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January 1st 1970
The quality of this novel is somewhat lacking. But for a light-hearted, quick and easy read, it is perfect.
It's impossible not to feel empathy for Eugene, a stunted scientist that has a crush on his jock best-friend. He's looking for a cure for the zombie plague that has infested the whole world.
Allies quickly die, and become part of the zombie horde attempting to take over the world. Eugene has to kill his zombie parents (he never like them in the first place, but killing your parents isn't nice anyway), then deal with his growing attachment to his best friend.
I think there has been an attempt to attract a les/gay/bi audience, but those people looking for any depth in the novel will be sorely disappointed.
Thant being said, there is nothing wrong with the way that this novel is written, it flows nicely and is a comfortable read. A good way to fill in time.
April 29th 2018
"Professional Quality for Free" permalink
This web serial has some of the greatest quality I've seen in novels period. From a technical perspective, grammar is perfect and writing is more than competent. From a story perspective, characters are rather interesting and the Mc definitely feels worth following, the world is developed expertly with no heavy chinks of exposition or the sort, and the world itself is rather fascinating. The only thing holding back a higher review is this serial's incompleteness, so I don't know if this quality will be maintained. With that said, if what we have so far is any indication, this is a definitely something you don't want to miss.
March 5th 2015
"Contagious Story..." permalink
Killing werewolves is well and good, but what happens when you start thinking of the lives behind the monster? What happens when you start saving people from their curse rather than damning them?
These are some of the questions that Aconitum tackles in a story that winds through the somber mind of Hector Rothenburg. A wandering plot follows behind this man’s actions in a world where werewolves aren’t just real, they’re an existence everyone knows of and fears. Fortunately, entire organizations of werewolf hunters have risen to face the challenge.
With a gradual build of its characters, its settings in an alternate universe Germany, and far reaching mystery that leaves the reader wanting the next page to know more, Aconitum becomes an infectious bite of questions and explorations of humanity.
May 25th 2013
"A hero whose only allies are villains" permalink
When Taylor Hebert, bullied teenager, gets a superpower that gives her unparalleled command over all the creepy-crawly creatures of the world -- insects, spiders, worms, crabs -- she knows exactly what she wants to do: she wants to be a hero. She wants to help people, rescue people, stop criminals -- the opposite of the bullies at school who make her life a torment. She spends a few months getting a handle on her power, doing some physical training, making a spider-silk suit of armor, and then one night she ventures forth to do good.
Where she ends up in a fight against a physical powerhouse of a superpowered gang leader with enhanced senses, enhanced strength, and the ability to generate fire out of thin air. And then is rescued by a second gang of supervillains ... who assume that she is a supervillain herself. And things only go further wrong from there as Taylor makes a series of hard calls in harder and harder situations, trying to help people in a world which doesn't appreciate her help.
The universe of Worm is quite dark -- villains greatly outnumber heroes, giant monsters regularly attack major cities, and no Comic Code or Hays Code protects the innocent from being subjected to death or worse -- but it is not a place that will go gentle into that good night ... and by god the writing is a thrill-ride.
Wildbow, the author, is one of the most creative inventors of superpowered fiction that you will ever encounter. The number of superheroes and supervillains one encounters over the course of the story easily extends into the hundreds, and every single one -- from the tiniest bit part character to the most prominent of pro- and antagonists -- has their own affiliations, personalities, and unique superpowers. More critically, the encounters between these superpowered individuals play out with all the energy and chaos of the greatest fight scenes in any medium -- and Taylor, as protagonist, is the greatest source of energy, chaos, and sheer fiendish ingenuity of them all.
The storytelling is not without its flaws -- for example, physical description of the characters is served out by the teaspoon and rarely reiterated -- but if superhero fiction is of any interest to you, if the epic struggle of flawed mortals to overcome adversity holds any attraction to you, Worm is a series that delivers.
April 29th 2013
"You won't be able to sleep.. You'll be too busy reading!" permalink
Worm is a story about making hard chices, trying to do the right thing, and dealing with the consequences. Wheb Taylor gets superpowers, she thinks she'll get a heroic escape from her normal life. Instead she gets mistaken for a villain! When Taylor goes undercover to discover the mysterious backer of a local super powered gang, she becomes friends with them and learns disturbing secrets about the so called heroes. And Taylor begins to wonder if turning on her friends is really the right choice.
