Elliot Moors

Elliot Moors

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Fictions
Reviews
Horizon

INTRODUCTION:

Horizon is a traditional story that deviates from the formula by featuring a protagonist who isn't strictly speaking "good", but more in the Chaotic Neutral range. He is self-serving and single-minded in working towards his own ends. For me, that improved my enjoyment of the story. The grammar and dialogue was a bit weak, but might not affect your enjoyment much as a reader if you think that premise sounds interesting.

STYLE:

Paragraph and chapter length are both good, making it so that the story is easy to read through. Word choice is nice and breezy as well, although I would have preferred more vivid descriptions.

The tone is fairly light-hearted, especially the MC's inner monologue. There's a good amount of violence, which is given decent weight as the MC sustains damage and makes mistakes.

Overall solid.

GRAMMAR:

The story stumbles here. Numerous mistakes do make the flow stutter. On the upside, the author appears to be very receptive to feedback in this area, and appears to be working diligently towards improving the story, which is always a great thing to see. I assume that this area will change for the better later on.

STORY:

There isn't too much of a "plot" for me to speak on so far. Where I left off, it mostly consists of the MC improving himself in various ways. If that's the sort of thing you enjoy seeing in a serial, as opposed to a "defeat the bad guy" or "find the thing" plot, you're likely to enjoy this aspect as well.

CHARACTER:

I believe that the MC might put off some people. As mentioned in the intro, he is fairly self-serving and dedicated only to achieving his own motives. I found this to be a nice twist to the usual formula, and it was one of the things that kept up my interest in Horizon.

I did find it a little heavy-handed at times, and I thought that the MC went to extremes such as contemplating eating humans without much of a natural progression to get there, since he goes from just a normal individual.

Regardless, I thought it was a cool concept executed well.

OVERALL:

Pick up Horizon if you think that the concept of a morally ambiguous MC working to get stronger without worrying about friends or morals sounds cool. The grammar stutters do bring the story down a bit, but I think it's still worth a read if you enjoy unique POVs.


Diverge Summoning

passion project in need of polish

INTRODUCTION:

Obvious care and effort has gone into the making of this story, made especially apparent by reading the author's comments before certain chapters. Sadly, it is marred by significant technical errors and storytelling pitfalls that bring down the enjoyment value.

STYLE:

Paragraphs are a good size, not overly blocky. Chapters are also a good, snappy length, meaning it's not exhausting to read, but something you can put down and pick up at your leisure. The tone the author is setting up through the prose, however, falls somewhat short. I believe it's going for a comedic tone with some dramatic elements, featuring nudity for comedic purposes etc. However, in the end I was left with a sense of confusion, and found no real cohesion in how the narrative was presented.

GRAMMAR:

It's a respectable attempt, but there are numerous mistakes here that bring down the enjoyment value.

STORY:

It seems like a fairly standard narrative of a hero summoned into another world. It features some darker themes of racism (which I will discuss further in the following segment) to shake up the formula.

CHARACTER:

The characters could form the basis of an enjoyable comedic romp, but as of right now they don't really work. For the MC, it seemed as though the author wanted to create someone larger-than-life, a power fantasy, but in practice it comes off as heavy-handed. As this appears to be a somewhat character-driven story, I really think this is the part that needs the most work, and could very much use a deep pass of editing to really define what the author wants from the characters and to convey that properly to the readers.

Especially the racism angle, I think, ought to be handled with more care. At the point of the story I left off on, many characters in the story expressed their disdain for the MC because of his skin color, some even referring to him as sub-human, but I didn't ever feel there was a strong enough rebuttal to that from the MC or other characters in the story. At this moment, it feels like a jarring inclusion as most of the story is more light-hearted in tone. I believe it could use some adjustment to truly fit into the narrative.

OVERALL:

Diverge Summoning has the potential to be a fun time, and has an author who is clearly passionate about delivering quality content. However, it is too rough at this time for me to give it a recommendation. I think a knowledgeable edit is all it needs to properly shine.


Spark of Brilliance

INTRODUCTION:

Spark of Brilliance is a little rough around the edges in terms of prose, but is carried by a deep and cleverly thought out magic system as well as brisk pacing.

STYLE:

The style is easily readable and is structured in such a way as to allow for easy binging. I found it a breeze to go through.

