The Power of Ten, Book Three : The Human Race
by RE Druin
Twice Completed the Royal Road Writathon challenge!
Successor Book to Power of Ten Book One: Sama Rantha, and Book Two: The Far Future. Chapters began 9/5/2020. Chapters are around 2000 words (4 Word Pages) updated daily since Dec. 26, 2018.
A shard severed from a soul, full of Karma, but needing a body and life of its own.
The first true Rantha Hagbloods.
A Shrouded Earth invaded by magic, struggling to once again see the sky.
Three souls with the full knowledge of Power of Ten are on a world in need of something to break the stalemate and suppression of the Shroud of Undeath.
It's going to take gold, and Gear, and Levels, but the undead aren't the only enemies that they'll be facing as they strive to liberate a world, and guide it towards the Light of Heaven.
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Third book, or maybe fourth book in the series. The author has graduated from forcing acronyms down your throat and has made his writing very accessible. Great system and world that I am very happy to read about again. The apocalypse has come to a world and has stalled out. Now a world apocalypse survivor has come to this new world to destroy the undead and any other unseemly influences. Is the world ready for the revolution that her ideas will bring? Let's find out.
Style: The writing style is consistent and easy to understand. My only issue (for 4.5, very minimal) is a strong use of "show, don't tell". The main character demonstrates an ability or knowledge that were previously unstated, don't have an explanation, or the explanation comes many chapters later.
- Considering how much the author responds to comments and messages to elaborate on something that may not have been clearly stated, this is a non-issue.
Grammar: Virtually flawless. I may see one mispelled or misused word per chapter, at maximum, and the intent is always clear.
Story: The story is very clear about what its about, the Power of Ten. A grind from nothing to uberness, with problems to fix or slay, numbers to crunch, allies to make, and side quests to follow. From that perspective, 5 out of 5 stars.
- Now, the reason why I rate it at 4 out of 5 stars is because there isn't a road to failure. Consequences are setbacks, almost never serious as the main character seems to pull a solution out of thin air. It's not nearly anime levels of problem solving, but its close.
Character Score: The characters tend to be unique, but there is an amount of shared thinking or ideas that means that the characters tend to fall in line (this could be an effect of the in-world Alignment system that I'm misunderstanding). A set of characters may have differing beliefs but often act as if they didn't (again, could be the Alignment). An exploration of debate between some characters of similar ideals but differing beliefs (such as two LG from different cultures), could be interesting.
I don't understand how the author pumps out as much content as they do, but they do, so if you enjoy shorter stories this might not be for you. The book itself is, at least at the moment entertaining, and judging by the previous books will continue to be so until it's end.
I love D20 systems, I enjoy reading sourcebooks in my spare time and it's really fun to be able to recognize some of the things from those sourcebooks in this novel. The only slight detriment to the story is the volume of information, and the lack of a wiki or database listing the different feats, masteries, spells, classses, etc. and their effects, but the relevant details are usually mentioned, if not in an as detailed manner as when it was first introduced.
All in all, great series, would reccomend, although for newcomers the amount of chapters might seem a bit daunting, it's a very enjoyable binge.
I honestly love this story as much as 2 previously published books. It is exactly to my tastes in light literature.
To fulfill advance review requirements, I will move point by point describing my opinions related to particular aspects of the story.
1) Style is compelling, easy dilougues mix with an appropriate amount of descriptions. All in all depicting complex vibrant world/backstory in which characters are living.
2) Story is superb. Basic promise of universal forces fighting with each other for domination while our main characters sway the results of age old struggle to their side.
3) Story is properly edited and beta red. While reading I am not noticing any gramatic errors.
4) Background characters are solid sometimes recurring sometimes not, they are not what makes this story great. Main characters on the other hand are it. They move the plot along, grow stronger and become force of change in the world around them, stereotypical taking no bad attitude from anyone practical heroes who get the job done.
I would like to thank the Author for creating such a wonderful world and stories within, encompassing 3 different books and 3 different genre settings. (Book 1 - fantasy world, 2 - syfy cyberpunk galaxy, 3 - post apocalyptic, zombie world)
I've enjoyed the first two books and am glad there's a third. The Story has a good amount of Crunchy Bits and Lore, so if you're afraid of numbers it might not be for you. On the other hand, there's a Glossary at the beginning and more Q&A in the comments, the Author is really good about answering any questions you may have about said Crunchy Bits and Lore.
Also if you're interested in D&D and Pathfinder this borrows heavily from both as well as others. A basic knowledge of gaming terms used in those Systems helps.
This is the third story of the power of ten series so if you are new check the other two out first.
Like usual the setting is rooted in dnd, but has its own way of doing things.
We have multiple mcs, but that's not a problem as their perspectives are quite distinct imo.
Plotwise we get a main hook relatively early on, but while the mc whom is concerned with it tries to resolve it it doesn't seem to want to be easily done. Basically rather slow progress on that front.
Grammar is good.
Oh and often the author comments on the chapters with little tidbits/explanations, so check them out.
If you've read the first two books of the series, you know what to expect - a number-chrunching, min-maxing novel full of Good Hags, DnD/Pathfinder/etc like lore, and did I mention the numbers yet?
Style: Numbers. Loads of them. No blue boxes, but expect to google at least 5 abbreviations for hit modifiers or other Pen&Paper terms. I personally enjoy this, some people won't.
Story: Will update as soon as there's 100 Chapters or so, but the other books where coherent, well constructed and gripping.
Grammar: Mostly flawless, a few typos here and there, but nothing major.
Characters: Sama Rantha + Her Fuzzy = best couple. Well written ones.
So this is more of the groundwork and explanation chapter for those who don't know the mechanics or who have just picked up the series.
Gets much better in later chapters and is a really fun read based on more PoT characters that we did not get to see much of.
If you can't deal with numbers having meaning and being explained, then this is not for you, but please give it a shot and see if you enjoy it.
If you haven't, I strongly recommend reading the previous entry in the Power of Ten series by this author, considering it has hundreds of chapters across two effective books and sets the stage for where and what this book will do. Not to mention, some of the core characters and systems (Sama Rantha, Briggs, the Marked) come into being there. Lastly, if you've enjoyed this story so far, you will absolutely enjoy the first two books.
This story is predicated on a litrpg system built on DnD/Pathfinder systems, with a core tenet of rooting out Evil in all its forms (corruption, cruelty, divine) and burning it out from wherever it takes root. On top of that, rather than having everything handled by a single cast of heroes, there's a great deal of time invested in building up Good structures, empowering normal people to change and fight for the little slice of world around them. It builds a sense of momentum as each story starts small before gradually building up a group that becomes an organization that becomes an army. If I had one word to describes this series, it'd likely be momentum.
Style: Straightforward, only taking detours into the leveling system when relevant to the story. It stays on track with the narrative and never slows down to navel-gaze.
Grammar: There are errors, though notably fewer than the last set published by RE Druin. Whether experience or an editor, this story's rather well done compared to many on Royal Road.
Story: This one primarily follows Traveler, a fragment of a soul cut loose and popped into the body of a recently dead woman. From there, she struggles to grow in strength while providing information from her relatively more advanced Earth (within the system, not our Earth) to improve the fighting ability of those around her. Sama Rantha and Briggs also appear from the previous Power of Ten books, though in new incarnations, though the focus is definitely on Traveler this go-around. It's still in the early stages of power growth, which is funny given the 124 chapters already written, but momentum is steadily building as Traveler lays the foundation to build up the forces aligned with her goals. It's no less satisfying for it though. There's a real sense of improvement, leaving each place a little cleaner and better prepared to keep it that way. Avoiding spoilers, all I can really say is that the point of direct action is rapidly approaching and if the last Power of Ten is any indication, that will be when things really start to kick off as victory builds on victory.
Characters: I will say that the primary characters are a bit cut from the same cloth. Relentless, cheerful about making waves, and hard gold souls, everything they do is in the pursuit of making the world a better place where they can. Which is far less flowers and rainbows, and more bloody retribution and better weapons. What's more important is that they're all satisfying to follow along with, kind of like a sweet grandma with a rifle and a plate of cookies. Everyone gets one or the other depending on their actions. That said, the characters do feel and act like real people with their own goals and aspirations even as they're drawn into the orbit of the main characters. Villains aren't mustache-twirling types, rather they're mostly just the result of the selfish or ambitious scrabbling for power. Despite the seeming constraints of the alignment chart, it's well humanized here.
Overall, much like the last story, this makes for another grandly involved growth and progression run. The setting is more involved than the first, and there's a greater focus on improving the world as well as the people much like in Book Two. Though Sama Rantha isn't the primary in this, I think it's a fairly safe bet that if you enjoyed the last two books, you'll find more of the same to enjoy here. If you've started here and enjoyed it, I'd definitely recommend backtracking to Book One and coming up through the story proper.
"Systems" are a crutch. No blue boxes, no helpful voice, just D20 Modern LitRPG goodness, mixed in with all kinds of Rule of Cool homebrew and more 3.5e Sourcebooks than you can shake a stick at. Less min-maxing and more action than Book I, partly because MC's build is picked for him based on his actions.
Book III sets up a deeper look at the universe than Books I and II, with a fresh MC who needs answers- but first he has to survive long enough to figure out all the questions to ask.
RE Druin has 500+ chapters of writing experience on RR and it shows, with smoother narrative flow, few if any typos, and a hook from Chapter 1 that tells you there's a long rabbit hole to go down before it's over.