Soulshard: Willbender

by pyrowind

Original Fantasy LitRPG Sci-fi Anti-Hero Lead Harem Magic Male Lead Reincarnation Virtual Reality
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

Real Fantasy Online. The flagship product for the latest generation neural-interface headset. Touting: "The Best NPC AIs", "Better than Life Realism" and "Total Immersion", RFO promises to be a virtual world like no other. But when the line between one's real self and one's digital identity becomes blurred, and the "Gods" have their own agenda, who is the player, and which is the game?

 

Marcus has played any number of VR games, beta-tested dangerous and unstable systems and lived to tell the tale. He even has a certain amount of fame and influence within...certain circles. He usually disdains the idea of pre-orders and their respective "perks" as blatent commerical exploitation, but this time the bonus is too tempting to pass up. The ability to craft your character's backstory and have it integrated into the game's lore is enough for him to sign up for the Early Access program. He isn't interested in being all-powerful. Frankly, he's been there and done that enough to be bored of the whole thing. Instead, he opts to make a character purely for the purpose of having fun. Things aren't quite what they seem however, and his "backstory" and character class have implications he never would have imagined.

 

Author Note: First time posting a story online, and I'd appreciate any feedback. Updates may be slow, as each "chapter" will likely be in the 10,000 word range and I tend to revise several times before being (tentatively) satisfied. If people seem to like this I'll try to establish a regular post schedule.

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InsaneChemist
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New, Creative, and Interesting

This story is excellent. At this time, there are only 3 chapters. However, each chapter is long, ~10k words. 

My review is equally as long. (Not really) Bear with me, or there's a TL;DR at the bottom.

I will talk about the easy points first.

The grammar is excellent. I would not be surprised to find out that he already has a proofreader, but if he can just write this on his own I am jealous. There are a few mistakes, but the author reads comments and corrects quickly. Given the standards for RRL, this is easily 5/5.

Style is a bit more nebulous. It is primarily written in limited third person. The main character is adressed by his name or simply he. We see his thoughts, but not those of other characters (aside from small POV segments). Sentences are well written, few if any major errors. Paragraphs are well divided, no walls of text here! Blue Boxes exist, but are somewhat rare. They come up in a separate segment, all together. No constant interruptions about "Skill X has increased!" In addition, they make sense in context.

Now things get harder, and with far more spoilers. I will try to avoid them, but be careful.

Story-wise, I can find few flaws. It takes place in a future, ~100 years from now. We get a limited backstory that flows well, no huge infodump. There is no OPMC scenario, no major plot holes, and I am interested.

Spoiler: Spoiler

 Lastly, and the part that has me a little conflicted, character. 

The main character is well written, and there are few major flaws. Side characters feel realistic, and I can't see any cardboard cutouts. With that said, there's less than 200 pages out right now.

Spoiler: Spoiler

 Now for the TL;DR

Grammer: 5/5, Near Perfect.

Style: Limited Third Person, well written. Professional grade imho. 5/5

Story: Interesting, seemlessly integrated, and clever. Issues are minor. 4.5/5

Character: Detailed, realistic, no cardboard cutouts. MC is concerning. 4/5

Good luck!

 

Zathious
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I can not fault it in anyway. The concept is extreamly refreshing with many future possible developments being hinted at. 

The lenght of each chapter also adds immensely to the emersion and makes it very enjoyable to read. It has flawless grammar and you can tell every aspect of it has been throughly thought out. The character development is also quite excellent, whether it's the internal dialogue or their respective actions, it just fits. 

Honestly I see this book reaching the Top 5 in a few weeks. 

DonutDaddy
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Posting this at chapter  3. This book has had a great start and amazing potential. In most litrpg books the story either progress to fast or to slow but this one has seem to find the perfect pace. On top of that the characters are evolving and they aren't to op or week. It has a hint of comedy, and harem with adventuring. I love it

creationist0
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I look down on rave reviews usually, but this novel really does bring it all. Compelling characters, interesting plot, and tons of uniqueness. Definitely steals random things from other fantasy novels, but the write implements them in a way that adds to the story, rather than just being corny.

 

There are a few minor grammar mistakes, sometimes even back to back, but it didn't detract from the overall story for me, which is unusual since I normally grammar nazi on RRL.

Adirell
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Creative take on VR

Very interesting VR game mechanics and mature, believable, intelligent, but not over-powered MC. Fantasy, adventure and mystery in real life and in the game.

I recommend it as one of the most promising stories on RoyalRoad.

Long chapters. :)

Teegsmeister
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Ok this is my first review but I have to say this is a generally good story.

The premise is much better than simply "trapped in another world" and fans of Word Seed will definetly enjoy this (possible spoiler if you know the series, if not check it out its a good read).

The grammar is very good for RRL but there are some spelling mistakes in the first few chapters. But really nothing too bad to detract from the story. 

The characters are abstract and have faults like normal people with no real "flat" characters. The backstory and motivation for all if them seems well thought out and planned

All and all an exciting start to what I hope will be a long adventure. 

Kappa-sama
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Read this novel. Way better than a lot of other novels on this site, and could even probably be sold on Amazon once it gets 300~ pages. 

TheSwicky
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You totally feel like reading on and on, lots of background story of the MC himself and lots of worldbuilding. This story having only 3 chapters at the moment should not keep you away as they're incredibly long. Very few grammar mistakes (English is not my mother langue so do not think it's 100% without errors)

TrueSpeaker
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I am really enjoying the start to this story. I find that the more effort and imagination given the character creation,in general the better the rest of the story will be. Rushing through the single most important stage for a character does not bode well for a well fleshed out yarn. Imagination, detail, and personality are all prominatly displayed.

Evrin
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I Like Where This is Headed

As of Chapter 7

I admit that I was on the fence with this one at first. The beginning was a bit slow, and even at this point, the plot has just started hatching.

I do recommend this story however.

The characters are interesting, the take on VR and AI's is also different enough to keep me reading.

I'm also impressed with the quality of the writing, as well as chapter length.

If you have a chance, give this story a try.