[Story] My Quiet Life

Title: My Quiet Life
Author: Waurpel
Genre(s): Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Historical
Tags: Female Lead, High Fantasy, Magic
Audience:
Main Lead: Female
Status: Ongoing
AVB Assessment Score (?): PDE 2 CDD 2 SWB 1 || TQ 3 SV 1 || Overall: 9
Number of Chapters: 36
Chapter Length: Medium
Reading Level: Medium
Date of First Release: March 17, 2021
Date of Last Update: October 21, 2021
AVB Reviewed? No
Available on Platform(s): Royal Road
Number of Views: 17,730
Number of Reviews: 8
Synopsis:
In a world where rank, blood-ties and religion are intertwined; Silika Everest lived an idyllic life as the third child of the Marquess of Oblon, spending her time causing trouble for the estate servants and playing with her siblings to her heart’s content.
Until a fateful day when a game of hide and seek turned into tragedy. When she woke up, her life had turned on its head, everything she had now slipping away from her.
That day her quiet life began— an unforgiving life where all odds are stacked against her.

Review(s)

Slippery.John: I didn’t read most of the blurb or any of the reviews. Just saw the title and the fairly happy looking cover art and went straight into reading the first chapter. Let’s just say that the story title is more apt than I had imagined. 
Character: Definitely the strongest aspect of this story! Silika is still a child and not of the variety that has the soul of a 34-year-old neck beard stuck inside them either. No, she truly feels like a kid her age, which makes some of the traumatic experiences she goes through feel all the more unfair and cut so much deeper. In general, trauma isn’t depicted as an edgy way to artificially create character depth or for a character to rise out of the ashes like a Phoenix stronger than ever. Instead, it feels real in the sense that it is a burden they each have to carry and makes the moments where they help each other through it in small ways feel all the more cathartic!
Spoiler: Silika becomes deaf early on in the story, and it’s handled incredibly well. You would think it would limit the author quite a bit, but the opposite is the case. We get a deep dive into Silika’s inner world, and it makes different POV chapters all the more interesting.
Story: There is a lot of world building going on, but most of it isn’t all that relevant yet. As a child, Silika has little agency of her own, and most things happen to her rather than because of her. That combined with the slow pace of the story (might be due to small chapter length) gives it a definitive ‘slice of life’ feel.
Style: There aren’t any lyrical prose to be found here. You probably won’t stop to reread a beautifully written paragraph. BUT it is very clean and easy/smooth to read, and that is what really counts.
Grammar: Saw a couple mistakes here and there, but I never had to reread anything so 4,5 stars it is. 
Came looking for copper and found gold or something like that… it’s a pretty damn good story and an even better pallet cleanser after a lot of the power trip progression stuff here on RR.

The_divine_oracle: This book deserves a lot of attention. I think the story and setting are better suited for a published novel.
Style: The text is well written and the author effectively manages to portray the emotions of the characters through the text. Even in the initial stages, the setting and world-building give a taste of what to expect. Information about the world is introduced at exactly the right points, making it engaging.
Story: There aren’t a lot of chapters, so I can’t say much about it, but till what I’ve read, it has a lot of potentials. The author has laid the foundation of what can be an amazing story. You can understand the struggles and decisions behind the MC’s actions.
Grammar: There are a few mistakes in the punctuation and sentence structure, but nothing that will keep you away from reading it.
Character: The best part about the book. The struggles of both Silica and the black maid are well depicted.
Spoiler: The disregard for an injured child and the parent’s blind belief in faith are well depicted. Their attitude towards the MC and the scars it leaves creates complex characters. The black maid’s struggle in trying to keep her niece happy and protect her from pain and suffering gives us insights into facets of her life.
Overall, this is an amazing book. Keep up the good work. 🙂

Sake Vision: To find this kind of book in this god forsaken litrpg xianxia wuxia isekaihole is quite a surprise, yet here it is. No over the top combat, no power ups, no over the top gore, just the struggles of disabled girl in ableist low-fantasy feudal society. I really dig it.
The story for the first 10 chapters is nothing short of masterpiece. It was clearly carefully planned and rewritten multiple times. Not gonna lie, it actually brought tears to my eyes on several occasions, when something good happened to the main character I cheered, and when something bad happened I was mortified. 
After that the setting of the story changed a bit, and the pacing sped up. The style  got less flowery and more light novel style, reflecting it. Frankly speaking I am not a fan of one sentence long paragraphs in novels, but it made it easy to read. In fact I binged all the 30-something chapters currently published in one go. 
The author switch to writing on the go, and even though clearly there is some planning involved, unfortunately I caught some moments of certain characters, both good and bad guys, acting a bit stupid just to move the plot forwards or excite emotional reaction. So far it’s not anything major, but it kinda left a distate in my mouth, hence story and characters scores lost half a star. I know the author can do better, as proven in first story arc! 
But I think the strongest element of this novel is the use of unreliable first person perspective. This is something I absolutely love, and the I enjoy the moments when perspective changes from the point of view of our deaf child protagonist to someone else, often revisiting same scenes from different eyes. This is a correct and proficenet use of first person pov, and I wish more authors did it. Alas, perhaps average enjoyer of litrpg wouldn’t be able to appreciate it, as they are used to taking things presented by narrative as objective truths and don’t put much thought into what they are reading. A tragedy.
And tragedy it is. The book tried hard at making us sad or shocked, and succeeds. But it’s not one of these over the op edgy books when the protagonist just can’t take the break. That would make it boring and predictable, and his book is anything but! 
I can’t wait to learn what happens next of Silica and some of the other characters in the story. 

