I think the story is in a good place, and the score will go up with revision.
One of the first thing that comes to mind is that the story conveys the author's love of creation and storytelling, and that's very important. There's passion here. There's someone working hard behind the scenes to craft believable characters and an interesting storyworld. At this point, it's still rough, but I can feel that this is someone whose skills are going to improve if they keep at it.
The opening chapter suffers a bit from overly poetic descriptions, but the style improves significantly from Ch 2 onwards. There's a nice range of vocab and strong descriptive elements.
I rated the story a bit low for now because the structure could use some polish to improve flow. However, that said, I can tell that the idea of the story and what the author is trying to do is sound. Who the characters are and what they're going through works. It's simply a matter of refinement.
The characters are a strong feature. The author does a good job of bringing each to life and giving them their own unique personality. And that's fabulous. In fact, story aside, I think it's the characters that are going to draw people into this story and keep them there.
The variety of vocabulary is excellent. There are a lot of different words that make the prose very colourful.
The author’s voice is very unique.
Grammar has some issues, but isn’t terrible.
Style is the the most glaring aspect of this story. Words, sentences and ideas fly at you with the speed and staccato beat of a machine gun. And a wild one. Everything rushes at you very quickly. It is quite difficult to follow the flow of the story, and I find myself unable to really picture what’s going on and why. There’s a lot of great imagery, in bursts, but the overall picture is difficult to put together.
All authors routinely have more in our heads than we do on paper. It feels like there’s a very vivid picture in the author’s mind, but in the rush to put things down, there’s not enough on paper to help us imagine things the same way. I suggest slowing the pace a little bit with some more descriptive elements. Don't write from the author's perspective. Write with the reader in mind. What will they see? What do they need in order to see your world clearly? Are any of your sentences possibly confusing?
There's passion in the work. And that's very important. Now it's a matter of improving the craft.
The best thing about the story so far is the work the author does to bring characters to life. People are likeable and have a positive feel. This will likely become the heart of the writing.
Currently, the writing still feels fairly inexperienced, with room to grow. There are some errors in grammar. The flow of the prose itself could improve. But writing is a craft and all of us are trying to get better. Revisions will help.
The structure and style of the story itself are classic. A boy growing up. It's quite traditional. In that sense it will feel familiar, which can be a great thing. But hopefully the author also brings something original to the book later on.
This is definitely one of the better things I've read on the site.
Overall, it has a slower pace and a more traditional style, common to a published book as opposed to online fiction. It's on the more intellectual side of things, with plenty of science for sci-fans to get excited about. That said, the author's done a great job of breaking things down for the common reader. Even if some of the science is over your head, it doesn't matter because it doesn't get in the way of the story itself, which is important.
Characterization is strong. The narrator has a strong voice and a tangible personality. He's witty and funny and certain parts of him should be relatable for plenty of readers. Side characters are well described and unique.
I've only gotten into the first 4 chapters (10k words), so it's early to judge the story, but I will say that the author has done a great job of laying foundation and setting things up. There are so many directions we could go and I think it'll be interesting to see how things play out.
Grammar and prose are good quality.
My only concern is that the story is marked tragedy. I personally don't like downer endings, if that's where this is leading. But, then again, I know plenty of people who do enjoy them. Still, it's not enough to stop me from carrying on, as I'm interested in finding out how things go.
On a personal note, it's refreshing to see sci-fi after reading so many fantasy stories on RR. lol
Rating based on objective evaluation, though I personally enjoyed it, too.
Excellent mix of genres, with elements of portal fantasy (isekai), mystery, fantasy, and gamelit. The mystery here is well done and key. It gets the readers into the story and pulls them along. Might even be the best part of the work. For me, much more than the game world, the mystery itself is really driving me to turn the page and see the next chapter.
Story is solid. There's excellent world building right in the first few chapters. The setup is well done, and for those who like to jump into the action quickly, the story soon runs into mystery and a new world. Plenty of RPG facets for fans of litrpg.
Characterization is another strong point. The main protagonist is a bit bland, typical of the role, but I think there are hints of him developing more personality as he goes. I certainly hope so, anyway. The dragon, on the other hand, is a breath of fresh personality that really spices things up. Immediately lovable. Side characters are also portrayed well. Looking forward to meeting more people.
For those who understand story development, having the MC go back to level 1 and fumble around is a good thing. The heart of any good story is struggle.
Style and prose, for the most part, are strong. And it improves over time.
