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Unlockable Content by Korina Skye

Press Start to Continue Living 

Unlockable Content is a fantasy webserial set on an Earth with multiple connected layers, each containing different worlds with different flora, fauna, and sometimes even different physical laws governing their structure. Just over a year before the start of UC, CS Grad Student Risa learns that not only do these layers and the creatures she once thought were myths exist, but that she carries the soul and memories of an artificial phoenix/dragon hybrid created by humans to hunt and kill demons. Her life’s finally starting to settle back into a semblance of normalcy after going on the run from the magic using human community that created her kind and having to argue her case for her freedom. She’s gone back to her graduate studies and her demon boyfriend’s apartment, but now she finds herself with more time to contemplate what all of the recent changes in her life truly mean. What responsibilities and struggles come with her newly rediscovered magic? With her ageless life? What purpose is there to the dreams she once had as a human?

Note: Unlockable Content is unfinished, with no recent updates.  It contains some harsh language.


A partial series, with no recent updates

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Listed: Jun 16, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

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Geeky Angel

By Fiona Gregory, editor

May 14, 2013: In the Unlockable Content universe there are many world layers, our mundane one and others full of magic and mythical beings. The main character is an angel called Risa – not a Judeo-Christian Angel but a powerful winged being bioengineered by humans to protect themselves from predatory soul-eating demons. However some things went wrong and now Risa is the leader of a sort of Angels’ Liberation Front,and she has a demon for a boyfriend. So there.

Likes:

— Risa’s personality. She’s quirky and silly, but brave and kickass when it counts. The occasional Risa geek-out is always good for adding some humour to the story.

— How the relationships between the different species are interwoven with the history and geography of the world(s). It’s original but makes sense, and is a great setup for lots of cool stories to happen, and they do.

—The layout of the site. Very clean and easy to navigate

Issues:

— Although the characters are drakes, dragons, demons, phoenixes, angels, and humans, all seem to spend the vast majority of storytime in humanoid form. This makes it harder for me to remember and believe in what they are. There are some hints of cultural differences but maybe not enough. They all speak and interact with friends and family pretty much the same way, for example. An interlude featuring demons in their natural habitat helped compensate for this; I’d love to see more of that.

— Having a demon for a boyfriend requires being cool with the fact he takes delight in (and requires) the killing of innocent people and eating their souls. The development of this relationship took place before current storytime and this doesn’t seem to be something Risa thinks about much anymore, but to me it seems kind of a big deal. Risa seems to have a moral compass, but despite her best friends still being humans, demon killings don’t seem to trouble her at all. I can somewhat buy it – she’s come to identify with Fey and what they do -but I’m having a little trouble grasping how exactly she rationalizes this sort of thing.

(EDIT July 2013: The author has been addressing these points in more recent chapters)

Final Comments: This is a great serial to jump into now because while there is a lot of archive to read, you could also start with the current story – the World and Species pages will give you enough background to get orientated. The weekly updates are regular and generous.

It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty cool – an enjoyable read.

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