[Full realm assimilation will be completed in a few million years give or take and then the Gates will stop appearing, use them while you can. The next War of the Gods is scheduled to start in about 15 billion years, practice hard until then.]
[See ya around!]
With that simple farewell, the world changed forever.
Kira Hawthorne was just another teenage girl until the day a 'god' told the world their 'realm' was getting assimilated since they lost some War no one on Earth even knew about.
A System is installed on the whim of a very old and capricious god, and one teenage girl embarks on a journey in a once familiar world turned foreign... And very hostile.
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Let's not beat around the bush on this one. (I worry the bush might hit back.) This story is good. I've needed a story like this for a bit now. So far it's been funny, cute, light-hearted, and plain good for the soul.
I skipped by this story quite a few times before I gave it a chance. I've tried to read a few stories with similar settings in the past. Magic has been introduced to the word! There's a 'system' now. What will people do? Until now, the stuff I've read in the genre has only disappointed me. I generally only managed to get through a few chapters because I just ended up bored. Maybe I just haven't stumbled on a good one until now, but in these stories, the characters haven't interested me, the settings felt like generic boring versions of our world with not a lot going on except a magical 'system' thrown in, and the writing just wasn't the greatest.
I suppose part of that is intentional. There's a bit of an audience for stories about boring characters with dull boring lives who somehow become interesting/awesome when magic gets thrown into the world. But that's not for me. It's not that hard to write interesting modern fiction imo, but these stories don't often care about that part, instead just focusing on the magic/system/litrpg aspect. I enjoy the gamelit genre, but personally, I need more to a story than well-thought-out bluescreens and talk of how the MC is gonna increase their stats. (And please gods, no more 'lone wolf' characters who basically never interact with other characters.) A problem I encountered with my most recent attempt at reading one of these stories was one that plenty of other stories fall into as well: telling rather than showing.
This story does none of this. It skips over the three-chapter-long examination of the status screen and the clumsy (and generally boring) learning how to fight and use skills and such. I've seen all that before, far too many times now, and the story is tons better for leaving that sort of thing out. In fact, the story cuts out a lot of the needless filler that so many stories of the genre fall prey to. It gets right to the meat of things (the actual story, for instance.) You can tell the author has put thought into what is important to put in the story and what bits can be left out. (I wish I could say the same about my reviews! =p) This leaves the story to be quite well polished, not loitering on needless info or filler, and giving a smooth enjoyable experience leaving me only wanting more and more.
Thus far, I've loved the characters of this story. They all have struggles they're dealing with. The main character, Kira, is cute, not because she is described as cute or because other characters say she is cute, but because of the things she does and the ways she interacts with people. There have been a few sad and serious moments already as of chapter 7, but mostly things have been light-hearted and have me more prone to chuckling than anything else. The author lets us in on quite a bit of information that Kira doesn't know, and we can tell she's going to land in quite a bit of trouble in the future. Or as one character put it: "This is gonna get messy."
The setting itself has ended up surprisingly very different from most stories in the genre. I really didn't expect it, but it was a very welcome surprise. I won't spoil how. You'll have to find out yourself. As of the seventh chapter, the plot is still coming together. We have an idea of who some of the antagonists might be, or at least who they're associated with, but whatever grand moves they're making is happening in the background. I'm eager to find out how things progress.
Do I need to say anything else here? I certainly don't think so. Give this story a try, even if you're like me and haven't liked similar stories. You'll just have to trust me that this one is different. As I said in the title, this story has really been medicine for the soul for me, and I really can't wait for more.
(Also, if you end up liking this, check out Kruos's other story Villainous. I read that one first and enjoyed it as well.)
Solid concept for a comedy story with the occasional hard left turn into black comedy, for the most part.
Then, abruptly, the author's attention wanders, or the coffee runs out or something, and for a chapter we're inundated with chapters that are blacker than pitch, played for hard melodrama, and perfectly spherical because that's the only way to create a shape that's 100% EDGE.
By no means a deal breaker (note the four stars) but there needs to be a bit of examination of what the author is actually going for to hammer this into something really great.
Or not, I guess. There's room for casual projects that people write just to vent ideas and the intro seems to imply this is one of them. Either way, be VERY strongly warned that any review using the word 'lighthearted' or the phrase 'balm for the soul' was posted pretty early in the story (like 5-6 chapters in, probably).
You know the anime story where the MC is a OP, silly, lovable goof with about two brain cells? But with friends who helps her along and she makes everything work out somehow? This is it in writing form and you'll either like it or not.
I don't, but don't mind me, plenty of people here will tell you it's the best thing written.
