EDIT: Author has gone through and fixed some of the glaring grammar errors I originally spotted, the overall flow and readability has significantly improved. Still not perfect, there are some prose flow and dialogue issues, but I'm more impressed to see an author willing to change and improve themselves than anything else.
Before I get into it, I'm up to Ch16 (now Ch14) and it is been both a good read and I want more. I like the story and the world building seems to have good depth and creativity. There is a lot to love here and I can't wait for the next chapter.
There are some caveats I have that are more preference than critical, so I will leave them in the realm of my opinion. The MC is a bit one-note whiny but I hope they grow out of it quickly: I feel for his/her trauma, but he's/she's twenty years old, not twelve. The author also sometimes (more earlier than recent chapters) would jump character perspective without warning or breaks, which is jarring and sometimes hard to follow.
The major concern for this story is the grammar. Lots of misspelled words, run on sentences and the dialogue is often difficult to follow because it plays out like a stream of consciousness instead of rhetoric understanding between people. Basically, it reads like a Jr Highschool student's first fan fiction. This story could be greatly helped from a dedicated editor the author would listen to, or at least running it through Grammarly Premium before posting if an editor is unavailable.
I don't say this as a knockdown to the author, I like reading this story. In many ways, it's what RR is all about: reading something unpolished for the story despite the problems. I hope the author continues the story well past a thousand pages and keeps writing, but maybe with a few less typos.
So I got a message this morning that my previous review of this story got the ban hammer from a mod because I mentioned
that a character died.
I gave no context for this other than
this character was brought back to life.
I was commenting on how
was an important part of a viable story and how I was disappointed this story would do something like that because it cheapens a character and their emotional impact.
What I disagree with the most is I was given no warning and I have come to find RR has no form of arbitration concerning content. RR is essentially a message board where the only form of protection is the whims of a moderator, and moderators only side with the loudest voice, not with the one who is correct.
Anyway, my review of this story is that it is good and fun. Princess has great characters and clever prose, but it is clear the story should have ended instead of left to peter out with a vague continuation at a later date. MDW is a gifted author who's only fault is a lack of planning in outline or story structure. Decompose is currently getting a rewrite for this very issue, so I am happy MDW is taking this criticism to heart and trying to make a complete story instead of JJ Abrams-ing it.
MDW is a great author, each new story brings something interesting to the table with some of the bad. Troll was putting words to paper, nobody’s first work is perfect. Princess has the best characters and character interactions but the world feels cookie cutter and the series dragged on with no clear arching plot. Monster has a better world and the MC is fun but the supporting cast is bland and while there is a nebulous overarching plot in the foreshadows, it seems the author is using that as a guideline instead of an outline.
Decompose has what resembles a good world and even what feels like a plot, but the pacing is glacier. What Decompose does better than any MDW story is it tries to make a superhero in a fantasy world without making a Mary Sue, and thus far it mostly succeeds. Where I feel the story fails is the focus on minutia over substance. Yes, it is cool her superpower is chemistry and access to wikipedia, doesn’t mean 4k words needs to be the step by step process of making a mirror. A high word count doesn’t substitute for interesting prose. It’s like the introductory chapters of a novel got stretched to fit an entire book’s worth of words and the filler in between comes off as words on a page instead of story.
Of course, the author has been very upfront this was intentional and is trying something new. I’m not trying to riff on MDW, easily one of my favorite authors on RR. This story has many fine qualities and I’m excited to see how the recent reveal involving snow turns into plot and possibly MDW’s first satisfactory story resolution. I just hope the author takes the time to outline story progression leading towards something instead of previous stories moving in a vague direction and never really getting there.
Right now I’m in chapter 6 and I gotta say, lots of great promise here. I can definitely see myself reading this for a long time. Mostly I’m thinking the story is what’s going to keep me locked in there. The MC is interesting and while the mother is a bit off, the newly introduced Francis looks like a keeper.
The author has a clear political bias and isn’t afraid to show it. The fact that I disagree with the author isn’t the problem. It’s that if the seeds continue to grow from this small beginning, I’ll look for my reading elsewhere. Unless the author wants to add a political tag and just blantantly make the story an attack ad against half the readers on RR, the author should use more metaphor and less tongue-in-cheek preachy allegory going forward.
Regardless, for now I like it and will continue reading. If I’m still around, I’ll update this review when the story hits around 300 pages.
I’ve read 2 chapters then jumped to the one that came out today to see if the writing has improved. It has, a little, but the descriptor noted the earlier chapters have been rewritten so I feel confident in my evaluation. In the end, the author needs either a few hundred hours of writing classes or a gifted editor the author will listen to. Either way, this story needs to be scrapped so the author can start again fresh. Following are a few points I have about the technique of the author.
I cannot tell you how awful the dialogue is in this story. It is like someone recorded every conversation in a high school for an entire year, found the top worst hundred, then used that as the dialogue. Yes, real conversations have a lot of ‘um’s, double stops and repeated words. But - and I cannot stress this enough to the author - reading it is distracting and pulls the reader away from the story. Dialogue can be authentic without being realistic.
