Powder Keg Balloons

by Lord Zaika

Original ONGOING Action Adventure Fantasy Anti-Hero Lead LitRPG Magic Male Lead Non-Human lead Reincarnation Strategy Summoned Hero Supernatural

In a hostile land of magic and iron overseen by whimsical gods. An engineer wakes as a Gnoll with naught but his ingenuity.

Follow his adventures as he tries to make the best of his situation, while stuck between forces that push and pull him around. Will his adaptability save him from yet another certain death? No.

But maybe, just maybe, he’ll find his way back home.

 

****

This is an Isekai (another world) resurrection LitRPG (video game system.)

No harem, wish fulfilment, mary sue, or white knights within. A more 'realistic' fiction - there are setbacks and gains, wins and losses. Mistakes are made.

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Lord Zaika

Lord Zaika

A fluffy Meat Popsicle

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The Mad King
  • Overall Score

I won't lie. When I picked up the story I thought I was going to hate it. 

My party got absolutely thrashed by a couple of Gnolls in our last DnD session and present tense makes me physically cringe. Not to mention my aversion to the LitRPG genre as a whole.

Can you imagine how surprised I was when I realised I had reached the end of the current content? The author has a strong voice, solid mastery of the language and can create some vivid imagery. When he wants to.

Which brings me to Pacing. One minute I'm chilling in the northern caves smoking Gnoll weed and the next I'm sent off to a task by God. The author has created an interesting and original world and I wish he'd take the time to explore it thoroughly through the eyes of the main character.

Now, as far as characters go, I feel like the MC is authentic and detailed. As he should be. Yet it feels like every character is as deep as the role they play in the story. 

The author is getting better as he writes and the latest chapters make it clear that he's taken reviews to heart. This is shaping up to be quite the fantasy tale! 

#GiveGnollsAChance 

Felias
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Overall 4,5
It's an overall interesting new story with some flaws. The framing is that of your typical Isekai story: Someone dies and finds themselves in another world. Gods are messing around and et voilá, there he is. He's a monster now and comes equipped with his own personal cheat, as well as most of this knowledge.
 
Where this story diverges from the formula is in the fact that the main character can die and return. This opens up some interesting opportunities. There's one more major difference but that'd be a bit spoilerish.
 
Style 4,5
This story has got a decent writing style and the LitRPG elements blend in well. It's closer to what you'd find in an actual novel over a hobby webnovel. It's good but has room for improvements, mostly when it comes to dialogue and making use of the first person perspective.
 
Grammar 5,0
Don't ask me. I'm not a native English speaker. I can't tell the difference from good to amazing grammar. At first glance, I found no glaring mistakes and the sentences have a decent flow and construction. Which makes it alright in my books.
 
Story 4
So far (read until Chapter 11), this has not yet hit its stride but that's alright. It starts in media res, which is a plus and sets up some key aspects early. If it can fulfill on those promises, this is going to be interesting. As of right now, it's essentially your usual LitRPG Story with a twist.
 
Character 3,5
Alright, this is the current weak point of the story (don't hit it for critical damage). I'd say there are two main characters so far, neither of which have a clearly defined role yet. One is a bit of a bullheaded jerk (which isn't a problem) that lacks clearly communicated drive (this is a problem). The other just kinda exists as a foil for the main character so far - but she hasn't been in for long yet.
In general, both main and side characters could stand to be fleshed out a bit more.
jpuntuned
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Serves the demographic but needs work.

Isekai, GameLit is a combo the Japanese LN market made popular. For the lover of such material, this story is porn. However, that comes with its own positives and negatives.

I deducted half a star from Style due to a pet peeve of mine. I hate prose written in the present tense. It hurts my eyes and is a pain to read. However, it is executed well enough in this story with near perfect Grammar, so I have nothing to complain about there. I noticed maybe two typos through out.

The plot so far has been intriguing but a tad shallow. Which is why Story gets a four in my books. The story follows the usual formula of a man being reincarnated in a fantasy world by the hands of a god to accomplish an ambiguous quest. The author jumps on the monster protagonist bandwagon but picks a Gnoll (which is a win in my books). I'm glad that the character faces some challenges and trouble, everything isn't fun and games for him. The pace is much too fast for my tastes. I wish the author would take more time to build some of the scenes and sets. I'd love to know more about the caves, the cities, the prison and the dungeon. If not how they look, but what kind of smells a character with a heightened sense of smell is picking up, or what sounds they can hear. 

I wish the author focused more on how a canine transformation affects the once human protagonist's personality. It would have made for a good Character development arc. Bloodthirst, strange urges and even some longing for his old life could help build the narrator's personality. The character's sorely lack personality, their exchanges are almost bland at times. A little bit of introspection could have gone a long way.

Lord Vile
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Not great, lots of flaws, but potential

As of chapter 11, 23/10/18

Beware of criticising the author, he takes it about as well as a child with his favourite toy taken away. 

This story is an odd mix, there are moments that seem like they are leading into something more, but result in nothing but a easy win.

The style is poor, lots and lots of time skips, and a lot of blocks of dialogue, then description, then action, some monologue, rinse and repeat.

The story premise is as cliche as it gets, but is presented in, not necessarily a new way, but it is interesting.

The grammer is passable, no major flaws, but nothing special, just solid.

The characters are bad, really bad, starting with the mc, he is stupid, obnoxious, supposedly smart, but acts like a brick most of the time, bland, and rapidly turning into a chinese protag, very murder happy within seconds, despite being a engineer, with nothing hinting that he might be used to killing. The side characters, there are too many, mostly useless, to care for and keep track of, they are also bland and uninspired, like the mc.

All in all, reads like a wish fufillment, power trip, popcorn novel. Needs some fleshing out, and some major character development.

If this changes in the future, feel free to pm me, and ill have another look.

 

BladedPen
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Overall: 4

The story starts off with a sudden reincarnation to a new LitRPG world where the protagonist, Desmond, finds himself suddenly changed to a Gnoll. Handicapped with little combat ability from his previous life, the protagonist uses his wits and engineering expertise to survive.

 

Style: 3.5

I'm not a big litRPG reader. I enjoy it from time to time, however, I did enjoy this story. With that said, the author gives Gnolls the protagonist treatment and keeps the power level underdog tier. Dad jokes aside, Desmond has basic stats and abilities, with knowledge of his previous life; engineering. The twist is his worry about such ideas becoming public and changing the balance of power. 

 

Grammar: 4.5

There were a few grammar hiccups here and there, but the overall grammar structure is strong. The author has made good strides in revising and editing his early chapters. RPG format is well laid out and easy to follow.



Story: 4

We follow Desmond and quickly discover he is not the only one to be brought to this world. Enters our second character, Alice, to create a duo. Reincarnated individuals gain many abilities and knowledge of their previous life, which I will not spoil here. Humanity appears to be dominant, and thus puts our heroes at constant a transient status.

 

Character: 3

I would say this is the part that I have hope will improve in the future. I desire to know and feel for these characters. However, the spark is there between the two, and I can see the signs that the future is bright for the author's characters. The author has laid good groundwork for potential conflict between Desmond and his hesitancy to let his engineering knowledge get out and skew the balance of power.

Abridged: I like the story overall, the future of it is bright.

R. B.
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I found this story to be thoroughly enjoyable and well-paced. Characters are engaging, main character being my favorite. He is intelligent if a bit arrogant, but his good qualities should not be overlooked due to snap judgement. He is pragmatic but not heartless, intellect and good intentions blend in well together as far as I am concerned. 

Well thought out and written, looking forward to the next chapters!

Khailz
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Could be a good read with some adjustments

*Review updated*

The story shows good promise, but the characters don't seem too well put together — not too many grammar issues, a few here and there.

The only issues are the way the story flows and how the characters are constructed, but his part of the review was long ago, and the author has made various changes that benefit his fiction. I recommend giving it a read, loads of promise and value.

Eamond
  • Overall Score

And Simply put, it appears the author has read several stories in this genre, enjoyed them greatly and recreated something in their own style.

 

the issue is that their style consists on characters lurching from place to place with no motivations, no explanations and no characterization. What could be an engaging  cast of characters, isn’t. What could be a interesting story about the gods interfering in mortal lives(and divine mind control) isn’t. THe story has an interesting premise, diverse cast, and the depth of a puddle.

 

upon reaching the end of the available chapters i re-read some from the beginning just to make sure I hadn’t somehow skipped the paragraphs or chapters providing characterization or nuance to the proceedings in this story.    I had not, ergo this review 

Ral
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This story is just awkwardly executed. I read it and I just felt incredibly uncomfortable and irritated. Everything about this story is just clunky.

Style:

It's not the worst I seen, but it is just so ungainly.

The pacing is broken. It would blast past a lengtly trek then would suddenly stop. Take this for example:

“There you are! The Council is waiting.” She appears winded.

“What do they need with me?” She ignores my question and instead leaves in a hurried pace. I abandon the food, running to catch up to her.

We leave the barracks and go back up through the city. Past a set of ornate gates, we arrive into an large courtyard with a fountain. The buildings around the perimeter of the courtyard are adorned with ornate masonwork made out of black stone. Once inside the central building, we’re escorted to a meeting chamber furnished with a single large round table. On the opposite side are five high-backed gold decorated wooden chairs occupied with richly-dressed beastkin.

