- Traumatising content
Things go awry when the forces of chaos recruit a new Dungeon Master. From underpaid pseudo taxi driver to underground murder labyrinth builder, one young ladies' life is getting flip turned upside down!
I guess being a Dungeon is better than doing rideshare for a living?
A daringly competent attempt at literature. All the stars for typing the words in a generally correct order.
-The entirely real review of a real person
I was given a bag of cheesy poofs to give this a thumbs up.
-A technically unpaid anonymous review
A Huge thankyou to the generous MarkWe for the cover, banner, and chapter graphics!
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First off, I'm a huge fan of dungeon core stories, to the point where I sometimes find myself unhappily reading poorly written ones to satisfy the craving. That said, this easily falls into my top-ranked list, especially regarding non-evil/helpful dungeons. The start is a bit slow, but after the first few chapters, it readily picks up and puts a great deal of time and attention into the creation aspect of the dungeon. One of my favorite aspects of dungeons is the ability to seamlessly craft and carve art into their domain, and boy does this story have that in spades. At no point are features just slapped into or around the dungeon, each building project is explicitly detailed and described with extensive care. If it starts off basic, that just means that you haven't reached the finishing touches yet. For those seeking ruin and bloodshed, there's still some, but it really isn't the focus.
The world is curious and unique, if not encyclopedic. Some standard fantasy tropes are in play (that's not a criticism, they're standard for a reason), with hints at greater forces out on the edges. That said, the world that we see through each character's eyes is built with focus and care, each perspective holding a specific worldview that provides a more detailed understanding of what's going on in the world. All done without exposition dumps, instead relying on characters to work through the information that they have access to.
The characters are a definite strength if a little confusing in the early chapters. As the writing settles, each character emerges with a distinct personality, whether dungeon creature or properly living. The MC, 42, in particular benefits after the first ten or so chapters, revealing a warm but pragmatic heart. Accepting that she needs to kill people in order to survive, she balances that with her own satisfaction, the wants of her dungeon denizens, and doing what good she can to help an ailing world. It's a balance that fits the necessities and powers of her role quite well, neither bloodthirsty nor peaceful. It makes it easy to like the dungeon characters, since they are far more than endearing monsters.
Overall, this makes for a great middle-ground dungeon core. It doesn't rely on the endless conflict between adventurers and the dungeon, while also avoiding the dungeon core hero complex (largely. It still leans towards good). Unusual for dungeon stories, the characters are well-crafted with individual wants and desires, and best of all, a great deal of time is dedicated to the incredible potential for dungeons to build and craft things that can be enjoyed or appreciated. I'd recommend reading at least the first ten chapters to get a feel for the story, but I think it's well worth the time spent.
Overall, not a bad story. I enjoy dungeon themed stories very much, and this one is no different.
The grammar is excellent and I have no complaints about that.
My problem is with the extremely cringey self righteousness of the main character. She makes fun of another characters childishness, while unironically being the most childish character. No spoilers, but the main character acts extremely rashly and stupidly when they're supposed to be intelligent and logical. The author says that she is lacking any emotions, and that's clearly not the case. That's not a problem in and of itself, but the author should be more clear about that. I came into the story thinking it was going to be a grimdark affair, not a pretty, pretty, princess party. If you're not gonna take yourself seriously, at least add a Comedy tag. *sigh*
The constant changing of perspectives is also a sticking point for me. The author fails to clarify perspective. There are too many view shifts , too quickly, and done too irresponsibly for the reader to be able to understand the series of events, in any chronological order. For goodness sake's, sometimes you don't even know the characters name before their perspective is introduced.
Despite my strong critiques of this novel, it's best to read it for yourself to understand what I'm saying and so that you can get a good idea, Don't just trust the word of a stranger too quickly, read it for yourself before you judge another's work.
The number of dungeon stories I was reading that last year was superior to 42, but I find this story pleasing, the dungeon is in the first phase of development and I hope that many chapters s will follow.
I found a few typos or grammatical errors, but their numbers are negligible compared to certain stories I read on RR or elsewhere.
The dungeon master and her dogs are interesting characters, I liked the details of the lava pool.
Its a different take on dungeons. Not massive but just different. I like it.
An accidental dungeon master who became one because he valued the lives of innocents above his own in his old life. Curious how that's gonna play out, especially now that his emotions are kinda-adjusted.
Not much to see yet, the MC is still in the building phase but the direction seems crafting/trade heavy with more direct interactions between dungeon and mortals than normal.
[edit - nothing much more to say yet and typo issues should be solved very soon after chapter 7]
I usually try to read about 30 chapters before I give anything a rating or review, but I've enjoyed this story enough to jump in early.
Things I like:
It focuses on the story and the aspects of running the dungeon more than just giving a room by room list of how it's constructed. A lot of dungeon isekai get bogged down with meticulous descriptions of how every room is layed out, only for those descriptions to become irelivent the moment anything changes. This one focuses more on the mindset of the one in charge, and ignores superfluous detail in favor of what's actually important for making a story.
