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Garth Daniels is down on his luck, running from his life in a quiet little town in the middle of America when our universe is co-opted into a war between an unstoppable race of reality-hopping monsters that feeds on the flesh of living creatures, and a conglomeration of thousands of realities, nested inside each other like a matroska doll.
We're the new layer.
These monsters, the Kipling, can only be defeated in a reality with very specific physics, otherwise they are unstoppable, and so Earth's universe has been assimilated to give us a fighting chance.
Garth must set aside everything that he knows, and think fast to adapt to the new laws of nature if he wants to survive.
Cover by Asera, a cool, helpful dude, who doesn't get enough props. Go check him out!
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I had the story rated at 5 stars and had to edit my score. The characters were super interesting. The politics had depth. There were hints at conspiracies and foreshadowing. Then it all went away and leaves you feeling like "what was the point then?".
The story started off good. It's a post apocalyptic story where Earth gets added to a larger system and the main character has to figure everything out. The main character, Garth, is humorous and takes unpredicatable actions while making schemes out of the chaos which makes the story fun to read. Garth does end up becoming more and more "plot armored" where things just go his way, but that's not a terrible thing in this type of story.
But then "chapter 100" rolls around and it all disappears. Any story that takes every character you've become attached to and kills them all is an example of bad writing. It feels like the author didn't know what to do with the story from there and instead of putting it on hiatus he just wiped the whole thing and did a genre shift.
Even though I loved the first part, I can't recommend this story to anyone. Knowing that his city, wife, friends, and kids are all going to be wiped out suddenly and nothing that happened earlier matters makes the entire experience feel hollow.
and then it just becomes a completely different story that I am absolutely uninterested in. Garth had a family, a new city amid the bleakness of the apocalypse, and a pretty powerful master. The writer decided all these things were unnecessary though, so 100 chapters in, decided to hit the reset button and give us a grim medeival story instead of post-apocalyptic survival story. I am wholly disatisfied with this betrayal the story threw at me. It's like going to the store to buy mustard, but when you get home to put it on a sandwich, it's ketchup instead. Like wtf man
Ok, let's start with style cause its the first one in the box thingie.
Starts off a little shaky not gonna lie. There's a little weird transition before the story really gets going. But once it gets going it really gets going, the author finds his sea-legs really fast and even the 'shaky' part is better than 90% of the crap on this site. The author has a really good grasp of the 'show don't tell' rule, I can't remember ever being told about a character except in one place where a species trait is discussed.
There is a race of ant people who are known for being naive. The ant people characters act naive in well thought out scenes and it just works well. You never feel like you are being flat out told what their personalities are and it serves an important narrative purpose in how other races treat them. This is not a negative.
(However, the character of the species in question continuously makes choices in line with the stated characteristic so even without the description it's obvious). Nothing seems contrived or plot-armoury, the MC is no god-in-5-chapters and honestly not even really that 'strong' even now. It has, quite frankly, amazing pacing in my opinion. All the chapters have meaning and aren't just padding but the author understands that 'meaning' doesn't mean 'give MC a new OP ability every chapter'. yea style is great after like...chapter 2? 3ish? not a problem AT ALL
Next up is the....story.
Okey-doke the story kicks ass, its great. The setting, the way shit works and how its put together just...makes sense y'know? You ever read a story where the first thing that happens is, and I damn near almost quote, "MC fell into a spatial rift and magically fused with the seventh taigam buttplug of power, complete with an AI system. He's also a master of every magic". Gets old fast huh? Yea this isn't that at all. Everything that happens has reasons, there's no "Huh, that was really fuckin lucky" moments. Like, sure, SOMETIMES the MC gets lucky, but its always believable luck, like finding a penny, not winning 6 lotteries in all the states. I mentioned this in style but in retrospect, it should be here, the pacing is fabulous. There're no wasted chapters here, every paragraph has a clear purpose and is mostly fluff free. You won't find people talking about their "Silky chocolate hair, almond-shaped eyes with a small smattering of freckles, she uses listerene grape flavour and has a mole on her left tit" yea none of that shit. You won't be enlightened to the colour of the MCs' taint anytime soon. It's just solid, read the damn book.
