Just a weeb, casually strolling through life with no plans in mind. Check out my novels if you want (some may not update for a while, be aware of that).
An interesting way to interpret Melissa. She is rather brazen, considering what she attempted to do. Why it is, well, it's the old trope of following the pretty girl, you know? And of course, what she did interested Travis, so yeah. It will all come together, probably in chapter 22 or so.
So, read up to chapter six. My thoughts thus far: Writing quality: 4/5. Other than a few misspellings here and there, there's not much to complain about. Good use of grammar, attention to basic editing points, etc. etc. Story development: 2/5. Could definitely be better. Mostly "telling" vs "showing", which is a no-no. Describe your character's experiences through action and dialogue, not a wall of expositionary text. Character design: 3/5. Beyond the basic characterization in the first chapter, there isn't much to our MC. Quite stale, honestly. Not through any fault of her own, it's the lack of continuous interaction with anyone and missing plot points that could've been had. World background: 2/5: Mafia organization, school, and... removing tattoos? That's about all that I remember of it. When that's what your readers are thinking, there's something wrong that needs fixing. Overall, 3.2 is pretty reasonable. With a little work, it could go a long way, I think. Just not right now, though.
So far, four chapters of all telling and no showing. You need scenes that walk your readers through your character's experiences, not walls of text explaining how someone thinks or what they did. Show what they did through action and a heavy sprinkling of dialogue. What did she say to her mother, to promise to be at the top? That would be something interesting to know. How did they interact? Was it moving, or was it the rigid expectations of a strict mother?
This is missing an engaging, eye-catching opening first statement. Try asking a question, or posing a short statement that engages the reader in thought, before you jump into your exposition. It makes the tedium that much easier to read.
Well, that's really up to you, now isn't it? With the progression as it is now, it's almost impossible to do it any other way, unless somehow those on the outside are able to talk to those on the inside (that, or Lorn is removed from the system and brought back for, I don't know, a "check-up" to see if he's suffering symptoms as the 80% do). But if there was a way to cut down on some of the info-dumping, I would certainly try to work it in. Sometimes it's hard not to, and I get it. Exposition is necessary to clear up misunderstood context.
Read up to chapter 6. My thoughts are thus: Quality: 5/5. Pretty easy rating to give, the writing and editing quality is superb. Not a jot or a title out of place. Development: 3/5. Not to say that it isn't interesting, but there's a lot, and I mean, A LOT, of exposition and "telling" as opposed to "showing", though I assume that beyond where I stopped is better about it. Not that exposition is bad, it's just, y'know, abused a little. I'm just one of those kinds of guys that despise walls of text, sue me. Character design: 4/5. I haven't really seen much of our main character other than his personality, which so far is pretty interesting. World Background: 4/5. Other than a few glimpses of his interactions with those in the real world, there wasn't much, but I'm assuming most of the world-building will come in later chapters. Overall, deserves a 4.2 in my opinion. Keep up the good work, it's got potential.
Like those bad simulator games on steam where literally every one of the characters looks the same. What gets me is how some depict "children" as miniaturized adult assets. It's like looking at an insect next to its nymph. Cringeworthy, but hilarious at the same time.
And so the grind begins. Wonder if this clay makes an endgame tier weapon. Knowing games, it's not impossible. *stares at Terraria*
Hate to think what would happen in the event of a brownout. Seriously, everyone's having an out-of-body experience here. Going to get sent to their maker prematurely if it did happen.
"We're gonna build a wall..." Forgive me, I had to. Lorn must be a connoisseur of walls to notice its quality so easily.
Good lord, that was a lot of exposition. The majority of it made sense, but some things didn't. Like how Reina explains that they can copy consciousnesses, and yet they can only produce one copy. That sounds less like copying, and more like extraction. A ctrl + x instead of a ctrl + c, as it were. The Alicization arc of SAO did something similar, though they explained it with special fluctlight machines that modeled the brain, which had brain-like qualities because they were quantum machines. I don't know if that's what you're going for here, but simple "digital machines" wouldn't cut it in the real world. Might be something of a plot hole? Not sure.
Loan + shark. Literally in the name. Nice metaphor though.
I say Revelations, but only the parts where there's like "the trumpet of the lord" and such, where the Archangel Michael blows the trumpet that signals the end of the world.
I feel like you could draw a lot of inspiration from Revelations of the bible with this theme. Not to proselytize anyone or anything, but it would make for a very thematic storyline. I sense a great deal of potential with the idea you're going with.
Alrighty. So a bit of a disclaimer before I get into the meat and potatoes of my review here. First of all, I am NO expert in the field of literature. Most of the time, I go by my gut, so my takes aren't exactly as on point as others. That said, maybe that's a good thing because of the forthrightness of it all. Furthermore, this is my first review, so bear with me if my interpretations of some portions are off-base. Writing quality I put at a 3/5. I think the reasoning is fairly straightforward here, there are quite a few grammatical and punctuation errors. It's nothing to feel bad about, or even get upset over, as none of them really broke the immersion too much. I noticed as the chapters wore on, that they gradually started to disappear, which made me believe it was actually an intentional technique of indicating Reverie's mental state. Turns out, I may have been wrong on that interpretation, but hey, I can still dream right? Stability of updates? I only just read it, so wouldn't know, so I'll give it a 5 because why not. The story was intriguing, to say the least. I'm unsure if you've ever read this manhua before, but some parts of your novel remind me of Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint. This novel has a lot of the same themes I really enjoyed from it. So good on you for making something that brought back good memories! Character design is good but somewhat lacking, why do I say that. Well, although I'm not experienced in the craft of character making, one thing I noticed throughout the available chapters is the, how should I put this... presence from Reverie. Maybe that's intentional, so I won't cramp the style (maybe I'm simply off-put by the style, which is no skin off your back). Though I thought her brazenness was rather hilarious. "Won't take me to your ruler? Imma smash some stuff!" World background is for the same reasons for the most part. I felt it was somewhat awkward trying to get a feel for what happened after the train crash. Everything was on fire, yeah... but was there anything else besides that? Or was that all Reverie could see? That scene could do with some more elaboration. And that's about it. 4.2/5 overall. There's a lot of potential to it. As a writer, I could never have come up with some of the themes it has, I might consider reading further if there's more, just for reference purposes, of course... totally not because I enjoyed a good deal of it.
The first story I've ever written and ventured to share with the world. To anyone who reads it, feel free to blast it with all the critiques you want. While my writing is severely lacking, I hope the story itself will at least interest you.