Ian is an IT consultant who accepted a supposedly impossible job for an incredible amount of money. However, he quickly learns why his colleagues avoided that gig like the plague.
Ian now hates his job, and wants to be fired to get severance pay. However, things don’t go as planned when he downloads MERTICORE, a mysterious program that popped out of nowhere.
After that, the life of Ian has changed drastically. Gone are the days of drinking bad coffee while staring at a screen.
His days are now filled with magic, fighting weird creatures and even weirder people. Let’s not even mention the comrades he collects along the way, which are more often than not worse than the (numerous) enemies he makes as he bumbles through alternate dimensions.
There’s also a disturbing number of laundromats for some reason.
Release Schedule: One or two long(2.5k+ words) chapters per week, maybe more depending on real life.
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Style: It's pretty well done for the most part. The author does a good job of injecting character voice into the descriptions and the narrative. The only issue is that I wasn't particularly moved by the detail of places and characters.
Grammar: It's good. I didn't see any major mistakes or see anything that made me have to stop and reread.
Story: It's very comedic and silly. Lots of light-hearted fun to be had here and MERTICORE is a cool system. I wish it was explained a bit more or that the MC would expand how he tried using it.
Character: The MC just seems a little too slapstick at times but it's fine because this is a comedic story after all. The sisters, Nicole and Mary, seem a bit out of their depth but maybe that's just because Memelord is too powerful.
Overall: I liked it. It was fun and worth giving a try. We need more funny novels like this.
I imagine (with painful empathy) while reading this story that the author must’ve endured work in a hellish office environment at some point in their life. The descriptions are too damn specific not to be shaped by lived experience. I’m not a computer programmer myself, but I could relate to the descriptions of a work environment that’s strung together with string and bubblegum even if some of the specific programming details were over my head. I would be shocked if an expert came in and said the technical details were wrong because it felt so real to me.
Style: Onch constantly interrupts the narration with clever asides from the MC that establishes a strong voice right away. You don’t have to second-guess the absurdity of any given situation, the narrator does it for you! I also appreciate an eye for visual elements, and the bolded marked off text for inputs from the MERTICORE program is very useful framing device to visually separate these lines from the rest of the narration.
Grammar: There are a few mistakes here and there but nothing jumped out to take me out of the story. The only tip I would have is for the author to make sure they’re not using a dash when they mean to use an emdash (please look this up!) but they look about the same, so I didn’t sweat it.
Character: In the opening sequence you can see that the author wants to guide the story toward an implementation of this MERTICORE program, but rather than force the issue they efficiently establish the characterization of the MC as that of someone willing to throw caution to the wind despite obvious red flags. This didn’t feel forced at all but I appreciate the difficulty of such a task. The MC’s “I just don’t give a fuck” attitude was a comical delight that I bought into completely. This just makes the turn-around in his attitude after the…. Okay, I’ll avoid spoilers here, but suffice to say the character growth was satisfying to experience.
Story: I’ll be honest that I don’t read a lot of science fiction, so I can’t comment on whether this story exhibits any common tropes that more experienced readers might be tired of, but in my experience I found the ideas very novel. The concept of being able to edit the real world like one would program a computer felt fascinating and fresh to me. This is definitely a soft-science fiction whose technology borders on magic, and I found this more conducive to escapism than most harder science fictions. And I do think the Metricore API is a science fiction system, as the magic is shown to be a totally separate system later on. It makes for a neat sci fi/fantasy blend. If you want to get the fuck out of the real world and dive into an enthralling story, MERTICORE is for you!
It is an absolute travesty that this story isn’t getting more attention! It is at least as good a read as Mother of Learning and deserves to be exposed to a wider audience!
Let's get the stuff I don't like out of the way first. The mixture of past and present tense, "I yawn and sigh,..." spoils the flow right from the start. That said, the writing had no real problems or errors, so it's a question of style, you like it or not.
The main character, Ian Jones, is rather a boring choice of protanganist, his job sounds like a solicitor or lawyer, the geek computer programmer, doesn't do much to attract, but he does grow on you and he has a few surprises up his sleeve, or in his glove box, like the Gloch 20 pistol. He's got short black hair, the one aspect of his appearance we get told, which strangely I remembered. It does sort of reinforce the geek image.
The reader is blatantly introduced to this computerised, magic, world: "What will happen? What can happen? I'm not expecting something magical, that's impossible." "Could this be magical?" "It heats up and glows green." I used the same description in my own magical fantasy, perhaps subconsciously we all associate green with magical temporal change.
The creating objects and filling up his bank account is a little hint of comedy that we might expect anyone to be tempted by. Look no further than Patreon, everyone wants to make a buck out of nothing.
By chapter three, other people pop up, "the two wizards jump in surprise,..." two women whose conversation he over hears. But shouldnt that be witches? I thought wizards were male? Still actresses are actors in this modern world so why not female wizards? "We are Mary and Nicole Farsight. We are on a mission to investigate the suspicious Mana readings coming from this area. We are from the Central Magic Agency." Is this comedy? Without a doubt, by now I'm convinced, let's face it, that line about the CMA has to make you smile.
Chapter Five we're getting Mertipoints and crystals and are really in the game. This Is a kind of geeky magic adventure which I'd say was for children except for the profanity. You know, like one of those kids stories with adult stuff that goes over the kids heads, but the parents can appreciate. It's a clever story full of comedy, almost, if not completely, a parody of itself.
Style 4.5/5; The strory is written in first person, the POV changes occasionally, personally the POV changes feel a bit off, but I know that's a bit of a personal thing.
