Better than one

by Lord Zaika

Original ONGOING Action Adventure Fantasy Dungeon Gender Bender LitRPG Magic Male Lead Non-Human lead Portal Fantasy / Isekai Reincarnation Ruling Class Strategy Strong Lead Supernatural
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Traumatising content

Are two heads better than one?

For Kevin, who is sharing a body of a two-headed ogre, the answer is a resounding no. Hell no. That's because the other head is a cunning character with a mysterious past she doesn't want to reveal. Whether through sorcery or subterfuge, neither had any choice in the matter. They are quite literally stuck with each other and need to survive in a world of monsters.

[Isekai] [LitRPG] [Two-headed Monster Evolve] [No Harem]

 

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Lord Zaika

Lord Zaika

A fluffy Meat Popsicle

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Sociable Hermit
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Great Setting With Minor Problems

In the mass of copycat reincarnation stories, it seems like 'originality' is little more than having your MC reincarnate as a monster no one else has done yet. Unlike most of those stories, Better Than One has some actual thought put behind its setup.


The combination of an earthling who can learn about the world as a proxy for the reader plus someone experienced who can provide context is great, as is the fact that the two are bound to clash, considering their different personalities. All of that is very nice. However, the story has some... things I'll consider problems, but you might not, since those are for the most part my personal preference. If you're still with me, please read ahead... if you dare.

Style: The style is simple and functional. Apart from a few nice passages, I'm no big fan of the overly simple wording and descriptions, but it fits with the fast pace of the story, so I'm hesitant to be too critical here.

Grammar: The grammar is mostly fine. Some minor typos, but better than most on RR.

Characters: I like the protagonists, both of them. They're sufficiently well developed. However, their interactions are not as deep as I would like. On top of that, there are quite a few named characters besides the protagonists, many of whom are barely defined. It becomes a bit confusing during a fast reading.

Story: The story and world both seem well thought out. The author has clearly spent a lot of time on his research and on planning, so a lot of things just end up working together. It's a bit too fast-paced for my tastes, but perfect for anyone who wants a quick story to read and have fun.

All in all, Better Than One is what you would expect from a Royal Road novel. It's reincarnation into a unique monster, with nice action scenes, clever ideas and a fast pace. However, underneath it all lies a solid foundation beyond most novels on the site, something for the author to build on. I look forward to seeing where it will go in the future.

kazumi
  • Overall Score

Interesting read, but has some problems

The story is interesting. How couldn't it be? Two characters with the most awful chemistry stuck in the same hideous body is bound to result in the funniest situations. The description is usually good, switching between show and tell in a decent way. Just this puts "Better than One" at the highest end of what RR can produce. However, there are some problems that stops the story from being truly one of the greats. First thing that stands out is the missed opportunities. There were many times where the author could have taken it slow and fully shown the emotions of both the princess and the MC.  We don't see them tripping over because one wanted to go right and the other left(this is before even before they decided on who to use what, and even then, habits and reflexes die hard), nor do we see any remnants of the MC's attachement to his previous world. There were many other things that killed the immersion for me(like the ultra complicated sentences that says too many things in too little space), but these two were the problems that stood out the most for me. 

 

Anyway, the story is good and unless you're insanely nitpicky, you'll find it enjoyable.

monoliith
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I am enjoying it quite a lot

This is a fun read. It isn't the greatest story on RR, but it's definately above average. WAY above average. And the characters actually seem to HAVE character. 

KoboldPatrol
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great story with a unique lead character pair

(as of chapter 29)

'Better Than One' tells the story of Kevin who is transported into a fantasy world and finds himself as one head of a two-headed ogre, sharing the body (and the control of it) with a princess who is hunted by her evil brother. They have no choice but to live as a monster among monsters...

Style: The story is mostly told in first-person style from Kevin's point of view. Princess Estra's POV is shown through interspersed diary entries. The writing is feeling very good with a harmonious flow of the story and some comedic aspects.

Story: While I have read stories with unusual lead characters this two-headed approach is unique. The rest of the story is also very interesting, there is a great deal of suspense in the well-developed plot. It's clear that the author did their homework before writing this story.

Grammar: Very good.

Characters: The protagonists have detailed personalities and keep true to them and their differences even when cooperating in their shared body, which is a great plus for this story. Kevin applies his earthling knowledge in an intelligent way that benefits the group without being unrealistical for a medieval world while Estra knows how the world works. After the initial shock they thankfully behave rationally without annoying drama. There are lots of other characters though which aren't as detailed and it's a bit difficult to keep them apart.

In my opinion, this story is among the finest on RRL, both for the unique setting and the entertaining way of being told.

Alex_Bov
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Two IS better than one

This is a second story by this author and I have enjoyed reading both of them.  The author is new at this, and has been rapidly improving in the process of writing.  In this story, he took steps to fix large portion of weaknesses present in his first story.  I give this story an Overall Score of 5-star, because I really enjoy the world setting and the plot of the story.  Even though there are weaknesses, they are too small for me to take away from my enjoyment.

