Review: All the Birds in the Sky

Beautiful, effortless, and calm. Like two rivers merged into a lake, where rainbows came for naps; only showing its magical strength when the time was ripe.

 

The book started like a story for children. Simple, but entertaining enough to reel me further. It started with each protagonist’s struggle against their own family. As they grew older, the number of their oppositions increased; schoolmate bullies. Laurence and Patricia sought an ally and found it in each other. They tried their best to help and comfort for each other, but life’s a mess, and both of them were little children. It got worse when an assassin decided to be involved in the growing resentment between their messed up alliance. They separated for quite a long time and had the chance to cultivate their own gift; Laurence’s mind for science and engineering and Patricia’s heart for healing and trickster magic. Their path eventually crossed, only to be separated again.  The rest was constant struggle against everything, and against each other, and against their own selves. Magic and science entwined; talking birds and tree, wormhole and time machine; struck each other violently because of fear, but there were also kisses because of love.

The first half of the story most comprised of ordinary slice of life events, except the quirks put here and there like, the talking animals and the two-seconds time machine. The book didn’t need to throw big things at my face. It’s pretty calm yet rewarding. That’s why it felt effortless to me. I got to know the characters in slow and intimate pace. The second half was when the lightning began to dance. They were so close yet so far, near but pulled apart. Super storm happened. War waged across the land. Doomsday machine. The unravelling. Parents and friends died. Fear. Fear. Fear. An oath got broken in order to save the dearest one. The story ended a bit weird. Not as satisfying as I would prefer it to be, but not bad.

 

Review:The Silmarillion

I read the Hobbit,

And I fucking loved it.

In Children of Hurin,

My heart joyfully ruined.

And I,

Skipped The Lord of the Rings,

Jumped right into this Silmarillion thing.


Ugh. Mostly, the Silmarillion itself is about fancy elves making a fuss about their pretty jewelleries. And my main complaint about this is the fact that, even though the lore often mentioned how wise are the elves, yet most of their life wasted in the making and in the bloody-pursuit of gems. Feanor! Smartest, wisest, strongest blablabla, and yet his masterpiece was pretty stones, which then stolen by Melkor, which then made him swore an oath that would curse his descendants also. Come on Feanor, you could build many greater things than that shit; move on! But the tales of foolish bravery unveiled around them are awesome and worth reading indeed.

I enjoyed most of the tales. In the creation tales, Melkor’s act of rebellion, reminded me of myself; when I was a little, everytime I sang in choir, I often brought destruction upon the harmony just so I could hear myself more stand out than the rest. It was childish of course and I think, the creator, the god, Eru Illufarter understood this, so he let Melkor lives. Yeay for free will! Thus, he went on pursuing his malice, playing dark lord on middle earth until some half-elf in flying ship pounce his army down.

Out of many heroic battles in this book, the most daring was Fingolfin. He rode alone to Angband in anger after the battle of sudden flame broke the siege of Angband. Morgoth could not refuse his invitation to duel. So they fought one on one. Fingolfin was a mighty elf, but Morgoth was godly. It was foolish to me, but it was foolishness worthy to be envied for. There’s this song titled: Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill) which I think illustrates the spectacular feat of Fingolfin properly. I loved this song before, and now after reading Silmarillion, my exhilaration is kind of tripled.

Another great duel was between Luthien and Huan versus Sauron. Luthien’s magic was so great that later, even Morgoth himself was put to sleep by it. This was a part of Beren and Luthien love story. A story that can be summed up into: the suitor sought the dangerous dowry, but failed and ended up saved by the princess. Yeah, so powerful was Luthien, that when she wore the Silmaril, Feanor’s sons were afraid to adhere to their cursed oath.

Tolkien has great influence indeed, for before reading this, I already familiar with many of the terms from various metal band’s songs or names or stage names that adopted names from his works. So reading Silmarillion made me finally able to make sense some of those words. And yes, they’re fucking cool names. Amon Amarth! Gorgoroth!

