Poll: Which novel should we read first?

Our Last Crusade or the Rise of a New World (Romance story with politics and magic)
0%
0
Roll Over and Die: I Will Fight for an Ordinary Life with My Love and Cursed Sword (lesbian sword)
100.00%
4
Total: 4 vote(s)
#21
sealelement
all right i finished it. i'll just format my initial post the same the kindest weapon did. i'm not gonna really do much editing here though so this is kind of stream of consciousness, just like the actual novel (ZING).


initial thoughts
i don't know if anyone besides kyle, two finger, and myself are familiar with the anime valkyrie drive, but that's more or less what i expected. all i knew going in was that this was about a girl who finds a cursed sword and also theres another girl, and i was under the mistaken impression that the other girl WAS the cursed sword, and also her lover. so anyways, valkyrie drive is a shitty anime-franchise-thing by one of the senran kagura creators whose name escapes me (although i think kyle knows it off the top of his head), and its about girls who transform into weapons for other girls to wield by becoming sexually aroused so that they can engage in battle. so basically i expected oversexualized yuribait battle garbage coming into this, but with a healthy serving of tropes from my least favorite light novel trend, which is the psuedo-fantasy setting that uses video game stats and mechanics to explain how its magic and combat rules work that you see in a lot of isekai. so yeah, not very high hopes, but i was still excited to read something bad and pick apart why it's so bad.


overall thoughts
so first off, before anything else, there were elements that i really enjoyed. it actually seemed like they were trying to develop a lesbian romance instead of a "oh theyre just friends" and because ive read and viewed SO much crap, i have to give the author credit for actually moving in that direction, because that's how low the bar is (although the romance they try to develop is kind of weird and not perfectly done). i also really liked a lot of the fight sequences for the sheer gore and horror elements going on. i know its not the most unique thing in the world to have gratuitous violence, even for the average light novel, but i liked how this went over the top. i also liked how flum's old party kind of fell apart immediately, but that also sort of leads into my complaints.

in the afterword, the author describes how the story is basically just a mishmash of their interests in lesbian romance, horror, fantasy, and fight scenes, which they admit as being for a niche audience. but i'm not really sure how niche those things actually are, and i think what the author means to say is that they're aware that they threw too many ideas, genres, and plot threads into the story, and decided to just dismiss it as being niche when it would probably be more appropriate to say the author didn't exercise enough judgment in removing redundant or irrelevant plot elements.

the opening few chapters that establish who flum is and how she ended up meeting milkit and getting the evil sword are pretty strong and consistent in tone. things start off as a typical adventure to save the world and then abruptly take a dark and cynical turn as flum gets sold into slavery, but after flum escapes the evil slaver, i expected the story to become relatively low stakes and focus on issues like the corrupt adventurer's guild and flum and milkit trying to get by in their lives, with stuff like the heroes fighting the war, the demons, the church, et cetera becoming largely background elements. furthermore, i assumed we'd just never see the other heroes again, and not only would they remain totally irrelevant, but that they really did just dislike flum, and therefore she would just leave them behind and soldier on.

but then, after flum has been sold into slavery, we find out that no, the other party members DID like her all along. i mean i thought it was neat that the party kind of fell apart after flum left, but it kind of robs the shock of those first couple of chapters to find out that oh no, flum was useful and important the whole time. i think this is further complicated when the side stories confirm that all of the other party members KNOW jean is a dickhead, and they KNOW he had it out for flum, seemingly even before flum left. so why take jean at his word in the first place?

my absolute biggest problem with this novel was that the main 4 things going on in the story- cutesy perfect slice of life lesbians, sketchy and dark and morally questionable political affairs and crimes, body horror fight sequences, and the video gamey magic and enchantments and shit- are all conflicting with each other. after the origin story, the tone and genre of each chapter is whiplash from one to the next. i know this is at least somewhat intentional, like with sara's whole arc, but then you have characters like flum just murdering the shit out of people, getting gut like a sheep, and enduring horrific traumas in one chapter, and then giggling and talking about love lives in another. her trauma and "dark side" only seem to become relevant when the author wants for drama's sake, but then when the author wants a cutesy scene then that stuff is conveniently forgotten about. and i know that in real life, people who have endured trauma are capable of having tender moments or whatever, but it makes the plot and character arc more of an informed attribute, and it also makes the actual characters feel secondary to showing off what amounts to a series of sequences of things that the author happens to personally enjoy, regardless of how much sense it all makes.

