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Summary – Level 1:

Delve is an isekai litrpg that follows an average guy who just happened to wake up in a forest one day. He wasn’t summoned to defeat the demon lord or to save the world or anything like that, at least as far as he can tell. The only creature there to greet him was a regular old squirrel.

Soon enough, he meets other people, only to discover that he can’t speak the language, and that not everybody immediately trusts random pajama-wearing strangers they met in the middle of the wilderness. Things generally go downhill from there, at least until the blue boxes start appearing.

Delve is a story about finding your way in a new, strange, and dangerous world. It’s about avoiding death, figuring out what the heck is going on, and trying to make some friends along the way. It’s not about getting home, so much as finding a new one.

Did I mention that there will be math?

 


 Summary – Level 2:

 Okay, but what are you in for, really?

Well, this story is supposed to be realistic, or at least, as realistic as a fantasy litrpg can be. The main character doesn’t instantly become an all-powerful god and murder-hobo his way across the universe. Delve is, at its heart, a progression fantasy, but that progression is meant to feel earned. The numbers in this story actually mean something. Everything is calculated, and if you find a rounding error, I expect you to tell me about it. That said, if math isn’t your cup of tea, there is plenty more that the story has to offer. Characters are meant to feel real, and progression isn’t only about personal power; it’s also about allies, connections, and above all, knowledge. Figuring out how the system works is a significant theme.

 

...

 

What, you want more details? Okay, fine, but this is going to get a bit spoiler-y. Are you sure?

 

Yes!

 

Really sure? I mean, this summary is practically half as long as the first chap–

 

Now!

 

Okay, okay!

The main character becomes a magic user, but he takes a route that is not very popular in adventurer culture, namely that of a support. There is a full magic system with various spells, skills, and abilities, but our MC decides that aura magic is the way to go, and that the only stat worth investing in is mana regeneration. Most people at the Adventurer’s Guild think that this makes him a bit of a dumbass, but he’s playing the long game. We’ll see how that works out for him, won’t we?

Because of his build, the MC levels up fast, at least compared to normal people. There are no cheats, though, and he is limited in other ways. There are some clear and pretty obvious downsides to his build. That’s what makes it fun, no?

Morals? Our MC has them. Again, we’ll see how that works out for him. Realism, remember? Would you be okay with killing someone and looting their body? I sure hope not.

POV? The focus is on the main character, but there will be occasional varying perspectives from people around him, or involved in the events related to the main plot. It isn’t going to jump all over the place.

Tech is standard medieval stasis. No smartphones, but the MC does have a technical background. Computers and their programming might be involved. There might even be a bit of uplifting down the road, who knows? Anyway, it isn’t the focus. He isn’t going to invent the gun in chapter 1 and change the face of warfare.

Romance is not a major focus. Friendships are more the name of the game, though there will be some characters in romantic relationships.

There is exploration, though not as much of the geographical nature as you might expect. It is more about exploration of the system and the culture.

The pace is slow and detailed, sometimes verging on slice-of-life. The action is meant to be realistic and grounded in the numbers, and it is intended to have meaning beyond simply punching things until they stop moving.

The general tone of the story is grey, and some parts can get quite dark. People die. Sometimes, people with names, but not anywhere near GoT level. There is plenty of light, too, though, to balance the darkness. The world is dangerous, but overcoming that danger is why we’re all here, isn’t it?

Anyway, if you’ve made it this far through the summary, you clearly like words. I hope you enjoy the story!

 


