Three chapters present at the time of this review.
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As we gather from the title of the story and the first lines depicting a world filled with radiation due to the aftermath of nuclear warfare, this piece is dystopian in nature. We are presented with Ethan, a gritty, ‘means justify the ends’ protagonist who has been severely warped by witnessing the death of his mother at a young age. I liked the way the author immediately set this out in the first paragraphs, clearly giving the character solid motivation and aim ‘to eliminate every last bio-weapon’ and ‘lock away every monster’ who used them due to this tragic event. In later chapters, the author utilises flashbacks to give more backstory here, and we get to dig deeper into the Eren Jaeger like frustration and hatred over the death of Ethan’s mother - the key event that drives him forward. I doubt, as the story is updated, that Ethan will become your run of the mill noble hero, as there are themes of immorality amongst ‘good people’ running throughout character dialogues in the second chapter. Could we have a possible anti-hero on our hands?
As for the general atmosphere of the work, there is a sense of hopelessness and whiff of death around everything in these opening chapters. This is present not only from the nuclear backdrop and need for breathing apparatus in this world, but also in the main character’s internal dialogue. I’m intrigued to see if the finale of this story will be drastically different or if this hopelessness will prevail in the end.
There’s also no shortage of action. I really loved the more adrenaline-fuelled second portion of the first chapter, especially the way the author built up the tension with clipped sentences and internal dialogue during the sequence. I also enjoyed the gory and to the bone description used throughout and in the following chapters. Watch out though, these are not for the faint-hearted.
Aside from this, there is also some inventive world-building already being used this early on, and, avoiding spoilers, unique ideas such as the way echolocation is used. I was glad to see the author also had a sense of humour. I’ll leave you to find the eye-related joke that made me, unfortunately, laugh out loud when I was sitting in the library earlier today.
The chapter length is longer than usual, but given this is a dystopian sci-fi novel, I feel this is the perfect length as it allows room for context and details of the world that would feel rushed if not for the extra building.
In conclusion, I feel this story would be well-enjoyed by those who liked ‘The Hunger Games’ series as it embodies the military and resistance aspects especially seen in the second two novels of the trilogy.
Thanks for the opportunity to read this, and keep it up!
(As a note to the author, there’s a brief typo in the second chapter where the word ‘trans’ should be ‘trance’).