Stultus

Stultus

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Im a Divine Flesh Golem?

Alright. This story, as you might have guessed is another isekai. It says it is inspired multiple sources, including Randidly Ghosthound. Now, I'm willing to bet that it was more inspired by the later parts of TLoRG, than the first parts, and was also probably heavily inspired by Overlord. In the second chapter, the author mentions that her main character had a friend who played a "DMMORPG, called Yggdrasil".

Alright, before I start, I oughta provide my regular rewrite of the synopsis.

Meet Hannah, a poor girl who "had a tragicly short life of only 23 years" before "subcoming to cancer". That's all we know about her really, she had a friend called David, she liked looking at the stars because her final words before passing away were about how much she wanted to see the stars. 

Please note, that even if I personally am not a fantastic writer, my criticisms can still be valid, and are exactly that, criticism. This review isn't here to attack, but to plainly state the failings of the story, and to try and provide ideas on how they can be improved.

Style - 1 star

The author lacks any distinctive style, as nothing really leapt out at me to capture my attention other than how fast the story seemed to be progressing. I realised that this was a combination of illusion and reality; the first chapter quickly introduces our main character, before quickly killing her and dropping her off in the actual place where the story will be told. Which is completely fine, TLoRG did this, Savage Divinity didn't introduce their character before the main story. But the first chapter tries to get you emotionally invested in the character by describing how she has been suffering from cancer for a long time, and how her friend has been devotedly visiting and caring for throughout this time. Which is also the reason why she is sent to the other world. Because her friend was apparently the most devoted person ever before, Hannah gets to be sent to another reality. Which is really weird. For one, why does Hannah go, if it was her friend's dedication? And second, are you really trying to tell me that in the entire history of this world, no other person has cared for another to the same intensity and dedication that Hannah's friend has? Overall, the author basically tries to use a short introduction to evoke the same feelings of a longer introduction like the one for the Lord of the Rings, without actually using a long introduction. It makes the story feel rushed initially, setting the audience's expectations for the pacing of the rest of the text. It really doesn't appeal to me.
(Also, there's a part where after she is taken to the other world, the whole world changes because of this magical event, and many people try to take advantage of the chaos of a new way of thinking to benefit themselves, but they are all "punished for their arrogance" which really speaks to me about what kind of author is writing this.)

Grammar - 1/2 star

Look. I hate bad grammar. There's nothing worse for me to be really immersed in a story and then to suddenly be taken out of it because the author misspelled the word "tragically". Perhaps my rating is a bit unfair, but I really think that even if the actual content of a story isn't great, if your grammar is good, it demonstrates that you have some level of experience with literature, and are capable of learning and writing better relatively quickly. Bad grammar always comes across to me as unprofessional and non-serious about the subject. It makes it appear like the author doesn't care about the quality of the work, and just wants to pump and dump their chapters. Is it so difficult to use a spell checker like Grammarly, or to read your own work?

Character - 1 star

The main character seems to me to be your usual adorable female fantasy protagonist; sweet, kind and absolutely overpowered, but "tee-hee is nuking an entire army of demons really that amazing?". Like I said earlier, the author tries to get us invested by talking about how she tragically died from cancer, but because of the love and kindness her friend demonstrated by staying with her throughout the duration of the illness, she has been chosen to be transported to another world after cancer kills her. When she arrives, she is turned into the "divine flesh golem" but it isn't really explained what a divine flesh golem is. The author writes in a note that she based some of that chapter off from D&D 5E, but so what? You can't expect your audience to all have played D&D. Like yeah you can make an educated guess at what a "divine flesh golem" is, but what your universe has special meaning to divine flesh golems? What if your divine flesh golems are all harbingers of pain and death, or they all ride unicorns? ANYWAY, the main character seems really one dimensional, and I'm absolutely not invested in her at all.

