This story could be about the Tellask Empire, ruler of a thousand suns and faced with imminent peril at the hands of the Orakh hordes. It could be about Paltai Amberell, the scion of a noble elven House, fallen upon hard times and seeking to find the key that will restore his family's name and save the Empire itself. It could be the story of his voidship, The Viceroy's Pride, powered by magic and crewed by a team of crack marines as they search for adventure and the solution to the Empire's myriad problems.
Instead, this is the story of Daniel Thrush, human electrical engineer, befuddled researcher and survivor of the debacle that was first contact with a spacefaring civilization. Due to a combination of luck, magic, hard work, and more luck he is thrust into the center of events as Earth is shoved onto a much larger stage rife with semi-immortal elves and magical kingdoms that predate the Earthly invention of agriculture.
Earth is outnumbered, and we have precisely one wizard. Dan. He's not very good at it, but he's going to have to learn in a hurry or watch everything he knows get torn apart by massive spacefaring empires straight from the pages of a fantasy novel.
Some readers have noted that the MC tends to be weak willed and pushed around a bit. A significant portion of the story is his character growth into not being a pushover (i.e. him being passive is in the early chapters on purpose). I'm just including this caveat/warning to make sure that readers aren't surprised/upset and that they stick with it until he learns to stand up for himself.
His arc begins to crystallize around chapters 25-27. If that's too long to wait, I get it, I'm just trying to do my due diligence and warn you that the character development is a bit of a slow burn.
This is NOT a harem novel. Nothing against them, just not what it is.
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The story itself is phenomenal with all the intrigue and so on but he says his character is weak willed for character development but it's not really development but a sudden realization him saying he'll change but then a while later it looks like no progress has happened with the military he was almost as passive as ever. He didn't stand up for himself against them or his 'students'
This is a fun lit-rpg where magic and science coexists. The MC gets magic and a system equivalent and is sent to a magic-based planet to do traditional lit rpg things. Unfortunately, things don't really seem planned out or logical. For example, the MC joins a party nervous about adventuring in the silver mines...and then the nervous party voluntarily tackles a nest of giant ants with essentially no plan whatsoever. He never asked his folks how or when he was going to teleport back home. He doesn't bring a gun, any technological equipment -- ok, maybe he wants to blend in -- or any food! He teleports blindly to another planet knowing nothing about it other than that there are humans somewhere on it and he will end up without 50 miles of a teleporation hub...and brings no food! There is also something a little out of place about the humor. Since there isn't much, its kinda weird when the eccentric billionaire financing his journey takes him aside and tells him to make sure to get a harem when he goes to fantasy land "for the sake of every red blooded male."
All of this aside, the story is kind of fun, and the MC is likeable enough. I feel like the author just needs to make a decision and either get more serious about the plot, or add more humor and continue to not worry about things overmuch.
Diamond in the rough.
CoCop is writing an interesting story, wich I personally am hooked on.
A story with a system but without it taking the story over.
Story moves at a nice pace.
Biggest negative I think; I have to wait for new chapters to come out!! Haha
the first seven chapters of this story are no longer so pants on head retarded that they make my brain hurt. unfortunately im not allowed to post my criticisms without spoiler tags so get ready for a paragraph or two under the spoiler tag
The MC steals a mana crystal from the top secret military research base he works at, eats it, and gains wizard sight. as the only wizard in existence(on earth) this is a big goddamn deal. but then things get more retarded from there. he was recording literally everything he did from multiple angles/in diverse ways while inside the lab. ho never at any point considers that the top secret goverment facility may allready have cameras recording him and logging the access of top secret research equipment......which is pants on head retarded as he later spends time panicking over the idea of getting shanghaid by the government, despite doing that stupid shit inside their lab. the author has rewritten parts so that the unsupervised super geek now tests some of the alien gadgetry and burns himself, thus justifying him not touching it again till he leaves. however no time is spent describing the labs location or environs at all, leaving it blindingly curious why he never steals any of the xenotech for personal use at a later date. the rewrites also substantially improve his relations with his former boss Sam, though she still deliberately and without shame or regret submits him to 3 hours of ridiculous unceasing pain because he once set her up on a bad date, and laughs at him while he has a seizure. so....... she's now closer to Josef Mengele's misguided granddaughter than Elizabeth Bathory.
