Ararara

Ararara

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Reviews
This Used to be About Dungeons

This is very good and I want more. The writing is 5/5, it's not overly tropey, the characters are fun and vibrant, and I enjoy the MC's perspective even if he's a bit strange. The dungeon delving is cool. Also the world sounds interesting so far, and is believable. Also author thanks for the long chapters, I appreciate them.

I wouldn't call this slice of life though, not even close. (Which is good, since I find slice of life boring. I like action, mystery,  adventure, plot and intrigue)


Sample xo47

Crystal? Clear! Marco? Polo!

Exactly what the synopsis says, an action adventure story of slaves trying to escape and find their freedom in a fantasy world. The wilderness is full of beasts, bandits, and soldiers chasing them. It's brutal and cutthroat, dangers lurk around every corner, and our heroes never get a moment of rest. Outnumbered and outmatched, they have to get crafty to prevail.

We primarily follow two POVs as their paths slowly cross. The world is low fantasy: barely any magic, but a few different and interesting races. Lots of action, and the writing is on-point, it's pretty high quality. At times it gets slightly predictable, but it's still well executed. The pacing is both fast and slow at the same time; lots of stuff happens every chapter, but the plot is advancing at a relatively slow pace. The character interactions are also pretty fun to read.

The story itself is pretty gruesome and visceral, people whipping each other, arrows flying through eyes, faces chopped in half with axes, girls drugged and sold into slavery, several almost-rape scenes. Lots of blood spilled, almost every chapter. But 99% of side-characters are scum of the earth, the worst of the worst, so they kinda deserve it.

All in all, interesting fantasy book, really well written, give it a try!

 


Anarcho: A Cyberpunk Fantasy

It's like a buddy-cop movie. But instead of two cops fighting crooks and stopping crime, we follow two crooks fight cops and rob rich people. And they're not just any crooks: they're professionals. They do their job with passion, and try to have a good time while doing it! 

Style: Standard 3rd person limited, past tense. Some chapters we primarily follow Max, others Staxx, and we see some of their thoughts. It works. The vibe I get is like watching cartoon batman, or a comic book. It's not overly serious. Lots of action, cool stuff, and one-liners. 

Story: The story is set in a futuristic cyberpunk world. Our dynamic duo has contacts, information brokers, and is well equipped for their jobs. They go around and rob, infiltrate, or assassinate, rich corrupted CEOs. The pace is fast, like an action movie. 

Grammar: It's fine. Simple, bare, and to the point. Solid, but not amazing. There's a couple mistakes and typos here and there, but the author is perfectly willing to fix them, when pointed out.

Character: They feel alive. Our main characters have their quirks, habits, and distinct ways of speaking, and acting. Max is more of a trickster and planner, while Staxx is the hacker and the muscle. Even side-characters like May and Yates felt pretty unique. But the guards are a bit NPC-ish, just there for target practice.

All in all, if you like cyberpunk, give this a try! It updates really often, even if the chapters are short. 


The Dungeon Challenge

NPCs IN A WORLD OF RPG PROTAGONISTS

It's fun, it's interesting, there's constant tension, something important happening; Not dull for a moment. Real dangers are involved and our characters are often  walking a knife-edge. Sometimes they get out unscathed, and other times they suffer the consequences for their mistakes (or just bad luck). Really, I don't have much bad to say about the fiction. Wholeheartedly recommended, give it a try. 

Style: 
The style has been consistant so far, and I personally find it enjoyable. It's tagged onder "gamelit", but don't let that scare you off, it's pretty tame in that regard. It reads more like high-fantasy; no blue screens. Action scenes are quick and sharp, people react by instinct, the scenes aren't super-long slugfests. In general, the descriptions are there, but not the focus, and not overdone. It leaves enough to the reader's imagination. I quite liked the riddles/songs that appear later on, too. 

Story:
The setting is a world where the common people live under the boot of "Godchosen", e.g. mysterious, reckless, unbeatable people with "levels". The MC is a town-elder's son, and he sets off on a long, hard journey with his sister to try and rescue their other, adopted sister. The only way to do that is to participate in a terrifyingly dangerous dungeon challenge, that's being held in the capitol. There, they have to solve puzzles, survive traps, fight monsters and interact with other challengers of various loyalties and hidden motivations. So far so good. There's also rich mistery/history behind everything that we get tidbits of. 

