The Menocht Loop
Ian Dunai thought he was powerless.
He’s not alone: only a small percent of the population have high enough affinities to perform magic. But in the eyes of his father’s gifted family, Ian’s impotence is a disgrace—and the stain of his mother’s common blood.
But on one fateful day, Ian awakens not in his college dorm but in the middle of the ocean on an old dinghy. Reaching land is the least of his problems as he encounters risen skeletons, tortured captives, and a shoreside city in the throes of contagion.
Ian doesn’t last very long without magic. But death isn’t the end: Ian wakes back up on the dinghy and relives the day again...and again...and again.
As Ian investigates the purpose of the loop and a way to escape, he begins to realize that he might be more powerful than anyone—especially himself—ever imagined.
Release schedule: Tues-Thurs-Sat releases (3 chapters/week) at 11:30 am EST.
Book 1, The Menocht Loop, is complete at ~100k words (~370 pages; chapters 1-41).
Book 2, The False Ascendant, is complete at ~110k words (chapters 42-83)
Book 3, The Eldemari's Wrath, is complete at ~145k words (chapters 84-143)
Book 4, The Samsara Crucible, is ongoing (chapters 144 and on).
Constructive criticism welcome.
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At it's core, 'The Menocht Loop' is a character study.
Recommended for readers who like:
- Character development
- Stories exploring psychology
- Time loops
- Overpowered Protagonist (Note: Very little action though)
Not recommened for:
- Levelling up
- Battle Junkies
- Worldbuilding (Note: Interesting world but not explored well)
- Refined writing
On the other hand, whilst it is a good fiction on the whole, reviewers from Caerulex's other fiction Apex Predator, and readers from the recently finished Mother of Learning who are looking for more time loops have drastically overhyped this story. Whilst it is has been Good enough to keep me reading, I would be hesistant to suggest that it is Great and I feel as though people looking for advice in the reviews should be aware of that going in to avoid betrayed feelings.
We as an audience are given too much information of what is happening outside of the Time Loop which largely ruins much suspense of the main characters situation. There are not too many but all but one of them could be considered if/when the protagonist escapes the loop.
When these do occur, they are hamfisted into a chapter with seemingly little regard for placement. There is a chapter where the first quarter is in the protagonists perspective and the you get the rest of the chapter as the alternate perspective. This kind of poor written arrangement happens often and its one of the reasons I binged the series. It is hard to follow sometimes. Not because of any complex time mechanics; because of very few points of closure.
(If this was intentionally designed to put us in the mindset of someone who can't get a break from the loop, it could be considered great, but it is almost definitely not as it comes at the cost of the quality of the work.)
The story does a decent job at doing this naturally but there are certain glaring things missing. I have no real idea of the technological level or appearance of the surroundings until particular scenes later on. It appears as though the setting could be similar to modern Earth but on a different planet but there is no solid confirmation. The modern aspects seem to have things related to magic but theres no real confirmation and we have very few views into how society functions.
Additionally if you do choose to read, Jupiter is not the planet. It is the name of a city. And should have definitely have been made much clearer.
Despite my earlier acclaim for the character writing, there are definitely times when the protagonist's character is inconsistent. Which makes me believe that some good parts of it are unintentional and might be from me reading too much into things.
The protagonist does tend to retract into themselves quite a bit and block off outward emotion. This combined with how other characters are portrayed due to the time loop leads to a bit of a disconnect towards the beginning but little tidbits from the beginning have made the characters incredibly interesting and rich as the story has progressed.
This is another area where I felt the outside exposition has detracted from the story as it introduced characters in a way that, whilst thought provoking, wasn't necessary.
- Intrigue & Mystery
Final point is on intrigue. As I stated in the beginning, at its core, this is a character study. You won't find the same kinds of intrigue that you would have read in Mother of Learning in this time loop novel. There is a level of mystery that struggles to survive admists all the extra information given by the expositional perspectives but that is most of what you will be getting in this story. The intrigue is largely situational and short-lived.
It is the bane of writing a character who is overpowered. There are limitations on the protagonists ability which help create more challenges but solutions to them are largely handed to them and there is little capable of causing resistance in the challenges the protagonist faces due to their situation.
