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HOW TO AVOID DEATH ON A DAILY BASIS

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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MOTHER OF LEARNING

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By Minichirops, member

Dec 30, 2019: Fanfiction is a guilty pleasure of mine, so I’ve often run into writers whose tenses change mid-sentence, and I’ve almost always immediately stopped reading. Adittedly, I may have been missing out this whole time, but this is the first time I’ve read something, looked past the occasional tense change, and enjoyed something for what it is.

Good dialog, distinct characters, world-building without info-dumping.

It’s worth reading. Doubtless further editing will make it a priceless addition to the pool of web serial talent currently gracing the internet.

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THE WANDERING INN

Infuriating and Deceptive

By Thedude3445, author of Rainbow Destructor

Dec 10, 2019: I actually made my very first digital return on Amazon this week thanks to the audiobook of The Wandering Inn, Volume 1.

I was about 15 hours in, longer than most other audiobooks I have ever listened to but less than halfway through the FIRST VOLUME of this behemoth. And, for a large part of my experience, it was a quite fun time. The world is nicely built and feels lived-in; the protagonists have really nice voices, and the prose is far better than you’d find in a typical isekai fantasy story. However, the story, advertised loudly as a fun slice-of-life fantasy romp, is anything but.

In the beginning, our protagonist Erin is faced with constant hurdles and barriers, incessant setbacks and stupid mistakes. She accidentally finds monsters, accidentally pays too much for food, accidentally breaks her fly traps, and more shenanigans. It’s fun! Until, suddenly, it turns into a complete mess!

Everything to do with goblins in this story is despicable. It’s tonally jarring to the rest, eliminating all humor sometimes in the span of a single chapter. It’s filled with vivid depictions of gore and grieving and PTSD. And the way goblins are portrayed is morally reprehensible, trying to balance making them mindless creatures and sentient beings at once. It comes off so badly that if you swapped goblins for a human ethnic group, it’d be more blatantly offensive than a 50s cowboy movie.

It’d be fine if the goblins only popped up once or twice, maybe. Maybe. But they don’t. They keep appearing over and over, each time completely removing itself to become some edgy violence storm, I guess to better appeal to the teenage readers or something? It’s all completely unnecessary. Honestly it enraged me like no other fiction has recently. All of the goodwill the story had given me was sapped up completely.

Honestly, Erin as a protagonist was starting to annoy me, too; the way she was so "moral high ground" barging into a city filled with non-humans came off as generally very rude, and it was clear that the author does not have experiences of being an outsider in a culture apart from her own. The way she dealt with the constant trauma was kind of weird to me, too, usually disappearing pretty soon after the edgy scenes were over. The fact that I was getting tired of her this early in the story was a sign that I did not need to be continuing.

There was still one promising avenue left in the story before I decided to return it— I really liked the Ryoka scenes, a completely disconnected second protagonist that would have been aggravating except that her story was much more interesting. However, it wasn’t interesting enough for me to trudge through the rest to get it.

The Wandering Inn is, what, millions of words long by now? I’m kind of glad the story was so bad in the beginning that I didn’t get invested, because that’d have been a mega timesink.

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