Didn't notice anything wrong and the authors a cool guy so would prolly fix it if you found something. 'Nuff said.
AAAAnnnddd...now the Characters!
The characters are my personal 'most important' part of a fiction. And I am pleased to announce that these characters are really good! They all have unique and pretty fleshed out personalities and I have never seen any of them get possessed by the spirit of plot convenience even once. They act like ACTUAL PEOPLE which is fucking rare on this site. The MC is not some naive 'gotta free all da slaves and adds to my harem that I'll never fuck cause I'm a fuckin tool' he's a pretty good guy but he's smart. I cannot state this enough, the MC is smart. The reason I'm so happy about this is that the author knows how to write smart people. Most of the authors on this site handle smart characters either by making them nigh-omniscient or by having them dumb as a rock until the plot needs them to decipher some aliens porno mag. This MC has got his shit together, he's no Sherlock Holmes but he can plan ahead and take steps to achieve his goals in a logical manner. Which brings me to my final point about the characters and another thing I love. The characters are proactive characters and not reactive characters. Now, you might ask: "What the fuck are you on about drone? I ain't buying your exfoliating scrub, get that weak MLM outta here!" Yea I hear you people but let me explain what I mean. The MC and the side characters DO THINGS that have EFFECTS. How many MCs have you read about who just react to shit? He killed my father! The maiden is in danger! A problem, I must fix it!, yea this MC has like a proper goal for his life. It's not fancy or elaborate, and it could maybe use a little bit more explanation, but he HAS SOMETHING. He doesn't just react to events, he MAKES EVENTS HAPPEN. For example, with a reactive MC the story might go: "A screaming woman runs into the MC out of an alley, this leads to the MC eventually taking down the criminal underbelly." whereas a proactive Mc story might go: "The MC rides up to the city with a stolen tablet under his cloak. For a couple of hours, he probes the patrons of a shady bar for information on who he might sell his stolen tablet to. After a couple deals with the shady organisation, he discovers a secret slave trade! The MC destroyed the organisation." Big difference see? In one the plot only moved forward by a freak moment of luck, in the other, the plot moved forward because of the MCs decision. I'm firmly in the camp that proactive characters are way better.
Yea, there's no section for this but I feel it's important. The author is really friendly and totally open to criticism and new cool ideas you have. He usually responds to comments pretty quick and I feel thats pretty cool. A lot of authors might get a bit pissy if you try to give ideas, and I get it, it can be annoying. But I've personally put like 3 great walls of text in this dudes comments and he's cool with it.
4.5/5 Definately recommended.
Not going to lie, the change-up at Ch 100 is what threw in the towel for me. I had been gradually losing interest before then, the power creep was getting out of control and I frankly wasn't much of a fan of the drugs. I stayed on because it seemed like the story was leading up to something but after getting to chapter 104 and then perusing the reviews I realized the author had no plans and the entire story just got a reboot.
I wish this hadn't happened, I wanted more of Itet - who had just gotten a big change to her character and I was excited to know more about her - and Sandi - a personal favorite character whom I felt needed some more fleshing out. Would have liked some more hot harem action as well, more in-depth over his duties as an Apostle of Fertility, but c'est la vie.
Instead, starting earlier but really hijacking the story around Ch 80, we get Nega-MC: the evil creature but WAAAAYYYY overpowered dopple of the MC who casually shows up and wants to hang out with the MC like the end of Scott Pilgrim. This guy becomes most of the next 20 chapters in what I imagine is a set up for the reboot (hinted at from what little I've read but don't care).
At the end of the day, this story suffers a lot from JJ Abrams Syndrome, the ability to start a story strong and with interesting ideas but unable to follow through and in the end leaves people more disappointed because they invested their fandom into something that ultimately let them down.
I can't recommend anyone read this because it starts off so well, so engaging, that when the disappointment comes all that you feel is heartbroken.
Will definitely give a look at the author's other works, nothing like a prolific author to pay attention to, also might head over to his brother's stories, but I'm done here.
