Unbound (LitRPG Portal Fantasy)
On the first day, Felix woke near an acidic sea, five moons hung in the sky, and a monster tried to eat him. It was a far cry from his normal life on Earth, and he soon realized he'd been transported farther than he could imagine.
Bombarded by a mysterious System that is changing him on a fundamental level, Felix must survive in a world not meant for the weak.
Welcome to the Continent. We hope you survive.
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[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]
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I want to add this book to my favorites but I don't think I ever will. It will probably remain in my follow list until I get annoyed with it.
Grammar: Excellent 5/5
Style Score: This style of reincarnated to new world rpg has been done before but it doesn't come across as boring. Excellent 5/5
Now you've noticed I've given the character and story scores 2.5 and 3 stars respectively. It's a simple reason. The author has bad habits.
Multitasking storytelling: You're reading a fight scene. The action is intense. There are flashes and bangs and the MC is using cool skills. All of a sudden, at the climax of the fight scene, the author goes into the MC thought process. It's so offputting. You can't take people out of the scene to set future scenes. It's shoddy storytelling. If the present scene has to suffer just so you can give a glimpse of the past or the future then you've wasted pages.
The Main Character thinks too much but grows little. Show don't tell is a powerful tool. Except the author shows every thing that flows through the MCs brain. You're in the middle of one scene but you can't get into the scene because the MC interrupts to show us his thoughts and feelings about some shiny thing. I've grown to resent his presence in a scene. Yes, I hate when the MC is in a scene because I can't enjoy the scene. I'm given one sentence and then he comes in and you're on a tangent. One sentence, three paragraph long tangent, and then back to the scene. You can imagine how slowly the story moves.
Chekov's Gun: It's abused in this story. The switch from scene to MC to scene shits all over this mark of good writing. You're in a scene, gun one locked and loanded, and it's firing. Then the MC interjects to show you another shiny object, gun 2 appears. However, gun 1 is no longer firing. Gun 2 is loaded up and oops back to gun 1. Where is gun 2? Wait for it. Here comes Gun 3.
Edit: Nevermind. It's gone from my follow list. The split story is just too annoying. Split in scene. Multi perspectives. I don't need to see the same story in different perspectives. I don't need to see three differnt scenes in one page.
(chapter 44) Yeah.. I got to the part where the psychotic woman kidnap the Kids in order to undertake a suicide mission (while she could have left em at the entrance of the forest where there aint an army of man eating giants) and the only guy Who notice a problem with it is painted as a selfish asshole by the author. Yeah totally legit i know..
I actually liked the premise, the story has many major plot holes, and exaggerated plot armor, but i could handle them, what put me off is the convulted sense of justice in the story and how natural the author try to make it seems lol
So im puting it off here i guess.
A generic isekai litrpg story featuring a protagonist that progressively gets stronger each and every chapter. The plot armour makes the story lacks excitement as it becomes predictable beyond measure as it is obvious that the MC will always come out on top one way or the other. The MC himself comes off as a rather dense/not-so-bright fellow while the side characters, on the other hand, are, in my mind, purposefully made to be either incredibly stupid or naive in order to allow the plot to progress the way the author wants.
All that said though, grammar is great and the plot itself somewhat interesting, so if you don't mind all the issues I pointed out in the beginning then you should find it as an enjoyable read.
I agree with pretty much all of the negative feedback this story has received.
The main character makes really stupid decisions. He should have died just from being dropped in an over-leveled zone as a level zero character. He should have died multiple times over from the (totally forseeable) results of his own actions. He definitely should have been struck down by the gods of cliche for acquiring a pet in the most trite way physically possible.
But none of that really matters. This isn't that kind of story; this isn't a powergamer figuring out the nooks and crannies of the system, or a soft modern person being flensed by a hardcore and gritty world.
This is an uncomplicated power fantasy, an adventure of the old and pulpy school. It's the kind of story that always has life-or-death stakes and therefore has no stakes at all, because of course the MC isn't going to die. The entertainment isn't "will the MC succeed?" - it's being along for the ride as he does, and by the skin of his teeth because that is what's narratively required.
This is not Evangelion; it's Gurren Lagann.
You're feeding him a lot of convenient levels and skills which on it's own isn't too bad at the start of a story. But that new race quest makes it feel like you're railroading the story in a big way(On top of the rather convenient sequence of events leading to his specific race selection). He gets turned into a lost race in an area with a lost temple and he has to stay there and protect it? And on top of that he has a poor opinion of religion in general? The only way to make that interesting imo would be to resist the quest forced on him. The system accepted it, but so what. He just walks off and ignores it entirely.... What would be the consequences of that?
At the very least it's better than pretending he'd risk his life to protect something he doesn't give a crp about. And it would subvert a contrived development and (Depending on the consequences. Like perhaps a god getting upset he didn't follow the plan) build the world/system a bit more. But the last thing I want to feel when following a guy put on an alien fantasy planet is that his adventure is all planned out and he can’t make an original choice.
I don't hate the story yet, but convenient things are really starting to pile up and it feels like you're hamstringing a character with potential agency so his choices lead to something specific. Insert power here with consequences he didn't agree to, feed levels and skills that all culminate in the perfect build in later events and drop him in the middle of his lost ancient heritage... A heritage he only has because of "Fck you, that's what happened" happenstance. Do you see how that could be a problem? Any one of those would be a valid thing to criticize and you keep adding more on top of it. Like a convenient safety zone being there when he gets surrounded by a thousand enemies. You could’ve taught a lesson about being more wary when starting an unnecessary fight with creatures that weren’t bothering him, but he needed the levels soooo…. And then the circle and ruins are his ancestral heritage, sooo…. I don't want to learn what the next "Soooo...." is.