What little exists though is written well, it is a shame this aspect wasn't given more room to shine. I think its reduced place in the story could be considered a boon though as it places focus on the character development without as many distractions a intrigue heavy plot would provide.
As a final note:
Do not read the comments on chapters because the author has put so many spoilers about future plot. Like I'm up to the most recent chapter and I already have parts spoiled for me. No joy is to be gained from reading them.
I enjoyed the loop and the mcs interactions within the loop, but after it ended I had a really hard time staying interested in what was going on. Maybe it was just me but the world didn't feel compelling at all and the new characters introduced after the time loop (actually almost every character) felt unininspired to me. Dropping at chapter 61.
Like, really, most addictive substances are illegal, so why isn't this one?! I never was one for time loop stories, but this one had me hooked immediately. On to the review:
Style & Grammar Scores
Both the style and grammar of this story are amazing. The author is clearly more than fluent in English, to the point where I'm not bogged down reading the same words or phrases repeated over and over again.
I'm giving this 4.5 stars instead of 5, not because of any deficiency on the author's part, but rather because the story is still just beginning, in all honesty. If I was just judging the main character, I'd give it a 5. However, since we have recently been introduced to the 2nd MC (and some seemingly important side characters), I plan on waiting a little longer to see how their characters develop before editing the character score further.
So far the story is absolutely amazing. We know that there is a reason Ian entered the loop, though we still don't know what that reason is. I was tempted to give the story 4.5 stars, but decided against it, for the same reason that I didn't give the character score 5 stars. The story so far is amazing, and has yet to leave me dissapointed. However, if you aren't willing to wait and deal with the suspense of finding out the "why" behind the events of the Menocht Loop (which I imagine occurs is Book 2), then perhaps this story isn't for you.
This book/series is so brilliantly thought out, I love everything that the author has done. I started reading it originally because I was intrigued by the time loop plot and was only drawn in further by everything else that the author added in. As much as I love time loops such as MoL where we can see constant progression of the MC, I'm always left longing when they neglect to show how the MC handles life outside of the loop. Caerulex starts us off at the end of the loop and gives us the MC's experiences dealing with the aftermath of it. 10/10 overall.
The style of the book is phenomenal, mainly told from the MC's POV, and the few POV changes that we have throughout the books feel natural and give the world a much more rounded feeling as we see the effects the MC has on the world through someone else's eyes. 10/10
The story is also incredible, the world building and pacing allowed for a complete immersion into it. 9/10
The grammar was great, I never noticed any faults with the authors writing. 10/10
The main character is such an interesting and fleshed out person, and the internal struggles that he has both within and outside of the time loop do such a great job of showing that he's not some unfalliable hero, and that he has just as much issues to deal with as the next character. 9/10
A very well written begining that has instantly hooked me in with an intriuging system of magic that i can't wait to find out about. Hopefully this will be able to develope into a new favourite of mine now that mother of learnings finished. :)
Five cookies, awesome work highly edited and with kickass powers!
Grammar is superb, with basically zero errors. Obviously, caerulex has invested time in proofreading the make sure the reading experience is top notch!
Caerulex has created an interesting take on the typical (if you can call them that) time loop scenario.
Well written and with enough description of the environment that you can really place yourself in the characters shoes. The arcs fit together nicely with little ‘down time’ as some call it. Pacing is great.
We meet Ian, the MC, near the end of his looping time where he has already gained significant power, at the cost of much of his empathy for the rest of humanity.
This definitely makes for a interesting character development as Ian struggles to connect the real world with his time spent in the loop. I’d love to see him become a bit more open with his emotions as the story develops but to date his still very much stuck in his shell so to speak.
The story has a unique system of magic and a really interesting take of the standard elemental powers you typically see.
Highly recommended story with regular updates. Give this a go folks!
This one is hard not to recommend. The time loop is interesting and very well executed. The MC is OP but the reasoning for that is pretty good.Character execution is also top-notch ,and interactions are not just one dimensional. It is, in fact similar in quality and feel to Mother of Learning(btw another great fic) but the magic and world are wildly different and still very well organised with affinities and all ,and it feels really well balanced.