The worldbuilding has also been well managed so far. We haven't been forced to sit through chapter after chapter of unnecessary exposition, but we're still aware that the things happening on the outside will still have an effect on what happens inside.
We've also not been bogged down with a rush of unneccesary characters. Aside from the skeleton squad, the pacing for character introduction has been handled very well, and I don't feel like I'm going to get one character confused for another. Instead of rushing in forgetable characters, the author is taking their time in building up the characters that we already have.
I'm not typically a fan of LitRPGs, so I'm also glad the system is kept at a good level of vagueness, and we're not being forced to memorize every single skill/ability that the MC has just to follow along with what they can and cannot do.
Pacing is also good. Everything feels like it's happening at the correct time to how it gets presented, and nothing feels too rushed so far. The plot hasn't really taken off yet, but it's clearly developing naturally.
Things that need work:
The last couple chapters (17-19) were a little confusing at times, and the prose was a bit difficult to follow. I had trouble figuring out who was saying what, and which chatacter was being talked about. The plot was fine, but with the way it was presented, it took longer than it should have to figure out what that plot actually was.
Also, the MC seems to have adjusted to her new life quicker than she should have. I know that there's an in setting reason for this, but she's shown a bit too much of a lack of interest in trying to remember her past life. She should either keep "remembering who I was" as a side project, or feel a bit more emotion about the fact that she can't. Too many isekai ignore this. The past life forms the core of the character at the beginning of the story, and even though the readers never see it, it should still have relevance.
Random person gets pulled into a dungeon core, instead of the person who was initially going to be.
So far the story isn't outstanding, focusing heavily on decor and character building, which actually is outstanding enough. If I had one point of critique it would be that there is so much fluff it's hard to find some info. I completely missed there being moles and bats until they were presented as a done deal in a way that makes me feel I should have known about them before.
It does feel like the opening act in which everything is still quite nice and fine, though there are a number of hints that the main character has that bit of darkness hidden inside. I'll happily wait and see how this story develops. I'll probably edit this review once the story really gets going.
What I like:
The characters feel pretty believable and seem to react appropriately to events that occur (with some notable exceptions). The reactions people have are different and feel appropriate for each individual. No characters feel one-note, although there are plenty we haven't gotten to know well yet.
I like the main character in general and I like the balance she's trying to keep. Reader beware if you're expecting a power grinding dungeon core story. There is focus on the dungeon aspect but (it feels like) more on the character aspect of the story.
So far the conflicts/fights have been well written and kept me engaged. Interpersonal stuff has also been interesting and fun and emotionally engaging.
What I dislike:
The story seems to handwave quite a few aspects of the power system. I think it's fine to leave some of that stuff up in the air but it feels weird to have our protagonist just do stuff out of the blue with no explanation as to her finding out about that power or learning about it or something. Sometimes stuff is explained but other times it really feels like she just randomly gains powers with no significant explanations as to how or why.
People also seem to have incongruous reactions to some of the stuff she can do.
There is a whole bit where she makes a magical contract with someone to make them her employee and gives their family access to needed potions via system windows. No one that we've seen questions this at all despite the fact that system access is explained to be something that no one normally had access to (or even knows about?). Only one person even knows that the "employer" isn't just some hermet.
I suppose I would expect someone to find it suprising that they were now getting magical windows appearing in front of themselves that teleported potions to them and cured their problems. Instead all we get is "oh your employer is such a nice lady".
It might make sense if there were a bunch of crazy magical abilities people could have and this sort of weird thing was common place, but we have another scene later, that has some character being completely shocked that there could be a wall raised behind them. It's only later "explained" by a lie about having control of some ancient artifact that could do that sort of thing.
I feel like either way could have been fine but it it feels weird to have people completely flabbergasted by rock walls apearing but others being completely nonplussed by magical windows that can infer their heath and probvide them teleported situationally appropriate potions.
Overall it just makes it feel like there isn't a set standard about what is "normal" in the world yet. I feel like this could improve as the story continues.
I think the story is definitely worth reading. some of the consistency issues irk me but overall it's well written and engaging.
family lines full of characters i havent seen or heard off one chapter prior is scary and leaves more confused me than interesting story but i love pretty much everything else.
Characters that we actually see are fun and the world feels well built and connected i like the doggos they bring life and love
The answer is 42, of course, and she’s a wonderful answer.
The story builds logically, with our beloved MC making sound decisions intermixed with freak-out moments from the bizarre situation. Finding herself the new toy of unknown, vast powers, she does unheard-of things like, taking the tutorial? And it is awesome! Without giving her all the answers, it gives her what she needs to survive, then thrive.
I simply cannot recommend this richly complex take on an improved isekai dungeon enough. Hopefully you will feel the same!