Title: The Illusionary Six (Six Chances)
Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
Tags: Psychological, Anti-Hero Lead, Female Lead, Male Lead, Multiple Lead Characters, Ruling Class, Secret Identity, Strategy, Strong Lead, War and Military (excluded some non tags)
Main Lead: Male, Female
VB Assessment Score: PDE 2 CDD 3 SWB 3 || TQ 3 SV 2 || Overall: 13
Number of Chapters: 79
Chapter Length: Medium
Reading Level: Medium
Date of First Release: December 7, 2019
Date of Last Update: December 7, 2020
VB Reviewed? No
Available on Platform(s): Royal Road
Number of Views: 37,365
Number of Reviews: 18
What would you do if your life, memories, and feelings were suddenly tied to another person?
Six people. One life.
A spoiled prince haunted by a ghost. A big city swindler with a knack for illusions. A cold soldier with a sharp eye. A pirate with a few screws loose. A chieftain’s bookish daughter with carefully bandaged hands. A peacekeeping agent with an eye for vengeance.
After simultaneously knocking on death’s door, these six find themselves psychically connected across national lines. Tensions rise between them and between their respective countries, which are recovering from a long war over the mysterious vitae—an energy source harvested and utilized in weapons and engines called conductors. Loyalty, memory, and sense of self blur as conspiracies encroach.
Assassination attempts, underground weapons dealings, border conflicts, tales of terrifying beasts, and a terrorist organization called ELPIS.
—Everything is connected. Nothing is coincidental. The spark has ignited…!
Sophocles: The unique thing about the authors style is that it changes depending on the characters pov, which is quite the feat with the host of detailed characters.
The overall story is great, particularly how the different characters are linked and interact with each other, with each fulfilling a role in the group. The world building is incredibly detailed and deep with unique mannerisms and architecture to each country.
I haven’t noticed any obvious grammer mistakes, and the characters are my favourite part of the story, particularly Jericho and Werner so I recommend you give it a go
czepta: This book was a surprising find. It introduces six very unique characters in a way that brings you right into the part of the world they inhabit. The way the characters are introduced and the setting in general reminds me of a classic fantasy JRPG or anime. We have a range of character types including a soldier, a pirate and even a mob enforcer. Some characters interested me more than others but that is always the case when there are many to choose from. I think everyone will have their own favourites.
The world building is impressive to say the least. It feels as though the author spent a lot of time developing it. The Zodiac themed setting really does give me Final Fantasy vibes with a dash of Avatar: The Last Airbender in regards to the magic known as Vitae. These are two of my favourite things so this story is right up my alley.
Not all stories I try peak my interest enough to continue with, but this one definitely has. The clean prose really puts you in the character’s heads allowing it to play out with a cinematic flair. Where the story is heading I’m not sure but curious to find out how the connection between these characters plays out and the purpose behind it.
templerun1000: Leaving a review now since it popped on trending.
Overall/Story- This is a very unique story, and I’ve never seen anything like it on this site. The hook is really good, and the synopsis intrigued me right away. The story unravels story, leaving little hints about a greater mystery for people to solve.
Style/Grammar: Each chapter is written in a different style unique to each character. When I open a chapter, I can tell who is narrating it right away without looking at the chapter title.
Character- I am a sucker for complicated and intricate character development. I admire the author’s ability to seamlessly weave small character details through the thoughts the characters share. These bleeding thoughts were also an ingenious way to help readers make connections and differentiate between the characters’ voices. I thought all of the characters’ personalities meshed well together. While I was annoyed with a few of the characters’ actions, I am glad that they remained true to themself in the end. Although I have my favorites (Werner and Jericho), I thought Wynn does a fantastic job of presenting the characters to the readers in a way that compels them to want to read further.
Some small caveats: there were a lot of charaters introduced in the beginning so it was a bit hard to keep up at first but everything’s smoothed out so far. The parallel storylines might be a difficult to follow for casual readers but they do intertwine in the end.
Plasticpebble22: Overall 4.5/5: There aren’t many stories like this one on Royal Road. In fact, there aren’t many stories like this out there that I’ve read. Six people, connected mentally somehow, across several kingdoms. The premise reminds me of The Way of Kings but the connection is literal, this time. Each person’s story is intriguing, and I’m excited to keep reading. I’m taking off the .5 because there are just so many names and places to keep track of in this story.
