Phantasmal Party

by tremir

Original ONGOING Fantasy Harem LitRPG Magic

 

In the two weeks since he first entered the Labyrinth, Eduard Fergusson has gained the patronage of one of the Five Families, three powerful companions and lovers and a unique and powerful Shard.

Unfortunately, he also managed to gain a powerful and perssistant enemy in the form of his former party member, Kevin, and in Kevin's mysterious new master.

The first ten floors of the Labyrinth are behind him now, but the road to the fiftieth floor, and the mystery of his sister's disappearance is long and arduous, and there is no telling where the Questshard called "The Luck of Sindbad" will take him next.

Book 1 of Phantasmal Party

Cover art by Erez Regev

 

  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score
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Gask
  • Overall Score

A Fun premise but it's poorly developed

The premise of this story was good; it had the potential to become an interesting dungeon story with a side of political drama if the factions in the labyrinth were ever developed properly.  Sadly neither they nor the main character ever become anything more than shallow.  The MC, whose name I’ve forgotten already, is merely a vehicle that is driven around to make moment to moment observations about things.  He has no real plans or ambitions beyond farming the labyrinth and no personality beyond bland affability.  Much later on we learn a bit about his sister but it’s throw away information at this point.

He lives in a world where all your immediate needs seem able to be met by killing a few bunnies on floor one.  So it’s rather confusing when he decides to join a group after gaining a unique ability that could get him into trouble with the “Families”.  It’s even stranger that he does this after meeting their obnoxious streamer.  He isn’t even perturbed after learning that their last melee recently died to the regret of seemingly no one.  He doesn't think very much about anything, ever.

What follows is him hooking up with generic harem girl one and two who quickly get on board with becoming his living phantasm slaves and losing their humanity.  I suppose that after banging them a couple of times he’s managed to gain their undying trust and affection.  Well whatever, it could have been tolerable if there were anything interesting going on.  Unfortunately there isn’t much beyond repetitive grind sessions for dungeon $, which they seem to never really run short on.

All in all the story is tolerable but only if you expect nothing from it beyond this premise:  A guy grinds, gets shards and then gets the girls.

 

RevengeFire
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First of all, I avoided this story for a very long time, reason? The synopsis was very standard and the picture just wasn't appealing. If you want to reel in people you should focus on your uniqueness. For example why the hell is a goblin and a rainbow gem on your front fiction picture.

 

So now for the harsh part. I absolutely didn't like to see something similar to internet. This is a mix of classic medieval fantasy setting with modern technology. Saddly the combination only show the worst part of each other.

As far as I read, there is a washing machine, a wikipedia for adventures and James(a party member of our mc) uses a subscriber channel while he and his party adventures with their life on the line. But we are missing any kind of actual usefull modern help. There are no guns and no modern building around. You have to meet in a bar so that a bartender sends you to a random party instead of using the internet.

This absolutetly destroyed my immersion of the story. If I were to give you advice, either do something properly or not at all. If you want to have a modern and medieval setting, well okay. But if you just want a medieval world with a washing machine and random subscriber system stop it.

Another glaring flaw in the story is the reaction of the love interest to our mc's world shackling secret.

!!Spoiler!!

To summarize it: Peasants need to choose unlevelable and mostly useless skills to enter the labyrinth while the nobles have acces to good (or at least can level them up) skills. Our mc finds out that he can upgrade his useless starter skill with a racialgem to upgrade which allows him a good summoner monster and the ability to level his skill up. Why is this now important? Well you can only level up two skills at every time and only get new skills once an older skill is at max level.

Now that our mc has a secret which should be hidden from any kind of person, expectlly nobles, he gets confonted from a girl he met 2 days ago. She tells him that his goblin's speer looks strange. Naturally that girl is a noble from the information seeking wiki noble group. She starts to put him under pressure to tell the truth or he has to leave their party (this should be the reasonable solution to do and let's be serious he would have left if it was a male that asked him this question).

Moreover the girl DOES NOT promise to keep his secret hidden and he had no contact with her beforehand. Now comes the part where I wanted to actually drop the story. She promises him nothing and then he tells her everything. Why? Why would he ever tell ther the truht after this and why would the girl ever want to help him to keep his secret. After her sudden change of hearth she suddenly went ahead and tells the secret to another party member.

I mean really... what the hell just happened there? (chapter 12...)

Then I began to relucantly read on and the brain missfunctioning began to dissappear but the nail in the coffin still formed.

Personally I dislike harems very much. I think harems ruin a story and while many royalroad readers seem to like them very much I am 100% sure that they did not enrich this particualry story at all. Truth be told I didn't check the tags of the fictions so shame on me but I have read harems which were well enough written that I still could read on. This fiction is not one of them.

Why do I think the harem is badly made? Simple, first of all there existed no character development before the sex scene and while we are it. The mc (chapter 19) hasn't had any kind of character development at all. Funnily enough the most development of the story comes from reading the synopsis of the fiction (again I only read to chapter 19~20).

