What happens when a man gets transported into a foreign world filled with magic?
Will his knowledge in hardware technology help him out after he discovers its correlation to the words of power?
How will he fit in with the other noble houses as the lowly 4th son?
How will his story play out in a world where skills and stats equal power and status?
First time trying to write a LitRPG, so problems might arise x3
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I like the idea enough to be near halfway through it.
However the grammar and style structure is a grind.
The issue is both tenses, expanded sentences and a ton of tell not show per sentence. I don't mean long sentences either, but use of lots of trivial articles and in between words that are unnecessary. I adore well crafted, byzantine, labyrinthine, twisty, turny, branching and looping and exploratory great soaring diving wondering sentences of arcane and insane depth and complexity - just attempt to make every word count.
E.g. Roland continued, his grinding stone and sandpaper were used.
Maybe? He used then grindstone and sandpaper to complete his task.
Another: On the next day, he managed to get done with polishing and it was time to attach a wooden handle.
Maybe? Next day, after completing the polishing, he began work on the handle. He outlined the shape needed on two blocks of wood using the replica as a guide, carved these out and attached them to the sword with rivets.
OK, so my rushed phone typed edits are not so hot but my point is, every paragraph has this.
Why am I writing so much for this review?
I like the world building, I like the premise of the character and I laughed at the funny trope of the isakai truck scene.
Part of me feels this is the kind of story that with a serious, dedicated and thorough edit of just the sentence tense style and structure, could be a wonderful tale to put into a series on Amazon kindle etc.
Oh alright, I know this site is often just enthusiasts just throwing their stuff up because they love doing it and I love it and them for it.
I've had a great time reading royal road stories and one of my friends now has her own tale on here and patreon because of how I see it.
So, if my critique helps the author at all, then great.
Now everyone else can rightfully point out that not a scrap of my own writing exists on here at time of this review.
Aye and I know.
I don't trust myself to stick to a schedule and finish stuff!
Also, I can craft some sentences, even make up shit on the hoof but building a world and solid plot? Yeah... I'll try it sometime and you can judge.
Overall, I find Runesmith very compelling. It digs into crafting and magic and their actual mechanics in a depth that I've not seen before, and does this through a hero who is intelligent and driven rather than omnisciently capable. I also appreciate the (at least for me) unexpected connections drawn between
the main character's career as an computer specialist and the runic magic he uses in the story.
This take on magic really pulled me into the story and kept me reading it as the chapters went on.
Unfortunately, the storytelling is poorly done, with a disappointing lack of sentence variation and emotion. This detracts from immersion in the story and the characters as a whole and takes away some from the interesting mechanical background mentioned above--it's harder to appreciate the complexity and depth of information about magic when the style is so stilted.
The grammar is similarly lacking, inconsistent verb tense and dropped commas abound. Generally, the errors are not too glaring, but they do detract from the story.
The story, on the other hand, is engaging and enjoyable. The concepts are not unique but they are well used, and the hero is relatable and fairly believable. I've read through all the current chapters (up to 115 at time of writing) and I look forward to reading more.
First up my rating style:
1 Star - this is poor/really bad
2 Stars - below average
3 Stars - average
4 Stars - enjoyable/good execution
5 Stars - amazing/zero flaws
EDIT after catching up to chapter 128:
So because I really enjoyed the premise I kept reading and I have to say I do enjoy it a lot more again. Obviously, there are still the same issues with the story, especially in between chapters 60-95 or so. For a more in-depth analysis read the "OLD" part of the review.
Firstly, not every new female character that gets introduced has a huge bust, though some of the females still appear somewhat shallow, it is a good improvement.
Grammar is better in my opinion though I am not an authority on the matter.
The style is something I still struggle with somewhat. From time to time the story/pacing is just all over the place. I would really appreciate it if the author could indicate time skips through "---------" or some other form.
I still really like the story, sadly the inconsistency mentioned below will keep it at the current rating.
I will increase the rating for the last 20 chapters to around 4.25 which would result in a 3.75 for the whole story. Though be aware that there is a pretty big speed bumb in the middle.
It really hurts me to give this story such a bad overall rating, especially since the story is quite nice and without any issues, in the other areas, I would have gladly given it a 4.5 overall score. Heck, I would have done that, if there wasn't once issue.
Inconsistency is the issue for me. One of the best examples of this is world-building. Generally it is really good and interesting but it just doesn't hold up to scrutiny at all.
"Roland wanted to remind Bernir about dropping the honorifics but then he remembered. He was actually about double the age of this young man, so acting as his master wouldn’t be that out of the ordinary."
This is our PoV protagonist and he is talking to someone younger than him that wants to be his apprentice.
The character is around 16-17 years old. This means that "this young man" is firstly a child/boy with around 8 years. Ok this is borderline acceptable within the world building.
