This was a review-swap but I’ll say that I’m always honest when reviewing and criticizing others; review-swap or not.
Chapter reached: 69
Writing (⅘): The writing in this story is a cut above almost all web novels on amateur writing platforms. Although fairly light to read when it comes to western standards, and easy to pick up and follow, it is in no way bad. Using descriptions when needed, the story’s writing is more than enough to keep you engaged.
There are minimal grammatical or typographic errors. Most having to do with pronouns, like calling a single male’s object ‘their’ instead of ‘his.’ Furthermore, subjectively, there’s places where the word flow could use improvement to make things clearer and more enjoyable to read. Are these small gripes numerous? Not at all. You will hardly notice them if you’re engrained in the story enough, but they are still there.
In essence, the writing style is perfect for the story, but the writing itself could use a once-over at certain times.
Plot + World Building (⅘): The plot is initially a slow-burn. The idea and set up was definitely interesting, but I felt like the path to simply begin to progress in the story alone was a drag and I almost gave up on the novel there. When the two main characters actually reach the city, that’s when things begin picking up both within and without the game.
Right now, the plot is still following a ‘magical school’ setting and I think it’s well done. It’s definitely not on the level of Harry Potter or the like, but the author brings his own charm. The explanation of [Classes] and [Races] was, for all intended purposes, perfect. And I can’t wait to see how the main character uses the system and his unique set of skills to grow stronger and more confident. The magical system is, although implemented well, standard and will not shock you.
The real life segments, when the MC is out of the ‘game world’ are not interesting enough. Let me rephrase that, *the real life segments are not interesting enough when compared to the game world.
You built and made this amazing world where the MC can grow in power and the like, and then you cut the story in half with the real world? Interesting premise but, most people that read are likely to come for that RPG-like world, that fantasy, that power growth, not earthly maneuvering. Whenever I see the irl sections of the story, my first thought is on when we’ll be going back to the fun stuff. Sorry author, that’s my pure perspective from a reader’s standpoint. From an authorship standpoint, I can understand why you have the irl portions, however.
I’ll reiterate. It’s not that the irl potions suck, far from it, it’s simply that in comparison to the amazing “other world”, it has a ways to go. Furthermore, it seems to cut into the pacing of the novel. Whenever an irl segment pops up, it feels like nothing is being done or accomplished.
The rest of the plot is to be seen. There are things being set up. But it’s to be seen.
Characters (5/5)): The characterization in this work is splendid. Individuals given names in the novel have character, personality, and lives of their own. That’s just a simple fact. I think people may or may not love the characters, but there’s no doubt that they exist as realized individuals.
The main character in particular is, without a doubt, fairly fleshed out. We know his personality. His thoughts. His little action quirks on his behavior. And, what I think is most important, and many web novel authors forget, we know his goals. And I don’t just mean “get stronger.” That’s always a given
Then there’s his ‘sidekick’ who acts more as a secondary main-character within the story. He’s basically a tsundere.
There’s really not much else to say on character work other than “It’s magnificent.”
Dynamic Descriptions (⅖): I call this segment ‘dynamic descriptions’ but you can think of it as ‘descriptions in the midst of actions.’ Aka, descriptions when characters are fighting or simply doing something with their abilities.
I know I said the author is decent when it comes to descriptions, but that only refers to ‘static descriptions.’ When it comes to ‘dynamic descriptions’ or simply fight scenes, don’t expect anything amazing.
For one, the author uses the word ‘as’ far too much. It’s a crutch which many people who write action scenes do. It’s boring to read “As he threw the rock, he ducked, and as she went to punch him, he evaded. And as. . .as. . .”
For two, the author doesn’t understand the process of ‘action, result, and reaction.’ If I was to put it simply: He says, not show, what his characters do. He says the result. The reaction is mostly in the words of the character, not the other’s counter to the move.
Do you want to follow a character as they wield their sword, scraping against another, gritting their teeth while maneuvering through blades of air and sliding against the floor to jump and tackle another? Do you want to see a person barely dodge a fireball; the scorch in the air as it passes them by? The singe in their hair? Do you want to watch a mage stumble back to escape a slice to the throat as their wand lashes out, mouth muttering, while their mana rolls and coils to conjure a flaming whip? Well, you’re going to see all of it, but it’s not nearly going to be that exciting.
In my opinion, ‘dynamic description’ is the crutch of this story. For people who like good action scenes, you’re not going to like this story a whole lot. It’s a shame too because the power system is fairly interesting.
An advice on this part to the author: You’re dealing with magic and swords. And, both have aspects that are very, very, visually stimulating. Don’t just say “she summoned a fireball” say “her mana coiled and the air burned, sparking to life to reveal a fireball.” Don’t just say “he swung his sword” say “he slashed down at his opponent. The clang of their connecting weapons sent a tremble into his hands.” Don’t just say “the wind pushed him away” say “the wind slammed into him, tearing him from his footing and sending him flying.” Don’t just say “he pulled him down” say “he clung to him and pulled, bringing his mass down.”
It’s, kinda, like writing a school essay where you have to hit the word count. Though, of course, there are also ways to write stimulating action scenes with as little words as possible. However, I think my examples fit your style/story best.
Now, the most important and subjective thing, is the story fun to read? 5/5 it is. And, really, that’s all you need for a good story.