I don’t know what to write anymore. There are things still in my head, but they’re mere tiny complaints compared to the whole awesomeness of the book. So, I guess, I shall end this here. If you seek mythical tales of foolish bravery written beautifully; if you seek to understand the source of all works that adopted concepts and names from Tolkien’s; eat this book!

Hmmm. Yum yum.

Review: Asimov, Vinge, and Eagleman

I recently read these three books, and I’d like to share my experience reading them. The first book was, Isaac Asimov’s The End Of Eternity, the second book was Vernor Vinge’s A Fire Upon The Deep, and the third was David Eagleman’s SUM: Forty Tales From The Afterlives.
I had been craving to read Asimov since the first time I stumbled upon a web comic adaptation of his story titled The Last Question. Then I decided to buy some of his books. One of them was The End Of Eternity. It tells a story of Andrew Harlan, a Technician of time. He was recruited, educated, and trained to be a part of the Eternity—an organization that spans across time enforcing their computational result of minimal human suffering through their method of Reality Changes.
Andrew became Computer Twissell’s personal Technician supposedly because of his talent as an observer, though later revealed it was for another greater complex reason. It’s described in the story that Technicians are commonly avoided and feared; other Eternal would throw their gaze away from Technician’s presence. This is related to Technician’s authority over the fate of many. There’s a saying in the story: A trillion personalities changed—just a Technician’s yawn.
As I read the book, some part of Andrew’s struggles resonated within. It made me excited for the story and rooted for him. Anyone with some kind of nomadic lifestyle, whose possibility to settle down is thin, might sympathize with the life of an Eternal. They’re forbidden to have a family and to settle. The rule served as a prevention against individual attachment with a particular time frame; they’re only permitted to arrange temporary liaison with a timer through some kind of bureaucratic process.
Because their main job is to enforce Reality Changes, an Eternal must be detached from time to maintain objective judgement. Suppose a Technician has a family in some century, how then would he react if suddenly there’s a policy to enforce Reality Change upon said century? His family might no longer existed or changed to a degree that render them too different to be regarded as the same persons. In Andrew Harlan case, he fell in love with a girl from a century he was investigating. He hated her. He feared her. Then, as he lowered his defense for that first love he ever encountered, he suddenly find himself willing, to end the Eternity itself just to stay with her. Yes. This is basically a love story. A love story that’s imbued with time paradoxes and rich wonderful sci-fi world building.
There are weaknesses in this book. It’s too short. Asimov didn’t let the characters to build enough tension within sufficient time for them to naturally fall and hate each other. This resulted in a payoff that is somewhat a bit lacking despite the big impact of its characters’ decision at the ending as suggested by the title of the book. With The End of Eternity, I think Asimov was trying to tell us, about love, humanity, and the infinite possibilities that may rise from its ruins and wreckages.
I’m merely an insecure visitor and silent reader in LessWrong community. I also quite fancy Eliezer Yudkowsky, its founder. While I was reading his personal site, I saw a post recommending a sci-fi novel: A Fire Upon The Deep. After a bit of looking into it using search engines, I was captivated by the world building. The galaxy consisted of several variable physical laws called The Zones Of Thought. Closer to the center of it, the more intelligence and techs failed to survive or emerge; the closest zone is called the Unthinkable Depth, no civilizations mentioned ever exist there. While the zone at the outerside allowed miracles such as super artificial intelligence to exist; this outer zone is called The Transcend. Between them, there are the Slow Zone and the Beyond. Slow Zone is where the Old Earth resides; there the physical law only permit slower than light travel. The Beyond is where most of the story happened. It’s a place where various intelligence able to reach each other and built vast society because faster than light travel is common. This fascinating setting itself that swayed me to purchase the book, I didn’t even bother to check the plot and the characters.
