Solomon's Crucible

by jacobk

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore

Book one is now available on Amazon!

On the day the System came to Earth, Solomon Gragg had to cut off his own hand. Then things got rough.

The arrival of the System disabled all modern technology in an instant. It exposed humanity to alien life forms for the first time. Society will never be the same after we discovered just how little we knew about the true inner workings of the universe.

Solomon just wants to kill all the invaders trying to take what’s his.

This is a litrpg story. Chapters will be between 1000 and 1200 words each. This story updates six days a week at 1700 EST. 

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
1. A Beautiful Day ago
2. A Helpful Tutorial ago
3. An Intuitive System Interface ago
4. A Straightforward Escape ago
5. A Brief Journey ago
6. A New Friend ago
7. An Informative Conversation ago
8. A Completed Tutorial ago
9. A Chosen Path ago
10. A Shopping Trip ago
11. A Warm Welcome ago
12. An Exciting Workout ago
13. A Short Flight ago
14. A Stuck Landing ago
15. A Woodland Stroll ago
16. A Completed Circuit ago
17. A Brief Respite ago
18. A Bit of Monkey Business ago
19. An Aggressive Negotiation ago
20. A New Challenge ago
21. A Simple Plan ago
22. A Leap of Faith ago
23. A Fall to Earth ago
24. A Just Reward ago
25. A Fresh Experience ago
26. A Rolling Stone ago
27. A Quick Match ago
28. A Middling Fuse ago
29. A Fair Wager ago
30. A Decisive Battle ago
31. A Just Reward ago
32. A Frank Conversation ago
33. A Kind Word and ago
34. A Test Run ago
35. A Moment of Silence ago
36. A Cunning Plan ago
37. An Audible ago
38. A Confrontation ago
39. An Explosive Counterpoint ago
40. A Moment of Triumph ago
41. A Deep Breath ago
42. A Quick Talk ago
43. A Conclusion ago
44. A Broader Perspective ago
45. A Partnership ago
46. A Goal ago
47. A Lovely View ago
48. A Founding ago
49. The Journey Begins ago
50. The Party Forms ago
51. The First Contact (1) ago
52. The First Contact (2) ago
53. The First Contact (3) ago
54. The First Contact (4) ago
55. The Open Road ago
56. The Rest Stop (1) ago
57. The Rest Stop (2) ago
58. The Rest Stop (3) ago
59. The Rest Stop (4) ago
60. The Home Front (1) ago
61. The Home Front (2) ago
62. The Home Front (3) ago
63. The Entrance Exam (1) ago
64. The Entrance Exam (2) ago
65. The Survey Course ago
66. The Mandatory Lesson ago
67. The Group Discussion ago
68. The Extra Credit Assignment ago
69. The Evaluation (1) ago
70. The Evaluation (2) ago
71. The Extracurriculars (1) ago
72. The Extracurriculars (2) ago
73. The Extracurriculars (3) ago
74. The Exit Survey (1) ago
75. The Exit Survey (2) ago
76. The Aftermath ago
77. The Community (1) ago
78. The Community (2) ago
79. The Community (3) ago
80. The New Dungeon (1) ago
81. The New Dungeon (2) ago
82. The New Dungeon (3) ago
83. The New Dungeon (4) ago
84. The Adjustment Period ago
85. The Aerial Menace ago
86. The Aerial Menace (2) ago
87. The Aerial Menace (3) ago
88. Land, Air, and Sea ago
89. The Big Game (1) ago
90. The Big Game (2) ago
91. The New Perspective ago
92. The Distant Thunder ago
93. The Storm Arrives ago
94. The Unlawful Entry ago
95. The Prison ago
96. The Climb ago
97. The Breakout ago
98. The Descent ago
99. The Getaway ago
100. The Shot ago
101. The Chaser ago

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Protagonist with 1 arm able to do things that would be impossible with 2

Reviewed at: 48. A Founding

Our protagonist loses an arm, which is compensated by big advantages in the game system thing.

Except he is somehow never inconvenienced by not having an arm. He starts out with a boar spear (2H weapon), and uses it together with a shield. Then does it while climbing a tree, and throwing bombs in-between swings. It's never indicated, but the only way I would be able to make sense of the fights is if he has a prehensile dick.


Compromises quality for quantity

Reviewed at: 74. The Exit Survey (1)

This story puts out chapters every day to try to purposefully game the RR system. Which isn't inherently bad by itself. If one can write that much, by all means, release daily. But you can tell in the writing that quality is being tossed out the window in exchange.

The chapters are very short, while also somehow simultaneously managing to be bloated with unnecessary detail. If you take every 5 chapters, remove the purposeless clutter and combine them, you might get ONE decent chapter. If you pick the right chapters.

This story would benefit immensely from focusing on basic good writing methods instead of worrying about pumping out a bland and pointless chapter every day. 


Like eating packing peanuts...

Reviewed at: 50. The Party Forms

A masterclass in doing nothing. 50k words of story for 'book' one and we have seen a dungeon with a handful of fights and had a grand total of one day and one hour pass - 47 chapters in.

I'm sorry, but when you can look at an entire 20 chapter span of this and see a couple of fights and mostly filler I think you may have a problem. Props on keeping me reading without thinking about it for a couple weeks, but I'm thoroughly disappointed in myself for thinking something would change.