GRAMMAR:

There are some consistent hiccups here, primarily in terms of punctuation and sentence structure. It's still perfectly legible, and the author seems interested in making improvements to the formula, so this may change later on in the story.

STORY:

The plot is a tried-and-true revenge tale of a country boy who has to rise against the odds. It doesn't change up the formula much at this point in the story, but it's carried by the pacing, worldbuilding, and magic system. These three pillars make it so you're not bored while reading, but can easily let yourself get swept along by the unfolding narrative. It may not offer as much to those who don't care about magic systems or find in-depth explanations of such things boring, but I found it really intriguing, which matched up really well with the MC, who is constantly trying to learn new things about how the magic works in this world.

It's also integrated well into the worldbuilding because the magic is used to create technology that is both reasonable in terms of what a society would need and exciting because of its potential applications.

CHARACTER:

So far, the characters aren't incredibly fleshed out, but they're not overly two-dimensional either. The MC's motivation is simple but relatable. I like the way the MC's core personality remains intact even though his motivation changes from simply learning magic to getting revenge. There are also some good moments with supporting characters.

OVERALL:

Spark of Brilliance is shaping up to be a good read, especially for those wanting a more experimental take on classic fantasy with a magitech setting. If you're a fan of hard magic systems with a lot of depth, I sincerely suggest you give this a read.


After Megiddo

we must protect the goodest of bois

INTRODUCTION:

Baxter is a god-tier dog and no one can change my mind.

STYLE:

After Megiddo is well-polished and has a style closely resembling a traditionally published work. Some of the descriptions are very imaginative and leave a mark in your mind, while some can read a little clumsy. Overall, though, it is consistently good, far above average for a typical serial.

GRAMMAR:

It's good. I didn't notice many errors, so there isn't much to comment on.

STORY:

The story, and particularly the world, is sometimes familiar and sometimes strange. It's clear that the author has spent considerable time crafting something that's both comprehensible and profound. Religion is a big theme here, but dealt with in a fun way.

I personally wasn't a fan of the MC's seeming lack of agency. He has several authority figures speaking to him through visions, telling him where to go, what to do, and who to talk to. Though the story might open up a bit and allow the MC more autonomy, given the developments where I left off.

CHARACTER:

The characters are varied, and I found most of them excellent. As previously stated, Baxter is the b e s t boy, and that's hard fact. Characters like Sol and Shindow are also engaging, and the MC has enough internal conflict to be interesting. The interactions are snappy to read through and generally don't drag, with a fair bit of levity and humor.

OVERALL:

After Megiddo is polished and readable, with clear care put into the setting and characters. I recommend it to anyone who likes sci-fi/space opera/science fantasy, or just someone who's looking for a quality piece of fiction with a lot of work put into it.


Binary Progression

undead cat undead cat undead cat

INTRODUCTION:

Binary Progression takes a distinct, comedic tone which helps it stand out from most LitRPG stories. While held back a bit by its presentation, it is certainly a fun read with some unique scenarios and whacky characters. More details in the 'Overall' section.

STYLE:

The way the story is structured is a little messy. Some of the stylistic choices, like how the dialogue is presented, makes the flow of the prose a bit disjointed. Still, I can definitely see what the author was going for in making it seem more like an MMO chat, and in certain ways it does pay off, so it's more of a personal thing.

GRAMMAR:

Mostly good, probably nothing that'll put you off as a reader. Within what would be considered normal for a web serial.

STORY:

Binary Progression shines through its whacky tone and strange scenarios, heightened by its chosen setting of a janky MMO that has lost developer support. It's a subversive take on the genre that makes fun of things like fetch quests or killing X whatever. This is by far its greatest strength, and while I'm personally not a huge MMO buff or anything, I still got plenty of enjoyment out of that aspect.

The story is fairly light so far, mostly a string of standalone quests and chapter-by-chapter set-ups for gags. I think this suits the story very well, and makes it easily digestible and enjoyable.

CHARACTER:

The characters do what they're supposed to. Some provide more laughs than others, but I suspect this will vary from reader to reader, as they are fairly distinct. My personal favorite is the hacker simply because of their devious, impish attitude.

