_Fowl_

_Fowl_

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Reviews
A Hacker's Ascent

Very webnovelistic start. The MC reincarnates inside the body of a "loser" with the same name.
The MC has a hacker system. It vaguely reminded me of "My Vampire System". It works in a similar fashion. We see the MC with a personal system only he owns and can see. 
In the first chapters, he goes on using it to get revenge 
Now, a couple of problems I have with the novel reside in how the MC behaves. This novel is named "A Hacker's Ascent". Therefore, seeing the MC physically beat three goons in chapter four was a big WTF moment. 
This novel has some xianxia-like moments that are a bit out of place. The meeting with the principal could have been more suspenseful: if the author had placed it better in the course of the story and dragged it out a little, it could have had a massive impact on us. What I envisioned for the novel was sort of a hidden world slowly unfurling. However, the pacing is kind of screwing it up for the reader. 
While the style is not bad, it still feels desynchronized with the story. The principal thing and the physical fight are two highlights. If the author were less hasty, there would have been a totally different impact.
The characters are fine; we don't see as many interactions as you would think, in the first part. However, they are still fleshed out and realistic. 

With an editor, this novel could go places. 

 


Apprentice's Ascension

In a matter of few chapters, we see many characters, places, personalities, potential stories and so on.
The writing is good, but there is a bit of confusion. I am partially guilty since I've been reading this while being quite tired; therefore, it might have been more my fault than anything else.
In any case, a more straightforward narration might have made it easier to follow.
Let's get to the review:
Style 4/5 - It could have been better. Paragraphs are a bit heavy and the overall style does not suit a web novel that well. This is book store material, less web novel material. One might think that it is a bit weird to say something like that, and sometimes I agree. However, in this case, the style is as far as you can imagine from a web standard. I read web novels on RR hoping to find something different compared to the mainstream. This was not the case. Now, it may be a good thing, considering that most web novels fail spectacularly in what they trying to do. So, solid style, not my cup of tea. Nice fights, though.
Characters 3.5/5 - A little harsh, I think. On the one hand, some characters, like Geruke, have a powerful inner voice. On the other, they sometimes flatten out: meaning that they become too stereotypical and the voice of the author trumps the characters'. Lots of potential depth, but it's drowned out by the lengthy style a bit. 
Story 4.5/5 - The evaluation is mostly out of the potential of the story. It's good, there are highlights and we look forward to seeing what's going to happen. So far, a little hard to judge at chapter 6. 
Grammar: 5/5. Good stuff. 


Astrala: Initialize (A litRPG Adventure)

The story starts out as a standard packaged VRMMORPG; the first three chapters, for all they are written well, do not stand out in any way. 
The world takes a turn around chapter 4, giving us some twists. I have to say, however, that it was, once again, pretty standard. 
So far, it's a good read, but with no highs or lows. It reads like some Korean novels, which is not a bad thing. 
Around chapter 6, we get finally some juicy bits about a new skill the MC gets. 
Later on, we see some webnovelistic revenge trope emerge. 
Let's get onto the review proper after this brief comment:
Style, 3.5/5 - There's really not much that stands out. This is a LitRGP style that minimizes risk. For a normal reader of something like The Land or other KU stories, this would 100% your cup of tea. There's no silly humour, which for me it's usually a plus in these stories: few manage to actually be fun. 
Story, 3.5/5 - Once again, nothing too crazy. The story is quite plain and follows a LitRGP course from start to finish. The author does not dare but also does not trip. It's a solid story, but I value originality too much to give this story more than 3.5 in this category.
Grammar, 5/5 - Couple mistakes here and there, but nothing an editor or a second read wouldn't fix.
Characters, 3.5/5 - There is nothing original. You could swap names and characters with characters from different stories and still, it would be hard to notice. They are not badly written, just anonymous. Again, they ARE NOT bad. This is NOT a bad LitRPG story, it just happens to be unoriginal.

final judgement: I would honestly recommend this story to LitRGP fans, but not recommend it to people outside the genre. 
Good inside the genre, not equally worthy of notice outside of it. 


