In Loki's Honor (season II)
- Sexual Content
- Traumatising content
Subtitle: I'm cursed to die 100 times.
WARNING: THIS IS NOT A SAFE SPACE.
Earth is in turmoil. Fiction of travel to other worlds through the use of magic take on airs of prophecy as youngsters all around the world disappear. Amidst this turmoil, one New Yorker is caught in a traffic accident and chosen by Loki to travel to another world. The god's offer was not a fair one.
But they came not as the Trickster's champion. Their purpose, a sinister one. One that will earn them the enmity of the world. A Heroic destiny is not in their future.
Their only ally is the impartial and pervasive System. Unable to be purged, they came to stay.
Thrown in a barbaric world where life is a dime a dozen, the intruder tries to survive and escape the wrath of the native deities. All the while burdened by divine curses imposed upon them by Loki.
The silver lining is that they can come back. Again and again. Only to restart the chase.
This fiction contains gore, sexual violence, torture, brutality, psychological and physical trauma, and no plot armor whatsoever. Portrayals of racism, misoginy, prejudice, and random violence will happen without warning. There won't be graphycal displays of smut or porn, however. That's important, somehow.
If any of the above can offend you or your sensibility, please don't read. The themes displayed are intended as criticism on why they are bad. The characters' reactions and opinions are their own and don't reflect the author's worldviews.
One more time: THIS IS NOT A SAFE SPACE.
Reader discretion is advised and required.
This work is not intended for people easily offended or minors. This is a non-commercial work and market viability is not a concern.
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At the time of writing: Of the top 8 reviews, 7 are Negative and almost ALL positive reviews have at least a 50% downvote rating.
HOWEVER, this story also has a 4.5 overall rating, has overwhelmingly positive reviews overall, and is the 5th most popular novel of this week!
This is arguably one of the most controversial Novels on Royal Road and while I personally enjoyed the novel, I can 100% understand why people wouldn't like it:
===WARNING STORY SPOILERS BELOW!!!===
The main character is Blessed to reincarnate into the same world every 300 years or so and he can accumulate skills throughout lifetimes. Any divine power used on him is sent to Loki.
To 'Balance' this blessing he gets Cursed with: Decrepitude, Feeblemind, Magicless, Magic Deficiency, Random Disability, Sterile, Technogibberish, Unskilled, Slow Learner, and Feminization.
Basically he can't raise his stats above 12, can't use Magic or MP, can't tell people about any Technology or his Curses, and always starts as a Sterile Disabled Girl.
Here are (some of) the controversial parts of this Novel:
- The story has no 'Plot' and no 'End Goal' the MC(Main Character) is just going to live for 1 to 10,000 years, and maybe get some happiness along the way.
- The author has straight up admitted he has NO-PLAN for how the story will progress and is MAKING IT UP AS HE GOES ALONG. This automatically kills the story for some people.
- It can definitely be argued the story has no 'true' stakes, as worst comes to worst the MC dies and the story simply goes on.
- Each 'Lifetime' is disconnected. Most of his actions in one lifetime don't make a large impact on his subsequent lifetimes.
- Lifetimes have WILDLY different themes and story genres. From survival, to city building, to base defending, to murder hobo, to less murdery prankstar, to moddy princess, to Hobbit. And while you like one Lifetime you might not like the others.
- I personaly did not like the 5th Lifetime (the Murder-Hobo/Assain one), I feel it draged on too long and everyone was too evil.
- I liked the survival lifetimes (1, 2, 3) and the 'heroic' lifetimes(4, 6, and 8).
- The supporting characters all serve a purpose but don't get any screen time or development outside their role in the MC's Lifetimes.
- I can't say I have gotten attached to any of the supporting characters shown so far. I've basically forgotten about all the ones from the MC's old Lifetimes.
- Rape, Slavery, Prostitution, Murder are all depicted here. While it always depicts these as bad things, I can see people looking at this and not liking the depictions either because the MC doesn't react enough or because of the events being depicted as 'normal' in a medieval fantasy world.
