Aug 20, 2008: Children of the First is (to date, at Chapter 9) a fun little romp through the openings days of a young man’s college experience in a world of magic and racial divides. The story follows Sha’anyr NacRae’vyr (mercifully referred to as Shawn in the bulk of the text), his roommate, and some friends from his dorm, as they meet, deal with parents and some casual racism, enjoy some pot, and play sports. The writing is clean and straight-forward, and is often laugh-out-loud funny.
The story is set at a "magic" university, in a magic world of portals and spells and artifacts, with a cast of humanoid creatures (Shawn is dragonish; his roommate is lizardish; his friends down the hall are monkeyish; his coach is catish). There’s lots of technology (even the internet), but it is mostly based on magic (when it is explained at all). There’s racism, but it runs at about the same level you’d find at Hogwarts. These features combine to make the world feel—in some ways—like a magical Star Trek universe. But, fortunately, Children of the First manages to rise above that setting by focussing on the characters, not the setting, and giving them real personalities, a bit of snark, and a love of fun.
Children of the First doesn’t have a lot of depth. I did enjoy hanging out with Shawn and his friends, but that’s what I was doing: hanging out. Nothing feels very urgent, or very important, and I’m sad to say that if I forgot to catch a few updates—or a few dozen—I wouldn’t feel very worried about it. That said, delivered to my RSS reader, I’d probably enjoy a chapter each week. There are a few rough spots in the text (there’re a lot of hard-to-read names, but mostly only in the peripheries; and Chapter 2 needlessly spends time on backstory and mythology that would be better kept for a bonus story or an appendix), but, overall, you’ll find it a pleasant read.
If you’d like reading about the antics of some nice college freshmen, presented in a nice, light read with the occassional good laugh, Children of the First is worth a look.
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