Applies up to chapter 1, part 5.
STYLE - This story is written in quite a peculiar way, I think intentionally. I'm not very proficient in grammar rules or things of that nature, so it's hard for me to explain exactly how it differs from a typical story, but I'm sure any reader will notice on first viewing. Overall, I think this choice could work to the story's favor, but the execution left me a little bit confused, sometimes having to re-read sections to understand what was happening or who was being referred to.
GRAMMAR - There are some grammatical errors throughout the story. I think an additional edit of the published material would help heighten the entertainment value for readers, and I think the author has something like that in the works.
STORY - It's a LitRPG that's light on game elements. It's a pretty dark, twisted tale, with lots of violence, that generally doesn't shy away from more taboo themes like abuse. For me, that's a big plus, but that's obviously up to the individual reader.
CHARACTER - In my opinion, the protagonist is the best part of the story. Without giving away too much, he is very cold and calculating, with some serious Sherlock vibes. I like it, and I think the character has enough of a distinguished voice that it comes through. I think this could be a big draw for readers in a future edit of the story.
OVERALL - I'd say this has potential, for sure. The dark setting and morally ambiguous protagonist were what drew me in for this one. I do think it needs some work in order to see more widespread enjoyment, mostly in the areas of grammar, sentence structure, and descriptions.
This review applies up to chapter 5.
Disclaimer: I'm not very familiar with cultivation stories, so I'm a poor judge when it comes to the overall originality of the story etc.
STYLE - The style is simple but gets the job done, which is not meant as a negative by any means. I think there is room for the author to develop in this aspect, especially in regards to action scenes, where more vivid descriptions could help pull the reader further into the story, but overall I think the author is doing well here.
GRAMMAR - This is the story's weak point, in my opinion. Much of the story has an original twist, at least that was the feeling I got while reading it, but the overall grammar and sentence structure can make it difficult to parse and bring down the enjoyment of the story. While this is something that takes time to master, I think this is one of the areas the author should focus keenly on to improve their craft. This also goes for the dialogue.
STORY - I really enjoyed the magical aspects of the story. Like I mentioned at the start, I'm not very familiar with cultivation stories, but to me, I liked reading about the different aspects of the magic system, both from the main character and other entities he encounters. I also really appreciated the explanation of the kris and its use in one of the fights. I thought that was a cool detail.
CHARACTER - I like the dynamic between the main character and his sidekick friend. It reminded me a little of Saitama and Genos from One Punch Man, depicting a hero with a very ordinary, down-to-earth life, just trying to make ends meet while developing his craft. Without spoiling too much, I also liked the snake. The character interactions are sometimes pulled down by the dialogue, which is choppy at points, but overall I'd say this is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the story, for sure.
OVERALL - I enjoyed what I read of The Young Daoist, and I think the author has something to build on here. In the end, what made me decide not to continue reading was the grammar, which could do with some improvement and the fact that cultivation type stories usually aren't my thing. Given that, however, this story did impress.
Keep it up, author!
This review applies up to chapter 15.
STYLE - The story moves along fairly briskly, and the prose reads smoothly. The only question mark for me is the use of dialogue tags in the way the author uses them, which I've never seen before.
GRAMMAR - The grammar and syntax are clean for the most part, marred by some occasional mistakes. It reads better than most stories on the site in this regard.
STORY - From what I can tell, this is low fantasy military fiction set in a medieval setting, and I thought it was really well realized, considering the politics of the different nations which are often referred to throughout the story. It gives me big Black Company vibes, except without the magic.
CHARACTERS - I enjoy many of the characters introduced, but I think for my taste the intentions and motivations are spelled out a little too clearly. I think the characters could be very engaging if the authors let their traits come across more naturally. In my view, there's no need to tell the reader whether a character is good or bad or in between--that will come across through the dialogue and the actions the character takes.
OVERALL - So far, the story seems to be shaping up into a sweeping adventure, reminiscent of many older fantasy stories, with a dark tone and a gritty realism when it comes to the depiction of war. If that sounds like something up your alley, check this one out.
This review applies up to chapter 7.
STYLE - THe author's style is clean, without many frills, but without many faults, either. The prose reads smoothly and I don't think I ever lost my place or got confused with the way things were written. I would have liked to see somewhat more of an individual touch for a higher score.
GRAMMAR - Not much to comment on, as there wasn't much wrong with the grammar or syntax. The author does a good job with this, barring a few errors.