The MC is also competently written. I like the twist the author chose to give the usual LitRPG protagonist, John being a person who doesn't play MMOs or know anything about them, making for some funny gags at his expense since he doesn't know his way around the basics.

OVERALL:

I recommend this to anyone who's looking for a more light-hearted, comedic take on the genre. It has a fairly immediate payoff in terms of plot, characters, and gags, so it's a low investment on the reader's part.


Blightbane

deep, fun, and satisfying

This review applies up to Coalescence: Log 5.

INTRODUCTION:

Aside from a rough beginning, this story delivers on several levels for a fantasy nerd like myself.

STYLE:

The prose is unobtrusive and flows smoothly, without much awkward phrasing. There's not much wrong with it, so I don't have much to comment on.

GRAMMAR:

Quite good. I didn't notice many mistakes. It's on the more polished end for a web serial. Again, not much to say here.

STORY:

While much of the larger, overarching hasn't yet presented itself, and the opening chapters seem to be focused on the setup of world and characters, I haven't felt bored. The deep lore on display is quite gripping, and it's clear that the author has spent serious effort on it. Many excellent details, such as a fleshed-out pantheon of gods and a magic system with unexpected appications, like creating a city in days or making a recording headset, really helped propel my interest.

The "Coalescence" entries were also a welcome addition, one I've personally never seen before, adding some insight into the world. I can imagine this would prove quite useful to readers wanting to brush up on a certain topic as the story moves along.

CHARACTER:

The first chapter didn't really wow me in terms of the MCs, but as the story goes along, they get increasingly more interesting. Again, the author has clearly put in effort here, as the characters all have their own traits that are expanded on throughout the story, such as Caim's curiosity and aloofness or Alice's enthusiasm and determination. Caim and Alice make an especially good pair, their differing personalities complementing each other nicely.

OVERALL:

Blightbane throws you in the deep end, with more than a few confusing concepts to grapple with, but gets increasingly enjoyable as you go in terms of writing quality, character interaction, and the reader's own comprehension of the lore. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a classic fantasy story with an original twist.


World' s End Campfire

holy shit why is no one reading this

This review applies up to chapter 11.

INTRODUCTION:

While held back by some grammatical hiccups and heavy-handed dialogue, World's End Campfire is already shaping up to be one of my favorite stories on RR. Give it a chance, and I don't think you'd come out disappointed.

STYLE:

The style is easy and readable, with paragraphs that don't ramble on. The prose itself is functional at its worst and downright beautiful at its best. Fight scenes are comprehensible and pull you into the action, something I find many stories lacking in. The style is marred mostly by pacing issues. It can read a tad slow at times, at least for my taste, leading me to skim certain paragraphs rather than soaking up every word. Apart from that, really quality stuff.

GRAMMAR:

Most of the prose itself is error-free. I have exactly one major gripe with the grammar, which is that there are a lot of breaks from past to present tense. This did make the story read a little bumpy, at times, and take me out of some otherwise nice bits of storytelling.

STORY:

The worldbuilding at work here is stellar, centering (so far) around the struggle between gods of different pantheons. It's largely reminiscent of something like American Gods, but manages to establish a fresh identity of its own. I particularly enjoy that it delves deeply into how the gods operate, where they draw their power from, and how that power can manifest. The plot itself is a simple "find the macguffin" deal, but how it's set up and the characters' emotional stakes really help pull it along.

CHARACTER:

All characters of the main cast have their own appeal and feel appropriately fleshed out. There has already been some nice character development until this point, and I have no doubt there is more to come. My personal favorite is the criminally (yeah, I'm calling you out!) Hydrargyrus. As mentioned in the introduction, some of the dialogue can be a little much, leaning into melodrama, and the MC comes off as a little more dumbed down than what I would expect from a master of tactics and war, but overall it's still thoroughly enjoyable, with each character's unique voice coming through in their dialogue.

OVERALL:

If you enjoy fantasy, good worldbuilding, epic stakes of scrappy underdogs vs powerful assholes, or gripping fight scenes with elements of strategy, give this one a go.


Magical Cosmic

INTRODUCTION:

Magical Cosmic has an interesting premise, especially when it dives into more hard sci-fi territory. Questionable prose and grammar bring down the readability a tad.