Story - 2 stars

The story in my opinion is the only section with the most potential, and yet also fails the hardest. Characters are difficult to write, developing a unique style is something that happens over time, and doesn't just happen, and grammar can be improved, but coming up with a concept for a story/universe isn't difficult. The author it seems to me wants to recreate Overlord, except the author also wants the main character to struggle and fight. Which is like mixing oil and water; it won't work. Overlord starts quickly, without introducing our main character beyond "he was a salary man who loved his online friends". Heck, we don't even know what Ainz looks like as a human, because the author never wanted the audience to focus on the real world. This story starts quickly too, but as I said earlier, actually tries to squeeze in enough backstory to make you care about the character. Overlord lets you get attached to Ainz and his subordinates. You don't watch Overlord to see Ainz overcome struggles and evolve as a person, so there's no need to be invested in his character before he becomes Ainz. But with Hannah, it seems like the author wants us invested in their character. Which is understandable, the traditional story follows a main character's journey and path to glory. Hannah is introduced in a weird way, given the power of Ainz, but is supposed to develop and grow stronger the way Randidly does in his story. Now if I remember correctly, TLoRG starts pretty slow, eventually turning into a training arc before finally after a climactic battle, Randidly escapes. We are introduced to him as a determined and hard-working character, who will overcome adversity. We become invested in him after this long introduction, having watched his struggle and fight for supremacy. Hannah can't do any of that, because she is just given a bunch of "multiplied by 10" perks relating to her stats. We can't get invested because she can't show us who she is and why we should care.

 

Overall I think this story suffers most from what seems to be lack of planning. It feels like the author just wrote down whatever on notepad, copy pasted it into Royalroad and then just forgot about it. It feels like the author doesn't know what they want their main character to be, or what their story to be. Plus, the vast amount of grammatical errors, lack of punctuation and terrible spelling, makes me think that the author doesn't even attempt to edit and review their work, which is disappointing and speaks volumes about their work ethic.

However I feel that this could all be rectified if the author took the time to plan out the structure of their story, write out who their main character is,and think about what kind of story they want to tell. Do they want a story about a person stomping all opposition and making friends? Or do they want a story about struggle and overcoming adversity? The first kind doesn't need to rope the audience in with an emotional investment, because they audience is here to read about how the main character destroys their enemies. They are already invested in the story. The second kind needs a longer introduction, to properly get the audience attached to the main character, to understand the main character's personality and motivations. The grammar issues can be fixed by having someone proofread, or by downloading a spellchecking writing program like Microsoft Word or Grammarly. 

So yeah. If this is your kind of story, then go ahead and enjoy it. but I personally will be waiting for this to become the number one most popular story on Royalroad before I give it another try.


Behemoth - HIATUS

 

The story hasn't gone very far yet, so I'm really reviewing this as a way to inform other readers what they can expect. However, I implore you to not let the three star rating get in the way of having a look inside. The story and author both have potential, it just needs some polish, practice and postive reinforcement.

But before all of that, let me repeat the synopsis.

Man awakens in a forest, and realises he is actually hella tall. Man doesn't remember anything, but he knows he wasn't this tall or ripped before...

This is of course, an isekai, or a variant thereof, but really, it's  just an excuse for the author to get right into the interesting bits, detailing our hero's journey as a giant in an unfamiliar land and body.

However, while this does sound all well and good, but the story suffers from too much "tell don't show". The author summarises what could be multiple chapters of 1000 words each in one 700 word chapter. Chapters encompass multiple days worth of events, and the latest chapter encompasses months of plot and character development. While I get that stories have time skips for boring stuff, the story is only 7 chapters in. This is the time when authors basically get to write somebody else's diary, when the characters are learning the rules of the story. This time is for the author to lay the groundwork and laws of their little universe.

BUT WAIT, DON'T GO! The story is still nice to read! The grammar is well done, the concepts interesting, and the author is willing and able to take constructive criticism and feedback. 

This is a story for the community to take an active role in providing feedback and constructive criticism for the author, so that they can absorb and grow as a writer, and make the story that they deserve to write, and we want to read.