As an editor and very experienced reader, I can say without question that Displacement is publishable quality, a rare gem. I think this might be the first time I've given 5*s across the board. This is a book that I would find in a bookstore and pay for.
The writing style flows very smoothly and is technically solid. It's easy to read and to understand. It has some of the best grammar I've come across in online fiction. No cheesy tactics designed to hit a reader's dopamine, no cheap cliffhangers, just solid story telling.
The story is classically written, with absolutely brilliant characterization. Every character feels unique and alive and fleshed out. Relationships are well portrayed. The setting and world are alive and vibrant and detailed, so it's easy to immerse yourself as a reader. I find myself not just enjoying learning about the story world, but excited to delve deeper. The author does a great job of teasing a mysterious bigger picture and I can't wait to find out what's really going on here.
I am absolutely excited to keep reading. I love the MC and her adventure, the mystery, the relationships, the fact that she's something of a player juggling two other girls in bed. Just wonderful.
Thank you so much for writing this and sharing it with us. If you put out an ebook, let me know as I'd be happy to support such an author.
EDIT: Up to chapter 30 now and the quality is just as good as ever. Really enjoying the story.
The strength of the work is in its characterization. While the plot moves slowly, we spend a lot of time with various characters, all of which the author develops in detail, showing abundant personality.
This is especially true for Max, who is utterly off his rocker, crazy as can be. Whether or not you enjoy Competitive Necromancer will largely revolve around whether or not you enjoy Max's character. Some may find him silly or offensive, others will love his wild charm and manic behaviour.
He really is the star of the show and you find yourself on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what he'll say or do next. For those of us with a darker sense of humor, you might find him rather hilarious.
The style of the book likely won't be for everyone; it'll be a matter of taste and something you simply have to try for yourself before you'll know whether you like it or not.
If you do enjoy the story, there's lots of it. Chapters are long and there's plenty to read.
For litrpg fans, this is not a hardcore progression story. However, game elements are included. The story definitely reads more like a traditional book than common serialized fiction.
Rather than simple YA romance (MC ages 10-11), the grim-dark content serves to give the story more gravitas, and enables the reader to take it more seriously. Ironcially, while the writing style and technical aspects reveal an as-yet inexperienced author (who is sure to improve quickly), these actually serve to help set the tone for the young characters, especially given the first person POV, and make the story feel authentic to the MC.
The author does a great job of getting into the head of the MC (witch) and characterizing her, revealing her feelings and personality in detail. She's a sympathetic character. The love interest (werewolf) is a bit too much of an aggressive alpha for my taste, something very common for male love interests in romance novels. However, the childishness of that behaviour actually fits the young character. I would actually like to see the ages of the characters mentioned in the beginning of the story so we have that context to better understand the feelings and behaviour of the characters.
I love the fact that the witches are classically evil here, outside of the MC. It's fun.
I would suggest that content could be compressed and tightened with some editing, which could improve pacing. That and cleaning up some grammar would help the prose flow better and retain better interest as well.
The story is solid so far and will now doubt only get better as the author has a talent for storytelling. Fans of fantasy romance, who enjoy a more serious tone, will likely enjoy getting into the book. Which is good, because there's plenty of material.
Astrala is very easy to get into. The story is simple and straightforward. Litrpg fans will enjoy a well-thought out game system with regular stats and entertaining skill descriptions. There are some interesting details that give the game world its own personality. Readers jump into the action very quickly and the action continues at a good pace. There's lots of immediate progression. It checks off all the boxes for the kind of litrpg that's really popular on RR.
The books is off to a great start and I think it'll only get better as drafts are revised and further chapters added. It's worth following to see where it goes.
Characterization isn't particularly in depth through the first 8 chapters, but it's there and the MC is easy to understand. Hopefully he fleshes out a little more over time and undergoes some kind of internal growth. Who is he, what are his flaws, and who will he grow into because of his experiences?
There are minor grammar and style issues, but these are to be expected in such an early draft. I would consider the use of past perfect tense at times. Also the semi-colon instead of commas where applicable. The language is easy to read.
I'd definitely recommend Astrala to litrpg fans.
While there are signs that this is still a work in progress, things improve dramatically over time, so read beyond the first couple of chapters to get a better feel.
There's some great characterization here, a lot of time spent building the two main protagonists. Both Astral and William feel fully realized and give the novel a strong YA feel. It takes time to understand the story world as more parts are revealed. This results in some mystery that keeps you turning the page.
The story has potential and I look forward to reading more.