I wil begin with the negatives, as I see them (and I will elaborate on negatives more than on positives).  The first negative that I see is the personality of his main Character.  In a word, the MC is a bit dry.  Paradoxically, the main reason for it appears to be that MC is both intelligent and rational (in this reviewer's opinion).  If you think about it, a completely rational MC (some sort of engineer, in both stories by the author) is a problem for a fantasy setting.  MC that makes rational (and therefore) safe decisions is almost necessarily someone who is going to have a somewhat boring persona and life (which is a problem in a book setting).  A completely rational person is not going to run into pitfalls due to his/her stupidity and/or personality.  This eliminates a lot of fun things that could be happening in a story.  Lets face it, there is a reason why videos of drunk drivers doing something Darwin Award-worthy are generally popular and videos of someone driving safe and rationally are not.  Hence, the rationality of MC (and therefore presumably of the Author) is the reason for reduced Character Score.

Related to the above, this is going to have a negative effect on the Style score and this is main reason why Style score is also reduced.  If MC is not doing anything stupid, where will the conflict/adventure come from?  Well, conflict/adventure has to come from some outside source.  However, in order for the story to be believable, the outside sources have to be limited - if there are too many of them, then the level of "luck" involved will ruin suspension of disbelief.  In order to deal with that to some degree, Author has introduced a permanent secondary source of conflict in a person of an immature Princess (second head of Ogre).  The story is still too young to predict how this will work out as the source of long-term conflict.

Now on to positives.  The first one is that I really enjoy the Story.  The world setting, the behavior of individuals, the dry humor of MC, the believable behavior of traumatized Princess, of beaten down Kobold tribe (as presented by the story) are all very enjoyable to watch (for this reviewer).  Therefore, none of the above negatives take away from my overall enjoyment of the story.  

Similary, the Author has good command of English language, and does not make annoying Grammar mistakes that I see in about 2/3 of the stories that I read on this website.  It is actually quite fascinating - due to all the Grammar errors I see in other stories, I have to presume that most Authors have English as their second language.

I look forward to new chapters by this Author, and will continue to follow this story closely.  :)

tonybo312
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REVIEW IS OUTDATES AND NOT APPLICABLE TO THE REWRITE

 

Very good overall. The characters are getting the work they needed to flourish and I like how the author doesn't feel the need to shove backstory down your throat. The pacing is also pretty good with the pace going a little to fast after 

Spoiler: Spoiler

Grammar seems to be good with only one or two things that could've been worded a little better.

The idea of two characters in one body is very interesting and I think he does a good job of some of the struggles and boons to their unexpected arrangement.

Would highly recommend especially to those interested is base building or litrpg elements.

As a side note:

Spoiler: Spoiler

 

Necamijat
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Interesting premise, with a hint of story in place

Better than one starts with an interesting premise which allows it to clip some of the world building issues isekai stories tend to have from time to time.

The protagonists are introduced well, developed over time, and one of them has the perk of providing the story with context and an overarching plot to boot. The other, while just being in it for the ride, provides a point of view as an isekai protagonist. Together, the story develops decidedly well, with the point of contest between two differing logics and views of the world popping up to provide tension.

As far as story is concerned, some plot armour aside, there's not many quips about it.

Spoiler: Spoiler

 The other characters are somewhat plentiful (something which appears the author agrees with as well), and at times even listing their names is a bit of a hassle. If enough content for them is provided — considering their introductions were actually good and had context to them — they could become a staple part of the plot (even though there don't seem to be clear connections between where the story is going now and the main goal of the princess).

Grammar is nigh perfect and I've no complaints, especially with the author's neat writing style which is very readable and clean.

Overall, it's a good start for a story that has the elements of 'make it or break it' depending on how well the plot aligns, and I'll be reading more of it.

Actual_Cat
  • Overall Score

Enjoyable story, some minor things I noticed

Alright, I've only read the first three chapters so if anything I mention changes later, ignore me!
Overall this is a very enjoyable story with twist on the get-transported-into-game idea, which is defenitely a positive. Plot-wise, I liked how it started in the middle of an action scene, drawing the reader in immediately. What did throw me off was that, coming up from the sewers, the characters found themselves in the middle of nowhere. To me sewer imply some kind of city above, but this is a minor thing. I didn't find any grammar/spelling mistakes (but keep in mind I'm not a native speaker). In the third chapter, there was a slight infodump (regarding the way battles are fought) that I think could have been handled differently, but again, that's more of an exception than a rule in this work. 
Another very minor thing I noticed was the phrase "get in shape" the princess used, because it sounds very modern while the world obviously isn't.
Since all of my "complaints" are small things, I'm still going with the five star rating since overall this work is very enjoyable, has an interesting setup, and did make me laugh. 

justlin
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good character development and world building

UniverseRiuku
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͡ ° ͜ʖ ͡ – ✧ OwO UwU TWT >///<

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(˵ ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°˵)ノ⌒♡*:・。.
 ͡ ° ͜ʖ ͡ – ✧ 
Wow, I love the mix of this 'reincarnated as a monster' isekai thing that you are doing. 良い仕事を続ける! Das ist wirklich lustig und gibt mir eine leichte "Everybody loves large chests" Atmosphäre. Ná stopadh mar ní féidir liom scéal maith a fheiceáil chun dul i mbun dramhaíola. Pancake out of 3 hotdogs review! :D