the MC is still an uncritical clueless simp, he signs contracts with no lawyer, hes an obsequious yes man with no backbone that somehow even without extreme mana poisoning (space crack addiction) has no issues consistently throwing himself into mortal peril to fight monsters, but can't manage two sentences worth of thought while within 4KM of another human being. he violently objects to being sold by a alien ranger to the leader of the local city state when he leaves earth by nearly decapitating her, but steadfastly refuses to aknowledge that he's allready the slave of the thoth foundation, as their medical nanites can control his entire body, or that his enslavement is entirely on Sam's back. the most recent chapters attempt to redeem the character somewhat, having her do an abrupt U-turn in attitude and actions, but the groundwork to have that change be even somewhat believable hasn't been done, it's very apparent the author has intended for this to be the characters arc from the beginning, but its equally as apparent that the writers intentions haven't been well translated into the story.
in later chapters the main character stops being a completely* spineless pansy. the overall quality has improved. every single character is typically a wooden exposition machine or an attempt to make you feel bad for the MC filtered through the emotional understanding of a late 2000's emo teens tumblr account. the only exceptions are the two warrior women who briefly travel with him in order to enslave him on behalf of a representative of the local city states government on the alien planet, who i strongly suspect have only had the minimal effort expended to sorta kinda humanize them because they'll be showing up later and the MC will need an excuse to not immediately thunder bolt them to death for attempting to enslave him now that he appears to have found a spine. but not his spine, that's still somewhere beyond the horizon, but maybe a 90 yr old osteoporosis stricken grandma's spine? not a good spine, but more than he had before. the other standout character is a new female D&D Monk-esque character that awakens her magical melee powers at the MC's behalf once he returns to earth. it seems kinda...odd how the MC remarks on how she'd be dangerous to him in close range when he should be able to backhand her into the next county given his skillset and powers, but whatever, it's a kinda basic "tell not show" flaw that crops up in stories all the time.
so finally, 2.5 stars, if the author keeps improving easily will be 4, due to personal nitpicks and dislikes that seem to the upper ceiling i see my rating going to, but im more than happy now to stick around and see where the story goes now :)
Apparently the author has made substantive edits to the story in response to criticism, which looks to have improved the early story quite a bit. Kicking off, the premise is that elves invade Earth in a bid to use humans as cannon fodder against orcs. Unfortunately, they find themselves initially unprepared to handle modern weapons and their display of dominance collapses before the US military begins research into the magical systems, making no headway as the research team is slowly whittled down to the first and now last member, Daniel Thrush. He, in a demonstration of classic human intuition, decides to eat some of the mana crystals as his final unsupervised experiment and awakens magical affinities within himself.
From there on, the story follows him as he attempts to navigate the decidedly limited options available to the only awakened human on Earth. Several reviews have criticized Dan's progression as being a weak-willed pushover, but all of his choices make sense. He reaches out to the previous project lead, a professor from MIT and she brings him into the private foundation she's been working with since the military trimmed down the project. They set him up with a training regimen, a system (that only has limited sway on the story) and all the information they've managed to collect and translate. After that, they track down an unimportant world to send him to so that he can gain enough mana to return and begin awakening more humans.
Dan does what anyone would do in his situation. Find people that know more than him and try to figure out what to do next. If you meet a friendly ranger on an alien planet, you're going to rely on them to learn more about the world. There's no wish-fulfillment, he doesn't start with incredible powers and push around unjust leaders, he just wants to lay low and develop the potential to eventually match elven spellcasters in a way that humans oppressed under their empire aren't allowed to.
Overall, it makes for an interesting sci-fi/fantasy mashup with a normal every-man catapulted into a fight for freedom that he is ill-prepared for. The world hasn't collapsed into anarchy, the governments and economies are still running, there's just an on-going alien invasion. It's an entertaining read with little in the way of errors to detract from the story.
At first, I was put off on how the MC let people run over him, but kept reading because the world-building was one of the best. The system origins are explained and how it works. The power creep is believable and later the MC grows past his timidity and matures. This is honestly one of the better stories I have read on here.
This was a really enjoyable and realist glimpse into a transhuman future with believable enemies and power scaling!
The characters grow out of old flaws and into new ones. The evil is by turns EVIL and nuanced. The people act like people and their is a lot of genuine creativity in how the author uses and adapts familiar tropes. The story is unpredictable without being manic. Nice work!!
So, while this book generally is good, it has a character which is not really understandable, as well as the assumption that the government or army, do not have lawyers. The characters seem to be very two dimensional, which some small outliers. One is a mobber, which our hero follows, but while this is understandable, everyone in an official capacity is stupid, regardless of if they are human or alien. The story has much potential, and one thing that is very good is the grammar. I generally only see a few mistakes, if any at all, which is great. The basic underlying story is also good, but it devolves right now, mostly because of the 2-D characters and the dynamics between them. Certain things are ignored, and we do not see why.
