- Traumatising content
Some disasters can only be avoided if you know they’re coming, and even then, sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.
On Karell, you are either blessed by the gods, granted a unique power and the ability to gain experience and levels, or you are forgotten. Micah Silver was a boy picked for greatness. Chosen by the gods to bear a mythic power, he longed to take his place amongst the heroes and legends he grew up reading about.
Unfortunately his primary blessing only allows him to travel into the past by sacrificing his class, wealth, and levels. Even if Micah's unwilling, fate has a way of forcing you to take up your destiny, possibly at the cost of everything. Over and over again.
-Cover Art by Monomus-
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This story definitely has potential, but its main hook-- the ability to travel back in time, is also the story's greatest weakness.
The protagonist Micah can travel back in time 5 years using the gift he's been given while retaining his skills and memories, attaining strength he shouldn't at the time while also moving to prevent future events he's aware of.
The catch is that he can only use the ability once every 5 years, the time in-between jumps being used to strengthen himself for the next one.
I can get behind this, as it gives a realistic timeline to justify skill growth. You won't find any anime-protagonists mastering abilities in mere days here. Micah needs to spend literal years to grow and refine his talents, and I appreciate that.
The problem I have is that this completely ruins the pacing. Falling into the usual fallacy of instant gratification common to LitRPGs, months to years can pass in-between chapters to justify an increase of numbers on a blue screen. Character relationships develop completely off-camera, leaving future events that should be heartbreaking as stale and shallow.
There's this one character-- Jo, who actually enters into a relationship with Micah. They get together at the end of chapter 8, but by chapter 9 six months have already passed in the story and they've already broken up. We have absolutely no incentive to care about their relationship, as we were never there to see it.
As a result, Jo's death in chapter 9 completely lacks any impact a character like her could've had.
There's another scene in chapter 16 where Micah meets Jo again, only this time as strangers as a result of his choices in this timeline. He parts with her sadly with the words "I feel in a different life we could have been friends.”-- a line that should've completely broken our hearts, but the scene once again falls flat due to how we don't really know or care about Jo at all.
Similar problems rise up in regards to 'convenient plot devices to further growth'.
In chapter 12, Micah goes out to find the lair of a 'Dire Stoat', a monster that he had apparently encountered with a friend in the previous timeline. The problem is once again that this happened off screen. Micah and his friends never fight the adult version of the monster in the distinctive environment its found in, or at least we never see it, so there is no "Wait, this is the lair of the Dire Stoat!" epiphany moment for us readers to have as Micah takes advantage of its younger and weaker state in the new timeline to help jumpstart his growth.
This doesn't bode well for future developments, as it means the author can just throw in whatever convenient plot device he needs with no explanation other than "this happened in the old timeline even if you didn't see it."
If the author can slow the story down a bit to focus on development outside of the numbers, meaning the characters, their relationships, the world, etc. Making full use of the many timelines this story is permitted to have, I feel like this story would be much better.
EDIT: I've stuck with the series for a few more chapters since my initial review, and unfortunately none of the problems I've adressed above have been fixed.
The pacing still sucks. Characters are introduced-- like Bart, Micah's supposed "best-friend" during his time at the academy, and are subsequently killed one or two chapters later to a stale and flat development that I feel nothing towards since there was no build-up for it.
Convenient plot devices are randomly brought in-- Micah discovers a secret door in a dungeon that apparently can only be accessed by challenging it alone and several levels below its intended... level. Bringing him new knowledge on daemon summoning and time magic, despite the fact there was absolutely no foreshadowing at all that this was possible before.
And the black and white, two-dimensional to the point of almost being comical, 'rich people are bad and everyone else is good' dichotomy to how characters are written is far too shallow for my tastes.
Though the grammar is still pretty good, I'll at least give it that.
Unfortunately, I think I'm going to have to drop this. I might check up on it again in a few months to see if anything has changed, but I'm done for now.
