is going to overcome his next obstacle.  The fantastical elements of the alien world are handled well and given a scientific background to keep this story sci-fi.  The social structures of the new world are handled in a believable way as well.  Spelling and grammar are good enough that I don't recall ever coming across any major issues.  A couple things that I didn't like so much were the somewhat contrived "mating system" which pretty much puts romance in the backseat and the MC's cynical attitude about everything, though he does begin to soften as the story develops.  I also stopped worrying about the MC's well-being because he comes across as too good at just about everything.  The descriptions of the people, their mutations, and the monsters are a little short for my tastes, but that keeps the story flowing faster and I think most readers prefer it.  These are all minor gripes and aren't a great reason not to read this story, unless your heavily into romance or survival horror.  For all others, I highly recommend this story.  It's fun, imaginative, and a little bit sexy, with a bit of heart thrown in for good measure.


Mercenary Mage - Book One

It was just a matter of time before an author decided to flip the script on the isekai trope.  I've got to give kudos to the author for being the first that I've personnaly read.  The best part if the way in which it is done, taking a fantasy character and plunging him into a futuristic sci-fi world.  Mana radiation is brilliant, as are the various AIs and techno-wizardry.  The story's pacing is good and the descriptions of sci-fi items from a medeival fantasy world character's point-of-view is well done.  The expanations for how things work are great and the snappy banter between the protagonist is fun, swinging from acidic to comedic, sometimes in the same sentence.  Some of the banter and swearing seem more modern than medeival fantasy, but I just choke that up to the author's chosen style.I do hope the protagonist stays someone we want to cheer for, like an anti-hero.  I am glad he's not a goodie-two-shoes.  That puts another annoying trope to bed.  The only minor gripe about the writing that I have is with the small number of grammatical errors throughout, but these can be quickly cleaned up.  Overall, this is a fun read with an interesting premise and keeps you wanting more.


8 The Infinite

Wild, crude, and chaotic... in a good way

Five stars for originality.  It seems like a very dark tale with the potential for a glimmer of hope.  It is well-written, but in terrible need of an editor.  Some of it seems intentional, as if the chaos in the story is so pervasive that it even attacks the prose.  If true, that's some cutting edged stuff.  To bring it out, the reader needs a point of reference.  Unfortunately, that has't manifested itself in the story just yet.  May a re-write of the prologue couold accomplish that.  Include more details about what is happening in this world to help the reader ground themselves.  Nothing spoiler-worthy, but a solid foundation of literature from which we can dive off into the protagonist's semi-insane POV.  I don't have any other critisisms.  It's a cool tale full of angst, darkness, and grit.  Nice job!


Immortal's Screenplay

Interesting take on a second life adventure

The author does a great job on the dismal beginning.  They really capture the protagonst's hopelessness.  The pacing is good and the sentence structure is sound with a natural flow.  It was easy to read.  Spelling and grammar are well edited.  The only thing that bugged me a bit was the sheer amount of interface dialog, but that's probably just an artifact of it being introduced.  I imagine that we won't see as much of it as the story progresses.  Overall, it's an interesting story and will be fun to watch how the protagonist handles the world he has found himself within.  I'm also curious about the other 599 interesting individuals.  This is shaping up to be a fun and humerous read.


Lord Protector

Great story, character, and pacing...

Hey there, I'll start with the good stuff.  This story starts out solid.  The inclusion of the teacher is a nice touch.  The author has differentiated the character's personalities well and they all are interesting with high potential for some cool developments.  The pacing seems good, giving enough description without overdoing it and getting the adventure underway without going off on any crazy tangents.  The one suggestion I have for the author along this pacing issue is to add a sentence in the first paragraph to limit some confusion.  Since the first sequence is a dream, I'd give some indication that he doesn't understand why he is standing in a field of roses.  Nothing dramatic, just enough insight to help the readers get into the protagonist's head.

