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It’s All Relative by Najela


The magical world of Atheria is in a state of political unrest. Tensions between magical creatures and magically inclined humans are escalating. Atheria is unraveling at the seams as more and more creatures disrupt the essential balance. Amidst the chaos, a young exiled revolutionary promises change and freedom, but at what price?

Despite the midterms, finals, club meetings, parties, classes, and everything the average college student has to deal with, this group of ragtag college students is not ready for their lives to change. When the conflict starts hitting closer to home, our heroes will be tossed into a battle between good and evil where the sides are not so clearly defined.

Note: It’s All Relative is unfinished, and will likely remain so.  It contains some graphic sexual content, graphic violence, and harsh language.

An abandoned novel

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Listed: Jan 11, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

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Anime serial with shapechanging college students

By Linda Schoales, editor

Feb 7, 2009: “It’s All Relative” is a web serial modeled on Japanese anime. The main characters are animari, or shapechangers. They wear Spirit Bells on their collars to prevent them from changing inadvertently. They’re also college students in a world called Atheria which has contact with Earth but, unlike Earth, allows magic. Outside the college, villages are being attacked and destroyed. The authorities are responding to the threat by imposing a curfew on all magical creatures, and restricting their travel. The students respond by organising a protest concert, outside of curfew hours. The showdown approaches.

The story reminds me of "Inuyasha", although that may be because one of the main characters has white hair, canine ears, rushes headlong into trouble, and blushes bright red. Takun can change into a wolf/lion hybrid. He’s rich, famous, and the subject of both tabloid articles and fangirls’ fantasies. His friend Sirod is a dog animari and she’s a bit more moody. Another friend, Sasuke, is a dragon animari. He’s very serious, responsible, and slow to take action. There’s a fairly large cast, which got a bit confusing, as some of the names were similar. Fortunately, there is a link to a “Cast” page with cute pictures of the characters.

There is a also an “Info” link which leads to pages of information about the University and the various magical creatures. This last link was useful as there wasn’t a lot of description given when new “creatures” were introduced in the story itself. The explanations came several “pages” later, sometimes giving too much information at once. Even so, after 12 chapters, I’m still not sure what a cursed wolf is, although I read a lot about what it isn’t. Also, I still have a few niggling questions about the animari, such as what happens to their Spirit Bells when they take them off?

The story started out strong with some interesting world building. I really liked the first paragraph, and the first two lines made me smile. “These weren’t the best of times or the worst of times. They were just times.” Then we had the introduction of Takun, who goes hunting. The action is well written, with a bit of gore. After that, the pace slows and there is a lot of talking. There’s lots of backstory getting filled in, characters getting fleshed out, and a fair amount of college-aged angst. The action does come back in brief sequences, but most of the tension comes from characters arguing with others, or themselves. It reminded me a lot of the few anime series I’ve seen on TV. The backstory is very interesting and complex. There are magical creatures, humans, and magic-using humans. There is history, there is politics and there is prejudice.

The series “It’s All Relative” is off to a fairly solid beginning, with an interesting backstory, a large cast of characters, and a crisis just starting to happen. The pacing feels like a TV anime series, with bursts of action and lots of arguing, but it has a slightly darker fantasy setting. If you enjoy watching anime series, you should give this a try. If the thought of college students with animal ears holding a concert to protest a curfew strikes you as weird, you should probably stay away.

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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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Sci-fi, anime, magic and college

By nomesque, author of Nomesque Fiction

Mar 31, 2009: I’ve got to admit, I found this serial more confusing than I’d like. While I enjoy being thrown into the deep end with lots of action and gradual disclosure of what’s really happening, I spent a lot of my reading time puzzling over what was going on and why. I suspect the main problem is simply that the author assumes knowledge that I don’t have. I’m not a big fan of anime. I don’t know much about foreign college setups.

Despite [more . . .]

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Relative density?

By Reyben, member

Feb 11, 2009: Apparently, "It’s All Relative" is a series modeled on Japanese Anime. I say apparently, because this really wasn’t apparent to me until after I had finished reading the main story and started poking around the illustrated section of the website. Said section was filled with a number of rather cutesy cartoon pictures of the cast, complete with gigantic eyes and even more gigantic heads.

Now, this did not fit with my conception of the characters at all. "It’s All Relative" may [more . . .]

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Relatively So

By Ryan A. Span, author of Street

Mar 6, 2009: It’s All Relative is a difficult one for me to review. For one, it’s a story from one of the subgenres I most dread—college fantasy. On top of that it’s openly anime-inspired, another thing for which I don’t have much appreciation. However, when you get right down to it, it’s a piece of fiction like any other and needs to follow the same rules and standards of good writing in order to earn a good score.

The story doesn’t start off [more . . .]

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