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Tales of MU by Alexandra Erin

High Fantasy, Higher Education 

Tales of MU is an open-ended serial detailing the college life of one Mackenzie Blaise, a university student in a world where our fantasy is reality and our science is fantasy. Moving from her sheltered existence as an outcast and self-professed geek into the wild, wide world of Magisterius University, Mackenzie narrates her own story for us in a style that is at both snarkily self-aware and naively oblivious. When the story begins, Mackenzie is nobody’s idea of a heroine, which makes it a very good thing that the world isn’t in any particular peril. This, folks, is high fantasy at its least epic: nothing more or less than the story of a life.

Note: Tales of MU is unfinished, and will likely remain so.  It contains pervasive graphic sexual content; also, some graphic violence and harsh language.

An abandoned series

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Listed: Jun 29, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

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In your face fantasy.

By Donna Sirianni, editor

Aug 10, 2008: It certainly has some excellent writing and the characters are realistic and gripping. It makes me almost want to sympathize with the narrator right from the get-go. It’s written in such a way that the university she writes about could actually exist. The attention to detail of the school itself proves that the author lived it firsthand (college in general, I mean).

On top of that, the fantasy element brings an intriguing breath of fresh air to the mix. What’s going on with these people/things and magic is normal in this world and downright shocking to us. It’s like Harry Potter on acid, but a good acid trip. The magic makes it interesting and not just another coming-of-age-in-college story.

I also like all of the spins she put on the implied fraternal organizations and school clubs and such. They’re really inventive and fitting to the world. I was laughing at a few of them. The satire playing here is subtle but poignant.

A couple of the parts I read were a bit dragging. While it seems, in part, to be read like a diary (the first person past tense POV, to me, makes it read like that) and while the description can be fine in-head, on paper it can get a bit rambling. The descriptions of all the characters in the meeting room, while interesting and seemingly written to prove the diversity of the school, got to be a little much.

Also, the story as a whole is extremely slow-moving, the focus being more on the characters instead of advancing the plot. Readers should be aware of that going in. There are five books and hundreds of chapters total but, like the other reviews have pointed out, only a month has passed in story time. Personally, if I were considering reading on, it would make me wary of excessive overwriting simply because those are a lot of words to push through such a short amount of time in-story.

This is completely personal and has nothing to do with the writing; it kept reminding me of high school more so than college and the last thing I want to do is remember high school. I guess it’s due in part to the age of the MC since she’s only months out of high school but I just can’t and don’t want to relate to the angst she has. Bad memories.

This isn’t something I would read because of that high school connection. Yeah, it was that bad. Not that I haven’t read other high school/college aged stories but this one just struck a nerve. It’s one of those things that you can’t pinpoint but you know it’s there. The fantastical elements make it amazing but I just can’t relate to the MC for purely personal reasons. I tried it because one, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about (worth the fuss, let me tell you) and two, it just looked fun. It certainly followed through on both but again, it keeps hitting that nerve and it’s keeping me from reading more.

I’m not one to deny a person has writing talent even if I’m not going to actively read the work. From what I have read, it is a really well-written piece that deserves the attention it’s been getting. The girl’s got talent, that’s for sure. This is a miss for me but I think every serial reader should at least give this story a try. It holds standards for what serials should be (quality-wise) and I think it could be considered a major movement to the positive in the web serial world.

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Magic. College. Pitchforks

By Sonja Nitschke, editor

Jul 26, 2008: Tales of Mu is the story about Mackenzie Blaise and her experiences as a freshman at Magesterius University.

The school is attended by a diversity of races: half-ogres, satyrs, fauns, humans, and elves just to name a few. The college is a layered tapestry of individuals, none of whom who are particularly two dimensional or cliche (which is rather refreshing).

The story is highly character driven, which is what first drew me [more . . .]

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Not For Everyone

By Eli James, editor

Dec 5, 2008: Note: This review originally appeared, three years ago, in Novelr. It is outdated.

There are worlds you can get lost in, and there are worlds you just want to get out of. It is testament to Alexandra Erin’s writing ability that Tales Of MU is set in the former: the characters may be flawed, unlovable and downright weird, but you can’t help but continue reading, no matter what she throws your way. Erin does a marvelous job of hooking and bringing [more . . .]

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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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Not a fan

By intergal, member

Mar 21, 2010: Alas, Tales of MU. It had such a great concept. The story started out very well, and the writing was superb. I charged through several hundred odd chapters in a few days.

Tales of MU is about Mackenzie Blaise, fresher undergraduate student and half demon, who attends a university for beings with magical powers. It tracks her various misadventures, romantic and otherwise, during her time studying at Magesterius University.

However, as the [more . . .]

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Losing Interest

By Aurelio, member

Jun 24, 2009: As with a lot of the other recent reviews, I’ve found myself quickly losing interest. The pacing of the story is just too slow, and there’s too much interesting information not being covered in favor of extending coverage of sexual exploits. The character development is hyper-focused on the sexuality of the characters. While that’s obviously an important component of maturing, I find it somewhat distracting and overdone in this serial.

As in real life, there are things to like and dislike [more . . .]

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Given Up for the Most Part

By Alex McG, member

Aug 29, 2008: I used to really love MU. Not that I didn’t have problems with it in the past—the syntax is a bit clunky at times, pacing is slow, not enough magic—but I shrugged those things off because it updates five times a week (so syntax is forgiven) and I was entertained. I’m simply not entertained anymore. I found myself trudging my way through chapters in hopes that it would be "a good one." It’s just that nothing happens anymore, it’s gotten repetitive, and the same issues come up again and [more . . .]

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