Tower of Babel: Speedrunner

Tower of Babel: Speedrunner

by AdamElliott

Launch day. 

That was what they called it. The day when over four million people vanished in an instant from the island of Manhattan.  The day earthquakes ravaged the east coast. The day a one hundred and one kilometer tall tower rose from the wreckage of the now empty city. The day every screen, newspaper,  and smart phone displayed a single message from an unknown source:

The Great Emperor has issued his challenge.

From the ruins of the Old World rise the Tower.  Its doors will soon open, and the great game will begin. 

A hundred floors and a hundred challenges await the worthy.

And to the victor?  A Wish of Unlimited Power.

Cayden Caros yearned to play that game.  His only problem?  The Terms and Conditions. A strict set of rules that, among other things, prevented anyone under the age of sixteen from entering the tower.  

Forced to wait for over two years, Cayden did the only thing he could do to pass the time. He researched, he practiced and he prepared. It would take a lot to catch up to players with such an enormous head start.  Lucky for him, he was a special type of gamer.  

A SpeedRunner

 


So.... It has been a hot minute.

I don't like talking about my personal life, but suffice to say I had some fairly bad times for the last couple of years and have only just recently pulled myself back to good health, physically and mentally. I have a very supportive partner, and am put together enough that I want to get back to doing what I love. Writing nerd fiction that I am too embarassed to try to explain when people inevitably ask what my books are about.

Still beats when I used to write erotica.

Story updates for book 3 should be on a daily schedule, baring unforseen circumstances.

The majority of chapters from books one and two have been pulled down to keep with amazon's KU rules. 

Book one is found here.

Book two is found here.

If you like the story, please comment or favorite.  Each comment goes a long way towards pushing visibility for the story, which means more people get to see it and I feel slightly more validated as a writer.

I have a discord now where you can ask me things and I can be like 'no. no. I'm not answering that. no."

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AdamElliott

AdamElliott

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Fathis
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A Western Take on an Eastern Idea

Let me start my review by saying that so far (up to ch 14) I am thoroughly enjoying the story.

This said, I am also obliged to point out that it is a refreshing take on many similar Korean novels like Master Hunter K and King of the Battlefield.

Now let's get to the review:

 

Style: The first person style is good, the story flows well - apart from a few hiccups here and there where it seems to drag on for a little bit too long.

Story: Great idea, well executed, however too soon the MC got tangled with the stereotypical villain, which detracts a lot from setting out a fully fleshed premise. Basically what I am saying is, wait for the plot twists until chapter 20.

Grammar: I haven't found many grammar mistakes, so it's a 4.5 from me, the story flows well thanks to its syntax and it is very pleasant to read from a native speaker's perspective.

Character: For now we have little character development, however I am already beginning to fear that there will be standardized tropes and that the story is going towards the harem outset - and that usually makes me cry.

 

Overall, it is early to say anything - however I reccomend that everyone who is a fan of RRL gives this a try.

-Fathis out.

dj35
Overall
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Story
Grammar
Character

ok, this is my third attempt at writing this because the first time it wasn't over 200 letters ad the second time I forgot to write a title. and you have to start all over again if it fails. this story is new and awesome I think its original the person who writes it seems cool and I love that the theme of the story is fun but at the same time dark. there are no second chances there are no respawns/ redo's you get one life which you get to keep or let go.  I also think that the main character is relatable likable and not overly powerful or infinite god mode or something he is just another adventurer scrub that barely knows his way around the world this story is riveting with life a beauty. I think that it will grow to be awesome because as of right now it is awesome. I have super high expectations from this story  

CynicJester
Overall

Not actually a speed run story

I was so psyched to read about a protagonist who focused on system mastery over luck and unique classes and the rest of the dross that tends to dominate this genre. And for a while I did. And then he got a unique class and a training montage. A class with minimal system mastery aspects because it operates on feel instead of quantifiable mechanics. So sad.

 

That's not to say the story is bad, because it's not. Well written, okay characters, decent setting. I just feel like it would have made for a different experience if the main character had actually been able to rely on all the preparation he made instead of having it neutralized early in the story. 

