[Participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]
Saul Andrews is just an average guy. He works, plays sports, he goes out with his friends. He doesn't do anything that would leave him prepared for a life of dungeon delving and adventuring in a foreign world apart from the occasional DnD session. His whole life changes when the gates to the Dungeon appear. He falls through the doorway to a new world and becomes trapped within!
Now, he is trapped in a wonderous and perilous world full of creatures that only existed in his imagination. Trapped in a world where to survive is to fight, to learn, to grow. What starts out as a journey to get home develops into a determination to become the most powerful Dungeon Delver. His goal: to discover all the secrets held within that strange world!
Isekai Lit RPG with Cultivation elements.
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I want to say right out of the gate, that the author shows a strong willingness to take on feedback and deliver on it in a satisfying way. There is a very real sense of growth that takes place from every piece of feedback the author receives. I can already picture my future self coming back at a later time and being blown away by how much has changed.
This story really has a feeling of: 'already good, but seeking further development'. At this point in time, it feels like a community has come together to help a new author grow and it inspires me to know that.
The author clearly loves detailing almost everything, never does a scene feel underdeveloped or leave you questioning about what is going on. Although there are some vague sentences here and there, I can see that changing overnight with the way this author works. There is plenty of well-written, detailed action present too, which is always welcomed by me.
The story starts with an unassuming slice of pizza that then, soon enough, devolves into full-blown chaos. It's a pretty stock-standard beginning, but it gets the job done. The story is pretty much following the MC closely, but there are elements that come later which point towards a bigger, over-arching narrative.
The grammar is honestly not the best - Right now. I'm giving a full extra point (3=>4) because the author makes me feel like they are committed and very interested in improving the aspects of, what they even call, their rough draft. You'll still be very hard-pressed to notice them as most of the time they take on the guise of sentence structure issues.
Honestly, this is the weakest category at the moment in my eyes. The characters could use some serious work, especially the MC. I do see a lot of promise for further development and some of the later characters do have some defining characteristics that the author is playing around with.
This story does have a strong upward trend, each chapter is better than the last and it becomes apparent that the author is learning very quickly as they go. I just want to say: I hope you pace yourself, author, don't burn out trying to accomplish everything all at once. Tell the story you want to tell first and the rest will follow. You have really great notes from a lot of differing viewpoints, it's ok to let them sit and collect dust before you come back with fresh eyes weeks later.
A promising future.
Rundown: I'm going to start by saying that RestitutorOrbis is a friendly author and highly open to criticism, taking the common feedback that would have been in this review and fixing much of the feedback I and others originally had. He treats his story not as something to be sheltered or defended, but as something to undergo the rigors and tempering of critical review. With that being said, the story itself grabbed me right off the bat with the apocalyptic scenario of New York cracking open to reveal portals to another world. Saul, a survivor and the main protagonist ends up investigating too close and is taken to our LitRPG world. This review is based on his latest rewrite (number 2, I believe).
The first chapter abruptly introduces our new world to the readers, quaking New York apart. Upon stumbling into this new world, Saul is then forced to choose his class, stats, and more. The start does feel like many LitRPGs at first, but that quickly changes as Saul explores the land. He eventually meets more Earthers, making the narrative immediately more interesting.
Story feels a bit generic, but I see the foreshadowing of several interesting plot/arcs. For one, humanity flooding into the first level of the world beyond its ability to hold. Not to mention one who may have caused the cataclysm.
Grammar was almost flawless, with a few quirky POV changes (for instance, we're told about a Dwarven commander, but not through any character.) Some of the dialogue and internal monologue is memorable and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The review title is taken from the last line of chapter 1: "Maybe in Heaven, the rats all taste like Wagyu ribeyes."
We start with Saul the main protagonist. Eventually, he discovers he wasn't the first. My main critique is the MC and other characters still feel a bit flat at times. RestitutorOrbis did improve this score significantly with his rewrite. I have high hopes his skill in narrative writing will improve in leaps and bounds.
Writing ability: good (as in grammar is good and dialogue between characters is not stilted)
Storytelling ability: not bad but feels like a kids book
The characters and description of the surroundings lack detail and a sense of realism. The evil villain appearance just feels cheesy and cliche. I actually stopped reading at that point and I'm debating on whether or not to continue.
I'd say give it a try and decide for yourself
Though the writing starts out somewhat choppy, it quickly improves after the first few chapters as the author finds his rhythm. World building is definitely his strong point. The dungeon is interesting and full of mysteries yet to be explored. The main character has a lot going on in his head, and has a believable and realistic reaction to the situation he finds himself in, to survival, and being forced to kill to survive.
It will be interesting to watch as both the world of the dungeon and the author’s skill at describing the fantastic events taking place in it grow. I can already see clear progress as his writing improves with each chapter.
I like the story so far. I feel like this is a super creative idea and has much potential I'll keep reading.
Ascendant Legacy certainly can't be called a boring read. This fiction is action heavy, and goes into decent, but not flow-killing, depth on the mechanics and world building side of things. Each chapter offers some excitement, and there are levels of intrigue to compliment the story moving forward.