A reasonably good Groundhog day story of trying to save the main character's family, this book is mostly let down by reitterated threats without consequences. Almost every other chapter has some segment that goes like this:
"Ah if I mess up this ritual even slightly or some variable not under my control is wrong, because fuck me, I will die!" - Proceeds to fuck up ritual slightly - "Ah I see the ritual disolving, let me try to maintain/diffuse it." - Ritual succeeds or harelessly dissipates - "Ah I have succeeded/dispearsed the ritual. Time to do the thing I wanted/try again immediately and then do the thing I wanted."
The first arc was great, the second was good until he succeeded the ritual where he should have died from fucking it up and the third kinda feels like an isekai despite him being a native to this world. It's weird.
The major issue with making stakes that require perfection is that your main character then can't fail without cheapening the stakes. Groundhog day stories generally get around that by allowing a Return By Death scenario. That is explicitly not allowed in this world. All "I must do this thing to proceed" plot points are simple waiting games for the reader to see when he will charge his limit break meter and push through this current hurdle.
The story is fun, but there are more immediately enjoyable works with internally consistent logic on this site to spend any more time on it. I hope it gets better and I believe CoCop can find their footing, but I likely won't be back to see it.
I really wanted to like this story a lot more than I did, the basic premise is rather interesting. The main character has the ability to return to his body at a point in time 5 years ago. This allows him to increase his skills so his do over is more successful.
The main issue with the story is the blistering pace and the lack of any real character development. The story likes to employ lare time skips, and as a result you are told things happen rather than seeing and experiencing the event.
When Micah joins his first adventuring team you are introduced to some of the first side characters, Muscle guy, bitch girl, foppish guy and bland girl. They do have names but that is the extent of the personality you are able to see before they become irrelevant to the plot.
A prime example of this is Micah dates bland girl (Jo). The story etablishes they are dating at the end of one chapter then in the first paragrah of the very next chapter we find out that there has been a time skip and they broke up.
We then see that the ex-girlfriend dies within another chapter, the author tries to yug at you heart strings but it feels forced and undesereved. Micah repeatedly states about how great and outgoing she was as a person, but we the reader get to see none of that.
I think I will give this story another few chapters in case it gets better, because as I say i want to like it, but its biggest problem is its pacing and bland characters.
(This gets a little ranty)
The concept of the story is very interesting to explore. There many directions the story could take. Unfortunately the execution of some parts of the story left much to be desired(mainly in the pacing, characters and some of the aspects of the world building)
One of the aspects of the story that I think is holding the story down is the pacing. Months pass in between paragraphs where character development that should be happening over various chapters get summarised in two or three paragraphs as something that happened off screen with this sometimes being used to explain away things that have never been mentioned when it’s convent to the plot(all tell, no show). This gives little reason to care about the characters or anything that happens to them(that would usually be impactful if set up right but mostly feels empty and lacks impact).
sometimes things happen or mentioned offhandedly without (much if at all)any sort of explanation or setup.
(This exsaple is a minor example)
Near the start of his first rewind, he goes and gets the materials he need to create an item to give himself a class(he has to train in secret otherwise he will rise suspension at that time). Later he sneaks out the house to do the ritual, only to mention that he spiked his family’s food with sleeping drugs so he could sneak out easier.
This comes out of nowhere and is just glossed over and never explained. Where did he (as a 14 year old at the time) get sleeping drugs? Did he buy them? Who would let a kid buy drugs?(there are underage drinking laws in this society so drugs should be out of the question). Did he make them himself? It’s never mentioned that he had the skills to do so or why(not even a ‘I learnt this off screen when I was dungeoneering’)
There’s also the fact that he’s suddenly ok with drugging his family cuz it might be a bit convent(which comes off as overkill anyway). He doesn’t even seem fazed by doing this, no moral conflict at over doing this.
It can bring up more questions than answers (and not in an good way)
Another example that I haven’t seen people mention is how the other races in this world are introduced/mentioned in the story.
Thoughout most of the story at this point(chapter 23 when writing this) the only two that were mentioned to existed where humans and the durgh (the totally not-orc race). It is never mentioned or even alluded to there being other races in the world apart from the two already mentioned.