Style 5/5: The thing that I appreciate the most is that there are so many different tones (six to be exact). Each main character has their own quirks and perspectives, and you can see and hear that as they are interacting with their world. Even the way they respond to their new connection says a lot about who they are. Honestly, this is incredibly well written.
Story 4.5/5: This is a challenging story idea to pull off. Jumping from six different storylines and six different perspectives in the first few chapters is a challenge, but this author pulls it off and manages to connect each story. Honestly, I’m very impressed. This is a page-turner if I’ve ever seen one. There is SO MUCH depth to the world (the magic system is in the background of each person’s life, and it seems well-thought out and consistent), and I can tell that there are more mysteries to discover. All that said, I’m taking off a .5 rating because I worry that the author is taking on a little too much. As mentioned earlier, there are just so many characters and places to keep track of…
Grammar 5/5: Very well edited. I couldn’t find any mistakes here.
Character 5/5: All of these characters are interesting in their own way, and they all feel real. Just the fact that they all almost die in the beginning gives a sense of the plot and intrigue surrounding them and makes me invested in each one of their stories.
ztaylor: Overall- Alright, right now I’m gonna give you a TL:DR, but if you wanna continue reading, go ahead. You’re wasting precious time on this review and not on this awesome story. This is easily one of the most original things I’ve found on this site, and I plan on catching up once this review has been written.
Style – This author has an insane knack for worldbuilding. This world feels expansive and alive. But that’s where most stories on this site stop, cool world, horrible execution. Not this. This isn’t four billion ideas thrown together and written on a whim. This world has been carefully second, with the story coming first. No infodumps, no walls of exposition batting the reader over the head abotu vitae and ELPIS at the start. Just going right into the characters, becasue that’s where this story shines. But we’ll get to that later.
Story – I’m reviewing this at the end of Arc 1, but I’m intrigued to where this goes. Six people, all from different occupations and points of their life, are linked after what seems to be a near death experience. How they’re linked, or why, is right now unknonw to me. What seems to be a prevailing them is this world-wdie war over vitae, a mysterious substance used in weaponry and conductos. The Conductors themselves reminded me of Fullmetal Alchemist’s take on a superpowered military. What’s really driving the story right now is ELPIS, a mysterious terrorist organization which I wanna know more about. But I know that’ll come later.
Grammar -Occasional mistakes here and there, but nothing glaring. Great job!
Characters- Hoo boy. There are six (!) characters who share a rotating perspective. Usually, that would be enough to make me so confused that I’d be better off just not reading the story at all. Again, not this. Each of these six have such a different viewpoint and addition to the story, that I never got confused on who was who. They have their own little facet of the world they take up and add upon, and I really only dislike one of them right now (Ollie). But the standout for me has to be Cadence. She’s like the lovechild of Han Solo and Revy from Black Lagoon. I can tell that her and Werner are going to be battling it out for the favorite character spot as I read further on. Atienna would be a close second for me, because her perspectives just have a lot of cool worldbuilding in them. Jericho and Maria haven’t done enough just yet for me to be as intersted in them as Cadence or Werner, but I like them too. Ollie is the only one I can’t sttand right now, which I guess is the point. But with seeing how much focus you put on characters, I think he’ll develop in time.
I’m off to go read some more, great work author!
Apocryphal: Due to my slow rate of reading, I figured this would be the perfect point to do my review without taking ages to catch up (sorry I’m so slow. Busy life lately and I hate it)
In a nutshell, though, this story is probably one of the most vividly written and descriptive works I’ve ever read. I’ve also learned quite a few words to add to my vocabulary as well as ways to be more descriptive by reading this story, so that’s a lesson well received.
Anyway, on to the important part,
Style – I gave it a 5 because everything blends well together. No descriptions feel too long or exaggerated, the pacing of the story keeps you interested without wondering if anything you read will be relevant later, and the usage of starting off with multiple character viewpoints back to back gives you a real picture of the world they live in and what’s going on.
The zodiac sign references are one of my favorite things about this story also! Sagittarius for life.
Story – The only reason I gave it a 4.5 instead of a 5 is because the initial few chapters can be a bit jarring to start off with and get into. The first 3 chapters detail the viewpoints of 6 different people, of six different occupations, with two different viewpoints with each chapter. While everything afterwards quickly melds everything together, I think it would have been a better approach to focus on one character a chapter or maybe reveal different ones later on?