What is not acceptable however is that the MC got his first class at a super young age of 10 (super young in this world). It costs 2 small gold coins to manage that (around 2000$) but also has his second class. A total level of 45. The MC has a noble background while the boy is from a village and seems to have a poorer background. We also learn that most get awakened at the age of 15-16...
Issues like that appear sadly all to frequently.
Style is sadly only acceptable as well. Many people here in the ratings complain about "show don't tell" not being upheld. This is in my opinion not a good critique, as "info dumps" are not necessarily bad, if well done.
The infodumps used on the story overall are not bad though. What most people probably don't like, is that the same info is dumped on you multiple times, sometimes even in the same chapter just a few paragraphs between.
The rest of the style of writing is good though, so I think that with some improvements and editing this could very well reach 4-5 Stars.
Something I personally don't like but will not take any stars away is that the switching of PoVs is fluid. As in you can't see by scrolling through the text were one PoV ends and the next begins.
Characters are harder to rate, as the protagonist likes to do his own thing primarily.
I would like to give a higher rating, and I would have if I was rating this story at around chapter 30. A few of the characters introduced are bad, like they were actually really stupid and their bad character traits were way over the top.
The MC overall is alright. The primary issue I have with the character is that the stat intelligence actually increases someone's intelligence or at least comprehesion and thinking speed. Despite having said stat fairly high he sometimes lacks the ability to make smart decisions - even when there is no time pressure.
The Grammar is hard to rate for me, as my grammar is not great either.
However sometimes the sentence structure is difficult to read, and I would be willing to bet that if all the grammatical errors were cleared up, that many of the reviews would be more positive towards the story.
The big plus point in my opinion is the story the system is fairly well designed and I will not go into any spoilers here, but especially the class up system is really nice.
The exploration of the world is done well too and I generally enjoyed the described events.
For everyone that is looking for a purely action based story, you are wrong here. If you are interested in a combination of action/adventure/slice of life. This is a solid choice story wise.
Personally I think many of the fight scenes are too long, but I am sure most would disagree here with me.
The primary reasons I deducted half a star here is because the inconsistencies also take away from the enjoyablity of the story.
Lastly, I would prefer it, if all of the skills the MC gets are listed, as if they are not it feels almost like plot armor if we suddenly here of a newly gained skill. This would also be great after timeskips to see the progression we missed.
PS: Kuropon, I know it can be hard to read such dishartening/negative reviews, but I am willing to change my rating to the better if the issues are adressed. And overall the story is good. If you feel that some of my points are unjust feel free to send me a direct message here and I will try to elaborate.
I'm honestly not completely sure what I think about this story. On the one hand, I want to keep reading it because I do like the story. On the other hand, the focus points of the author seem to be a mismatch to what I enjoy reading and some of the writing just doesn't seem to work out. Nevertheless, the story is certainly entertaining, as after 100+ chapters I'm still reading it, even if it isn't the best one out there.
The style of the story is quite nice with a few glaring issues. The setting is nice and decently thought out. The world does feel alive, and is mostly internally consistent with itself. There are no major glaring plotholes, and there does seem to be a reason for most things.
The writing style on the other hand does have some issues. I can't tell how many times I've found out something after it has come up. For example a small piece about taming that stood out around chapter 90: "Roland was kind of familiar with this process due to him spending some time adventuring now." This is however the first time it has come up in the story, and as far as I can remember there wasn't even a hint of it earlier. It does make sense that this is possible in this setting, but it's simply inserted into the story after it has come up. This happens with all kind of things, including abilities that the author has that the reader is never told about until it's a convenient time to bring up.
The story is pretty nice. Instead of the more traditional slice-of-life kind of story that crafting stories usually seem to follow, the author is opting for a much faster paced story with many and large timeskips. The advantage of this is that the MC is always up to something new and progressing. However, not all these timeskips are nicely placed. Often there are a few chapters going towards a goal, and the resolution itself is just skipped over in time with one or two sentences saying something to the goal of: "Having managed the crucial part, the rest was easy. The MC is now over here doing something else to continue the story". This is not just with crafting things, but also with interactions between various characters, which leaves you feeling unsatisfied at time.
It's quite rare that I notice grammar issues in a story. Mostly I just read over them and aren't bugged by them too much as long as there aren't too many of them. There aren't too many sentences that throw me into a loop here, but there is one word that the author has been beating to death and I can't help but see and get annoyed by it every time (which is multiple times per chapter): "There was a certain version of the golem", "noticed that a certain part was", "a certain warm fuzzy feeling".
I do find the main character interesting to follow. There are definitely some moment where you wonder why they are doing something the way they are, but overall he seems fairly reasonable and relatable. He is a very introverted to the point of locking himself away from others for months, so don't expect too many interactions with others. The other characters in the story all have personality, and I do quite enjoy reading about them. Not all of them get an equal amount of exposition, so a few of them seem to fall into a trope, but I don't always find this a bad thing, and it seems to work her.
