He Who Fights With Monsters

by Shirtaloon

Access the discord here.

Jason wakes up in a mysterious world of magic and monsters. He’ll face off against cannibals, cultists, wizards, monsters, and that’s just the first day. He’s going to need courage, he’s going to need wit and he’s going to need some magic powers of his own. But first, he’s going to need pants.

Follow Jason as he makes a place for himself in a world that is strange, yet sometimes strangely familiar. He’ll meet crime lords and aristocrats, gods and monsters on his path from would-be victim to heroic adventurer. At least, he tries to be heroic. It’s hard to be good when all your powers are evil.

Release schedule is 5 chapters per week, Monday-Friday USA time.

Please note: I am Australian and this story is written in Australian English, so there will be less of the letter Z and more of the letter U.

This web novel is also available at scribblehub.com

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Shirtaloon

Shirtaloon

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1: Strange Business ago
Chapter 2: Of Course Magic is a Thing ago
Chapter 3: Local Cuisine ago
Chapter 4: Cannibals and Spelunking ago
Chapter 5: Wizard ago
Chapter 6: Potent Potable ago
Chapter 7: Spoils ago
Chapter 8: Dark Magic ago
Chapter 9: Escape ago
Chapter 10: The Evil Pit of Evil ago
Chapter 11: Dashing Heroics ago
Chapter 12: Sanguine Horror ago
Chapter 13: This is the Part Where We Step Back ago
Chapter 14: Worlds Apart ago
Chapter 15: Outworlder ago
Chapter 16: Rescue Party ago
Chapter 17: A Conservative Pillage ago
Chapter 18: One of Us ago
Chapter 19: I Want a Lava Cannon ago
Chapter 20: By the Power of Grayskull ago
Chapter 21: I Have the Power ago
Chapter 22: Apocalypse Stone ago
Chapter 23: I May have Made a Huge Mistake ago
Chapter 24: Astral Space ago
Chapter 25: Blasphemy is Kind of My Thing ago
Chapter 26: Waterfall ago
Chapter 27: Water, Fall ago
Chapter 28: How Did You All Fit in There? ago
Chapter 29: That's What Adventurers Do ago
Chapter 30: Closing the Door Too Hard ago
Chapter 31: Taming the Beast ago
Chapter 32: Monster Hunting For Beginners ago
Chapter 33: Mistrun River ago
Chapter 34: Waving the Flag for Secular Morality ago
Chapter 35: Greenstone ago
Chapter 36: The Island ago
Chapter 37: A Good Adventurer and a Great One ago
Chapter 38: Just Another Adventurer ago
Chapter 39: Training ago
Chapter 40: Eyebeams and the Ethics of Adventuring ago
Chapter 41: Vulnerable and Exposed ago
Chapter 42: This is the Pits ago
Chapter 43: The Nightingale ago
Chapter 44: Complimentary Ointment ago
Chapter 45: So Much For Atheism ago
Chapter 46: Blatant Manipulation ago
Chapter 47: Mirage Chamber ago
Chapter 48: An Endless, Inescapable Nightmare ago
Chapter 49: A Voice From Home ago
Chapter 50: The Full Keanu ago
Chapter 51: Song of the Nightingale ago
Chapter 52: Pain ago
Chapter 53: Nightlife ago
Chapter 54: Field Assessment ago
Chapter 55: Rune Tortoise ago
Chapter 56: Gary's Gift ago
Chapter 57: Rainbow Smoke ago
Chapter 58: A Man of Malevolent Intellect ago
Chapter 59: Falling Short ago
Chapter 60: Making Music ago
Chapter 61: Trade Hall ago
Chapter 62: Have Some Damn Adventures ago
Chapter 63: Sunk-Cost Fallacy ago
Chapter 64: Take My Wife, Please ago
Chapter 65: Curious Urges ago
Chapter 66: A Stronger Weapon Than the One in Your hand ago
Chapter 67: This is What it Means to Fight Me ago
Chapter 68: Good News For Clive ago
Chapter 69: Dumpling Soup ago
Chapter 70: Rewards ago
Chapter 71: A Bit of Poo ago
Chapter 72: Rat Race ago
Chapter 73: A Grim Sword to Live By ago
Chapter 74: Doing Better ago
Chapter 75: Progress ago
