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HERETICAL EDGE

Too much acceptance. But apart from that pretty good!

By Steve, member

May 18, 2018: Note: This is written as of reading chapter 34-01

I made an account to write a review. So here it is:

Heretical Edge – The plot is good. The characters have a degree of depth that is rare in many of these online stories. The descriptions and ideas are all great. I would recommend it to quite a few of my friends. But I didn’t decide to write a review because of how great the story is. I decided to write a review because I can no longer continue reading this.

Warning: Minor Spoilers ahead.

Why? Because no one ever draws a line in the sand. Essentially, every person has a line. One that cannot be crossed. Once crossed, the relationship with the person who crossed that line is irreversibly damaged. The characters in this story simply do not have this line. The most recent example of this is where one of the female characters finds the person who let a large number of people from her “clan” die. Instead of going “I can’t believe you did that, I hate you.” She attacks him, then pleads with him, then immediately forgives him despite what he has done, not recieving an excuse for the actions or anything. She has no prior relationship to the man. The only information we receive is that he let a lot of people she knew and loved die, forcing her to take on a role she didn’t want and give up her greatest dream.

She doesn’t respond negatively, she responds positively to this. Forgiving him, and recieving a pep talk from him about being chosen for a role. This sucks. I know that if I were in her shoes? I wouldn’t forgive him. At least not straight away, it would take more than what occurred for me to do that at the very least. Sadly, this kind of thing occurs repeatedly. Apart from that the story is really good. Really good. I went on and on about the bad thing there for awhile there but it is overall an ok story. The only other issue I had is the whole Satan thing. Which was . . . not great. Kind of . . . insulting. But this is a work of fiction and I have to remember that. It did taint the read a bit.

I would recommend to other readers to read this story and say what they think. Unless you’re a Christian like me, then avoid it like the plague. I should have know with something called Heretical Edge, but I just thought it would be a story about Swords of Darkness and dived right in (this should be in the Sci-Fi section, not Fantasy). Thanks for reading this if you did.

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HERETICAL EDGE

Excellent story for people who like things

By Walter, author of The Fifth Defiance

Oct 6, 2016: Heretical Edge is a story that will remind you of everything, and I mean that in the best possible way.

HE is immediate kin of Harry Potter. A character discovers that the world they have known is just a muggle subset of the true world. They are introduced to the world at the same time as the readers, and discover that they are at the linchpin of world shaking events.

It is also eating Twilight’s lunch, as the coolest characters in the story fall for our main character (well, almost the coolest. Herbie hasn’t made his preferences known yet.), and she has trouble choosing between them. Also everyone who matters is related to her or one of her buddies.

But HE also has some Worm in its DNA, sharing with a lot of other stories the realization that people with super powers fighting it out is very cool, and should be included.

And it followed Jessica Jones down a dark alley and stole how creepy mind control can be if you take it seriously. And there’s some Redwall in the lingering mysteries that only the protagonist goes around trying to resolve, and . . . 

Well, at the time of this writing they haven’t yet found a Death Note, but it wouldn’t exactly shock me.

But I don’t want to give the idea that HE is just a blender of all the best elements from other stories smashed together. There was clearly a lot of care involved in the assembly here, and HE has something interesting to say about each element it has included.

The main character is a delight, genre savvy and plucky without eclipsing the story. The supporting staff are interesting in their own right, and are fleshed out in optional interludes whenever folks toss the author enough cash. The villains are generally bullies and bigots, but have enough plausibility that you can grok how they are the heroes of their own stories.

HE’s world building is generally bound to the necessity of the plot, and this is definitely an onion story. That is, there are a lot of layers to peel off, and each time you think you understand something you’ll get a revelation in a few chapters that casts it in another light. Also there might be a little crying.

The story comes out at a quick pace and has an active commenting community. I’d recommend adding it to your weekly reads.

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HERETICAL EDGE

Quickly Becoming One Of My Favorite Stories.

By Hendy853, member

Feb 19, 2016: Heretical Edge is an engaging, enjoyable read set in a well thought out and developed world populated largely by excellent characters.

Note: This review was written when the story was up to Chapter 6-03.

Characterization in this story is (largely) one of its strong points. All the main players (and most of the side players) have consistent, clear cut, and realistically flawed personalities that are interesting and play off each other well. The main character Felicity “Flick” Chambers is intelligent, friendly, self-aware, and hits what I consider to be that characterization sweet spot where she straddles the line between competent confidence and occasional arrogance. Add in her burning need to know things and her generally well hidden insecurities and you get a character that’s easy to root for. And her narration has made me laugh out loud more than once. Flick is a well-crafted character and she’s not alone.

Another strong point of Heretical Edge is the worldbuilding. I’ve never seen a magical school quite like Crossroads Academy (although I don’t read a lot of magical school stories, so take that with a grain of salt), and the world it inhabits feels unique. There are familiar creatures like vampires, necromancers and angels, but they’re flavored to match the world around them and they share it with more unique beings like the Heretics. Add in the moral nuances and interplay between the factions (Crossroads is more sinister than initially presented, their rivals at Eden’s Garden are far more complex than the propaganda Sands spouts, and most of the various Strangers are absolutely not the monsters Crossroads paints them as) and you get a truly fascinating Urban Fantasy earth to explore. Also, the Heretics’ weapons are really cool.

One more thing I want to gush about in the tone. For the most part, the story appears pretty light hearted. That general lightness serves to mask that it’s actually a pretty dark tale, and every so often it makes detours into the pits of hell. For example, every time Ammon shows up, or the tearjerking backstories of some of the characters, or the disturbing implications of the Heretic ability to steal powers from their kills (as well as the side effects of said transfer). But even in the face of an undercurrent of horror, Heretical Edge is never bleak. Reading this story is compelling and, very often, fun.

This is not to say that it’s perfect. Heretical Edge definitely has its share of flaws. The initial arc, for example, is probably the weakest section of the story so far. The introduction to Crossroads Academy happens very quickly, and it feels very rushed and not entirely natural. The pace evens out in the second arc, but the story might fail to grab you in the beginning (for me it was the first interlude that made the story something to look forward to).

Another weak point is ironically the same as one of the strong points. Characterization. Most of the characters are as well-crafted as Flick, but some seem comparatively underdeveloped. This stands out all the more in the face of the more developed main cast. At the point in the story this review is being written from, Flick’s teammates Sean and Columbus seem somewhat flat compared to the rest of their group (though this might change in future chapters), and the antagonists of arc 4 (as well as the guy they’re trying to avenge) come across as straw-assholes rather than realistic people.

Some other points that I don’t count as pros or cons, but are worth commenting on:

The cast is heavily weighted towards its female characters. They get the most screen time, the most development, and the most tragic backstories. Most of the underdeveloped and straw-ish characters are male. I personally find this interesting, as the vast majority of stories I enjoy are similarly weighted towards the male cast.

Always take any and all exposition with a grain of salt. Cerulean likes playing around with expectations, and whenever someone (especially someone from Crossroads) exposits anything, the information is rarely entirely accurate.

Some of the material can be disturbing. Pretty much every one of Ammon or his father’s actions are definitely not for the faint of heart.

If you like it when the Big Bad is someone who can understand, a sympathetic person you feel like you could root for under different circumstances, you will be disappointed. The Big Bad of Heretical Edge (perhaps not of the world as a whole, but definitely the BB of Flick’s personal story) is an evil, evil man. I find this kind of refreshing. I read a lot of sympathetic antagonists, and I love them. But it’s nice to have someone I can just hate every so often.

I really like Heretical Edge, and I think you should give it a chance. Updates come on Mondays and Fridays.

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