Then suddenly, in chapter 22, as the mc’s brother comes out, suddenly mentions elves. It comes out of nowhere and raised more questions, as the way he mentions them would suggest that some would have to live or travel to their home city for the reason for them being mentioned to make sense in contexts. It comes off as out of nowhere and is jarring as it opens up more questions than anwsers(and not in a good way)
What frustrates me more is that this could easily be avoided with a paragraph at best. An exsample would be to allude to there being other races without mentioning their name, a good time to mention this would be when the subject of the durgh comes up, something on the lines of “compared to the other races, the durgh ...” as it would set the expectations for other races without having to go into too much detail (so when their eventually mentioned it won’t feel out of no where). And/Or (at least in the elves case)have them mentuned earlier in the story in a more organic way.
The writing style is ok I guess, but the writing tends to lack much if any descriptions of areas or people to set the scene or to create atmosphere(most detail and explaining goes to the LitRPG elements ,but outside of that it’s rare). We barely get to what characters even look like 90% of the time( I wouldn’t be bothered that much by it if the other issues did didn’t amplify this one) , so on top of the rushed pacing and weak character development, these characters aren’t that memorable or interesting for me to care about them.
All of this makes writing come off as the author being too impatient and wanting to get to plot point A to B with little time in between, without slowing down the story a bit to build up the plot and characters to get an impactful payoff.
I really hope the author slows down a little so we can grow to care for the character and what happens to them.
TLDR: the pacing is too fast so other stuff like character development and world building take a huge hit, making it hard to get invested in anything half the time out side of how op the mc gonna get (too much telling, not enough showing).
TL;DR: If your looking for a time travel story, look elsewhere. Time travel here is essentially just skips for a power up.
Recommendation: Skip it.
Similar stories: Mother of Learning obviously. If you want a time travel power fantasy with more thought put into it try The Menocht Loop.
Release schedule: Two 2k word chapters per week.
Interesting concept let down by poor execution. The idea of having a typical LITRPG world but where the main character can go back in time but loses his class and levels in an intriguing idea. The immediate assumption that comes to my mind is that you would think that the main character would almost always be at a severe power disadvantage and would have to leverage his knowledge to succeed. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Time travel is used here to essentially “time-skip” through power ups for the main character. Instead of being relatively the same power each loop, as you would expect from having to give up your class and levels, the main character is orders of magnitude more powerful each time due to being able to select rarer classes each loop and learning rituals that completely bypass level requirements. Most of the story also skips to the points where he learns these with no buildup, creating pacing problems.
This combined with the fact that the main character hasn’t meaningfully interacted with people or events from past loops (seriously, he goes off into the woods) means that for all practical purposes time travel isn’t relevant to the story beyond letting him know his town is going to be attack and that there are few people he can’t trust.
The story starts out great with an interesting world and characters that you can emphatize with. Unfortunately it slowly deteriorates as the story become more focused on the MCs growth in strength rather than interactions with others. In the latest chapters, he has not really interacted with any other character and has not bonded to anyone. I know that time travels story kind of make it hard for the MC to interact and build relationships with others, but it's a bit dry to just read about skill leveling. Every reset feels like... a blank slate with only very weak connection to the previous iterations. It makes it a bit hard to keep invested.
I also feel like there are too many skips in time, were months of potential character development are condensed into a few lines, as other have mentioned in much more detail. This is just me agreeing that this is a weakness of the story.
I like this story after reading 24 chapters, I do — it has a great hook, but I don’t feel invested in any of the characters. Sometimes I read a name, like Brendon, and think “who the hell was this, again?”
There are so many timeskips that leave me feeling discontent when it’s suddenly 8 months later than the last chapter, and the MC is randomly talking, or not talking, about things that you never read about but really wanted to. Some details are given for these off-screen moments, but it’s lukewarm at best, feeling like “by the way, this thing happened...” and it’s usually something semi-important to character development, or would otherwise have been an interesting point of the story. It’s just left forgotten.