Chapter 76: Preparations ago
Chapter 77: Group Cohesion ago
Chapter 78: Jason Has the Good Biscuits ago
Chapter 79: Sand Everywhere ago
Chapter 80: It's Not Work if You Love What You Do ago
Chapter 81: Crazy Desperation Move ago
Chapter 82: Choices ago
Chapter 83: It makes No Difference to the Ant ago
Chapter 84: Injury & Death ago
Chapter 85: Because I'm an Adventurer ago
Chapter 86: Some Kind of Secret ago
Chapter 87: Can't Lose ago
Chapter 88: The Nature of Absolution ago
Chapter 89: Anti-Pirate Operations ago
Chapter 90: The Path to Bronze ago
Chapter 91: Life & Death ago
Chapter 92: Unusual Contract ago
Chapter 93: Truth ago
Chapter 94: Consequences ago
Chapter 95: Punishment ago
Chapter 96: You Don't Get a Third ago
Chapter 97: Integrity is Sexy ago
Chapter 98: The Point of Money and Power ago
Chapter 99: Someone Else's Game ago
Chapter 100: Legwork ago
Chapter 101: Fantasy World Goodness ago
Chapter 102: You Fight Like Me ago
Chapter 103: Silver Hair ago
Chapter 104: An Outcome That Satisfies ago
Chapter 105: You Aren't in Control of What Happens Next ago
Chapter 106: Something Shady ago
Chapter 107: All The Good People We Can Get ago
Chapter 108: You Don't Have the Strength ago
Chapter 109: The Tyranny of Rank ago
Chapter 110: Help Arrives ago
Chapter 111: Strange Star ago
Chapter 112: The Accumulation of a Life ago
Chapter 113: You Should Work on Making Enemies ago
Chapter 114: Climbing Mountains ago
Chapter 115: Nothing Can Hurt You Like Hope ago
Chapter 116: See You in Court ago
Chapter 117: Six-Month Lease ago
Chapter 118: The Perks of Being an Essence User ago
Chapter 119: This is the Moment ago
Chapter 120: Iron Rank ago
Chapter 121: Getting Stoned ago
Chapter 122: Children ago
Chapter 123: Star Seed ago
Chapter 124: It's About How You Use It ago
Chapter 125: We End Here ago
Chapter 126: Poison Pill ago
Chapter 127: Let's Just Fight Monsters ago
Chapter 128: Damage You Shouldn't Walk Away From ago
Chapter 129: Picking Out the Good Ones ago
Chapter 130: Events Loom Large ago
Chapter 131: What the Geller Name is Worth ago
Chapter 132: Cleansed ago
Chapter 133: It Just Takes Practise ago
Chapter 134: World Building ago
Chapter 135: Fabulous Prizes ago
Chapter 136: Any Team Except Yours ago
Chapter 137: More Than One Clown ago
Chapter 138: Resurrection ago
Chapter 139: Manifestation ago
Chapter 140: Potential ago
Chapter 141: Weaponising a Barbecue ago
Chapter 142: This Town Ain't Big Enough ago
Chapter 143: The Second-Best Adventurer ago
Chapter 144: Arrival ago
Chapter 145: Full Jason ago
Chapter 146: Versatile ago
Chapter 147: I Don't Like This Plan ago
Chapter 148: Impossible to Subdue ago
Chapter 149: The Price We Pay Doesn't Matter ago
Chapter 150: Make the Most of It ago
Chapter 151: Wake ago
Chapter 152: I Cant Trust Any of It ago
Chapter 153: Legacy ago
Chapter 154: A Rash Decision ago
Chapter 155: It's A Good One ago
Chapter 156: The City of Fallen Echoes ago
Chapter 157: Shade ago
Chapter 158: Seriously Hardcore ago
Chapter 159: Mixed Medication ago
Chapter 160: Giving People Choices ago
Chapter 161: A Well-Informed Man ago
Chapter 162: The Danger is Us ago
Chapter 163: Surplus to Requirements ago
Chapter 164: A Worse Plan ago
Chapter 165: No One Has That Coming ago
Chapter 166: Part of Being a Team ago
Chapter 167: Making a Spectacle of Himself ago
Chapter 168: Team Change ago
Chapter 169: Company Worth Keeping ago
Chapter 170: He Who Fights With Monsters ago
Chapter 171: Irreconcilable Ideals ago
Chapter 172: Meanwhile, Two Weeks Ago in Greenstone... ago
Chapter 173: Take the Loot and Go ago
Chapter 174: Making an Exit ago
Chapter 175: Shallow Earth ago
Chapter 176: Relief ago