thoughts on the characters
flum is the most sympathetic character in that she actually gets a character, but even then she's kind of all over the place and like the kindest weapon said, goes from 0 to murder real fast.

if i were editing for this author, i would tell them to completely remove milkit from the story, because she has no bearing on anything other than facilitating weird inappropriate yuri scenes and filling the long-awaited position of the first mummy waifu. she doesn't really have any agency in the story since she's a dull rei clone, and she can't fight or take a punch, which means she's almost totally irrelevant for the fights. in fact, she just disappears for multiple chapters at a time. outside of some awkward attempts at romantic scenes, she only really exists as flum's morality pet and motivation to murder people, which milkit is weirdly cool with for some reason. if i had to point to one single character that was emblematic of my issues with this book, it would be milkit. her name is stupid as shit too.

i have nothing to say about sara. the "she sees something grimdark and now she doesnt know what to believe whoaaaaa" fake out was so predictable.

however, jean was FUCKING GREAT. i really appreciate when a bad guy is just over the top to the point of being comically evil, and jean was so amazingly terrible and cruel in the first chapters that it was bordering on camp. but despite what i just said about the rest of the party apparently liking flum kind of making the side story chapters stupid and contradict the introduction, jean actually got more compelling to me when the side stories fleshed him out as this really arrogant, insecure, and pampered dickhead. i do think the author went a little too far when they said jean is a grown man who wants to fuck a 16 year old girl, though, and i actually did laugh out loud at that part just for how audacious it was in trying to paint jean as the baddest guy EVER.

will i keep reading this series?
no... shit sucked. for every 1 thing i liked there was a half dozen that i didn't. if this author wrote a series zeroing in on the gruesome body horror and mutilation stuff, then i think i would like that a lot, but the stuff outside of that felt like kind of a chore. the sleepover chapter in particular was just bad. still, i had a decent enough time reading it and thinking about what i liked and disliked.
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#22
Stirling
i made it 5 pages in before i got kinda bored and decided to pet my cat.
Get it by your own hands.

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#23
Elyk
(Dec 21, 2020 at 4:28 AM)Stirling Wrote: i made it 5 pages in before i got kinda bored and decided to pet my cat.

thank you for your contribution
#24
sealelement
(Dec 21, 2020 at 4:28 AM)Stirling Wrote: i made it 5 pages in before i got kinda bored and decided to pet my cat.

you and i and everyone else on the website already knew you weren't going to read it so why even post about it?
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#25
The Kindest Weapon
I forgot to touch on the video game stuff.

Can we just take a moment and remember all the weird, overly done explanations?

In the beginning, the author went way out of their way to explain how the heroes' fast travel spell worked and how often they used it and why. Going so far as to explain the detailed mechanics. I thought it was going to useful info later, but it wasn't at all...

Then there's just the stats that everything has. Imagine just scanning everything because cirsed items are so common that Flum can just stunble across them to get a new quick buff?

I will say though, I did like when they played with the scan's stat display with the messed up, faceless, regenerating orge. Having the stat screen call out Flum directly, and then having the whole facility they were in call out to Flum directly too, very good.
#26
sealelement
yeah what was with the explanations? the only thing that has any payoff is the fucked up scan screen on the uzumaki SCP experiment, and sure that was great, but all the other explanations are just there for the sake of "worldbuilding" i guess?

and yeah i also kind of detested the power levels. i felt like the anzu fight, which was my favorite fight, was tense and thrilling enough without the scouter telling us the anzu's power level.
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#27
The Kindest Weapon
Yeah, as I said in my initial thoughts, before I read I suspected that stats were just going to be a lazy way to convey power and used to benchmark strength. It's dumb, a lot of light novels do this. I think both the Anzu fight and the regen orge were writen well enough* to convey their strength and such without being like "look how big these numbers are."

There was a lot of character scenes and moments that could have used more detail, but instead at times it felt like the author was just writing mechanics and lore for a video game they wanted to make.
#28
Elyk
[Image: darth-vader-didnt-read.gif]

Sorry this failed.

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