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August 8th, 2026 -- the day seven mysterious Towers appeared around the Earth, changing the life on it forever. Cain had already lived through it once, experienced the irreversible changes that the world underwent seemingly overnight. Now, for him it is twenty-five years later, while for others it is still three months before the Towers are to appear. Having stolen the Timecube and used it to reverse back the timeline, Cain is now back before it all began -- with the sole difference of already knowing what will happen.
Nobody had managed to discover the mystery behind the Towers even twenty-five years after their appearance, but with the fresh start and advantage, Cain plans to unearth the story behind them, and whoever, or whatever, put them on Earth.
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The concept of getting a redo has been done but this one is interesting because the protagonist isn't the traditional gung-ho i'm going to save the world type of person. This made it an interesting twist to see a normal, (in this case despicable) guy try to better his own life. However, I can't stand the protagonist. He has the chance to come back three months before it hits the fan and he does nothing except go into debt, sleep with a random girl in a bar, drink and smoke. The only thing he does is move to a different city and wait. The day comes where it all goes south and guess what, he is still just as out of shape and pathetic as he was three months prior. The fact that he just so happens to run into a billionaire who can solve all his problems is the only reason he has any success.
In summary, I enjoyed the premise, I enjoyed the concept of the towers, I enjoyed the realism that the protagonist doesn't have perfect recall for everything that happened in the past/future. I just find the character completely unlikeable, his ONLY redeeming quality is his competance in magic use but it's not enough to make up for everything else.
The basic plot is that of a returnee in your usual 'tower's have descended' setting. If this seems original to you at all, just know that it is not. You can find very similar stories in numerous chinese and korean web novels. The fact that the setting isn't original isn't a problem at all, but don't be fooled by it.
What is somewhat different about this story is the main character is a family-man and not (supposedly) one of the premier tower climbers, but rather a secondary sort of climber. In most stories like this one, the guy who returns is/was one of the best tower climbers, and in this one the MC, Cain, is like a third stringer. Cool. Some depth. Also, the fact he has a family and actively interacts with them is a great idea. Too many MCs are orphans, or totally disconnected from other people.
Problematically the story veers off into the land of gary-stu OC edgelord nonsense pretty quickly. The main character, as you might expect, powers up very quickly, and actually, in fact, too quickly. Nothing he does feels particularly earned. He gets various power-ups, some temporary some not, that send him off into DBZ-esque battles from fairly early on. You can tell the writer is actually sort of struggling to give the MC challenging fights almost immediately, and really has to contrive convoluted complications that only the MC can deal with so the the rest of the 'party' can fight their 'regular' battles. The writer could just have written the MC to be a bit weaker earlier on, and then saved themselves the effort of all the contrivance, but no, gary-stu, super-oc, has to be crazy powerful. You can kind of make sense of it, if you squint, because they are only on the first couple floors, but still, its sort of the writer shooting themselves in the foot early on. This is a basic problem these sorts of stories have if the writer is not pacing well enough. If this were the only problem, the story would still be acceptable. It is not, sadly.
So much of the story is just plain contrivance, which is to say, artifical and convenient. The MC just-so-happens to meet a billionaire early on, and then meet him again, to strike up friendship, shortly before the towers fall. The billionaire is not only a great guy, who trusts the MC immediately, but also basically handles all the business for the MC outside the tower. Probably the biggest contrivance here is that the billionaire, a guy who spent years amassing a huge fortune through cut-throat financial manuverings, is actually just a nice guy. Its sort of hilariously naive and unrealistic.
The billionaire also acts as a segway for the MC to affect the power dynmaic of countries outside the tower. As an aside, this is probably some of the more interesting stuff in the whole story. How real world countries would deal with the towers makes for an engaging hook. Other contrivances in story stem from the MC meeting old friends who act as deus ex machina and from the MC being diverted to extra-special challenges just for himself. There is also the fact that whole characters are introduced, barely given any detail, and then killed in a rather cynical attempt to get the reader to feel something. Many scenes I'd like to see happen off-screen, especially if they don't involve the MC. All the 'grinding' the rest of the party does take place off-screen. Big battles take place off-screen, if they don't involve the MC. Its very clear the writer really likes his gary stu OC, but has little regard for the other characters unless they are engaging the MC in 'witty banter', which, as it turns out, isn't witty or really very interesting after a while. One gets pretty tired of yet another description of how the MC totally got laid in high highschool or whatever. The writer is likely a younger person, and probably thinks this is 'cool', but actually its not really particuarly interesting and mirrors the experience of most people. Most people lose their virginity while in high school. There isn't any shame if it happens later, but its not really an interesting point to hammer home, over and over again. I boils down to the writer telling the reader, 'hey this guy fucks'.