Erden : Tale of a Land Forgotten

Title: Very cute
A boy discovers he cannot use magic and gets another power instead.
"[—You can't grasp our appearance as you have yet to form your mana roots. That, and your perception of mana is still dull. It's the same with this creature... kid, you are unaware of its danger.]"
There is a certain mystery to parts like this that I particularly enjoy. 
As the author pointed out, it's quite the slow burn; although, I wouldn't say it's an empty burn. We get to see quite a few things in the first ten chapters. 
I also have a soft spot for academies that might bump up the rating a little. 
The mana roots system and the power system, in general, are not entirely clear to me and maybe they could be reiterated a couple of times more.

The style is "soft". It means that it flows evenly and has something very light-novel-y about it. I got a Disney-picture kind of feeling from certain parts, in a very good way.

The characters are fuzzy at the beginning, but I've yet to read the latest chapters ahead, so I'll give a full score based on what I've seen so far. 

The grammar is good, nothing to complain about. Seems like the author edited his own story quite heavily and you can tell that some special care went into it.

Overall, I'd recommend this story as a change of pace from your usual novel.


World of Fantasy: Golden Impact


I'm only 26 yo, and that's in October. However, the first chapter hit me like a truck. It's hard to present themes as "losing human touch" without appearing cheesy or a little cringy. Tymothy manages to do the job without the slightest hitch. From the description of Tokyo we transitioned to a reminiscence and how that motivates his wanting to go back to a world of gaming.
This feels like the start of a proper Light Novel without the crappy stuff. The start alone is 10/10 I don't know if it was the music I was listening to or what, but I almost teared up at his "childish choice".
Ok, 5/5 for characters. Two people presented in two chapters, two OUTSTANDING characterizations. You would expect long paragraphs to be hard to read. Well, this guy makes them as light as a midsummer breeze. 
I don't like to exaggerate, but this level of writing for the two characters trumps every other web novel I have ever read. I'm a writer, I'm also involved in novels for work, and this still managed to surprise me. It could still turn to trash in the future, but for now I'm utterly stunned. 
I'm not sure this will be RR's cup of tea. The characterization is wonderful, but people here are used to much lower standards. I truly hope it does not backfire and that people will be able to appreciate it. 
Style, 5/5, is deeply tied with the evaluation of the characters.
Story: I need to give a lower score somewhere, and it will be here. Why? A bit too much of an infodump about the game that does not let the story progress as smoothly as it should around chapter 4. We got a lot of characterization, now we deserve some action. 
I don't want to spoiler the Twist, but it was beautiful. I would love to describe it in detail, but I want to avoid spoilers even to people willing to read them. Wanna know what happens? Read the story! 
On a side note, I get the impression that the author migh not manage in the best possible way the LitRPG elements so far. That's just an impression and I WILL update my review as soon as he releases more chapters. 
I am speechless. This is like one of the most famous VRMMORPG novels of all time, but actually written well. 

I recommend everyone read this. It has HUGE potential. Just huge. 


Serpent's Herald

The prologue starts with quite a bit of mistery. The synopsis gives us a glimpse of what happened there, though. Still, we go from some horror-ific scene to a daily-routine narration, with a guy set to depart away from his family. This set-up is very common in standard novels, much less so in web novels. No good or bad points for the idea per se, but quite a few for good execution.
Flash forward a few chapters and our main character is now being sent to a town that apparently terrifies his parents. I'd say that a bit more detail or foreboding would have been better. Up to chapter 2, the narration is a bit stereotypical for the genre, lacking in innovation: you could switch up names with some other mainstream fantasy and no one would notice.
However, the upside is that the story is quite solid. Treading the most-followed path makes it so that the narration has less of the usual amateurish caveats that you would find around here. 
Chapter 3 is a bit of an infodump and not very entertaining. 
There is a stark difference in word counts among certain chapters; I don't really like it. Consistency is important when you write web novels. 
Later on, the chapters take on a darker shade; they lose their initial wholesomess in order to make space for a Lovecraftian scenario. I've already seen other reviewers notice this very fact and I agree. The change in scenery takes the narration up a notch and raises the overall quality. 
Chapter 7 is the tide-breaker for me, where the style really shines and creates and armonious narration. The first six chapters had me doubt a little, but now I'm sold.
I'd go as far as to say that the author is doing a great job with his writing - from chapter 7, at least. 
Let's get to it:
Style - Good. It confused me at first, because I thought it would be another boring fantasy. The author flips the table on you and makes a brilliant turn.
Story - Same argument for Style. A tad further and this would be truly able to contend with some of Lovecraft's stories. 
Characters - Not much to say, actually. We've not seen enough of the world at chapter 11. My rate will be on how real the MC feels, which is a 5/5
Grammar - Good. 