Warning, the following is a spoiler:
On one hand, for example, their does not seem to be a reason to clear an invasion, on the other hand that invasion seems to be close to overrun everything in the area? Makes no sense. Good thing here is that we do not have first party observations, so this could be dealt with, if handled carefully.
A quick overview of my thoughts of the novel. First things first, the idea is great maybe not original but it's certainly enjoyable and I will rate the novel according to: Style, story, grammar and character with my personal thoughts being last and which will not impact the overall score but will undoubtedly influence my review.
Style: The flow of the story is more often than not influenced by the writer's style, the style in this review will be taken as how the author structures plotpoints, time skips and character growth.
As of 26/03/2020 the author has done a good job of establishing a beginning and an end for his books and I'm not saying it sarcastically, there have been a number of authors who have completely botched how a beginning or an ending or even bother are established so that 1 star. Let's take book 1 for instance the beginning starts with the elves trying to claim Earth as their own and failing spectacularly as well as establishing a premise of Elven surpremacy and a heirarchy according to race as well as establishing background information that feeds later on into the book and the ending rolling smoothly into the next book and the author does this with book 2 as well.
The plotpoints are done reasonably well with some disjointed arcs that are either too exposition-ish or not developed enough. With characters more often than not acting as the author's mouthpiece to explain the situation.
For instance, during the second book USA falls apart and Warlords basically begin cropping up like weeds in uncle Pete's backyard and a group of people take over SOMEHOW with no explanation or atleast valid information as to how. Not to mention how character development is a bit stuttered with either a leap in growth or no development in a long time and by development I mean how the character is portrayed in the novel not their character growth. For instance in the first book MC basically has no growth for the first half of the book and then a sudden development in the second i.e People manipulate him and his totally fine with it with no sense of uneasiness or doubt or even any reason as to why he allows it when we are basically following the story from his perspective with some parts following other characters and only when a major incident inciting character growth which while feasible is not the only way to develop your character. This can be done by having the characters thoughts being shown in the chapter. i.e fidgeting, tapping, straying thoughts etc.
Basically like ordering a burger with half the patty missing, still enjoyable if you're hungry enough but concerning. 3/5 style.
Story: Like I said in style the story is pretty well established and though the meat of the story is not orignal still pretty enjoyable. I am more than eager to learn about the Elven Empire, it's society, how Earth develops, basically worldbuilding stuff and the author has laid a good foundation for it. The only reason why it's getting a 3/5 is that after 2 books the worldbuilding has barely been explored and with books 2 and most likely book 3 having politics instory being involved I'm concerned it has not yet been used to it's full potential. With organisations and their goals being introduced as soon as something major is happening which often confuses readers as to how or even sometimes why this is happening with the exception of major factions i.e elven empire, The orc hordes and Earth in general. minor factions are basically left out such as the Illuminati being mentioned, a united human front (or something similar to the lane of thought) etc. Still minor factions are more text flavour than anything, the reason why story only gets a 3/5 and not 4/5 is that the Elven and Orc factions are so generalised in their goals and motivations that I'm hesitant to improve the rating.
Grammar: So far I haven't noticed any major mistakes or anything that disrupts the flow of the chapter with spelling mistakes probably being the most common and even then they are often so minor or infrequent that i hardly notice, paragraphs are structured well and dialogue and thought process well established. so 4.5/5 I'd give it a 5/5 but there are still a few noticeable hiccups here and there.
Character: OH boy here we go. Ok what can I say that can make sense to people who are reading this review? The MC is hardly developed and when I mean development i don't mean character growth I mean how the character is portrayed in the story which is done in a way as if the author was just ticking some boxes or writing done dot points. Character personality was basically establish vaguely and I'm still not sure what kind of person the MC is except for kinda timid? and more a follower than a leader with halfway into book 2 changing that which is fine but even I'm unsure about the MC's personality and I'm 2 books in the fiction. With in regards to how development occurs, it happens in such a disjointed and bumpy way that his character development is either being stagnant which isn't a bad thing but what I mean by character development I mean by his thoughts and feelings which are more often told than shown. Which I consider rather poorly done when I follow the rule of show don't tell. Someone stabs your character in the back when they trusted them? express his disbelief, his feeling of betrayal, don't have him lecture the goddamn person in the middle of the scene of how betrayed they are. That's just plain poor writing.
This is also done with side characters such as Jennifer. Jennifer experiences emotional distress when her dad is placed in danger. ok, fair enough. But this is resolved and established so poorly I am hestiant to call it writing. We can basically sum it up in a few steps.