STORY - The story is simple, and doubtless pretty familiar to any fan of LitRPG, but this works in the story's favor, I think. The reader is given little information about the origins of the world or the characters, but that is rather the point. The intrigue given at the start is slowly built upon in later chapters, and I found it a pretty interesting concept.
CHARACTERS - The characters are fairly simple, for the most part, without a ton of descriptions or character traits to keep track of. The characters do seem fairly believable, for the most part, and even though some aren't given a lot of development (thus far, anyway), they at least have enough going for them to make things interesting.
OVERALL - A recommend, for sure. I'm usually not a massive fan of LitRPG, but this might be my favorite one I've read so far, at least judging by the opening chapters.
Also, the prologue has an absolutely hilarious line right at the end. I might just be juvenile, but I really didn't see that coming, and it cracked me up.
This review applies up to chapter 5.
STYLE - The author has a competent style, and at certain points a rather smooth and engrossing one, marred by a few issues. The first chapter is quite long, which makes it difficult to read in one sitting, and makes some of the events of that chapter blur together a bit. Certain scenes throughout the story so far are a little difficult to follow, with a fair amount of characters talking and interacting at once. Overall, though, I would say that the author's style is consistently good, and the issues I mentioned are relatively minor gripes.
GRAMMAR - The grammar is good, and the author uses a varied vocabulary that keeps things fresh. There are some errors sprinkled throughout in terms of grammar and syntax. Not so much as to break the flow, but it is noticeable at points. A pass of editing or two could probably fix this.
STORY - As a person who is not into the whole "dungeon" sub-genre, I may be a bad judge, but I found the story and world pretty cool, with a lot of interesting concepts and a magic system that feels both simple and fleshed out. I can imagine a lot of engrossing storylines coming out of this concept as the story progresses.
CHARACTERS - The characters so far are kept concise but are given a reasonable amount of characterization, and all feel fairly dynamic. It's enough to keep me hooked in the story, and I hope the author continues to develop them over the course of the story.
OVERALL - It seems like a good one, folks. Pick it up if you like fantasy, or post-apocalyptic, or dungeon-delving.
This review applies up to chapter 56.
STYLE - Crisp. Simple. Introspective. The author's style is one I very much appreciate. It skips a lot when it comes to environments and other descriptions, focusing succinctly on the characters and their emotions. One of my favorite aspects of the story. Though this one is a slow burn, no page feels wasted. It may not be for everyone, I can't tell, but for my tastes, it's a perfect fit.
GRAMMAR - Professional grade. A few mistakes here and there, but not more than 1-2 a chapter, and usually not even that many.
STORY - Without spoiling anything, this is a classic fantasy story (halflings, elves, etc) with a gritty shell. I found that the setting and style blended excellently together. These old tropes are a little tired at this point, but the author does not borrow much from them, and does not use them as a crutch. The only reason I'm giving the story a star off for story is because for me, the story shifts tone near the end. It is an expected change, and suitably forshadowed, but a little jarring nontheless.
CHARACTERS - The main cast all feel like people, for the most part. They're a ragtag group of exiles, as the title would suggest, and the way they play off each other is always entertaining. Different viewpoints converge to create a narrative that gives a broad perspective on the world, while still feeling focused. The only part I feel is missing is a lack of distinguishable character development. The main cast do change of the course of their journey, but given all they have been through, it feels a bit light.
OVERALL - The best story I've read on RR. Bar none. The author is a professional, that much comes through from his writing, the commissioned covers for every chapter, etc. He deserves more attention and support, and so does this story. I will continue to keep up as more chapters are posted.
On a personal note to the author; keep it up. I've learned a lot from reading your story. I hope your career blows up, because this is seriously good stuff.
This review applies up to chapter three, part one.
STYLE - The style is easy to read, for the most part, and simple in its flow. Not many massive paragraphs clogging up the flow, which is nice on the eye. However, there is also a large number of scene breaks in many of the chapters so far, which kind of cuts chapters into many little pieces. Not necessarily bad in itself, but it makes it a little harder (at least for me) to engage with the scene at hand.
GRAMMAR - Some mistakes, but not enough to make the text jarring to read. Descriptions are sometiems jumbled, and there are words missing in certain sentences, but nothing that a pass of editing couldn't fix.
STORY - It's about fighting mechs. Do you like mechs? Give this a whirl, see if you like it. I have no personal like or dislike for the genre, so I cannot comment too far, but I feel like the story is going places in terms of plot.
CHARACTER - The main character's not half bad. He seems kinda stoic, but he's set up as a big deal in military he used to fight for before he was discharged. It gives you something to sink your teeth into--why was he discharged? How good is he compared to the other mech pilots we see in the story? Some of the supporting cast is a bit bland so far, but I don't know what the author has planned for them in the future.