I really love this story. There are nuanced protagonists and antagonists, mysteries, plot twists, and most importantly really really good writing. However, Worm is obviously a work in progress. For instance, the author has stated that zie wants to make changes to the work (changing the beginning to better fit the tone of the rest of the story, re order events so that they fit a novel format rather than a chapter arc format, and re ordering the echidna arc to not have a two chapter long fight scene), but zie will not have time to do that until the story is over. The other big warning that I have to new readers is that Worm is dark, scary, and disturbing. Wildbow was a horror writer before this and it shows. I love it, but Worm is not for everyone.
February 16th 2011
"Fabulous At Being Itself" permalink
Captive Prince is one of the best executions of the royal-warrior-becomes-sex-slave trope I have ever encountered. It's good at what it does, and it doesn't try to be anything it's not: It's really, really well-done homoerotic slavefic. There have been exactly 1.639 sex scenes, and I am still reading. It's not about the sex. It's all about the sexual tension. Which is exquisite.
The two main characters are more archetypes than real people, but they're archetypes that resonate, archetypes that can be related to. The sexual tension is almost agonizingly subtle, and more effective than most graphic sex scenes. The author deftly uses minimalist world-building of a Greek/Mediterranean and European flavor, and there's just enough pragmatic detail to be reasonably realistic and make me willingly suspend my disbelief for everything else. The Mediterranean culture mirror is also a refreshing change from the typically firmly European cast of alternate historical worlds.
The writing is smooth, rolling, and most chapters are quite polished. This was a completely unexpected gem.
May 10th 2019
"I'm many things, but I'm certainly not a hero. (c)" permalink
It is always hard to speak about things that you enjoy the most. Like there is some line, and when you've crossed it, your words are useless and you never can express your thoughts properly. I guess, I can only try.
"Dreams of the Dying" leads its reader to the breathtaking world of Enderal - deep and rich lore, dozens of interesting stories, tons of tiny details making it bright and alive, welcoming you in its "now", revealing some of its past. It is a world you want to explore.
The novel gets you to it - within the story of some cynical and attractive mercenary and his task. Life at stake, misteries, beautiful woman, some magic, promise of a priceless reward - all the things that should be in a good adventure. But there's more, because our guy is being followed by his own horrors. And who is not?
The story keeps perfect tension between intriguing and not overdosing with adrenaline. I love how beauty and horror, calm and fear, talking and fighting are balanced in it. Love the way it's written so I can almost feel myself all the colors, sounds, textures and scents. Love its characters - like them or not, they are not hollow decorations, and it is important. And the plot, sure, holds me tight.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to live a little in a world of Enderal with all his scary and beautiful wonders, for all emotions I've got so far and a pleasure of reading very good book.
September 6th 2017
"A surprisingly unique presentation of fantasy" permalink
This fantasy novel is about two teens living in the town of Dinod-on-Neidr studying “arach manu”, the art of magical crochet. The story begins with the hero, Dilys, in the gaol for a crime he did not commit after being betrayed by Aeronwy, the girl he hoped would become more than a friend. Eventually we discover that everyone living in this land must speak in rhyme by royal decree and pity the poor person who cannot!
The author combines fantasy, rhyme, crochet, and photography to tell his tale in a setting that has an old-time, other-worldly feel. In a word – it is unique – you won’t find anything like it on the internet. The site itself can only be described as a work of art. Photographs illustrate the story with originally designed crocheted figures and fantastical creatures placed in sets the author creates himself.
At first, I was surprised to see that the novel is written in rhyme. But I soon came to believe that the use of verse gives the tale a beauty and flow that perhaps would not be present without it. So, while some might say the poetic form is its greatest challenge, others might say it is its greatest strength.
Be sure to click on the buttons at the top of the screen. The ‘people’ button particularly provides important background information about the characters.
In my opinion, this novel may not be for everyone. But for the right person – one who can fully appreciate the entirety of this work – it will be enchanting.