OK if you can suspend your disbelief

Reviewed at: 43. A Conclusion


Another addition to the system based genre, this time featuring a grid/point/skill tree levelling scheme. Nothing particularly remarkable about the writing style, either positively or negatively.

Spoiler for Chap 4: Spoiler

Overall, a good semi-mindless read if you enjoy the endorphin rush of levelling up and fights, that gets better about 30 chapters in. If you find yourself having difficulty with suspension of disbelief during the combat, drop it and move on because that aspect fails to improve. For me, the latter is a damning weakness; 2/5.

Zach Horsman

No sense mixed with extreme let-down

Reviewed at: 79. The Community (3)

The protagonist stars the story by losing his hand, which you'd think would inconvenience him sometimes, or that he'd complain, or.. something.. But none of that happens. He can still fight in melee range despite being at a very large disadvantage, even though he wasn't a fighter before the system. He started with a large lead, and is now wasting it, going door to door inviting people to join him in the forest, like a one-armed mormon. Every chapter is short, and the author could easily release 1 chapter per week, with them being longer and actually having some substance to them, but chooses to upload frequently, which, normally, would be awesome, but the chapters end before they begin, and fall flat, as nothing happens for real life days in a row, ending in disappointment nearly every time you see a new chapter. The grammar is well done, the characters could use a lot of work (they're passable as middle school work, but have no actual character, just a list of things that are already on display), and the pacing/chapter/page structure is horrific. It has some interesting ideas, but the protagonist went with the boring abilities, and we've not seen them put to use yet. I'll read it again in the future, but need to wait for at least 100 more chapters to come out, as that might last me a couple of hours.


The story has an interesting premise and setting. It is the kind of story that is nice to binge on. Unfortunately there isn't much behind the characters or the world that keeps you coming back to the story with every chapter. That might be subjective or not ~~!


Why did i dropped. Good grammar

Reviewed at: 61. The Home Front (2)

 The idea is good  and the grammar is good. There are no other characters developed rigth now and everything evolves around the main MC. 


The problem is the writer. The chapters are super short and inconsequential.  As an example, in chapter X, the MC enters a house and ask for a lemonade [end of the chapter] in chapter X+1, the MC drinks his lemonade and says that he will go to Z. [End of the chapter]. 


It is just ridiculous.  Dropped. 


Solomon’s Crucible walks a litRPG road less traveled by instituting the leveling system in our world, rather than having one or few character(s) transported into a world with a, or suddenly gained access to a videogame-like leveling system. This promising introduction gets some limelight in the first volume, but only deeper explored in the second volume, where Solomon travels to his hometown and sees how other people deal with the sudden imposition of and disruption by The System on their daily lives.

Speaking of, the system is a mix of prescritive and descriptive in that you gain experience and level by showing and proving proficiency (descriptive) in the relevant field, and thereby earning points that can be assigned to gain gradually more supernatural abilities (prescriptive). In other words, unless you get better at a task, you don’t actually level up that task and gain points from it. So no easy grinding by repeating repetitive and dull tasks ad nauseam until you hit the level cap.

Where Solomon’s Crucible falls short is engagement. While the situation is early on always dire, Solomon is alone in the wilderness and therefore without anyone to interact with. This isn’t necessarily bad, there are a great many man-vs-nature stories, but a lot of the reader’s time is spent in Solomon’s head, the couches there are made of wood, if you get my meaning. Later on Solomon does gain a comrade-in-arms and—possibly—friend, but too little time is spent on that part, in my opinion. The two interact by necessity and choice, but not by desire. A chapter or two where they don’t have to fight the next monster or similar and instead only interact with each other would have done wonders, in my opinion, in colouring the motivations of either/both for later events in the second volume.

Regarding grammar, spelling, and such there is no complaint. It’s not outstandingly pretty or such, but it does fit with my impression of Solomon’s blue-collar worker soul.

Hm… not to disparage blue-collar workers, this was only meant to point out how Solomon appears …uninspired and lacking in zest, though obviously not in his will to survive, what anyone who’s read the prologue (the tutorial to The System) can attest to.


not so much a story as it is a log of skill trees

Reviewed at: 34. A Test Run

theres hardly any story at all. its just about a guy that gains skills and gets upgrades. very boring. if your new to litrpg you might like it. but its more of the same. very average


You're not the first guy to wipe your ass

Reviewed at: 5. A Brief Journey

you don't get a special title. You don't get extra skills or gridpoints.

The system apocalypse has arrived and Earth is on a few hours of gracetimer. Now unlike most MCs in such a position our protagonist isn't getting an immediate advantage. He's not the first to kill a monster, he doesn't get a training time chamber in a dungeon, he doesn't even get a bonus for having to cripple himself to get out of a trap.

Meanwhile the grid based system seems to be a bit of a ripoff. The grace timer is incredibly short, and the protagonist needs to spend grid points to finish the tutorial and unlock basic system functions.

The story hasn't progressed much so far, but I'm pretty excited for this one. How will a hardass protagonist do who isn't immediately OP? How much of a hellscape will Earth actually become? What's the rest of humanity going to do?