Cover by Miha Brumec

Summary Updated: 2020-06-14

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SenescentSoul

SenescentSoul

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Table of Contents
201 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
001: Woodland ago
002: One on One ago
003: Pothole ago
004: Statistics ago
005: Alone ago
006: Skill ago
007: Slime ago
008: Clarity ago
009: Commerce ago
010: Broke ago
011: UX ago
012: Class ago
013: Party ago
014: Math ago
015: Mine ago
016: Cleanup ago
017: Return ago
018: Rescue ago
019: Succor ago
020: Outcast ago
021: Smith ago
022: Search ago
023: Paralysis ago
024: Answers ago
025: Clay ago
026: Gratitude ago
027: Hunted ago
028: Plan ago
029: Practice ago
030: School ago
031: Gear ago
032: Well ago
033: Reunion ago
034: Kin ago
035: Dream ago
036: Focus ago
037: Modded ago
038: Geography ago
039: Arrival ago
040: Lair ago
041: Maze ago
042: Guesswork ago
043: Fall ago
044: Beast ago
045: Signal ago
046: Light ago
047: Core ago
048: Crucible ago
049: Downtime ago
050: Baggage ago
051: Completionist ago
052: Specialization ago
053: Forward ago
054: Adventure ago
055: Armored ago
056: Noble ago
057: Restored ago
058: Charge ago
059: King ago
060: Snow ago
061: Spree ago
062: Complication ago
063: Assessment ago
064: Exposition ago
065: Ring ago
066: Encounter ago
067: Footrace ago
068: Departure ago
069: Hangover ago
070: Skating ago
071: Perspective ago
072: Preemption ago
073: Inflamed ago
074: Elevation ago
075: Adaptation ago
076: Meeting ago
077: Chill ago
078: Heatsink ago
079: Slumber ago
080: Trapped ago
081: Breakdown ago
082: Intent ago
083: Boon ago
084: Entry ago
085: Guide ago
086: Explosion ago
087: Pet ago
088: Casualties ago
089: Consequence ago
090: Buried ago
091: Essence ago
092: Fracture ago
093: Tomb ago
094: Illusion ago
095: Pressure ago
096: Sanctuary ago
097: Arrested ago
098: Stability ago
099: Calm ago
100: Storm ago
101: Fireside ago
102: Reaper ago
103: Illumination ago
104: Mind ago
105: Connection ago
106: Imprint ago
107: Interface ago
108: Handover ago
109: Inception ago
110: Logistics ago
111: Pickup ago
112: Revelation ago
113: Inauguration ago
114: March ago
115: Camp ago
116: Squall ago
117: Trust ago
118: Frost ago
119: Worry ago
120: Choice ago
121: Restraint ago
122: Composition ago
123: Turbulence ago
124: Engage ago
125: Vestvall ago
126: Industry ago
127: Staredown ago
128: Finally ago
129: Confiding ago
130: Moving ago
131: Appearances ago
132: Job ago
133: Breaking ago
134: Unbreakable ago
135: Sentence ago
136: Focus ago
137: Geometry ago
138: Metal ago
139: Agile ago
140: Exploit ago
141: Descent ago
142: Biome ago
143: Care ago
144: Precipitation ago
145: Monkeys ago
146: Pillow ago
147: Easy ago
148: Weight ago
149: Instinct ago
150: Windfall ago
151: Forethought ago
152: Compression ago
153: Trees ago
154: Archer ago
155: Edge ago
156: Magnet ago
157: Speculation ago
158: Scales ago
159: Upgraded ago
160: Spelunking ago
161: Hive ago
162: Extermination ago
163: Emergence ago
164: Deluge ago
165: Shake ago
166: Tumbling ago
167: Cracked ago
168: Escape ago
169: Holdout ago
170: Daybreak ago
171: Singer ago
172: Grading ago
173: Propagation ago
174: Guide ago
175: Improbable ago
176: Patience ago
177: Debugging ago
178: Proposition ago
179: Time Management ago
180: Multitasking ago
181: Creation ago
182: Subtlety ago
183: Welcome ago
184: Confidence ago
185: Promotion ago
186: Negotiation ago
187: Takeover ago
188: Proximity ago
189: Unveiled ago
190: Communication ago
191: Interrogation ago
192: Swim ago
193: Cult ago
194: Vessel ago
195: Stealth ago
196: Knives ago
197: Desperation ago
198: Unrelenting ago
199: Unprecedented ago
200: Understanding ago
201: Breather ago

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Reviews
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Bizmatech
Overall

Min-Maxxing for Dummies

Reviewed at: 33: Reunion

I ended up dropping this one, but more out of personal taste rather than from any lack of quality on the story's part.

 

Why you may like it:

It's a very in depth LitRPG, and the author has clearly put a lot of work into the system.

Unlike most LitRPGs, the action scenes are nicely detailed. Aside from the main character's internal monologue, people don't just go around shouting the names of their attacks. The author actually takes the time to tell us what's happening with descriptions.

I dislike the LitRPG subgenre because many writers either care about their system more than their story, or use the system to help cover up lazy or sloppy writing. In Delve, it's clear that the author hasn't skimped on the prose, and is genuinely working on giving us an actual story... even if that story is about the system.