Secondly the mc and the noble girl knew each other for 4 days(when they had their first intercourse), they never had much time to meet to begin with. I expect a higher noble from a well know family to have more dignity than to become a sudden slut once she is in a room with a random guy(mc).

Summary of said event: She suddenly began to kiss him for some strange reasons noone, not even the girl, the author or the mc knows why... and then they had s... intercourse.

Now that I wrote my very harsh critic I will do a more standard review.

The story is unique with it's gem system and the labyrinth system seemed to be interesting. I found staff fightning unique and very interesting but the fightning scene in and of itself were nothing special. Moreover does our mc turn more and more to a pure summoner type.

The writing style is better than your standard royalroad fiction but nothing special.

Personally I was surprised how fast our mc began to search for a new party and I still don't know why he searched for a party. I assume that the author needed one solo trip to get his starter skill upgraded (you know, it has to be a secret and everything).

The characters in this story are very, very plain. Almost no background information and their personality are sometimes strangely akward or often just plain blank. For example our mc showed almost no feelings or thoughs up to chapter 19 (yes the intercourse scene included).

Overall I find the beginning very promising and unique but the story shows more and more flaws in it's world and character building the longer it goes on. I found them glaring enough to feel the need to write a review of them.

 

 

Jaksterzoo
  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score

I'll do a brief reasoning for each. (To author- contact me for more in-depth reading, dropped after chap 40) 

style score

I have seen similar story lines to this particularly story and I loved how he started it out, but after a little while (10 chapters) the style made little to no sense. It didn't stick with the story at all, and gave it a three because for the most part, the style is to my liking (personally) so it's almost an automatic three.

Story Score .5

I might be hitting a bit hard, but it drove me to think of dropping this novel. Basically, there were so many plot-holes that I felt like my interest just fell into one of the holes. A lot of contradictory statements made, rules of the maze not being held down or not made clear, and not going deep enough (if at all) into parts of the story that the MC (eddy) should know from the wiki. Also, what noble sends their child into a deadly danger without a 'safe-line' of some sort if they have a over-protective mother?! Even if she is stubborn, they would have found a way to do it in secret. Also more reasons I won't list or I'd be here all day. 

Grammar score

It deserved a 4, and that I would even say a 2 if someone was a critic. Why? There are a lot of awkward sentences or words that an easy proof read can fix, without a problem. My normal grading is: 1- near- impossible to read, obviously written by a foreigner using google translate. 2- Hard to read in a sentence, no editing whatsoever, and mistakes that seem like a person just learning English made. 3- Readable, but the errors look like a person on a phone typed this. The errors are numerous and slightly affect me reading. A few easy fixes. 4- Doesn't affect my reading too much, roughly ten errors per chapter that are blantantly obvious. (Meaning it can be fixed with a proof read.) 5- Little to no errors (obvious ones) made, doesn't affect my overall reading or the story. The scoring is basically means that if you (or if you ask someone to) re-read your novel or chapters you finished, it would be an easy five.

Character score

Tempted to go a .5 or 1 but it's mainly to do with the story. The MC feels not like a normal person who has a popular sister. He doesn't mention her because of some 'horrible past' from what is told, but she is the reason he goes into a deadly adventure. Is moive doesn't add up, and a lot of his wording is off, (as well as others) when he gets to his secret. More can be explained but that's the basic.

Overall

The novel itself had too many plot-holes ranging from the setting to the characters themselves to make this too enjoyable. Sure, some suspense, thrill, and twists in ed's journey was nice, but you basically threw events you wanted in here with little to nothing to support it in the book. For an example, I think there was a part where they mentioned a limit of people on a floor. Didn't metion ANYTHING about how many people can be on a boss floor. Kevin, 5 others, James, and the other three are all on one floor. At least do a easy clip on 'more than *insert number* of people can challenge a boss room.' Basically all good executions but the only reasoning to a lot of reasons in the book shouldn't happen. Just confusing overall and made it not much enjoyable to read because I had a hard time comprehending how all of it works, which it didn't seem to work

Sorry if this seemed rude. I will update it if I ever read this again (maybe?) but I wasn't here just to throw a bad rate. If they author could fix up the story instead of posting a lot, it'd help, or at least ask some other people what they think of the story as you go along. If anything was helpful let me know. May change some ratings because they may be too harsh. Just finished reading to chapter 40, and disliked a huge chunk of the story after chapter 10. 

Good luck on this novel though, it had a lot of potential if pushed the right way.

fanobody
  • Overall Score

After chapter 4 you have to go to amazon to read what is next...

Sooo i review with what i have, the mc have a nice skill but its worth is what he do with it and chapter 1 volume 2 i see he made harem member...