Grammar: 
Not much to be said here. Pass. Everything seems to be in order. I haven't really found any mistakes, so it can't be too bad. Easy to read, effortless to understand, but doesn't feel dumbed down on purpose. It's a nice balance.

Characters:
The characters are pretty varied. There's history behind them, they're not just cookie-cutters. Even the MC's best friend is someone he used to bully and strongly dislike. They have their motivations, opinions, and every character is working to strive forward in their own manner. They're not dumb, or incompetent, and stay true to themselves. The dialogue specifically feel really well executed. The MC isn't perfect either: he's reckless, overconfident, holds grudges and is rash. But also earnest and persistant, competent and quick on his feet. It's an enjoyable perspective to share.


A Journey in Darkness

Biology blehhhhh. But pretty good nonetheless

It's pretty good! Even if it's mostly about biology, and I hate biology (it's annoying), I'm still enjoying the book a lot. It's not written masterfully, but it's mostly pretty good, and fun to read. A real survival story, even if the MC is almost unbelievably competant at crafting. 

But yeah, my biggest pet peeve is that the author's trying very hard to show how smart, eloquent and verbose he is, and how much time he spent on wikipedia while writing this... The POV voice is a science nerd, and the story is filled with mumbo jumbo latin like thorax, cortex, epidermis, myocyte, antechamber, esophagus, erythrocytes, lymphocytes, chelae, crustaceous, inoculated, pedipalps, arthropod, iridescent, you get the point.

Also, there are pop culture references almost every chapter, which is cringe af to me. But you may enjoy them, if u like 4th wall breaks like those!!


Path of the Dragon Mage

Completely standard fantasy tale, "Boy hatches dragon and becomes king", in a completely standard fantasy setting. There are dozens of published books with this exact premise, but do not let that scare you away.

What makes this story different is that our main character has a System. Might not seem like much, but it's enough of a twist to make the work feel fresh and exciting.

The quality of writing is high, it's enjoyable to read, the progression is fun, and the characterization and worldbuilding are superb. The MC is likeable, and does things which make sense. There were no mistakes in spelling or grammar that I had noticed. 


How I became a Reaper

Not bad. Reminds me of bleach. Guy gets hit by car, dies, but gets lucky and is chosen to get monster-killing powers, joins the monster-killer organization and is now training to become a stronger monster killer; he shows talent. Not completely original but it works. The writing's pretty good quality. Decent chance you'd enjoy it, if you enjoy other stories like this.

The situation is like any random teen's dream-come-true though, he gets reincarnated and basically goes back to his normal life. But instead of going to boring school, he's now swinging magic scythes and fighting monsters instead. And getting thrown free money at him xD Nothing bad happened in the story so far, basically. At this point he's perfectly happy the car hit him


Heir of the Dragon

It's a progression story, we follow Mel, an 11-year old kid as he gets stronger and stronger. Not really xianxia nor litrpg, but similiar to both. The MC is kind of like a cultivator, the Inheritor of a ancient powerful dragon, and has high potential. He spends his time training in a cave, improving his skills, fighting beasts, talking to plants (???), etc. Not too exciting or special for now. You might like it if you like eastern progression-style stories.

Style:
Not for me. Really not for me. It reminds me of poorly translated chinese stories. The sentences are confusing enough that, in early chapters, it's hard to understand who precisely is saying what. Most lines of dialogue end in exclamation marks, it reads in an extremely awkward manner. For example: "No way! My right hand is really strong!”, is what most of the dialogue looks like. Just MC shouting at himself like a toddler. Like he's the narrator, giving commentary for the reader/audience. And there are no smooth transitions from scene to scene, the perspective is jarring and keeps changing. 0 attention is given to how characters, places or scene look, or what characters are thinking on the inside. It's a very strange, hyperactive style. Hard to read.

Grammar:
Riddled with mistakes. Most are small, some are bigger. "The" instead of "a", is a really frequent one. Missing commas galore. And many words are used in strange, unusual ways and places. Misused idioms, etc. For example, in the very first chapter: "He is taken after you.", instead of "he takes after you". Such examples are distracting, but english is probably not the author's first language I guess.