- The MC is the type to hypocritically care ONLY about the evil that is happening directly in front of him, this trope is disliked by many (including me)
- Moments where villains are extremely cruel or cartoonishly evil happen frequently, to the point it becomes unbelievable that all these characters could coexist within a civilization.
- This is one of the novels where there is a seemingly infinite supply of disposable goons and human stupidity.
- Disability is a constant topic, as one of the MC's curses garanties he is disabled at the start of every lifetime. The in-story solution is usually to get more Skills to circumvent or mitigate the issues. From my perspective as someone who is Autistic, I found the depiction respectful, with the disabilities each bringing their unique challenges that the author tried to think though and talk about.
- The MC is an intentionally flawed character who makes mistakes and those mistakes have consequences, oftentimes resulting in his own death or the death of others close to him.
- The MC gets a LOT OF SKILLS, like 40 to 100 in the first 20 chapters. Nether we the audience or the Character owning these skills can keep track of them. Most of these skills are never used.
- The MC is dam overpowered. And it doesn't REALLY make sense for him to be overpowered given his Curses. Yah, he has a lot of skills but his attributes are hard capped at 11 and all skills are capped at beginner rank. So how EXACTLY is he powerfull given most of his skills don't synergise?
- This is fundamentally a Path-to-Godhood Novel. Expect the MC to get powerful fairly quickly.
- The MC is cursed to be female for some reason... And I don't know why is that even considered a curse? It doesn't seem to add anything aside from keeping the 'Harem' tag off this isakki novel.
Here is why I LOVE this Novel:
- The CHAOTIC nature of it all keeps me guessing. Because literally noone knows where the story is going:
- 1) Both good and bad events keep happening as a result of the MC's actions/inactions.
- 2) I genuinely don't know if a lifetime is going to have a good or bad ending or if a character I like/hate is going to get what they deserve.
- Some lifetimes can last 30 chapters and some lifetimes can last 3 chapters, when the MC fights a powerful opponent there is a genuine chance he could DIE if he messes up.
- The 3-4 skills per chapter make my brain produce the happy-chemical. I don't why this is the case but there is just something uniquely satisfying about reading a character becoming more and more OP.
- The lack of overarching end goal means the story can take a slower-pace and focus on the problems of each Lifetime, and that allows each 'ark' to feel important in their own moments.
- As I already discussed I like how the disabilities and unique challenges of each of the lifetime shapes the MC and keep the story feeling fresh.
- I like the flawed MC, yes he's not truly optimal or moral but there is character growth even if all that growth isn't strictly beneficial or 'sane'.
- The minimum amount possible is given to the interpersonal relations between characters, this is a personal preference but I like the focus on combat and growth.
- The combat is creative and uses unique styles. It is definitely head and shoulders above the "I Just have to hit X harder!" trope that most writers fall into. The environment is used creatively with poison and digging being some of the MC's main go to skills.
- There is a clear explained reason and purpose behind the MC's reincarnation and the world being built feels 'real' even if it's a 90% generic fantasy world.
- Decent Comedy throughout! I personally enjoy the MC's wisecracks and attitude towards their situation.
- The Author goes the extra-mile to keep the setting more historically accurate, the fact that locks are a relatively recent invention, how armor worked, talking about misconceptions that people have about early medieval warfare and life. It adds a good 'polish' to the world building.
- The novel updates FAST like 2-4 CHAPTERS PER DAY!!! Which (especially during this pandemic) makes it a highly valued part of my daily entertainment.
Overall whether you love or hate this novel depends on what you are looking for:
I wanted a way to spend time binge-reading a story while I am 'working from home' and I got it!
If you wanted a story that was too the point and a quick read you aren't going to get it...
