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Bob was a good guy. He had done everything you were supposed to do. He exercised, he kept to a healthy diet, he'd studied hard, gotten excellent grades, and was working towards his masters. Somehow, things just weren't working out for him like he'd been told they would. He was stuck in a thankless position, constantly passed over, and it seemed that the only being on earth that cared about him was his cat.
Then things got worse.
Never back a man into a corner unless you want to find out just how hard he can fight.
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Oh man the politics here. Do straight white males get discriminated against by people that are ultra liberal and triggered by them being white straight males? Yep. Do they talk like this to each other? Not even remotely. The politics is just an excuse to cause the triggering event which is fine but it should seriously be rewritten to make the politics discussion sound more realistic. As it is it just sounds like a super right wing person stuck in his little bubble not knowing what the left wing says and hearing what they think they say. You can create a realistic version. Here is a hint, rarely when someone is discriminating do they think of it as discrimination. Even their thoughts on it are usually coded in a way that it sounds like it's reasonable. They don't complain that they're a straight white male. they complain that they are 'not a friend to the gay community', that they're 'not fitting in' with diversity. See how that works. It almost sounds like it's his fault!
Ignoring that, everything else works fine. Solid grammar, spelling, character point of view, structure, It just works.
This fic has the potential to be legendary, especially if (WARNING MASSIVE SPOILERS UP TO CHAPTER 18 and hypothetical spoilers for later)
He takes the Shephard of the Titan path, and we get to see a Tier 9 Monroe. After all his stated goal was to find a way to never lose Monroe, (his cat) and I can't think of a better way than increasing his power so dramatically. I believe he will choose it since there likely isn't another way of increasing his tier. He could follow Monroe home with a gate, and this path would also allow for returning the human he has to summon to repair himself, freeing them up to take a combat or healing path.
I will be watching this story very closely, one of my favorite concepts is "Cat in a fantasy world"
Basic plot synopsis: A man is discriminated against and has no close ties to anyone, except his cat and best friend, Monroe. He is sent to another world by a lab experiment caused by another researcher stealing and modifying his work. Upon arrival, he is beset by problems, but his main focus: Summoning Monroe to him, since returning will not be an option.
I really want to 5 star this story. The need for Robert to get Monroe back is heart-wrenching and something that I understand. But I cannon it good conscious rate this story a 5 with the first chapter being what it is. It's just bad. If there were perhaps a nuanced tone taken to the subject matter of discrimination, then perhaps it could work. But for now, it just sounds like the American Conservative propaganda piece that it draws all its inspiration from.
If that first chapter was rewritten I would happily give this a 5/5
Except for the anti-hero tag, this story meets what the tags promise, but since we're still in the meet and greet phase, the tag might still be accurate. As such I'll refrain from deductions for false tags.
The MC is a surprisingly sympathetic character. Despite being a bastard son of a whore who has been discriminated against because of his families poverty, his gender, his race, his (lack of) religion, and his sexual orientation for most/all of his life, he embraced all the virtues of life. After his work being rejected (and stolen) again because of how he was born, he decides to move on with life and seek out new oppertunities with his trusted friend and confidant, his cat Monroe. Before he can do that one of his co-workers (that was promoted by either nepotism or because of skin color) tries to steal his experiment, but because she doesn't understand it, causes a deadly accident that probably killed all his co-workers and sends him to a new world. Now he has just one goal - return home before his cat starves to death.
A simple premiss, but character and motivations are still better than in most stories. And you can see how, despite always trying to present a virtuous face, the constant abuse and belittlement has damaged the character, and left a deep mark on him. While I have not seen enough of the new world to be truly interested in it yet, it's surpisingly easy to become invested in the MC and his suffering as he seeks to live the American Dream, where as MLK prayed for, all men are equal and will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
The bad reviews convinced me to read this novel, and I couldn't thank them more.
Still wonder why those comments haven't been reported enough to get deleted since more than reviews on the novel they are butthurt monologues from people who have too much free time to spare and an undying desire to tell others what they should think.
The fact that all this hatred towards your work is because the MC is a white male, who has been mistreated because his race and gender ( which some people find unbelievable ) is laughable.
Ladies and gentlemen as much as it triggers you discrimination at the end of the day is discrimination, that it is towards a group you hate doesn't change that.
Protagonist suffers from inexplicable assholes in order to establish the groundwork, a common beginning in most fictions, but since the author picked imbeciles from the other side of the political spectrum than most that means it's thrash! In all seriousness it's decent, do not pay attention to those reviews that critisize only based on the first chapter (if it bothers you skip it, as i said the start is fairly standard) and give it a shot.
Not a fan of soap box characters so it was a up hill battle from the get go to be fair. Beginning is political but if you agree can ignore or not care since it's fiction then it's fine. I personally don't like the character but made it to chapter 17 cause the story is well written and while I may not like the main character and other supporting characters they are well written. Dialogue is smooth the story is good it's just not for me and that's fine only leaving this review cause I feel like it's being judged unfairly.no one acts like that in real life it's a story and the extremes build a frame for the character
I know everyone has made this clear, but it's frankly impressive how jarring the first chapter is. Like, I've actually read some of L. Ron Hubbard's insane books, and his caricatures of lesbians, psychiatrists, journalists and etc are very similar to this MC's coworkers in absolute absurdity.
So why am I not giving this the lowest rating? Well, even more jarring, that insane characterization completely disappears after the first chapter. So do yourself a favor and stop reading the first chapter after the first page break and you won't even know it's there. You've been warned if you choose to inflict it upon yourself.
Now, that aside, the magic system in this is highly reminiscent of the system in the other RR story, Ar'Kendrithyst. Not completely in function, but definitely in feel. It feels like the system is totally mapped out, you just plug away at skills and experience like a job, it takes the magical and makes it mundane. I'm not a fan of that. It strikes me as so, very boring.
But I could be in the minority, and the story isn't atrocious barring that opening chapter. If you like Ar'Kendrithyst's magic system, I think you'll like this story's magic system as well, if nothing else.
The style and grammar have no major problems. Some minor issues include: areas where the exact phrasing could be made less ambiguous as they can be interpreted in different, mutually exclusive ways; some conversations are clearly infodumps and come across as unnatural (this stands out more because most of the conversations flow more naturally, an unfortunate by-product of the author making more naturally flowing conversations elsewhere); and several chapters include infodumps that do not seem necessary for what is currently going on in the story and decisions that need to be made or explained. Kudos to the author though for putting some thought into making his system more fixed in with hard rules, though I am not sure the exact formulas provided will be of any use to the reader. Knowing two main attributes affect another attribute is useful in justifying choices. Especially if one main attribute has a larger affect than the other. However, knowing the exact ratio in a mathematical formula seems somewhat unnecessary to the story and its progression. Especially when it takes up a few paragraphs for just one formula.
The story so far is not particularly terrible, but not very exciting either. Which would be fine if this was the first isekai story I have read. However, I have read many. It follows the typical progression of going to another world and fortunately finding helpful strangers who protect and educate him on his new world. One way it differs from other isekais is that it’s not explained why the organisation that is helping him is being so helpful. Especially as it has been noted that the ‘powers that be’ are nobles and royals that are described as being stereotypically greedy and willing to kill to protect their powerbase. This might be cleared up in later chapters, so is not necessarily a bad thing, but currently it seems like a whole organisation is helping him because the plot demands it.
The characters are a big problem for me. The minor characters don’t have much personality and they and the rest of the original and new world seem to wholly revolve around the MC. They seem to have no other purpose than what they do in relation to the MC and his agenda. In fact, they do not seem to have any life outside of the MC. All the characters in the old world do nothing but gossip about the loner MC (who is only a Master's student in a department that presumably includes PhD students and PhD holders). There are no other topics of discussion apparently. Or at least none that the MC bothers to notice. In the new world, they only exist to serve his needs. There are no other conversations and even conversations with him that he does not want can be rudely interrupted to meet his own agenda because he has priorities and the other people have to get with his agenda or are ignoramuses who need to be told what they should be doing instead to support him. They seem to change their lives to meet his needs no matter how much it costs them or how much time it takes. I have no clue what they do when not helping the MC. Partially because the MC does not seem to care what they do if it is not in relation to himself.
