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ENDLESS STARS

Excellence

By Thedude3445, author of Rainbow Destructor

Jul 18, 2019: Endless Stars is why web fiction needs to exist, needs to be fostered and supported. In a traditional publication situation, this thing is a really tough sell—a fantasy story starring non-anthropomorphic dragons, with chapters that go on for 30, 40 paperback pages, with a story that mixes grand world-spanning struggles with small-scale adventures and slice-of-life character moments, focusing on such small details that the story’s barely begun after over 500 pages . . . Web fiction is where this kind of story works best, and we should be very glad to have it.

As of the end of Book 2, I will go ahead and say this is the best web novel I’ve read by a huge margin. I’ve still got a ton of the Greats left to go, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that Endless Stars is a cut above most everything else.

In this web serial, we follow Kinri, a young, mysterious dragon who follows Hinte, a young mysterious dragon, who is following her alchemical pursuits into dangerous lava-infested territory. As the adventure unfolds, as these two journey through discovery and peril, they grow emotionally close to one another, and we slowly watch themselves unfold before us. Both of these characters are great! The duo starts off at first glance as that kind of "jaded loner meets eager newbie" dynamic you’ve seen plenty of times. But as their characters are unveiled, as they grow closer together, this dynamic shifts considerably, and adds so much depth. Kinri and Hinte are both really good characters.

This adventure our heroes go on quickly turns into something much bigger than they had expected going in, but the story always keeps our two heroes front and center, making sure their journey, and their growing friendship, is never lost in favor of action, romance, or intrigue.

And as for those things . . . well, there isn’t any romance, but there is a lot of action and intrigue. Especially the intrigue. Kinri and Hinte have stumbled into some machinations of the highest order, and are essentially pieces in some greater game trying to figure out what’s even going on. I’m not a fan of excessive intrigue, and I usually avoid "dark fantasy" stories because they overindulge in throne room backstabbing nonsense, but Endless Stars does so well that I actually stay engaged in the story. As far back as I can think, this is the first web fiction that takes itself largely seriously throughout and I haven’t hated. How crazy is that?

Of course, and you may already know this if you’re reading this review, the REAL selling point for Endless Stars is the prose. This is Good Prose. This isn’t Good-for-web-fiction prose. It’s just plain good. Every sentence is packed with intention, every image vivid, every bout of introspection by our heroine Kinri solid. Outside of maybe a few one-off short stories or novellas here and there, you aren’t going to find a story as well-written as Endless Stars.

The "drawback," if you’ll call it that, is that this is not a fast-paced story. This is not for the binge-reader type to consume in one sitting and forget about a week later; it’s meant to be read, not skimmed, and it’s going to take some time to get through. That may turn off some people, but it shouldn’t.

If you want to get absorbed in some real good stuff, if you want characters worth following, if you’re tired of the endless repetitive grimdark fighting stories or shallow anime regurgitations, you’ve got to look at Endless Stars.

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ENDLESS STARS

Blood Squeezed From Stone

By ElliottThomasStaude, author of Mourners, Abednego, Persistence

Jun 15, 2019: There have been a number of reviews of Endless Stars at time of writing this. Originally, this was to be just one of those, saying the same things that have already been said. Snuggle Squiggle is an auteur of no small skill, a regular matador of the pen who goads highly contained and relatable story from that charging vandal that is the blank page stirred to anger. Do not misunderstand, this is not to claim that Endless Stars is less than amazingly fluent in certain of the biological and earth sciences, or that the weaving of fantasy falls short of lifelike. It also is not an attempt to say that the WAY in which these peeks into the lives of their characters are done is in any way lacking, from the exceptionally expansive and multipurpose serpentine vulgate peppering dialogue and introspection to the pacing of tiny conflicts among greater ones. No; more important than any of this is the fact that this work honestly falls into a category which in my shelves has about as many members as I have limbs: it is HEARTWARMING. From the outset, these characters made a genuinely lasting impression, and I would honestly try to hug Kinri if not for the unwisdom of trying to hug a creature with an armored exterior. You have a protagonist sympathetic for adversity not borne of catastrophe or fortune, but simple anxious uncertainty of self – someone who just wants to know whether they’re really worth being called “friend” as they work to dig up deposits of exotic substrate and find crustaceans. It’s the sort of thing where you might despise everything about fantasy and still love the cast more than enough to tear through it. Check it out. Please.

A note of import: as of early 2020, the site is available at https://starsendless.wordpress.com/

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ENDLESS STARS

Draconian Days

By Sharkerbob, author of Graven

May 9, 2019: Endless Stars is an interesting take on a fantasy story as seen through the eyes of a dragon.

Snug has a great grasp on prose, lending the book a more literary feel than most serials. Likewise I really like seeing the story through the dragons perspective; the use of draconic body language is a nice touch to hammer home that the characters arent human while still giving them a realistic presence. It is also entertaining to see how they percieve other creatures such as humans.

The characters themselves are fine, Kinri makes a decent perspective character. The plot has some degree of intrigue and mystery to it, which help flesh out the dragon society. I’ve heard a few people say that the story can be confusing with terminology, but I really don’t think it is. As long as you pay attention to the context, you should be able to follow along no problem.

If I had a particular criticism it is that the story is paced very slowly. Chapters are long and winding, leading to a definite slow burn as we gradually learn about the world and uncover the plot. But I think that is just a personal gripe. People who prefer that kind of pacing are likely to enjoy being able to just immerse themselves in the story. If anything that lends to the literary feel.

I recommend this for people who like xenofiction and those who would like to see a fantasy story from a different perspective.

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