“At this point, humanity has already lost control over its own destiny.”
If even a normal college student like Jayce could say such a thing, then things were obviously pretty bad. In Jayce’s case, by the time he understood this truth, he had already been enslaved by another race and put to work as the subordinate of a noble’s daughter. There, he was given a chance to reflect on a conundrum. Which felt worse? Being summoned to another world as someone else’s gacha prize, or learning that in this world, humans were nothing more than C-Rank trash.
Follow one young man’s journey as he struggles from pitiful slavery to reach heights he never could have imagined.
Chapters every Wednesday & Saturday.
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Generally I'm not a huge fan of dark, survivalist, litrpg stories, but this one is pretty interesting. The main character starts off as a slave for Mize, the scion of a powerful alien clan, forced to fight in a battle royale alongside her. The initial part of the story (first 15 chapters or so) is mostly focused on fighting in the dungeon, with little opportunity for character development or worldbuilding. After that, there is a major turning point in the story where the main character is freed from slavery and gets transported to a random location. With his newfound freedom, he's able to meet some interesting characters and explore the world he finds himself in.
Overall, I think the characters feel realistic. I think Mize's cold indifference and pragmatic attitude is a good reflection of her upbringing and alien culture. I think Marin is probably the most interesting character we've seen. In her interactions with the MC, she's shown to be practical but not unkind. There's also some mystery to her background as she is ostracized by the village for some unknown reason. The main character is generally rational and already has short term and long term goals for what he want to acheive, but is somewhat more 2D than the major side characters. Hopefully, we'll see some more development as he continues to explore the world and meet new people.
One of the other reviews criticizes the MC's interaction with a god, but I disagree with their assessment that the MC is arrogant. The god had made it clear that no matter what the MC did, he would never be able to escape a life of servitude. Everything we've observed about the alien clan and their level of technology and power suggests this to be true. So the MC doesn't really have much to lose by arguing with the god to convince him to remove his slave brand. Following Brandan Sanderson, I think it's acceptable for a fanstasy MC to have exactly one special power/ability or moment of luck. That should be the impetus for why they are the MC and how they're able to change the status quo.
My main criticism so far is that some of the scenarios feel a bit contrived. For instance, in the battle royale between the siblings, it's never made clear why they have to summon slaves from the lower worlds to fight alongside them. Ultimately, it just adds an element of randomness and it doesn't really make much sense in my eyes. You could wave it away as a constraint imposed by the Nexus, but it still hurts the realism of the setting.
My hope is that the MC doesn't lose his grasp on human morals. While it's interesting to explore a character like Mize whose culture dictates that slaves are just tools, regardless of their sentience, I would rather not see the MC buy into some grimdark worldview (I mean, slaveowners in Earth's past probably felt similarly, but they're still in the wrong when it comes to contemporary morality).
So far, not much seems to have happened; the first fifteen chapters have the feeling of an extended prologue - setting up the premise for the rest of the story but not really feeling important beyond that. However, because of this the first chapter (Spirited Away) feels largly ineffectual, providing little information that will be important later (though i could be entirely wrong on this front). (4/5, it just needs some time to get going)
However, the characters and world(s) are interesting, from the Goldscale's culture to the systems that spread through the entirety of the Upper Bound, everything has its own personality, this really helps drive the story along. However it's too early to speak about the side characters as there's not been a massive amount of consistant interaction. (4.5/5)
It have yet to notice any grammatical issues, so kodos there. (5/5)
Overall it feels like it could be one of the big players on RR (5/5 overall)
Everything is good, the characters were realistic and with very well fleshed out personalities.
The story was unique and different from the usual generic things we get.
Not many grammar errors from what I saw and they are very small and easily fixable.
The premise is that this young man get transfered/spirited away in a higher dimension, if you want to call it that (UpperBound); while earth and many other lower level planets are in the LowerBound. He is not the first as this kind of 'transmigration' have started happening all over the world for some time.
He is basically summoned as the slave of a young girl with 2 other creatures (summons), but as a human, apart from his intelligence which is just average he has nothing and is just a weak C-level. (By the way, the MC already stopped being a slave by chp 15, so if you expected a new take on the MC being the slave of someone you are not getting it)
His master act exactly like a master would because in the end he is just a summon and nothing more, but there no cliché of being abused or anything like that. She is just uncaring.
(EDIT: The next part is a bit of a rant on chapter 14, the author saw the story wasn't conveyed the way he meant and has since changed it, so I suggest for you to go read until chapter 20 to decide if the novel is for you or not. This next part of the review is not correct anymore but I am still leaving it up for who wanted to know)
A really good story! then... chapter 14.
In that chapter they accidently meet a God and he explain some things (that tickled the MC off) and decided to give the MC a gift because he has never seen his kind of species before.
There, the author tried to make the MC seem 'brave' by making him standing up arrogantly in front of a God (that could easily kill him) and then said:
"What do you know about me? I am not like others!"
"I am a human!"
"You have never seen a human God!"
This was because the God said that, no matter what, even the lowerbound lifeforms that were able to trascend and become Gods were just weak and pathethic. Lifeforms from the lowerbound are just too weak and have a life order (potential/talent?) too insignificant compared to those of the upperbound and that difference is only going to increase more as they becoming stronger and advance.
