The Gamer Magician
Synopsis: When he fails to become an apprentice for the Mages Union, Nico Kanazawa must push the limits of his magical abilities. But can he establish a place of power before the magical forces of the city devour him?
Does not contain: Harem, Post-apocalypse, Portal Fantasy
Does contain: GameLit elements, Progession, Spell Analysis, Urban Fantasy
Outspan Foster is the author of staples in the GameLit+LitRPG genres such as First Song and The Crafter. He started his career on royal road, and is now a small, full-time author.
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It's good .. but it has a significant Achilles' heel: The premise of the story is built on the strongest organisation on in the world being absolutely incomprihensibly incompetent and working directly against it's own success. This makes absolutely no sense.
The style and presentation is good, and there appears to be some character development going on. But with the core premise so contrived I'm not sure if the plot will back it up in the long run.
I've only read a couple chapters, but it is so poorly thought out that I've just moved on.
The testing scenario and failure make no sense at all and follow 0 logic, I could write a whole short story on how little sense that whole thing makes, then the magic society thinks the MC is a murderer, do they question him or arrest him? No they put him on a list and just let him walk around for 30 days, the MC comes upon a damsel in distress who he promptly saves and then is attacked because of the perfect timing of the girls protector. The girl shockingly turns out to be the daughter of the most powerful mage in the city, who apparently loves his daughter very much but left her completely helpless against things as weak haunts and thus she needed the miraculous saving by the extremely under powered MC. Then the MC inexplicably starts suffering from a condition only scene once every 200 years or so and the damsel in distress's father just happens to be one of the few who could recognize it, and the only one willing to help him. and look! He also has a special flower he's been growing, which he thought was a failure, but it's perfect for curing the MC's extremely obscure and rare condition.
Some of these things could maybe make sense with more information later in the book, but but with how illogical all this is already, im out. And that's why I gave it two stars, I'm barely into it and all these issues have popped up, this is no where near publish ready.
This story has WAY too much going on, constantly. The MC blunders into creating 2 new problems for himself and having 2 new and extraordinary things happen to him every single chapter. In ways that seem unbelievable and forced.
The story doesn't make sense, my suspension of disbelief is shattered, and you need to slow the heck down. If I'm still focusing on how the MC needs to afford rent, you don't suddenly have someone call him to tell him his parents are kidnapped, THEN have someone tell him he's framed for four murders, and THEN have him save the mayor's daughter; all in the same chapter.
Yes, the above is a realistic comparison of the pace of this story. It's bonkers. And not in the fun way.
Author said they were dealing with stuff in their lives, so that's what I'll attribute the mistakes to. There are loads of minor grammatical errors and poorly thought out sentences, and it seems like it could have been avoided if it had received a once-over.
The story has potential, as it's still in its early chapters, but there's a lack of foreshadowing, of placing a chekhov's gun here or there, or even explaining why things happen. It's an unfortunate case of lacking continuity.
On a personal note, there was a scene which made me groan for the next few chapters, where an explosive pillar of fire (which had already taken a life because it spread too fast) takes literal, paradoxical seconds to conflagrate the air in the direction if our MC. In these literal seconds, an instructor (and decidedly more powerful/experient a mage than our MC), with his instant, non-somatic casting, couldn't stop the flames because he wasn't fast enough, but the MC had time to cancel his long a cumbersome casting, bend down and DRAW SYMBOLS with a sharpie on what is assumed to be a large inscription, restart his spell, make an ice wall visibly crawl over to intercept the flames from earlier, and still be done in record time before the instructor could act.
As someone who is regrettably used to rushing deadlines, this is exactly how the novel feels to me: the "F***-It Button" was hit, and the story was rushed to meet said deadline. It's like there's only a vague endgame planned, and the author is trudging through the story...
The magic system is cool, and the writing style flows well enough to read.
Now that we've gotten the good out of the way, let's get to why this novel is 2.5 stars.
Firstly, major logical discrepancies in the world building.
Apparently we have a modern world, where magic has been mainstream for at least a few hundred years. But we also have magic societies keeping secrets and tight control of information. Umm what? That's not how modern society works, like at all. You can't have a modern, enlightened society AND an open magic society/system without the two interacting. People have computers, phones, etc and yet magic is still being practiced with blood and noone has ever thought to make a 'arrayscript' program to help modify the CODIFIED way magic works? Yeah right...
Next, failing the Magic Union Exam. Apparently we have to believe that our MC was failed because he should have been able to 'do his own magic and have the power to defend his comrades at the same time, despite the full mage failing to do so, and also said comrade (who somehow passed?) ALSO failing to do fuck all with regards to not dying, only alive because the MC decided to somehow alter his own spell matrix and cast another spell... in the time it took a fireball to travel a few metres... hmm, but anyway why wouldnt the other mage also have been failed for failing to defend himself? Well, no reason other than for our own MC to suffer and move the plot along! No, it doesn't make sense, but the author doesn't care about that because instead have...
A SHITTY HAREM.
Yeah this story is a LitRPG. The author has published some of those litrpgs on amazon. It has 'Gamer' in the title. What were you expecting? A story? Nah, if course its all just a shitty harem simulator for the author to work out his sexual urges. Fucking hell, I've had enough of this shitty trope infecting litrpgs. Nothing more needs to be said about this. Its the kind of thing I expect out of a teenagers fantasies, not a book which is going to be published on Amazon.