Why I dropped it:

Too much G, not enough RP. The main character is basically obsessed with figuring out how the system works and making it his bitch through the power of mathematics. Very large parts of a lot of the chapters so far focus on the MC sitting around with his notebook as he looks for the best way to optimize his skill points and daily experience gains... And every bit of it is written down for you in glorious/horrific detail.

Do you want to know what his mana regeneration will be if he puts a skill point into Ability A as opposed to Ability B? Do you even care? Will it affect the plot at any point in the future?

No. Probably not. I highly doubt that a character's life and/or the fate of the world will ever be determined by a single misspent skill point.

But what if it was two points?! Think of the possibilities!

No. The answer is still no.

Overall:

If you're a fan of a series because it's a LitRPG, you'll love Delve. If you enjoy a series despite it being a LitRPG, you probably won't love Delve.

If you don't feel to strongly either way, then, at the very least, it's worth giving a try.

Atreivahavi
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Absolutely the Slowest Story I’ve Ever Read

Reviewed at: 144: Precipitation

Old Review

A good and fluent story with little to no grammar mistakes and wholla lot of maths. It has a great start with solid world building and realistic and fun characters (except mc for now because he can be frustratingly naive when it comes to adapting a different world with its own culture and moral system). The story hooks the reader but be careful. As much as the story is good; the pace is abysmal (A chapter per week and usually no real improvement story-wise). If you don't mind the pacing I definetily recommend this story. 

 

Update

Okay, when I first made this review the story was really slow. But right now it’s at the point that the story nearly stopped. And the quality gets worse and worse. As I said before the author updates weekly and most of the chapters fill readers with tons of useless (or for some just repetitive) information. At this point the author just drags his feet. Again and again at this pace this story MAYBE will finish in one or two centuries so think thrice before starting it. And believe me I didn’t made this update in a fit of rage. The story just became worse.

victorfw
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Grammar is great; story is getting boring; style is... roundabout?

Reviewed at: 076: Meeting

First of all, as some have already stated, this novel has top grammar. Punctuation is very well utilized, slang and mannerisms is kept to dialogues and moments of introspection. Now, on to the review, per se

  • For the story, about a third of it has been noteworthy... His interactions with the smith and the silverplate have been probably the most memorable, but that's it, kinda. There's a bunch of dips*** characters who are sh***y just for the sake of being so, or being bad for being bad, so on and so forth. There doesn't seem to be a driving force, some kind foreshadowing or reasoning. It seems they are there for the sake of forwarding the page count, and some later get 'retconned' into being nice.
  • The idea about killing monsters, lairs, adventuring is cool -- that's why I picked up the novel. But all he does is kill slimes and clean stuff wherever he goes. There's the occasional mob who isn't a slime, but those were maybe 6 chapters in total? Not sure, but can't have been many more than that.
  • When the MC isn't killing slimes or purifying stuff, he is micromanaging his build. And, honestly, the whole blue screen thing is being overused. Every chapter, there's a good 10% 'wasted' with copy & pastes of his stats, learned and maxed skills (useless info eight times out of ten). I say 'wasted' because it doesn't really subtract from the chapter's length, but it does inflate the novel's page stats.
  • Then there's the whole obsession with math, which is what drove me to write this in the first place. Honestly, if someone did the math (...heh) and found out that a fourth, or maybe a third of the novel is just MC doing math, I wouldn't be surprised. While it is nice seeing some of the author's focus seeping into their work, some chapters end being a deluge of numbers and formulas. Example scenario: instead of MC thinking "If I compress my aura's radius while empowering it and channeling more mana, it will do more damage!", he goes on a tirade of "If I compress my aura by 80%, I'll get a 1,8x buff, coupled with empowering it for another 100%, giving me a resulting 3,6x buff. I can also channel more mana into it, but then the efficiency might drop by about 50%. In any case, the resulting damage can be expressed by (ca.ea).(ch/eff)=dmg, which would be a bazillion damage points." It gets old fast, especially when repeated so so so many times throughout the chapters, and sometimes on the same chapter. 
  • Honestly, thinking about it while writing this, little stands out as straightforward storytelling. It is better than a lot that's available, as proven by being on the trending page, but sometimes it just feels like meaningless filler.

