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Battle is an Art
Battle is an Art
4.6k Views 26 Favorites 24 Chapters 0 Chapters/Week 57 Readers
4.8 (4 ratings)
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Synopsis

Herah was many things: a master artist, a zealot Cendruex, a brutal fighter, and now, an unwilling participant in a deadly game known as Recompense.
As one of her Maker's many gifted, Herah (alongside many others) has been summoned from her universes to complete a set of "acts", with each act having its own task that must be completed.
If won, Herah shall be granted a single wish with very little restrictions in what she can get, but if lost not only will she lose her home, her family, and her people but her entire universe.
With this threat hanging over her head, her Maker playing her like a puppet, an antagonistic human leading her, and the demons of those around her popping up, Herah is in for the battle of her life.
But Herah's a master artist, and as far she's concerned battle, no matter the type, is exactly that: an art.

Genre
ActionAdventureFantasyMature
Tags
Aggressive Characters Androgynous Characters Appearance Different from Actual Age Character Growth Comedic Undertone Confident Protagonist Cruel Characters Delinquents Depictions of Cruelty Elemental Magic Exhibitionism Female Protagonist Pansexual Protagonist Sex Friends Spear Wielder Special Abilities Twins Unique Weapons World Hopping
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      l_nimbus
      Status: c21
      Mar 8, 2019

      Norwe needs to f**king die. That's the first thing I'm going to say. Barring Yuki Terumi, there is no character I hate more than that sonofabitch. And you know what? That's a sign of quality. That an author can make you feel that hatred, make you feel those emotions, that devastation, that emptiness.

      That out of the way, this is a story I immensly enjoy reading. I'm not exaggerating here, I got addicted to this. To the point where I faked some bathroom breaks during work in order to read a few more pages. I NEVER do that. Now, with that out of the way, it's time to give this story a review it DESERVES.

      There are a variety of reasons this story is overlooked and passed over, and those need to be addressed and fixed before this can take it's place as one of the best on RRL and ScribbleHub. It's unique, it's got a setting that awe inspiring, haunting and tragic at the same time, a great cast and a hell of a future.

      But why is it getting passed over? I'll address that in a special section below. For now, let's review this overlooked gem of a story.

      Story:

      Okay, there's good, great and needs-to-be-fixed. Let's go at it. The first few chapters are well put together, if a little confusing. If I have to recommend something, it's that you smooth those out a little, answer some of the questions you leave open. I know that that's the point, but too many questions open will just confuse the readers.

      To clarify, here's what most likely to turn off people. We only get a few guesses at information that's crucial to shaping the story early on, and most people don't like that. I just went through without rereading, and it took me a few chaps to piece together a picture of Herah's race. Also.... The sentient pencil was actually nice. Once in a while, you get a story where you have something ridiculous, which actually works out. You did a good job on that here. BUT, some people will want an explanation for that.

      Even now, at the end of the story, there are some things I don't understand. I know these aren't fully explained because the story is from Herah's perspective (with some exceptions), and she already knows these things and doesn't feel the need to explain them, but a quick primer on things like her techniques would do wonders for the reader.

      That said, the execution, the pace at with questions are revealed and answered, or even the little trivia we get along the way is well-consructed, thought out and delivered. I liked how you sneak in little things about her race here and there, while luring us with the big stuff. Your method of answering and posing new questions every chapter works well, and is something I'm considering picking up myself.

      Now, the actual story.

      .... It's good, really good. While the start is something that might deter readers, those who forge on will be blown away. I like what you did with The Recompense. You have balls for that, for making it VERY clear about things like morality, right and wrong, selfishness, tragedy and loss. The fact that you created two sides that are both in the right, stand to lose everything if they're defeated, and have an asshole of a god forcing the ultimate outcome with no escape is a unique, addictive setting.

      You make it very clear that the Recompense is for this God's amusement, that rules are Norwe's to make and break, that he cares for no one despite his lazy, friendly attitude, and that no matter what happens, someone will pay. I love that. Too often, we have stories about 'Gods' bound by rules and technicalities, but not here. This is one of the things you did best, showing us what can happen if there's a bored, all-powerful being with no one to control them.

      The Oni's perspectives actually make you see their side of the story, make you feel for them, hate the main characters because of their actions. You show their side of the story, and you don't pull the punches, somehow make what Herah and crew are doing alright, justified or brushing it over. No, you delivered punches to the nuts, and you did it perfectly.

      There are times when you don't know who to cheer for, and I feel like that's what you were aiming for. This is just the first arc, but you're already asking heavy questions, brining out morality and the like. And it doesn't feel forced.

