The Daily Grind
A terminally bored IT guy finds a sub-dimension in the back stairwell of his office building. It escalates from there.
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I am writing this on my phone so I apologize if I make any mistakes in grammar or spelling.
I loved this story, it started out with an awesome new world and was refreshing in how representation of bi and polyamorous was introduced. However somewhere in the transition into book 2 the characters transitioned from decently fleshed out people into caricatures. They lost a lot of their complexity, and honestly as I forced my way through book 2 I started to hate most of the main cast. If you haven't skipped to the next review by now, I suggest reading the first book, and then decide if you can deal with the issues I plan on bringing up.
I love reading about this world in which the common place office items come to life, and bring trouble and new meaning to the lives around them. Sadly as time goes on in the story the style changes from telling a story, into every other sentence being about political ideology. Styles change but I didn't start reading this story to have to deal with a constant reference to issues I deal with enough in real life. Especially when I don't actually know the exact placement in time till the later half of the second book, because of references to BLM and COVID-19. A great bit of the charm was lost, because before I could imagine that the office was set in any slightly modern time, instead of having a set in stone time in and around 2020.
The story has a nice, slow to medium speed start. The introduction of friends to a new world and hidden depths are extremely nice in adding a direction to the story. However the story has taken a trend towards sudden sprints forward in the plot followed by chapters in which the characters talk about helping society, but never do anything actually helpful with their power. Overall the first book was awesome story wise but the second drags the story quality down by a lot.
While errors might exist, I usually don't see any. The author does also fix errors that are pointed out.
The main cast used to be the vessel through which the story came together. As the book has progressed they have lost individuality, all of them idolize the main cast and every single one of them unwaveringly believe that they are better then every other system they mention. A big part of me finally giving up on this novel is the main casts thoughts and actions towards others, as well as their tendency to constantly claim they are going to help society's problems, before proceeding to never even try to brainstorm ways to help people other then themselves. Minor spoilers:
They gain access to a way to decrease the time the human body takes to adapt and react to ALL bacteria and viruses while during the COVID-19 pandemic. They proceed to administer to all of their operatives, and never make plans to figure out how to get this to everyone who is at risk or all of the people whose lives could be saved by having a better immune system.
The main cast decides that they trust each other to become gods and rule over every other human in existence pretty early on. All while they claim moral superiority over all of the groups who have done so before and the group they eventually come into conflict with. Who after reading about their activities were definitely evil.
My dropping point was reading about how the idolized mc considered violently breaking and entering into the home of someone who slammed a door in his face during a pandemic all while considering the man to be "insolent". While the man in question was decidedly unpleasant, the "good natured mc" internal thoughts were a bit too much after everything else.
I feel like I have ranted more than enough on the parts I hate about how this story has progressed. I hope that these problems amongst numerous others can be fixed or at least worked into actually helping the plot and story progress. I have been reading this story for what feels like two years, and have spent a while debating whether I wanted to drop the story without a word or air what I felt about this story. I would love to see the story edited and the quality brought back to what it originally was.
The first book is awesome, the second spirals down into a declaration of political stance in the guise of a story. If the first book was all that was left I would probably put the rating at a 4.5 but decided to leave it at a 3 until the story improves.
I apologize if I spent more time complaining then actually reviewing. If you see any issues in what I say above or want me to elaborate on any of the issues I have or have not covered please dm me. I love the representation and the setting, and would like to be able to read more. If anything in the books changes please let me know so I can change my review accordingly.
The Daily Grind is a decent story with an interesting premise and magic system that starts strong but makes some suboptimal story choices.
The basic premise of the story is that an IT Call Center employee discovers an office-themed dungeon dimension, and begins to explore it, eventually getting his friends involved and delving as a group.
The early plotlines where the focus is more on discovery and exploration is the strongest part of the story, with the novelty of the magic system and setting really shining.
Eventually, the plotting of the story gets a bit too slow, with the story arcs feeling somewhat cyclical. A serious missed opportunity in the story is that the characters get skills and the story subsequently forgets about them. While a lot of the skills are seemingly useless, having the characters find creative ways to utilize or apply them would have been much better than just completely neglecting them. This leads into another issue I have. While I understand why the author paced the story the way they did, I think it took way too long for any cool or exciting skills to appear, resulting in skill gains being something just to glance over since the reader could expect that none of them would be story-relevant.
The characters in the story are a bit two-dimensional and simplistic in personality, and their interactions get very repetitive and lack depth. The intelligence of the characters and quality of their planning and strategizing seems to widely fluctuate based on the needs to the story. I personally have no issue with the MMF relationship that appeared in the story, but it came out of nowhere, and the lack of significant depth to the characters and their interactions makes it hard to care about.
Finally, while the editing is good, it could be improved, specifically with regards to spelling and phrasing.
Overall, if the premise intrigues you, give this story a shot, but don't hold your breath for solid plotting or complex characters.
(As of Chapter 60)
This series has several positives:
---The viewpoint is written clearly and fluidly, making what is happening easy to follow and understand.
---Even though the premise isn't new, it is an interesting variant.
---The character's actions and reactions are consistent with what we know of him and his motivations.
---It handles suspension of disbelief nicely by having a clear demarcation between 'real world' and 'here be dragons'. It looks like that might blur as the story progresses, but the initial separation makes it easier to get the story going.