I mean, it's good if the author enjoys themselves. It's their novel, their writing, they're the ones who have to like it most, but still. I hope the new arc feels better.

MagusZanin
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

The best LITRPG overall

Reviewed at: 129: Confiding

Overall: Good Characters, Solid work on the LITRPG side, and a good if meandering plot.

LITRPG: Focuses on the System mechanics a lot but in a way that makes it very good according to Sanderson's laws of magic. The more the audience understands the system, the more the author can do with subverting and playing with that understanding, and this story does a great job helping that understanding to give the author that room to work. 

Grammar and Spelling work: Solid. Obvious proofreading and care put in, and things get fixed promptly when reported. No one is perfect, but this is one of the better serials out there, and the tables/”blue boxes” are at least well formatted so as to be easily readable at a glance. 

Characters: Good backstory work, with each character having understandable motivations and reasons for working with the protagonist(s) that are not repeated. 

Villains: The Antagonists arise organically from society and have completely comprehensible motivations as well. That doesn’t mean they aren’t plenty evil, but everyone behaves like humans, even the North Korean-esque cult Empire. 

Places for improvement: Needs to work on pacing. Lots of chapters that are slice of life with only one or two important plot beats happening, spending whole chapters on working out optimized math for the System and major events often take multiple chapters to resolve. This means that cliffhangers often take weeks to fully work through the events and downtime chapters are fairly uninteresting. Heavily recommend reading only once a month if you cannot handle that.

Luke Scheffe
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Great Story, Glacial Pace

Reviewed at: 190: Communication

Overall, this is a great story. It is very number crunchy, and the main character finds reasonable exploits, with the only issue I have with the exploits being that one of them is that apparently nearly nobody recognizes the value of a good crafter, and so believe that monsters are more powerful than humans at high levels, when the reality is that humans aren't using a significant part of their advantages. The other problem in this story is something you are no doubt aware of if you've gotten this deep into the reviews. The pace is absolutely glacial after the first 20 or so chapters.

Style - Rather number heavy, but that's what I'm looking for from this story. I like the exploits that rain makes use of.  8/10

Story - Good story, but it has a glacial pace. It has picked up a little recently, but it is still very slow, further compounded by the slow release rate. 8/10

Grammar - Still don't overly pay attention to the grammar. 10/10

Character - The characters are mostly fine, though Rain is rather distractable, which detracts from the story occasionally when he neglects to complete something important, that is by design, and mostly doesn't cause issues for me. 9/10

antikangaroo
Overall

Good ideas here, but the execution ...

Reviewed at: 136: Focus

This is an ok story.

However! The SenescentSoul invests an incredible amount of words and chapters into irrelevant sideshows. Combine this with the fact that there is only one chapter per week, and you get basically no movement on the main plot for months at a time.

I expect that this story will never be completed. At the rate it is (not) progressing, you have to expect that some kind of life event (good or bad) will put the author off writing.

It's a shame actually. Boiled down to about 20% of it's current length this story could be really good.

Bjorne
Overall

Love the way magic works

Reviewed at: 138: Metal

Obligatory, read it before I had an account and not going to click through so it says something other than read at chapter one.

I love how the system of magic works in this one. It's more restrictive in multiple ways. both by having to kill a blue in order to level in the first place and that you're for the most part locked into your choices. Other than Ameliah they can have long-lasting complications and she only gets versatility because of her own build. 

 

A refreshing change compared to most of the genre.

Eternal Reader
Overall

A "LitRPG" Slice of Life slower than a Snail

Reviewed at: 150: Windfall

Edited for Chapter 150.

If you like the idea of a "LitRPG" Slice of Life and waiting months for something interesting to happen, you'll like this novel.

I originally liked this novel because of the math, the litrpg elements of it, and the system, but that was when I had a backlog to read and the MC was actually leveling up.

Probably 3/4ths or 2/4ths of the story has the MC stuck at his level cap with him only being able to level up his skills. From the moment he got his lvl 18 cap in the first place to the current chapter, he has made zero progress on increasing that cap.

Instead of finding ways to raise his cap, the MC decides to form a group run by democracy with most of its members being normal people with no levels. This group's goal is to give normal people the ability to use magic by killing blues[The way you gain a level cap in the first place and also raise it by killing a higher level blue].

