Sovereign Cipher [LitRPG/Progression]

I'm ten or so chapters in but since it looks like we're moving from the explanation part to the start of the character's journey, I thought I would stop and give a review.

This is a unique system apocalyptic story with an emphasis on cultivation rather than the traditional classes/skills (though it looks like there is room for those as well. Cultivation seems to be the main goal). It's one of those stories where you can tell the author really sat down and charted out the system. This can make for some dense first couple chapters, but things will slowly settle into place. I think it's more than worth the wait.

Style: I like the style. It's easy and except for a couple quibbles on the first chapter I found it easy to understand what was going on and the new world the MC found himself in.

Story: Again, the whole set up with the cultivation twist makes for a unique setting. I also like that there were clear goals set out for the MC.

Character: An easy 5 stars. The character is given a reason and motivation to get stronger from almost the very start. Though he goes through a tragedy at the beginning he doesn't wallow (thanks to the system, but still...). It's good stuff.

Grammar: Found some minor quibbles here and there. The writing smooths out as the chapters go on.

Rifts & Boundaries (LitRPG Portal Fantasy)

I am a sucker for a boy and his dog stories...

Like the title said: I'm a sucker for a boy and his dog against the world stories and this one looks like it's going to deliver. As of the writing of this review, we're still in the early stages but well into the action.

This is a System Apoc type story, though with a few twists. Seems to be in a local area (Miami, southern FL) and the characters are at least somewhat familar with the new world they find themselves in due to it being like a popular video game.

One thing I will say is for squimish people like me, the first scene of the mental torture and murder of young children does NOT represent the rest of the book. I mean, there's some normal LitRPG action/violence later on but it's not as grim/dark as the initial scene suggests.

Style: Easy 5 star. This is easy to read, easy to follow. If I had to nitpick, the story is a little purple with details in the first couple chapters (the children murder thing again) but it quickly evens out and is smooth sailing from there.

Story: Again, easy 4.5 stars. It goes from a normal moment in life (well, sort of normal for a dog shelter B&E) to a LitRPG format. The stakes seem to be escalating nicely as does all the main characters powers. Even the dog. Lol.

Grammar: I didn't notice any big hiccups. 5 star!

Character: This is a fast paced story and the characters are still being fleshed out. However, there have been some nice moments so far which show lines they are/are not willing to cross. I like how there was an instant team up when the danger became real -- I personally like to see characters working together instead of at each other's throats.

And of course, Blue. 5 star for the good boy!



Magic school + firepowers = a good time

Going to keep this as a basic review since we're only a few chapters in but I wanted to drop a note and say that this one is off to a really fun start. We have sort of a classic 'magic school' + 'slice of life' mashup, which makes for a lovely read. I can tell that the author put a lot of thought into the world building. It's just getting started but I can tell it's going to be a good one!

Knight-Merchant: Reincarnated into a Fantasy World. (LitRPG)

First of all, a heads up that the story really starts after that prologue. And man, it jumps into the good stuff right away. This is a classic LitRPG in all the best ways. A sus paperwork screwup in the afterlife grants our character a chance at a new world in an RPG realm. Very classic, very good.

Reading the character pick out all his options on the character sheet gave me the warm and fuzzies. It feels well formatted and well thought out like the author actually sat down and planned out the world and stats instead of making everything ad-hoc. Very nice.

Once the character was born... well. That's where his bad luck comes into play. I'm at chapter 17 (I think? I can't click out without losing my progress) and I think things are about to turn around. Not to say it's all downer but... well, you'll see. He really has to fight. If you like stories that start out with a bang, this one is for you.

I gave an overall 5 because I enjoyed the story and plan to continue reading.

4.5 on the style because I admit I skimmed through that prologue. The story really starts on chapter 1. Give it until then because it's worth it.

5.0 on the grammar. I caught a few things but most of them were stylistic choices which I can't fault people for.

Where this really shines is the strength of the story and the character. Both earned an easy 5.

The Mook Maker

Oh boy, the moment I got an inkling of the magic system, I knew this story was going to be a good time.

Basically a guy is brought to a strange new world. A world where he is attacked from the word go. Fortunately, he had the ability to translate levels into monsters and mini-monsters. (Purifiers). Also, the system has named him 'The root of all evil' which is ominous.

The descriptions of battle and magic are done really well. I can practically hear all of the monster's little voices as they chant 'For Master' while they run off to cause mayhem.

Basically, this story is a lot of fun. Just what I'm looking for in a good read.

Grammar: I noticed a couple of run on sentences, though that may be a stylistic choice so I didn't knock any stars off. I didn't catch any other typos.

Story: The story is just getting started -- I read up through the interlude so far, but I plan on continuing as time allows.

Character: So far there's not a lot to him. I don't think we even have a name yet unless I missed something. But I found that I was impressed by his reactions to this crazy new world he was dumped in. It felt realistic... in a world where he accidently summons deadly sexy foxes who worship him.

Style: I took off a half point because to me the style feels overly formal in a few places. Again, this is a personal gripe so it might not be entirely fair. The story does rate an easy five stars in all other categories, though.

This is one I will be watching!


HUD (Sci-Fi GameLit)

This is one of those stories where you read the first few paragraphs and can just tell that the author has the chops to tell a story. (For example, telling the reader the phonetic spelling of an acronym. I'm ashamed to say I wouldn't have gotten it otherwise. ha.) I've read through five chapters (so far!) and stopped for a review.

Basically, we're in the arc where students play a FortNite-type battle as a final exam. (Side note to author: Fingers crossed for an Among Us type game in the future. ;)) Joking aside, the story leaps into the action practically from the word go. It's engaging and the rules are well thought out and clearly explained. The action is punchy and exciting.

The author does use some flashbacks and to my surprise they actually add to the story instead of distract from it. That's hard to do. Again, it all comes off as clean and damn near professional.

Didn't notice any big grammar errors. At least, nothing to distract from the story.

I took half a star off the character score. The characterization is STRONG with his obvious and immediate drive for perfection, but perhaps a touch too anime tropey for a grounded sci-fi? Eh, I may be too harsh on him.

Anyway, read it. Like the title says, this is a good one.