The Blunderbuss Chronicles: Jon The Farmer

The Infamous Farmer's Test
The novel starts with a very angsty "Russian" attitude. It gave me "The Idiot" vibes at first. 
The first thing we notice is the pacing: it's masterfully done. The author does not rush to get to the blunderbuss; the weapon is presented without spoiling too much for the future. There's always a little foreshadowing and the overall sensation that something is going to happen. 
Style: 5/5 pacing is well done. The dialogues are prominent and make the narration smooth. The exchange between characters is lifelike and well-written. It's rare to see a novel over here with this quality; usually, amateur writers can't manage the flow of their novels well. It's probably the hardest part about writing, the how-to compose an even novel.
Characters: 
Mercy, our MC and Hector are extremely lifelike thanks to a smooth style. We can feel their inner voice, same for Graves and all the others. They are easy to distinguish from each other. Probably the second strongest point of this story.
Grammar:
Nothing to comment on. Just good.
Story:
The pace is slow but deliberate. There is nothing we are left wanting. The story proceeds exactly as it should. I'm just at the beginning, but if the author managed to keep this rhythm, this could be top 20 material. 
The novel is overall original and the style is reminiscent of more classic novels, in a good way. 
This is the second novel in a matter of days where there is a gun. I have a soft spot for firearms and never see enough of them in web novels. 

Overall: a nice read. Probably not everyone's cup of tea. 


The blood wars

An Editor Would be a Game-Changer

Let's start by saying that the pacing is good. The initial scenes evoke curiosity since we are thrown in an unsure situation. 
However, the first pitfall is that the dialogue feels a bit off. The inner voices of Lexy and her Mother are a bit of a stereotype. It's one of those dialogues authors write as they think they should sound in a book, more than how they would sound in reality.
The second chapter lacks a bit in speed, but the third makes up for that. 
It's a world of mystery and mythological creatures. Hydras and drakes make it quite interesting to guess what kind of world we are setting this up for exactly. 
Going forward, it has a sligth HP feeling, in a good way. Thinking about it, it has one from the start. One thing that puts you off a bit is the info dump; honestly, sometimes it feel a little forced even if you get the story through dialogue. However, it's not a big deal. 
The pace is consistent and I have nothing to complain about it. 
A general and vague recommendation: this story would be way better with a proper editor. 
Story: the general idea is good and introduced bit by bit. The author has a sure handle on how and when to show you stuff. 
Style: probably the worst out of all 4 categories. It does not mean it's BAD, but just not that good. Again, an editor would go a long way in turning this from a 3.5 to a full fledged 5.  The main reason for this being the flow of the narration stopping or picking up too much speed at once.
Characters: I think they are heavily influenced by the style, therefore not having enough space to shine. A couple comments pointed how the author shows and does not tell; I would say that the author could tell a little bit more to make the overall experience more pleasurable. If he's using the characters to show too much, they start becoming puppets without a voice. Not the case here, but there is still a chance of that the more we go forward.
Grammar: nothing to complain. I may have seen a couple typos but that was it. 
I focused a bit too much on the negative points, so I'd like to say that this story is definitely a good read. By the standards of this website, an excellent read, almost. It's not top 10 material, but who knows, maybe one day it will be. 
Many stories - including giants such as TWI - started with a not-so-strong foundation and still made it to the top. 
Cheers to the readers and the author.
Last advice: give it a nice read, settle in a cozy chair and don't rush it. 


