The Menocht Loop
Additional tags: OP protagonist, character-focused
Ian Dunai entered a time loop filled with contagion and captives over three years ago. It turned him into a master of decemancy with domain over dead matter, but he still hasn't found a way to escape.
Little does he know, he's just been stuck on layer one.
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 Eldemari's Wrath, is in progress. (chapters 42 and on)
There is not yet romance written in this fiction between both books, but it is planned.
Constructive criticism welcome. Alternative synopses also welcome.
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This is a gem amidst the masses of content you can find on RoyalRoad. The premise is interesting, original in its own way. The worldbuilding is lovely; a new and exciting magitek world. It's also not LitRPG, which I find very refreshing. LitRPG can be done well, but it oftentimes becomes a crutch.
All in all I very much recommend this to anyone wanting to read about a strong protagonist that still has to face hurdles. 5/5
I don't remember when I last ever wrote a review but this story is one of the few that animated me to do so (and a glass of wine), and I've read quite a few. It's also one of my very few favorites now.
Grammar - Pretty good, don't remember seeing any mistakes.
Story - RPG-Style, Time Loop. It's refreshing to have a story where the MC doesn't need to have plot armor on every unlikely occasion. In other words he can die. Apart from this the story is multi-layered, pun intended, has a lot of different settings and themes, and is all around entertaining. Most of all I like believable and logical human behavior.
Style - I love how there is just about enough exposition to picture the surroundings but without drowning you in unnecessary details. It is a joy to read.
Character - It is a kind of Semi-Amnesic Hero. Due to the nature of this he is easily relatable and when we know more about him it doesn't change much. At this point in time he is quite over powered for his surroundings but not so much that he can't be killed. The balance is nicely hinted at. We get to see his past and parts of his way to power, riding on his coattails and wondering about the same questions as he does.
Stories like this remind me of why I keep coming back to this site.
An interesting premise that continues to develop and intrigue you as one mystery leads to another, you can tell that the author knows his shit. Well written with interesting characters that are multilayered and complex, I found the mc along with the other characters to be likable and kept thinking "just one more chapter", only to find myself caught up and craving more. :)
The only other fiction on this site that can compete is Mother or Learning IMO.
As for if it can beat it out for the #1 spot will really come down to the post loop arc of the story.
The Menocht Loop is a dazzling adventure with mysteries that suck you in.
Why was Ian chosen to loop? What will the people who put him there want from him when he escapes? And on.
Ians predicament is well portrayed, the fatigue and horrors of the loop wearing him down realistically, while he teters on the edge.
When he talks over the loop situation for the first time, his flawed actions/thinking are hightlighted--he is not some perfect man from his time in the loop, but broken. Still, he perseveres and does his best, which is what makes him so compelling.
That being said, he was cold in the initial chapters and lacking human warmth (though understandably so) but as the situation in the loop became something he could beat, he mellowed out somewhat. I was grateful for this, as it helped him retain his humanity and relatablility.
Ian is smart, too, deducing the purpose for layers of the loop on a logical, thought out manner, and thinking of what post loop life will bring. I liked how the loop also has layers for the purpose of teaching him different skills.
The world building is fleshed out and makes sense. We have a complex magic, political, school, and technological system.
The style of the story is straightforward, no purple prose of waxing poetical. It serves the story well with the constant reinterations. The pacing is fast, but you can keep up.
I like how the Death arts aren't taboo, or evil, or shunned. The ability is taken for want it is, and what makes the difference is what the user does with it. So we have butchers and exterminators using necromantic death arts. It's great.
I know the author gives a table in the first chapter with the magic system, but I will admit I was still confused about certain abilities at times but didn't want to reference back to it.
Something that the author pulled off well was putting the readership straight into the action of the loop, no slow lead up from the first iteration. This is the opposite of Mother of Learning's beginning. Both work, and each highlights different aspects of the story.
I really liked two particular charcters, who brought compassion to the story.