Why they care and do so much for him is not stated or implied and therefore feels a little weird and ruins the suspension of disbelief. I can understand the idea of getting information from him, but how much resources, time, and crystals they spend on him seems to have no basis. Especially based on how little they question him. Most of the information they get is based on the MC’s questions to them. And even then, most of the information about his world is discussed in terms of how it affects the MC (i.e. what they can expect him to be used to, how he will adapt to their world, how they can help him knowing about the deficiencies of his old world, etc.). Very little about how this might affect them. He is being protected and has every request provided for. Including making him stronger and a potential danger to their world and themselves. Free of charge and at his own discretion, of course. Which makes me think that this guild might just be a charity organisation and the MC is the only beneficiary. Which also makes me think this is highly unbelievable. Especially all this for a person who is not as cute as a panda and not charming their figurative socks off. Instead they are doing all this for someone so self-centred that the only thing he bothers to learn is what affects him directly, rather than anything about anyone else or for anyone else.
Which brings me to another major problem, which is the MC. He comes across as a prejudiced person who expects the world to revolve around him and in his favour. Which, luckily for him, seems to be true in the new world. His helpers can be giving him food, water, language instruction, a place to stay, etc. but he won’t do or even think about any way to repay them. Instead all this special treatment is regarded as only his just rewards for the sole achievement of existing. Though, just like any good slave master, he tells them thanks every so often when he is not telling them off or asking them questions. He can do what he wants with no concern or thought about anyone else. He will interrupt and refuse to speak about any matters not related to what he wants. Smack tables to show how bad they are for daring to talk about something other than what he is interested in. Even though these people had spent days helping him for free. And his helpers will just seem to accept this and rather dutifully give in and answer his questions. Let alone leaving the parasite and going on with the rest of their day, they do not even get annoyed by the interruptions, table-banging and rebukes. They just act like more capable personal assistant programs. Even when they have a far stronger negotiating position than the MC has. Or when they find out he has a unique power that might be useful for them, the MC neither offers to help them nor do they ask him to. Instead it’s all about trying to help the MC figure out his power and how it is different from everyone else and how he can use it for his own purposes and what to watch out for. Maybe if they were friends this might be slightly more believable, but they just rescued the guy and he seems to show no interest in their own lives or any attempt to charm them into helping them. They just seem to accept this as their lot in life as his personal assistant programs with no personality.
The MC also suffers from a show-don’t-tell problem. He claims to be persecuted because of his gender and sexual orientation (tell). However, everyone else that appears from his original world claim he is self-centred and prejudiced (tell); and the MC’s own actions and thoughts seem to confirm this (show). He only ever acts in his own self-interest (even in his own mind) in both worlds and shows signs of being prejudiced against women and men in dresses and makeup. He also has no friends and no one is shown to have any sympathy for him. Except for the strangely helpful people in the new world who have known him for a few days (most of which they were unable to communicate in the same language) and seem to be unusually considerate to him for no discernible reason. The author does an excellent job of portraying the person in the office that no one likes but believes this is due to persecution because he is ignorant as to how he has offended them. However, this person does not make an interesting MC. Even selfish antiheroes like Deadpool or Tony Soprano can be engaging. However, this MC seems to lack the qualities that make those antiheroes engaging. He does not have Deadpool’s quirky humour or Tony Soprano’s sympathetic qualities or even Jack Sparrow’s crazy moments of brilliance.
Part of this I think has to do with how the author messed up the “tragic backstory” by making the MC difficult to empathise with. He claims his proposal was treated unfairly, but the author provided a decent reason for its rejection (i.e. “derivative of an ongoing project”). Why would the department fund essentially the same research? He claims to be unaware of how he might have upset Anita, when she is the only character that has a description of her physical appearance because it weirds him out. A pretty big clue as to how he might have acted on his thoughts and upset her. Something that the author is able to believably portray, even though the MC/narrator remains oblivious to it. The list goes on and I half-believe that the author is trying to show the MC as an unreliable and unlikeable narrator. Unfortunately to the detriment of the story.