Pretty good story initially but after the first eight or so chapters everything slows down to overly dramatic dialogue. Feels like the author is trying to set the stage but getting too bogged down in the minutia, making the dialogue come across as "clunky". The way the author just slaps on a traumatic backstory onto the main character was not done well; currently everything just screams melodrama right now.
At this point, the story is mostly A Ragtag Group of Kids Have to Learn to Work Together to Defeat the Rich Kids in a School Wide Competition. While Political Stuff Happens in the Background. With some decent litrpg elements, and a MC whose main power is pointing out the blind spots of others. That makes for a story that I'd like to read.
However, I don't think that's what the author entirely wants to write. Not sure how to put this, so I'll just say people with significant trauma in their lives can end up repeating things over and over. The MC had been repeating things for an extraordinarily long time, and finally stopped, by her own actions. And now the world around her has completely changed, and she's trying to deal with that. The best such stories are inspiring; the not so great ones not so much.
Binged all night.
I'll let other reviewers do the detailed advanced thing.
I ̶w̶a̶n̶t̶ need more.
Nothing life changing. It's just passable. Not sure what all the rave reviews are for. It's not heart warming at all, just a light hearted story that some would find fun 2.5/5 because while it's ok, it's not amazing at all. It barely teeters on good. Lots of tropes and unimaginative story elements, characters are decent. the setup was very good though, but the real world is bland. Nothing really stands out. Every thing else is "just Ok"
This was frustrating. It's like fool's gold. The visuals are great, but it's disappointing inside. The author is great at designing the world and the characters, and describing them. Everything is very beautiful and creative, but the storyline and the character interactions let it down.
MC is a child with a troubled past. Hence, the world bends over backwards to accomodate her. Her luck stats are phenomenal... I mean, the first archmage she meets suffers from a magical OCD that compels him to help her and enrol her in his academy. *smh*
Still, academy arcs are overdone... but tolerable. My main gripe is with the presence of arrogant young masters (Elite student; demon twins) and faceslapping (MC accidentally breaks his fingers; makes their jaws drop during training while half asleep). Really, is this a bad xianxia in disguise?
And all this while she's supposed to be in hiding cause the 'evil' factions are after her for 'reasons'. Oh, and her sponsor puts her in the cliche Loser class while also giving her a gold scholarship. Not conspicuous at all. *Logic? What's that? Is it tasty?*
Oh, and did I mention the dragon-girl sidekick MC picked up on the way? The one who wants to protect and adopt MC cause her maternal insticnts are in flood... even though, according to the text, she's decades away from puberty. *sigh*
All in all, up to where I read, recommended for the worldbuilding and character designs (5 star dragonoid archmage, btw)... and a tepid response for everything else.
Okay, this story is just something special, its the kind of story i never knew i actually wanted to read before, but now that i have, i can say its absolutely one of my favorites now, especially with how well written it is and how enjoyable and relaxing it is to just read it all even if there are those depressing moments with the traumas of the MC's past.
And trust me, ignore the weird title for this story and especially dont drop the story because of the first chapter, that is just the prologue essentially and the true story starts after that, and its worth it! Also i highly recommend to just start reading the story right now instead of reading this review.
The idea of Earth being intregated in a larger system is of course not new at all, more like a common trope by now, but the way it is done here, makes quite a differnce, essentially everything of the Change and such is skipped in one go, the story starts in a world that has long since adapted to the new reality, a world where Kira finds herself in, with the memories of a time before the system still being fresh to her.
Ill be honest that this is the BEST example i have ever read of system apocalypse, and this story just does it by throwing out all the related tropes out of the window and paving its own way.
I have to say that i just LOVE Kira as a character, even beyond her childish nature and how she interacts with the world, which is just so enjoyable and heartwarming to see, but behind that hides something else, she didnt have it easy, first her childhood, where things happened that a child should never go through, which was a constant hell until she finally found a place in the world where she was accepted just as she was, instead of being Nobody and then learning that all of them along with the world went away like that, grinded by the ceaseless advance of Time. And this realization has hurt her hard, but despite this, she still goes on, to live her life to the fullest in this changed world, she will not back down from something given her past and thus is actually an rather strong character. She may appear quite clueless, though part of that is due to the communication issues that happen early on, i honestly hope she doenst lose her nature in a harsh way, she is just tooo sacred, even when angry.