Pulling the typical annoying agument about being 'special' and being a human is nosense to me. Humans are also not special at all, since they are just C-rank without any particularity, while some lowerbound creatures have the S-rank (this ranking is only for the lowebound tho, upperbound is at a whole different level) with intelligence being the same or even higher than humans. Humans are not intelligent, smart, creative or anything special compared to other lifeforms. So how could a human God be any different from other lowerbound that reached Godhood?, instead it would probably just be even weaker? Why would a human be special in any way when there are lifeforms smarter, stronger and just better overall.
This just seem like an unrealistic delusional rant from some kind of patriotic Human. Spouting the typical nosense like 'humans are not like others, they are special...' when in reality they are not. No matter from what side you see it, humans are just inferior and not special at all. (I am also saying this from the way the novel portrayed humans)
I dont like characters that tries to portray humans as more special than they are, as if they are some kind of special exceptions. When even in the novel they are portrayed as being just weak.
I prefer people who know what they are worth and fight to become stronger, without believing themself to be some kind of special person just because he is a human. But here we have a person that believe himself to be different even if he is the exact same as other weaker lifeforms (even weaker than them). The first step to becoming better is recognizing your weakness and not arrogantly saying that you are an exception from the others, because you are not.
Maybe it's just my preferences, but this kind of thing just destroy every realism and appreciation I have for the novel.
I judged this book by its cover for quite some time and avoided it bc of what I thought as tacky and childish cover art.
I'm very pleased to admit that once I actually started reading I discovered that this story absolutely deserves its place in trending and was a delightful read.
I most liked the gritty and determined personalities of the female cast as well as the oomph and determination show by the MC.
I most disliked the scene with the God in the dungeon. It felt forced, plot armorery, and generally not super well executed. Story immersion took a real hit there.
Thank you for a great story!
Soul Forging begins with a worldwide phenomena effecting earth. People, at random, are dematerializing and all that is left in their place are strings of numbers.
This happens to Jayce.
Don't let the first chapter dissuade you. It was a bit confusing, but it gets a looot better.
The world Jayce is summoned to is thought out, so nice job, author! We've got a society where clutch mates battle each other to the death, pitting themselves and their summons (Jayce and his fellow slaves) against each other. Once they survive (come on, they're the POV for a reason) I am really looking forward to seeing the greater world you've built.
Mize's morals and personality are distinctly inhuman, which is really well done. This is no romantic comedy. The stakes are real.
Jayce himself is puppeteered most of the time in the beginning. His emotions haven't been portrayed much, but the aforementioned makes it understandable.
With all this bleakness, Jayce still knows his survival hinges on Mize. And though Mize is not gentle, she isn't cruel for the sake of cruelty. She may not be human, but she's not totally inhumane.
Which means they could have a working relationship one day (?). We will see how things pan out.
Also, my respect on managing to keep this out of creepy relationships or weird sexual stuff territory (apart from that spot of it in the beginning--I might tone that down, actually). Like, there is none of that between Mize and Jayce, and as long as it's kept that way, you will have a reader that sticks with you. (Seriously, it is unnecessary to add. Please don't.)
So, really intriguing beginning, and I'm excited to see where you take this story.
Soul Forging explores what it'd really be like to live in a LitRPG/Xianxia where you're surrounded by people so much stronger than you they might as well be gods. A world where you life is no longer your own, where you have to dance in the palm of someone's hand, because they could crush by simply clenching their fist. The loss of control, the infuriating helplessness, the need to accommodate the whims of beings who don't see you as a person. And most importantly of all, how to resist. How to strike at every opportunity to recapture control of your own fate. To learn the importance of strength, and the lengths you'll go to get it.
Most of the elements you see here are familiar. Status screens, portal to another world, fighting monsters and cultivation inspired growth metrics. But I have to say that the societal implications of those systems are really fleshed out here through the character's own experiences so that those elements unfold in new and interesting ways. The character's past experiences and drive make his climb that much more satisfying....
Cheesy title aside, In honesty this fiction has left me somewhat satisfied.
In the beginning I was hesitant on whether I should read this or not, due to being turned off by some of the negative pointers other reviews gave... Tho, my experience reading this has made me realize that it wasn't as bad as I predicted it would be.
The writers descriptive ability would be average yet acceptable in my opinion. Tho, perhaps the descriptive scenes bearing gore should perhaps be worked on. It could be better.
One major good thing was that spelling wasn't a problem. *Shows Thumps up to*
The characters are good. Like, good in a sense that I might like some of them too much, cough. They seem to always stay in-character, not acting or spouting things which would be deemed unlike them.
Yet in the end, all i can say is this.
You now have a loyal reader. Keep up the good work.
The start is decently interesting but as the world is being built and the writer seems to become more comfortable, it becomes a very engaging story that I binged easily. Good MC, fairly unique and interesting setting and world, and a good story.
Enjoyable and well written story so far, thanks for sharing it.
Realisitic character motivations combined with good worldbuilding. MC starts enslaved in a bad place but it gets better. Non perspective character Mize has very strong personality traits and this is shown rather than told. I found overall characterization very good in the secondary characters, each having their own personalities, which is something stories like this often lack. Not so here!
I like the settings and plot progression. I want to read the rest of the story, but it isn't out yet. Have followed and favorited, would buy an edited book of this.