Feb 17, 2016: Ever since Harry Potter and The Tapestry series, I’ve loved me some magic academy fiction. I’ve devoured novel after novel of this type, and one thing I can say, is that it can be hard to pull it off. Characters can become boring and flat, teachers flip flop between literal godhood and laughable incompetence, and there are so many cliches that one can fall into.
Thankfully Heretical Edge does a great job delivering everything great about the genre.
Great main characters. Flick is a strong female character done very well. She isn’t perfect, but damn does she try hard, and it’s great to see. So many independent female characters end up either being complete fluff, or a ridiculous "I don’t need any help" unstoppable flawless machine. Other supporting characters are really enjoyable, with the small exception of Avalon. Avalon’s a good character, and I enjoy reading about her, but she really steals the spotlight from some other cool characters and is a bit too perfect in everything for my taste. She has been getting some awesome personal growth though recently, which completely overshadows the flaws in her design. The other issue I have is how simple male characters can be. Basically every teenage guy in the story is either a sexist/racist asshole who literally calls a teacher a bimbo to her face or a hormone addled leering machine, which seems a bit unfair.
Excellent combat. It feels straight out of HunterXHunter with cool and well utilized abilities paired with plenty of desperate fights against opponents who horrendously outclass the protagonists. They also showcase the growth of Flick from a pedestrian to a badass monster hunter which is well handled and great to read.
Cool lore. It’s obviously well thought out, and deep. Not much else to say here.
Dialogue is pretty good as well. Falls flat with male characters, but most conversations feel organic. Some feel a bit quirky with the only purpose of being quirky quirky, but those moments are kinda rare.
Writing style is decent. Gets the job done pretty well. I enjoy it, but I’m no expert so I don’t feel qualified to praise or criticize someone on it.
All in all, it’s a great magic academy read with a great mc, fun and tense fights, and tangible character growth.