I think of this fiction as a 'Vegas buffet' essentially because it has a plethora of really great things going on, but the plate has been stacked a little high. This feels like the perfect reflection of a million gamer daydreams, but there are almost too many flavour combinations here for any one part of the meal to really stand out as the main course. Don't worry, that's the last time I will use this analogy... Probably.
To break it down, this is an isekai story featuring a cataclysmic event with global implications, that causes real devastation to Earth as we know it.
Whilst the widespread devastation causes a lot of carnage and destruction, it also transports a few fortunate/unfortunate people to an unknown realm populated by mythical creatures and beasts, and infused with magic.
There are hints that the transportation of humans to this unfamiliar realm is by design, rather than by accident.
Also, the world utilises a class and levelling system based on DnD mechanics.
As a coming together of worlds story, this is a great premise. However, I can't for the life of me figure out why the world is a game world, and I am skeptical that this will be explained in a more satisfactory manner than, 'Because it's cool'.
To be fair, it is cool. It's really cool at times. This is a very successful GameLit on the ground, with a nice dungeon crawling system, a good blend between stat abilities and personal aptitude, and just the right amount of level progression and skill information to compliment the story, rather than take it over with massive stat sheets.
If the Isekai/ GameLit disparity stopped there then I might gloss over it entirely, but unfortunately it has weird implications for the tone, which swings drastically from cute to macabre, and on the character choices and character interactions. In other words, sometimes the MC decides to think and act like he is in another universe, where he has to be sensitive to the local culture and mindful of his own mentality, and at other times the MC is definitely treating it as the next WoW.
As of chapter 10, our MC has committed genocide twice, formed a party literally over half a beer, and then discarded said party, his only link to humanity as we know it, because he wanted to do a spot of shopping. Most concerning of all is that, despite in world damage causing genuine pain and bodily injury, our MC has repeatedly thrown himself at death's door and allowed himself to be used as a pin cushion. I see from the comments that a lot of people wondered if this was in keeping with his role as a rogue/ranger, but I personally wonder if it's in keeping with the actions of a sane man.
The story feels very much like the author's ideal fantasy, and I respect that, really I do. However, RestitutorOrbis would have a much easier time of things if they just decided if this was one thing or another. The pacing and setting leave me in no doubt that the author can write a great GameLit. The intrigue and allusion to wider events leave me in no doubt that the author could write an immersive isekai. I really just wonder why we have to have both at once.
When all's said and done, this is an enjoyable read. The flesh of this story is very good, with some capable writing and nice scene-setting. Some real effort has been made to humanise the MC, and the native races and characters have thus far allowed for some fun interactions. I don't think this story is as streamlined or consistent as can be, but I do think that it's thoroughly entertaining, and that the author shows some real flourish in the execution.
Good solid story if you like some action, adventure, magic, and dungeons. For me, all I can say is that I'm tired of xianxias and since such novels as this have much more "real" character personalities, they are less predictable and the power scale is not as insane I like them more. The only minus is that the author updates too slow, I don't expect insane update speed as LORG has but it should have 3-4 of chapters of current quality per week.
To preface this review, I’m not usually one to read isekai or xuxia, but I do read fantasy, and this is an interesting entry into that genre. Overall, it’s an enjoyable read, and it’s getting better by the day. The author, Restitutorororbis, gets better by the day and takes constructive criticism extremely well. Not to mention, he’s quite active and has posted quite a lot of work in a short period of time.
For me, the style is a bit harder to get into. Personally I do prefer a 1st person perspective, however, that would do a disservice to this story which is all about the world rather than the character specifically. I think that the biggest piece of criticism that I can say in concerns to style would be a few scenes where there’s more telling than showing going on. That being said, however, Restitutorororbis is working very quickly to fix those errors.
The story itself is quite classic in terms of isekai, but it’s helped along by a novel seeming progression and PVP possibilities. The different locales that the main character Saul visits are interesting and as I said before, the story of the world is the biggest draw of this novel.
On the other hand, the place where I think that this novel could be better is with the characters. Our main character Saul is a bit on the generic side, however, as the story progresses he does develop more of a character so that is a big positive. My advice there is just to let the world-building wash over you instead.
And finally, the grammar is more or less pristine, although I’m not necessarily one to ask about that (lol) but overall there was almost no errors that I noticed, and if I did they didn’t get in the way of my enjoyment or understanding.
Overall, I'd say if you're a fan of the genres then give this a read!
So, Right off the gate.
This story has promises. The MC is a curious young man who plays things straight from
a DND book, which I guess what you are going for. But that is why I felt that the MC is a bit plain. He is more reactionary than active.
The side characters are actually more interesting.
Worldbuilding wise, it is very fitting and makes you want to find out more as you put more details into the world.
I like how the MC has a lizard for a pet.
Also, no superfluous names that seemed as if you pluck it out from random words! That's already a plus in my view.
If I had to give a feedback.
It's better if you separate action and thoughts into different paragraphs or give the thoughts an italic
For the paragraphs, there are run on sentences and a long line that made one breathless when reading it.
I think it's nicer if you can cut the long paragraphs to two so it eases the reader in reading.
But I won't put it in my review. It's just style choices.
Other than that, an A rank Job.