Other Original Works and Reviews

This and the follow message may or may not self destruct in an unknown and indiscriminate amount of time. It is the metaphorical Schroedinger’s cat; an existence that can be deemed to be alive and dead. This page is the box, and you will not know the condition of this message until you return to this page, equivalently opening the box.

I have been meaning to get to this for quite some time!

As an original English author I do support all the other great writers out there who put in endless hours into their own works. Here is a list of other ORIGINAL english novels that I know of (therefore fan fictions and translations are not included). Some I have already glanced upon, others I intend to read from the beginning. They are in no particular order of favouritism, only the order in which I write them and plan to review. Each title has a link to their page, which you can follow at your leisure if you wish to read that particular story.

This is also not a list of ALL original light novels, only those I appreciate and congratulate the authors for their hard work. Just because a piece of work is not on this list does NOT mean I dislike it or don’t think it is up to standard. This list will change over time with new additions and I will also include personal thoughts on each; once I read them, of course.

If I do not finish reading one, I will write where I am up to or stopped (Some are currently quite long). I will not be polite and throw useless praise on a story, but neither will I be a harsh critic. I believe in the fair review of constructive criticism where ideas for improvement can be taken from. I also will not give scores to avoid categorizing the novels into ‘which is better’ and ‘which is the worst’ etc…

If you have a particular original english story you would like to see my thoughts on, feel free to comment below or email me at drunkenwolfin[at]gmail.com. Just be aware I prioritize writing myself, so don’t get a chance to do a large amount of reading. I will currently start at the top of my list, and work down.

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‘Zectas’ by John Nest (Table of Contents)  <Review on 28/6/15>

Currently up to reading – Volume 2 Chapter 5

I had already read volume 1 of this story in the past and have touched up my knowledge by reading into volume 2. This is also the only original english novel I know of that can defeat me in terms of chapter length! They are incredibly long, sometimes as much as 1.5 times what mine are.

I first want to point out one of the earlier/prominent feelings I had about this novel and have noticed a few comments about it in the past; The similarity it has with LMS.

The similarity it has with LMS is only really in the way that the online game works. I don’t feel the plot reflects LMS in any way like how Ark does. It also does not help that John Nest placed his work on the same domain as his LMS translations. That is metaphorically placing a barrel of oil and a bonfire in the same room.

The plot of Zectas is quite immersive, each element being both original and creative. However, I did start to feel like reading for a longer period of time was a bit of a drone due to the plot maintaining the exact same pace throughout. I think if John Nest manages improve on the delivery of the plot, he would be able to draw the reader in the same way a book can cause you to become so immersed in the story, it is 3am before you finally manage to put it down and go to sleep. The delivery of the plot also lacks in the sense that the main character has most things handed to him on a silver platter. I would like to see more plot driven challenges where our character needs to grit his teeth, dig through three miles of mud while enduring electric mud eels attacking from all direction, and to finally stand up with a fist sized nugget of gold.

Next comes the game system itself. This is where I feel the story is the most lacking and can detract from the quality of the plot. Everything is far too exaggerated and over the top. He begins at level 1 with 100 points of health, and by the time we are in volume 2 everyone’s health is anywhere for 60,000 to 100,000+. Monetary values also become multiples of 1,000,000.  I have not seen anything explode so exponentially since watching Gurren Lagann. I can understand if character begin with 10,000 points of health and a money was dished out in units of 1,000; but as things are it is almost like there is no balance – an important aspect of all role playing games.

The character main job is ingenious; a true spark of inspiration. It starts the character off low and has an immense potential growth that can be used throughout the novel for character improvement. The only downside is that the character is also showered with secondary skills, to the point where he is drowning in them. The large lists of abilities is usually a theme for ‘reincarnated into a RPG world’ stories, where the main character becomes overpowered and has a long list of abilities and techniques he can use to bring his enemies into cowering fear and woo the ladies at the same time. It is not the type of setting which flows well in the VRMMORPG scene, where being creative and insightful with your abilities allows you to rise to the top.

The characters are possibly too numerous, and introduced too soon. While not focusing on the likeability/personality of any particular characters or motivation, I had great difficulty with recalling exactly who was who; almost like I needed a glossary in one hand while reading with the other. This is more of a personal problem of mine, which is the same reason why I could not get into the Game of Throne books. While the names of people and places are creative and fun to read, throwing too many together in a single paragraph made it a little difficult to comprehend what I am reading at times.

Without discussing grammar issues, the writing itself is in needs some more thought at times. One particular example was the description ‘smoke white to ash grey’. There is no such colour as smoke white; white cannot be described as smoke coloured as that is no longer white. There are many elements in the novel which slightly more thought should be placed upon. This particular example could easily be solved as ‘clouded white to a solid ash grey’, but having to keep changing words like this in my mind to envision what I am reading is exhausting.

This story also contains a lot of character plotting behind the scenes, with NPC that are practically free of all restraints and capable of solving quests by themselves. It makes me believe that if this story was written as a ‘reincarnated into an RPG world’ story, it would be at least one level higher.

I enjoy Zectas, the positive points of the story slightly overshadow the negatives, making it a worthwhile read. While I do call it good, I think it can also be much better.

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‘Worm’ by wildbow (Table of Contents) <review on 2/7/15>

Currently up to reading – Buzz 7.8

Worm is everything you want in a novel and more. I began reading this story with a little scepticism about all the positive praise I heard about it. However, by the end of the first arc, I knew that praise was justice.

Just to begin with the delivery of the story. There is a fantastic contrast between the action scenes and those that are casual and laid back. The action feels realistic, easy to envision in my mind as I read about it, while the casual scenes are slower and yet just as interesting.