If you're reading this review and about to go dig through the rest of the top 50 trending list, please just take the five minutes to read what is here, and give the author a thumbs up at the very least.

To summarise this review, the story is interesting concept, but isn't well supported by the way it is written. If the readers come together to provide great feedback and support for the author, it could easily reach the top 50 trending. So give it a try!


carl@fire

Meet Carl. A normal dude, living the dream; two daughters, one wife, and the position of head of IT at Fire, probably the number one game developing company in the world.

One day he enters into their VRMMO game to ejoy a few minutes of relaxation and fishing before heading off to his daughter's sports match.

Instead, he is dropped into a white room, with a young girl of the demon race.

Carl, assumes she is an NPC, but she informs him that she damn well isn't, and is trapped in this room for a long time.

Carl immediately grasps the situation; a player has been the butt of a malcious prank, prevented from logging out, and locked in a room.

Immediately, he takes his developer access and revokes player access to "Lucia and Dawn" and returns Ir'Alith's status as a normal player.

Unbeknownst to Carl, he is even further away from his expected destination that he thought.

Carl is actually in New Era, not the game, but the universe of New Era itself.

How long until he notices that his actions have consequences? How long until the Goddesses Dawn and Lucia submit a support ticket? Find out in the next update of New Era Online, now with a working customer support system.

Style.

I give the author five stars for style. his inclusion of the greek alphabet is unique to me, and his way of writing characters makes the characters clearly emanate their personality; Carl is a dedicated husband and father, and a sensible but not-completely-humourless IT support man. Ir'alith is an unfortunate soul, who has to bear the burden of an entire kingdom and then some, along with the enmity of most of the world.

Story

Carl isn't some teenager starting from the bottom of the MMO ladder, nor is he a NEET using years of seclusion to become god. He's a family man, with an admirable work ethic. And there's no need for training arcs when you're already the most powerful being in the universe...

Grammar

The grammar is strong with this one. I wouldn't be reviewing if it wasn't.

Character

Now you might be a little confused, as I did talk about how the characters are very well written, but let me explain.

The author has not written a whole lot so far, so the we haven't had a whole lot of time to get to know them. So far the character with the most depth is Ir'Alith, and even she can be distilled into her base tropes; bad dude with tragic past, misunderstood villain, demon king... Carl is more unique, but that doesn't mean he has a lot of depth. Carl feels more like a plot device, a character who gets other characters moving. When Carl met Ir'Alith, it wasn't Carl who was affected by the meeting, but Ir'Alith. Which makes sense, because Carl is essentially God, and if one could impact god in a meeting more than god impact one, one would be quite bloody incredible. But nevertheless, Carl is a unique character, but he is also a simple one; an ordinary IT support man, just enjoying some off time in a VRMMO he manages.

Overall I give the story 4.5 stars because, well, it's fresh, it's clever, it's funny.

 


The Concubine's Tomb: A Dungeon Core novel

We've all heard the story about the king who killed the finest architect so that the bloke couldn't make something better after he served the king.

Well, introducing Anomus, the unlucky bastard in question. After designing the finest tomb this side of the golden desert Subori, the emperor said, "cool, my dead side ho will love it." and ordered Anomus killed, because the emperor is also a massive douchebag.

Luckily for Anomus, his anguish, rage and hurt feelings were enough to stir the slumber of an even bigger douchebag. This douchebag happened to be the god of night, blood and revenge. And he said to Anomus, "wow bro that guy was a douchebag. I thought it would be kind of funny if you managed to kill him, so lemme turn you into a dungeon core.

And so Anomus toils, turning wasps from god's "screw you" to god's "screw everything". Deep within the concubine's tomb, Anomus works tirelessly, with only the desert creatures and his rage for company.

Upon the emperor's throne, Irobus sits and contemplates his actions, while beside him, the priesthood gathers to silently judge his actions.