Chapter 177: Glory ago
Chapter 178: Display of Gratitude ago
Chapter 179: The Person I Decided to Be ago
Chapter 180: You Have Friends to Help You ago
Chapter 181: Blob Body ago
Chapter 182: Particular Appetites ago
Chapter 183: Domineering, Territorial and Robust ago
Chapter 184: More Shady as We Go Along ago
Chapter 185: Magnificent Entity ago
Chapter 186: I Try to Find the Truth, But That's Your Hiding Place ago
Chapter 187: The Last Reward ago
Chapter 188: Impossible Wasn't Enough ago
Chapter 189: Eclipse ago
Chapter 190: A Question You Don't Yet Know to Ask ago
Chapter 191: Looking Forward ago
Chapter 192: Adventurers Are People Too ago
Chapter 193: Valkyrie ago
Chapter 194: Departures ago
Chapter 195: No Pot of Gold ago
Chapter 196: The Glory of Success or the Price of Failure ago
Chapter 197: Adequate ago
Chapter 198: Trash Bonanza ago
Chapter 199: Strangeness ago
Chapter 200: Full Circle ago
Chapter 201: Regretting it Later ago
Chapter 202: Swat ago
Chapter 203: The Purpose of the Adventure Society ago
Chapter 204: Elven Storage Solutions ago
Chapter 205: Disbanded ago
Chapter 206: The Man Behind the Mouth ago
Chapter 207: Search ago
Chapter 208: Defiance ago
Chapter 209: Hanging Around ago
Chapter 210: What Doesn't Kill You ago
Chapter 211: Lingering Doubts ago
Chapter 212: Scars ago
Chapter 213: I Won't Let Them Turn Me Into That ago
Chapter 214: Putting the Band Back Together ago
Chapter 215: Nothing Speaks Louder Than Power ago
Chapter 216: My Name is Jason Asano ago
Chapter 217: While They Watch Me Kill You ago
Chapter 218: Inherently Corrupting ago
Chapter 219: Beholden to No One ago
Chapter 220: Evil Detector ago
Chapter 221: The World Needs People Like You ago
Chapter 222: I'm Very Big on Cowardice ago
Chapter 223: More Powerful Than We Anticipated ago
Chapter 224: Fate Can't Wait to Kill Us All ago
Chapter 225: Running Towards Something ago
Chapter 226: Greenhouse Flowers ago
Chapter 227: A Man Transformed ago
Chapter 228: The Worst Possible Option ago
Chapter 229: Brave Little Tailor ago
Chapter 230: Terms of the Pact ago
Chapter 231: Trading Safety Today For Death Tomorrow ago
Chapter 232: Stalwart ago
Chapter 233: I'm Sick of Fighting Magic Rocks ago
Chapter 234: Crossing the Threshold ago
Chapter 235: Anyone Can Be Useful ago
Chapter 236: A Series of Familiar Powers ago
Chapter 237: It's Not About Killing Monsters ago
Chapter 238: Sin Eater ago
Chapter 239: The Most Dangerous Thing in the Dark ago
Chapter 240: The Boss Comes to Town ago
Chapter 241: It's Very Complicated and You All Need to Go Away ago
Chapter 242: Strong Foundations ago
Chapter 243: A Valiant Death ago
Chapter 244: Ambitions ago
Chapter 245: Faith and Glory ago
Chapter 246: Thadwick ago
Chapter 247: The True Danger ago
Chapter 248: Forsaken Place ago
Chapter 249: Being What He Needs to Be ago
Chapter 250: A Significantly More Dangerous Entity ago
Chapter 251: Losing the Battle to Win the War ago
Chapter 252: War of Adaptation ago
Chapter 253: The Hero of This Story ago
Chapter 254: Good News, Bad News ago
Chapter 255: Here We Go ago
Chapter 256: Outmatched ago
Chapter 257: The Power of Friendship ago
Chapter 258: A War of Stolen Moments ago
Chapter 259 (interval): Clive Takes Charge ago
Chapter 260 (interval): Lessons ago
Chapter 261 (interval): Recruitment ago
Chapter 262 (interval): Ducking Responsibility ago
Chapter 263 (interval): Show and Tell ago
Chapter 264 (interval): Beyond Our Ability to Control ago
Chapter 265 (interval): A Time For Parting ago
Chapter 266 (interval): Old Secrets ago
Chapter 267 (Volume II): A Better Pants Solution ago
Chapter 268: Time to Front Up ago
Chapter 269: The Single Greatest Thing on This Planet ago