Oh and to those saying she does not act like she is 14, she has been heavily traumatized multiple times in her life, of which the source is shown in the Repression chapter with her childhood trauma from having had a childhood without anyone to support her, parents that would not even support her or see her as an human being, with being bullied on top of that, until she finally found a place in the world with the Hawthornes. And theres also the additional trauma of losing her adopted family in such a harsh way, who were the ones to drag her out of the nightmare that was her childhood, all because she did not break out of the fog spell on the Gate until it was far toooo late. Those experiences, have really shaped and changed her, she still is a child, but one with severe traumas that can change the way someone acts.
The characterization in this story is real strong, and honestly one of its best points. And as said, Kira is the best example of that, and one of the best i ever seen among webfiction. This is also one of the very few times, if any that i have ever seen an author write about traumas and such, i understand why that generally does not happen, as it is real hard to write it accurately, if one does not have any knowledge about that topic.
I have questions about how the plot will develop from here on, there are big things moving in the background, to which Kira is luckily still oblivious to. I cant see the story staying in an academy like arc for a long time, im not sure if that would be good at all in the long term. But i have faith in the author that she will write it well. Especially given that it has avoided SO many of the general tropes that can drag down a story, it leaves all of those out, and actually goes on with the story instead of going forward in a slog.
Grammar is overall flawless, i dont think i have seen a single error, didnt stumble over any odd sentences or paragraphs either, so good job on that author!
The writing is just so good to read, it flows well throughout the story, aside from viewpoint switches, which feel abrupt at times, but beyond that i dont have any complaints with the style used for this story! The general tone of the story also fits, most of the time its just lighthearted, but at times, there are hints of big things bound to happen, all because of Kira, even when this story gets dark, it does it in a near seamless way and switches as easily back to the usual tone.
If theres one main complaint i have, it is that there are simply not enough chapters, and that thus my reading experience got interrupted by that! This is something i demand to be corrected fast! So get on with it!
(though honestly, dont rush yourself, since you have other stories going on at once, including your webcomic. Having more content would be welcome, but health and such comes first!)
If you are still reading this review, then stop now, go click the either the first chapter link, or the start reading button, do not hold off reading this story, its too good to not read.
Hell i would recommend it to about anyone, but especially those seeking for something new and different from those usual litrpg stories.
So, before we start; the title and first chapter mean pretty much nothing to the story. The character is very much a protagonist and an OP one at that. This is not the tale of a lowly NPC caught in the stories of others.
Not a big issue, though. That part, though an odd choice for the story's title, is short and never pretended later to be the focus of the story at all, so let us brush past it and not speak of this again.
Also something to brush past; proper English and though simple the story has a good enough plot to motivate the characters for the time being. Nothing exemplary yet, though the lack of seeing much of anything innovative or interesting in the worldbuilding yet has made me give it a low style score.
On to the meat of the review and the reason I almost but can't really recommend this tale for people. Yet, maybe in some more chapters it rebounds but for now I'd say nah.
The story itself started really good and cutesy. Though quickly becoming rather apparent that it has an OP protagonist, I still had fun imagining that people were seeing complex mathematical equations when they looked at her stats. And had I read it with the last two or three chapters not released I'd probably like it enough for a recommendation and the Character score to be a lot better. But the last few chapters added a more serious tone to the story, and it just clashed.
This is not about the topics, content or delivery of these darker themes themselves. They were just delivered rather poorly and with a stark contrast to the rest of the tale that didn't mix. A cutesy interaction with a dog girl, then Marty Sue levels of determination to keep training, and then the waterworks. All in a couple of chapters, and it just didn't mesh together rather than making the protagonist feel all over the place or even multiple characters with the same name. And during the depressing parts, she jumped out of it back to a more impulsive happy girl and back on occassion.
The character's mood swings were jarring rather than touching, and the descriptions too often fell flat because it painted an image that didn't match the character we knew or were blazed past too quickly. The quirky story with sneezing dragons, easily complimented automatrons and blushing doggos worked. But the moment it tried to be more serious, rather than staying in the less serious children's story that can forgive illogical character actions because it's a children's story, it fell apart.
I know that the author is writing cathardic about real-life experiences, so I'm not saying that the dark stuff is inaccurate or unrealistic. But unfortunately, it's not that well-written and drags the story down with it. I'd advice her to either tone it down or make it a lot more subtle, because that picture of the 1123 days was worth a thousand words and went perfectly with the story, but what came afterwards made me skip through the story not reading entire paragraphs due to boredom.
Oh, and maybe try to tone down the OPness a little. She can be OP with the things she earned by the, let's call it cryofreeze training arc, but every once in a while she's OP in the wrong way, like levelling 5 levels in a skill overnight or having pin-point precision with everything just cause skill.