Anomus toils, Irobus ponders, the dark god watches, and unbeknownst to all, the concubine stirs...

Style

The Concubine's Tomb takes an interesting spin on your average dungeon core story, introducing an element of creativity. The main character is for one, not from our universe, and for another, completely aware of how he became a dungeon core; he made a deal with a spooky god of vengeance. The story also differs in that most dungeon core stories feature the main character unable to act freely while strangers are within the dungeon. Not so for Anomus, as he is not only able to freely control the confines of his greatest work, but even use magical blood powers to just straight-up crush people with an invisible force. Pretty gnarly.

The story does not feel like it is being told by someone living out their wish fulfillment fantasy, but instead the story reads like it's being told by someone not involved in the story's events whatsoever. The author is only present in the story so much as the chef is present in the meals he cooks. He made it, but you wold not recognise him by his labours.

 

Story

The story is great. Anomus is a #relatable character, because who hasn't been bent over by someone with more power than them for a petty insignificant reason before? Anomus is a man with a mission, and what's more, it feels like a righteous mission. Anomus deserves to have our support, he was brutally killed and betrayed. It's a good plot line, "local man becomes a magical spirit that feeds on death." and it's well told.

 

Grammar 

You guys know me by now, I wouldn't be reviewing it if it didn't have impeccable grammar. Call me the grammar-grinch, or someone who can't appreciate a diamond in the rough if you like, I prefer my stories with the oxford comma.

Characters

The characters in this are good, if a little bit simple when boiled down to their basest elements. For crying out loud, one of the characters is a bloody corpse-eating dog who just wants to be top dog. Anomus wants revenge on Irobus, Irobus wants revenge on the concubine, the concubine presumably wants revenge on someone, and the priests think Irobus is a bit up his own bum. The corpse-eating dogs want somewhere safe to live and lot's of bodies to eat, alongside revenge on the one who forced them to eat old corpses for sustenance.

But what's important about these characters is that despite their rather simple wants and desires, is that they are enjoyable and relatable. They don't have ten-thousand schemes running through their crafty minds, they just want someone dead, or something done. Anomus wants Irobus dead, Irobus wants his concubine to be dead slowly and the dark god of blood and revenge just wants a good laugh I suspect.

 

Overall I like the story. The characters are good, the author has good grammar and storytelling style. 4.5/5 stars, because I'm a hard prat to please.

btw if you didn't want the spoilers, i don't care. They weren't that large.


Sages of the Underpass: Battle Artists Book 1

Alright. I have never read one of the authors thirteen fictions other than this one here. So there is no bias when i say that this story is good.

Meet Niko; the guy who gave it all up. In a world where people beating the crap out of each other with magically enhanced fists is the most popular sport, Niko could have become a star.

But not all stars rise, and Niko's star fell.

Years later, an old friend asks him for a favour.

Fight in place of someone else so a local tournament doesn't flop.

Nikon agrees grudgingly and rocks the crowd, slamming the competition around, but still ultimately losing.

But in doing so, the spark has been lit.

Niko remembers not only what was, but what could be.

 

Style: I find it hard to describe an author's  style. So I generally rate an author's  style on what techniques they use. And how they use them. I've only read four chapters, so I can't make a proper judgement, but it certainly wasn't a bad style.

 

Story: Unique. Blending competitive fighting sports such as boxing and wrestling, with the magic of Indian spiritualism and of course, the sheer bewitchment of kicking ass, the author has an original and interesting story.

Grammar: not much else to say except: clean. nice punctuation and spelling.

Characters: I mean, four chapters is only long enough for a teaser if Niko's sad backstory, but he still seems pretty good so far.

Over all, a good read, with good potential. I definitely recommend you check this one out, and bookmark it for future chapters.


Delve

How to never poop again

 Meet Rain. Not Falling Rain, the Undying Savage, just Rain, a normal dude.