Nightfallers (LitRPG)

Instant WORM vibes here, with a little more flowery prose. 
Let's talk about the first chapter:
The intro is smooth until you reach the conversation with the doctor; it immediately feels a little off. It was rushed. 
Also, putting all the rules together makes it so that you can't remember them or focus on the one that - I suppose - is really important. 
The story pace in later chapters follows a similar routine. It feels incredibly nice at times, and then it hits a bump in the road and you are left feeling shaky. 
The main problem in the narration's rythm is the overly descriptive shroud of some scenes. 
After a rocky start, though, around chapter 7, the story picks up the pace and starts being genuinely entertaining. 
I don't want to spoiler, but let's say sometimes you have a ITCH for certain things in a story. Readers are fickle and you need to feed them some adrenaline or foreshadowing. We get our share exactly at chapter 7. If before that there was a WORM feeling, then a more web novelish pace is picked up. 
Going forward, you can feel how the author becomes more comfortable with his text and stops overthinking the narration.
Overall, this novel has quite the potential. 
I'm regretting starting this novel right: I wish there were more chapters already. It's really hard to judge whether this is going to be a hit or miss with so few chapters. 
This can go both ways, very good or very bad. Right now, though, it's a solid 5 for encouragement. Ratings on RR are not absolute. If I wanted to give it a more realistic rating, I'd given it a 4 at the moment. However, knowing how the system works and how people sometime randomly assign 0.5s, this novel deserves a shot to the moon! 
I've followed it and bookmarked it. 
A little advice. 
My editor always tells me that the best scenes I write are the ones with some dialogue. I'd say that I've noticed the same thing for this book. Dialogue scenes are great. The MC POV, when she's alone, gets old really fast. 


Reincarnation as a Prince in another world. Have to solve this Bad Administration

I have seen many strange stories in my life, and this is definitely on the weirdest side. Some people write LitRPGs as a means of self-inserting themselves and living great adventures.
In this case, the story is a self-insert - however, it's more like a bureaucrat's wet dream.
The grammar is quite simplistic, to say the least:
"You betrayed the king. Now I betray you."
The whole story is too simple. The main character is written in this way: "oh, past kings bad, me good king, now I rule good".  You can make everything entertaining with the right style; however, this novel is not up to the task. The characters feel like little toy soldiers the author is playing with, not like real people. It's like I can hear the author's words in the characters' mouths. Therefore, with the characters not having any inner voice, I can't give them any decent score in good conscience.
They need to be rewritten, and that's it. 
The short chapter schtick shows a short-scenes technique. Again, not bad per se. However, without any distinguishing features in the author's style, it kind of ruins the narration. If you want to do short stuff, you have to try harder than normal to make it GOOD. 
The author LOVES to give history lessons. Again, not necessarily bad. I do not judge based on the author's choices, but just the poor execution. 
There are ways you could re-write this whole storey decently. However, what the author has done so far is not one of those.
The style reminds me of an essay. But, again, if you are writing an essay, it might be good. Are you writing an essay, though? Not on RR, you are not. 
I am a lover of references and ancient history. So, I don't flinch one bit if an author wants to put some """brainy""" stuff out there. However, here we have the main character talking our ears off about historical facts that you could have googled on any culture magazine meant for kids or early teens at best. (Not sure those exist anymore, anyway) 
Ok, let's go back for a second to the short story structure. You can see a pattern:
- Your excellency, there is problem X.
- Explaining problem X.
- Solving problem X based on historical knowledge.
That's it. You can summarize the first twenty chapters like this.
I'm sorry, if I'm talking with someone and they are boring as hell, I usually have the courtesy to listen until a certain point, sometimes hoping for a little redemption. But, unfortunately, in this case, there is no redemption at all. 
Also, a simple Grammarly/word/whatever software would have gone a long way in fixing the typos.
I'm interrupting my read because I can already see how this will not improve. 
The structure makes sense, and the idea is good. It could have been a great read. Sadly, it was not. The author needs to design a better narration. 
I would definitely read a new version of this!