Story:
Nothing special, but not bad. There is a bit of mystery behind things, and the world might just yet turn out interesting. There are guns, but people use scythes and live in villages as peasants, scared of monster attacks. So it's not your typical world, it's a bit of a mix. MC's village gets attacked and destroyed, and now he's training inside of a cave his Inheritor left him, and occasionally goes out to fight beasts. He just wants to get stronger, and to do this he is following a written guide the Inheritor left him, that has a detailed description of what he needs to do, in what order, to progress. So basically he's just reading those quests and doing them one at a time. Eh.

Character:
There aren't many characters yet. At least, not those that have been alive for longer than 2 or 3 chapters. The mother's only purpose is to give us 2 sentences and then be raped and killed, for example. Our MC is left all alone in the world, and we now follow him on his cultivation path. He doesn't have much of a personality though. He isn't very shocked everyone he ever knew died, and gets over it easily, without trauma. But on the other hand, he's overly nice to plants..? It's like reading the thought process of a toddler mostly. "HAYA! I will hit you, foul beast! Ow! My left hand hurts! You are harder than I thought! No worries, I will have to use my right hand then! It is much stronger!!!". It is very shallow


Isekai Dungeoncrawl - Am Ende mit meinem Latein

Very solid. Roman noble gets Isekai-ed to a fantasy Dungeons & Dragons universe, where he teams up with a tiefling paladin and a dwarven mage. Together they raid an underground sunken citadel, where kobold and goblin factions war against each other. There's combat, quips, thievery, treachery, dungeon crawling, questing, heroics, strategizing, magic, looting, drinking, and even dragon-kidnapping. And among all of this, we get roman history lessons sprinkled in every now and then, which is a nice bit of flavour. The MC definitely feels unique.

The story is pretty fun, the writing and grammar is fine/good, there's a couple of memorable scenes, the premise is interesting, the party characters are diverse and fleshed-out, the party dynamics and dialogues are well done (I really loved the conversations in the town, they felt authentic), our characters get creative with problem-solving, and all-in-all it feels very D&D-like. If you like these things, you will enjoy the read I think. BTW, it updates daily, with nice, meaty chapters! Give it a try.

What can be improved:

The pacing. In the same chapter, the party may negotiate with the kobolds, fight some battles, go back to town, go back to the dungeon, loot a treasure room, fight more goblins, etc. It can be disorienting, where sometimes I don't even know where the characters currently are. 

The fight scenes: sometimes we get paragraphs filled with detail, other times it boils down to "We entered the room. There were enemies there. Then we dispatched them." Every fight goes the same way. Even some important battles felt inconsequential, and ended as soon as they began. The party is around Lvl 1 or 2, I think, but they mow down hundreds of enemies no problemo.

The monsters: it's as if they weren't really alive. If the party doesn't kill one, they just return to the same spot tomorrow and the same monsters are still there..? Like they are waiting to be killed. 

About the MC: he seems to lie more or less any chance he gets, even when there's no need for it, it's a bit hard to understand, but ok.

About the dungeon: I was left wondering, if this was an ancient citadel sealed into the ground, why is it full of (untriggered?) elaborate traps and treasure rooms..? It plays like a literal virgin dungeon, this didn't 100% make sense to me. 

About descriptions: To end with, I would like more visual descriptions of characters and the environment, to get a better mental picture. The "lower levels", under the well, are a complete mystery to me for example.

These points somewhat detract from the experience, but I still enjoyed reading this, and will continue reading it every day. It's solid work. I wouldn't quite rate it 5 stars myself, but it will definitely be a 5 stars read for many readers. 


Dex is for Swordplay

Lighthearted D&D genderbender shenanigans

LitRPG with literal D&D-like rules, characters sheets and dice rolls. If you never played D&D this will be pretty confusing, it's not quite like most other LitRPGs, and there aren't any explanations given. It's expected of the reader to already be familiarized with that system.

The story is a comedy, a satire of the isekai/VR genre. A lot of pop-culture references, internet slang, memes and 4th wall breaks. The only combat scene so far was turn-based, it was pretty unconventional. Most of the focus is on dialogue between the characters. There are a lot of sexual undertones all over the place, and future smut chapters have been promised, but none are here yet. (Two of the main three protagonists got gender-bendered)

If this sounds interesting to you, then give it a try. It's lighthearted and short, definitely enjoyable, if a bit awkward and all-over-the-place. There are numerous typos and mistakes, but it doesn't detract much from reading, the quality is ok. And, the cover is REALLY good; I love it.