YoanRoturier: The bus driver starts the engine, drives down the main road in direction of nowhereland, and turns left.
STYLE SCORE: 4 stars
The style is smooth. Your eyes will slide through the words like soap does on wet skin. Waurpel likes to explain things in detail which lets us progressively, but most of all smoothly understand the background, world-building, and all the other settings. The author writes so many details that I think it’s a bit abusive sometimes. However, that’s my personal point of view and taste. For references, I like action-packed, comedy, and well-paced stories.
Here, it’s a bit different from what I’m used to reading. It starts slow-paced.  Chap 1 is fine. BUT, to my mind, chap 2 and 3 are too long, although they are essential for what’s following. The story really picks up the pace at chap 4. Do not misunderstand me, slow-paced doesn’t necessarily mean boring. The way the scenes flow is so accurate you feel it through your bones. I’m just not a fan of too ‘many details’. I believe readers should get their share of imagination on what’s happening, instead of describing everything, yet, description is necessary.
The bus driver turns right, enters the Md drive, and orders a cheeseburger.
GRAMMAR SCORE: 5 stars
I have no issues here. But I didn’t feel or read any grammar issues, apart from some typos. So it deserves 5 stars for me because a story posted on the web cannot be perfect.
The bus driver turns around to look at the monkey that came uninvited and is thrashing grandma Totos’s fuzzy white hair. 
STORY SCORE: 4.5 stars
As of the time I’m writing this review only eleven chapters are out. From what I’ve seen, we’re delving into the life of an aristocratic girl that’s going to… well change. It is fairly interesting. The first chapter does its job to keep the reader interested with a mysterious ending, provided you read it to the end. As I said previously, chap 4 is where this is going to be entertaining, as another mystery greets you like an old friend. So if you give this a read, at least read it until chap 4 and decide for yourself later. From this point on, from each answer given another mystery is added. Which is need, and keeps me wanting for more.
However, as I said before, there are only eleven chaps by the time I write this review. So, they are too few of them for me to accurately judge it. BUT from what I’ve read so far, it is good enough to keep my attention. So 4.5 stars for the encouragement. 
The bus driver is in fact a monkey himself.
CHARACTER SCORE: 5 stars
It is pretty rare to see the first chaps of a book with a lot of introduced characters go so well. Even with their numbers, I wasn’t lost at all because the author doesn’t tarry on them. We are given enough info on the side characters to understand them, but not so much as to get lost in. 
The state of mind of the MC is amazingly done. I did not expect that. We’re feeling what she sees, hears, touch, tastes, and smells. Using the five senses is essential for full immersion and this story does it! 
There is another character that is well depicted and introduced later, but I’m not going to say who because of spoilers.
The monkey bus driver, with a banana sword in hand, kindly invites all passengers to exit the vehicle.
OVERALL SCORE: 5 stars 
I’m giving 5 overall because the story deserves it. Nothing more, nothing less. This is probably one of the few stories outside my usual reading I would give 5 stars to. If you don’t believe me here are my arguments:
1) Go take a look at my reviews
2) I did write a lengthy review, which is nowhere near my habits. 
3) Calm down I’ll give you a cupcake. (Yes, this is bribery).
This bus driver sub-story doesn’t make any sense, so I’m gonna stop here.
Anyway, this is where my review ends. Unfasten your seat belt and get to reading.
Good job author and keep up the good work. 
Cheers! 
Y.R.