November 21st 2012
"Nothing too original or taxing – but an enjoyable read non the less." permalink
The first few pages I found lacked sufficient plot and tension and might have prevented me from pursuing this story further. Nevertheless, I persevered and the reward was an enjoyable read. If the intended audience is the Potterites I am sure there will be those who will see too many similarities. However, there is sufficient originality to appeal and recapture the imagination of those willing to read it with an open mind. There have been comments about the time taken to load the pages. I did not experience this problem so it would not appear to be a general problem.
October 2nd 2012
"Addergoole is Addicting" permalink
In Addergoole: Year 9 the author has expanded her range tremendously with even more main characters than ever before. The amazing part is that none of the characters suffer for it. Each character is still as rich and complex as ever, and the reader can't help but wonder what each will do next. This is the most creative story I've read in a long time. The characters feel so real, which is really the highest compliment I can pay. The mysteries in Addergoole will definitely have you on the edge of your seat. I personally can't wait to see what else Year 9 has in store for us. If you're looking for realistic people and reactions, excellent writing, mysteries around every corner, and magic, Addergoole: Year 9 is for you.
June 13th 2012
"A must-read" permalink
This was the first original fantasy novel I ever read online, and it remains one of the best, and one of my favourites. The writing is rock solid technically, and the characterisation is incredibly sophisticated: in particular, the characterisation of Laurent through Damen's eyes is absolutely brilliant.
Freece also occasionally puts up "commentaries" of chapters, which blew me away with the level of consideration put into every language and characterisation choice.
The summary above doesn't really do the story justice: it is not only about hitting the slave kink (which it does), but evolves into a complex political fantasy as Damen navigates the labyrinthine Rabatian politics. The romance is exquisite, with some of the best-realised sexual tension I have ever read.
This is and will always be one of my favourite fantasy webnovels. Compulsory reading for fans of the genre.
February 28th 2012
"A little weak, but getting better" permalink
Gun to a Knife Fight is an interesting read. It's flawed, but it shows a lot of promise. A self-proclaimed noir novel, it follows a gritty private investigator who consults for the the police on an apparent murder-suicide that becomes linked to something larger and more sinister.
Much of the writing is dialogue. Anything more than a cursory description of the settings is rare, and that makes it hard to get sucked into the world of Detective Jacoby Stone. Often, all you have to go on to make the events play out vividly in your mind is...people talking.
The story suffers from some pacing issues. It's slow to start, although that time is used to wisely develop the characters. Once the story picks up, however, it moves too quickly, eliminating cooling-off scenes between important events. The beginning of the narrative is mostly smooth, and as it progresses it becomes jarring.
What frustrated me the most was the writer's frequent and unpredictable shifts in verb tenses. Often, sequences of events within the same paragraph will happen and be said to have happened...even though they all took place in the order in which they were described. But the writer did include a little disclaimer to say that he understands he's made some grammatical errors that he will eventually fix. I just hope he gets to those first!
The actual crimes at the center of the plot are interesting. It's difficult to be shocking and original when television is so saturated with cunning, depraved serial killers, but the murders in Gun to a Knife Fight are believably horrific and interesting enough to make me want to find out more about them.
The good news, I suppose, is that Gun to a Knife Fight appears to be heavily plot-driven and the plot is hands-down its strongest point. It's far from the best piece of web fiction I've read, but it offers just enough to keep me reading. There's a lot of potential here. It may turn out to be pretty damn good.
January 1st 1970
"Beautifully Paced, Characterized, and Described" permalink
This is the first piece of webfiction that really wowed me. Wysteria handles all elements of the story incredibly deftly. I love the everyday but uncluttered pace, the realistic character portrayals and interactions, and the touch of physical description that gives the surroundings life without pointing to any one Asian (perhaps my own assumption) culture. I love all the rare, delicious cultural tidbits that pop up (especially around festivals), and how I have to make my own connections and be content being left somewhat in the dark. After all, Suki has no reason to explain to herself what she already knows. I find this story both gripping and gently flowing. The author seems both talented and polished, and entirely unpretentious about it.
Suki is neither a Mary Sue, nor an anti-hero. She’s classist, sexist, heterosexist, racist, ageist, and probably a bunch of other -ists, and utterly sympathetic. She’s human, and building her life in the ways she has been taught and the ways circumstances provide her. She is very much a product of civilization. Sometimes I question her ability to write down past conversations in such precise detail, but I can suspend my disbelief in that I can believe that someone in her social role would need those kinds of skills to survive in the political climate of her empire.
