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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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The story started out very strong for me. It fun, enjoyable and exciting. The MC had some hilarious reactions and interactions with other characters, the blood cult villains were great, and every thing was wonderful.
Then we get to Greenstone city and it all starts going downhill. The MC changes from a normal but pretty funny Australian dude trying to find his way around, to some kind of discount sherlock Holmes who is always second guessing people and some kind of social mastermind despite being a normal guy from modern society earlier. He deftly navigates the local high life and leaves anyone who matters impressed with him, not to mention become a cold blooded killer. But only sometimes, otherwise he's a great warm guy who doesn't believe in violence or immoral acts.
Yeah, it all gets a bit confused and contradictory. The funny stuff gets more and more rate, while somehow info dumps and boring drawn out sequences become more common.
And it is very drawn out, the first 40 chapters feel fast paced, but it all slows down in the city and with how the MC changes for the worst into some kinda Gary stu it's a bit unpalatable.
Side characters are ignored and forgotten, rotated through like a fresh outfit for the MC to wear for his daily witticisms, and other than acting as a canvas to showcase the MCs skills they never really seem to get better or improve.
And then one of the oldest side characters dies and the story temporarily goes dark and it feels SO out of style.
For gods sake in the first few chapters you have him almost served up to a cannabilstic blood cult and you made that light hearted and funny. It's not a dark story. People didn't read this for a dark story. People will stop reading this you make it that.
I feel there is no emotional payment for the trials of Jason and co. The subplot of the magic society, lucian, silva and the reaper repercussions are resolved by other characters or are just described in a paragraph. It builds and builds but it just fizzle out at the end. It also leaves amny characters behind in any new arc, dissapearing without fanfare (rufus and gary, bahadia) to introduce more characters that need to be constructed from the ground up again. Also sophie and bellinda subplot is kind of flat, with them never having to work for their essences, or facing repercussions for their decisions beyond gently reprobing and never face any setbacks, defeat sor block after Jason captured them, unlike the rest of the team. Maybe it will be better in this new arc of the team exploring the delt, but so far it has been underwhelming.
The worldbuilding is excellent and i love that it constantly demonstrate that Jason, his team, rufus or greenstone is really a provincial town and that they are small fishes in the ocean. That powers are so inventive and complex and its not only main character traits. Sadly, it always jumps the defeats of Jason and team from the second book onward, just saying they lost a lot but having their opponents claiming how utterly incredible they are. Then you have Elizabeth, who says they suck and acts as a prick trainer, yet we never shown what those weakness are in combat and we had no evidence that Elizabeth is any good beyond that she is a geller. Everything is off-screen so you cant invest in their development or take the advice seriously. Even the new arc with Jason trauma is mostly glossed over and only giving a few descriptions of how he felt or he is meditating, which makes it so bland.
It kind of changed into telling us instead of actually writing down the actions, reactions and dialogues
The grammar is near-perfect, and the fight scenes are decently written.
The MC starts off scared, lost, and confused, but before the introduction is over he starts to become increasingly arrogant, starting with being stuck in a cage, and breaking out with no real plan. That arrogance doesn't go away, despite being beaten down in ways that should cause character development. The MCs personality doesn't noticeably change after the introduction. Later on when he is tortured by a far stronger being, the writer repeatedly says that it effected him, despite there being no change in his personality. Some characters at least get arcs, Rufus loses a friend, blames himself, then stops blaming himself as much. Rufus' personality becomes slightly more careful as a result. This character growth doesn't seem to apply to the MC.
(UPDATED my review, since I reached chapter 470)
For the past several months, me (a Dad, 36) and my son (a wild thing, 10) have been playing this book from Audible, as our "night time book", to help my kid get to sleep. My kid LOVES the story, absolutely adores it, and obsessively asks when the next audio book of it will be out. I have gone ahead and started picking up chapters from here to read, to be able to continue the story.
From an entertainment perspective, and for my purposes - It's a really good story. If you don't think too much about it, it's fun, and dramatic, with enough action-y parts to keep us engaged, and enough boring politics stuff to put my kid to sleep (Also the reader who does it on Audible is genuinely incredible, if anyone is curious).