Basically there are two things happened alongside each other as the story unveiled. First is the story of the two refugee children who were trapped in medieval conflict between aliens that look like dogs. And the other one is the story of a rescue mission unit. It wasn’t a mere rescue. There’s something in the children’s crashed ship that may or may not stop the cosmic calamity.
There are numerous aliens and characters in the story.
The Tines, the doglike medieval alien is probably everyone’s favourite. These dogs become intelligent when a number of them grouped together, but they wouldn’t likely to survive as a singular member. This characteristic raises fascinating wonders that are tightly related to the plot. Specifically to the political difference regarding soul arranging methods that caused the tension between the two factions. The antagonist enforced a dictatorial soul mutilation to members of groups in order to create ideal identity related to its engineering purposes. Guess what? The leader of the antagonist faction was an offspring of the protagonist faction.
The Skroderiders are some kind of ancient alien plants using a platform to float around fulfiling their noble and peaceful pursuit. But, watchout, there are awful secrets regarding the myth of their origin.
The Powers are godlike beings from the Transcend that sometimes interract with people of the Beyond. Old One is one of the Powers who was snooping around to investigate the disaster using a human interface it has built named Pham Nuwen. But then, the Old One eventually murdered by the disaster and that’s where the disaster started to deliver serious threat to the whole inhabitant of the galaxy.
I really enjoyed the various aliens and characters and technological differences as they affected each other in meaningful ways, like when the rescue unit gave an instruction from afar for the Tines to invent radio and gunpowder in order to help their war.
For me, the book main weakness is the disaster itself. I think it was supposed to deliver cosmic horror to the reader. But it didn’t work. Yes, there are the murder of the Old One, the fall of Relay, the destruction of Sjandra Kei, and much of the disaster’s rampage upon the top of the Beyond. But those happened far from where the point of view locked on, which are either at the Tines planet, or at the rescue ship. They’re just like news. Bad news. The fear experienced by the characters are largely based on assumptions. Sure there are closely happened evil that threatened the rescue unit, like the betrayal at Harmonious Repose and the pursuing fleet sent by the disaster. The disaster felt so passive and lacking in presence, as if it was invented just to let the world being illustrated to us because of the conflict it allowed. But still, the world of A Fire Upon The Deep is one of the most epic delicious cake to feast upon. Enjoy!
The last one I’m going to review is the book by David Eagleman titled SUM: Forty Tales From The Afterlives. Years ago, this book was mentioned in some articles and I fell in love at once with the concept because at the time I was fascinated by the speculation of the afterlife; I participated in a local short story contest thrice, and thrice I submitted stories concerning such tales. Back then, I didn’t have the cash to purchase the book, it’s only recently that I started generating a bit of cash.
Before reading the book, I was so cocky that I expected what’s inside of it are some things I might’ve thought or written.
I was proven wrong.
I expected a longer form of short stories.
But these are far shorter than what I expected.
And far more powerful.
SUM: Forty Tales From The Afterlives is a book where you can find such surprisingly powerful impact within very short narratives. As I turned the pages, I was like being mercilessly bludgeoned by David Eagleman’s awesomeness. I think, he was really confident that he didn’t need more words to push the readers’ buttons at the right places.
He was right.
SHIVERS. SHIVERS. SHIVERS.
I find my eyes getting wet, and my body shivering everytime the stories take turn to reveal the horror of its seemingly harmless introduction at each of its narratives.
Imagine the shivering I got when I read passages regarding “two-stage process of Death” from one of the stories titled Mirrors:

“…. To understand the meaning of this afterlife, you must remember that everyone is multifaceted. And since you always lived inside your own head, you were much better at seeing the truth about others than you ever were at seeing yourself. So you navigated your life with the help of others who help up mirrors for you. People praised your good qualities and criticized your bad habits, and these perspectives—often surprising to you—helped you to guide your life. So poorly did you know yourself that you were always surprised at how you looked in photographs or how you sounded on voice mail.
“In this way, much of your existence took place in the eyes, ears, and fingertips of others. And now that you’ve left the Earth, you are stored in scattered heads around the globe.
“Here in this Purgatory, all the people with whom you’ve ever come in contact are gathered. The scattered bits of you are collected, pooled, and unified. The mirrors are held up in front of you. Without the benefit of filtration, you see yourself clearly for the first time. And that is what finally kills you.”

The horror of these stories are evoked by pulling the strings of various human conditions and stitching them into a different form that reveal the perceived truth in imaginative ways. Let me give you an example, the opener, titled Sum, told an afterlife story where we relive all the experience we have ever done in our life. Nothing scary huh? Except, we have to relive them in ways that all the moments that share a quality are grouped together. Imagine reliving fifteen months of looking for lost items, six weeks waiting for green light, seven hours of vomitting, sixty seven days of heartbreak, and all things joyful and painful. This raises the realization, that we should choose a lifestyle we would gladly relive in such a way. What are the things you often do but do not actually like it, and still very possible to be eliminated from your life?

Ulasan: Osralus Primum Libro

Jadi, karena waktu itu sedang gelisah dan kesepian, *uhuk* *uhuk*, saya memaksakan diri untuk ikut Emir Salim ke Comifuro supaya ada pengalihan pikiran sejenak. Yah, meski berniat tidak membeli apa-apa, namun apa daya, saya tergoda si ganteng Dimar Pamekas untuk membeli Osralus: Primum Libro.

Saat pertama melihat kovernya, saya langsung terpikir Dragon Age!

Mirip soalnya. Ada tulisan plus bercak merah.

Osralus Primum Libro?

Buka halaman ii, konsep: Tomi Sularso. Oh, Osralus kebalikan Sularso toh.

Ekspektasi: Total War antara Tech vs Magic.

Ternyata: Duh. Politik. Politik nanggung pula. Ah, ada yang segar untungnya.

Di antara setiap cerita ada lexicon yang mengisahkan seputar dunianya. Ya, menarik. Tapi bisa lebih baik jika setiap cerita yang diseling itu juga benar-benar turut menyatu menjadi satu kesatuan yang megah, dan bukan hanya jumlah dari tiap-tiap bagiannya. Atau, saya juga kepinginnya sih, tiga cerita pertama ada konsekuensi jelasnya yang menyebabkan peristiwa pada cerita keempat terjadi, kemudian cerita sisanya barulah terpencar lagi untuk mengisahkan dengan jelas perubahan-perubahan unsur peradaban yang terjadi seusai cerita keempat.

Berikut merupakan kesan-kesan singkat saya pada cerita-cerita tersebut:

Cerita pertama, Minum. Sebenarnya, mungkin inti ceritanya ada di satu paragraf saja, terkait bagaimana sebenarnya tidak perlu memiliki darah superior untuk dapat menggunakan sihir. Itu saja. Tapi untuk sampai ke poin itu, saya merasa cerita terlalu berputar ke mana-mana, ke duel sihir, ke bangsawan mabuk, kurang relevan aja jadinya. Sayang ide di satu paragraf itu jadi kurang dalam.

Cerita kedua, Dari Petang Hingga Fajar. Ada orang berbincang di kedai minuman. Lalu ada orang rusuh masuk. Lalu bertikai. Nah. Seandainya ceritanya lebih jelas, mungkin bisa saya nikmati. Tapi setelah tiba-tiba tempat itu diserbu panah api, cerita semakin kabur.

Cerita ketiga, Jan dan Penjaga Kubur. Dibandingkan cerita kedua, ini lebih enggak jelas lagi ceritanya, meski memang yang ini mengedepankan unsur misteri. Namun, penulis seakan-akan terlalu mencoba menutup-nutupi fakta cerita demi membangun suspense sehingga cerita jadi buram. Twist di akhir cerita juga terasa kurang penting.