1. Jennifer gets news her dad is in charge.
2. Jennifer is panicked and frustrated.
3. Jennifer argues with MC about doing something
4. They decide to do something.
5. emotional distress over.
Jennifer is established as a daughter of a military careerman who takes no nonsense and is honestly more developed than the MC which is disconcerting and more likeable but I digress. What I'm trying and failing to do is point out is that the character interaction could have been done better. I'll do it in the same way as how I percieved Jen and MC's interaction during her emotional distress.
Step 1. Jen gets news about her dad being in danger.
Step 2. stunned silence as she tries to process this information her mind whirling a thousand miles a second as she's trying to figure out how to get him out of there.
Step 3. The emotions hit her, at first she tries to control it but eventually fails.
Step 4 MC asks Jen how she feels, Jen needs coaxing as she tries to rein in her emotions hinting at her badass facade cracking beneath the pressure.
Step 5. Jen first tries to reason calmly with the MC with the MC pointing out the flaws in her reasoning
Step 6. Jen still tries to keep up the facade but eventually cracks and argues with MC about the feasability of the plan
step 7. MC calls a halt to the argument and tells her to clear her head, Jen begins to calm down as they establish a beginning of a plan
step 8. Jen is still shaky but is now under control with MC reaffirming that she has a clear head.
step 9. Jen's emotional distress is finally over as they finalise the plan.
Obviously you need to show not tell, but this is basically a dot point version of how the scene should have gone, factoring in her personality and backstory. With her personality being that of a badass she would try to keep emotions from her face to prevent anyone thinking she's weak. Jen would try to negotiate with Dan first reasoning with him about why her father is important not only to her but to America as a whole hinting at her logical thought process, the only holes in her argument being their inability to get down to Earth and find her father. She explodes saying that MC plans to just abandon her dad, the US and Earth as a whole. MC stops and waits for Jen to calm down, she does but is still distressed about the situation. MC asks if they can talk about how they can find their dad and she nods not trusting her voice. MC begins laying down options with Jen adding to it and she grows steadier and steadier as they sort out a plan. Jen's emotional distress is over and they finalise the plan.
Since character is a pretty big chuck of the review I'll just summarise it here, development is disjointed and clunky, dialogue and character interactions hardly match up with the characters current personality with a side character having more development than the main character. With character interaction sometimes acting according to their character other times as if some robot possessed their bodies and was told to act human. The characters are basically established and developed in a mediocre way 2.5/5
I don't quite like how events just tend to happen with little to no explaination. I mean sure Elves invade Earth but that got the ball rolling and establishing the personality of the elf empire. But the whole Earths governments in civil war was a bit to sudden and really out of left field with no background to the organisation. Their goals, or how they are planning to achieve them or even HOW they achieved what they've done so far with a half hearted explanation being thrown in.
Don't get me wrong I'll still read the novel but I don't really feel too invested in the characters themselves more for the potential of how the story could develop and even then I'm not that invested in the story only the possibilities of it.
I could have probably done this review better with character development being mentioned twice but in their own seperate categories. 1 style and 2. character interactions and growth as well as establishing personalities which probably confused you and if I did I'm sorry about that but I felt that how an author writes a character i.e POV 1st person, 3rd person 3rd person omniscient etc, should be in it's own category from how a character is developed if you know what I mean? But the two kinda just intersected in this review and I decided to just leave them both in.
Anyways the overall score is 3/5 with a massive potential to completely save itself in the 3rd book if the author does it right. Hopefully he does because if book 3 doesn't have me hooked then I will most likely drop the story and if book 3 is a massive improvement I'll probably write a seperate review on how it is and why you should read it. But for now the novel is feeling very barebones and though I enjoy some chapters others just leave me feeling completely irritated and baffled and not in a:
How did that happen?!? what's going to happen next!?!? kinda a way but more like:
That happened. Why and how though? way.
Read it yourself I'm sure this novel will attract a fair amount of readers and the only way you can ever get a feel out of a novel and decide whether it's for you or not is if you try to finish the first book and if it isn't your cup of tea then just drop it, that's just my personal advice.
This is turning into a pretty complex but still easily enjoyable story.
At first, despite the author's warning, I was ready to drop the story somewhere around chapter 20 - Dan was just such so spineless and lacking any gumption to stand up for himself, letting himself be used repeatedly.
But after that it got better. As of chapter 80 Dan is willing to stand up for himself and not tolerate too much shit from those who are ignorant or just crap people. So, a pretty good story arc for him, and the author brought it along in a way that seems fairly natural and at a good pace. I don't know what will happen with Dan going forward but am happy so far.