Alright it started with a literal bang which is always nice, no op character just a bloke in a bathrobe caught in the apocalypse. It stays that kinda gritty fantasy for oh about 7 chapters. It switches fairly fast from there
Losing the gritty no free lunch litrpg feel to the more standard litrpg tropes. Main character gets a power instantly is able to get it to an op level where he can disable hundreds of enemies at once with no real draw back as it seems allies are able to easily escape but enemies are stuck. Main character comes jnto large amount of money and ie power, while thinking of basic economic schemes to get rich quick. At this point in the story the author has dropped the dimensional teenage girl side character that had some nice back and forth quips and her own chapter in favor of a shapeshifting sucubus that likes to ahow of her boobs and ass for paragraphs.
Is it good: ye ive enjoyed it even if it went from a good read to just another bookmark read. I imagine id enjoy it more if i liked sex scenes in my books so hey if you like lit rpgs and tits its a good read
Was a fun story until chapter 100 when the author decides to just invalidate the entire story up to that point rendering the previous chapters worthless.
Up until then, it was fun. Solid characters, engaging story, interesting take on a System Apocalypse premise. Even a unique take on some otherwise bog-standard races.
Chapter 100 straight up throws away everything that mattered, everything you were looking forward to, everything you were invested in up until then, and replaces it with a world-half-empty where humanity as we understand it lost a long time ago and everyone you cared about - all those fun characters and their interesting takes on races - are all dust in the ground and it all happened more-or-less off camera.
I have never seen a writing move more disrespectful of the time and investment of readers, and more utterly wasteful of an otherwise good setting.
The first move is "suddenly ambush," where teh main character gets hit out of left field eevery time they try to do anything at all, by a faction, force or opponent that did not have a presence in teh story prior to that point.
The second move is "stupid, shortsighted incompetence" which describes the main character.
The first story has just barely enough of an overrching narrative to keep you reading as a guilty pleasure - particularly if you are into wierd monster/bug fetish or like the post apocalypse kingdom builder version of "suddenly litrpg system"/"suddenly the world is magic" stories. With a side of "yay drugs" for flavour.
The second story tosses out all characters and restarts the MC at zero, but stupider and less competent, but more active. This happens at chapter 100.
The world building is the most interesting part, but unfortunately is poorly utilised and the characters are shortsighted and self-sabotaging, never gaining any meaningful traction or solving any single narrative relevant problem.
For me, it was the way he tossed aside relationships and then had the character act like they barely mattered.
For those who don't already know, about 100 chapters in, the author of this piece decided to throw a huge curve ball that basically broke the series, changing timeframe, characters, and flow through a sudden atrack and failure on the part of the main characters. This caused the passing of 800 years before the reawakening of the MC, thus breaking the relationships that the author had worked to invest us in—if not permanently, that comparably such.
Killing off the character's wife and showing a horrible aftermath that the MC barely seems to mourn after 800 years in a paradicical afterlife broke my interest, my appreciation, and my general respect for the author.
Sorry, but just because you can or "because it makes logical sense" isn't a good enough reason to pull the rug out from under your readers like that. I felt a lot of hurt from reading through the catathrophe, then felt angered reading the experiences of the MC in the aftermath of his "return".
If the switch hadn't destroyed or postponed basically all the significant relationships in the MC's life for so many chapters, all the chapters I skimmed through, I think I could have hacked it. As it is, I can only say that I am vastly disappointed and I won't hang on this author's whims any longer. Too painful, too heartless, so I'm done.
The story is goood up to chapter 100 when the whloe story changes out of left field and everything you care about in the story is gone replaced with grimdark.
Moving from a base building/ fighting and drug dealing litrpg to destroy everything i want a grimdark story.
It just killed everything that made me read up to chapter 100 in the first place making me feel like i wasted my time. hoping that maby it would go back to normal some how until i read 7 more chapters and realized that this was where i ended the story Sigh.
Just think that the first 100 stories where the real story and the author pulled wammy on us by killing off the rest of the cast and ended the story with out such an happy ending.
(After 100 it's just plot holes and i haven't read pass 107 so if theirs something worth it please pm me on how the story ends)