Cerita keempat, The Bull of Minos. Nah. Ini yang ceritanya sejalan dengan ekspektasi saya. Seru dan jelas pula. Ada upaya sabotase oleh penyihir terhadap proyek Automata. Ada perang putus asa yang diusung para engineer melawan keperkasaan sihir. Dan ada Bull of Minos. HANCURKAN! GILAS!

Cerita kelima, Keraguan. Ini juga bersuasana mirip, dibanding tiga cerita pertama. Namun meski, jalan ceritanya tertebak, setidaknya, urutan peristiwanya jelas dan utuh. Saya sedikit lebih menikmati ini dibanding cerita pertama. Saya juga suka penyampaiannya. Tentang upaya seorang petinggi kerajaan yang entah hanya hendak menyelamatkan diri atau hendak menjilat atau benar-benar mengikuti alasan yang ia sebutkan dalam cerita; ia semacam tukang intrik pada momen-momen tertentu, dan kali ini, dengan memenggal kepala rajanya sendiri, lalu diberikan kepada pihak anti sihir. Haha.  Untuk apa hanya mencari kesetaraan, kalau bisa merampas kekuasaan di atas yang lain ya nggak? Hahaha. Dasar. Sama aja.

Cerita keenam, Berhala Bukit Dewa. Yang ini sebenarnya juga cukup samar-samar ceritanya. Namun ada suasana yang berbeda dibanding cerita lainnya. Ada kesegaran tersendiri. Mungkin karena cerita ini mengarahkan sorotan kameranya pada suatu setting suku, bukan bebangsawananan atau perkotaan. Mungkin juga karena pergerakan narasinya terasa lebih dekat ke tokohnya, tidak sejauh pada cerita-cerita sebelumnya.

Cerita terakhir, The Watchkington Club. Ini mungkin cerita paling pendek. Tapi juga yang paling mudah dinikmati. Juga mungkin yang paling segar. Gaya dan ceritanya ringan, namun berkesan. Tentang sebuah kelompok orang-orang sok elit bertemu. Oh juga ada referensi tentang perpaduan teknologi dan sihir yang mungkin memang diniatkan sebagai simbol perdamaian? Ayo terbang ke bulan!

Urutan cerita terfavorit:

  1. The Bull of Minos
  2. The Watchkington Club
  3. Keraguan

Mohon maaf jika ada kata-kata saya yang menyinggung.

                Terima kasih untuk cerita-ceritanya.

Teruslah menulis! Yang lebih baik dan lebih seru tentunya.

Ulasan: Legendary Moonlight Sculptor

Saya memutuskan untuk berhenti membaca Legendary Moonlight Sculptor sampai volume 10. Keputusan tersebut dibuat dengan pertimbangan saya ingin membaca dan ingin melakukan hal lain. Namun selama 10 volume itu sudah cukup untuk membuat saya terhibur, sehingga saya terdorong untuk mengulasnya sedikit.

Legendary Moonlight Sculptor mengisahkan sepak terjang seputar kehidupan remaja korea bernama Lee Hyun.  Yang membuat kisah ini menarik adalah bagaimana ia jatuh bangun menghadapi berbagai permasalahan yang menjegalnya, petualangan-petualangan fantastisnya dalam dunia Royal Road, pengabdiannya pada nenek dan adiknya, kisah bagaimana ia menjalin hubungan dengan berbagai pemain Royal Road lain, sifat-sifat rakus dan pelit Lee Hyun yang kadang lucu namun menjadi sesuatu yang keren ketika disertai dengan berbagai kecerdikannya memanipulasi orang, dan jangan lupa pada para Geomchi! Meski sebenarnya beda jauh, entah kenapa sosok para Geomchi ini mengingatkan saya kepada Prinny di seri Disgaea, mereka kocak!  Oh ya, membaca Legendary Moonlight Sculptor ini mampu membuat saya merasakan nostalgia mengingat masa-masa SMP dulu ketika memainkan Ragnarok Online.

