When you read stories about some people missing and returning after years of absence claiming they were living in another world, your first reaction is to scoff and dismiss a story as a tall tale, right?
I know I did. All the time. Until it happened to me and I no longer did. That day was today.
Some god of thunder smote me. If it were Chris Hemsworth, I wouldn't mind but it was some barbaric Hitite god that abaondned Earth some four millennia ago.
Yes, what can I say? I love the seventh art. I have more hours watching movies than any other activity, including sleep. What? Do you think I'm exaggerating? Maybe I am. I'll really miss hollywood the most. And my biggest regret is that I never got to visit the holy city of cinema.
I did not come to another world to be a hero even though there was hints that they hoped I'd save it. I did not come with overpowered abilities able to, dunno, leap tall castles in a single bound, faster than a speeding crossbow bolt, be more powerful than a eight-horse carriage, the bounds.
No. After the asshole god that murdered me brought me to his world, he gave me some boons from his discount bin and "The Power of my Soul (tm)". Forgive my french, I hope you understand I am rather upset at dying. And he somehow decided that my power is to recycle stuff. How awesome is that? Not much at first, I must admit.
At least I got all my camping stuff and equipment with me. There's no lycra in the other world. I'll make it someday, but that day is not today.
So here I am. In another world, in the middle of nowhere. I'm no heroine. As the song goes, I'm your basic average girl. And I'm assumed to be here to save the world. But almost everything can stop me, because I'm not named Kim.
Wish me luck, diary.
This novel is going have the following features:
- No GameLit / LitRPG elements.
- Movie references. Sandra likes the seventh art.
- Journal / diary style
- crafting (includes chemistry, engineering and metallurgy)
- low magic
- technological advancement (for Sandra, at least. She is not against sharing though)
- personal relations
- clash of perception between the modern and ancient customs.
- bits of tension, fighting, and plot here and there.
I won't repeat myself though. Once she crafts a good batch of soap, for example, she'll just note, "I crafted soap again." Once it is estabilished how she obtains compound X, compound X2 that is obtainable from the same process will also just be mentioned. I'll try to be as realistic as I can with the crafting, chemistry, and technology.
Cover: Public Domain Image by StockSnap from Pixabay. No attribution required but we do it anyway.
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MDW is a great author, each new story brings something interesting to the table with some of the bad. Troll was putting words to paper, nobody’s first work is perfect. Princess has the best characters and character interactions but the world feels cookie cutter and the series dragged on with no clear arching plot. Monster has a better world and the MC is fun but the supporting cast is bland and while there is a nebulous overarching plot in the foreshadows, it seems the author is using that as a guideline instead of an outline.
Decompose has what resembles a good world and even what feels like a plot, but the pacing is glacier. What Decompose does better than any MDW story is it tries to make a superhero in a fantasy world without making a Mary Sue, and thus far it mostly succeeds. Where I feel the story fails is the focus on minutia over substance. Yes, it is cool her superpower is chemistry and access to wikipedia, doesn’t mean 4k words needs to be the step by step process of making a mirror. A high word count doesn’t substitute for interesting prose. It’s like the introductory chapters of a novel got stretched to fit an entire book’s worth of words and the filler in between comes off as words on a page instead of story.
Of course, the author has been very upfront this was intentional and is trying something new. I’m not trying to riff on MDW, easily one of my favorite authors on RR. This story has many fine qualities and I’m excited to see how the recent reveal involving snow turns into plot and possibly MDW’s first satisfactory story resolution. I just hope the author takes the time to outline story progression leading towards something instead of previous stories moving in a vague direction and never really getting there.
So, I will start by saying I am probably biased. I adored the first incarnation of this story despite some of its flaws. While an Isekai it didn’t feel like it, we saw a modern woman struggle in an ancient society and overcome the hurdles while slowly carving out her own life in a brutal society where she had little to no rights and it took miracles, murder and magic to survive.
Then we got the rewrite. The pace is a lot faster, the tone a lot lighter, and the story flows better. We see a bit more of the world at large and other deities too. But our MC has become so very much less interesting. We get meme’s, movie quotes and silly lines rather then horror, shock and fear. A lot of the depth of the characters seem removed as well. Put simply what was a more unique, serious story became a light hearted series of tropes.