      Speaking of which. There are a few, tiny parts of the story, just spread here and there, where it feels like too much info is added. Just saying.

      Style:

      You have an addictive style. I kept an eye on myself, and I can usually tell how good an author writing style is by how fast I'm racing through pages, and you pass.

      That said, I'm going to try to deliver some critique as well. One of the things I noticed the most is that you have blocks of text here and there. These make it harder to read. Break those up and space them a little and it'll be much easier of the reader's eyes.

      This is my personal preference, but I feel like your action scenes could flow better. They're good, but not great. Especially when character like Alex are involved. To me, fights are fast, blink and you miss it stuff. All the unimportant static is phased out, and only the immediately important details are shown. They should be fast, tense and unpredictable. Yours are good, but I feel like characters have too much time to think and talk during these.

      They can also feel just a bit confusing to me. Oh, they'll please readers, believe me, but to me, my bar is a little higher. I might be getting elitist here, but I believe someone of you caliber can push yourself to take that little extra step and add the fights to the list of reasons readers keep coming back.

      Grammar:

      Again, good. I know I'm not one to talk, but I notice mistakes that you missed here and there. While you don't have misplaced commas or questions marks, I have noticed words that are in the wrong place, a few times where 'a' was in a sentance instead of 'I'.

      In that same vein, some of your sentences feel a bit too long. Try cutting down the really long ones a bit, or inserting a comma here and there. You're grammar is better than mine, and we both know it, but I'm pointing out what you can do to polish this story even further.

      Characters:

      Oh goody, the cast. I have sooo much to say about this part. Let's get started.

      Herah: Okay, my feelings for her waver around a bit. While you're going for a love-to-hate character, and there are times when you do love her, there are also times when you hate her. She's both a simple and complicated character. I like your portrayal of her zealotry, her dedication, unwavering faith, and her point of view. There are times when she purposefully comes off as cruel, and you did a great job of playing my emotions with her. You set her character of solid foundations, and stayed true to that all through the story.

      Jeffrey: A sentient pencil. Who can be an asshole to Herah (Keep da bitch in line), Might be a badass in his own time, and is likely OP. Can we have side chapters with him/her/it already?

      Owen: I Don't have much to say, other than good job. His character is well developed, his lore is delivered at a good pace, and he makes an impression. He is, however, overshadowed.

      Alex: Everybody hates this asshole. I mean it. I don't care that the Recompense is Norwe's fault, I want to see Herah pound this asshole into a bloody pulp. Alex embodies everything I hate in a character. Way too much arrogance, a cold, calous disregard for others, except for those he likes, willing to use pain and torture to make other submit to him, and just being a pure asshole all of the time. He sticks his nose into Max's relationships and tries to make decisions for her. He comes off as nothing but hateable, and that's probably what you're aiming for.

      Max: She balances out Alex. She likeable, has a deep, interesting past, her actions haunting her, a unique power, more or less everything that's needed to make a memorable characters. Also, her sense of humor is great. Seriously, 'Lavatits'.

      Norwe: Kill this f**k already. I mean it. With those subtles hints, the seemingly simplistic dialogues, and disregard for anyone, you're jacking this guy to Scottf14 villian levels of hate. I want to see this asshole dead. I mean it.

      There are many more, and all that I have to say is that the cast is excellently done. Even the fodder and the chars you only see once stand out with unique features, stories and levels of development, I quite enjoyed that.

      Suggestions:

      Don't take this the wrong way, okay? But.... you need another cover and sypnosis. These are the two biggest things that hold BIAA back. They're well done, BUT, they don't appeal. With the setting of your story, you could have an infinitely more interesting hook to draw readers. Hell, just putting up the piece of art you have for Herah would get way more views than what you have right now.

      What you have right now doesn't project BIAA's massive potential at all. It looks professionaly done, but is it clickable? Not really. Mentioning things like 'Universal Games' or 'Dragon Morphs' in your Sypnosis would get you hella more viewers and readers. You have a combination people would love, but the biggest hurdle they have to overcome is your own cover.

      Next up is chapter length.

      They're too long. Readers online only have so and so much interest and time to read a chapter. Try splitting these down to different parts.

      Example: A Sketch is added.

      Instead of putting up the whole chapter, split it into say, four parts and upload it one right after another. This will help A LOT. I tried this method, and it worked amazingly.

      Conclusion:

      BIAA is an amazing story, one I whole-heartedly support. It shows what can happen when an author takes something unique and delivers. It boasts quality writing, a great, fleshed out cast, questions in morality, dem feels, and quality helped on quality.

      I like.

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