The characters are just as bad. It isn’t that they aren’t defined completely, but each character needs more description worked into how they move, talk, act. The MC is the worst offender, we get almost no insights into her thinking, just her doing some stuff and the reader is supposed to just...know what she’s thinking?
The introduction to the mechanics of the world is also bad. I’m all for the Deep End Of The Pool approach, but this isn’t Corwin waking up in a strange hospital and having him learn about Amber, a lot of terminology is thrown around and there is zero exposition. I don’t like when exposition is too heavy handed, but no exposition is actually worse because we aren’t given anything as readers and if there’s nothing to work with, there’s no way we can picture it in our heads. Think of the Parable Of The Blind Men And The Elephant: readers are the blind men, we only know what we are given. The author might think “can’t you tell this is an elephant?” but that is because the author can see. This author needs to learn that descriptors, painting a scene and even little details like a twitch of an eye or curl of a fist build a better prose.
I’m sticking with one star because I think the premise is a good one, but a good idea does not make a good story. I wish the author luck but suggest starting over fresh after spending some time learning some simple writing techniques.
Got 55 chapters in, not a lot of reason to keep with it. The story started great, but after a while she just got OP and why do I want to read about another Mary Sue? And I love love love the way the character was portrayed early in the story, such a unique flavor to the underappreciated non-human female POV stories (it's a niche genre, but my favorite).
The grammar was fine but the prose was boring, which is a shame because the world-building felt pretty strong and could have kept my interest if the MC grew in a different direction. The dialogue was also a big hangup, felt stilted almost constantly in later chapters.
It's fun, it's overblown, it is outrageous, it is enjoying to read, it is more annoying than it needed to be.
I want to say this was all amazing, but it really isn't. The action, the magic system, some of the side characters are all fantastic. The introduction of the characters and story, what - I guess - is the main plot and about 66% of the prose is dumpster fuel. There is little in between in this story: it is either really awesome or really, really bad.
Maybe that's because it's trying to be different, and by trying to be different it managed to catch my attention and keep it, it is interesting to read something like this that throws away the tropes and doesn't look back.
So keep at it, I think I might enjoy book 2, but either way, I don't regret reading ICHGC.
This story isn't Shakespeare, it has bad pacing, the plot takes an entire book to reach a point of moving in any coherent direction, then it meanders from action point to action point before it settles in what I think is a plot-like direction. The grammar is also not only mediocre but unconventional, making it harder to read than it should be. And the MC is sometimes difficult to understand her motivations, but that might be on purpose.
BUT, it is still fun to read. The characters and quirky and the premise is unique and fun while the world is interesting and well built. I even don't mind the fact the main character suffers from power creep, a pet peeve because what she can do isn't the point of the story, something I wish more writers on RR would put in their own stories.
So, for a good time, give this story a try. The first few chapters are a little bumpy, but keep at it and you'll have fun.
I think I'm done, Ch 27 of book 3. This has been a long time coming, but I guess there's nothing interesting left for me here.
I reeeeeaaallllllyy like the premise of this story, and the first book was very enjoyable. It has its quirks - my major caveat is the plethora of characters with generic names that I'm expected to remember, leaving me to spend half an updated chapter going "who is this?" when I should be enjoying the read - but it is so well written I found myself enjoying the ride. Yet those first few chapters were the best, what I felt was going to be a great setup for a great story that...never really happened.
First, the aforementioned bloated cast of characters. There are about 10x more characters with names in this book than a Jane Austen novel. The low character score isn't (mostly) for the MC, its for all the others who pop in for a plot point and then pop out, then another comes in and is important to plot, but I can't remember who they are before a group of a dozen are in a room and all talking as if they were introduced earlier and...well, it got confusing.
Then there's the MC. She's a Mary Sue, but you shouldn't hold that against her. I actually like Jade, her personality feels real even if she can come off as entitled more often than not. The author plays this off by giving her a tragic backstory and early in the chapters a power that comes at the cost of pain, but as the chapters continue and by the time of book 2, her powers have zero drawbacks and she is essentially a goddess at that point.
Which is my biggest problem with the series. I want to read about a heroine who has to struggle, who has powers but also weaknesses. Right now, at Jade's level of power, she is more wish-fulfillment than character and it makes anything she does feel uninteresting.
As for what makes the series great, there is actually plenty of that to go around. Jaybird is a fantastic wordsmith, the grammar and prose and pacing are all top-notch. I would probably still be reading this if I felt there was something left to offer, but I'm not reading that. At this point, I'll wait for Jaybird's next series and hope it has better character development than this one.
Ok, it wasn't the ant puns, those are fine. I read this story because the idea sounded fun and I was hip-deep into Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? so what wasn't to love about a nearly identical premise? As the story progressed, I kept at it mostly because it was fun.
And Chrysalis is fun, it just isn't anything else. Its like cotton candy. The MC is barely more than someone the story happens to, the prose is bland, costars are 2D, and the plot and world feel like they are there just to give the MC something to do between leveling.
I really am surprised I stuck around this long with this story, this is normally the kind of thing I grow bored of and move onto something else. The fact it mostly updates daily is a huge factor in why I kept reading.