Until he is taken to another world for no explicable reason?? Only, instead of being able to y' know, just do magic and kill stuff or build an epic kingdom from a few goblins he found in the woods, Rain can do not much, but probably die of starvation.

Luckily he is saved by some... Hobos? Oh wait, one of them has a sword, so it's definitely a fantasy world. Thankful for the rescue, Rain manages to get over being treated like a captured assassin, and luckily, also learns magic! 

Watch as Rain carves his mark upon the world! Or more likely, just get along helping other people out.

Style Score

Delve does not particularly stand out in terms of the author's personal touch. The author does not sprinkle the story with references, or quirky jokes, nor does the author re-enact his dark and twisted self-insert fantasies. The story is told as a story, and the author makes it clear that he is only the writer, not a character within the story.

Story Score

Let's be honest here. "Delve" is not a unique story idea. A man is taken to another world, how will he survive is a question that numerous people on this website have answered, and it is invariably, either "comfortably" or "seated upon a throne of bones, drenched in the blood of his enemies, and his enemies enemies, and then their enemies too, just for good measure." However, that doesn't mean that Delve is a bad story. The cliche is fine, as long as you do it well. 

Grammar Score

A large thing that makes me scream on this website is good story ideas ruined by immersion-breaking grammar. I might seem quite pedantic and fussy when it comes to grammar, but that also means good grammar is almost a guaranteed follow and review from me. Thank you SenecentSoul, for editing your work.

Character Score

Once again, let's be honest. Rain is not a unique character. He is average, and as such, a bit of an "insert-self". However, he a well written, and clearly defined and described character, who wanders around cleaning everything within ten meters of himself. He interacts with other characters, and also absolving them of their need to poop. He does not control or order anyone, but instead barters and converses with other characters, and we see a person, not a puppet walking around.

Conclusion

Overall, Delve is a good story. It does not strike out as a unique bestseller, but it certainly should not be forgotten by the way-side. Delve has found its place as one of those stories that you do not use to get your friends into Royalroad, but as a story that you come back to once you have read all the headline acts. The characters are funny and interesting, the story is mellow and smooth, and the grammar is not messed.

I definitely recommend you read it.


Bloody Hell

Yandere harem; sex at knifepoint

I've already written a review for this fiction before, however, this time it's "Review 2: Electric Boogaloo"

Our main character is Alan, your average young man, who plays D&D in his off time from work, or plays games with his best mate Dan.

However, Alan isn't actually a harem anime protagonist. He has a special hyperawareness of other people's microexpressions. Essentially he reads body language the way you and I read books.

Using this talent, he skillfully deflects any social problems that come his way.

Until one day, his best mate Dan reveals himself to be a secret agent super spy, equipped with everything from James Bond and more! Oh yeah, and he needs Alan to look after his apartment while he's gone.

Now meet Leah. She's a beautiful busty blonde, with a sharp mind. She also has a crippling mental disorders that compels her to count and categorise everything around her, compels her to learn and quantify everything she can. She's madly in love with Alan, and she's willing to employ all sorts of means to make him hers.

Meet Jane. She's a petite little red head, feisty and lusty. She is also the terror of the red-light district, disguising herself as a hooker to lure men to their deaths and take their cash. All so she can one day spend her days drinking beer and fucking the shit out Alan. And she's quite literally willing to kill for him.

Bloody Hell is well written enough, with only a few typos here and there, that I'm sure the author would fix if more people read and commented on his fiction.

The characters are stereotypical thirty thots or snarky young man. However the thots come equipped with knives and 24/7 surveillance equipment, while the snarky young men come with just the right level of senseless to not realise exactly how much crazy he has his dick in.

Overall, it's a good story, but the author hasn't updated in a while. Spam him with PMs and comments so that we can all enjoy the chapter where Alan realises that he is fucking screwed.


Marrow

Marrow is a story about a skeleton. Unlike, however, the skeletons in most fantasy stories, he is not some undead beast who desires the death of all living things, nor is he some mindless obedient thrall.