I just got to book two, and it feels different. But it is different, and as much as I think wistfully of the flavor of the first book, I think the difference in feeling serves the story. So the second book is different than what I first loved, but it is worthy and intriguing and exciting all itself.
January 1st 1970
"experimental, but with little substance" permalink
A disclaimer: I generally post reviews only after having read a good proportion of a story (at least 50%, if not everything posted). I’m not entirely sure how much of content I’ve read of Flesh Wounds but – to be honest – I’m not interested in reading more.
Flesh Wounds is a collection of stories examining the darker sides of life – prison, violence, crime, and so on. Given that there are very few short story collections out there, I thought I’d give this one a try, since you can only read so many serials simultaneously.
To start on the positive side, a strength of a short story collection like this one is that anyone can jump in and start reading, without feeling like they have backlogs of content to get through. And given that they are all of a similar genre, there is a certain coherency between posts.
But I have to say I was disappointed. The short stories themselves had little plot, jumping around in time, much more character-focused than plot-focused. Perhaps I have a wrong expectation of the genre, but I expected a lot more meat and action, rather than the copious telling that occurs.
I also found the writing style off-putting. The tone itself felt, to me, quite put on, like that of cheesy Mafia film with a voiceover telling you in a faux-Italian accent about how tough life is.
The tone strives to be involving, in that it is informal and aimed directly at the reader, however it falls short of being engaging, because it is very hard to get a sense of the narrator. Only the barest scraps of details about the narrator are given, in a rambling stream-of-consciousness style that jumps back and forth in time, which, as you can imagine, is quite hard to sink in to.
Then – something which I found jarring, given the rather informal tone – there is often a discrepancy between the narrator’s voice and the author’s, the latter sounding much more formal, particularly given the slightly unusual overuse of quotation marks.
That said, the writing does have the occasionally striking image, but I don’t think it is sufficient to compensate for the aspects of the writing which I didn’t enjoy.
As for the website itself, the layout and colour scheme were fairly simple, clear and uncluttered – a definite strength. However, the lack of sequential navigation really aggravated me, in that it was hard to judge how much content I had read, and how much was left to read.
I do think that using tag cloud and categories is an interesting method of presentation, but I believe it should supplement a traditional table of contents, rather than replace it.
In short: kudos for the experimental style, very different from the average story up there. Unfortunately, the writing could have been better executed.
January 1st 1970
"Psychics, werewolves and bloody vampires" permalink
So you might have guessed from the title that I’m not a fan of werewolves. Or psychics, for that matter. The jury is still out on witches. So writing this review was difficult, because this story is very far from appealing to my personal tastes.
That aside, I have to give the author points for writing a compelling tale about people and beings I couldn’t care squat about. A.M. Harte can certainly spin a yarn, and knows how to keep the reader moving forward.
The story (so far – there are only 15 Chapters) revolves around Lillith, a human (or worm, or bland) who came up from the safe underground and got trapped on the surface with the Affected (or Infected), i.e. weres, pyres (vampires) and witches. All she wants is to get back home, but it’s not that easy. She was saved from a grisly death by the werewolf Silver, who is now very protective of her.
The story is not a “Gulliver’s Travels” style narrative. It’s definitely Lillith’s tale, and I suspect there will be some romance between her and the werewolf, who has his own little interludes in the narrative. And if you like reading about weres and the way they interact as a pack and all that werewolf stuff, you’ll probably love this story. Which I didn’t. So I’ll stop talking about the story now, and talk about the prose.
Like most urban fantasy stories, the prose is functional but not elevating. It’s clear though, easy to follow and not drowned in rubbish. A.M. Harte does a very good job of revealing just enough information to let the reader make sense of the world without resorting to long boring information dumps in the prose. The dialogue and character interactions are well handled and believable.
What I really liked, and I wanted to see more of, was the sense of wonder that A.M. Harte built in the first few chapters. The world is quite complex and I found it interesting despite the races involved, and I would have liked to see it explored a lot more. However that feeling of newness was lost as Lillith moved on with her story. Which is fair enough, but for me it took away a lot of the fantasy element of the tale, and made it much more mundane.