Chapter 270: Some Secrets Change You Forever ago
Chapter 271: It Would Be Weirder If Magic Wasn't Responsible ago
Chapter 272: Not the Regular Sort of Dangerous ago
Chapter 273: Boogie Man ago
Chapter 274: More Plausible Than the Reality ago
Chapter 275: I Suggest You Be very Polite ago
Chapter 276: A Leather Coat and Tight, Black Pants ago
Chapter 277: A Knife in Its Sheath ago
Chapter 278: Underworld Bargain ago
Chapter 279: Time to Rip Off the Band-Aid ago
Chapter 280: Bullets, Bikes and Blood ago
Chapter 281: A Good Friend and a Very Bad Enemy ago
Chapter 282: Flavour Text ago
Chapter 283: Time For Context ago
Chapter 284: Brown Trousers Time ago
Chapter 285: The Complete Set ago
Chapter 286: More Valuable Than a Life ago
Chapter 287: Uncontrolled Factor ago
Chapter 288: Agendas ago
Chapter 289: Hegemons ago
Chapter 290: Guilty Conscience ago
Chapter 291: Uncommon Mistake ago
Chapter 292: It's Complicated ago
Chapter 293: A Big Dose of Normal ago
Chapter 294: Moppet ago
Chapter 295: Always Tell the Truth if You Can get Away With It ago
Chapter 296: Discretion is a Good idea ago
Chapter 297: The Cold Eyes of a Stranger ago
Chapter 298: Looking Down the Point of a Sword ago
Chapter 299: What Your Uncle Has Been Telling You ago
Chapter 300: The Moments That Decide Who You Are ago
Chapter 301: I'm Mysterious Now ago
Chapter 302: Hardline Position ago
Chapter 303: Otherwise Best Avoided ago
Chapter 304: Terms ago
Chapter 305: Section ago
Chapter 306: Core Users ago
Chapter 307: What You Call Observing ago
Chapter 308: Not the Monster ago
Chapter 309: Letting Him Run Rampant ago
Chapter 310: Old Testament Power ago
Chapter 311: My Turn ago
Chapter 312: Visually Distinctive Henchman ago
Chapter 313: Of Course It's Him ago
Chapter 314: The Price of Transgression ago
Chapter 315: The Time For Bold, Decisive Men ago
Chapter 316: Technical Issue ago
Chapter 317: The Long Game ago
Chapter 318: A Moment For Drastic Measures ago
Chapter 319: Foiled Plans ago
Chapter 320: Quite the Year ago
Chapter 321: Full Houseboat ago
Chapter 322: A Wizard Did It ago
Chapter 323: The King of Everyone ago
Chapter 324: I Came Back to Show You Wonders ago
Chapter 325: Mercy ago
Chapter 326: Ideal Circumstances ago
Chapter 327: The Blood and Death Guy ago
Chapter 328: A Lot of Anomalies ago
Chapter 329: Pitch Meetings ago
Chapter 330: Moving Forward ago
Chapter 331: Flemish Baroque ago
Chapter 332: Not Ready to Leave ago
Chapter 333: Decision ago
Chapter 334: What You Have to Do ago
Chapter 335: The Direction We Want Them to Go ago
Chapter 336: The Dangers of What I Do ago
Chapter 337: We Were All Monsters ago
Chapter 338: Options ago
Chapter 339: I Need Time ago
Chapter 340: Walkabout ago
Chapter 341: Too Valuable to Lose ago
Chapter 342: All I Can Do is My Best ago
Chapter 343: A Modern Myth ago
Chapter 344: Breakneck Pace ago
Chapter 345: Grand Tour ago
Chapter 346: New Groove ago
Chapter 347: Get to the Chopper ago
Chapter 348: What's Left of Your Principles ago
Chapter 349: Contingencies ago
Chapter 350: Humanity ago
Chapter 351: Media Blitz ago
Chapter 352: Grandmotherly Advice ago
Chapter 353: A Bloke With Vast Cosmic Power ago
Chapter 354: A Very Long To-Do List ago
Chapter 355: Another Step Forward ago
Chapter 356: Tactical Flexibility ago
Chapter 357: Broken ago
Chapter 358: Never Enough ago
Chapter 359: Media Landscape ago
Chapter 360: Instability ago
Chapter 361: Supernatural ago
Chapter 362: Arms Race ago
Chapter 363: Sword-Fighting With No Shirt On ago
Chapter 364: Candid and Authentic ago
Chapter 365: Warmth and Levity ago
Chapter 366: An Intelligent King ago
Chapter 367: Hunted ago