The prince who knows Ian is in a time loop because of his End abilities, and because he's been on himself.
The conversations the two had were heartwarming, because Ian had somebody to talk to who could so somewhat understand situation, and also, the prince said when Ian leaves the time loop to find him, that the could be friends.
And Ian's sisters indignation on his behalf was great. That he could have somebody so thourouhly in his corner was awesome. Especially since his Mom is nuts.
So far, this story is a real contender, and in some ways surpasses the famous Mother of Learning.
I do hope that similar to MOL's author, the author has the story's trajectory and ending thought out. Otherwise, this story will collapse on itself. But it seems like the author has sit planned, so far.
I used to use this site all the time back in the day. I read almost everything on here at one point but eventually I got older and pickier. Eventually, I gave up altogether, this fic has brought me back and given me hope. This was better than some of the published works I have read recently! I wish I could have a practitioner wipe my memory and TML all over again. If you are using this site but have not read this one yet, I worry about your mental condition. Please author.... Dont give up like all the others! This is far too good!
it is direct and the MC's actions to everything happening to him is logical. not that he is smart, although he is, but that his reactions and decisions, make sense, even his mistakes.
i've only read a handful on time loop stories, but this is an easy read without the hefty expositions as if the author is treating the readers that we already know what is happening. which is nice since it helps me not to break from my immersion. this is despite the so many in-world terminologies peppered in the narrative. although it has its downsides since not much an explanation was given on the lore of the world. still, the only times i break into reading is to ponder on the mystery, and how the new information would factor in from his past experiences.
okay so i might be reading too much in the story, but here is my impression of the story.
i like how the story started in the middle. mainly because it drops us off in the center of the mystery and desperation of the character. it was clearly shown that he is already numb but never apathetic. despite how much he has suffered and killed in the loop, still, the first chapter and scene shown to the readers is him acting in kindness. and that was like wow. i really like that. it sets the tone of the story and character early on. someone who has grown strong but in a very narrow and linear way would definitely be twisted and so to be saved by his one act of kindness is a great game changer and a nice foundation for him to question his strength and its purpose in the great scheme of things. he is very self-aware of what he would do with his OPness, with so many points where he felt he is no longer human.
i know there are some readers that don't like the low-risk challenges, but i think those are just great and very wholesome. since it covers aspects that he is not comfortable with and were ignored due to him being focus driven on the early layers, and so this gives him a more believable range of personality that we could believe in. although there are times when the stakes for each layer was not the focal point or the priority of the story arcs which made me feel that the resolution was a bit anticlimatic, especially those where violence was the solution. i guess if that was the point author wanted to get across, then good job!
my favorite has always been the semester arc mostly, because it's a great parallel of how new graduates feel, and what he is experiencing. basically, it's like how on one hand how we have universities feel like its own society (low risk), and him graduating and finding job and place in the hierarchy of society would be stressful. and in MC's case, its the dilation loop (no-consequence), and him getting out of it and finding his purpose and a JOB (if there would be one with his credentials) in the society.
it's adulting 101 but with an OP character, who really really needs therapy and be rehabilitate to be welcomed back in a society that'll definitely see him as a tool, when he is struggling to be human himself. ahhh the parallels are too sweet!
the author mentioned about the coronavirus. and i agree. one of my coping is just surrounding myself with stories, so it's nice to read a protagonist trying desperately to deal with his new normal. so really thank you.
so excited about the chapters. kudos author!
There are those who know how to do loops and those who don't. This author knows. It is well-written, the pace is great and the different scenarios elaborate.
I only had a single difficulty reading and that would be the many words created for the story: locations, systems etc...But you get used to it soon enough.
More than worth reading. More than worth expecting the next chapters.
Thank you for the story.
Not much to say besides that. This story has everything: great characters, great story, insane world building, and it is consistently good across all chapters. The Menocht loop is a classic in the making.
I don't usually comment here, but this is a great story with a clear voice