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A well-hidden gem

By Chillypepper, member

Sep 18, 2017: I will begin this review by mentioning what a crime it is that this work of fiction is not on the top 10. Let alone being an extremely under-viewed one.

‘The Eagle’s Flight’ Is a high fantasy novel, a professional one at that. This is what I wish all high fantasy genres would aspire to be. A massive, well developed world set in medieval settings (Much like LoTR or GoT) That relies on showing you what this world is like rather than just blatantly telling you so.

The story begins slowly by placing a corner stone for all the characters in the first few chapters, making you see this world through its inhabitants eyes, the same ones you would follow in later chapters. It is evident that the world of Adalmearc has been thought through. The intrigue and political play that happens, in the beginning, is designed in a believable way, yet is easy to grasp to those that do not hold much knowledge in it.

The first couple of chapters might feel slow and taxing but you see what they are worth once you start delving in the story. (Personal favorite chapters at the beginning is the 5th to the 9th)

The story follows quite the number of characters around this world, there is no main character in sight, but pawns and pieces that are used skillfully by the author to introduce knowledge, story progression, and personalities to further enrich the plot. A refreshing addition to this is the 3D aspect which adds to characters depth as the story moves on.

Can this get any better!? The answer is ‘Yes!’. When I said that this story is a professional work, I meant that, from the world construction and characters depth, and down to the high quality, professional grammar. (Let alone the magnificent usage of words that flow nicely while you are reading.)

The author’s writing style is descriptive, yet moves into a more concise and upfront one when the situation calls for it. Every chapter brings its own charm and every landscape is described well enough for you, the reader.

I hope that I’ve managed to intrigue you into reading this amazing piece of work, and i apologize for any lacks in my review.

Enjoy the great read!

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Fun superhero fluff.

By Keshimakesh, member

Sep 17, 2017: I’ve been reading Super Powereds for the past few years, and it’s been fun. It posts consistently, and I try and read every Tuesday and Thursday when it comes out.

My only critiques are that the posts feel too short, and that there are no real stakes for the heroes-in-training.

The story would benefit from having longer chapters when needed. I’m often left wanting . . . but not in a good way. Sure, it keeps me coming back, but it’s probably not a great thing that probably 1/5 chapters makes me feel disappointed by the end of the read.

And maybe it’s not quite my cup of tea, but it feels like there aren’t real stakes for the heroes-in-training (which I guess makes sense, they are in a relatively sheltered environment). It doesn’t feel like the can truly lose.

Overall, though, I’d recommend it to other readers.

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The Twilight of Superhero Fiction

By GoodMorningSkyChildren, member

Sep 17, 2017: You know how Twilight is the absolute nadir of vampire fiction, yet still managed (back in the day) to have legions of devoted fans who not only overlooked its flaws, but claimed those very flaws were what made the series so awesome and people who thought otherwise "just didn’t get it"?

Yeah. That’s what Worm is like.

I could write an entire novel about everything wrong with this story, and more chronicling my bewilderment that it managed to become as popular as it did, but in the interest of brevity, I’ll just give you the highlights.

The Protagonist: Taylor Hebert is one of the most unlikable protagonists I’ve ever had the displeasure of following—which is ironic, considering I should identify with her. Like her, I was bullied; and like her, the school mostly brushed off my concerns. But Taylor . . . ..jeez. I think her character is best summed up by an early scene: She’s in the same class as her bullies, and the teacher has them split up into groups for an assignment. Taylor winds up in a group with two students even more unpopular than she is, and rather than treat them with the respect and kindness she never received, she describes and treats them with contempt. Don’t expect this hypocrisy to go away anytime soon, because it’s her defining character trait.

Protagonist-Centered Morality: Taylor teams up with a gang of superpowered teenage criminals called the Undersiders, one of the most morally bankrupt group of characters I’ve ever seen. Don’t expect the author to treat them that way. No, they’re nice to Taylor, so they’re portrayed as a bunch of tragically broken people forced into a life of crime by a world that couldn’t care less about them. Even though they’re murderers, thieves, rapists, and bullies. The only Undersider who is treated as contemptible is, coincidentally, the only one who doesn’t treat Taylor like the best thing since sliced bread.