I admit I’m rather hoping the story undergoes another rewrite. I’m giving it three and a half stars because the writing itself is really good and the core of the story interesting.
Just as a warning, there are some light spoilers about the direction some of the plot has taken up to chapter 65 (after the rewrite). It's really not much and nothing specific, but if you don't want to know anything at all about certain character interactions, then skip this review.
I read the story after the rewrite until the 65th chapter, but I'm not sure if I'll continue reading.
First of all, I want to say that I really like the setup and the story itself. I also applaud the author for the amount of thought and research he must be putting into it, with the complexity necessary to pull it off. I really wanted to like the book more than I actually did, and I gave it a good shot.
However, there is one thing that ruins it all for me, and that is Sandra's (the MC) character. I understand that the author was most likely going for realism with her behavior. She comes from a background of basically being a mostly sheltered and nerdy type that has led a good life up to this point with no real adversity in her upbringing. It does make sense for this kind of girl to have a problem with confrontation and violence, as well as try to avoid politics and mostly do her own thing.
The problem is that while that seems like it might be a real person's reaction to her circumstances, actually reading about a character that behaves like that while being in her new reality, is both incredibly frustrating and ultimately boring. She is constantly either being a doormat for a plethora of different assholes, wracked with guilt over what she has been forced to do, or wallowing in self-pity due to her lost old life. All the while she has incredibly OP powers that would easily allow her to completely change the barbaric way a lot of the people in power are behaving towards her (and pretty much everyone else) if only she handled things with a firm hand instead of constantly compromising with people who don't deserve it.
I get that she doesn't want to enforce her views of what society should look like on others, but first of all - sometimes people just don't know what's good for them, and second of all - a book doesn't always have to represent reality if that makes it a poor read.
Plus, if she doesn't want to topple the government and become a tyrant herself, she could at least push people to put someone a little more forward-thinking and reasonable in power (I can think of at least one character like that who would be a good option).
If the author wanted to have the MC behave in a way that's true to her character without ruining the story because of it, he should've either made the story about slice of life things like her crafting and having fun with the girls and the children while avoiding politics and other heavy subjects, or he should've chosen a character that has a background allowing her to have a spine while not seeming unrealistic. Alternatively, he could've made her powers less OP, so she wouldn't be reasonably capable of taking on any opponent with an aggressive approach if she wanted to, so then she would be forced to sometimes compromise instead of doing it by choice.
I also want to mention the "romance" aspect that is, in my opinion, one of the worst I've seen recently. I get that her attraction to Brandon is mostly physical, but the author has almost gone out of his way to point out how utterly terrible of a fit he is for her in terms of personality, yet she keeps doting on him. If the point is for her to slowly change his views of the world, it's taking way too long and his starting point was way too far away for it to make sense for her to put in any effort.
This novel gets you right in to the action in this now typical genre on RR. I have read most of what the author has written here and the quality is way above average, so if you want to give it a shot read till night 5 and PM me if you are not hooked. :)
The first version was pretty good. But so far, the difference between the old version of the story and the new one is night and day. The rewrite fixed all of the glaring problems so far that are common on the first go-around for a story. It's a good one - you won't be disappointed.
It wanders hither and yon, with dramatic scenes and humdrum ones tucked in next to each other like hen's eggs of differing colors. It's ok, but I couldn't handle more than 20 chapters before I got tired of the tonal variance.
Bit clique but well written take on the transported to another world trope. Decent smart female MC, strong but not OP.
Moronic 1st world girl goes backpacking in Afghanistan and survives due to plot armor.
That's pretty much how I feel about this story. If you think the MC should be punished for stupid decisions, this isn't for you. She is "smart", but makes so many naive and stupid choices, it had me wanting to pull my hair out.
I really enjoyed this story. The mc is really good, with a lot of layers, she isn't just a battle junkie or a person that just want power, and you can see it on the way the author created her.
Her power is really good and not too overpowered.
And now the real gem of this story, the way the author describes her power and everything that's happening, every type of molecule she is controlling and how. This is what made me love this book.
I love crafting books as this one, and it is on my top 10 already
Started good, then same old stupid situations. I didn't get to the end as I was gripped by the urge to yell Just Die will You!