Whats the worst way you can imagine dying? By that I don't mean most painfull, but most embarassing. For Ryan this turned out to be drowning in a bathtub just after having passed his doctoral defence. At least something good came out of it. Well, I guess getting laughed at by a god might not be considered that good.. But getting to reincarnate, with all you memories, now that is good... Ryan thinks so at least. Waking up to see the tall walls of a church, Ryan was reincarnated as an abandoned baby. Even if it is the middle ages the priest is nice, right?
Review up to chapter 8. Writing: Above Average I do find some atypical syntax, but overall, the grammar is okay, slightly above the usual found on Webnovel, hence why I deemed it a 4. With that said, WN has a low standard, so more needs to be worked on to fix where the grammar is off. For example, the second line is not in parallel construction with “stands...holding...starting.” It should be “stands..., holds..., and starts his speech. (dialogue speech goes here).” Update Stability: Above Average Last update was in 6 days, so not bad, but again comparing to WN standard and preference, this doesn’t quite make the 5 star “Great.” Story Development and Character Design: Both Below Average Here is where I have most of my critiques and these two went hand in hand for this. The first two chapters was the MC’s previous life and death with him talking to God. Two problems: 1) Why does did he get out of his world’s cycle? If you’re going to present a theory for life, death, and reincarnation with a higher being, then you need to clearly explain why the MC was “special” in having missed it. 2) Alexander doesn’t reference his past life once in the following chapters, making these first two chapters and description of entering a new world completely void and unnecessary for the reader. After these two chapters, we get an extended narration, yes narration and not story, of him growing up and finally going to the military. This is much too long to get to the “main scene” for the main plot, to one of the genres this is tagged under, War and Military. Two problems: 1) His childhood is boring and doesn’t get us anything relevant. Why? Because it’s just narration, like a summary with his childhood with nothing interesting or important to note. All the events that happened was just him scraping by until he joined the military. No bonds with anyone; everyone else was just flyby characters, so the reader can’t grow attached. At one point in chapter five, it even said “nothing interesting happened.” 2) Alexander basically is a new character because he doesn’t retain his previous identity. He doesn’t make use of his ***** intelligence as a child and merely acts like one. Even at 14 joining the military, he’s at least 14+22+2+4= 42 years of age if he got his doctorate, possibly older. Why would he act so jumpy and nervous around the lieutenant and other military staff when he’s basically the same age? Or even more so, as act as a child like with Jack or among other children. This would have been a great opportunity to take advantage of his ***** mind to get ahead as child. But instead, he lives an ordinary life. At least provide a suitable reason for his mental age seemed to have regressed into his new life age, and why he doesn’t refer to any of his past memories. Basically why chose to keep memories if they provide no purpose in your next/new life. World Background: Average This is decently explained, so credits for being able to visualize the world. However, the caveat to that is the necessity of describing everything. In other words, why build up settings that you don’t need and aren’t crucial to the plot? It would be better to start at his enlisting with a very brief touch on growing up orphaned and working for Jack until he got to the military. That one sentence is essentially all that the previous five chapters were about. Nothing noteworthy occurred in his childhood, so move onto the core story, the main highlight. Final words. Good potential due to writing skill and ability to convey visuals/setting. More work is necessary with balanced dialogue and more showing than telling (too much narration of events). I see a common pitfall of including the unnecessary to the reader but necessary to the writer (all the narration and MC previous world background). Also, more characterization of the MC early on. So far by chapter 8, I have little to no grasp of his character due to the extended yet time skipping narration of his childhood.
A group of six is seated in the corner table of a pub drinking and cheering. One of the men in the group stands up, holding his pint high, starting a speech, "So, finally, Ryan is done with his doctoral defence." He points towards the man sitting at one end of the table "And, to be honest, it is about damned time he gets off his ass and joins us in real life and starts working." At this most of the group laughs, whilst the man named Ryan shakes his head and answers "Well, Neill, I wouldn't really say that since I have been earning money whilst doing this." Following onto Neill's short speech, the rest of the group congratulates Ryan with his successful thesis defence.
The group stays at the pub until it closes at around 2 AM, when they start stumbling out. Outside the pub they start splitting up, Neill going with two of the others in one direction, whilst Ryan and the remaining two head the opposite way. Having walked for about 5 minutes they split up again. "I'm heading this way"-indicates Ryan-"so I will be seeing you guys on Saturday for the Dungeons and Dragons game right?" The other two answers with a short affirmative, as if any other answer would make sense.
Continuing alone, Ryan heads towards his home, it being summer at this point it isn't that dark even at 2 AM. Being drunk, Ryan staggers a bit, but manages to make his way back home to his flat without any problems. Outside his door he fumbles some with the keys, adding some extra scratches to the lock, before managing to unlock it. Once inside he decides it would be a smart thing to have a glass of water before heading to the bathroom. He grabs a large glass from a cupboard and fills it with water, sipping from it as he makes his way towards the bathroom. He looks at himself in the mirror, thinking that he finally did it, finally he had the doctorate in Physics he had been working towards for the last 3 years. As he is staring at himself, he feels that a bath right now would be amazing.
Having filled the bathtub, Ryan slowly lowers himself into the bath, letting out a sigh. What wonders a good, hot bath does, he was thinking. He takes a sip from the glass of water and leans back in the tub, thinking about what he would do after sleeping. Tomorrow, well, later today, would be the first full day of him being a Doctor of Physics. With that thought, it also reminded him of the fact that he hadn't confirmed if he would get to continue in the research group he was part of or not. Lying there, thinking, he started to dose off.