Basil von Doom is a powerful dungeon keeper with a simple mission: to bring ruin and destruction upon civilized worlds at the height of their decadence and stagnation. Much like his father before him, the new master of House Doom is a prodigy of war, yet the venerable minions of his household still hold strange loyalties toward his missing ancestor, silently comparing the legendary rage of his father to the more pragmatic approach of the son. Adding to Basil’s frustrations is the lack of accomplishment he feels for his work, with the dungeon keeper often taking on handicaps just to give his enemies a fighting chance. With all the power and wealth one could ever dream of already within his grasp, Basil now finds that the achievements of others kindle more joy in his heart than his own crushing victories. Thus Basil has taken up mentoring the next generation of dungeon keepers to try and diagnose the cause for his own lack of passion. With his apprentice, Elnora, managing most of the daily work around the dungeon, Basil can finally turn his attention towards his personal concerns, such as tackling the shadow of his legendary father that still looms large over him.
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This is one of the best dungeon stories I've ever seen and had the opportunity to read. The management is realistic and complex, the power gaps are clear and well defined, and the characters have their own wills and aspirations. And the last one is what I want to talk about in this review.
Basil Von Doom is, for all intents and purposes, a god. Sure, he invades worlds through dungeons, and sure, he comes from a land of demons, but the power he wields qualifies him as a god, even among his fellow demons. But he is not the first overpowered MC to walk the lands of literature. So what makes him different? What makes him special? The answer: his father.
The old Lord Doom was a legend among legends. He was the definition of greatness. His name sits atop all the Guild's leaderboards, his shadow covers any achievement anyone could ever hope to achieve. To Basil, his father was the ghost that he could never shed, no matter what he accomplished. To Basil, his father was the embodiment of perfection. Until one day, he wasn't. One day, Basil discovered that his father had a failure upon his record. One day, Basil saw a chance to become more than just the name of Doom, and he took it. He set out into the unknown, chasing his father's footsteps, to find this failure of his, and succeed at it, to have his name be equal if not superior to that of his father's. And that is why this story is so compelling.
If we take away all the power, all the fantasy, all the supernatural, it is simply a tale of a son looking to cast off the spectre of his father's legacy. A son that wants to come of age and be his own man. And that's incredibly powerful. Too many stories about overpowered main characters fall into the trap of removing the "character" in the main character. They write the MC as a force of nature, a power beyond comprehension, a being that is so far above the surrounding mortals that their goals, wills, and emotions mean nothing. And that is their downfall. See, a character's being is shaped and reflected by their surroundings. If their surroundings are complex, powerful, and compelling, the character will be compelling, like in Dungeons & Demons. But if the surroundings mean nothing and are nothing to the main character, the MC's essence has nothing to be displayed against, and so we have only an indistinct outline of a character.
I must admit, the synopsis feels as intriguing as it feels misleading, but in a good way.
As of this review the MC has not yet "struck out against the rules and regulations of the Guild", though it's clearly building to that point, in that sense the first 15 chapters can really be considered a prologue. Some might consider this "slow" but it hardly feels that way when the chapters are filled with interesting fight scenes, competent dialogue and some excellent first introductions to the main characters.
It definitely has some STRONG influence from Overlord, which I'd consider a generally good thing... In so far as having a massively OP MC with a list of also op servants. However the setting the Author has placed the MC and his personal beliefs and reasoning is honestly really refreshing to me. I'm a bit of a sucker for some philosophical reasoning and debate and this story seems willing to deal with these topics, at least on a surface level, and not just shove some trope or political hoity toighty down our throats.
The whole 15 chapters just ooze a certain level of competence in structure, dialogue, description and world setting. I had absolutely NO trouble in picturing what was being describe, whether that was a burning city, a throne room, an old man, or a multi-chapter boss fight with spells being flung, pillars being shattered and shit going down. It was all clear in my mind and I followed it along without much concious effort, really allowing you to get engaged with the story.
Give this a read! I hope it continues strong after the "prologue" finishes!
I'm just writing this to give visibility to the work. I rarely read things on ''New'' and usually stick to ''Trending'', but I have no doubt it will make it there soon. There's only 23 chapters as of writing but I'm satisfied with what I read and am very much looking forward to see where this will go. The author's writing pace of 1 chapter a day is certainly a great plus too!
The beginning is somewhat confusing in its direction, but the synopsis says it all. The world certainly has a few catches to lead me on. There's a few discretely placed mysteries and other interesting characters with unknown motives.
All in all, give this a try. I could absolutely imagine this reaching the heights of RR, especially if the flow of chapter doesn't stop!!
- Style: good. Excellent languaging and use of imagery.
- Grammar (& spelling): nearly excellent. The odd regular mistakes.
- Story & Character: The farther into the story I read, the more this realization appears: everything is more interesting than the main character.
Right now, I'm in chapter 20, and still waiting for the 'story' to begin.
While there have been comparisons to the Overlord (anime/line-novel), Overlord was better in that the various other characters have more 'character.'
While there is some excellent world-building, there is a distinct lack of struggle, conflict, gains, or progress. Everything seems very static and unchanging, and the MC has Villian Mary Sue written all over him.
The story would have perhaps been more interesting if it was fast-forwarded to whenever the hinted changes occur, or backwards in the canon timeline when the MC first started out.
As is, everything I read could have been summed up in a prologue leading to something new, interesting, or otherwise challenging.
Ultimately... the work is boring, but not 'bad.' Take of that what you will.
For examples of other works here with high-powered MCs that avoid the above problems (but may have their own of course), see: Blue Core (*Dungeon, NSFW), Never Die Twice, Soul Power 9999, Sylver Seeker, The Most Overpowered Floofer, The Stars Have Eyes, and Vainqueur the Dragon.
This isn't your typical demon trope story. There's a lot of depth to each character. A large theme so far has been the motivations for each, from the lowest of minions to the head of the household, the author makes each character address the question of 'why' and find their own answers. This lends a lot to the worldbuilding and the story grows organically from one viewpoint to the next.
Yes, there will be OP MC demon awesomeness! But the complexities of the characters are what make this a must read story. And although our MC may be a big fish, there is always a bigger fish somewhere in the Astral Sea. Setting: very fluid, but about to become much more concrete. As the owner of a traveling dungeon, the MC is charged with bringing chaos and conflict to stagnating worlds by an interdimensional board.
We start by seeing the tail-end of his most recent mission, at which point he has become world-weary and seeks new purpose to his life. Most of the challenging fights come in the form of inner conflict, both with the MC and with his younger recruits; although his low-level minions also are challenged by external conflict. As of this chapter the next arc, centered on his apprentice / intern, is set to kick off a new conquest and we'll see a mix of their struggles to fill the shoes he's long grown tired of, even as he chases his own goal trying to fill his father's shoes.
4 chapters ( maybe more) long fight is a big nono for me. I would watch a movie if I wanted impressive fights. The style is quite good but the Overlord vibes are disgusting me.
Objectively solid, subjectively I hate it.
Keep the good work author.
"...he sets out on a journey of adventure and discovery." Was the part of the summary that I was most looking forward to, but it took almost 400 pages and well into book two for the story to actually begin. Aside from a handful of short conversations that progressed the plot, everything else has felt rather pointless. There is a lot of good world building, and the characters are well written and fleshed out, but the OP trampling without danger and lack of risk or consequences make for a dull read.
Stories need true conflict that has meaning, and the only real conflict I have seen is a bit of man vs self that fails to scrape any deeper than is described in the summary of your story,