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Others have talked at length about the shortcomings of this story, so mine will be merely a ranty update of sorts.

I slogged through this story's Greenstone arc and the ensuing Reaper Trial because I thought there was a silver lining. Surely enough, the fight against the Builder gave this story an overarching narrative and  measurable progression. Some of the side characters also seemed to finally stop being muppets. That's when the break came [Spoiler Alert] and Jason reached Earth, which basically reset this story.

'Fair enough' I thought. Maybe shirtaloon will now put to use the experience and feedback he has gathered. Fat chance. What has ensued is essentially Greenstone 2.0, where Jason again engages factions vastly beyond his power and they either start bending over backwards or become stereotypical villains, who will be dispatched without tension. The family side plot also becomes boring real quick and usually involves either 2-4 people snarking at each other or Jason mouthing off about his emotional butthurt and being an indignant prick. If anything he became even more immature and obnoxious, which is, on the few occasions this story shows self-awareness, explained away by the magic words 'psychological trauma'. It's ok if he's an ass because he has a trauma. It's ok if he lashes out at neutral parties, because trauma. I detest how that term is used for justification inside the story, as well as a meta tool to explain character stagnation (or even degenaration). 

For me, shirtaloon once again has squandered a wonderful opportunity to evolve this story and it's protagonist and I'm tired of waiting for pay-off. I regret not heeding the early signs.

Inferi
Overall
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Story
Grammar
Character

Edit: I haven't had the time to update this review so it is still as of Ch. 222. Editing as I forgot to give spoiler warnings and spoiled other RR stories. My bad.

For Shirtaloon, this story started incredibly and has managed to garner and maintain a lot of attention becuase it can be so incredible at times. I write this both as a review, and because it's difficult to step back and look at your own work objectively so I'd like to point out some easy areas to improve.  

OVERALL

Overall this is a very fun story. It has been on the front page of Popular This Week for months now for good reason. That said, there are a few things keeping it from being a great story or, at times, good. Those things are, in order: the lack of character development, the lack of a believable villain/ plot, and the static nature of the main character. Many reviews get caught up in the minutia of these failings and fail to reinforce the fact that this story is still worth a read especially if the author shores them up. 