 

And the whole murderer subplot is just weird and off in so many ways, but until it gets resolved, specific criticism will have to wait.

Timeseer2
Overall

For royal road it is good, in comparison to other books that have been written this is nothing particularly interesting and only worth bothering with if your particularly bored I saw a comment that although extremely ranty made some good points that I can not be bothered to list. The first book should definitely be longer as you've said you only intended to write it to about 130,000 words which is far too short as such the story feels far too rushed I barely understand the character at all due to frequent timeskips and a lack of interaction with other people and yet it is already chapter 13. A decent plot even if it has been done a thousand times with some intriguing characters that are not being utilised

Translate7
Overall
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Story
Grammar
Character

Dynamic characters, awesome worldbuilding, unique ideas. What more could you want? I've only read through chapter 10 at the moment (because that's all there is). The protagonist is pretty interesting. The story is really well polished for a web serial. 

The protagonist spending forever to make the perfect four month plan, and then having issues before even getting to level 2.

The protagonist is really human, so are the other characters.

There are only two minor negatives that I've really seen. 1. There are a few grammar issues here and there; albeit very few. Just keep in mind it's not a finished novel. 2. The releases aren't quite scheduled, you don't always get one Tuesday and Friday, unlike other web serials. You should keep in mind that one or both of these might improve as the story continues.

The positives outweigh the negatives immensely!!! I highly recommend you try this out if you're at home bored!

wiseboar
Overall

This series was my introduction to LitRPG 3 years ago, and it's still my favorite concept even after reading ~25 books in the genre. How the game world is woven into the real world is much more believable than those VR-novels which tend to give lackluster reasons why people would spend all of their time in a game. Especially the idea with the "Terms and Conditions" is well thought out and executed.

I also enjoyed the characters, which I'd rate as much less stereotypical than most LitRPGs and I'm looking forward to more speedrunning tactics that made the first novel truly special to me. Preorder on #3 is now online on Amazon after a rather long hiatus, so I'm very hopeful we'll get a proper continuation.

Ashirogi
Overall
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This was kind of incredible.

And yet... How can it be so frustrating?

Just finished reading book one. I read the first few chapters here back in the days and thought I'd wait for the paperback copy to appear before buying it. I was pretty hyped and thought about this story and how great it was from time to time.

It was great.

I found it pleasing. I read it in one go. But even though it was good...

I can't help but think it could have been better.

This isn't just about how appealing the story was. This is about the thrill. I expected to be on the edge. I expected to fear for Cayden's life. To watch him power through every hindrance and forcefully speedrun Babel like he ought to. I expected him to be in deep shit.

Sure he had a bounty or watnot. Sure people wanted to kill him. Sure he had some scary dreams because of his new class. Cool. What's next?

The story didn't exactly seem forced. But it sure didn't have many rollercoasters. It was good. I liked it. I loved the whole Babel Idea. I loved the whole speedrun idea. I loved how much theory crafting Cayden put into this. Hell, I even loved his Runic Knowledge skill. And the few bouts of comedy. And the sparse references to various games throughout the story.

It was pleasing.

But I won't be able to say this is the greatest story I ever read.

Sure I'll probably remember it. But nothing'll come along. I won't reminisce anything. Perhaps a few dashed hopes. Hopes of reading a masterpiece.

The... climax wasn't quite there. Even the build up wasn't up to par.

This was really good. It set the foundations for something grand. Yet there wasn't anything else. The plot in itself was't that excting. Because I expected so much more.

You didn't build up the tension because Cayden always solved his probs one by one, almost instantly. Even the bounty wasn't much of a hurdle after some time. Nothing seemed to really bother him, nothing put him in a pinch. This novel was like a walk in a park, when it shuld have been a motherfucking parkour. A marathon  filled with obstacles. I wanted to feel like if Cayden ever stopped running, Damoclès' sword would befall him. Yet he strolled at his own pace. He sethis own rythm when he should have been going at the one others set for him. He should have had to give his all to keep up the pace. To do his best -- and more than that -- until the very end. Until the climax.