Many chapters are devoted to math and optimization, but the funny thing is that he usually can't put any of that into practice for meaningful lengths of time. His class is one where he has a ton of mana and uses auras but guess what? He can't attack effectively without damaging himself and those around him due to how his auras affect the surrounding environment. 

It becomes even funnier when you realize that there is a skill that will solve that problem and guess what? He can't get it without raising his cap, thus keeping him as a glass cannon until he does!

I still read this novel because I hope that it will improve and become a LitRPG again with the MC, Rain, actually leveling up again because right now, it might've been better off without litrpg elements.

Edit of ch 145: Rain still hasn't leveled and has only recently gone down into the dungeons to increase his strength. I'd say 1/3rd of the chapter was about him using velocity to jump. So, yeah. The pacing still sucks and he appears nowhere closer to leveling up. 

Edit of ch 148: Rain has leveled up, wow! Except, it's only level 24, one level short of Rain being able to achieve Silver. I'm sure it'll take multiple real-time weeks for him to find a level 25 Blue and 4+ weeks for him to reach his max level. Level 24 is the most useless because he doesn't become Silver-Class and can't use more than 1 Aura until he reaches level 26.

The pacing is horrible. 

Edit of ch 150: Two chapters of not focusing on gaining new levels or purchasing new skills and focusing on boring stuff instead. This novel is the best example of what terrible pacing looks like. Future authors, look at this novel and make sure to not follow its example. 

The long and short of it is that the pacing is terrible, might as well not exist. The thing that drew me and many others to this novel is not there anymore. I honestly do not recommend this novel as it is now. With the Author only releasing 52 chapters a year, I am not sure when it will get better or when it will end. 

If it ends and we're all not fossils in the dirt, then go ahead and give it a read. Otherwise, read something else.

Raggnoross
Overall

Good in the begging, interesting enough character and good worldbuilding but just way to slow. It was manigable up until chapter 100 or so when he had to leave the town for spoiler reasons but... nothing is happening! There is no interesting story development, fairly little character development, and it is focusing way to much on the side characters (IMO). Maybe it will get better, but im not going to wait to find out comsidering how long it takes to release.

disposediner
Overall

Great start, then falls off very quickly

Reviewed at: 158: Scales

This review contains spoilers.


This story started off absloutely great. The theme of progression was woven through practically every sentence. From having to learn the language and seeing less <something> in sentences to him discovering the system, both in its contents and even in the formatting of the tables, senescentsoul really put a great deal of thought into the feeling of progression.

But then you get to chapter 50 or so, and suddenly the plot is more simpsons movie than Diablo II, only to turn to let's play Oregon trail a 100 chapters later. The language is learned. Most of the knowledge discovery is complete. Skills trees get unlocked but not discussed. We're left with generic musings on how the world works that are qualitatively different from the start of the story in that there are no experiments or discovery being done. Instead of see something, test something, know something it becomes see something, write wiki with bad jokes and 9gag memes

And that's not even the worst of it. The progression stops. As much Senescentsoul pretends that it hasn't by fiddling with tolerances (which level almost on accident, Rain figures out the system, but somehow just puts it on the background instead of powerleveling through it even when he's trapped in a tomb with the corpes of his "frriends" that he's spent all of 24 hours with). The vast majority of this story lacks progression. So much so that tagging it as such is abuse.

Rain starts off with the idea of min-maxing and munchkining his way to power and safety, and then he hits his cap and starts meandering around killing slimes, cleaning buildings, and chatting to the all-knowing Stavvo who somehow is never shown sharing any actually useful knowledge? Throughout his Ned Flanders phase, I'm left constantly wondering, why pay the fine back in the guild, why return to Fel Sadanis, why keep Val around (especially since his class is all about soloing everything to progress and don't get me started on why the empire isn't tying up blues and making an army of lightbreakers)?

And finally, when do say good-diddly-bye to slice of life fiction and go back to progression, we get no training, no skill selection, no level up screen or demonstration of power, just straight up [A few days later] and he's all maxed out again. After all we have to make room for the descriptions of Snek and the Sooooooouuuulll.

It really is a shame. Startted off great, but then died. Don't bother reading past the beginning chapters. In my head, I'll just pretend Velika killed them all after the dark lair and drink to forget.