Next, master Fu, and Mister Arif. Once the MC is inevitably turned on by the largest organisation in the world (can it REALLY be called. LitRPG if the MC isn't in a David vs goliath fight from the start?) his friend Master Fu offers to LITERALLY solve all his problems and take him as an apprentice. Letting him practice magic safely, KEEP his magic, and also share secrets and make him into a fucking demigod with unlimited magic. Of course, our MC has to refuse because 'muh freedumb' or some other shitty non-reason like that. Instead a chapter later he takes a whole paragraph just to consider a much much worse offer to lose all his magic and join a Faith Hold instead, while internally thanking the stranger in front of him for offering to solve all his problems and being amazed at the generosity and that ANYONE would help him. Like what? The fuck? Did you already forget about Fu? IT'S ONLY BEEN ONE CHAPTER YOU SHITHEAD MC.
So of course, instead of accepting Fus offer he gets tangled with his harem member's family. Some kind of mafia thing which will definitely help him keep his freedom and magic intact. At this point I couldn't read any more of this drivel.
I hope no one's wastes money buying this on amazon, when instead you could sit on the toilet, close your eyes, and jerk one out with your own imagination, because is nothing more than a wankfest.
With a mad mix of traditional magic, rune lore and rpg system The Gamer Magician brings together murder mystery with a zero to hero flair.
Merging classical aspects of a number of favourite genres the story creates a fun and easy to understand tale.
Our MC finds himself framed for a crime he didn't commit, when all he wants to do is understand magic. Deprived of his life's goal and on the run he must absolve himself of the charges, while he pursues his destiny.
Magic is explained with easy to understand runelore and logic, but at times the fusion of different magic styles happens very fast, making it hard to keep track.
Characters and power interactions are similarily well explained, if at times a bit rushed.
Overall the story is one which I greatly enjoyed, but I would advise the author to slow down a little bit. There's no rush. Make the most of character interactions, instead of so much focus on the magic.
So, while it might need a bit of touching up it is a good story with great potential. I hope to read it again when it's finished.
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I really enjoyed this book. The magic system and the way the MC interacts with it is really detailed and interesting.
My only sticking point (and the author explicitly states its a rough draft, so taking that in to account) is that I wish there was a little more world building early on. The MC gets in trouble with "the law" but who "the law" is and why its such a big deal is not really explained very well. I kept thinking to myself "why doesn't he just leave town?"
I'll start with the good parts. This story's best feature is the fast pacing. The tension in the story never goes slack, keeping the protaganist focused on solving the problems that keep piling up. The writing style is clear and the magic system is reasonably interesting. A minor issue with the magic is that there are weak limits as to how it works, only that it takes more power to do more and the need to write down magic formulas. This is an issue though because the of main character's ability to modify and create magic spells on the fly is his 'thing'. It ends up being that the solution he has for most problems is to make a new spell just for that situation. It just feels like a little deus ex machina even if it relies on the main characters own skill. Characters are decent, nothing special. A lot of side characters come and go quickly without much time to get to know them. Grammar has a few errors, mostly missing spaces or letters, still very readable. I like the setting and wish we get to see more of the world and how magic has changed the world compared to our own. The part I disliked the most was the first chapter. Perhaps it was on purpose, but the examination seemed to be designed to pass as few applicants as possible. It bafles me why the mage association would try to cripple itself.
Its good but it is an honest to goodness rough draft.
To the author:
Please establish early on that Nico is a genius, it was confusing to have him poorly educated but also the smartest person anywhere.
World building early on would help with immersion. Things like the levels of mage hood. Major schools or holds of magic etc.
Also I think my favorite part is the history and diversity of ethnicity that people pull from to create their magic. Its what makes this story really unique in my mind and anything you could do to invest and embellish on that I think would serve you and your audience well.
I like the premise quite a bit. Always been a fan of magic as a science, and litrpg's, so combining them makes me happy.
I enjoy the style quite a bit. It really flows well, I see where things came from, and where they might go. I can sense the authors voice, without it over powering the meat of the book. It's good.
Story is great so far. It's just intriguing enough to get my interest, the things that happen are believable, and it's slowly expanding in an interesting and engaging direction. There's twists and turns, but never unbelievable or out of nowhere. Things are set up and payed off, it's not just a misery train the entire time, the characters make choices to progress the plot rather than being dragged unwillingly into things over and over (which is my BIGGEST pet peeve). I'm very pleased with how the plot has progressed and I'm looking forward to how it will continue.
The characters are also great so far. They all have clear characterizations, motivations, etc. It's great reading about everyone, and I find myself really invested in everyone's journey. I sympathize with the main character, I actually REMEMBER every character you've introduced even for only a split second simply because they weren't generic joe that only exists for half a second and isn't important. Even the villains are intriguing to me this early, which is very rare.
Grammar is good most of the time, except for random typos where words are combined, or missing. It does interupt the flow, but this is only a 1st draft so I'm not docking as hard as I would normally. Plus I really liked the typo of combining He and Nico to get Heico. I don't know why, it just made me laugh.