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rough start that got better

By sunflowerofice, author of Technically Abroad

Jan 1, 2020: Alright so here is my short term non spoilery review. It starts out a bit rough in my mind and it really felt rushed. It got better as far as i have read (which is just in book three) and i think it will do so based on the betterment I saw. Also the character isn’t hero mcheroson which I like. Or noble mchonorton.

now on for the longer one.

The series starts out a bit rough and rushed. In fact it feels fairly rushed for a while in a way. Based on the premise I won’t say it needs to be super long and drawn out, but it still feels pretty quick that things ended up how they did and how easily everyone adjusted to what happened, especially with the main character.

Another thing is, while i didn’t count it, I would be surprised if any of the chapters in book one had more than 1000 words. Book two only a few maybe. I know you don’t need every chapter to be like 10,000 words, but still. Maybe it’s just me but when every chapter is so short it feels like how I talked about dbz with friends once. You only need to watch one out of three episodes because you get last time and next time on dbz then you watch the one episode.

On the plus side the main character is more real. Flawed and more than a little bit of a jerk who is arrogant and looks down on people.

I also like how some of the stuff is done like how the mc tells the girls they should learn to protect themselves because we can’t know what people might do in a world where killing is more casual, even if it’s monsters they are targeting.

I will say though for how on the ball that he seems at times he isn’t very curious. Sure he has some social anxiety, but a few questions like maybe what are the laws of the land would have been nice to see him think about.

So while I wont say it is one I will rank as top tier I have easily seen worse and since it got better already I have hopes it sill keep doing so.

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Flashes of lightning

By theredsheep, author of Pyrebound

Mar 30, 2019: Imagine watching a battle at night during a thunderstorm. Everything appears in bursts: heaps of hacked bodies, their blood trickling into the puddled water on the ground. Blue flashes reflecting off shining swords. Screams of men and horses mixing with the howl of wind and the clap of thunder. It’s all very vivid, very intense. But you’d be hard-pressed to tell anyone what exactly was happening, which side was winning, or what it was for.

I picked up this story because it had a vivid blurb, written more or less exactly the way they tell you blurbs are supposed to be written. I clicked through to a professional-looking site, with a nice map and pictures and even an official teaser trailer. I read a story, written in perfectly manageable chunks, with good grammar and spelling. The writing was evocative, rich with emotion, pithy in its description of scenes and moments. Snow, mead, woodsmoke, steel, fog and clouds—it’s all gorgeously bleak and tragic and Nordic.

I’m just not at all sure what’s going on, because it’s all flashes of lightning. You see moments—nicely written moments!—interspersed with dollops of backstory, but not much straightforward description of the plot. It’s all alluded to en passant, never told. You have to infer what’s going on from the wry curses and fears characters express as asides, or else guess based on tropes. The runaway magic girl is apparently the protagonist, since she’s written with sympathetic traits. There’s a stern warlord after her, who’s bad because stern warlord.

Halfway through its current run of seventeen short chapters, I pieced together a bit more than that, but it’s so staccato that I didn’t have much invested in it. There’s no time to stop and breathe, to find out the big picture or what’s at stake. There used to be an unpopular queen, but I’m not at all clear what she was queen of, or why they don’t like her now. There’s people fighting, but I don’t know what they’re fighting for. Everyone feels doomed and hopeless, like the world is ending, and I don’t know why.

Just for example: in the second chapter, a lone headless body rides into a stableyard and falls off its horse, scaring the hell out of the local help . . . and that’s it. That’s the entire chapter, start to finish. She just describes it more artfully. There is no further context given as to why this corpse is significant, and it doesn’t come up later. I didn’t even feel the need to say spoilers, because what are you supposed to do with this information?

Three stars is "worth a look." It’s certainly that. But mind the rain.

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People turn into rabbits (and other animals)

By GriKit, member

Mar 29, 2019: It’s a story about a Korean girl in America called Rachel. Everything is all normal, until it’s not. It’s a fast-paced story that kicks off really fast in the first chapter. People turn into animals suddenly.

It’s weird. But fun.

The style is very descriptive and nice. The dialogue maybe needs some work, and the flow of the text isn’t always easy to read because the lines are so long.

But overall, the author is a good writer and you should check it out if you’re interested in a story like this.

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