Diceritakan bahwa Lee Hyun hidup dalam kemiskinan dan menderita teror dari rentenir sehingga ia putus sekolah demi bekerja. Karena ada undang-undang terkait larangan pekerja usia di bawah umur, nasib Lee Hyun justru semakin sulit, ia perlu sembunyi-sembunyi melaksanakan pekerjaannya yang dianggap illegal, atasan-atasannya pun sering memanfaatkan keberadaan undang-undang tersebut untuk membayarnya sesedikit mungkin karena Lee Hyun dapat dengan sangat mudah dipecat karena terancam hukum tersebut. Namun satu hal yang ganjil sekaligus menarik adalah, ditengah-tengah kemelaratannya itu, diceritakan pula bahwa Lee Hyun sempat-sempatnya merakit komputer murah untuk bermain game online Continent of Magic. Bahkan ia memainkannya dengan sangat serius hingga mencapai level tertinggi dan dikenal sebagai pemain terkuat pada game tersebut. Pada suatu hari, Lee Hyun memutuskan untuk menjual “Weed”, ID karakter Continent of Magicnya.  Ia memasang harga 50 ribu Won pada sebuah situs lelang, namun tanpa ia duga, IDnya laku terjual pada harga 3 miliar 90 juta Won. Namun kesialan menimpanya, rentenir menagih hutang almarhum ayahnya yang dahulu hanya 100 juta Won kini sudah berlipat-lipat terhitung jadi 3 miliar Won. Selain biaya membeli rumah baru dan pengobatan neneknya, sisa uang Weed akhirnya hanya 40 juta Won. Dengan sisa uang itu, Lee Hyun berniat mengulang kejayaan Weed pada sebuah game online baru yang sedang populer, yakni Virtual Reality Royal Road. Ia bersiap dengan belajar bermacam bela diri ke dojo-dojo, ia juga melakukan riset mendalam tentang Royal Road, dan tak lupa ia membeli kapsul Virtual Reality untuk bermain Royal Road. Ia bertekad untuk mampu menghasilkan uang juga dari Royal Road.

Dalam mencari class/job apa yang kira-kira cocok untuknya, Weed direkomendasikan oleh seorang NPC instruktur pelatih pedang supaya meminta saran kepada seorang NPC bijak penyendiri di tengah kota. Meski mengalami banyak kesulitan untuk menemui NPC tersebut, pada akhirnya ia diberikan sebuah Quest yang akan membawanya kepada sebuah jawaban. Quest tersebut ternyata sangat berat dan tidak sebanding jika disandingkan dengan Quest Job Change lainnya, sehingga, Weed baru dapat berhasil berubah Job pada level 68, dan sesuai judul seri ini, Job yang didapat Weed adalah “Legendary Moonlight Sculptor”. Sebagai “Sculptor”, Weed mengarungi dunia Royal Road dengan penuh derita dan seringkali dilecehkan pemain lain karena Jobnya yang dianggap tidak berguna. Saya sendiri pada awalnya juga sempat memiliki kepesimisan, “Sculptor” sebagai Job tokoh utama? Bagaimana bisa menarik? Namun setelah terus membaca, saya jadi kagum, bahkan tergoda untuk kursus memahat suatu saat nanti di masa depan jika sempat. Haha! Karena pada suatu bagian cerita, disisipkan sebuah logika yang cukup menarik disajikan: para ahli ilmu jaman dahulu, banyak juga yang memiliki keahlian mematung. Hal itu membuat saya langsung teringat kepada Leonardo dari Vinci, awesome man.

Oh ya, ada indikasi juga mungkin akan terbentuk plot cecintaan nantinya, namun sejauh ini sih selama 10 volume, belum ada sesuatu yang benar-benar eksplisit. Bahkan Weednya sendiri cenderung tidak peduli bahkan berprasangka buruk. Dan, HAHAHAHA, saat Weed berprasangka buruk itu, translatornya sampai menambahkan keterangan MEAN di dalam kurung:

 

“Until now she was able to speak but didn’t!”