STYLE:

The style is readable and not too wordy with reasonably sized paragraphs and descriptions that don't overstay their welcome, making the story easy to get through. The prose is brought down by frequent grammatical errors, which may turn off some readers. 

GRAMMAR:

As mentioned above, frequent errors disturb the flow of the story and is probably the largest flaw here. Were it to be rectified, however, Magical Cosmic would be far more enjoyable, at least in my opinion.

STORY:

I really enjoyed some of the worldbuilding displayed here, especially some of the specifics of the economy as well as inventions like dimensional storage. It helps give the setting some depth before the MC is brought to a more magic-reliant world.

CHARACTER:

The characters are fairly enjoyable in general, and the MC is proactive, which is my preference when reading. They read a bit two-dimensional at this point in the story, though, which holds them back a little. Although, I can't speak for anything beyond chapter 15, in which I can only assume that the author has provided more development for the main cast.

OVERALL:

Interesting worldbuilding and story direction is held back by grammatical issues. However, if that sort of thing doesn't bother you and you're looking for a coold sci-fi/fantasy mashup, Magical Cosmic is a fun one.


Conscientia

This review applies up to chapter 15.

INTRODUCTION:

This story almost defies words for me. In some ways it's brilliant, fresh, fascinating, in others it seems to do its best to turn people away. Regardless, if you look for excellent prose in the stories you read, look no further than Conscientia. I haven't seen better on this site to date. If you're still on the fence, let me elaborate.

STYLE:

The author possesses an impressive vocabulary and puts it to excellent use in crafting detailed descriptions that set the lonely, depressing tone of this piece. In this respect it reminds me of Dark Souls, an immortal protagonist facing off against various supernatural threats in crumbling castles and dungeons.

However, the prose is dense and more than a little complex. Combined with the fact that much of the text is dedicated to details environmental descriptions, layered on top of each other, the story becomes almost prohibitively difficult to read and enjoy. 

While there are issues with the style that I believe would hamper a reader's enjoyment, I give it five stars simply because of how beautiful it is when you do get stuck into it, and the kind of potential it holds to elevate this story.

GRAMMAR:

I noticed a few mistakes, but not many. The grammar is about as good as you can get for a web serial, and won't stand in the way of the reader's enjoyment of the story.

STORY:

I won't go too far into detail here to avoid spoilers.

Conscientia features a lot of worldbuilding. It's atypical when compared to classical fantasy, and some elements are so strange as to seem alien. It's interesting, if more than a little confusing. There are lots of proper names and fantastical concepts to wrap your head around. That could be both a good or bad thing, depending on the kind of reader you are.

CHARACTER:

I feel that the main character, Eidos clashes with the overall tone of the story. Her inner dialogue is colloquial and modern, whereas the prose is highly formal, and certain other characters read like they're out of Shakespeare. As such, her dialogue would pull me out from being fully immersed in the story at times.

OVERALL:

Read this if you love beautiful prose and complex worldbuilding.


Locking Horns, Breaking Teeth. [Minotaur Paladin Rewrite.]

 This review applies up to chapter 15.

INTRODUCTION:

Having read some of the author's work before, I expected high quality coming into Locking Horns, Breaking Teeth. Luckily, I wasn't proven wrong. This is shaping up to be a great story so far, carried largely by its charming cast and prose that oozes with personality. 

STYLE:

My favorite part of the story. The author has a great talent for putting a lively, energetic, almost colloquial energy into the story which is uncommon in published works, but is perfect for a serial like this. It blends well with the characters, particularly Clair, and elevates the story a step above what it would be otherwise. The humor, which is frequent, lands more often than it doesn't, at least for me, which is also admirable.

GRAMMAR:

The grammar is solid, but not perfect. I spotted some errors here and there, but from the comments it seems that the author is actively dedicated to fixing them, so I suspect this will get better over time.

STORY:

The story's a pretty apocalyptic LitRPG take. Nothing ground-breaking, but definitely solid, and it serves as a good backdrop for the characters. I particularly like the intricate mechanics of the buying/selling system.

CHARACTER:

Clair and Garok are both good characters in their own right, but they're even better when put together, their different personalities and experiences complementing each other. I suspect this will only improve with future chapters as they are given more character development.

OVERALL:

Pick this up if you like LitRPG, fantasy, or sci-fi. You won't regret it.