Now, for the tough love.  While the author's spelling is pretty good (I'd say they used a spell checker - good job on that), the grammar is kinda awful.  Hopefully, the author wil go back and fix those issues.  Honestly, when it comes to writing, that's probably the easiest thing to fix (besides spelling).  Specifically, the use of commas numerous times when the author should use periods makes for numerous run-on sentences in the story.  On the upside, the author is consistent with the first-person perspective.  Sometimes, though, the author uses the wrong tense for a word.  What all of this means is that the reading of the story doesn't flow naturally but has a somewhat clumsy, clipped feel to it.  Again, this can be easily fixed and the more this author writes, the less of these problems will crop up.  By their final volume, they may have already fixed most of this.  However, it would do them some good to go over the first few chapters again and clean it up.  This is especially important because these are the words and pages that need to draw the reader in.  It won't matter how awesome an ending is if the reader doesn't get there.  Hopefully, this is useful advice without coming across as overly critical.  It is a worthy story, after all.


The Island Tastes Like Chicken (A LitRPG)

I'm loving the quirkiness... I think the humor really comes through well and gives a good sense of the character and how he processes the crazy situation he's put into.  This was really a pleasure to read.  The spelling and grammar were top-notch.  Was it perfect?  Maybe, maybe not, but I don't have any real constructive criticisms to make about anything in particular.  It was a solid read.  Even your odd word choices at certain points actually seem to improve the narration rather than take away from it.  That's one of the benefits of being quirky and fun.  Of course, it can be easy to overdo it and confuse the reader, but I didn't hit any places where that happened to me.  I did have to re-read one small part, but that could have been on me and not you.  I guess on tiny criticism may be that you could provide a little more detail about the surroundings, i.e the inside of the plane, the island, etc...  I'm thinking like a sentence or two, just to provide context, or in other words, to establish the scene for the reader.  I loved your description of the old man's hair, black hair doing battle against the encroaching grey.  Nice touch!  And the Slipknot piece, very nice.  I made a similar reference in one of my stories, though I think I mentioned Disturbed.  I'm not sure about copyrights, but it is fun to use those kinds of cultural references to ground the reader to the writer's world.  It also tells us a bit about the protagonist.  Overall, everything seemed polished and well thought out.  Very nice story!


The Future That Never Was — Guns are back in cereal boxes!

Very nice story with a lot of room to grow.  You capture the futuristic yet pre-modern feel with a shabby sheik panache that is hard to do well.  The setup is purrfect for a comedic flair and you handle it well.  Sometimes the material is actually a little densely packed, making the reader really think about the scene playing out before their minds.  A sentence here or there to describe the scenery at a higher level may fix that, but then again, maybe that's your intention.  It does play well with the witty banter and odd characters strewn throughout the piece.  Of course, since people tend to get better with practice, then if this is your worst, I think you'll do very well as long as you stick with it.  Again, great job!  I'll be checking out some of your other works as well.  This kind of fiction makes me nostalgic for old-school Heavy Metal magazine stories.  It feels like it was written to grace those pages.  Your cover art is really fitting as well.  Kudos to the artist.  Love it!  Oh, a ridiculously small thing, but be careful on word choice.  Some of your words I had to look up and I'm pretty well-read.  That's fine, of course...but I suggest that you just use obscure words like "slaloming" sparingly.  Having to look a word up kinda takes you out of the moment.  But enough about that, I'm just being nitpicky to try and help with an already excellent story.


Battlemaster's Gambit A LITRPG Monstergirl Harem Adventure

Enjoyable story with very few grammatical errors, although I think near the end that Gill's character sheet was displayed twice instead of the Drider's.  No biggie, I skim those anyhow.  I'd like to see a character flaw in the protagonist and show a non-sexual side to his weaponry ladies.  I think the drider is the most fleshed-out character besides the protagonist.  It's also getting a bit repetitive with the whole thrall/slavery business.  Other than those minor items, the story was refreshing and well written, turning many typical tropes on their heads.  I simply loved the "high capacity assault unicorn".  That is simply pure gold.  I also like that the protagonist is surrounded by gnolls, kobolds, goblins, and trolls instead of the typical elves and such.  It would be good to see a little more darkness in the protagonist.  He comes across as a little too nice in my opinion.  Even though they aren't evil, he's in a more brutal culture than he's used to.  So, since he is surrounded by the "dark faction" of the world, it would be interesting to explore how he embraces their cultural perspectives a bit more.  Similar to the way you handled slavery versus thralls, but maybe a little dirtier, riskier, darker.  Just a couple of thoughts.  Anyhow, keep up the great work.  I look forward to the next novel in the series.