There were numerous opportunities to speak, even when cooking or hunting, but so far, she had never so much as spoken a word, making the other party mistake her for a mute person.

“This must be a cruel trap. She will accuse me of ignoring her when she spoke and not doing something that I knew nothing about. Bad taste, such bad taste. How could there be a woman with such bad taste like this.” (this part was mean, really mean)

 

dan

 

“She said register friends right before she died! Female, you’ll have to find me first.”

Everyone drops items when they die. Weed believed when Seoyoon died, she worried about her dropped items and assumed that by adding him as a friend, she could leave her things with him who would never lose or sell her stuff! (this line was mean too)

 

Kejadian di atas itu justru terjadi saat … Seoyoon mengorbankan dirinya melindungi Weed dari terjangan tombak iblis serangan Bone Dragon. Juga, saat itu adalah saat pertama Seoyoon kembali mampu berbicara setelah cukup lama membisu akibat trauma mental masa lalu, dan kata-kata pertama itu adalah “friend” sebagai permintaan untuk mendaftarkan dirinya ke friend list Weed sesaat sebelum mati. Woahahaha! Good job Weed! Bisa terlihat watak Weed seperti apa? Ah, tapi segala rasa takutnya itu tidak tak beralasan. Dahulu, ketika pertama kali bertemu Seoyoon, Weed melihat tanda Player Killer pada Seoyoon, sehingga impresi pertama itu terus terbawa.

 

Sementara itu, hal-hal yang saya kira dapat disebut sebagai kekurangan dari seri LMS ini adalah sebagai berikut.

Jika anda ingin mencari narasi dan gaya bahasa yang indah, anda akan kecewa, karena narasi-narasi yang ada seakan ditulis dengan sesederhana mungkin yang penting cerita tersampaikan. Meski masalah dan derita datang silih berganti, namun saya rasa penulisnya masih kurang kejam terhadap Lee Hyun / Weed. Saya pikir Weed ini terlalu sering menang dan agak terlalu sering beruntung. Bermacam karakter lain di sekeliling Weed juga agak kurang diperdalam, seakan hanya sebagai cerminan untuk menggambarkan bagaimana rakus, bagaimana cerdik, dan bagaimana awesomenya si Weed ini.

Karena cerita LMS ini fokus pada Virtual Reality Royal Road yang memiliki unsur dominan RPG, kadang alur cerita jadi seperti terlalu berpola. Seringkali narasi perlu berulang-ulang menjelaskan setiap kali Weed memasak, memancing, mematung, menempa, memungut barang-barang dari monster dan menggunakan skill combat. Tapi anehnya, bisa dibilang hal-hal ini juga yang justru memberikan bumbu beda dalam LMS. Hal tersebut mendorong pembaca untuk lebih percaya bahwa ia sedang digiring ke dalam sebuah dunia game. Lagipula, setiap grinding skill berulang-ulang itu, sesekali muncul kejutan yang menarik, seperti misalnya skill-skill Weed dalam bidang sculpting yang menggugah, yakni bagaimana Weed dapat bertransformasi menjadi bentuk patung yang ia pahat, atau bagaimana Weed dapat memberikan ruh kehidupan kepada patung-patungnya sehingga dapat digunakan sebagai bala bantuan pertempuran.

 

Kesimpulannya, LMS ini sangat menarik untuk dibaca jika anda menginginkan bacaan ringan yang menyuguhkan berbagai petualangan seru, mulai dari berburu rubah dan serigala, membangun piramid, menyamar sebagai Orc memerangi Dark Elf dan Undead, menanam bermacam bunga di Valley of Death, dan menggempur Bone Dragon dengan bantuan Ice Dragon, Wyvern, Geumini, dan Undead.

 

Oh ya Geomchi! Jangan lupakan para Geomchi!