Selected Reviews

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ELAN MEETS RAFA

Editor’s First Impression

By Chris Poirier, editor

Apr 12, 2014: We haven’t often been asked to list webcomics, but the few times we have, I’ve said no. In those instances, it didn’t feel like webcomics fit with our catalogue. The stories were told in images, not words—they were drawn, not written. Elan Meets Rafa is different. The story is complex and textured—layered, even—and feels very much like something we’d list. So I’m listing it, even without a request from the author.

I’ll post a proper review once I’ve written it. In the meantime, if you are a fan of light romance, and stories about kind people growing up in a rough world, give Elan Meets Rafa a shot.

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MAGE LIFE

Magically Delicious

By Maddirose, author of Orbital Academy

Apr 11, 2014: Mage Life does a very difficult thing for a fantasy serial; it balances character interaction with world-building, and it does both quite well.

The world of Mage Life seems to be a very fragile one, both physically and socially. In the physical landscape, magic has caused a great disaster that affected the land, leaving traces of magical imprints and dangerous creatures. The people themselves have also been affected by magic; society is still reeling from a recent revolution which overthrew the [more . . .]

 
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THE FIVE KINGDOMS

A Lyrical Fantasy

By Emma, author of Undestined

Apr 9, 2014: The Five Kingdoms is told in first person by a bard named Agapios. The narration has a beautiful, lyrical feel, and unlike many first person stories, the narrator himself is very unobtrusive (which I like), and allows the reader to explore the world for him or herself. Because Agapios’ journaling is known to the other characters, they direct him to where the action in the story is taking place, which is a nice way of dealing with the problem of why a narrator just happens to always be where things [more . . .]

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PORTAL

No title

By Paragon, member

Mar 30, 2014: I picked up Portal a few weeks ago, and have to say that it’s beaten my expectations. The premise isn’t particularly original, involving a government organization run by normals, bent on persecuting and using young Enhanced (the author’s name for people with powers). Despite that, the story is well written and has kept my interest. There are a couple of great things about this story; first – the action. Both major fight scenes in the story thus far have been complex, with lots of different powers interacting in different and [more . . .]

 
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TOXIC

Funny,

By Tempest, author of Mage Life

Mar 28, 2014: My title says it all, I haven’t had a great deal of time, but I read the first chapter. What I got out of it was coffee up my nose, and a need for some wipes. My poor laptop took the brunt, it suffered in silence, but glared reproachfully at me. This stories voice is funny, with a capital F. Its urban fantasy at its lightest, well the first chapter is. Have a look, hopefully this review will get fleshed out when I have a bit more time.

[more . . .]

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PORTAL

Down the rabbit hole

By Tempest, author of Mage Life

Mar 28, 2014: I have been following Portal for awhile, I can’t honestly tell you how I found it, I can’t remember. But nevermind that. Portal is vaguely superhero fantasy. Easy on the heroics. It is centered around Michael Larson, a freshly Revealed Enhanced. Which in the lingo of Portal is a super. Michael can create wormholes, now due to some red tape he is obligated to register that he is an enhanced as soon as he knows. He didnt. If he had I doubt there would be much of a story. He [more . . .]

 
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SWORN

Editor’s First Impression

By Palladian, editor, author of Super

Mar 23, 2014: I was taken with the premise of this story, that it had sprung from the idea of the sworn virgins of Albania, who have assumed identities as men so that they would no longer be subject to old tribal clan laws, which say that women are the property of their husbands. The story itself is set in another world, however, one that seems to have some little magic to it, and which the author does a good job of introducing readers to, sinking them into the deep end from the [more . . .]

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PACT

Urban Fantasy as it should be

By bigjeff5, member

Mar 19, 2014: I have a love/hate relationship with Urban Fantasy. I love the idea of it. I’ve always liked good werewolf and vampire stories and such, and I daydream about magic being real all the time. The current crop of Urban Fantasy works however, is largely repetitive crap. Most of it is just a generic romance novel with werewolves and vampires instead of cowboys and pirates. I can’t stand it.

Pact is not that kind of Urban Fantasy. It’s not even the murder [more . . .]

 
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WORM

Surprisingly great.

By 7swords@live.com, member

Mar 18, 2014: I just finished Worm and I have to say it was quite the ride. It does so much right with little wrong. The characters are believable, world is intriguing, story and plot are pretty solid, and the main character is very relatable. It is a fresh take on the whole superhero setting as well and tries hard to be realistic and thoughtful, intellectual even, in a way not many others are.

I will say the whole bullied teen gets superpowers thing [more . . .]

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THE COLD INSIDE

Gripping Suspense

By Fiona Gregory, editor

Mar 18, 2014: "The Cold Inside" is a paranormal suspense/horror story in a particularly toxic high school setting. I was surprised how gripping this novel turned out to be. It’s a real page turner.

The protagonist (somewhat sympathetic, but not a hero), Tristam, used to be in the top clique who bullied the "nerds", but after an incident in which he apparently did something horrible to a dog, he has become ostracized and the nerds are now his only friends (sort of). Circumstances surrounding [more . . .]

 
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PACT

I vow to keep reading

By G.S. Williams, author of The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

Mar 17, 2014: "Pact" is the latest story from Wildbow, the WFG-acclaimed author of the superhero-themed serial "Worm". Worm was tremendously popular right away, as it had action-packed writing, nuanced characters, long chapters on a consistent schedule and an intelligent, intricate plot. In fact, it was so popular I avoided it for awhile, reading and reviewing other stories because it seemed over-exposed.

Then, almost exactly two years ago, I gave it a chance while stuck in the hospital for an entire week after the [more . . .]

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PACT

Editor’s First Impression

By Jim Zoetewey, editor, author of The Legion of Nothing

Mar 17, 2014: I’ve been reading this since it appeared. Actually, I’ve been reading this since before its official beginning. Wildbow posted the various options for what he was going to do next on his personal blog, and I read the first few entries there.

This was the one that sounded most interesting to me.

Pact is an urban fantasy. It’s worth mentioning that it’s not the kind of urban fantasy that’s essentially a romance novel, but with vampires and werewolves.

It’s the sort of urban fantasy that imagines sorcerers living in the modern period, and making deals with demons, and spirits of all kinds. If that sounds like it might be a horror novel, it should. Horror elements abound.

What I’ve seen so far includes characters that feel real, interesting worldbuilding, and short term and long term plots that promise a fun ride.

Those of you who liked Worm will likely enjoy Wildbow’s second serial as well.

I’ll write a full review when the story’s further along.

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