Original ONGOING Action Adventure Fantasy Anti-Hero Lead GameLit High Fantasy LitRPG Magic Male Lead Mythos Portal Fantasy / Isekai Ruling Class Slice of Life Strategy
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity

Lost in a world of magic and monsters, Hal fights to survive in a brutal land and escape execution from its rulers. He isn’t the first to arrive with Marked powers. Those Founders tamed parts of the world for their own, and refuse to welcome a new Founder.

Ingenuity and courage won't be enough to deal with all the goblins, bandits, undead, dragons, and everything else that hunts him and his friends.

He’ll need to risk his humanity by embracing the beast to wield monstrous magic. Once he levels up first that is, and turns from cowardly prisoner to brave adventurer.

Follow Hal and his party’s journey of dungeon crawling, settlement building, spell-slinging adventure as they carve out a bastion in the wilds. Freedom and safety is hard-won, and cannot be achieved alone. Only by forging bonds with fellow adventurers and monster allies does Hal and his would-be-kingdom have any hope of surviving the hazardous realm.

Things to expect: Weak to Strong MC, No Harems, Kingdom Building, Party Combat & Mechanics, Spellsword MC, Crafting, Multiple PoVs from Heroes & Villains.


Release Schedule: Monday - Friday @6p EST

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Author
James Callum

James Callum

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 00 - Prologue ago
Chapter 01 (Version #2) ago
Chapter 02 (Version #2) ago
Chapter 03 ago
Chapter 04 ago
Chapter 05 ago
Chapter 06 ago
Chapter 07 ago
Chapter 08 ago
Chapter 09 ago
Chapter 10 ago
Chapter 11 ago
Chapter 12 ago
Chapter 13 ago
Chapter 14 ago
Chapter 15 ago
Chapter 16 ago
Chapter 17 ago
Chapter 18 ago
Chapter 19 ago
Chapter 20 ago
Chapter 21 ago
Chapter 22 ago
Chapter 23 ago
Chapter 24 ago
Chapter 25 ago
Chapter 26 ago
Chapter 27 ago
Chapter 28 ago
Chapter 29 ago
Chapter 30 ago
Chapter 31 ago
Chapter 32 ago
Chapter 33 ago
Chapter 34 ago
Chapter 35 ago
Chapter 36 ago
Chapter 37 ago
Chapter 38 ago
Chapter 39 ago
Chapter 40 ago
Chapter 41 ago
Chapter 42 ago
Chapter 43 ago
Chapter 44 ago
Chapter 45 ago
Chapter 46 ago
Chapter 47 ago
Chapter 48 ago
Chapter 49 ago
Chapter 50 ago
Chapter 51 ago
Chapter 52 ago
Chapter 53 ago
Chapter 54 ago
Chapter 55 ago
Chapter 56 ago
Chapter 57 ago
Chapter 58 ago
Chapter 59 ago
Chapter 60 ago
Chapter 61 ago
Chapter 62 ago
Chapter 63 ago
Chapter 64 ago
Chapter 65 ago
Chapter 66 ago
Chapter 67 ago
Chapter 68 ago
Chapter 69 ago
Chapter 70 ago
Chapter 71 ago
Chapter 72 ago
Chapter 73 ago
Chapter 74 ago
Chapter 75 ago
Chapter 76 ago
Chapter 77 ago
Chapter 78 ago
Chapter 79 ago
Chapter 80 ago
Chapter 81 ago
Chapter 82 ago
Chapter 83 ago
Chapter 84 ago
Chapter 85 ago
Chapter 86 ago
Chapter 87 ago
Chapter 88 ago
Chapter 89 ago
Chapter 90 ago
Chapter 91 ago
Chapter 92 ago
Chapter 93 ago
Chapter 94 ago
Chapter 95 ago
Chapter 96 ago
Chapter 97 ago

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DrAlt
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Very dense plot armor on Main Character