I really like the world the author has created. Its differences to our own are are reflected in the plot and the attitudes of the characters, other than the main (presumably from our world). There is some interesting creativity in the reflection of scrolls and runes to circuitry and programming. I want to see how these ideas are used. Furthermore, the story is a fair balance between action and crafting, which is probably difficult to pull off.
Most of the characters have complexity, or if undeveloped, there are suggestions of development to come. A few are common tropes, but I don't think it detracts much, and serves more as a shorthand for the reader.
However, the writing could do with a great deal of editing and refinement. When in action or conversation it's generally fine, but exposition is poor. A certain person somehow does something in a certain place far too often. That's exaggerated, but it doesn't only happen from the perspective of a character, which would be more understandable. The phrasing also appears for the omniscient narrator (not personified). Sentences are not infrequently repetitive or oddly constructed, with no obvious grammar or spell check run.
These stylistic and mechanical problems really detract from what could be an interesting story. I was interested enough to read to the current point, and maybe even to check out more of it later. However, without an editor there is much better content available.
The novel started out fine, but just becomes tedious to read after some time.
A lot of the chapters towards the end feel like they could've been combined together and nothing of significance would have been lost.
There are character interactions, which feel significant at the time you are reading the interaction but then are not as soon as the story moves on to something else.
First of all, I must say I do enjoy the story - I wouldn't have read it to this day otherwise.
The worldbuilding is good, the story keeps moving on interesting ways.
But I must point out the flaws and things that have been bugging me for a good while in hopes of helping the author mature. Those would be writing style, choice of words and pacing.
The descriptions of the MC's thought processes... suck. It's often passive and it's somewhat boring. Unfortunately, they are very common. It seems to create distance between the reader and the MC when it should do exactly the opposite. People repeat it for a reason: more showing, less telling. The dialogue feels a bit wooden because of that as well - you tell everything beforehand and then... it's no fun.
I've gotta question some of the choices about when to focus on something and when to skip ahead. Specially from chapter to chapter, it's often changing wildly from the last time we saw the MC. It's a valuable tool in a story, but I feel it's very overused here, messing up the pacing constantly.
Everyone has some favorite words, I get that, I do too. But please, stop with the 'youth'. Whenever I see a new chapter, I think - ah, it's the youth story. Make an effort to vary your choice of words! It'll be worth it.
Hope I haven't come out too harsh, but I admit it's frustrating having something with so much potential, but so rocky to read.
The world building is done very well. The author doesn't info dump a huge amount of seemingly random info. The main character has zero character building. He doesn't change his mentality or the thought propelling his actions once. He has made runesmithing his purpose of living and has become socially inept. It wouldn't surprise me if he just holds up in a cave and spend the rest of his life hammering away. Even side character are more interesting than him. He lacks any type of depth. He was afraid of become like his old life slaving infront of a computer but he put himself in the same position slaving while runesmithing. And there aren't any other characters that really matter in the grand scheme of things. If a character hasn't been mentioned in two chapters expect to never hear from them. Could be so much better if the MC progressed emotionally in any type of way.
This is an okay story.
Grammer wise the story is well written and easy to read. No weird sentence atructures that give you a headache to look at.
The characters are decently rounded, but could have a bit more depth to them. Warning, even at over a hundred chapters in and the mc definately qualifing as a badass, he's a wimp. Very little in his life goes his way and he constantly gives in to the demands of others.
The story flow is decent and doesn't fell contrived in the situations that come up.
Now for the style score. It stinks. The author has a bad case of explainanitis. Start reading in the middle and soon you'll have a pretty good idea of what has happened from the constant reexplaining of what has happened. And it doesn't stop there. Every few chapters the chapter will start likenyou have no idea who the mc is or what he was doing or planning to do. It certainly feels like the author doesn't expect us to remember what literally just happened.
Final conclusion, read only if you are prepared to slog you way through the painful repetitions and in depth world building side notes. This could easily be so much better.
Ignore chapter reviewed at, I'm actually at 102 on their patreon which I'm dropping after this month.
It is with a heavy heart I write this review. This story started off well but has since been getting worse and worse as time goes on. It has an interesting system of classes and level and a good origin story. Even had some good crafting segments. But as time has gone on the story and characters have gotten more and more ridiculous and unbelievable, and not in the good way. As of late each chapter is just drawing out the arc more and more for no good reason, with the characters making stupid unrealistic decisions, and the same points being reiterated over and over without adding anything new to the story. And with this the grammar has started to deteriorate as well. Overall its the type of drop in quality of content that is a sign of a books demise. Would not recommend reading it as it is now as you will be more and more disappointed the more you read it. Sad really, as like I said, it had a good start. It could have gone the distance but I have a feeling its gonna crash and burn soon enough.
Extra words to meet minimum word count.