Where do I even start? In my long-form reviews, I tend to start with my conclusion and I proceed to explain how I reached said conclusion. That strategy fails me, as I find that having just read all of the available chapters, I still don't know what to think. This webnovel seems to be divided into equal parts of inspired and lamentable. Honestly, until I've written the last sentence of this review, I might not know myself, which part wins out.
I'll take small comfort from my befuddlement in knowing quite how this review will turn out, by sticking to the tried and true method of discussing what I like about this webnovel.
As alluded to, there is a lot to love about We are Each Other's Demon. First and foremost are the characters. The characters are so fleshed out, they seem so real to me. They're gritty, they're edgy, they're witty, they're cleaver... well, some of them are. They're damaged. Damaged in a way that alludes to them being victims of a decaying or perhaps decadent society. Honestly, the very character's personalities themselves aid to the worldbuilding in a way rarely seen in a webnovel. It's difficult to find a better word to describe the skill with which the author crafted their characters that "inspired",
The world itself is a mystery to unfold. There's enough abstraction in the parse details wrung out through the experiences of the characters to leave one clamouring for more. The story is much the same. We are given enough to keep up, but not enough to solve the mystery of the full backstory mischievously obscured by the author.
The story progresses but in a non-linear fashion. For some mysteries, we're given the end before the beginning, and I love that. For other parts of the story, we only see it piecemeal. The story is progressing, and the author has found a way to hook the reader at every turn. Deftly crafting the story in such a way that we will get satisfaction for our burning questions, but not second before the author decides we're ready.
It's that very same quality that leads to some of the negatives. Truth be told, I'm actually at a loss on whether what I'm about to detail is negative. It's certainly unordinary. 9/10 times I would say to avoid what I'm about to explain like the corona-ebola (The coronavirus mixed with the ebola virus) the question is, whether the author was right in not avoiding it in their work?
Set up concluded, I'll get to that thing which should be avoided. The author shifts points of view on the fly. Sometimes the author creates a new chapter to do so. Sometimes the author just flips the switch and boom, we're in a different character's head. This wouldn't be so much of an issue if the author was consistent with a third-person perspective narration. One of the chief benefits of such a narrative perspective is the ability to cover more than one character at a time, and the ability to cover more than one perspective within the same chapter. The narrator, however, utilises both first and third-person perspectives. This is a massive taboo. Not simply because it's rarely done, but because it leads to intense confusion. It's also a distraction, it brings to the reader's mind the question of who exactly is the narrator in this story? It's not strictly a passive voice, blended into the background, nor is it strictly a participant in the narrative. The effect of the authors baffling choice is the reader being pulled out of the story in order to internally ask and fail to answer the question.
The issue I'm having with declaring said choice as insane, and suggesting that the author amend it immediately is that the first effect, the aforementioned intense confusion, might just fit the story perfectly. The authors use of this most unorthodox convention, might just be one of the tools in their belt to help obscure the full story. It is not inconceivable that this thing, which 9/10 times should be avoided like a Weinstein might just work for this particular webnovel. It would be inconceivable were this work not somewhat inspired.
Ultimately, in my view, I think general writing conventions should win out, but oddly for the first time seeing narrative perspective shifts such as this, it's not the hill I'm willing to live or die on.
The hill I am willing to die on is the maddening, utterly maddening spontaneous shifts in tenses. Past tense, to present tense and back again, all in the space of one paragraph. It's atrocious. There is no justification for such a gaffe. I can imagine the difficulty in going through the entirety of the work to edit it for tenses, but in my view, it is more than a necessity. The changes in tenses are so distracting that I almost abandoned this webnovel before finishing all of the available chapters. I'll put that into context, there are only 7 chapters. This issue was so bad that I almost failed to read 7 chapters.
Related, but not quite identical, the writing suffers from misspellings and incorrect words used. Generally speaking, the prose is a mess. It isn't possible for me to say this with any more fervour, the author would benefit greatly from more time spent proofreading.
So we've reached the end, I've said most of what I have to say. So what's my conclusion? Is this a good webnovel or a bad? My answer is as it was, I don't know.
True, the writing is subpar. True the narrative is somewhat confusing. but there's so much to love about this webnovel. Too much for me to simply condemn it.
Is this a good or a bad webnovel? Honestly, at this point, I'm not willing to say one way or the other. What I will say is this, the author has a real gift for storytelling, they'd be an unstoppable force if they were to also refine the craft of writing.
Writing Quality: 2/5
Stability of Updates: 5/5
Story Development: 3/5
Character Design: 5/5
World Background: 4/5