Vera leads me up to the table; I notice Nadya and all the leaders from our group are present. Greta is explaining something to the Council .. men? I check with inspect - they are in fact all female.

“You know it’s rude to inspect without permission,” the last one that I inspected, by the name of Helka says. She’s an Ursine beastkin, wearing a white robe with red and gold trim, and lavish gold jewelry.

It is just so jarring and jerky. The speed of the story jumps back and forth like it has a seizure.

Related to the pacing is the flow. Take this for example:

I learn Medla’Aran is an old city with a large beastkin population, at the opposite end of the crater from the human city of Petrovsk.

A week later we hit a worn road that took us into a rising valley situated between mountainous ridges on both sides. Straight south into The Crater’s rim is a large opening into the side of the mountain. The entrance is heavily fortified and the ridges on both sides are peppered with garrisons. Is it dwarves that live here or beastkin?

After an inspection at the gates, we head down endless lit tunnels with many forks. I note the symbols at the forks, apparently they’re used for navigation, and we have been following the one that looks like a circle with four appendages.

It’s a few hours before we come out into a vast cavern. We pass another gate, and then follow a winding ramp down into the settlement. It’s still daytime, light is streaming, through gaps on the far side, into an otherwise dim setting. We trekked through to the other side of The Crater’s ridge.

There is no transition. It jumps from one subject to another. The sentences doesn't flow into each other.

Not to mention, this is one horrid way to narrate a story. Show don't tell. Come on. And if you can't show it because you sucked, then don't bother. Skip it! Don't bore with such garbage.

And the dialogue. UGH!

It would take too long so I'll just summarize it, the style is incredibly clumsy. It is unpleasant to read.

Story:

The story is a typical reincarnated fiction you'll find around here. The protagonist is reincarnated as a gnoll, which is kinds original as far as reincarnated fiction goes, but this story doesn't do anything original with it.

Though the biggest issue is how mangled the story is. Chapter one for example suddenly whams you the death of the protagonist that just comes out of nowhere.

And here is a thing the authro says:

No harem, wish fulfilment, mary sue, or white knights within.

Hah! Well, except for the harem. Everything else? Hah!

A more 'realistic' fiction - there are setbacks and gains, wins and losses.

Gosh! If it was only true. I don't think the author know what 'realistic' means.

Let me correct it. I think he meant 'believable' fiction. The story can be fantastical, but everything fits in the story.

This story however is is not believable as he meant it. The interactions are fake. The gains, wins and losses doesn't make sense. He just gain stuff, for no reason. He wins because … I don't know. He loses because, again I don't know. Things happen in here with no logic or reason. The author seems to just have things happen just for the sake of things happening.

I don't even think the author is bothering with a plot. As Wikipedia explains it: Plot refers to the sequence of events inside a story which affect other events through the principle of cause and effect. The author however doesn't seem to know what cause and effect is for things just happens without any cause or effect. Take chapter one for example. Our protagonist was bludgeoned to death. Surely that would have an effect on his behavior and choices … no. It might as well not happed at all. Just let the god pick him up, then put him back if all that is needed is for the protagonist avoid being captured.

What can I say. It is one clumsy story. The author doesn't seem to understand what a story is. It is one of the most incoherent story I read here.

Grammar:

Well, actually, the editing is not that bad. Some spelling errors, grammar errors, punctuation errors - the usual. Standard Royal Road fare. Stories here aren't really known for its great editing.

Character:

Hah! Character. More like sock puppets.

The biggest issue is that, there is no characterization. The author doesn't bother to make the characters display any form of personality. They just move and talk. They only do what the plot requires and doesn't bother with anything else including characterization.

Not that these characters has any characters. As I said, they are puppets. They move as the plot demands. Personality? None. I mean, try. Try to analyze their personality. Who they are. You will get nothing.

~~~~~~

A story about a human reincarnated gnoll is an interesting concept, too bad there is nothing to show for it. There is nothing to separate it from other fiction of its kind and the execution of the story is just terrible.

There are better options out there.

 

Hanmeng
  • Overall Score

First thing first, I don't have any credibility to do any review. I'm just a simple reader who likes fantasy literature.

With that in mind, I'll give my review.

I feel the story has so many things right. The premises, the setting, the world design, etc; are interesting in itself, but somehow it fails to catch my interest. It's not engaging enough.

Most xianxia I read, usually are shallow as hell, but there is something they do it right, which makes me keep on reading a hundred chapters and more. Although the recipe getting old quick and I quit before I finish them.

I don't know what it is, so I can't give any suggestion. I think if I know it, I can be a good writer. Unfortunately, I don't know.

My grammar sucks, so I can't give any review about that part.