Great read, highly recommend.

Sci-fi cyberpunk-esque grimdark with cultivation themes as humanity fends off portals and kaiju.


Magic came to our world. Portals opened all across the planet, releasing mana and dangerous monsters on the unsuspecting population. Wonder turned to horror. Society was on the verge of collapse, until heroes rose to face the catastrophe. Those fearless men and women wielded the power of mana to enter the portal worlds, plundering their treasures and slaying beasts bullets barely harmed. Through their efforts and sacrifices, mankind stepped into the future. They were called users, or raiders, and they became the champions of mankind.

That was more than sixty years ago. Now mana users represent almost a fifth of mankind’s surviving population.

Nestra isn’t one of them.

She was born without a core. In the new city of Threshold, baseline humans like her are being forced out of law enforcement. MaxSec is one of their last holdouts and Nestra, one of its last members, but it cannot last. With Nestra addicted to mana and her job one of the only chances at getting close to portals, she is heading for disaster. Threshold is a mighty city dominated by corpos and powerful users. It takes very little to become collateral damage, unless Nestra can finally figure out what’s wrong with her, of course.


Damn this is some fine writing. Often its a challenge when writing third person to bring the narrative camera in really close to the character, and often this is when you might transition to first person narration. But nah, Mecanimus absolutely nails the narrative voice in this series. I feel like I’m learning so much about the main character, Nestra, simply by reading how she perceives the world and the people in it. Action scenes are tight, high-paced, and get the heart racing. The writing is just top-notch.

Characters, obviously, are as well. Our MC is cold, aloof, and has a big chip on her shoulder. Gorge is an absolute asshole, the sort of character you love to hate, until you start to realise why he acts like he does. Shinoda is earnest and patient. Helena is almost psychotically excitable. Each of them are a joy to read.

The setting is very cyberpunk, just more grunge and less neon. There are kaiju to deal with, after all, so brutalism has overtaken neokitsch. Gangs and corpos ostensibly make war, with the same effectiveness of a toddler making war on Mike Tyson. The plot so far focuses on Nestra’s self-discoveries, and the vehicle for this in the first arc is the conflict in district fifteen. Said conflict feels very realistic for the setting, and I won’t say more about it to avoid spoiling things.

I’ve finished all the public chappies and will be following for more. If you liked Cyber Dreams, or really any cyberpunk grunge story, you’ll love this. It’s a lot darker than the happier cyberpunk stories (like Ghost in the City) but hey, what’s more realistic? Happy cyberpunk… or pit of hell corpo dystopianism?