The pacing is good and the author has a cool sense of humor that makes the whole story fun to read.
Grammer 5/5; No mistakes that I could find.
Story 4/5; At where I am in the story the MC just for properly brough into the supernatural world, his limits are vague and I never know if I'm over or underestimating him combat ability, in a way this keeps all the encounters tense, though I never feels like the MC is in any real danger.
Characters 5/5; the MC is an absolute legend, he's funny but he can't seem to stay away from self-inflicted cringe, be it by calling himself "Memelord" or by wearing a spandex super-hero outfit.
In conclusion Merticore is a funny scify/fantasy story that blends the two worlds together very well!
As long as you have any interest in either comedy, magic or scify I think you should give this story a go!
A fun and light mix of scifi and fantasy with a great narrator.
I'm not usually one for comedy, but this story has a way of making me appreciate the humor. We have an IT guy that ends up in a sci-fantasy world because he downloaded an odd program- fairly typical story set up. But the reason this story works is its characters. They're fun and the dialogue is natural and great to read. You know there's going to be shenanigans and you also want to see how Ian and company is going to deal with it all.
Ian is an excitable programmer with violent tendencies and a knack for annoying the hell out of his enemies with shockingly bad memes. The novel is a chain of laughs and insane situations that the protagonist finds himself in due to his use an abuse of a mysterious/magical artifact that changes his life. This is a story that is garaunteed to entertain, provided you can suspend some disbelief when it comes to some of the characters decisions.
Not much to talk about here. The grammar and sentence structure are both stellar. You won't really be thinking about the grammar at all while reading this story.
The story flows well and is easy to read and understand. Again, not much for me to say here. I'm likely not good enough a writer myself to make any comments here.
So far the story has been a rollercoaster of events spiralling out of Ian's control. The intrigue between him and his magical adversities is exciting and has set itself up for even more interesting developments. That being said, the motivations behind some of the events in the story are shaky at best. Which brings us to the characters.
Frankly, I dislike the protagonist. Ian is relatively thoughtless, brash and perhaps a little bit sociopathic too. Honestly the entire story is a direct result of a knee-jerk reaction on his part when he decided to trespass on private property, followed by a shocking disregard for life, when he was apprehended by the mages. That being said, his hijinks do make the story entertaining and that might just be what you are looking for.
The biggest highlight of this story for me is its wonderful worldbuilding! I can't wait to see more about the world, especially its monsters. It's also pretty fun and funny to read, which is a nice change for isekais! So many are so serious... Similarly, Ian's pretty unique himself. I don't love an anti-hero, or asshole MC, but it's more acceptable because he's funny. I love all the sarcasm.
The grammar is wonderful, and the first person point of view is consistent.
This story is a bit wacky, but it's definitely good.
The style is really good. I didn't notice anything amiss, it flowed nicely, and metaphors or comparisons were good and appropriate. It's not super-serious, but it fits the story. The story is written in first person POV, following Ian, the protagonist, and in present tense.
The grammar is also really good. I noticed a few typos, but they were very few, and there were no grammatical errors.
The story flows well and is quite engaging. It starts with everyday problems, has a lot of references to (object-oriented) programming, and then dissolves into chaos. The magic system of the main character is interesting and funny, with the potential to become OP. There are other magic systems in the story, although they haven't been explored much. So far, the story follows Ian as he mainly tries to figure out this new magical world.
The characters are overall realistic, but they make stupid decisions. Especially the main character, who seems otherwise smart but not good at planning or making smart choices regarding potential danger, and even forgets important information. A few other characters are similar, very hot-headed, although I suppose their background explains some of that. There are a few other characters, who so far follow typical patterns, but they're well done and might grow beyond those archetypes. They have a lot of comedic potential, too. For some reason, most of the important characters are female, make of that what you will.
I was doing this review as part of a review swap and was planning on only going to chapter 12, before I knew it, I finished what was posted. The story has a nice page turning, or in this case ‘next chapter’ pressing quality to it.
The story itself is almost like a comedy of errors and has enough humor in it to make me smile widely despite myself. Though a lot of the humor is niche and might not be caught by many people. I am a bit bias since I am a computer person and the main character is also a computer person. It reminds me a bit of the ‘Trapped with my smart phone’ anime but this is done right and is not boring by a long shot. It does remind me a bit of the ‘Wizardry’ series by Rick Cook.
Style: The style is extremely easy to read. The subject could have easily bogged down in technical things, and the author has avoided that. The world-building is gradual, and more things get revealed as the chapters go along.
Grammar: The grammar is excellent. I do not remember any instances where anything stood out to me. There will always be things for people to complain about, but I did not see anything of note in my read.
Characters: The main character is a bit of a jerk. In the current set of chapters, he seems to be adrift in the world and subject to its whims. He has a lot of power but has not really set much of a direction for himself. His motivations are unclear right now.
The first two female characters are a bit tropey, terribly angry and with noticeably short fuses. That does not detract too much from their characters as they are young and still need to mature. They do not seem to have much depth to them yet, but it is still early in the telling of the story.
Style: Quick and clean. It tells the story without delving into purple prose. It keeps the plot flowing.
Story: I know something about programming, so I could appreciate how the magic system works. It's a cool take.
Grammar: For the most part there was no problem. However, there's a ton of comma splices. Normally, I wouldn't mention it, but there's a comma splice in the very first paragraph. Also, the dashes that show interruption should be em dashes.
Character: The narrator and MC is an everyman. He's you. It's a device put to good use here.