The old adage goes that “you should not judge a book by its cover” and though it is a virtuous sentiment it is not one that is typically followed. Welcome to day Nineteen of my 31 Days of First Impressions Challenge! In this challenge I will be reading the first entry or chapter of a different serial (or web fiction) and then give my first impressions on them be they good or bad. In short: I will be judging a book by its cover.
For today’s serial I read Eterna’s Source by Unice5656!
Eterna’s Source is hosted on Royal Road Legends. My thoughts on the site can be found here.
Eterna’s Source has a very high rating, but this time around I found myself less influenced by it. I will admit that the first time I saw rankings this high my perception of what I was about to read were greatly effected. At this point in my challenge, and after reading a few works off of Royal Road Legends, they mean very little. I will say though that if I was less familiar with the site and its community, these ratings would be very effective.
The serial’s summary this time around did not have the oddly combative tone of unice5656’s other serial. It does warn you that it contains a lot of romance tropes, but it does not do it in the same bitter tone that I perceived after reading the disclaimer to Fantasia. The summery is well written and has an interesting dilemma for the main character as her source of power is her greatest attribute but also the source of her misery.
“Sery barely reacted as the knife sliced another shallow gash on her forearm. Both her arms were marked with countless silvery scars, evidence of her abuse and exploitation.” –Eterna’s Source, Chapter 1.
Damn. This character has been through hell. The lack of urgency that I keep lamenting in my other posts? Not a problem here! This hook at once brings us up to speed on the horrors of the main character’s life, and immediately grabs my attention. This hook worked very well for me.
The casual, light-heated tone that I am familiar with from unice5656’s other serial, Fantasia, is definitely NOT present here. This was surprising to see and honestly showed that the author has some flexibility in their style of story telling. Eterna’s Source is dark, action packed, and way more fast paced than the first chapter to Fantasia. Its quick pace kept me from roaming (a problem I had with Fantasia) and was honestly refreshing.
Eterna’s Source is steeped in some of fantasy’s cheesiest tropes, however. Where The Vorrgistadt Saga seemed to be bogged down by heavy world building, Eterna’s source lies on an opposite spectrum of fantasy, where fireballs, magic missiles, and “a magnificent silver horse” abound. These things (for both serials) are only problems if fantasy is a genre that one occasionally flirts with, and not lives in.
I was way happier with what I read at the end of this chapter than I was when I finished Fantasia. This serial had none of the drawbacks and missteps that Unice5656’s other one had. With that said, that disclaimer at the beginning about romantic fantasy not being everyone’s cup of tea, well, it applies to me. I will not be returning, but I recommend this story if it is a genre you like.
Eterna’s Source can be found at http://royalroadl.com/fiction/2635
Join me tomorrow for my impressions on Tartra’s serial The Other Kind of Roommate, or check out my own serial: