Ithalon: The Glass Cannon
- Sexual Content
- Traumatising content
This is the story of Prometheus.
His early years were spent sequestered away from society where he trained with his Guardian.
His is not the story of a soldier, but of one who is completely devoted to the discovery of magic.
He is a Quad-Mage.
He is The Glass Cannon.
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Have you ever played a game where .. you take the tutorial several years late, and then for the duration of said tutorial you cannot use your primary class but have to make due with a secondary you are unfamiliar with, all with the risk of permanent death? I don't know what this is, but a "tutorial" I would not call it.
There is also a concerning theme that leads me fear that the MC is just a helpless chess piece in the fight between gods.
My title might be a bit spoilery, but not enough to turn anyone away. For any prospective readers, this story is a really interesting take on litrpg, as far as we follow a denizen of a world that has a System that's intrinsically understood by its inhabitants.
The strongest bit for me were the characters and how distinct they are. Prom comes off as a slightly sheltered 20 year old who is finally having his first foray into the wider world. He immediately makes some blunders and learns some lessons the hard way. And unlike a lot of boneheaded, sheltered MC's out there he learns, adapts, and overcomes through his own experience and it doesn't feel like he's saved because 'plot armor.' Slader and Raulin could, in my opinion, be MC's of their own stand alone stories as I feel they fulfill some MC tropes all on their own. And Lyla is a strong, badass chick who is decisive and goes after what she wants with reckless abandon. The characters definitely carry the story in what we have so far.
The author does a very good job of weaving in story bits and worldbuilding without throwing it in the readers face. There are a few moments of info-dumping early on that come off as jarring but they are admissable as they are immediately relevant. What we have so far is an understanding of where the MC stands and I feel that he probably isn't even the main protag of his own story. I wouldn't be surprised if the author goes down the road of turning him into the primary antag later on. But that's just me projecting because I'm a fan of MC's who aren't heroes in the normal sense.
Grammar is very well handled. I found very few instances that pulled me out of an immersive reading experience as far as grammar goes.
Style is the weakest point for me. The first few chapters read very beige and do a lot of telling. It makes it hard to get invested and make a connection with the story at times because of how beige those first few chapters are. But it is something that can be, and is as far as I know, improved upon and addressed. The latter chapters, namely from the 4th chapter on, do a much better job of balancing out the elements and make for a much more enjoyable reading experience. The pacing moves very fast in those first 3-4 chapters and I think that's due to the beige, telling quality. But the author shows vast and immediate improvement and as far as I've read I am excited to follow along in Prom's journey.
Overall, this a very enjoyable, different take on litrpg's and system stories. The characters are very strong and immediately differentiate themselves. Even within the tropes and roles that they seem to be filling they all are slowly warping the readers expectations.
*Edit - Author messaged me and thanked me very politely for the review (even if it wasn't a 5 star) shared some thoughts and the like, very nice. Definitely going to keep reading in the hopes that I'll be able to bump my rating up as the Author is certainly putting the work in and that deserves the effort on my part too. *
I rarely leave reviews on stories that I dislike, I figure the author's put in work and regardless of how I feel about it publically giving the thumbs down is a bit harsh. That said, let me clarify a few points.
I do not think this story is "bad" per se, especially not in comparison to a lot of other RR content. What I found bothered me was a certain level of blandness. I'm 17 chapters into a story and couldn't give a ratsass about the MC, I can't quite put my finger on why so lets just move on to a few other points I can put my finger on that I also feel detract from the story.
In these 17 chapters 2 of them were a POV of a character that is currently completely unrelated to current events, and 2 are of a side character who was briefly introduced, given a literal 2 sentance description, and then basically served no role. This is all occuring in what is effectively the prologue of this book. I find myself uninterested in the MC because as far as I can tell the author is uninterested in the MC, we spend a remarkably tiny amount of time of the first 17 chapters actually experiencing any of the world through his eyes. We have a training scene, we have a travel scene, we have a meet the sexy girl scene, and then the start of his first "mission" so to speak... in 17 chapters.... and i'm pretty sure it could have been done in 7.
Even during his first ever trials-by-combat and life-or-death experiences our POV is bouncing around between different characters and most of these chapters are filled with cringy dialogue between the MC and a very annoyng pixie.
Dear Author, I think you've got a lot of potential to work with here, but your sullying it with a lot of "mud". I advise you go back to basics and really sit and think about what is actually contributing to the progression of your story and what is holding it back.
If I could advise two major changes:
1 - Hold the POV jumping till a little later in the story when we've settled into the world and the MC a bit better...
2 - Drop the LITRPG. Your story would work fine, if not better, as a purely fantasy setting with no system or anything in place.
Style + Grammar - Idk why, but I'm definitely getting some Xianxia vibes from some of the sentence structure and word choices, or maybe I'm imagining things. However, I definitely like it though, the style is pretty descriptive, and the action scenes were well described.
Overall, the grammar was flawless, I didn't get stopped by anything that felt like mistakes or typos.
A small issue I would like to note is that the system described in chapters 3 and 4 was a bit complicated, and I had to read it over a few times before I could fully grasp it, you'll have to definitely read and think carefully when you're to understand it. But, this isn't a very important issue, a complicated system could be a plus or minus for different readers, personally I found it engaging and it definitely made things less droning.
Story - So far, I'm following things pretty well, actually, the story feels pretty Xianxia as well, but well, Xianxia is kinda fantasy, so I guess that's why I'm getting very familiar vibes. There's an overarching narrative, the MC is of mysterious origins, from a completely different plane of existence or something, and he's plopped down in this lower world.
Idk If I'm actually allowed to mention this or not, but I've spoken with the author a little, and I have a little bit of insider's information to the plot of the novel. If the author does follow through with what he has in mind, you'll all be in for a treat! (seriously though, idk if this is appropriate, Origin if you see this and don't think its appropriate, I'll remove this!)
Character - The cast just screams Xianxia to me, or maybe just standard fantasy, I cannot for my life tell, I've just been so corrupted by Xianxia, everything is Xianxia to me these days. You have the MC trying to find out more about his mysterious origins, a helpful and goofy pet/friend in the pixie. Beyond that, there are quite a few other cast members you'll come to love and care for! I especially liked Lyla, just because she doesn't give a fuck, I like that in a girl, obviously, donkey does not wear the pants in the relationship >n<
Promising story, cool setup, but I couldn't get over the frequent tiny time skips. It felt very jittery, like parts were missing. I usually could infer what happened but it was jarring and I didn't see a purpose for it. It was too annoying for me to push through, which is a shame since the story seems quite fun!
I'll post what I shared in the comments of the "character creation" chapter that I gave up on this story (hopefully just for now) from...
As a first time reader of the story who got the edited version, I must say this was an extremely frustrating "build your character" chapter to read. Potentially one of the most off-putting in the many LitRPG stories I've read.
Why is that? Because after all the buildup in the previous chapters of his extreme dedication and motivation to training for 16+ years alongside him wanting to do his utmost to survive to see Edgar and the Valkyrie again, the core choices about who/what he'll be to survive the Tutorial are "tedious" and he can't wait to get it over with and seemingly could care less about it all. This jarring difference utterly broke character for me and through me out of the story.
And I'm sorry but the interactions with his supposed "bound to help you for life" greedy self/cookie-centered faerie companion were not great at all. If your goal was to make me the reader super frustrated with the MC and utterly disgusted with his faerie companion then you definitely succeeded with flying colors.
I went from extreme "I should be asleep but maybe just one more chapter" interest to "I need a break from this story and if I can let this chapter go and find interest in following the MC again I'll hopefully be back to continue reading" interest.
Also, a bit more clarity around picking primary attributes would be helpful. It was unclear that he had some sort of limit to his choices or what the limit might be. Like is it a hard limit of 3 maximum or the more he picks the harder his upcoming Tutorial or what? There were definitely a number of others that seemed worthwhile to include if he could (the resistances in particular).
Best of luck on future rewrite iterations, I hope this feedback helps.
Overall: What do you get when you take a demon and give him two magic classes to wreak havoc with? A whole lot of firepower and the infamous status of a glass cannon. At this point (10k in), the story has the potential to go in just about any direction. But the glimpse of the world and it’s religion so far tell me Prometheus might have to play the anti-hero and fight these religious scum and their devious goddess. Overall this was an enjoyable read, though readers should wait for chapter 2 for the litRPG elements to really come into play. The opening leads us very quickly to the Tutorial, where Prometheus will choose and earn his second class through a series of trials.
Style: As my chapter comments have detailed, there are a few areas for confusion in the presentation of information. Enough to disrupt the read, though it was still enjoyable none the less.