OVERALL - Probably a story to pick up if you're a fan of the genre. Deals with a lot of familiar tropes. The author has some improvements to make in terms of characters and prose, but I'm sure they will improve in these areas as the story progresses.
This review applies up to chapter 22.
STYLE - The author's style doesn't have many frills, but it's serviceable. I think the author will improve and find their own style over the course of this/future stories.
GRAMMAR - There were some mistakes, and there is room for editing in this department, but not enough to pull a casual reader out of the story.
STORY - The opening hook was rather compelling, and helped differentiate it from other entries in the genre. However, I felt that the continuation of this idea could have been executed better and with a tighter focus. The initial premise of the invasion was established early, and I think I would have enjoyed it better if this was carried through within the first few chapters.
CHARACTER - The main character didn't make much of an impression on me, and neither did any of the side characters, sadly. Dialogue read a little unprofessional. I think some polishing could be done in this department to make it read as more believable.
This may be an oversight on my part, but I didn't really get much of the main character's traits or motivations other than him really loving the game.
OVERALL - Could be an interesting addition to the genre with some editing and a tighter focus on the characters and story.
This review applies up to chapter 16.
STYLE - One of the story's shortcomings. Sentences are sometimes awkward, paragraphs are sometimes long and plodding, making them hard to read without skimming. Though, there is something to be said for this style, as the author takes his time to set up not only characters and plot, but the world as well, through these long-winded segments.
GRAMMAR - The grammar of the story is good, and allows a pleasant experience for the reader. There are mistakes here and there, but the grammar is certainly above average by RRL standards.
STORY - Absolutely the high-point of the story for me. Clearly, a lot of time has gone into this. There is a wealth of characters from a variety of backgrounds, even outside the main cast. Descriptions of the (mostly) dark and twisted societies that inhabit this world really serve to draw you into the story. If you're into dark/grimdark fantasy, this is one to check out on that merit alone.
CHARACTER - The main cast impressed me with a bombastic start, and I had high expectations. However, I feel that the main characters haven't developed much beyond their initially established tropes. The sadistic warrior, the fallen priest, the wounded assassin, the snarky witch. This is certainly a fun bunch of characters to put together, but I feel as if their interactions usually never evolve beyond those set parameters. After sixteen chapters, I feel as if I know how each of the scenes they spend together will play out before I read it.
There's still a lot of potential here, I just didn't get quite what I had hoped out of it personally.
OVERALL - Do you like slow, dark stories with a focus on developing the world the characters inhabit (for example, Malazan, GOT)? If so, this is for you. If not, read the first chapter and see if the style suits you. It's certainly a unique experience by RRL standards, in a refreshing way.
This review applies up to chapter 16.
STYLE - The story has an (in my opinion) pleasant, somewhat out of the box style. The first person PoV was jarring when it came to switching characters, but for the main character himself, I feel it was a nice addition. His introspection about unfolding events really gave the prose some extra flair.
GRAMMAR - There were some minor errors here and there, but more of an eyesore than something that jarred me out of the story. There were some weird sentences that could probably have used another pass of editing, but for the purposes of RRL reading, it's perfectly serviceable.
STORY - Boy, there's so much stuff in this story I could hardly summarize it all. It's a blend of science fiction and fantasy that I found pretty entertaining. I enjoyed the premise, especially the early chapters, and the prologue hooked me in for future events.
CHARACTER - I liked the main character's voice and quirks. He's a nerdy student with a penchant for poking his nose where he doesn't belong, slowly getting in too deep over his head. Some of the side characters felt a little cookie cutter with hamfisted dialogue, but that's not so much of a problem. The big problem for me was the utter lack of tension when it came to all fight scenes, and there are a lot of them.
Time travel in itself is fairly overpowered, but I think it would have been interesting to see in combat. The author takes it in a direction where it just doesn't seem conceivable that the main character CAN lose, by any means, so all fights just boil down to "okay, let's see how long it takes him to win".
I believe this is the author's intention, considering some recent plot developments, but I don't think the story has been dealing with these elements enough for me to feel like there's a point to the fights. Therefore, I resorted to skimming at points.
OVERALL - A story with an interesting concept and a fun world, combined with a main character that has a genuine voice. I think this story could be elevated to something really sick with a bit of extra editing. As it is now, does a combination of fantasy and time travel in an urban setting sound interesting? Guns and swords, magic and monsters, that sort of thing. If so, pick this up. You'll have a good time.