The climax wasn't that good, because even though it unravelled the plot, gave the answer to the main problem, and set the first few stones for the next book, it didn't explode. Dunno if you watched Spider-Man : homecomming. Great movie. But in the end, the last fight, the climax of the tory was a bit frustrating. Sure the hero won and bested the villain. But he wasn't cool enough. The fight was great and all, but it didn't end right. As id you terminated the final boss of the game with a basic attack. After using such a basic attack tens of times already. Quite anti-climatic.

It was kind of the same for your story, except the fact that the fight wasn't even that great. in fact, there kind of wasn't a fact. Cayden pulled some funny trick - which was welcome - every mystery and cunning plan were unfurled - though it wasn't anything that memorable - and the book kind of ended like that. Cayden fought some secon-hand villain, showed just how much he progressed, bested him without even trying and his tetammates did the rest singlehandedly. Cool.

But I wanted my blood to boil. I wanted my pulse to race. I wanted to feel my heart pumping fire through my veins. I wanted to see Cayden do something spectacular. I wanted to end it all in a grand firework, to blow it up damn high in the sky. I wanted him to show us just how far his training brouht him.

You raised a flag when you wrote nothing ever wrote along the plan for Cayden in Babel, but it's still hanging up there.  Everything went according to keikaku. Well, almost anyway. And even the few plot twists were good things for Cayden. The stars aligned to make him win. And his opponent was overkilled. A pyrrhic victory would hvae been much better.

It was a good story tho.

Krushah
Overall
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HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Almost perfect litRPG

This is one of the best litRPGs I've read.....only nine chapters in.

The author creates a vivid and immersive story of an invading dungeon-world being explored and exploited IRL like an RPG  would be, via VR or augmented reality style mechanics. A perfect balance of reality with game standards like status screens, combat skills, and level-ups to delight litRPG fans. 

The language, grammar and style are among the top ten I've read on RR. The character development is also one of the best and most realistic on RR so far. 

It is still too early to tell but so far the plot and story are excellent, except for a minor arguable point, and a game feature that could possibly end up making the MC overpowered. 

The only real issue I have with it is I zoomed through the nine chapters posted and am now waiting for more. I hope the author keeps this going. It could easily be a best selling book if he does.

Evie
Overall
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This story is among the best LitRPG I've ready in all my time lurking on RRL.  Good enough that it finally kicke d my butt into gear to stop being just a guest!

I'd have given it a perfect score save for one thing.  That opening chapter is a bit of a tease.  I was hoping to have a female mc, but I suppose she probably wouldn't have the same cheerful attitude.  I do hope some strong women show up in the story though!

Scandalf
Overall
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Grammar
Character

Wanna see a magic trick?

What magic trick you ask? It's: How to annoy my readers the most in a single chapter with a twist?

You do it like this; You write a great story, you create a decent protagonist, you create a good world(well definitely not the whole world but you'll get what I mean if you read it) and you do anything else at least decently but after all that you decide to create meaningless twists to fuck your own protagonist. Why? Who fucking knows? Maybe to lure more readers in or some shit, probably. Because I swear I don't see any other reason for someone to write such events happening so early on in the story when what he should normally be doing is introducing us to more stuff. Maybe characters, maybe the world.

Anyway, I am not going to write a long review for this since I've already wrote my complaints in the comments of one chapter but I will say this much;

Do you like reading stories that annoys the shit out of you with twists all over the place, with a MC that does not act his character at the most important moments, with a world that makes no sense whatsoever ? You should read it then. If you can endure these then you'll have a good time, much better than you would imagine before starting this novel. Because it's actually very, very well written with the exceptions I've already listed.

Do you not like these kind of things? Do not read it. You will find yourself cursing the author for being an idiot and making you read a great novel just to fuck everything up for you. You will wait for the author to explain his actions to you, just to get absolutely no answer whatsoever in the next couple of chapters.