Reviewed at: Chapter 32

It's one of those adventures with a bumbling MC who wants to do the Right Thing(TM) and didn't have much of a life back on Earth.  Author has very stylized versions of intelligent monsters.  The introduction of the keeper character was inspired.   Then it seems to brush that all aside.  What I don't like is that everyone suddenly follows the MC's lead.  No questioning, just questing.  Some of early writing was excellent then when I hit the later chapters, it was plot armor so thick it distracted me from the story.  Oh, I just met you and you told/sold me some stuff, let's not talk but join my party for a super-dangerous adventure and let's hope you won't betray me!  (Repeat)  

humblepeasant
  • Overall Score

Honestly, I thought the title is "BREASTBONE"...

Reviewed at: Chapter 20

... the first time I read it. Pardon my dyslexia.

As for the story, not quite my taste. Is your typical isekai story you can find on this site, MC with 50 cm of stell and kevlar plot armor.

No blue box is plus for me, but too many info dump (especially on later chapter) really distract me from enjoying the story. Most of people enjoy reading a story, not some fictional gamey skill wiki page

l611
  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
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This is an average everyday isekai story trying to tell again and again sometimes, through direct dialogues even, that it's not but believe me, it is. It portrays to be a grimdark story but the foolish actions of the mc always seem to reward him for it(except just 1 at the very beginning).
minor spoilers:  

Spoiler: Spoiler

 The system is stupid. It tries to behave like a game system until it decides not to. In short, it's inconsistent. 

Overall, I'd say give it a read if only you have nothing else to do.

Maromar
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The future of Aldren is in Hal’s hand.

Reviewed at: Chapter 82

 Literally.

What machinations can another world’s god have for an average lad trapped in the daily grind like the rest of us? You’ll have to ask someone else, because the jerk gets slain before Hal’s eyes by a dimension-walking being with a grudge. As consolation, the mad god-killer donates Hal some of the power from his query’s cooling corpse before shipping him off to what should be a safe place. Emphasis on the word “should”.

The power leaves a brand upon Hal’s skin, marking him as a Founder, one who can create a safe zone amidst a land stricken by monsters and unnatural storms. Such potential presents a threat to those who've already established an iron grip on civilization. Our hero is hunted by authorities, law abiding citizens, and the nasties that crawl along the walls of the Sanctums. To put it simply: everything wants to kill him.

To survive, Hal must foster his gift and break bread with outlaws, political dissidents, and misfits. If he manages to keep death at bay, he may even carve out a place for himself alongside people he’ll grow to love. Beastborne is an isekai litRPG that hangs the prospect of death and sometimes worse over the head of our protagonist at every turn.

James Callum forces Hal to begin his journey on the run and it feels like he never gets a chance to really stop. The urgency worked for a while, but after the initial danger, I was left grasping for a point of connection. Other than being an average man dragged into more than average conditions, there’s little to keep us caring about what happens to Hal.


I’m aware that protagonists of speculative fiction have a hard time putting on their human faces, especially in the opening scenes. It’s enough of an issue to be ignored in some cases, but early character establishment can be done; look to Pact or Leviathan for good examples.

As I moved further into the story, the image of Hal as a person remained distant. The chapters stretched, the stats increased, and the repertoire of skills grew.

My investment wore thin.

I’ve mixed potions, locked blades, and shared prison cells with this man. I've witnessed him succumb to fear, and I’ve stood by his side while the light of a great leader shone forth from his actions as much as the mark on his hand. Through it all, I feel like I got to know Aldren the world more than Hal the person, and I got to know Aldren the game more than Aldren the world. 

I suspected that there just wasn't enough meat on man, closer reading proved me wrong. I know that Hal was a bit of a loner before coming to Aldren, he’s afraid of heights, he used to be pushed around a lot, and he has a love for games that books of this genre owe their name to. The problem is that Beastborne’s characterization is muffled by action sequences, tangential worldbuilding, and the RPG side of litRPG.

