Underdog: Dungeons of the Crooked Mountains by A. Osadchuk

by boblak

Original ONGOING Sci-fi GameLit LitRPG Male Lead

Eric was born in a world governed by the Great System, in the family of Aren Bergman, a respected miner from Orchus. But the joy of gaining a son was overshadowed by the newborn’s terrible affliction. Eric was completely nulled – level zero and no characteristics points. The only things keeping him from dying were his tiny base supplies of “life” and “energy.”
The medicine woman who delivered Eric believes this to be the work of the evil spirit Bug. Due to the peculiar laws of the Great System, Eric cannot use experience essences or characteristics tablets, so he risks having to spend his whole life confined to a bed. But his father finds a solution. He takes out a large bank loan and goes to the capital where he buys a few artifacts of the Ancients on the black market, which have no level restriction.
Despite having the artifacts, Eric is still very feeble and everyone in town thinks him a freak. But at least he can move on his own and that gives the Bergmans hope. But alas, it isn’t for long. On Eric’s fourteenth birthday, his father and mother die in a mining accident. The bank takes their house, and Eric is left with no choice but to work off the remaining debt in the Dungeons of the Crooked Mountains.
And so begins the story of a nulled boy’s struggle to survive…

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Acerbic
  • Overall Score

This is a rare case where translation is actually better than the original. Being native in Russian, I can tell you this with certainty.

Osadchuk (the author) has vivid imagination and his books are never boring, but his command of Russian language is on a level of high schooler who tries to mimick three different writers he adores simultaneously, while using dictionary of synonyms to "enhance" his choppy prose.

Luckily, the translator/editor picked the good parts and left all to odd quirks or the original behind.

Fairly interesting story, that is guaranteed to be continued (there is a second book in the series), unless the translator drops it.

flssdd
  • Overall Score

the good and the bad (really good and really bad)

The story is good, very good. I was hooked even before the prologue ends (that would be the first part of chapter 1) and then it continues straight off to the aftermath of the most tragic thing the MC has experienced while doing fantastic job of world building and showing parts of the character's past, life as a whole and glimpses of his personality. It leaves you with many questions and mysteries about the system and the world and how everything works (not just in fantasy or sci-fi way, but also in social and moral aspects), but there is much happening in the here and now and the balance between is almost perfect and keeps you interested. Mixing in all the feels and drama and every triumph met with two disasters, as a whole it makes you believe the world is real and giving it life.

The sheer hopelessness and helplessness shown at the start really emphasizes what "Underdog" means.

This (chapter 16 at the time) is half the book, maybe even more and I give it 5 starts. There is really nothing more I could want or need for it to be a lower score. I haven't read other stuff from this author yet (I think Mirror World or something like that),

unfortunately...

 

Nomad1791
  • Overall Score

Player story not dungeon core! Still good!

Like the story! Went get it on Amazon the stuff here is just a taste. I'd recommend reading it.