A Complete Lack of Research: Where do I begin? If the author brings a real-world issue into this story, expect him to get it absolutely, hilariously wrong. For instance, Taylor’s bullying. Public schools ARE notoriously lax when it comes to confronting bullying, but Taylor’s school goes out of its way to avoid helping her. Her bullies create a health hazard on campus and wind up getting her put in the psych ward for a week? No need to discipline them; we’ll just have a meeting with them and bring Taylor back to school when she’s discharged. Oh, and she can’t change schools because apparently this is the ONLY school in the US with "rules and regulations about the distance a student is allowed to have between home and a given school." Seriously. I’ve both attended and worked for public schools, and transferring is the easiest thing in the world. You know how in Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Junior enrolls in Reardan High School, and then has to beg rides, walk, hitchhike, or stay home when his parents can’t drive him? That’s what it’s like. Schools don’t care how far you have to travel. Taylor could enroll in a school forty miles outside her city, and the very most the person behind the counter would do is raise an eyebrow and say "That’s quite the hike. You sure you’ve got a ride?"

This is just one of many, many examples. One interlude was so poorly researched it actually made me angry. Another interlude centered on emotional abuse, a topic I am as familiar with as the author is unfamiliar. And when the author brings in the police, expect it to get very ridiculous very fast. Suffice it to say, the author of Worm worked primarily off of his assumptions—and those assumptions were nearly always wrong.

A Poorly Constructed World: In this world, superhumans have existed for about thirty years. Remember how in Watchmen, the existence of superheroes completely changed the course of history, affecting everything from science to social mores to entertainment? The world of Worm is the exact opposite of that. Superhumans have been a part of life long enough that children don’t remember a time when they didn’t exist, but everyone acts as if they just appeared two months ago. Nowhere is this more apparent than when a civilian super is tried for seriously harming someone with her powers, entirely on accident. Thirty years is long enough that this should have happened before, and that the judge and jury should have a precedent to work from, but they all act as if this is the first time it’s happened and she’s an absolute monster for it. (Remember how I said one interlude was so poorly researched it made me angry? This is it.)

Should Have Been Set in Canada: The author is a Canadian who has never been to the US, and it shows. Especially in his treatment of guns. Now, guns are a contentious topic in my country these days, but if there were superhuman gangs stalking the streets, you can bet that gun ownership and training would become more widespread than they are now. People would want to protect themselves, and they’d know from experience that neither superheroes nor police would always make it in time. And yet, in this story, guns are treated like an afterthought. No one seems to own one, few superheroes or villains use them, and when they are mentioned, they’re essentially useless. Taylor does more damage with a baton than anyone ever does with a pistol. It’s clear that the author doesn’t want guns to interfere with the powers he’s created, so why didn’t he set the story in a country where guns are uncommon?

More Grimdark? More Grimdark! More Logic? No Way!: I don’t think I’ve ever read a story that reveled in its own darkness the way Worm does. One interlude in particular centers on a character who is hated by her family, is accosted by a serial killer, and misuses her powers while alienating her crush—all in one chapter. It’s all too much to take seriously—especially when the darkness in the rest of the story stops short of realism.

Take the frequent hero/villain fights as a prime example. Hero/villain fights are expected in superhero fiction, and in a grim, gritty world like this one, I expected line-of-duty deaths to be tragically common for superheroes. Nope! Apparently, there’s a law against using lethal force in battles between superhumans, and the villains (yes, villains) obey it because killing a hero would bring the wrath of their surviving comrades on their heads? Uh, no. Criminals in our world know that killing a cop will make them prime targets for angry, mourning police officers, and yet cops are still killed. Their murderers still boast about it. The law against murder is not a deterrent for people who have made breaking the law a lifestyle choice. Killing a superhero should be a badge of honor for supervillains, and yet the villains all meekly refrain from using deadly force because . . . .reasons, I guess. In a world where a man can turn into an enormous dragon, this bit absolutely killed my suspension of disbelief.

Stop Using Spoke, I Spoke: The author doesn’t like using "said." "Spoke" is his favorite substitute, and it is distracting as hell. Look, for all of you aspiring writers out there, there is nothing wrong with "said." It’s an invisible word. It functions as a dialogue tag without drawing any attention to itself. "Spoke" does the opposite, drawing the reader’s eye to the author’s word choice—which is not what you want in a dialogue tag. The purpose of a dialogue tag is to let the reader know who is speaking and their tone, if applicable. That’s IT. That’s ALL. I know I might sound disproportionately angry about this, but you try slogging through over twenty arcs of the author trying to find new and fun ways to let you know who’s speaking. It gets old fast.

In conclusion, this is not a great superhero story. It is not even a good superhero story. If you want morally grey characters who blur the lines between good and evil, read V. E. Schwab’s Vicious. The primary narrator is a villain protagonist who has killed, cheated, and manipulated to get what he wants, and yet he is a thousand times more likable than Taylor Hebert.

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