This brings me another point about the story. The dialogue is both a strong point for the writer and also his or her most often used crutch. The story, if you can believe it, almost has too much dialogue. There are constant, and I mean constant, back-and-forths between the MC (almost always) and other characters. Very little dialogue takes place without the MC involved, and the majority of dialogue is actually just supposedly funny banter. It reminds me heavily of teenagers trying to mimick Critical Role in a DnD sessions, except since this story is about a gary stu OC, it has to involve him. That being said, some of it is funny, and possibly even containing the 'wit' the MC is constantly being complemented for, but its so over-used that its hard to appreciate even the good parts. Its formulaic. Witty-banter -> fight scene -> witty banter -> time skip -> witty banter -> fight scene, etc.
Now I'm going to do a hard transition into talking about edginess. Why am I doing this? Because the story also does this. You'll be trucking along, and BAM side character dies. New side characters are introduce, they die. Almost immediately more side characters are introduced. This goes on quite a lot. Its clearly meant to tell us something about how 'serious' and 'grimdark' the world is, but frankly it comes off as contrived and lacks a lot of weight. The MC also doesn't really dwell much on these deaths, and other than a paragraphs about funerals, little is said. Most of these side characters get little time for us, the readers, to get know them or become attached. With the exception of one character whom was entirely one-dimensional but at least got a number of paragraphs of back-story, though their back-story was dwarfed by the size the of the description of the items they recieved which were pointless over-powered and detailed. It was jarring to read most of a chapater just about the super detailed and overpowered items this character recieved only to have them die like two chapters later. The writer seems to have taken the wrong lesson from GoT or whatever bad DnD campaign he or she has been in. Thematically this is also sort of an issue. The 'special' thing about the MC isn't that he defeated a 'timelord' (hilariously unoriginal), but that he believes in the power of friendship..? Or at least he hasn't cut times with humanity. That is sort of interesting, but it runs directly counter to fact he seems to constantly be letting his friends die..? Its like the author cant decide if he or she wants the story to be super grimdark or about how its actually important for his gary stu to have friends. Its totally confused. Other obviousl moments of edginess included lots of pointless dirty jokes, references to how much the MC got laid, casual references to mass murder, the MC threatening the world, the MC and his ex-wife joking about rape in a novel..? It gets weird. Pointlessly weird. Edgy parts of stories are sometimes necessary to add weight and depth, but only to do that, and not just beacuse.. reasons.
Speaking of item descriptions, its actually possible for one of these types of stories to be too like a video game. What I mean is that bosses in the author's world, seemingly starting from the 2nd floor but not the first.. often offer the characters in the story a very long and specific description of their abilities and attack patterns before they fight them. This not only takes a lot of the mystery and suspense out of the fight, but makes the following action scenes very formulaic. The length of these descriptions is incredibly long, and the bosses are meant to seem very over-powered, but in the end it leaves the reader feeling bored. When everything is OP, nothing is OP basically. Sometimes less is more. The writer suffers from this same obsession, with making everything sound super epic, detailed, and over-powered, when he or she describes classes, abilities, titles, and especially items. It reads more like the writer is designing their own edgelord super-hardcore video game, than something remotely practical. It would make for a more engaging story if the characters were able to do more with less. It felt a bit like the author had been playing too much Path of Exile or some other ARPG.
My guess is you're wondering why I wrote so much if I didn't like the story, or why I read as much of it as I did (to around chapter 180), its because the novel and the writer have a lot of great potential. They are just doing too much too often. I think the story could very much be cleaned up in the editing process and just plain fixed. Just by removing some of the pointless dialogue and item descriptions, you'd have a better, more concise, story.
I enjoyed large parts of the story. It definitely gave me Ghosthound or Azrinth Healer wibes, but those feelings were constantly undercut and interrupted by contrivance, pointless ediginess, and the author just stuffing in anything they felt sounded cool. Its definitely with the author's right to do that, but its also true if that is the story you want to write then there isn't any real reason to make it available to the public to read. Its fine to have your gary stu, wish-fullfillment, edgelord fantasies, but if you're going to have other people read it (or play it like in DnD), you gotta take into account your readers.
