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Feel a bit accomplished you read through the good, sad serial.

By Snuggle Squiggle, author of Endless Stars

Feb 2, 2019: Advent is a short and well-honed story. It’s a realistic work, written in first-person and influenced by diary fiction without leaning too heavily into the form. There are roughly twenty five chapters of several hundred words each, and for each there’s a footnote or three which are shorter.

The prose of Advent tastefully mimes a child — simple and declarative, almost suggesting stream-of-consciousness with its lack of commas or advanced constructions. Sometimes you’ll see the voice seem to grope around to describe something Luke doesn’t have the word for — “metal that’s so hot it’s liquid” instead of “molten”, for instance. It’s charming and never breaks your immersion with exaggeration or excessiveness. Aside from the flavor, the prose flows and renders masterfully. Once or twice it is marred by a typo, but chances are you wouldn’t notice.

Advent does not try to give exhaustive descriptions, or transcribe every encounter. It strives more to render vividly with details and impressions instead of the sort of immersive realism more common in web serials. While this robs the story of a certain kind of viscerality, the reader remains present in Luke’s mental landscape, and that is all what the story wants and needs.

Meanwhile, the characters of Advent are solid or even good. Luke is a study in complexities, cynical and troubled yet still childish. While I was engrossed in his perspective, it never felt like identifying. His perspective color all impressions of other characters, yet even the ones he does not care for still have suggestions of depth shine through. It’s clear that Luke and his mother are the focal points here, and their characterization is at times tangible. The other characters complement them decently enough.

The plot of Advent is perhaps its least exceptional aspect. It is straightforward to both a fault and a virtue. You wouldn’t be quite surprised at how it ultimately turns out, and yet the uncertainty and tension runs taut through it. And once it reaches its final cadences, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to tear up.

When it all comes together into a story, the result is a resonating and memorable piece of web fiction. It does not truly grip you — it doesn’t make you stay but doesn’t give you reason to leave. This is not a story that satisfies viscerally. But on an abstract level, I find it fulfilling.

The ending is not poignant, but I cannot decide if it’s a fault. It’s simple, wistful, and feels kind of fittingly empty. It is not a great ending. But I don’t know if this story could — or should — have had a great ending.

Due to its length and realism, I feel confident recommending this story to just about everyone.

Brevity isn’t a common sight in web fiction. Telling a straightforward story with a only couple characters is no less impressive when it works, and for Advent, it works quite well.

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