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

The MC's character development will be covered last. Here, I want to focus on the side characters. In few words, the side characters are not developed.

The beating heart of every story is its characters. Gintama is a comedy with the barest hint of a plot for hundreds of chapters and it's listed as the greatest comedic manga because its characters are full of such life, depth, and diversity. The first Pirates of the Carribean was such a hit not because of its rather cliche love story, but because Jack Sparrow was such a compelling supporting character. Also note later installments in that series were worse because Jack became the main character and the driving force of the series was lost.

Readers invest themselves into the lives of the supporting cast in order to be dragged along with the author's script. The emotional investment in stories - on Royal Road especially - come from our investment in characters that are actually at risk. The MC in most stories is protected by plot armor so it's the plights of the side characters that tend to draw us in.

Spoiler: Spoiler

 

Lack of a Villain/ Plot

If main and side characters are the heart of a story, the villain is the lungs. The villain is the one who breathes life into the little interactions between characters and creates the urgency that drives a story forward. It can't be something as intangible as monsters or the big evil cult because those aren't problems that can be directly addressed by the MC. 

Immediate - The villain creates urgency by doing something that needs to be addressed NOW. The cult is going to the end the world, but it's a big world and we have time for a few rooftop barbies before then.

Close to Home - If a villain isn't somewhere that the MC can challenge directly, then he's the villain of someone else's story. The big bad is, suffice to say, difficult to reach.

Just as good as the MC - This is the kicker. The villain needs to win. If the villain never wins there's no sense of risk, of danger. Even if it's something small, a villain has to prove themselves by triumphing over the MC in some way. Cyclostomata and Chad never do.

A good example is the Joker from the Dark Knight Rises. He is immediate: from placing timed bombs next to loved ones or running to ferrys filled with explosives at each other, he isn't a problem that can be solved later without massive consequences. He is close to home: Batman can reach him with his two orphan fists. He is better than the Batman: Batman loses to him. When the Joker creates Two-Face Batman loses to the Joker so completely that he needed to do something completely outside of the Joker's expectations to win. He had to sacrifice his own image of a hero to be a hero.

THAT is a villain. A character that can challenge and inspire the MC. Every hero needs his demon lord.

Luckily, adding one also fixes the other half of this issue, plot. What are the MC's goals right now? Get stronger? Who is he trying to beat? Oh he's trying to protect? Do some pushups every morning. No I want to know what he's working towards. I see a lot of rising action but not even the foggy outline of a climax. What will be the apex of this story arc? He gets so strong he can endure the monster flood? Why should we care? The plot so far hasn't been imporant because the MC has been in the 'adjusting to a new reality' phase. But he's almost bronze rank, it's time for Thanos to come knocking at the door.

How to fix?

Make a villain. I wish I could offer more actionable advice, but the flavor of the villain is heavily tied to how you want your story to develop, so it's all on you. Have some fun with it!

The Main Character

I saved the best for last because it is the easiest to fix. A lot of your readers have been getting frustrated (based on the other hundred reviews here) by the fact that your MC has stagnated. Let me explain, and this has two sides to it. Your MC started as a snarky, quippish guy who was just adjusting to his circumstances and it was done beautifully. I probably got past the first page of his character before recommending this novel to everyone I know. The issue now is that he hasn't changed. As I mentioned earlier, he has passed the adjusting phase of his tenure in this world and he still acts like the snarky, quippish guy who was using confusion and witticism as a defense mechanism. The other side of this, and likely the one everyone has issue with, is that your side characters don't react to this realistically. All of them are either awed by his gibberish, or don't react at all.

Spoiler: Spoiler

 

 

Lastly, you don't need to tell us that something is having an effect on Jason. We've read enough of his character to be able to see it when it happens. So rather than "Jason was, for once, silent. He had no words to say and Sophie was shocked when a bit of that mask fell away." you can just describe what happens like "Jason stood, quietly, admiring the simple beauty of the fireworks. Sophie spared him a quick glance, her worried frown giving way to a small smile as she saw rare sight of his unblinking eyes and open mouth."