This web novel is such a good litrpg, I kind of want a new genre based on it! The idea of having the character cursed to 100 reincarnations on the same planet spread out by a few centuries is genius! It makes it so you can enjoy multiple zero to hero level ups at early levels and since there is carry over of skills and such from one life to the next, there is a broader sense of getting more powerful over a longer stretch of time. Having tons of curses to compensate for all this also doesn't get in the way of any of this either which is great. The pacing of the levelling and such is also great, the author doesn't bog the story down with getting skills for and levelling skills for every little thing like walking, eating, and ass wiping so good job Mr. Author! The levels are also not so spread far apart that the story can barely be called a litrpg whcih I find great. Although the author is creating the story on the fly, there is still decent structure to the story and isn't too noticable for me. The 100 reincarnations thing is also very interesting because it allows for multiple different personalities of the main character, and almost a new main character each life, although it's the same person each time, their priorities and goals change each time as they themselves decide on goals or the world around them makes them. Also so far the author has an insane update schedule. They started around 2 months ago and they already have 1.1k pages worth of words like what? Great job author keep it up! Even if the update schedule slows done it's fine, the story is still great! (The only criticism I have is the imperfect gramar, which is noticeable and you'll have a few errors each chapter but it doesn't get in the way of the reading experience really, and isn't nearly as bad as those translated stories, and if that's the cost for this ungodly update schedule then I have no complaints, zero!)
TLDR: The 100 reincarnations element keeps the story constantly fresh and exciting as there are always new zero to hero situations and mc priorities to come spice the story up when it slows down, and the author knows how to pace it well.
First and foremost, there are no heroes in this story, or anti-heroes, or even proper villains. Every character, from rabbits, to village girls, to gods, and dragons, every single one of them are fundamentally- and extremely selfish.
Even the mc- who in power tripping stories like this would usually be some paragon of good in a cruel world for the author and readers to circle jerk over, is a venomous snake of a woman, devoid of any redeeming charsitics beyond that holding family ties dearly. Those family members of course also being, manipulative, treacherous, or downright monstrous.
This is, by some measure, realistic (though frankly, even accepting that the world is a terrible place, this pushes the envelope of what's realistic.)
The character are often shallow, and are never anything more then the worst of humanity, which as a reader is both demoralizing, and even worse, predictable.
This story is not much more then a power-trip, but the nature of everyone being such enormous assholes, makes the power trip funny, and the stories selling point.
Yeah... so this 'story' is really bad (anthology would be more fitting). It has got terrible characters who are either too accepting or too lackluster.
The style isn't too bad.
The grammar needs correction but is readable and mostly fine.
The 'story' is living from life to life so it would kind of deserve the slice of life. Hehe slice of life, cause she has got multiple slices of life.
Anyway, why am I still reading this? Frankly, I don't know. The early chapters were preeetty good almost full 5 stars there. BUT about the point where apricots life was in full swing. There I think was were it went wrong. She was too overpowered, she was a legend, she had too many personalities merged.
There are many good ideas in this story, even though the author most likely used the idea from The Ascendant: Endless Reincarnation, another story on RR which had a brilliant idea but fell in popularity due to Hiatus.
But it developed into a mishmash.
Well I wrote my random thoughts till now. Now my main problems with this story:
1. The Author.
While the author already has got a collection of stories he wrote most of them were fine, but not very good, I think there was a point where those stories also went wrong?
Anyway in this story he releases chapters day by day, which is pretty good. What isn't though is, he isn't correcting mistakes, or reading the comments which show mistakes. There is a pretty simple way to check if the author has edited this story earnestly or if he read reviews at all. There is a 3 chapter gap in Life 6 Chapter 4-7.
No content is missing, just the chapter numbers are wrong. But it is these small mistakes which often decide between a good story and a fantastic one.
2. Secrets? Are those edible?
Yeah, so died I reincarnated in my previous life I was always fighting in that life. Guess I should lay back in this life. Huh, someone in danger! Let's rescue them. ?! They speak with me. Lets tell them all my secrets and fall in love with them. So this is what happened at least once. But what I hate here is the lack of secrets, sure you can tell someone you trust some secrets. But saying for example:"I was a rabbit once." is just unnecessary. That just really bumps me personally. Buut it would be fine if the MC won't trust some random stranger again, as much (Spoiler alert: She did.).
It is simply unnecessary and boring, doesn't really add anything to the story other than maaaybe making the MC more feminine and secure in his/her gender? Don't really have a problem, I just don't enjoy it and skip it.