Story Score: I did feel a few times while reading this that the story would benefit from slowing down a little, particularly during the journey to the capital where the tutorial will take place. I realize the author intends to expand this into three chapters later, but this rating is to reflect the story as it stands now.
I was also snagged in a few areas where “believability” and “confusion” had me raging over the story a bit. I addressed those in my comments, and should the author go back and fix them (for the most part, at least), I am willing to increase my score at that time.
Grammar: Tense changes stand out about as much as a guy walking around in mismatched socks, but if that doesn’t bother you, there’s really not too much to worry about—nothing else I can recall at this point.
Characters: I still feel like I’m getting to know Prom. His goals and what drives him are rather obscurely hidden, though the mention of wanting to find his parents was dropped at one point (unexpectedly) during the story. I will say, as far as Prom’s relationship with Edgar, Prom’s feisty overconfidence, Edgar’s stubborn behavior are well represented. However, as an individual character and MC, Prom did not stand out enough. I would say he was just as fleshed out as Edgar, who is a strong side character but not the ML.
If I had to point at a specific reason for this, it would be, other than the bluster of frustration and confidence he exuded during the tutorial, emotionally, he was flat. Take him outside the Tutorial, and what emotions did he express? Even when his life was at risk in the tutorial, I did not sense a whiff of fear. His emotional bar seems to range from angry, confident, pissed, to focused. Maybe that’s because he’s a demon, but I believe he can have more depth than that.
Please note that this is structure a bit more like a critique than my normal reviews, at the request of the author. :)
The Glass Cannon is the story of a young demon (not daemon) boy who was sheltered and raised by a paladin man far away from the prejudice of society. Now, he must venture out and face the world head on.
First of all, story. In the first few chapters, we get some clear and interesting goals for the immediate future as well as some hints as to a greater storyline, which is fantastic. Some stories struggle with establishing a goal early enough, so that's a great job by the author. However, I did find that there were some pacing issues in chapters 1 and 2, mainly that it feels like there wasn't enough time on some scenes. This is half style, but I thought I'd put them in story since I have a lot to cover.
Now, style. I feel very conflicted having style be the lowest rating, because when it works, it works. You're sucked into the story and you can't put it down for the life of you. Especially in the rewritten part, this story's style is wonderful. Unfortunately, some awkward sentences and clunky exposition weigh this category down, as they break the flow and sometimes just restate what we already know. All in all, I feel like while the style is still pretty good at the moment, with editing and experience, it could grow to be something really really great.
Grammar. My shortest category, as always. It's good! Found maybe one or two errors, nothing that broke immersion.
Now, for characters. We get a very compelling and interesting backstory for Prom, but for me it actually develops Edgar even more. Edgar is definitely my favorite out of all of these characters, but as the title says, I also like that Prom isn't a chosen one. In fact, there are actual "chosen ones" in this story, and their plotline is also very interesting and their characterization is beautiful. I definitely feel like characters are this story's strong suit :)
Overall, if you're looking for a nice progression with elements of more traditional fantasy combined with the litrpg and cultivation-esque elements, maybe give this a try!
The story is still in the early phase so can't say much about it, but the story has a lot of promise and is interesting to read. There are a few minor errors here and there but the author is already working on them.
The characters are the strong point in the story. They are well thought out, well-described, and have different personalities, backgrounds, and struggles. They are very realistic.
Have high hopes for this story let's see where origin takes the story.
The Glass Cannon is an interesting read. It's a story of a demon crashing through life against the tide of a corrupt church. That's a narrative I can get behind.
Origin loves his flourishes, which what I tend to like most in fantasy writing. Love the poetry that prose can have. However, I feel that Origin's still developing his prose. At times his flourishes are immediately followed by 'explanations'. A kind of 'show and tell'. This can work, but at times it takes one a little out of the story because a sentence has already gotten an idea across, and an explanation following that can be a little repetitive.
Grammar is smooth and didn't interrupt my experience.
It's early days, but the story is progressing at a nice pace. Sometimes a little quick, but with a steady clip that keeps you going. The narrative is nicely building up the main character's power, promising for some epic battles down the line.
The characters are very good, though I find sometimes Origin can be a little eager to tell us character backstories upon their first appearance. This can be a little ovwehelming at times, I find. Overall, though, I found them fun and compelling
The Glass Cannon is shaping up to be an excellent litrpg tale with the flourishes of more classic fantasy. For the Royal Road crowd? It gets my full recommendation.