How to fix?

This is the easiest one. A villain is a foil to the MC and will change him naturally as you write them both. Honestly exactly like your title implies. Hell, name your villain Abyss, that'd be fun. Also as you grow your sidecharacters you'll naturally flesh out your MC too so this one will literally fix itself once you address the other two.

FINALLY, AS THIS IS A REVIEW

Many stories aren't well written enough to have their issues wrapped up in a neat little bun with three little bullet points. Not many stories truly are cultured enough to include an appropriate Nietzsche quote. It is a rare story that has both of these and updates practically daily. Just know, prospective reader, that if you pick this one up, the story does suffer from the little issues that any story would if its author was required to output material as quickly as this one, pending edits. I say it is worth it. And, if you're an elitist that only touches stories from out of golden geese and dusted with diamonds, read the beginning.

UPDATE: My BOY the LION MAN has been given motivation, goals, and depth. Im so happy

MadPengu
Overall

I am not angry just disappointed

Reviewed at: Chapter 345: Grand Tour

Read the story up to 350 chapters and dropped it for few reasons. But let me preface that story managed to keep my attention up to this point so it did some things well. 

So lets start few "issues":

1. Dialogues - they are either snarky/witty or some kind of serious discussion about meaning of life or some other inconsequential thing. You will not see every day dialogue or any kind of dialogue normal humans might have. Which brings me to second issue.

2. Everyone is Jason - and if they are not you will not remember them. Honestly it weirds me out, Jason was supposed to be unique kind of character but he "infects" people with his personality just after few interactions. One of the side characters (Emyr) suddenly become more powerful copy of Jason with no prior indication that might be the case. And you will probably find difficult to describe any character that is not Jason or Jason-like, they either do not have enough screen time and/or their personalities are not distinctive enough.

3. Jason himself - I loved his character during first arc, he was perfect example why the Isekai genre exist. The utter confusion and choas when faced with utterly alien world meshed so well with his character. It gave a reason for his character of behaving nonsensically when faced with nonsense world. But then it kept going, Jason actually never changed even though story keeps "stating" that he did. Every event that he faced and the way he reasoned about them screamed kind of teen angst even though it was supposed to be a serious and adult. It was further diminished because no 10 chapters would pass without Jason pondering about his ego.

4. Apathy - I could not find myself to care about characters or events. Story failed to establish a bond between a reader and the characters. 

5. Lack of catharsis - simple, for the whole 350 chapters we have not seen any kind of major payoff, not a happy one, not a depressing one. Events that were supposed to be that payoff were undermined by the reasons above.

6. Show not tell - this one is probably my most subjective point. I always felt that story told to how are you supposed to feel and from time to time spewed exposition. 

Paul Boyle
Overall

A lot of this novels comes down to an MC that, rather than earning their accolades, walks into them.

This is not to say that the MC doesn't go through some stuff, just that a lot of what he does gets too outsized a positive reaction.

 

He shouldn't have the fealty of high level nobles and adventurerd for what little he does.  He shouldn't successfully socially manipulate anyone given his inexperience and background.  This compounds with the standard 'anointed one' MC powers and abilities.

 

The grammar is good and the powers are creative, but the issues above make the rest of it unpalatable.

IrateRapScallion
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Generally good but too in love with the MC

Reviewed at: Chapter 68: Good News For Clive

Generally a very well executed story.  If I'd written this 25 chapters ago I would have scored it much higher.  However, since then I've really soured on certain parts of the story, especially the MC.  Did you know that he's a brilliant social manipulator?  Well if you didn't, don't fret!  The other characters will tell you how smart he is, over and over and over!  Everybody loves him, you see, except the people who don't, and that's how you know they're the bad guys.  If I could find somebody to love me even a quarter as much as these people love Jason, I'd have the best wife in the world.

Update: Couldn't take it anymore and dropped it a few weeks ago.  Updated with my final ratings.

FuzzyZergling
Overall

Each arc gets gradually less interesting. The first one, with the blood cult, was great; there was an element of mystery before we understood the power system and how Jason got to isekai'd, and there was enough comedy to keep things entertaining.

