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THE NEW HUMANS

The Shadows Of Innocence

By Sharkerbob, author of Graven

Sep 15, 2019: The New Humans was a hard sell for me. I’m not much for child protagonists, school-setting stories, or child protagonists in school-setting stories. And while I don’t think there needs to be explosions in every chapter, slow-burn character dramas tend to feel like a slog to go through, even when you throw super powers into the mix.

I’m glad I gave the story a second chance, however. The New Humans is a well crafted tale that does a fine job exploring themes of prejudice, child psychology and development, cultural conflict, and ultimately, the insidious mechanisms of psychological control.

Each of the child characters read like actual children, which is refreshing to see so well applied. It lends an interesting perspective to proceedings of the story. As an adult, it’s easy to forget what it was actually like as a child, the wonder, the innocence, the terror, and the ability to be a terror to others without even realizing it. Throw in super powers and an alternate history where the emergence of superhumans is putting the fear of god into the human populace, and all the societal conflicts that entails, and it definitely feels like a fresh approach to the genre compared to the usual jaded teenager or washed up adult struggling against that same world.

The setting itself is also quite interesting, once the author starts peeling back the curtain. Without going into spoilers, there’s a lot more going on in the background that lead to this world of superhumans, and the alternate history created by their presence makes for some fascinating backstory. Aiding in this are numerous footnotes throughout the chapters filling in the details, that in other serials would probably have been crammed into the narration somewhat awkwardly, or put into Lore Articles half the readership might not have bothered with. I actually haven’t seen another serial do that technique, and its a nice touch.

All that aside, I will say that what initially put me off, and what still made it a bit of a slog on the re-read, is the slower pace, and the feeling at first like the story is just kind of meandering between characters and plot points, until about two thirds into Book One, when the various threads start weaving together.

Likewise, there is a twist on the premise of the story that I won’t spoil, but I will say that finding out that twist ahead of time is the only reason I gave the serial a second chance. I’m glad I did now, but I’m not sure if keeping that twist a secret until near the end of Book One is the better choice. The hints are drip-fed to the reader later on, but it takes a while, even then.

Anyway, I would recommend this book to this with an interest in a slower-burn dramatic story, and those who’d like to see one of the better rendered child-perspective stories out there.

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SPECIMENS

You can read the story here!

By mrouzbanian, author of Conqueror

Sep 8, 2019: If anyone wishes to read this story, you can do so here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VGh4E1y3UVcJUqWtJCSSyKLxVtSltprQYgYC7_21CuI/edit?usp=sharing

It’s a google docs link, that is accessible to all. The authors website is currently down and may never come back up.

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THE WANDERING INN

Wandering interest

By sunflowerofice, author of Technically Abroad

Sep 6, 2019: Alright I have currently read all of the first two volumes of this story so my opinions might change after I have read more, and yes i plan to read more and catch up and be someone who keeps up with how it is currently going.

That said here is my review. First i wanted to give it four and a quarter. I’m not sure why but four feels to low and four and a half feels to high. I can’t really verbalize why to well, but it just feels right saying that.

So lets get started. This is the story that focuses on Erin as a young lady who turned a corner and found herself in another world. When she gets there she has no king waiting for her, no god or goddess to gift her with powers and skills well beyond the rest and no book explaining how everything works in this world.

She finds her life and risk and runs for it and doesn’t stop til she finds an abandoned inn and cleans it up just a bit, not because of any big reason (not that i could think of one for this) but because its so filthy that she can’t even go to sleep and when she goes to sleep she gets a level! in being an [inkeeper]

That is one thing this world has. Levels skills and classes and she gains the inkeeping class.

The next five, not including this one, number of paragraphs will have various level of spoilers so if you dislike them skip appropriately.

Erin is just outside of a town that is filled with a lot of people, but not a single human. She doesn’t even meet another human for a long time. It is full of drakes, gnolls, and to a lesser degree antiniums which are.. . . . the best way to describe it i can think of quickly is bug people. The look more like bugs than people so less like furries i think . . . .

Anyway time goes on and she makes friends, she levels up and shakes a lot of things up to a large degree. She fights against a flesh thief, undead, goblins, and an annoying mage named pisces. and she always seems to come out just fine

She is a bit trusting and obliviuos and despite things, like goblins, trying to kill her she hates the idea of killing in a world much more kill or be killed than earth.

Because of this mindset where everyone should be saved, which im not saying is bad, she saves a thief who destroyed a lot of stuff who was banished from the town which was basically a death sentence. Since her inn was outside the town she took her in to work for her.

Because of this the gnolls basically put the crime from the thief onto her. Not really the best thing. And this is the only comparison i will use from another series and mostly because its so well known. the cultural things are very complex and interesting just like the character like how in harry potter (yes i know everyone compares stuff to this but sorry) how goblins and house elfs mindsets are so different than people.

The characters are very interesting as well. They have different thoughts, motivations, desires, likes and dislikes and so much more.

And the world doesn’t have plot armor. people die and so far don’t come back willy nilly easy peasy lemon squeezy. I hate when people can die and just walk back into the story after a week no matter what.

You also get to see the story from other peoples point of view not just erins.

This is great because it lets you see more of the world and more peoples point of view of things. Seeing the world from a locals pov vs a non locals can be dramatically different.

That said this is the only part i feel brings down my level of enjoyment. While having a lot of people you can read their pov you will have a favorite one and ones you look forward too. On the other side it means there will be people you are less likely to want to be the lead. That doesn’t mean anything bad about it it just means the character doesn’t click with you.

I have one such character. She started out as someone I enjoyed reading about, but lately i felt like I had to force myself to read it. Part of me was tempted to just look at the wiki and skip it but the story is to good to do that.

Many chapters have multiple points of view which is another reason. I am hoping i enjoy the character more in the future like I did when I first met her but like i said that is just my opinion not something you should take as a reason to think down on any level.

So in ending should you read it? Do you like fantasy stories with a bit of real world characterization? if yes than read it! if you just like fantasy in general read it. If you hate fantasy.. . . . then why are you looking at this review this far down? you must be curious so read it!

Sure if you are like me your excitement for each update will vary based on who the story focuses on, but you can always look forward to the next chapter starring the character you like best.

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