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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?
Really sure? I mean, this summary is practically half as long as the first chap–
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.
Is there romance? Not so much, or at least, not as a major theme. Friendships are more the name of the game. Building relationships and knowledge about the world, not a harem. Definitely not a harem.
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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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.
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.
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.
I appreciate the effort the author put into how the systems work but sometimes it just delves(ha) too much into it instead of moving the plot forward. Too much monologue too little plot in most chapters. In the earlier chapters I read all of it but lately it's just been redundant and I just skip those parts. There was even a chapter where the character was just doing an optimization matrix on his skills.
The story is good, the pacing just needs some work. Keep up the good work.
I'm dropping the novel because of 4 things: Naive MC, Out of place Side characters, intro of modern technology in fantasy world, and it runs out of steam.
First I wanna talk about the MC since he is the centerpiece of this novel. When he gets isekaied into the new world and the few chapters that followed it was fun and interesting reading how he learnt about the language and the system in the world. However, the more chapters were released the more I started to doubt whether the MC had actually learnt anything about the world. In short, the MC was and still is extremely naive and idealistic. He monologues about democracy and helping people, however, he isn't in any position to act on those thoughts as he is extremely weak. How does the author fix this? Instead of having the MC change for the better, so he can actually do something about the situations, he changes the circumstances around the MC.
MC creates a guild around chapter 110, and invites a lot of people to join as they set out to adventure. He structures the rules of his guild around democracy and respect for each individual. Mind you, he has been level capped for at least 50+ chapters and is still weak. He has to rely on Amanda a whole lot, honestly it feels like he is psychologically abusing her, guilt tripping her to join his guild and protect him like a mother would a baby.
Now, I'm not an English major in college or a good writer, but as a reader of many novels, I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be the other way around, right?
Second, the out of place side characters. I just wanna point out that sometimes the people who were born and raised in the new world know less about the world and it's system than the MC. It. doesn't. make. sense. For example, there is an organization called the watch in the city which kinda acts as the police / city guard. The watch is known to help it's members level up. So, one of the main questions I had while reading is: Why the hell are people not lining up to join the watch? You'd think with such reputation there would be no way in hell the other organization, the adventurer's guild, could even compete with the watch. But apperently for the author, in this world where it's the law of the jungle and power is rule, "adventuring" (aka being a handyman) is just as popular as the people who literally had a powerlevelling dungeon in their basement.
Third, introduction of modern technology in a fantasy world. Oh boy, where do I start with this one. I think it's best to give an example of doing this right. A novel that did this right was "Release that Witch" (RtW). In the story of RtW, the MC is isekaied with no powers and is the lord of a city. The MC of RtW uses modern technology not only to increase the well-being of his people, but also as a way to adapt to the new world, which was a gradual process. Now, the novels that do it wrong, or the "screw it, have guns" novels. These include law of the devil, kuro no maou, and this one! These are the novels that add modern technology to a fantasy world just because they can. This type of introduction doesn't serve to help the MC adapt to the world, it's more like a way to cheat the world and its system.
The author literally has the MC give Tallheart the plans to a tank and they make it. The author gave the MC a tank. Huh? Is this GTA V with cheat codes? What the hell?
Author: Damn, they need a form of transportation. Oh, I know:
Finally, probably the one that most readers are complaining about: it runs out of steam/ momentum/ gas. As of the chapter I'm dropping at, the MC hasn't done anything remotely interesting. If you really think about it, all the excitement has been happening in like a 2 meter bubble away from the MC. Imagine that for like 100 chapters. Then imagine the author transitioning into a boring group management simulator. That's what is going on in the story. It's turned into a chore to read, by this point I see an update for this novel and I don't jump in and read it like I used to, I put it off for another day because I know nothing interesting is happening. After this last chapter release, and reading other reviews, I decided enough was enough and dropped this novel and this review on it.
First of all, i would like to say that the Author knows his stuff, the characters, the world-building, just well written and chances are you might actually like it.
But... my "low" rating comes from the fact that the story seems to go nowhere, no plot, the Mc's just hanging around, basically doing nothing, talking to his friends, doing maths, or else viewing his character sheet, which sometimes takes 1/3 of a chapter (Blue screens, blue screens and more blue screens, believe me, it's annoying).
Beside that, the Mc seems to be a push over, he's too...hmm... cautious? nice? lack of self confidence? or maybe lack of self respect? people disrespect him "all the time" and he does nothing about it, and it's so frustrating. anyway, that's not the type of Mc i'm into.
And last, I really hoped for some adventures/thrills but that doesn't seem to be on the menu. So, (I have not decided yet) i might drop this novel soon.
Update: dropped it
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.
The premise is one that can easily be found on Royal Road. The main character winds up in another world and finds himself with a status screen, and oh yeah, magic works.
What makes this different from the others in this genre, is that the Main Character doesn't come with the knowledge of how to speak the language, how to min/max his skills, how his skills work or magic work, or have even the basic survival skills.
His life is as much just trying to understand and survive as it is gaining levels and stats.
