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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.
Latest chapters appear here. Books now available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, Audible and as paperback here.
All chapters following book 3 are available here, but due to Kindle Unlimited requirements, the chapters from books 1, 2 & 3, except for the first story arc, can no longer be hosted here.
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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When I started this story, it was amazing. A good litrpg reincarnation story, with pieces of humour interspersed. I liked the system of essences and awakening, and the story was funny.
However, the quality started lowering as the book went on. At first, the author started to portray Jason as someone who would bow to no one. That was ok. The one thing which irked me about how the story was going was the fact that Jason faced no consequences whatsoever.
The story was still enjoyable, with Jason doing good things, and gaining power. But suddenly, as soon as Jason rescued two beautiful women from an evil crime lord, the story stopped being about a man reincarnated in a strange world and finding his way, and started being about a brilliant social manipulator being fawned over by everyone. The gods themselves pay attention to him, and the story loses all direction. After about chapter 100, the story becomes a meaningless blend of slice-of-life chapters and the main character being praised for his amazingness.
The first half of the story is worth reading, but only if you can handle the sadness induced by seeing what such a good story was reduced to.
Standard isekai/gamelit fare. Interesting system. MC starts amusing, which gets a bit more irritating the more often strawmen are propped up to soapbox at. There's also a weird throughline that any kind of group or organization will be revealed to actually be evil/greedy which only Jason who is apparently the one always correct in every decision triumphs over. To be incredibly pithy, considerations like "save ten now or one hundred later" actually are "save ten now and then also the one hundred later, because obviously no one actually should ever consider larger ramifications since things will work out just fine." The few 'good' bits of personality are overshadowed by the sheer unnecessary aggrandizement of everything else he does. Its very much how a person who describes themself as an 'honest straight-shooter' thinks they are like, except actually they're a dick and tact/manners are pretty fair and reasonable things. Being frequently obtuse/lolrandumb is a teenager or friend in-joke thing, adults doing it is offputting, weird, and concerning when done to every stranger you bump into.
And then we are back to Earth and go through the same book but reskinnedt- learning the Magic World because he's teaching people, learning about these orgs which have always existed (#WeUrbanFantasyNow).
So at this point, its basically gone the way of Legend of Randidly Ghosthound in that it recycles, repeats, and drags out events to milk that sweet sweet patreon monies.
Unfortunately, as other reviewers have already said, with each arc the story gets worse, everything in the universe orbits around the MC, Jason, and the current
arc is just beyond boring.
What's more, I feel like the stakes are simply non-existent, as whatever happens in said arc won't matter,
because Jason and his closest family/friends want to leave Earth for the 'magic world' anyway. There are also many inconsistencies within the Earth arc, like the media going above the governments' heads and spreading propaganda as what can be considered 'apocalypse' happens. The govs just seem to take it for weeks or even months. Seriously?
The repeating morality of 'I can't kill because other people will see me as bad' is also obnoxious, Jason has already gone through that, different world, different rules and mindset, plus these people are often at the level of superman, if you expect peace within a society of magically empowered humans, you must be nuts.
Overall, with this and people talking like Jason, and doing everything around Jason, as if they had no goals on their own, the story's rating has gone down from great to beyond mediocre.
First arc was decent, but the MC goes on diatribes about how he and his view of the world are superior to all others. Still fun to read for action and plot. Arc 2 takes a nosedive as it becomes filler city. So much pointless banter is 50% of the story now instead of advancing the plot forward to the point that it's almost painful to get through. Will drop and might check back later in a year or two perhaps to see if it goes anywhere.
They story starts strong, first 100 chapters are gold. After Jason survives his 10th no win situation and some how gets an upgrade everyime. Fight scenarios start to lose the thrill when you know the outcome. The best part of the story was the witty dialogue, but after the MC goes back to earth it feels forced. Also everyone on earth is either dumb or weak, making it even less believable. But some how have been dealing with magic for hundreds of years... the story just goes so far down once Jason goes back to earth.
A lot of the characters feel set up just to make the MC look better. Making them seem forced if not fake. Don't flow well making it hard to connect with characters. So when they die it doesn't really matter because you just don't care.
Worst part is this was suppose to be a fantasy novel, but after main character goes back to earth the story becomes a PC/political hack show. Heavy on the judgment on who is politically correct and who is wrong. If you don't agree with authors views on politics which seep through every time Jason talks. Capitalism is evil and socialism/communism are gods gift. There is no difference between the earth section and watching CNN, poor story lots of judging.
Normally I don't review stories, but this is the case of a story that a loved, which degenerated into something I loathe... So...
Story started out great and plot even after return to Earth is very interesting. The thing that kills story is MC... Prior to return back home to Earth everything was still ok, there were some hints of future story killer, but it was not a problem, but in Earth... Ohhh boy, author forgot moderation, almost everything is about Politics, though shall not kill, more politics, lots of whining, our MC having existencial crisis almost every chapter... Plot wise I can't wait to return to world he was summoned (can't remember name), but while being at chapter 438 in patreon, i drop the story, because at this point MC that loved, slowly become into something that is cancer for story and I feel no positive feelings while reading chapters. Just annoyance.
To preface this, I've only read book 1, because I read this on kindle, but came here to check out how book 2 is going.
Style score: 2.5 stars because everyone is fricking Jason, at first Jason, was a unique character, but now literally everyone he talks to is himself. To be fair though, I do like the power system, and how the author writes imagery, but I hating the dialogue so much, because it's just Jason saying something witty, the other person being annoyed or charmed, and then it's over. Now, I have no issue with witty characters, but Jason takes it too far, and he's just annoying sometimes.
Grammar: 4 stars, very minor issues in the kindle release, the reason this isn't 5 stars is that some of the word choices are super odd.
Story: 2 stars. I read this book because of its title "He who fights with monsters" because I wanted to see fighting, and action, and this book doesn't deliver. There are maybe 5 times where he fights actual monsters in the book, and like half of the fights are ehh, it's just like "Jason casts a spell, Jason casts a spell, Jason dodge, Jason casts a spell, the enemy dies" which is super lackluster. Now, I'd have no issue with this if there were some more fight scenes, because then I'd see how he matches up against certain enemies, but nope, literally, 90% of the book is politics, and Jason doing dumb crap around the city. I have no clue why the book is named as it is, when most of it is Jason dealing with political intrigue, and religions, and other people, it makes no sense. The really only redeeming feature of the story is the essence system, everything else is just really boring.
Character score: 1/2 star. In the beginning, all the characters were their own people, Jason was a bedraggled weirdo who had no clue what was happening, Rufus was calm, collected, and wise, Farrah was a bit snarky, but had lots of good information, and Gary was the nice big dude. Later on, everyone started slowly transitioning into Jason, now everyone is snarky, always has something to say, is sometimes annoying, and is all about politics and stuff. Also, I never understood why people are like "Jason is dangerous" sure, he's witty and takes calculated risks, but he's also super annoying, and he could 100% be thwarted if the villains were a little bit smarter. Straight up, when Jason speaks, it's like he has plot armor, because he can say the stupidest, most offensive crap, and people will just be like "Damn he's good at this" and I don't get it. The way Jason switches up is also very odd. Like sometimes he's super dramatic, but then sometimes he's extremely toned down, and he kept having issues with killing people, but then has no issue with manipulating them, and threatening them.
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.
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.
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.