The MC has plot armor for days and a maxed out Luck stat. He triples his strength stat by doing push-ups for a day and then proceeds to trip over a waterfall that gives him a perk for surviving, while unconscious, due to the strength of his plot armor.
The grammar is good.
The character is mostly there to move the POV and be the thing that gains levels and stats and titles like beads at mardi gras.
The story is, at Chapter 11, entirely focused on the various Rare stats, titles, and whatnot that the MC can find dropped at his feet.
This is not a malicious review, there is promise here but if you've read 1 wuxia/xanxia story on RR, you've read this story. The only thing it's missing is an abusive female character, a doting female character, and the MC to bang his way through the entire female population.
A relatably modern guy. An isekai menu based system. Strange new world. Unknown quests. A unique creature companion. Special race for the MC. Magic.
We've read this story structure before, and we probably come to this site to find new variations on it. This one is readable but the author is a little too into introducing side-perspectives and the pacing is plenty of fight scenes but slow (at times very slow) plot progression.
Harmonic stats were new for me. Some sounds and imagery described by the author are evocative and memorable.
I enjoy bingeing this isekai story every few months and I have it on my follow list. Tend to read more when I have ~30 unread chapters of material so I feel like I'm reading progression and not more fights or filler. I skip chapters/scenes featuring the antagonists and how their future plans are supposed to work.
The story started incredible and I immediately 5 starred and favorited. That was a long time ago now. I started feeling like this was just a slog to get through ever since the MC started meeting other people and its gotten horrible since he arrived in town. I just thought well he still has quests in the foglands so this should be temporary and I'll keep going. Now the town is destroyed but he's still there and I am almost certain I'm not going to start enjoying this book again. I'm all about adventure and the world, not these pathetic masses of people that need a hero. There is no adventure anymore it's just nonstop horribly written fight scenes. Now, fight scenes have been horribly written since the beginning but I didn't and don't care as long as the adventure is there; it's not. Thus I have changed my rating to 3 stars and unfavorited but I'll listen to this story a little longer.
I'll update my review during my reading progression:
- Beginning, chapt 4:
This novel is clearly made by an amateur author. The initial setup is nothing new, a guy after an accident finds himself on a new planet where a System with races, stats, skills, etc., is present. There is a mix of good and bad ideas. For example, in the beginning, the MC, before exploring his notifications, decides to find a relatively hidden spot. A couple of hours later, after an encounter with a wild animal that almost killed him, he decides that the best thing to do would be to train his skills, and so he starts to run and do various exercises. This makes no sense at all, the forest he is in already proved to be deadly and nobody would prioritize something so random over finding a good shelter, food and water. Especially because up until that moment, there wasn't any indication that gaining a couple of points in his stats would dramatically improve his chances of survival, consider that anything alive around has at least 20 levels on him, a couple of points in stats don't change much (he gains around 10 at each lvl up iirc).
This leads to the biggest problem of the novel: the System is not well thought at all. One problem is with the skills, there are too many and their rarity doesn't make much sense.. any activity seems to unlock a skill and there isn't a maximum amount a player can possess, meaning that by chapter 200 I expect our MC to have 3 pages of skills, which makes no sense and also I suspect it's harder to manage considering they too have lvls. A second problem is with stats, the System provides them in multiple ways and things aren't balanced at all, for example, he gained 2 good titles at the very beginning but they only provide a couple of stats. At the same time each lvl up grants around 10+ stats, also basic activities such as running for a couple of hours grant an increase in stats. Considering that there are many levels, it is hard to understand how gaining a couple of points with a title matter at all.
Many times, simple things are better. I would have for sure avoided the introductions of so many skills or at least provided a fixed number of slots to trim them down. Same for levels, if you want that the gaining of a couple of stats from basic activities and titles matters at all, then create a System with fewer levels. The same goes for lvl in skills, here is better to have ranks (low, medium, high, peak..) because otherwise to the reader it is hard to appreciate and see the difference between "running lvl 6" and "running lvl 12" and the authors tends to lvl them up at randoms for the same reason
So, the book starts with our hero being attacked by a literal Mythic-rank tentacled nightmare monster, all before he has any levels or skills to his name. He, of course, survives this and more so, gets an OP skill.
Expect his plot armor to go even thicker from then on. The main character will act rashly, act dumb, outright fail in his attacks or skill usage, and yet instead of meeting grizzly demise, will be rewarded with exta skills and levels for overcoming his out stupidity. His mana or stamina will run into zero, but he will muster on, somehow, because reasons. He will fall unconcious or asleep tired after hard battles and nothing will happen to him. This is that kind of a novel.
Overall, the book's "story" is a huge stats-fest. We get stats, we train skills, we get more skills, etc., etc. Its like a "Cookie Clicker" game, where the whole game play is just clicking a cookie on screen, for which you are rewarded with tools and bonuses that help you click the cookie even better. A very popular game, I heard, and if you are into this stuff, you will enjoy this book too.
The writing is terrible - grammar is fine, but the narration suffers greatly from "tell, don't show" syndrome. This is compouded by the protagonist being extremely blasé about any wound or suffering he experiences. It comes literally down to him feeling "agonizing pain" in one sentence and going back to "everything is fine" attitude the next one. Presumably, this is explained by his "WIL" stat, but i think its just a cop-out for not be able to write a convincing survivor psyche.
The one point when the novel becomes moderately interesting is an intermission about people who aren't the MC, who aren't OP and "too cool to be affected by emotions".