I forgot to update you guys on my recent webfiction reads. While I have read a lot of dross whilst sorting through the unreviewed listings on Web Fiction Guide, last week I did come across a quite enjoyable story: Split Self by Isa [see the WFG listing here].
Since I already reviewed Split Self in depth on Web Fiction Guide, I thought it’d be easier to just copy-paste that same review here.
I’ll be honest: the blurb for Split Self nearly made me turn away. I’m glad I didn’t.
Split Self is a compelling urban fantasy story. The main character is a 27 year old psychic vampire who lives in modern-day New York and needs to feed off of human energy. The main character tries to be ‘normal’ despite her alternative dietary requirements, but her new neighbour may just shake things up.
As with most urban fantasy stories, Split Self is very much character-driven. The narrative is in present tense, and has a colloquial and informal tone. It is perhaps reminiscent of Sex and the City, as the main character provides a continuous commentary on events, and is often insightful in her observations about human nature.
This informal, friendly tone is what lures you in to the story. What makes you stick around for more is the growing love triangle between the main character, her lover Jake, and her new neighbour. It helps that Isa manages to create a believable and unique cast of characters, and her descriptions of New York are vivid.
A couple of complaints, however.
The narrator jumps back and forth between scenes, sometimes rambling off to a side story or mini-discussion on relationships/New York/life in general, before returning to the main plot. This is occasionally confusing, and has the tendency to slow down the pacing. I’ll admit to preferring action-packed stories to character-driven pieces, so perhaps this is just a personal dislike.
My biggest issue with Split Self is the website layout.
You can read the first few chapters without registering, but there is no ‘next’ button, meaning that you have to go back to the Table of Contents between chapters. When you do register to access the newer stuff, the layout is perhaps even less intuitive: new chapters are posted as forum topics.
Fluffy-seme seems to be a community site for serials (like fictionpress, but smaller), which leads me to wonder why the navigation is so clunky. The lack of an RSS feed is equally annoying.
Overall, a great story and worth checking out. Pity the website lets it down.
The author is now on twitter, and her user name is @IsaKft.
It’s a story to check out, methinks, although I wonder whether I should poke at the author to consider another platform instead of fluffy-seme.