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THE LAST SKULL

No title

By Asmora, member

Sep 20, 2012: Intense.

I think a one-word review would truly do this story justice, but I suppose it could be more informational.

From the beginning, the writing draws you into the protagonist’s headspace. Before you even realize the backstory, you can feel her emotional reactions to her past. Every word and action flows, feeling like an obvious decision, yet they constantly reveal new depth to the character.

While The Last Skull is technically a story about an angsty teenage girl and the difficulties she faces, it never feels like one. It doesn’t get bogged down in her difficult decisions, search for identity, romantic problems, or any of the other classic hallmarks of that oh-so-popular story archetype.

Instead, it’s a story of a burgeoning badass. In some ways, it’s like Legion of Nothing, but vastly streamlined. In fairly short order, the fast-paced plot drags the reader from "plucky normal teenager gains superpowers" to "new hero on the block shows she has what it takes" to "badass climax and resolution."

The one weak point of the story would have to be the resolution. Judging from the comments on the latter chapters, it seems that real-life issues interfered with the author’s writing toward the end, so there is only a single post of wrap-up after the climax. It ties things up nicely enough, but I wish there had been a better let-down after the hectic pace of the story.

The fact that the story is complete was a big plus for me. It is relatively short (I finished it over the course of three or four nights), but not too short. It has the feel of a long novel or a short novel and sequel, rather than the long, cumbersome stories that are a hallmark of most web fiction.

The Last Skull is one of my favorite serial fictions, and I hope Robert C. Rodgers continues to provide us with more pulse-poundingly intense stories.

4 of 4 members found this review helpful.
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THE LAST SKULL

Original Origin

By August Mack, author of Project Redemption

Sep 23, 2011: Last Skull is a story well worth your time. Essentially, it’s a tale of a girl named Sue Daysdale who discovers that she’s part of a long lineage of super heroes. She finds this kind of shocking at first (wonder why), but she quickly grows into the roll. Along with the help of her old, school-of-hard-knocks mentor Sumerset, she gradually develops as a character, to the point where she can take on her family’s arch-nemesis, Scourge.

The series is split into two books. Book One is fantastic. It is essentially an origin story, but as someone who has read more comic books than is healthy, I can tell you that it’s more original than you’d expect. There are a lot of surprises throughout and Mr. Rodgers really captures the voice of Sue well. She’s wonderfully sarcastic, in over her head, but not nearly as angsty as Spider-Man (I love you, Spidey, but really. You’ve got super powers. Stop your whining.) I think the only time Book One falters is during Sumerset’s lines. Sometimes, he spoke in a way that reminded me more of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and less of, y’know, old people.

Book Two unfortunately doesn’t quite live up to the strength of Book One. Sue Daysdale is still the center of the story, but her personality seems to become less important as the greater Skullverse is revealed. Every moment there seems to be another calamitous event which only the Skull can stop, and if she doesn’t everything is doomed. Basically, everything feels so hyperbolized, it’s difficult to get excited. It’s fun in its own way, but I miss the smaller moments, where Sue was just some sarcastic teenager who was in over her head.

That said, this really is a fun read that I’d recommend to anyone with an interest in super heroes, or even just looking for a good first-person female protagonist. Like I said, Daysdale’s perspective is the highlight of the series and that perspective alone makes it worth the read.

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THE LAST SKULL

No title

By Wynterlex, member

Sep 9, 2011: Super heroes, exciting dramatic plot, characters who really make me want to read on. I am loving this story so far!

1 of 2 members found this review helpful.
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