Then things started to degrade, and by the later arcs (as of this review, fighting the Builder cult inside the Reaper's pocket dimention) the fight scenes become incredibly dry. It starts boiling down to "character uses their power, but the enemy countered with their power, then character healed with their healing power." The main characters never seem to lose or be set back in any way. Very boring.

None of the characters are particularly interesting either. Jason starts as a sarcastic, irreverant man with a penchant to get in over his head, which works well with the early story.

But he then stays that way for the entire story as his circumstances change, which is less and less interesting.

The other characters are either bland or unlikable. The villains seem to only exist to make life hard for the good guys, with little motivation. Then they get unceremoniously defeated, with no build up or payoff.

The power system is really loose; I have no idea where the limits are or what powers a character can or can't have.

I've been reading this story for a few months, but I really feel no investment to continue at this point. The story was at its best when Jason was running around naked trying to complete a quest to obtain pants.

Otter Pops
Overall

I want to like this story, but I really dislike the MC. The action is written well, the skills are awesome, and the world building is superb.

I don't mind that the MC has a snarky attitude. I mind when he just won't shut up. Not even to progress the plot. Then I found that his sister and his niece are becoming just like him. I can't enjoy 3 Jason's in the novel.

Read up till chapter 335ish on Patreon.

noks
Overall

you'd think MC would mature

Reviewed at: Chapter 339: I Need Time

I mean I get his personal problems, but after all the shit he's been through you'd think he'd see how small other matters were. Well, no. Dude is still immature, just wished there were less of it.

It's not that he's unlikable and it diminishes the story, it's that I'm an adult and had been over the shit he went through, not the physically bad ones, but then again he's not crying about that which is JUST WEIRD.

And I'm not saying that since I'm over my issues this dude should be over his, it's more like, there's so much of it. Over and over and over and over. So yeah, it's not pleasant. And again, it's strange that more importance is given to his mundane issues, heartache and family problems and such, over all the shit he went through in the other world. WTF?!

between getting tortured and your brother fucking your girlfriend, like holy shit. Yeah your brother and ex sucks, literally too, but god fucking christ you were kidnapped and tortured but so much of the story is devoted to the mc's cheating brother and now sister in law. Holy crap just don't talk to them, like a proper adult. You're rich, just hire someone to take care of contact with them. Dude's got the fortitude of a hundred year old veteran and a 13 year old butthurt teen. Which is it?

 

Well, MC will do as he pleases even if it goes against commonsense.

This story is better than a lot here on RR, so that's definitely something.

Tajarim
Overall

Just meh in all departments. MC is aggravating, story crawls like a glacier. At the start it's interesting and really gets you hooked, it even shows signs of an overarching plot line, the magic system is interesting. Then you realize that the MC won't ever stop being obnoxious and stupidly confrontational (basically suicidal) followed by the realisation that the aforementioned overarching plot went and silently killed itself.

Started out as something with passion behind it, while it's now just a soulless product to milk the juicy patreon money.

Rhadamanthine
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

When I was a teenager, I was a bit of a smug, self-righteous atheist, over impressed with my own intelligence. The protagonist of this story is something I could shamefully picture myself writing back then.

His every half baked, awful plan at "social manipulation" of the local nobility and other elite is a success, and what should result in him getting punched or socially ostrasized instead results of some more politically savvy character cooing over how smart he is.

He's openly insulting and heretical towards members of the clergy and actual gods, despite having pretty good evidence they could smear him across the pavement. Besides intentionally getting himself beat up by two priests, he suffers no consequences for this, and in fact the gods like him for some unfathomable reason.

This is a world with cultivation tiers, where each level is vastly above the one before, and might makes right--none of the above makes sense, even with his connection earned by saving the lives of a few powerful people in the beginning. He should be dead or crippled, and I found myself rooting for his opponents.

The initial monster hunting, progression, and joking interactions were good, and it's a shame the character turns into a black hole, as everything revolves further and further around him.