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CITADEL

A Superpowered Viewpoint Roulette

By Shogi, member

Feb 1, 2015: "Citadel" revolves around the lives of an incoming class of trainees at the eponymous campus. The author invites us to follow the daily lives four main viewpoint characters at what amounts to Quantico for superheros. After some whirlwind paced introductions, the narrative then proceeds to rotate frequently amongst the 4 main characters while also often diverging to view events through the eyes of side characters.

To be perfectly clear: the viewpoint of this story changes a lot.

If you are looking for a story that has one or two compelling main characters who you will get to know like good friends and through whose eyes you will view the world, this is not the story for you, at least not yet. Development for any given character is mostly accomplished within the entries written from that character’s viewpoint. Due to how often the viewpoint changes characters are fleshed out very slowly. This tendency can make it seem as though the characters are merely archetypes rather than actual people. Unfortunately, the most compelling character, to me, isn’t even one of the main ones, but that might just be because she is Awesome. This is not to say, however, that I do not like the other characters; only that it might benefit the story to spend a little longer with each one in order to better establish a connection between them and the reader.

There is no such problem with world building, however. The world of Citadel is well conceived, sufficiently detailed, and mostly believable, particularly with regards to the nuances of the paramilitary law enforcement organization. Powers are interesting, though their origins remain mysterious so far, and go beyond the standard "flying bricks." Of particular note is the power of Jenny Awesome (yes, that is a superhero name, and yes, the naming convention for Citadel agents is both campy and brilliant).

Currently, the story is almost entirely character driven, which is to say, there is no real central conflict to drive the plot, though there is some foreshadowing and hints around the edges that not everything is status quo at Citadel and I am hoping the promises that the author is making to us within the writing will be fulfilled.

All that being said, Citadel is worth a look if you are a fan of the superhero genre and if you like seeing (mostly) college age individuals with superpowers thrust into boot camp and trying to obtain top marks in class by mercilessly beating each other within an inch of their lives.

3 of 3 members found this review helpful.
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CITADEL

Very cool.

By Eren Reverie, author of Et Alia

Jan 2, 2015: I’ll just start by saying that I started Citadel last night and finished the archives last night.

The setting is well done, though you are thrown into it without a lot of world building. However, this alternate modern-day earth is similar enough to ours that you can make basic assumptions and be okay – and the author does an excellent job of introducing the social and historical differences in a way that is both natural for the characters (no info-dump expositions for the sake of the audience) and informative to the reader: I didn’t have much difficulty picking things up as the story went along.

That said, the really strong point is the characters. The point of view shifts every few chapters, so rather than a single main character you get introduced to the inner workings of multiple individuals The characters are interesting, and their unique motivations and experiences give them individual ‘voices’ that help keep it clear who’s point of view you’re currently reading. I very quickly found myself unable to decide on a favorite, and found I was just anticipating the next chapter, rather than the next chapter from a particular point of view.

The action scenes are fast paced and fairly brutal; the powers are diverse and their exact working is not always what you might expect from how they perform – but even so, again, in my opinion the really strong lure of this story is seeing what the characters do with their abilities, how they handle the situations they fall in, and how their inter-relationships develop.

Citadel is well worth reading, and I have the feeling it is going to turn into something epic.

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CITADEL

A Strong Start

By Mandragons, author of Milgram

Oct 17, 2014: Set in an alternate universe, Citadel starts us off with a time-honored classic; by throwing us in the deep end. I personally found it a bit tricky to follow in the first couple posts, there has been very little worldbuilding. Most of what I do know now had to be picked up as I went along. But don’t let that dissuade you. Citadel is still a newborn, and just needs time to blossom.

As previously stated, Citadel is set in a alternate universe. What I’ve gleaned so far is not positive, in terms of overall health, peace, and prosperity. The Citadel for which the serial is named after is basically what you get when you cross Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters with a militaristic governmental agency. It takes in superpowered men and women (typically teenagers or young adults) and converts them into powerful and badass agents. The world they inhabit is not a friendly place, and neither is the Citadel.

That being said, there are some new ideas for the whole ‘superhero academy’ theme. Already, we have seen fresh faced recruits beat their helpless classmates, nearly to the point of death, over and over again. While this may seem overly brutal to some of you, just remember the world they inhabit. Like I said before, there is little worldbuilding so far. What we do know is that violence, slaughter, mayhem, and war seem to occur around the globe on a regular basis. It makes sense to train your agents to fight fire with fire.

The stars of the story are interesting so far as well. A powerful man, haunted by some bloody trauma in his past. A boy who can suck the life out of you with a glance, forced to deal with this power for nearly his whole life. A shapeshifter who struggles with their sense of gender and identity. A likable self-duplicator who appears to have grander plans for the world. You’ve surely seen some of these types of characters in other forms of media, but they are still interesting to read about and follow. Citadel is still young, and will hopefully develop these people more as we go along.

For a relative newcomer on the scene of superhero web serials, Citadel is already a strong story. The posts have been frequent, the content interesting, and the premise novel. The characters appear to be complex so far, though we have yet to really dive into their psyche’s. All in all, Citadel is a good read. I recommend it to people who aren’t afraid of violence, who enjoy superhero fiction, and who are on the lookout for a writer with quite a bit of potential.

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