---The balance and timing of action versus the character thinking about and reacting to what just happened is good.
On a 'could be a plus, could be a minus' note, the protagonist looks like a slow developer, as opposed to immediately OP or quick growth. I personally like stories either way, so this isn't a negative for me.
So, overall a solid start. It is an open question as to whether this has a plot / larger theme or is more slice of life, but it looks like it could do well with either.
The basic premise of fantastic mundanity that is initially presented in this story makes for a compelling read. Sadly, the actual organization building the cast is eventually compelled to do is handwaved or time skipped, and basic organizational tasks that are assumed to have happened become critical plot flaws later in the book. (A few examples - no physical or memetic security for the Order's headquarters, James admitting privately multiple times to himself that he has neither the training nor the inclination to lead a large organization yet failing to secure either skills, training, or assistance in running and composing the Order, and apparently completely forgetting that blue orbs can straight up solve random problems, which seems to have been completely dropped in the second book for random superpowers.)
The first book deserves a much higher rating than I've chosen to give the composite - possibly as high as an aggregate 4.5. Sadly, the second book looses much of the personality of the first, alternating between nigh-random conversations and frenetic emergency responses, with insufficient details on how the organization or the casts relationships with each other evolve.
In short - I enjoyed the first book, even if it slogged a little at places. The second book, sadly, felt like a primer on how not to make an organization.
Excellent. It's existential Dungeons & Dilbert. Something is profoundly wrong with reality, and the protagonist is well aware of that, but then again when wasn't something wrong with reality? Anyway, there's money and candy. Strange candy.
Overall this story is disappointing. It starts off strong but steadily declines in quality until all that's left is a husk of good ideas and relatively good grammar. Really, its the characters and their actions that let this novel down.
Style: Honestly there's nothing in particular that stands head and shoulders above the rest here, stylistically its typical and in that its alright. Less words can be used to achieve the same ends, but its certainly not "bad" It however, could be better. There is room for improvement here.
Story: The premise is amazing; You find a fantastical place in your workplace and decide to explore and exploit it. The plot hinges on and follows that but it goes downhill FAST with the inclusion of side characters (More on that in a moment) Something else utterly dissapointing is the lack of focus on the "useless" skills that are gained, almost all of them are capable of landing a person a career and to see them languish is truly painful.
Grammar: Near on flawless, of all parts of this work, this one is blameless.
Characters: Lord above where do I even start with this one. Things start off fine, but progress with steadily towards two dimensionality. This worsens when the side characters turn from that into concrete fixtures of the story. They just aren't interesting and hinder the main character's growth as a person. Simply put, they're near on impossible to care about because they're forced. Some of their conversations are interesting, but too much of a good thing makes it a bad thing and that's what it feels like after reading the same inane thing for the 20th time. It harms the plot and the pacing. Improvement is especially possible here: Your side charaters hold your novel back, they're take too active a place and rob the MC of agency. His problems are no longer His they are Theirs and the story suffers heavily from it.
If that wasn't enough, you involved the MC in a painful-to-read love triangle.
There are a hell of a lot of things this story can improve upon, but I don't think any amount of iteration will solve the problems with characters in particular.
For what its worth, I loved this novel: I really did, but I just can't keep reading it. I wish that I could.
Let me start with the positives. The whole premise behind the story is not only great, it got me really excited for where this was going. The various living office supplies and the system underpinning the rules of this world was all was extremely interesting. The story started out with a unique sense of exploration of the unknown that really hooked me. If I had to compare, it felt somewhat like when I first read Stephen King's "The Dark Tower".
Also, I was quite pleased with the MC's initial struggles. It wasn't easy for him, and the unknown danger was exciting.
The problems began when the exploration started to stall. The MC had many advantages that with a little planning could have pushed the story on, which he never used. He keeps getting injured by the same enemies. Tripping over the same problems, and a long time later he's only made it to the first mini boss which feels extremely limiting. It felt like the interesting content of the story was locked behind the incompetence of the MC, which is never good.
He gets a few companions which don't distinguish themselves much. The small mystery of his direct superiors situation the only saving grace in that particular facet. Though, a small shout out to his pet Stapler, the only character I liked.
I'll be honest, I dropped it shortly after the gay stuff happened. Mostly because the story had been losing me already, and that's not something I want to read about. It also seemed like it came out of nowhere. By that point I felt that the world building and setting of the story deserved better than where it'd ended up.
Started great, butbsaw a significant if gradual drop in quality, particularly as previously established character traits were disregarded entirely and suddenly in later chapters
I used to really like this book, like in my top 5 on RR with its wonderful premise and relatable characters and i used to be unable to wait for each and every chapter to come out. But, at some point the story just took a turn and I started to hate seeing what was happening to the world that I speant so long delving into. I wish there was one clear event that I hated ad could be changed easily but I am unble to pinpoint anything. So instead of giving it a bad review I settled for a neutral score because I am unable to properly justify my feeling towards this book beyound more than just a feeling that there are things that could have been done diffrently.
There's a office themed dungeon like space in your office.
The story so far is about looting and fighting the animated -but not limited to- electronics.
The story is good but i just don't like that they remain 'normal' after this long, in their extraordinary adventure surely they must received something fantasy like abilities.
I'm sure they may or may not receive something along the story but I can't wait any longer.