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HOW TO AVOID DEATH ON A DAILY BASIS

Why are you reading this? Go Read the Novel!

By WriterHubris, member

Mar 12, 2017: I actually dropped this novel when I first started it. It wasn’t the novel’s fault, something else that I was reading at the time had done a huge release of like ten chapters and I got pulled into it. I almost completely forgot about this novel even before I really gave it a chance . . . Gotta admit, I goofed when I did that.

This novel is a great piece that manages to buck a lot of cliches and tropes that are normal for stories like these. On top of that, the main character is interesting enough that being in his head doesn’t get boring. Rather it makes his reactions to the world around him all that more interesting thanks to his viewpoint on them.

Many other authors tend to make gary sue characters for these stories, and rarely does it create a character so apathetic toward what’s happening without it becoming a dark and dreary story of teen angst. But while this story SHOULD be going that way, it doesn’t. I’m actually expecting for some goth teenager to show up using a razor blade to play violin using his arms, but nope, never happens.

That’s actually good too, considering it has great portions in it that are actually funny, and would lose that dark comedy aspect if it got too serious of it’s own self.

I give this story a 5/5, and hope the author enjoys writing it as much as I and hopefully many others enjoy reading it.

3 of 3 members found this review helpful.
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HOW TO AVOID DEATH ON A DAILY BASIS

The Cynic’s Progress

By Fiona Gregory, editor

Dec 14, 2016: Sometimes, you just feel like reading something light and fun. This fits the bill.

We have a grouchy, cynical unreliable narrator, who is a great source of sardonic humour. He’s not as useless as he thinks he is, as in his quest to survive he finds himself becoming the reluctant leader of a group of misfits, who ironically bring out the best in each other. Not only do they survive, they bring themselves to the attention of the powers that be in this weird fantasy world, which brings a host of new challenges.

Despite their unexpected skill at survival, I like that none of the characters turn out to be supermen or superwomen in disguise. They are all flawed, callow, but in their own way decent young people in a fish out of water situation. The characterization is exaggerated for humour, but actually quite insightful.

Besides the humour, I enjoyed all the twists and turns and surprises the world holds, throughout which the fast-moving plot manages to hang together remarkably well. Dislikes? Nothing much . . . it is what it is, not meant to be deep or taken too seriously, just magical adventure with a humourous twist. Kudos for consistent and frequent updates.

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HOW TO AVOID DEATH ON A DAILY BASIS

TLDR; read the novel.

By DUHJ, member

Jun 18, 2016: Chapters: Short Update Rate: Very Fast

Action: The story moves from one arc to the next, each successive one tougher than the last. But the story doesn’t build up any pressure, the plot doesn’t act like a cohesive whole.

That said, the arcs themselves are well-paced. There is enough tension and climactic payoff. There are chapters in between the arcs that act as fillers and focus less on the action. This is an approach more commonly found in TV shows rather than books.

Romance: Not a focus but does contain romantic and sexual undertones. In the later third of the novel (as of writing this, 100 chapters have been published), romance serves as a focus but still does not play a major role.

Humour: Mostly situational and slapstick. Story can be more accurately described as one that contains humour rather than one that is humorous. The narrative allows for witty and dry remarks.

Humour (along with the romantic elements) mostly serves to spice up the chapters that otherwise do not contain much action or to give situations a light-hearted feel.

Dark: As the story progresses it gets darker in Action, Romance and Humour.

The story becomes bloodier (this is not the same as gorier), with more mature (and crude) romantic elements. Humour, at this point, becomes more subjective than it was. The situations and plots turn more controversial.

However, the story has always had dark elements, even in the very beginning.

Writing: Simple. The prose is there to advance the plot and nothing else. Slips into the background. It reads like a first draft (which it is).

Has some stylistic elements that detract from the story and there is no such thing as subtlety in the novel. Thus, certain scenes seem cliche-ridden and comparable to bad fanfiction. They are few but they stick out.

This is more apparent in some darker scenes where subtlety would have been preferable.

Themes: Survival, Pragmatism, Nihilism. Story gets dark sometimes, bruv.

Characters: Okay. Development is slow or non-existent. They are not terribly relatable and blend into one another. But the first-person narrative prevents you from getting bored with the protagonist. And it contains a few interesting, if flat, characters. Expect the usual entourage of sidekicks, romantic interests, and villains.

Comments: Don’t read this story if you want characters, prose or romance. If, however, you are interested in seeing a different take on the fantasy genre then this may interest you. The plot is not the same old hero’s journey and neither is the protagonist a hero. There have been better representations of the cynical, nerdy, pragmatist but this one isn’t bad either. The situations are somewhat unique and original.

I do recommend you read it.

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