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THE MINOTAUR PALADIN

Improving along with the author.

By Rhythm, author of Touch

Dec 11, 2018: Right. The Minotaur Paladin. Okay . . . 

This is surprisingly hard. See, TMP is, to my mind, not the best of stories. It is by no means bad, but it’s not great. Why is this hard for me to say? Simple. Because it could be great. If I’m honest, reading this feels like watching a teenager write the Hunger Games. Cool concepts and engaging characters, but marred by the written execution of an inexperienced author. This might sound like I’m being unkind, but I want to be as clear and honest as I can when I say the following:

The writing needs work. Read it anyway.

That being said, let’s get on to the nuts and bolts of the review.

If you’ve read this far, then you’ll already be aware that I think the writing quality is lackluster at best. There are some good turns of phrase in here, and the dialogue and internal processes of the characters are well executed upon, but the overall writing from line to line is deeply flawed. You have misspelled words, failures to capitalize, and grammar that is choppy at best, a problem that lessens in later chapters, either because the writer found a decent editor, or because they learned a little more about consistency while they were writing, but still flawed enough in the early stages to make getting to the good bit a slog.

I shall stop looking at the writing here. Suffice to say that the flaws in this story’s execution are severe enough that I would usually withhold a recommendation . . . Were it not for the following:

The characters made me laugh. Not just your typical "oh, what a zaney situation" laughter, either. Proper, engaged in the actions and mindsets of these characters laughter. It made me care, and it did so in a startlingly short amount of time. I was empathizing with these characters as early on as chapter three. That’s a hard task even for a pro to do. I’ll give you a line from the story to show you what I mean. It’s from chapter three, too early for spoilers.

"The Demi-Lich was lonely. All it wanted was someone to talk to."

One concept. One concept, and Nimbus made me care. This sort of writing is scattered all across TMP; these tiny, unimportant side notes that make me sit back and think of these characters as PEOPLE. Whether it’s a boss monster trying his damndest to be a good person in spite of what reality is pushing him to, a system administrator who’s just DONE with every server user’s s#!t, or a Demi-Lich who only wants a friend. This kind of characterization work is what can make or break a story for me, and TMP has it. Gold star.

The plot? Yeah. It’s okay. It goes to some very interesting places with the way it handles the integration of the core concept with a human world, pulling a more realistic feeling portrayal of a world subjected to the whim of pure individualism than most have been able to achieve. I’m not sure if Nimbus realizes the critique their setting makes of Randian individualism, but if they do, then well played.

That being said, the villain groups aren’t anything new. Particularly at the start. Some drug cartels, a white supremacist group. Nothing that an experienced reader won’t have seen before. The story wins back some points by opening into snippets of some tertiary groups that really helps expand on the world building, but the villains themselves feel a little boilerplate, at least early on. I won’t get into it further, because spoilers, but yeah. All in all, I’d call that pretty good.

So. TLDR. The story’s good. The writing needs work. The style’s fun, and the characters are great. Nothing too out of the ordinary, right?

No.

See. Here’s where I might have to start getting a little philosophical, so take what I say from this point on with a grain or two of salt.

Every genre, over time, will take on story after story and back up trope after trope until it feels like you’ve seen everything you come across a hundred times before.

TMP doesn’t do that. That, more than anything, is why it carries my recommendations. When a genre grows old and stagnant, there is, almost invariably, something new that comes along and turns everything we have learned to expect on its head. For Mecha, it was Evangelion. For Shounen, we had Hunter X Hunter. TMP isn’t there yet for Isekai, nor for what I will hesitantly call LitRPGs. But it could be; and with a little more experience for the writer, then by the will of The Three, it will be.

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I COME FROM THE WATER

Fantasy

By krei, member

Dec 8, 2018: Funny, with black humour and stupid heroine)

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TELEPATHS: THE PARK SLOPE CONSPIRACY

I want more)

By krei, member

Dec 8, 2018: Great story )

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