I don’t feel any attachment or emotion for the characters. This story should envoke a lot of emotions with the harsh realities that make the MC’s use of his blessing necessary, but I can’t care because I haven’t been made to care. Maybe it’s the writing style of the author, but I don’t feel any impact from the grim scenes in the story. This is where the story really fell flat for me. I feel the the author has an end goal in mind for the MC, but hasn’t taken the time to make the story great with real character interactions and details. In a story like this, the journey is more important than the destination.
Grammar is okay, but it’s missing commas in quite a places per chapter. A few other errors, but it’s not much.
This story has the potential for greatness. The technical details like grammar and word choice are well done. The dialogue sounds spoken. Characters have somewhat unique voices.
But, once we get beyond the superficial we immediately run into its flaws. The "bad guys" are the nobility. And they are both comicly evil and incredibly dumb. They constantly antagonize the main character while providing him with the tools of power. And it's not subtle. They (spoilers!!!) constantly threaten the main character, force him to kill and drink the blood of his only friend, hold his family hostage and of course publicly kill the unpowered Resistance figure in a way that makes him incredibly sympathetic.
I won't go into the reasons that these are all incredibly stupid decisions; and that doesn't even begin to discuss the actual setting, where the misuse of the blessed as resources is criminally incompetent.
Blessed Time is a "grim-derp" young adult fiction. It is a power fantasy with no nuance, fairly hollow characters, but some potential. I do not recommend reading it unless you enjoy that genre.
Well this is one of the best fantasy stories I've read on RR. It's a gentle LitRPG, with things like stats and affinities taken into consideration but it's not as super game-y as others can be. Magic and being blessed by gods is important though, and our MC gets to go out of his way to pick.
And he gets a very interesting blessing. Once every 5 years he can go back in time by 5 years, keep his knowledge and skills, but lose his levels.
Where I am in the story now he's still grumpy that this isn't something he can do much with, but I'm betting that a lot of things happen very soon. Over and over again...
Grammar is wonderful, no mistakes. Flow of the story is great, desciptions and backstory woven in without overcrowding, and bringing a good lived in feel to the world.
Wonderful story- if you like fantasy, litrpgs, special characters, time-loops, anything vaguely similar: read it.
The Style is great, the writing flows well and is easy to read while maintaining a great level of detail. It's just fun to read.
The story is good so far, only 1 loop has happened by the point I'm at, so I can't comment more on it, considering the character knows about the time loops and has had years to think about it they still seem disturbingly naieve about it, making choices for immediate benefit and just sort of going with the flow afterward rather than holding to any sort of plan or method.
The grammar is great, not much more to say on that.
The characters are this story's greatest weakness in my opinion. The main character is... Childish, generally, and a bit of a flop. He just rolls along with whatever other characters do, passively, and seem to surrender any agency he has the moment he isn't alone. It's a shame, but it's something which I expect to change eventually when he loops more often.
The biggest problem is the side characters, and specifically the author's decision to morality system which feels like it came from a child. Let me sketch it out for you:
Poor and weak = good.
Rich and strong = bad.
That's it. No motivations, or character agency, or circumstances, or choices, or even differences in opinion. Any weak or poor characters are good, virtuous people who if they make a mistake or take drugs are simply doing it because they are so damn downtrodden.
And any nobles, or rich and powerful adventurers, or royalty are evil bastards who hate the gods and practice evil magic, and sacrifice children, and they're, like SUPER evil and mean all the time. Yuck!
Its like I'm reading a children's book, honestly. Could the author just not be bothered to come up with some kind of 'wants this, so s/he does this' system for each side character? It's a joke that this story has been getting 5/5 from everyone else on character.
So far it's the 'only' weakness of the story but it's such a big damn weakness. The enemies are literally just 'stupid evil' times 100. It's so damn lazy I can't believe it. Its like what's the laziest DM for a game of DnD would do, 'uhh, the local lord likes to do human sacrifices because.... Uhh, he's evil and thought he could get away with it? Yeah that sounds right.'.
Edit: Author seems to be reporting reviews which are critical of his work (I had to resubmit this...) and the 'top review' was released as soon as the story came out with 5/5 and of course, a reciprocated 5/5 review from this author to their story.... Well at least there's an icon to show off these exchanged reviews...