PS: For the love the divines, please stop using 'khm', its weird and stilted, and clearly some writer's tick or inside joke from a DnD session. Also the word 'reamed' and its constant use is technically correct, but really weird. Pointlessly so. Also, also, fix Jamal's character. He is basically a stereotype, the writer tried to invert by making him a guy with an engineering degree but honestly failed. Stay away from the word 'thug' as well, in reference to people in black neighborhoods. Its fine to use if you're literally talking about someone being mugged or whatever, but referencing a whole group of people as 'thugs' is just coded suburban racism. I'm not suggesting the writer is some crazy racist, its actually nice how inclusive his or her cast of characters is, but Jamal's back story comes off as just out of touch and cringey. I like Jamal as a character. The idea of a swordmaster that wields starlight and is a dodge-tank, who happens to be a black man and kind of a nerd, is great. Also, also, also, the cringey part, at the beginning of the novel about how the MC gets laid with some random chick from a bar, is hilarious and betrays the writer has been watching too much pick-up culture stuff online. Leave out the 'this is how you get chicks, dude' part of the story.
PSS: If the writer reads this and is feeling down, feel free to read my story that I have hiatus. Its not good. In facts its pretty terrible, and full of contrivance. No one starts out good at anything, and I still haven't gotten much better a couple years later.
No. Just no. I'm not even going to talk about all the usual faults. We're just going to talk about power creep.
There's nowhere for it to go. Dude was like level 20, which isn't shit for this world. And already crafting destruction with spells miles long. All the action is overblown. Which makes all the the action monotonous, dull, boring. And the relationship between the m.c. and ex wife seemed like it would be complicated. Cool, makes sense. Relationships are complicated. But no, it wasn't. I don't want to spoil anything, but this ain't no romance story. Its subpar action at best. Even shounen knows to start small before the world's at stake every single time.
Avoid if possible
The story had potential at the start, but it rapidly petered out for me. While there are certainly some aspects of the story I enjoy, they’re utterly dwarfed by the glaring flaws. Every single person in the story seems like a caricature. The dialogue feels exactly the same no matter who is talking to who. Probably the worst part is the new billionaire best friend inexplicably enters the timeline who repeatedly and absurdly acts as Dues Ex Machina personified. The constant “banter” with everyone gets old really fast too.
First: unusual but worth a read.
The story is about the usual reincarnated stuff. Like he has memories but still has his old body and now changes the things turn.
Here we are not really sure what the end goal is but probably survival and completely climbing said tower.
Unclear is how he changed himself. He has 3 months as a preparation time. But does exactly nothing. Other than a chance encounter which leads to solving quite a few problems further down the road.
The system would need a bit of work. And the mentioned ' shop' didn't have an entrance yet.
The story is filled with plotholes and forgotten prizes , Characters vanish faster than they turn up and the basic conversation theme is: the MC is a dump ass.
In retrospect I am really not sure why I kept reading - it has this flow to things that just keeps you in.
But. This story really opened my eyes in terms of conversation. They feel natural and a bit staged. But more because of how good the flow is and not about how much information is given.
Ok so I'm not sure how to write these since this is the first review I've ever written but bear with me please.
This is really good, like stunningly so for a non published author and that's where some of my confusion sets in all these reviews talking about things like "wow the Mc is so fucking stupid he didn't even train Before the towers came" like the man didn't just come back in fucking time 25 years earlier after not having seen his wife and child that whole time. Like yes I would imagine most if not all people would just enjoy normalcy for a bit.
I'm also absolutely a fucking mazed about a certain review giving the story half a star saying that the main character never improves when he's literally almost never challenged by anything in the entire story and in those moments when he does it's actually impactful and shit happens. I think I'm speaking for the majority of people when I say this, but if you want some one dimensional training maniac who constantly studies the fucking blade and doesn't have time for things like mental health or oh idk his family then maybe just maybe you should be reading the dozens of shit ass story's that get fucking boring in 30 pages unless it's being used for comedic effect then go read those.
Fuck man people on the internet, ok now that I've got all that shit off my chest let me give some useful feedback.
first off: the dialogue feels like wayyy to samey and I know that's not really helping in a constructive way but I'm not too sure how else to describe it (trust me I tried I wrote this bit like 6 times and just couldn't put my feelings into words).
second: some things are explained poorly (looking at you duel on bridge scene)
third: random billionaire encounter who acts as a plot device to speed things along (although this helps the pacing tremendously)
and tbh that's about all I have for negatives not saying that that's all of them (keep in mind that this is my first review) I'm just saying that theres a lot to like here.
first: a believable lead character, the man is transported back 25 years in time and the first thing he wants to do is enjoy life with his family and fix his mistakes, no crazy training that would do little in the grand scheme of things in 3 months. Most importantly though he has flaws such as his addiction to cigarettes which is shown quite often and his tendency to push people too hard resulting in them breaking, or his alcohol problem(though not mentioned as much). All this together makes a very human and believable protagonist, because need I remind you not everyone is some master strategist always 10 steps ahead of everyone else with some gigantic spider web of plans.