Poor, white straight men who get discriminated against is believable and can be empathised with. Most heroes in film, television and books are white straight men from poor backgrounds. Harry Potter is a young orphan of muggle blood, suffers from the frequent number of lies that are told and believed about him, and lived in a cupboard underneath the stairs with less than stellar guardians. Captain America was also born to poor parents who both passed away while he was still young. White straight males can be discriminated against, as discrimination is a fairly universal human failing. Especially in a PC culture that seeks to right historic wrongs by “positive” discrimination, while still suffering from ongoing discrimination that was already there and sometimes in reaction to the positive discrimination. However, portraying the MC as bigoted against cross-dressers and women undermines any sympathy one has for that person. It’s hard to feel sympathy for a racist claiming to be discriminated against; just like it’s hard to feel sympathy for a thief being robbed. It is even harder when the MC’s claims are his own unsubstantiated thoughts with no material evidence. And that no one in his workplace seems to sympathise or corroborate his claims. Even when the rest of the school (or even the Wizarding World) turned on Harry Potter, it was made demonstrably clear that any persecution of Harry Potter was based on outright lies or simple prejudice against mud bloods (or positive prejudice towards official communiques from the Ministry of Magic). And at least some people saw through those lies and prejudices (made easier by how blatantly they were contradicted with actual reality and what happened in the book). The MC here has none of that. Instead he comes out in his original world as the obnoxious and oblivious guy in the office that no one likes. Which is not helped by how he continues to be self-centred when he turns up in the new world. Despite the fact that all his needs and requests are met as soon as he meets sapient beings in the new world, so it’s not like he has to be selfish to survive. This sense of entitlement the MC has in the new world practically screams white privilege; but since for now it is restricted to just the MC and seems to not be based on his skin colour, it’s probably more accurate to refer to it as MC privilege for the whole new world to revolve around him. While they can only talk or do what he wants them to, the only concession he makes to the rest of the new world is to converse using their language. Taught to him instantly and for free, while his helpers have to perform this ritual/instruction at their own cost and effort. Even though there is precious little benefit to them teaching him, and is more useful for the MC than for anyone else (exacerbated by how he is only willing to talk about his own agenda), as they can communicate with him through selective telepathy just fine, and it’s just he who needs to know what the rest of them are saying around him. Ironically this free gift occurs in a chapter titled “Hard Realities”, and the MC predictably complains about this free gift giving him a headache. I think most learners of a new language would quite rightly be all too happy to have some random guild/organisation pay for a language lesson that instantly allows the learner to completely learn a language at the cost of a headache. A full, free scholarship taking next to none of their time with no application process or competition.
The story and the characters may improve in later chapters, but currently I struggle to find any justification to read more chapters. Maybe if the story was a little less derivative of other isekai stories and the characters a little more interesting I might have tried to read a few more chapters. But the whole world revolving around an unlikeable and not terribly interesting MC is a stretch. And once it came to Chapter 14 and the latest self-absorbed action that was just the last straw for me. Sure, the MC is not a psychotic baddy who is evil for evil’s sake (e.g. eats babies for giggles). He just seems sociopathic in his indifference to anything not related to his own desires. And not a charming sociopath either (e.g. Tom Ripley), but more of the selfishness of Joffrey Baratheon, without the bloodlust for sapient beings. Though that could just be because he has not yet had the opportunity to indulge.
Story is pretty interesting. Writing is good and solid. Story telling skill is good enough and getting better. I really enjoyed this story and appreciate its' deviation from the mainstream ideaology. It is unfortunate that the story is getting so many angry reviews; I encourage those new to this story to give it a chance and try to read beyond the few moments that may not line up with your world view.
I hope this story ends up being so good that it can rise above! Would love to hear that sweet sweet 'Reeeeeeeee!'