This ignorance is refreshing, and perhaps the most realistic narrative of what would happen if a person were dropped in a strange world with different rulesets.
Amazing 5's across the board.
Grammar is on point, and the author is responsive and quick to fix any mistakes that are pointed out.
The story had a solid start but most chapters at this point have devolved into entire chapters of MC sitting somewhere doing math. The plot barely moves forward, maybe one thing will happen in 3-5 chapters. It's infuriating to read when you've caught up. If you're reading this by the time it's over then it may be worth skipping through the filler but when you're waiting a week between every chapter just to end up with another math chapter, you start to get sick of it.
This may just seem another story of the transported to a Fantasy world with LitRPG type, but quickly shows itself to be different, and it improves on the genre standard by so much.
I honestly did not expect much when i started to read this, but now its one of my actual favorites. I have been totally impressed by this story and how enjoyable it is to just keep reading, the story is also very entertaining with all the situations the MC gets in. I just loved every moment of reading this.
The MC is just, realistic, even if he may act stupid at times, this is mostly due to him not knowing near enough about the world and its inhabitants, sadly for him, that includes language differences, which has proven to be a major problem for him. He does have quite some flaws, such as being impulsive, and that makes me only like him more as a character.
The world so far has been well-constructed, but due to certain reasons, not much has been revealed yet. So far it has been shown to be a pretty standard Medieval Fantasy world, with there being no major differences from the usual standard.
The author has written one of the most well-constructed LitRPG Systems i have read so far on Royalroad with this story, its very different from the LitRPG systems used in other stories and really thought out, with there being no easy shortcuts to becoming powerful, its basically all how you plan your stats, skills/skill trees and classes and then act accordingly. There are even alternative ways of earning exp aside from combat/crafts. But the greatest difference is Customization, and thats quite hard to explain. I personally like the fact that even though the status screens appear on most chapters, they do not hinder the reading experience at all.
Good grammar in this fiction, with there being barely any grammatical errors or typo's, and even if there are, they are easy to detect and do not hinder the reading experience at all, the authors use of grammar remains very consistent throughout the story, not only that, the author has a good gasp on the English language, with correct word usage in his sentences.
Great pacing for this story, the flow of the story just keeps you reading the whole time. The story as a whole feels realistic, with no forced stuff or weird plotholes or anything like that. The author has done a great job at making this story as detailed as possible without detracting from other aspects of the story. There is also a good balance between adventure, humour, action and worldbuilding (what there has been so far).
Ill be honest that i just cannot find anything specific to criticize the story for, it is just that good.
I have to applaud the author for all the work he has put into making sure this story is of high quality while also making it enjoyable to read. I have faith the author will be able to make something truly great with this story, considering what he already has written so far for this story.
I wholeheartly recommend this story for any fan of Fantasy, this has been a story of really high quality so far and there is just so much potentional to be explored here. So thus, start reading this story already!
Meet Rain. Not Falling Rain, the Undying Savage, just Rain, a normal dude.
Until he is taken to another world for no explicable reason?? Only, instead of being able to y' know, just do magic and kill stuff or build an epic kingdom from a few goblins he found in the woods, Rain can do not much, but probably die of starvation.
Luckily he is saved by some... Hobos? Oh wait, one of them has a sword, so it's definitely a fantasy world. Thankful for the rescue, Rain manages to get over being treated like a captured assassin, and luckily, also learns magic!
Watch as Rain carves his mark upon the world! Or more likely, just get along helping other people out.
Delve does not particularly stand out in terms of the author's personal touch. The author does not sprinkle the story with references, or quirky jokes, nor does the author re-enact his dark and twisted self-insert fantasies. The story is told as a story, and the author makes it clear that he is only the writer, not a character within the story.
Let's be honest here. "Delve" is not a unique story idea. A man is taken to another world, how will he survive is a question that numerous people on this website have answered, and it is invariably, either "comfortably" or "seated upon a throne of bones, drenched in the blood of his enemies, and his enemies enemies, and then their enemies too, just for good measure." However, that doesn't mean that Delve is a bad story. The cliche is fine, as long as you do it well.
A large thing that makes me scream on this website is good story ideas ruined by immersion-breaking grammar. I might seem quite pedantic and fussy when it comes to grammar, but that also means good grammar is almost a guaranteed follow and review from me. Thank you SenecentSoul, for editing your work.
Once again, let's be honest. Rain is not a unique character. He is average, and as such, a bit of an "insert-self". However, he a well written, and clearly defined and described character, who wanders around cleaning everything within ten meters of himself. He interacts with other characters, and also absolving them of their need to poop. He does not control or order anyone, but instead barters and converses with other characters, and we see a person, not a puppet walking around.
Overall, Delve is a good story. It does not strike out as a unique bestseller, but it certainly should not be forgotten by the way-side. Delve has found its place as one of those stories that you do not use to get your friends into Royalroad, but as a story that you come back to once you have read all the headline acts. The characters are funny and interesting, the story is mellow and smooth, and the grammar is not messed.
I definitely recommend you read it.