Within a small bit of reading the chapters here on Royal Road, I've caught spelling mistakes, a handful of word errors, and even a sentence cut-off halfway through. I've got to wondering if Shirtaloon has any kind of Beta reader, or if the chapters are just tossed out so quickly that they don't have the time to do that?
As I said, dumb fun if you don't look too closely. It starts in an amazing way, the action scenes and strategy is really clever. The racial diversity is outstanding, and while the women are profusely beautiful, the men are also occassionally described as such (Rufus specifically comes to mind), it makes sense in the context of the story.
There is one really random moment, where Jason compares an apocolypse creature to trans people, because he's unsure of the beast's gender, and thinks the beast can swap it's gender back and forth, and Jason states that back on his world, there are people who think that trans people will bring about the apocalypse. It didn't strike as transphobic, just weird and a bit off-color, because (so far to that point) there has been zero actual LGBT stuff even mentioned in the book, so the comment really comes out of nowhere.
It takes some time, but there are a few LBGT+ relationships in the story, but they don't get nearly the PDA scenes that the het relationships get.
Jason - I get his motivations and his melodramatic secret-tsundere nonsense. There are small consequences, sometimes, but he really feels like a wish fulfillment self-insertion Mary Sue of a character. He befriends powerful people too easily, charmed by his obnoxious attitude somehow, and stands up to literal God characters which consequences are either non-existant, solved too quickly, or turn out to be in his favor (this gets a bit better, once you get to much later in the book). He's also mean to characters and gets away with it because it's played off as a joke, ie: constantly calling Neil fat, but somehow that's okay because he'd "never do it to a person who was actually fat".
I get that the idea of Jason was supposed to be this character who has decided to unapologetically be himself and not squander his chances.. but this isn't a new attitude for him, so for all the talk about reinventing himself, he's stayed an awful lot the same.
Generally though, Jason is not a good person and that's fine, but it really feels like instead of realistic consequences, Jason and his behavior is very romanticized as an ideal.
A lot of the characters personalities are just carbon copies of each other, with just different names and powers slapped onto them. There are maybe one or two characters this doesn't apply to. (The whole Emir Bahadir "no pants" thing, just smacks of Jason behavior)
Clive - I like Clive, he's probably my favorite character, so far. I love his enthusiasm for magical study, and his softer unobstrusive nature. I love his potential. It makes me sad that he's treated like a dormat, by Jason, and Clive just goes along with it. Clive's personality isn't just his though, and he and Jory (others as well, but specifically Jory) feel really similar.
I've read up to chapter 517. The series started out great, with a fairly unique and entertaining main character. The magic system was executed very well, and the world was great.
This all ended once you reach volume 2. From volume 2 onwards, there is chapter after chapter of the MC moping about the same few things. It's usually that he somehow managed to save hundreds of people against all odds and a few died, or that he's scared he's slowly becoming a bad guy. It was sort of interesting the first 15 times it happened, but it's seriously long winded at this point. The return to earth lasted far longer than it should have. It started devolving from a fun LITRP adventure to politics, and more politics. After the umpteenth betrayal from a large corporation, it really gets old.
That leads us to volume 3, where a problem that's persisted since volume 2 really shows itself in all it's glory. Characters will just sit around talking about how damaged and cool and powerful and amazing and dangerous the MC is. In the 50-ish chapters of volume 3, there are probably a solid 25 long winded conversations about how incredibly amazing the MC is. The MC also loves going on long winded tangents about not wanting to be used and respect and bleh. In the 50-ish chapters, there's been 2 or 3 fights, the rest being mind-numbing conversations about how people are worried about Jason, or how Jason is worried about himself, or how Jason is angry about people using him all the time.
The final straw for me has been in the latest releases. The reuniting of some of the characters, which we have been waiting for for hundreds of chapters, gets a couple paragraphs of the actual reunion. Then it skips to a small party which takes up a chapter, and then the group decides to go on an actual small adventure to get reacquainted. And instead of showing us a mini adventure of them hunting monsters as the title would suggest, it gets time skipped and we're thrown right back into more political nonsense. I'm seriously starting to suspect the author is just dragging out chapters for patreon points, because it's so unbelievably out of touch with the entire concept of the book.
Thanks for listening to my Ted Talk, I can highly recommend reading volume 1 of this story, and I'd advise not to read further.