A V Dalcourt: The author has pointed out that my review is not helpful, so I opted to correct my mistake.
I enjoy drama. I love slied of life. There’s something nice in a slow life that leads to something more exciting even if it’s mundane. This is not what this story is. It start off with the drama switched onto 11 and keeps going. I went in, with a title ‘my quiet life’ expecting a slow slice of life drama. The writer’s take on quiet was delightfully intriguing, until I got a little deeper and really started thinking about the events that transpire.
I’ve come to the conclusion that many of the event chosen and their handling are dramatic for dramatic’s sake, over creating a nuanced and respectful dialogue over disabilties. 
Style: The writer is actually quite good, and has a lot of potential.  She’s got some great narrative flow that leads the reader from one scene to the next with ease. She has a decent instinct for scenes and pacing. There’s a nice flow of exposition and dialogue. My point is, she can write.
My criticism here is that due to the maturaty of her thoughts, I have to constantly remind myself that’s she’s 5-years old. 
Grammar: Anyone following me at this point knows it’s an auto 5-star for grammar unless I notice something.
Story: It is of my opinion (and it’s just that my opinion) that the writer reads young. What I mean by that is that the topics chosen which range from disability, child abandonment to child abuse are treated with the grace and nievety of a teenage understanding of the problem(s). These deeply important topics are given shock value treatment. If there’s meant to be a conversation, have the conversation, don’t use it as a form of entertainment for the reads. 
How to solve this? Give the character some breathing room to adjust to her situation. Giving a reader like me the chance to get to know her hidden traits as she perserves. Every chapter a new thing is happening to the child. Given that the chapters are so short, it really hurts the character and our relationship to her. We’re never given the opportunity to root for her because she’s always a victim. If I were stuck fixing this, I’d pace out the current chapters events into three parts. Inciting incident, challege + choice, and climax. It slows the burn, and gives room for a nuanced conversation about what’s happening.
I have to add that while we have a sense of time passing, we have no concept of how much time has passed, therefore there is no way to judge from our own personal experience how badly injured she is (so when she mades her mad dash for freedom to the garden, I don’t follow the significance beyond kid wants what she sees right now), how cruel her parents are actually being, if it’s really neglect or just a toddler throwing a tantrum. Granted given the POV of the narrative, I don’t think it’s possible to convey this information. As a 5-year old I didn’t know how long a week was, let alone how many days til christmas, or had passed since my birthday.
As the drama escalates we start to loose focus of what exactly the story is beyond making this kid suffer. Which is a real shame because we need to have thoughtful conversations about these topics. We seem to be pulling on these heavy topics for quick emotional feedback. 
Full disclosure: I stopped reading at the chapter with child abuse. 
Character: There’s a lot here, so put you’re seat belts on.
Our lead is a 5-year-old spoil brat princess (I mean that in a nickname way), she is not a princess but is member of the royal family in some regards. The writer does talk about holy leniage of this particular bunch at a later chapter. The child willfully lies and decieves her nannies, all so that she can get her way in the moment. Exactly the short term thinking I expect of a small child. No issue here. The problem is that the narrative style is too mature for the voice of a 5-year-old. God, help me, I never want to read that! The solution is to either age up the character, or have an older version of the character reflect on her past. It’s an easy fix, but there has to be narrative clues that include thoughtfulness, shame, regrets, joys… I mean this why we read drama afterall – to connect us with a range of emotions, to see things in varying perspectives through the grace of time.
Hitting onto the element of ‘reading young’ how the royal staff handles the concussed child is downright unbelievable. Sure there are incompetant staff, but this is just on a whole other level of the writer just not knowing any better. 
The draw back of having a comatosed child as the POV character is that we’re missing a lot of information in the inconvinient gaps of the narrative, which aids in ramping up the criticism of drama for dramatic effect. We hate on the parents call them cruel and neglectful, when we only have the child’s version of events. A child who is a child! Therefore the only things that matter are the things she wants right this second. This in essence hurts the potential for a thoughtful and respectful narrative, where we can explore all sides and feel our way through the nuance. Giving a strict black and white view on these topics hurts the integrity of what the writer claimed she wanted to achieve (there were a couple of heated emails – and i could be still completely misunderstanding what she’s going for).
There are inconsistencies – the child has succumbed to her disabilties and reasonably has a meltdown after meltdown. She can’t speak, she can’t hear, not so much as a grunt, or whimper. But the writer makes reference to these things that cannot hear later. In my original review, I had wanted the grunts and crying, but after a conversation with the author, I now understand what she was going for, and now she needs to strip out all mentions of sound as that’s no longer part of her narrative vocabulary. This will help maintain a consistent imagery and tone through out the story, as least until she recovers or starts to recover (which is an assumption on my part and my not be fact).
From chapter 3 onward she succumbs to depression. Reasonable, but predictable, and weirdly short lived. Chapter 4, she’s already back to her dodging her nanny. We do want to see a progression of sort, it’s just massive up’s and downs, and the character isn’t demonstrating any sense that her actions is what got her into this mess. This is where future introspection would have been handy, but no where stuck with the mindset of 5-year old, whose trauma hasn’t even made her second guess herself.
The character has a very strong presence which creates in me a strong visercal reaction to just get as much distance from her as possible. That said, there is a lot of potential for this character.
It’s a shame that short of the personal maid and the brother, all other characters are just given the bad guy treatment. No nuance, no depth. They’re just neglectful, mean bullies, because that’s what the writer needs right now to ramp up the drama for the feels.
AGAIN, I have to emphasize because it keeps getting missed. there is a lot of potential here.

Story Post Last Updated: October 22, 2021

2 thoughts on “[Story] My Quiet Life

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