In summary, while I’m not raving about the story, I can appreciate the skill involved in its creation. A.M. Harte has shown that she can write well and knows how to construct a compelling story. If you’re not an urban fantasy buff, I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you do like your paranormal beasties all brooding and protective, you’ll probably love it.
January 1st 1970
"two psychics, one baby, and a mega-corp that owns them all" permalink
The story follows the psychics Addison and Shane, who both work for the mega-corp Triptych, a mysterious company that seems to specialize in almost everything. Both of the main characters are strong and manipulative; it’s refreshing to read a story with such complex characters and so much hidden politics at play.
Addison is passionate, stubborn and controlling, oftentimes bitchy, teleporting pet psychic of Triptych’s boss, and a fiercely protective mother.
Shane is a part human, part alien supreme martial arts expert and workaholic, who has no friends by design. As a matter of fact, any time he seems to experience strong emotions, he retreats into his emotionless alien side, thus appearing heartless and uncaring.
...now imagine the two of them having a baby.
Technically, this is a dark paranormal romance, which is personally not my cup of tea. But this isn’t the PWP you’d expect from the genre, this is something slightly more twisted, set on a background of a corporation that is as mystifying as it is sinister.
The beginning is perhaps a little slow, more character-driven than anything else, but the setting is intriguing, and I look forward to discovering more about Triptych now that Addison and Shane have a tentative trust. There are a couple of typos as well, but nothing too serious.
And the website is professional & easy to navigate, which made me very envious!
January 1st 1970
"dark, addictive and intriguing" permalink
In a world much like our own, hidden deep underground, is a secret school. And not just any school, but one where the students are part human, part something else. The story follows three of the new arrivals at the school as they try to come to terms with a world far different from anything they’ve encountered before.
Currently at 23 chapters (plus some lovely bonus stories!), I couldn’t help but devour the entire thing in one sitting. With so many school and college-type webserials out there, Addergoole comes as an utter relief. While there is some focus on relationships, classes, and the usual ‘school’ stuff, there is also a larger, darker subplot.
It’s well-written, and the premise is original. There’s a good balance between intrigue and explanation, keeping the reader’s understanding of the school only half a step ahead of the main characters’.
Negatives? It took me a while to keep track of all the character names (and I had to guess most of the pronunciations!), although the separate character description pages are useful in this respect.
As for the website it self, the thumbnail image here on Muse's Success is out of date: the background is now a soft, easy on the eyes sponged pattern. The layout is clear and easy to navigate. Other’s have mentioned the lack of an RSS feed, but I follow @LynThorneAlder on twitter and so get news of updates that way!
January 1st 1970
With the second book in this series well underway, new readers will have a good amount to get into.
Cleverly crafted as a story within a story, this tale takes us into a new world of history as well as the present, without any need to suspend belief. Ms. Miranda's style is eloquent and clear, carrying the reader into Temmin's everyday life with seamless shifts into the past.
As mentioned in the listing, mature content appears, but this is handled with grace by the author. While detailed, each scene flows with the story and is never portrayed gratuitously.
Bonus stories are offered to readers and always delivered with Ms Miranda's unique, quirky voice. Comments are almost as fun to read as the story itself and the author interacts frequently while still sticking to a regular posting schedule.
There's a wiki available for characters and keeping track of all 'the bits' - even a facebook group started by fans. A gallery houses artwork of some of the characters and readers are encouraged to engage in polls and spot competitions.
The only thing I don't like about the site is the time it takes to load all the flashing pieces on the side. I find it can also sometimes be distracting. But, it's a popular site with many extras on offer, so I can't complain too much.
Even if you forget all the extra bits for fans, the story itself is riveting, the writing engaging and I would definitely love to have a copy on my shelf. As I would never vote a full 10 for anyone but a Tolkein, Jordan or similar (sorry, Meilin ducks), i rate this story a full 9.
July 4th 2020
"Thank you for reading" permalink
Hey everyone, This is S.B.B. the author of Yam Hist in this story.
I really appreciate you finding our page and, hopefully, giving a review. Obviously I can't give a glowing review of my own writing without it being all kinds of weird, but I do have strong feelings about my co-writers.
