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A Rather Fitting Reflection of Nature

By Loud Thomas, author of Battle is an Art

Oct 13, 2018: Quick warning, this was done as a review swap.

Onto the actual review, I find myself really liking Nature’s Kingdom despite the number of issues I take with it. So I’ll start with those then move onward to what I like.

My absolute biggest issue has to be worldbuilding. A lot of things can be introduced at any given moment, and not elaborated on to an extent at which I feel is acceptable. This really distracts and angers me, since what is shared often sounds rather interesting. I also see this as somewhat of a bonus because I feel that this helps to show how out of debt our main character is to all the new shit going on in her life. However, I don’t feel that this bonus outweighs or even balances out the issues I take with the worldbuilding. It just makes it slightly more bearable.

Another issue I have with the story is really summarized in a single chapter, the interlude with Kazuya (who I’ll be getting to in a just a bit). Within this single chapter, a lot of exposition I didn’t really care for was given. This information really just destroyed what I thought to be a rather interesting question that had been built up within the previous chapters by answering it a rather unsatisfying manner. And that’s how a feel about quite a bit of the exposition, it’s simply handed to us when needed and a way that I don’t find too interesting.

And my final issue (this is really just a nitpick, but I’ll be damned if I don’t share it) is that I don’t really like how a situation in the first chapter of the story was handled, it kinda just rubbed me the wrong way.

Now onto what I actually liked, I often find myself caring for the characters in a story far more than anything else and the ones present in Nature’s Kingdom is an entertaining bunch. I honestly feel that of the main cast, the protagonist, Mercy, is the weakest. Not because she’s written poorly or anything of the such, she just seems a bit more passive than I like in my leads. Other than that, Mercy comes off as a teenager should with a bit of snark, nervousness in situations when she’s out of her depth, and generally in the moment. She’s rather relatable I think. Now when moving onto the other’s of the main cast, I find them all the more entertaining and fun. Their personalities come off as distinct and everyone functions under motivations that really make them feel alive. My two personal favorites being Tiffany and Kazuya. Tiffany because she’s snarky, funny, and always ready to share her thoughts to those around her. Kazuya because he’s a regal asshole who even when near death doesn’t really seem like he has any fucks to give.

Something else I found myself rather liking of was the character dynamics. When communicating with each other, you really get a sense for everyone’s relationship with each other and their status of mind. When the dialogue doesn’t involve vital information, it flows rather well and really captures my interest. This is often compounded with the goofiness of certain characters and the situations that they might find themselves in, making everything just that more fun.

The actual story itself is still in its infancy but what I’ve seen has managed to capture my attention. The action present really feels fantastic and awe-inspiring, really driving home just how powerful some can be. Viewing all of this from either Mercy’s first-person perspective or third person when anyone else is concerned, really helps set the mood and situation in my eyes.

Nature’s Kingdom has its issues, some can really bog the story down. But if you can take these issues and look past them, you find something I believe is quite beautiful.

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