This novel has now gone the way of Savage Divinity. It's painful to say that every good thing comes to an end. The author might be burnt out, perhaps? I can still see the skill that was used to write the adventure, but it is now uninspired and overdone. Lots of reviews have outlined the many flaws so I will just add one that annoyed me more than any other: the entirety of the universe revolves around Jason Asano. Women in Jason Asano's life discuss Jason Asano. Shadowy organization talk and plan around Jason Asano. World-changing heralds and planetary villains obsess over Jason Asano. The media talks about Jason Asano. This story now has a single character that all of creation is dedicated to and that every other character mimics. Jason bloody Asano is the literary equivalent of the Borg collective.
please note that i read this without using an account so where it says I have written the review is not where i read.
Imagery is alright and the setting is extreamly well done. The magic system is well made aswell adding a slightly new flavor to the genre of litrpg. The writting is not the best but overall alright. spotted a few typos that are easily forgivable and forgettable.
I do like the side characters, but only kind of as the characters are static and not the fleshed out.
A huge part to why I am giving this a bad review is the main character, stories are only as good as the character , (there are exceptions of course such as if the protagenist is the villain and what not/it contributes to the story/growth/ect. ect) and this character sucks. The character is pretty funny in the beginning but later turns into a huge brat and a d-bag. The author is clear when he tries to make the character seem intelligent as he has the mc use big words similar to what a middle schooler would use to sound smart, which is ok I suppose. but with that combined with an extremely superior view of morals, politics, and religion, it makes it seem the charecter views himself suprior to everybody he lays his eyes on, as if he was browsing reddit for far too long. many of the characters are always telling each other "watch out for the mc he is dangerous" which kinds of does the opposite of the "show don't tell" writting, telling me that the author REALLY wants you to know how smart and amazing he is. The character openly admits to manipulating others for his own gain and is rewarded for by the author through other characters and storytelling. Throughout the story he constantly heals the poor and the sick, but doing only to prove himself as righteous. This plot seems to be added in to level out the characters deeds to a more neutral moral ground.
I dont like politics taking up the majority of my story especially in fantasy, but sometimes it's a good conflict to boost growth in characters and surroundings. Sadly the politics in this story does nothing to the growth of the character. as if the point of the story was to get the author's point across instead of writing a story for the fun and fantasy of it.
tl;dr: ok story with alright writting ruined by a horrible character who is rewarded by the author for being a brat.
I was hoping that the story would take a turn after leaving around the 350ish chapter mark. The plot is pretty good, but the character development is well weird. I understand the author was trying to go for the misunderstood hero that only wants what's best for himself and familiy. Instead, what you get is a sociopath that doesn't his position in society. Yes, he is more powerful that your average "magician." We the reader, however, know of the undertakings sent to take him down and each time we just see plot armour. Jason, himself is becoming unbearably delusional and has something of a hero syndrome. The world around becomes worse just so the story can revolve around Jason.
In short, the character development for Jason is incorrect for his backstory and place in the plot. I enjoyed the ride, but it's time I put this story away for good. I wouldn't tell others to give up on it right away. Perhaps, the story will mature into something better.
This is my first review...I normally am the type of guy who does not write reviews, but this book forced me to...
In the beginning it was great, top-notch high quality stuff. MC was likable and the side characters were coming along.
Then out of nowhere, MC becomes a top-notch social manipulator...which I could accept in some situations. However, the MC just shows a complete lack of respect for anything and everything to the point where it just pissed me off.
You would think that a person who is at the bottom of the ladder would think twice before insulting beings who could wipe him from the plane of existence with one finger...but nope...he just ignores all manners and common sense. The worst part though is that he never suffers for it. At this point...I'm dropping it, but for the last 20 chapters I was hoping that he would end up tortured or suffering...but nope.
This is the first time, that I hated an MC enough to drop the book...I really wanted to see how this develops, if the MC shows change...
If the author ends up seeing this though, I know I gave a lot of criticism, and not much of it was constructive, I have nothing but the highest level of respect for you, since you put out so many chapters. Keep it up...just please CHANGE the MC.
P.s.: if you're too attached to him to change him...sigh...
More talking than fighting. Kind of tired of it. Well written but snobbish. I'm really interesting in where it will go, but having to read through the MC go off on even one more monologue to get there is a no for me.