Webnovel Story. Genre(s): Fantasy. # of Chapters: 31
TQ 3 PD 1 CF 1 || RL 1 CL 3 || Overall: 9
Important Note: There is a big difference between a webnovel-a story of the internet and mobile world-and a published book. Besides straightforward editing, published stories are constantly polished to be more engaging, meaningful, and clear. So a successful webnovel doesn’t equate to the same caliber of a published novel. This is due in part to an online writer typically being a one man/woman show. Thus, reviews will be given as if regarding whether this could be a published print or e-book.
All 31 chapters were covered in this review.
Right off the bat in the prologue, it’s dialogue heavy. And from there on throughout the story, this remains the same. While many great works have heavy dialogues, those dialogues do more than just explanation or introduction, they convey meaning, set up events, and establish the speaker’s character. While it is okay to do it in moderation, dialogue should not be the main means of communicating events or information. Unfortunately, this was the case in this story.
“Show, don’t tell.” Everyone understands what this means, but it’s often harder to apply. Dialogue is by no means a way of showing just because a character is physically speaking. It can, but in this story, it wasn’t. Almost all actions were told through dialogue. And because the characters didn’t have many descriptive words on how they talked, the dialogue gave little to no insight on the speaker’s character. This can be accomplished through action verbs such as mused, interjected, denounced, stated, exclaimed, professed, whispered, chuckled, and or a combination of adverbs, adjectives, and gestures.
A lot of explanation of processes such as magic or Earth’s creations could’ve been done more succinctly or in a more interesting way than dialogue. For example, bits and parts can revealed while in combat. A fighter makes a move knowing that so and so magic will accomplish this. Not only will readers better remember the information because it is attached to an actual demonstration of that knowledge, but they will not be overwhelmed or bored by a lengthy explanation.
Aureus is the MC, but throughout the entire 31 chapters, there was little to distinguish his true character. What are his motives, his aspirations, fears, and thoughts? When an event happens, what are his reactions, emotions, and way of thinking? He also has little backstory, only told in the prologue and upon meeting with Brandon. While not every character necessarily has a so-called ‘dark past,’ they should have some kind of past which defines them and becomes the foundation for their growth.
Calvus, Denter, Tarin, Johan – they essentially work under Aureus’s command. Again, there is little to define their personalities from any one of the four. Except for Tarin being an old man and sometimes acting in a funny, wise old man trope kind of way, these four people might as well be one person. Each person should a role to progress the story, or differentiated in their interactions with others in order to give further insight on everyone’s personalities, thoughts, and motivations.
For instance, “Johan showed a rare display of patience as he waited for Aureus’s assessment of Edward’s combat abilities.” Why is his patience rare? His character was never fully introduced to make readers think, ah yes, this is rare for him to be so patient. It might as well have said, “Johan waited impatiently for..”
Edward and Earth’s inventions:
The twist of an otherworld person is good, but because it’s not an original idea, it should be presented in an original way. When Earth’s inventions are introduced, sometimes the reactions can be a source of refreshing comedy. In general, the character cast was merely surprised; their reactions rather temperate and bland.
For example, “This elevator you mentioned sounds interesting. If it were to be successfully implemented, we can triple the living area at the southern settlement.” Right away, Aureus thinks of a way to use an elevator. It’s too rational without any emotion or reaction on its discovery. No, ‘a building that can stack tens of rooms and a contraption which lifts people up by the press of a number?’ This is just an example, the actual reaction should personalize the speaker.
The rest of the cast:
Xynos introduction could’ve been told in just one sentence. The introduction of characters didn’t move the plot forward as it was allying with Brandon that did. And on that point, the alliance seemed too easy and quick. Yes, he and Aureus got along well in the past, but that supposed friendship and camaraderie wasn’t deeply felt. It seemed flung in as a easy fix as Aureus moved on to other things. What made Brandon accept so easily? Did he have any motivations? How does he really feel about Aureus, and what kind of relationship do they actually have? Merely saying they were friends is not enough.
Caine and Tiffany and other characters again weren’t differentiated very much. They were simple followers with not much to distinguish their personalities, emotions, or thoughts. Why were they obedient to whoever employed them? How did they reach this stage, and what are their thoughts to their employer? In general, unless sufficient backstory and personality is given to an introduced character, limiting the number of total characters in a story is wise. Readers will better be able to connect to them and keep track. Minor characters don’t have to be introduced and can be very lightly mentioned. And if their actions can be done by another character, then it should be done and that minor character erased.
Again, show, don’t tell. But if one shows, show well and meaningfully. The best part of your writing was in the paragraphs that introduced the lady in green in chapter 26 before she met with Edward’s party. Her movements were vivid and descriptive, and we could form a loose idea of her character.
The few fights seem rather pointless and don’t lead up to anything. Aureus spars Edward, but it was merely a test on his abilities. This isn’t enough. The fight could’ve built up their new camaraderie, a sense of respect or approval could be given. Not to mention, the action scene wasn’t as vivid as it could be if it had more vivid action verbs, adjectives, and overall description of movements.
Spirit beast core and Aether core, and all the upgrades talk – this seems to be a driving force near the end of the 31 chapters, but for what purpose are these upgrades necessary? To simply be stronger or more advanced? Most likely it’s a means of defense for any conflict to follow as Aureus forms an alliance with Brandon, but why now are these advancements being delved into? Are they ground-breaking achievements? The nature of their significance was unclear. In short, how will they be used, and how will that progress the story. Everything must have significance and importance to develop the plot.
In general, it’s not all that exciting, and major events could be described as such:
Aureus is stationed in Everdawn. Edward arrives from Earth. Earth’s innovations are considered and Edward tested. Makes alliance with Brandon. Magic upgrades are discussed. Meetings with spirit tribes.
It doesn’t seem like this is a story about Aureus as it is about Edward at this point. Edward is the one out really in all the action.
This story has a lot of work still. Many events and elements can be condensed while others can be expanded upon. Your general ideas are good, but the plot development needs to quicken, and the characters should be refocused. Your technical writing is perfectly fine.