Simply said, it is barely there. The action scenes also aren't that good. This is the problem with such stories. The Ascendant while it only had 17 Chapters even had a better story I think. It had a premonition, a slow but steady progression and strong opponents.
While this story does have strong opponents after the first couple of lifes the biggest threat are dragons and gods. The progression got upped to fast, and learning things was too easy. The Ascendant didn't even have LitRPG I think but with a hundred chapters even a simple begger would be able to become a king. Here though it went from an amoebe to a God.(Though the becoming a God isn't certain yet.)
The OPness got nerfed in life 27, so it will most likely take a while until she'll get her strength back.
All in all I still read this story because of the status page. I just want to see the stats grow. (Edit: There is some story there, but it doesn't really belong together) But I will most likely quit when the 'story' or the characters become too unbearable. The main problem this novel has. Are the short lives and the fast release rate.
Some random Dude:!!! Fast release rate? How come?
Well random Dude. Sometimes Quality and Quantity can be balanced, sometimes one wins over the other. But if one sinks too much it doesn't matter how good the other one is. It inevitably will make its popularity and 'worth' plummet.
I think through the mistakes in the early chapters even new readers could give up fast thinking: "The author doesn't care about us! Even though there are hundreds of comments with corrections, they haven't been implemented at all.
So if some other author would try his best with such a reincarnation story that author most likely could become even more famous than this one if he/she would be able to create a good enough story. Simply said, the ideas are good, the execution, while not at all bad is a bit lacking.
Edit 2: I finally decided to abandon this story. My reason? First, it got a bit repetitive. But the main reason why I quit now is because the characters aren't good enough anymore. They were '2-dimensional' kind of. Like, they had different personalites and goals etc. but they weren't that unique. But now I am at life 27 and I think they became '1-dimensional' if that is even a thing, they truly became mob-characters maybe they already were earlier in the story, but then I could ignore it. Because this story had other good qualities. But now it just doesn't work anymore. Not every character can just become a follower, a yes-guy or change from enemy to neutral and then to friendly within a short amount of time.
That was badly explained but that's it. Looking at the stars I gave and give now... many can write the beginning of a good story, but it doesn't happen often that they can also write a good middle and ending of a story. Sadly the two later parts make 2/3 of the story and while the beginning can lead you to a good story, it can only take you so far until the middle and final part change your mind. Either to the positive or the negative. This story wasn't too bad halfway through either, but it just wasn't enough anymore. Ideas can only get you so far and for me the idea got pumped dry.
You should give this story a chance. If I had missed out on this story because of some bad reviews, I would've unknowingly deprived myself of an AMAZING reading experience. In Loki's Honor has everything you could want in a reincarnation story, and a lot you didn't even know you wanted. It's only after reading this that I've realized how sterilized a lot of the isekai/portal stories on RR - and fantasy more broadly - are.
This story takes life by the horns in a very real way, confronting the realities of life. Whether they realize it or not, most stories quietly exclude things they find unpleasant. This is an understandable proclivity - who would want to read about unpleasant things? But as you read more and more of the same, you gradually forget that what you're seeing is only part of the whole. That life has much more variety, in both happiness and despair, than are commonly shown in fantasy stories. And without knowing it, your subconscious idea of what humanity narrows in scope. This story blasts that wide open. It contains all the stuff you come back for - fantasy, adventure, growth, magic - but it also includes the part of humanity that we often shy away from in fiction - sexual violence, sexual pleasure, prejudice, poverty, privilege, psychological abuse, gender, the complexities of human psychology and how our identity is shaped. All of these things combine to create the full spectrum of human experience, and as a result I feel like the characters in In Loki's Honor feel more real and human than in a lot of other stories I've read.
Nobody can deny the author puts a lot of work into this story. Frequent updates, expansive character sheets, world building, etc.
But the story is so, so boring. It's the same thing again and again, with a slight variation every arc or so. The problem with overpowered main characters is there is limited growth and development, so you have to compensate with the story - and the story is the same every "life". MC starts out weak. MC is looked down on by arrogant people. MC is actually strong and kills everybody. Rinse and repeat. I think the author thinks he's changing it up, but the end result is the same every time. It gets stale, ESPECIALLY because the MC doesn't suffer any consequences. We all know the MC is going to be fine, there's virtually no excitement because the MC always relies on deus ex machina to win in the end.