So i dislike the mc, will not pay to read and if i base myself about the other reviews:

(after the prologue it is bad)

th30dor
  • Overall Score

I have no idea how a story that had such an interesting premise could become so bad so fast. How often does one read about a summoner MC? When almost everything on this site is a magic swordsman of sorts, summoning is like a breath of fresh air. 

But make no mistake. This is a bad story. We are first introduced to the need for people without enough status or wealth to handicap themselves with an impediment shard, in order to get access to the labyrinth. And then immediately after, the MC has them in abundance. It's like the scarcity before was just some temporary situation, that the author used for starting the book, and then immediately forgot about it.

And the same pattern keeps repeating. In the first few chapters, the MC stumbles into a game-changing use of his impediment, and thinks about how he should keep this a secret. Within 2 chapters, he casually blurts out all that info the first time he is asked. Same situation like before. Previous character and world building easily forgot by the author, in order to keep the plot moving.

And the weird thing is that there is no need to do such a thing. The plot was somewhat ok, there was no need for such drastic measures. It speaks volumes of the consistency of the plot and characters in the future. 

There are also other alarm signs. A chapter written from a very annoying side character point of view, which, the author plans to kill later, for absolutely no story or plot value. Maybe to try and get rid of his readers? It boggles the mind. And even the decision to kill the character is made via a readers poll. One would expect the author to have some modicum of control over his story.

The only thing the story has going for it is the unusual class of the MC, and that immediately gets drowned by the, frankly, poor plot and character choices of the author. And this is for the revised chapters.

Stay away people, there are better stories worthy of your time. 

 

 

Ral
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This setting for this story is just so haphazard. It is like the author just take every ideas, concepts in every genre that the author thinks is cool and throw them together in one big mess. There is just no control on what goes in this story. It is like a drunken hallucination.

Though, such slapdash construction could actually work if the haphazard nature is taken advantage of and becomes the focus of the story. After all, it has been done. Stories like Alice in Wonderland, movie like Yellow Submarine or comics like Axe Cop uses the bizarre aspect of the setting to create a unique and fun experience. They relish in the freedom from all logic to go where no other stories could go.

But here is the thing, while the setting might be detached from all sense and logic, the story is so restrained. The story take itself seriously when the setting demands that it be crazy and insane.

There is a movie that I could compare this story to, and that is Disney's 2010 live action version of Alice in Wonderland. The original Alice in Wonderland eschew logic and sense. The 2010 Alice in Wonderland however imposes logic, sense and structure to the narrative and in doing so destroys what makes the original Alice in Wonderland great. Instead of a fun exploration of the unrestrained and crazy world the story is set in, 2010 Alice in Wonderland is a boring and dull chosen one tale. And ironically, by trying to make sense, its story just become nonsensical. The world of Wonderland is not meant to make sense so the sensible thing to do is tell a story that match its nonsense. Don't try to make sense of what should not make sense.

And like 2010 Alice in Wonderland, this story just fails. It wants to tell a story that should be taken seriously, but sets the story in a world that only children of five and under could take seriously.

And by being restrained in a world that should have limitless possibilities from the detachment of logic, it becomes really boring. It threats what should have been fantastic and wondrous as drab and mundane that any attempt to excite just fails. After all, if the fantastic, absurd and nonsense is supposed to be dull and unexciting, then what is supposed to be fun and interesting in this story?

And of course, by trying to impose sense on the nonsensical, the story ends up making no sense at all. Since it wants to be taken seriously, the nonsensical nature of the wold is placed under scrutiny. Why aren't they using guns? Why aren't the useful stuff not mass manufactured? How did the economy work? Why aren't they using the internet to organize parties or gather information?

And then there are the characters. I don't really think these are characters. Yes they move and talk and such, but there isn't really any sort character in them. Take the protagonist for example. Ed takes a shard, enters the Labyrinth fight monsters and such. But why? Why does Ed do those things? I really don't know. Ed just do them because . . .

Really, the characters are just empty husks. As the story goes on, the characters would act and do things that can't be understood. As I said, these characters doesn't really have any character inside them.

Not only that, they can be incredibly stupid too. No character and no brains.

And if they have any character, they would certainly be incredibly annoying. Mosquitoes has nothing to some of the characters you will find here.

zharaoh
  • Overall Score

I am actually very excited for this new work. I feel that it will deliver and cant wait to see what the author has in store for us. Keep up the good work.

sundrall
  • Overall Score

I look forward to reading more of the story

Good story, the mc is not a power fantasy run rampent. The shard system seems intersting.

 

gaius maximus
  • Overall Score
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a novel which tells us the story of  Eduard and his journey to seek for answers. the world unravels itself through the actions of ed and we get to know more about the world the story is set upon. the author was able to give each character a purpose or role to be played in the story.

Laevo
  • Overall Score

[Ch47] Dropped the story, but enjoyed it previousy

I enjoyed the story alot when I first started reading it. I'm not sure what happened, but I got bored of the story after a while and dropped it. I think that with a bit of polishing it would be alot better.