We have here a College kid trapped in a time-loop who is searching for a way to get out of the loop. The technology setting is modern with magitech equivalent of our devices. The MC slowly evolves and learns more about the magic time loop(s) he is trapped in.
All in all an excellent read by a talented author.Recommended for time-loop fans and anyone who likes a decent fantasy read of an OP main lead
This story is on the better side of average, that is for sure. It isn't bad, but it isn't nearly as good as "Mother of Learning." Instead of getting sucked into this novel, I found myself becoming less invested the more I learned.
So the question I had to ask myself was, why?
The answer is that I don't like the main character, Ian, very much. Actually, I don't like any of the characters very much. I don't hate them, but they all disapoint.
While I love the author's style with the shifting point of view, that glimpse into the minds of the supporting characters fails to make them likable or interesting. In fact, it serves to make me wonder, "why are you such an idiot?"
This doesn't matter much in the time loop, because obviously the main character can't form meaningful relationships when the world resets every so often. But outside of the time loop, characters baffle me with their idiocy and their casual, unneccesary, cruelty. I mean, the Crowned Prince (a ruler of a country) risks war and spends billions to aquire Ian's services when he emerges from the time loop with incredible power.
But he has nothing for him to do!
Worse still, Ian isn't willing to do much either. He has no goal, no point, and that wouldn't matter if anyone else had a plan, but no one does! All he wants is to never be bound by an oath, but why though?
Did he never realise that contracts - whether mundane or magical - are simply a part of normal employment? Can he not see the obvious problems with having a walking nuke not have some kind of agreement with the government? Does he think that he is unique or does Ian realise that every single powerful practioner is in the same kind of situation?
Why is his mom such a consistent asshole? And his Aunt too, for that matter.
Why is the Crowned Prince such a complete idiot? How can he justify spending billions, altering his international policies, and making certain that in the future there will be a war with a larger and more powerful country, all for someone who refuses to do much beyond laze around his palace!?
It has become more and more distracting as the story has gone on, and I can only hope it improves in the future.
A great take on the time loop story, with in-depth character exploration! A well thought-out magic system and geo-political interaction too!
the story is well written and structured, with a concice plot with a strong, focused progression. Though there are nice breaks that help give depth to the world around them.
the grammar is impeccable, if there have been errors I have either ignored it or missed it entirely. So well done Author!
I truly enjoy the way the story is written, being observatory from one persons point of view, with different points of view being presented to further enrich the story as we go along, and to give a different view of the protagonist.
——- quick recap of the books, might contain obvious spoilers for new readers! ——
The story itself follows Ian, our stuck-in-time-loop average joe who awakens his potential to the Dark Artes, wielding the powers of the dead and the bodily constituens in order to escape the loop - and in return grow evermore powerful as he continually fails. Until he doesn’t, and gets out. Or so he thought - there were more than one layer to the loop!
The second book entails his his escape from that damned loop, only to put him en ever more danger as his powers went above any expectations! Having reached the peak of his potential, Ian has startet to Ascend! The fate of a continent lies in his hands, and the surest way to save it is to put Ian to eternal rest! Due to a fateful meeting in the Loop, Ian gains a powerful friend and alt in the real world, and to help this friend, Ian dets forth to conquer the Fassari Tournament!
The third book is about Ians soon to be Ascension, and the people trying to stop it from happening. Terrible war, horrifying creations, and powerful practioneers are abound. The Wrath of the Eldemari is rapidly approaching!
The fourth book covers Ians Ascension to the Eternal, wonders waiting in lure, hidden truth yet uncovered!
So overall I would encourage people to give it a read, it is a wonderful story!
All Hail the Penguin Empire!
This is a take on a popular genre that manages to detach itself from most stereotypical tropes while it simultaneously explores different approaches to character, worldbuilding, etc. A particular blend of mostly soft magic systems with a tinge of hard that encompasses new schools of magic (they differ from most traditional ones in terms of nomenclature and interpretation). Somehow the world feels like a mixture between the modern age with a "victorian" period.
A great read that will entrance you!