The audience is introduced to Marrow when his creator, a student at a Magic school of sorts, attempts to create an intelligent undead.

The mage succeeds, however, due to Marrow's intelligence, commands given to Marrow are not obeyed, unless Marrow wants to. The only command the mage can give him in the end, turns out to be "Do something".

Marrow happily obeys, by existing.

His creator disgustedly stuffs him into a closet, and the very next day, the Mage Academy is attacked, and the building left to ruin.

Centuries later, a group of daring adventurers find out about ruined building, said once to house many promising mages and magicians.

In this time, Marrow has been merely chewing on spiders.

The two groups meet, and a few misunderstandings, and a hell of a lot coincidence, allows Marrow to form a strange bond with them.

And that is where the story has reached, at the time of writing for this review.

Grammar is perfectly fine, displeasing only to the most picky of readers.

Characters are good as well, and it is hard to leave out things when the main character is simply a skeleton who does nothing but chew spiders.

While the story is just a wee bit rough around the edges, that is simply because the author is working on a entirely different story at the same time as writing this, and as such, might be a little frazzled.

Definitely give this a try, if you are a fan on non-human leads, fantasy, and overall general humour.


The Acts of Androkles

This story follows Androkles. After returning from war, to find his wife has just left with all the money he earned fighting for two and a half decades, he swears an oath to find her.

However, no man is immune to the whims of the gods, nor the whispers of the shadows within his own mind, regardless of how tall and mighty you are.

"Obstacles" is set in the ancient Greek world, except the existence of fantasy creatures and the gods is a little bit more guaranteed.

Androkles quest to find his wife and bring her to justice is constantly impeded, right from the very start. All the people he could have relied on are dead from fighting, and he is without a single coin to his name.

After selling his shirt and shield, and setting out on the road, he meets two small beastkin children, starving and lost.

The gods themselves seem set on stopping Androkles entirely.

 

I rate the story as of chapter 16 as extremely well done, as it clearly outlines the actual plot, and who our main character is.

The character himself is also done well, as he is written as you would expect from a man from ancient Greece; sexist, racist and aggressive by today's standards, and completely normal by ancient Greek standards. However, the writer stops him from being aggravating and unlikeable to read about by making it clear that Androkles only is like this because it is all he knows, and it is all that society is. Androkles is not actually glad or upset about the state of the world, merely indifferent to what he has always known.

Despite Androkles reminders to anyone who doubts him, he is not actually a god in mortal flesh and as such, cannot be renamed Mary Sue.

Other characters in the story are written how they are described and are not cardboard cut-outs. 

There are no racy sex-scenes (currently) which is a good thing for a story like this, where it could be so easy to find an excuse to put them in, as it shows the author is more concerned with providing an interesting story for the audience rather than satisfying his own lustful itch.

And perhaps the best evidence I can give is that the author has made this into a proper book that you can buy. That means somewhere, some guy who was hired for his sole ability to judge a good story, said;

"this is good, let's publish this."

So. Give it a try. You won't regret it. If you do, you probably also read fanfic on wattpad.


Nova Terra: Titan

Starting out, the fiction holds great promise, however, quickly devolves into the main character simply running around doing boring errands.

There is no true emotional struggle, no point in rooting for Thorn, as he can solve most of his problems through application of his incredible strength. However when he does use his power, he rarely used it in an interesting way.

If Thorn were to wander from city to city, trying to avoid hatred for his monstrous size and strength, it would be interesting.

If Thorn went full weeaboo cliche revenge story, going on a terrible crusade to destroy those who wronged him, it would be really edgy, but still more interesting.

This is not the story of a giant among men, but the story of a tall bloke who makes friends, and does get betrayed, but doesn't mind that much after all.

If you like generally peaceful stories with no real struggle or emotional investment, this is the story for you.

While grammar and punctuation are on point, actual character depth and story are not.