Glory, progress, and risk don't deliver their own payoff. We need to care about the man behind the shield wall in order to watch a battle and be more than mildly entertained. Besides introspection, the easiest method of achieving this is to ground the story in a web of realistic interactions between the protagonist and those around them. Interpersonal character arcs are, however, at a premium. Relationships are presented but left underdeveloped. When there’s conversation, it feels like half of it is related to objectives and methods to become more powerful rather than what all of it means to everyone on a personal level.

Several times, I was left wondering if Elora, Ashera, and Hal truly braved the dangers of Aldren alongside each other or just next to each other to the point where I nearly quit reading. Then, when my hope for the story reached its lowest point, I got an image of one character falling asleep on the other’s shoulder, and it was like coming home. Beastborne hurt me because there’s so little of this to go around.  

On a more minor note, the story has a problem with narrative stakes. Situations are set up where failure means death, only for Hal to be rescued by unlikely aid or empowerment that ends up presenting less consequences than the story wants readers to believe. That’s more of a shounen and speculative/YA fiction issue than anything, but the fact that such a trap isn’t dodged here doesn’t help.

Exacerbating the worst of the piece’s issues is a style that makes navigating it feel like walking down a hallway with weighted clothes. The text gets repetitive, using the same words or their derivatives close to each other, or reestablishing imagery in a way that violates word economy. If broken down, you can see instances where the big stone golem moved with it’s big stone golem parts and struck with its big stone golem fist. In isolated places it’s not so bad, but when the entire makeup of a scene is rife with this kind of writing it becomes exhausting. It specifically leaves the combat in a state that lacks the quick, visceral nature that would fit with the story’s advertised tone, and there’s a lot of combat. Riding the coattails are instances of epithet abuse (constant and unnecessary use of titles/descriptors like the Sin Keeper, the Reaper, the Ranger in places that interrupts flow). While Grammatically sound, Beastborne’s writing gets in its own way.

I’m honestly saddened. There’s a story to be had following Hal, a good, memorable story. I just don’t have the strength to continue digging for it. 

But I know that there are others stronger than me. People that can take Callum’s lovingly crafted world and appreciate it for all the right it does, the right that leaves it worthy of at least a tentative recommendation. 

So gear up adventurers! The portal is still open, the land of Aldren awaits! 

Valint
  • Overall Score

Too video game-y for my tastes

Reviewed at: Chapter 13

I found the setting interesting, and would have liked to see more of this world.  Unfortunately, the plot felt to me like watching someone play a rather railroad-ish video game, and I had enough after 13 chapters.

The story didn't so much organically flow as lurch from set piece to set piece, where the MC would wake up somewhere new, have to deal with a new situation and meet a relevant NPC, then get captured and/or knocked unconscious.  Rinse and repeat.

Fredo
  • Overall Score

If you hate hypercompentient MCs?  Well, this is the story for you.

ShadeByTheSea
  • Overall Score

Bad things happen, something maybe good happen, bad things again

Reviewed at: Chapter 13

Suffers from the consently having bad things happen to MC trope. If you like the constant down than medium than down again, than this is a story for you. It's happened 3 times in 12 chapters, which likely means the rest of the story is like that. Not sure yet but pretty sure it's grimdark too, likely with delve into tragety soon too.

myxir
  • Overall Score

constant lecture

Reviewed at: Chapter 12

The novel that wants to lecture you every few chapters about race and women.

Apart from that average novel, worth reading if you are bored.

 

 

Ulvlar
  • Overall Score

want to like it but book of cliches

 

this is a old review come back due to deletion

Misery's End
  • Overall Score

The absurd amounts of plot armor leads to the suspension of reality

Reviewed at: Chapter 88

Be it the weird actions and dialogue of the majority of the characters or the absurd amounts of plot armor needed for the MC to survive his own stupidity. The stories few strong points cant keep up with the power creep or this authors attempts to contain it. There is a decent story here to tell, the author just lacks the capacity to do so in a coherent manner.