second: the theme of a litrpg where the time travel is done not in an effort to save the world. This is a breath of fresh air in this "returning" trope that almost exclusively features the entire human race being wiped out and them being the last human alive before they die and are transported back. The author makes it clear early on that this world doesn't need saving although it will go through massive losses of life, humanity as a whole will persevere with or without the existence of this protagonist as a force in this world.
three: I'm a sucker for litrpg and this is chock full of it although not as detailed as I would like at times it's certainly prevalent throughout the story (if you really crave numbers being crunched i highly recommend delve).
four: no cheat god abilities. As I'm sure your aware this genre is full of random bullshit where the protagonist gains some stupidly strong skill or artifact allowing them to steamroll through everyone and everything without so much as breaking a sweat and I'm happy to report that this is absent of that although the protagonist does possess the skills expected of someone having a 25 year head start on everyone else.
If you've read this far and still want to know "is this worth my time" my anwser is a resounding yes.
This is an interesting story, in that what you expect from the description isn't the story it's trying to present to you. That is to say, if you read the synopsis, you're going to expect that the story's going to be a "MC returned to the past and becomes Over Powered, changing the world for the better simply because they're there". While there are elements of that story presented to us in Return Of The Tower Conqueror, that is not the true focus of this story, that's just the shell through which the focus is presented to us.
No, the true story is a redemption story. The MC returns to the past, and even has a few months before the world-changing "disaster", aka the Tower's Appearances (because there's more than one). The first thing he does is get a drink, and have a one night stand. The second thing he does is say goodbye to his ex-wife and daughter until the Towers Appear, and buggers off to where they'll appear, accidentally befriending what turns out to be a Billionaire along the way. He doesn't train himself physically, he doesn't do anything to prepare for the changes that would occour, he travels somewhere and gets lucky. And the Billionaire deals with a lot of the outside-tower, real-world issues that pop up.
But that's the thing. This story doesn't ignore those real-world issues, nor does it pretend that they aren't relevant issues. Sure, it makes them background issues dealt with by someone else, but they're still presented. Same with the MC, he's returned to the past, but the only reason why he's even remotely a decent guy is because he's actively trying to be, with the help of his ex-wife. The real issue is whether or not the reader is willing to read long enough to get to the point where this is not only stated, but also presented as the reality of the situation through action.
The other thing that should be mentioned is that for most "returned to the past" stories, the MC was skilled, but had reached their limits. They're part of the top 10~20% in combat, have risked their lives multiple times, and can no longer progress. That isn't the case in this one. The MC wasn't anyone remarkable the first time around, with his any independant achivements being as a direct result of being monsterous to his allies. The MC is even presented as someone who's primarily a lucky arse the entire series, admittedly a charasmatic lucky arse.
The other thing to mention is that this story is slow. It takes over 80 chapters for the character's to reach the second floor of the Tower, and nothing major in the outside world has significantly happened at that point. At least, not anything on a global scale. But, as I said before, this is less of a "MC becomes the leader of humanity and makes everything better", and more of a "MC redeems himself from being an outright psychopath and becomes a beneficial member of humanity by resetting time".
And, yes, I did confirm that I am using the word psychopath correctly, and I most certainly am.
To me it reads as a cringy dubbed over Chinese comedy action movie, and I kind of like that. The dialogue seems off when I read it but it does paint a picture in my head of a young jackie chan, if jackie chan's character was a shit head. I will see where it goes but I'm out if there is a ton of badly written sex scenes.
I read to the airport and was like nope, this needs a rewrite. Also get rid of all the cigarette smoking, this isn't the 80s.
But you put your work out there and that takes guts so kudos to you.
So after reading all currently available chapters (51 chapters) ive come to realize a few things, first off, the author never stops talking about how weak the MC is, not only that, he gives the MC opportunity after opportunity to get stronger then just doesnt go through with it, the author also doesnt respond the the comments in his chapters that give constructive criticism and grammar corrections, he ignores the readers advice and continues to push the MC towards being a side character, so in conclusion, if you like MCs who are completely passive and don't do anything, never getting any better, and have a weak mindset, this is the story for you, however if your a normal person who enjoys when the MC acts like an actual main character then you need to leave because you will under no circumstances get that with this god awful excuse of a book
they are fantastic at writing and can build a world and a narrative very well but we go 160 chapters with him having one mindset and then the author seemingly decides that they want to change the story from a somewhat dark drama to a tragedy drama with no forewarning thus I cant give the story more than a 3