It’s difficult for the average person to recall that many characters introduced through text without any visual representation, and people might begin to skim through if they were interested in one character and suddenly found themselves reading about another.
You have to build up initial attachment before you switch characters, usually, especially if there’s multiple like this. Most people can only focus on one major character at a time before transitioning to another.
Beyond that, though, the characters introduced ARE unique and distinctly different. So even if you didn’t like or liked one character there’s still 5 others for you to choose from!
Grammar – Literally nothing wrong here. This story could damn well be a professional novel.
Character Score – A lot of what I wrote in regards to the story also kinda melded in with the character score too, so I won’t repeat it. I will say, though, that there are 6 main characters. All of them are unique and distinct from each other and there’s no sense of rehashed personality or experiences. It reminds me of a JRPG party in a sense where the main cast is diverse and unique.
There’s high chances that you will like and be interest in at least ONE character. More likely you’ll be interested in more than one.
Werner is still my favorite. That debut chapter with him hit close to home. Soldier 4 Life.
Favorited this story ^^ will continue to read it along with the plethora of others I have to catch up on.
kovich: Author rewrote the novel and fixed most of my complaints so I updated the review. Old review in spoiler tags.
Writing syle is really good and I enjoyed reading descriptions and flow of the sentences. The story is well guided. Introductory chapters are pretty good, we get the feel for the characters immediatelly, progresses at a good pace and it’s easy to follow even though there are six protagonists.
For me it was very readable. Maybe I would notice something misspeled/wrong word once per two chapters.
Story is well thought out. The world is logical and interesting. Vitae is a nice concept, I imagine it as a something between magic in standard fantasy and oil/electricity in our world. And author really thought about how it would affect the world, even though we are not told explicitly, we can see it in the background of how the world functions. Everything seems both believable, logical and strange because it’s different from our world.
We have six very different characters. Some I hated, some loved and to some I was indifferent. But they were all craftily made, what they do and how they think makes perfect sense in the world. And their mutual interactions are pure gold. They all seem like a real-life people at this point.
But what I feel is lacking in this section is style on the macro level. There are too many switches in the beggining. We have an interlude, infodump chapter, introduction to our 6 MCs and interlude again. It makes it much harder to follow the story.
For example, I’m not sure the last interlude chapter is necesary or the history chapter could be broken up and put in the MCs chapters (e.g. part of the history we could hear in the Olive’s lesson, so when he’s bored we could empathize, some explanation of the conflict could go into Werner’s and Jericho’s chapters, map could go to the Maria’s chapter, she’s a pirate after all).
Second thing is that after 35 chapters we still don’t know who is the antagonist and what are they fighting against. Sure, every MC has his/hers thing to worry about, but it is strongly hinted that there is something more. We only know the name of the organization ELPIS, and everyone hates them, but the reader doesn’t really have a reason yet. So there’s a lack of urgency because of this.
One of the reviewers mentioned that there is same word repetition in adjacent sentences. I’ve noticed this as well, but my impression is that this isn’t a mistake but a stylistic choice, it’s just that sometimes it works, sometimes it falls flat.
“This vitae was able to power entire cities. Entire cities that powered the economy and skyrocketed the country to heights never seen before. “
For me this didn’t work, it felt really clunky when I read it and I think it’s because in first sentence power is used literaly while second is more abstract. I think second powered should be replaced with a synonim.
“To those who oversaw this land, this was a petty dispute. A dispute that would resolve on its own.”
This is an example of what worked for me. It rolled nicely and somehow added to the rythm of the paragraph. I just wanted to give an idea what worked for me and what didn’t.
I watch some anime and I loved the anime style illustrations in the beggings. It adds a lot to the feel of the novel. BUT, when I saw an illustration that I particularly like (Athiena), I was shocked to see that there was no description of her in her own chapter. I bactracked and saw that none of the MCs have descriptions! I didn’t like that. Illustrations should be additions not replacement for descriptions. Especially if I liked some character, I would like to read description of that character as well, because it is a different feeling. And author could point to some things specific and make them stood out more, which illustration can’t do.
Also I had some issue with naming. People who manipulate vitae are called Conductors and they use machines called conductors… It’s unnecesary confusing. Maybe one of those could be renamed?
[omitted other reviews due to length and enough content shown above]
Story Post Last Updated: December 8, 2020