I found myself really getting into the story and unable to even put it down at times. The main character receives abuse and is bullied more ferociously than anything I have ever seen, and she determinedly puts up with it and doesn’t strike back. When I’m shouting at a story trying to tell the main character what to do, I know I am getting pretty deep into the words. I also got to see some fantastic character growth from the main character through the story as well!

The naming sense of the story is also first class. Reading about the hero organization, the ‘protectorate’, I already had a rough understanding of what they did and who they were just from reading the name of the organization.

Each arc contains an average of about nine chapters, which are a standard length each. In terms of arc length, each one alone is nowhere enough to compile into a novel, but three or four arcs could do so. There are thirty of these arcs in total, but I have only nearly finished the seventh.

The grammar and punctuation in this story truly makes me green with envy. While I wouldn’t call it perfect, reading it is incredibly easy and in the entire time I was reading, my eyes only caught several minor errors.

As far as the whole ‘superpowers’ theme goes, this is probably one of my favourites. It is realistic, down to earth, and full of power struggles. The superpowers in this work aren’t omnipotent, and don’t necessarily make you stronger than what you are. The greatest strength behind a persons superpowers are being able to deceive the opponent, not allowing them to know exactly what you are doing. Because if they know, they can find a way to counter you.

Wildbow creates his characters well, each one with a distinct personality that whether you like them or not, are what they are. I cannot give enough praise to the author for creating such a fantastic and creative tale. I almost want to ask whether he is the type of writer who scripts everything first, then expands on it; the type who starts with a seed, an idea, and simply grows it to watch where it goes; or the type who does a little bit of both, like me.

I have read enough for a fair review now and need to move on to the next, but I am incredibly eager to return and continue reading this story.

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‘Fantasy Edge’ by FantasyEdge Kami (Table of contents) <Review on 18/7/15>

Currently up to reading – Chapter 8

Fantasy edge is a relatively new novel that was recommended to me. My initial impression after the first chapter was extremely positive. The writing is fantastic and the grammar good. I am not very good at picking up grammar imperfections, but I did not notice next to any errors. It is still early as there are only seven chapters released as of this review, and there is the potential for either failure or greatness.

The main character is real, life-like, and incredibly easy to relate with. His lifestyle is mild, perhaps a little too much so. I point this out because when I read a fantasy novel or such, it is like an escape from reality. Immersing myself in a new and vivid world. Despite how well written a story is, reading about mediocrity doesn’t get me excited. I don’t just mean I like epic tales of grandeur. The most exciting part of any story is where I WANT to be the main character. Being the centre of attention, gaining the interest of a beautiful lady, or watching my hard efforts finally rewarded are some of the things that make me want to keep reading. Unfortunately, this novel does not have that as of yet.

I also took note of how there have been no real challenges or puzzles presented to the main character. My belief is that the author should consider quests or similar with the concept of going from location A to location B. Only to find a locked door in between, with a massive ravine behind it and only a small tight rope across. And then upon reaching location B, discovering they require item C.

Aside from the negative, there are still ample amounts of positive for this story. The author has come up with a few ideas that whilst having been used elsewhere before, are fresh to the litRPG scene. The main character has an in game class very similar to one of our favourite shinobi, with all the skills and perks included!

I focused more on the negatives with this review rather than the positives for two reasons. Firstly, all the positives are not for points which strike me as particularly impressive, but for the fact that it is all done so well. Secondly, as a new novel that has started off so highly, I hope for further improvements and it becoming even better.

I am most eagerly anticipating good things from this novel. Believe it!!

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‘Magelife’ by Tempest (Table of Contents)

Currently up to reading – Chapter 6

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‘The Zombie Knight’ by George M. Frost. (Table of Contents)

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‘Stone burners’ by Syphax (Table of Contents)

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‘Twisted Cogs’ by maddirose (Table of Contents)

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‘The Bathrobe Knight’ by Charles Dean (Home Page)

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‘Universe Online’ by Viken (Table of Contents)

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‘A Practical Guide to Evil’ by erraticerrata (Prologue)

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‘Infinity Tomes’ by happypsych (Table of Contents)

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20 Comments

    1. ‘Universe Online’ added! I have seen it wandering around on amazon and been meaning to delve a little deeper. I have placed ‘The Gam3’ in my list of considerations! ^.^

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  1. Just found your novel and have yet to read it, but I wanted to recommend my new favorite original vrmmorpg novel.
    Fantasy Edge – https://fantasyedgenovel.wordpress.com/
    Loving the story so much right now. It’s the only vrmmo novel I’ve found that goes so indepth in talking about the technology and game world.
    I heard that it was so good that the translator for http://clickyclicktranslation.blogspot.com/ decided to put up a permanent link.

    I’ll also check out Zectas since your review sounded pretty positive.

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          1. §A practical guide to evil” really is one of the best and funniest new web novels. Easy to read style and formatting too. Very much worth it!

            If you are searching for other Litrpg novels, I would recommend the series “The Dragon’s Wrath” by Brent Roth (It has volumes like a web novel). It has a slow development, but I enjoyed the uniqueness a lot. Sadly, so far I only found it on amazon. Still, it was worth the money.

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    1. I have. A fantastic book that really defines a great way to lay out a volume. I won’t be reviewing that however as it is already such a well renowned work. Perhaps later on I may share my own thoughts on it, but not right now.

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  2. If you are looking for a long online novel that is finished (the same way Worm and Pact by Wildbow are complete) a good fan-fiction one that was recommended to me and I spent way too much time reading is ‘Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality’, Although all the characters and settings are familiar, I actually enjoyed the plot and action more than the original text. Set in an alternate universe where Harry Potter had a different father, a scientist, who loved and encouraged him, he is suddenly introduced to magic! It is 121 chapters and approaches in length the actual Harry Potter series. You will find it at http://hpmor.com/

    Anyway keep up the great writing yourself!

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