Oberon excels in windowpane prose and dips into stained glass writing very deliberately and strategically. That range is impressive, but the control is more so. They are also the most logically consistent writer I have come across. They figured out the math for population mechanics based on age, reproduction frequency, length of life, and average brood size so that monsters would make sense. When I first get a chance to read their chapters I have a really strong impression that Cal is the main character and that the world is a second character constantly acting in the scene. It's just too vivid, detailed, and possesses such a strong sense of ambiance. This dude calculates the actual energy their runes would take, translates it into heat, and has made more than one fantasy language just so the gibberish they write in italics isn't arbitrary. You could drown in the details they have put into the world but somehow write so you have the option to find a depth that is comfortable and engaging.
Natalia has the most unique voice of us all. Her literary background is heavily influenced by Tolkien's work. Oberson may make languages for fun, but Natalia has actually taught various dialects of elvish based on the Lord of The Rings series. Oberson and I are both, more or less intentionally, windowpane writers. Natalia writes stained glass words as beautiful as she can make them constantly. The effort it takes to craft a single beautiful paragraph or perfectly turned out line is staggering. She even will take a pen and paper and write them longhand so that the words will have the right feeling of age and intentionality. On top of that, she is drawing world maps and switching rapidly between soft and hard magic systems to keep a sense of wonder in the works.
As for me, Yam is my experiment with making a character with larger than life traits. Jim Butcher talks about how his graduate school teacher forced him to do it, and now I'm taking his word (after having read the original opinion in /The Fantasy Fiction Formula/) and am trying to do the same. Honestly Yam's voice and word choice don't always remain consistent, his chapter can drag on and do have the economy of language that can come across in Oberon's work. Despite being wordier Yam also lacks the rolling ornate style of Natalia's. My only consolation is the horror on people's faces when I mention something offhand like, 'Hey, what do you think would happen if Yam found stimulants?'.
Please tell me what you like, what you want more of and what you want less of. At least for my own writing, I appreciate the data. Every like and every follow is a genuine shock to us. And, in my mind, leaving a comment or showing this to someone makes you part of our team. And I appreciate the time you chose to spend on our team's story growing.
April 5th 2020
"Hidden Gem!" permalink
This truly is a hidden gem, an absolutely astounding book that deserves all the praise it can get.
So let me, one by one, go through all the aspects of the story that make me love it.
-> Characters - a department I'd rate Scarlet Dream a 12/10 in.
Kais - one of the best-written protagonists of all time. He's an intelligent but overly cautious protagonist who is fun to follow but the best part about his character is that he develops completely realistically.
Ethan, one of the best-written characters of all time and my favorite in the story. At this point, I think he is in my Top 10 Fictional Characters of All Time. Here's why. He starts off as a jester, and plays the role perfectly. The author puts an image of a cold, calculating and psychotic individual in your head at first. But as the story progresses, you learn that there are so many more sides to him. He's one of the most complex characters ever.
Sona - I have rarely ever seen a better female character in a webnovel Slowly and steadily, she has been cast into one of the most dynamic characters in the story with a backstory that completely explains all her actions.
-> Story - 10/10 The story is about a war that seems to be unstoppable, as it is the wish of the 'god' for it to happen. However, there are characters who want to stop it and by doing so, save the world. Yes, god is against saving the world from destruction. He wants to bring the destruction. Do you know why? Well, I don't know either. And wanting to know something like that, is what makes this supernatural/mystery, this second coming of Attack on Titan, the next masterpiece in the line of complicated, philosophical, monochromatic stories.
-> Writing Quality - 10/10 It doesn't feel like the first book that this author has written. It feels like the guy has 40 years of experience and knowledge and is using it all for this book. There's not much to be said here because it can be surmised by one word - perfect.
Finally, enjoyment - 10/10. I am never bored, not even for a single line in the story. It makes me think and I love it.
All in all, I can say that this book has three words to describe it -> Dark! Interesting! Fun!
And the combination we get is, yes, a MUST-READ.
P.S. I have become such a big fan of the authors. I hope to meet them someday. And to earn that someday, I'll work hard to promote this story as much as I can.
Keep writing, author! We need you to!