As for the main character...she's not realistic at ALL.
Everybody calls her "Old Soul", so why does she have the mentality of a delusional eighth grader? Her solution to EVERY problem is brute force, and only does things different to show off how powerful she is. We get it, she can do anything she wants and nobody can beat her.
MC does not come off as intelligent or wise, only egotistically powerful. A character her age should be giving off Gandalf vibes, not a smug omnipotent magic girl. She's just annoying at this point.
Supporting characters only exist to make MC more powerful or sexy time. Enough said, they're even more shallow and boring.
The only arcs i REALLY liked was the killer bunny and elf queen. Bunny was original and had growth cause MC was weak then. Elf Queen was one of the few arcs where the MC faced REAL adversaries - the Broodmother - and lost. We felt MC's frustration, the unfairness, and it was REALISTIC...unlike most of the other arcs where MC gets her way.
When Bundeus was still alive, I was intrigued by the story. Her arch nemesis was a GOD, so I thought there was potential for real conflict...except the writer makes Bundeus a 2-dimensional idiot that consistently makes the worst move every time. Come on, really? Not to mention that all the other gods are always friendly to MC whenever it's convenient for her.
The story feels like it was written FOR the main character, and the whole world is her oyster. It had potential in the beginning, but it didn't deliver. If reading about a character that gets to live out all of her power fantasies is your thing, then this is the story for you.
I enjoyed this story alot in the beginning, then found my opinion changing with each new life the MC started. The lack of structure really hurts the story here, it just reads like a writer experimenting with random nonsense. The action is nice whenever it happens but the dialogue outside of those scenes is honestly cringeworthy.
It may be the drastic genre shifts between lives or the sheer nonsense that the MC is immediately agreeable to (life 8; honestly, all of that crap with the suicidal elf using her body to imprison the MC), but this story just isn't for me anymore.
This novel isn't exceptional in any way. It's one of those novels that you just read if you have some extra time.
- The power system is all over the place.
- Everything happens because of the MC, there is no other character that influences events.
- A lot of stupid decisions in the story that make no sense.
I've always wanted to read one of those novels where the main character starts out super-behind the curve and ends up at the top. I can tell the author is genuinely trying to put out a good story, to the point they argue with the mods on acceptable content and go back and edit according to critique. It looks like they care about getting this written and finished, and this is why I think it's a good story to follow.
The bad? The gods other than Loki are too stupid. The MC is too reactive and not proactive. Only when she gets stuck in a truly bad situation does she find a goal. Since people/beings constantly notice she's too powerful and try and control her with all sorts of means, the plot drives itself. This is lazy because it avoids proper introspection.
The author isn't great at portraying emotion or humor... but despite the flaws, I found the story readable and followed it. What you expect to happen doesn't often happen, but at the same time parts feel thin and improvised. What I am truly awed by is the writing speed.
So, the story is about a guy that dies and is reincarnated by the god Loki with some boons and a bunch of curses. I like the idea, and it's fun to see the MC later on breaking some of the curses and barriers imposed on him, but in my opinion is way too fast paced and a tad bit too chaotic (although it's clearly a part of the story that the author really likes, so I'm cool with it). I didn't really enjoy Apricot's life in particular and even skipped some chapters, and I think the Elf Queen life in particular was way too rushed, like, really over the top. I give it to the author credit for posting usually multiple times per day, which is HUGE.
All in all, it's pretty fun (apart from apricot's life, I don't like that part at all) and has a lot to read, which I really like since I have a lot of time to kill. Updates everyday, sometimes one, two or even three chapters a day and entertain me quite a lot, looking forward to some slower paced lifes since it seems that is still a lot to come, and the evolution of the system in the passing eras seems to open others possibilities. Thank for the fun time MDW.
(English is not my first language and I learned it exclusively reading books/novels and watching content on YouTube, etc, so don't be harsh on my writing in this "review")