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Jeb Trapper tried to kill himself. The gun jammed.
Two months later the vet is participating in underground trials of ecstacy to treat his PTSD.
Everything seemed to be going great until...
>>>The System has Been Installed<<<
Now he's got to choose the difficulty of his tutorial.
Just one problem.
He's high as a kite, and nothing seems Impossible.
A:GS book one is up and running on Amazon!
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EDIT: I see I'm getting downvoted for my review. Here is what my review says: It's a good story.
I would be pleasantly surprised if the author actually keeps the plot moving forward, but I won't be holding my breath.
I will get out of the way that I think this story is great if you judge by the first 10 chapters. Great pacing, characterization is fine, cool/unique way of using magic.
In other words, it has momentum.
But then I subbed to patreon, and read ahead, and I see the other stories the author writes, and that he relies on it for income... and there is a bit of a.... conflict of interest... between the author "milking" this story, and maintaining that momentum. And I am noticing some superfluous, arbitrary introductions in the story for purposes of lengthening it. The story does not maintain that tightness, it unravels a bit. And it's probably the point, intentional, but I'm not here to read another "Randidly Ghostbound" or "He who fights with monsters". At this point, after reading hundreds of stories on here and in published world, I can spot a "hook, line, sinker", or "first one is free" kind of fiction when it's there.
I don't want to be pessimistic, but I would bet good money this story will never end.
i found the first book adequately engaging, for an admittedly (and openly acknowledged) generic system apocalypse themed litrpg. the concept of the tutorial, how the main character ended up where he did, and how he eked by, those were reasonably solid.
but the story wasn't exactly fast moving, even in the first arc. there were parts of the tutorial arc that, while containing some interesting things, required more than a little "well, i guess i better get through this to get to the next interesting part" self-pushing.
that said, some of the stuff in how the finale played out in that first arc? surprisingly satisfying.
then the second book started, and everything has been steadily downhill for me since. the author continues to introduce interesting ideas here and there, genuinely novel concepts, but i haven't cared about the main character since the first book, and there's hardly anybody else for me to be invested in, and the only one who sticks around is even less likeable than the protagonist.
now here we are in book 4, and i just... can't bring myself to care anymore. i'm still marking the story three stars because i got something out of a bunch of it, but i can't even force myself to drudge through the awkwardly paced adventures of apathy man just to get at the new ideas that show up at irregular intervals, so it was time for me to write a review (which admittedly echoes a bunch of other reviews going back a ways, so it's not like i have new information), unfollow, and move on.
Probably nobody will read this review, so I will let myself go wild...
Honestly, I just don't understand why there are so much 5 star.
The story is nothing ground breaking. I know, that was obvious with a title as "Generic system apocalypse", but a lot of review boast about everything being original (more so his magic system). I am doubtful.... Probably some fan nonsense haha.
To do a little summary of the story and system :
MC is a guy with no family, no love, no futur that choose the highest level difficulty tutorial (that will give him a broken reward) and for him the apocaplypse was more a boon than a curse. So classic.
In short, the system is 3 stats : body, mind and magic with level and class. Pretty basic for me. The only little difference about the magic system : you need to create a core that will limit your type of magic (like giving you an ability) and after that, you need "wand" to use other type of magic/spell.
Classic, well written (quality above average) but we can found story like this everywhere on Royalroad.
Sadly, I give a rating of only 50% because of the stupid MC and his big fat plot armor. So much that I don't understand why the tag "comedy" is not there (maybe it will be added after that review ?). This make it more like a VR story than a apocalypse story. All the choice made by the MC make absolutely no sense when your live is on the line, but make sense if that was a video game. See these four exemple under spoiler (in only 7 chapter....). Another weakness, the number for a stat doesn't seem to be really relevant. All description seem to tell you that more stats make a HUGE difference, but the story doesn't really reflect that. Sometime the stats made a difference, sometime not....
First event, he know that he made a mistake with the difficulty level and will need a lot of luck to survive short and long term. So, you are an ex-soldier trained to all form of combat, you can invest in what you know best, your body and mind (and maybe testing slowly that new stat) to survive short term OR you can choose to invest EVERYTHING in a stats that you know absolutely nothing. Mmmm, difficult choice. So, what did he choose ? To invest everything in the new stat because "other people will not do that...". Of course, that was somehow a good choice because with 12 point he can see "fairy" that will give him information in exchange of M&M (no comedy tag, really...) but forget to ask how work his new stat or anything related to it. Worst of all, after all that, the first thing he does is to try to kill a monster with his body (with a spear) and mind (strategy). Remember, tutorial, difficulty impossible, MC has only base physical stat and he think he can kill a monster physically while the system give a minimun of 15 level "bonus" to survive. Of course, he survive the encounter after being trampled and even kill the monster (*cough* plot armour *cough*).
Second event, encounter with looter. MC cannot defend himself, but somehow the people prefer to let him die of thirst or monster rather than kill him and collect xp. Remember guys, tutorial, difficulty impossible, system tell you you are a sacrifice. All xp count and clearly, someone that choose difficulty "impossible" is definitely ready to do everything to win (or give up on life). But no, of course we will not kill someone that we loot and can even survive to screw us back. Or come back to see him when all our stuff start to disappear. Honestly, there was absolutely no reason to let him live and a shit load to kill him. Another good plot armour.
Third event, 2 looters come back (others are dead), the MC level 1 succeeds in killing a level 35, with a class, that have a LOT more body (and mind) than our MC with a basic trap. Somehow, the villain didn't see the obvious trap or tell the MC gave when he moved before the trap. Or have inhuman reflex or resistance that let him dodge the trap. Or simply throw his axes at the MC. Anyway, plot armour again *sigh*. Moreover, after that, the second looter that is better than him in level, have all her feet and have better chance to survive overall, accept without reason to let him have all the bonus stats linked to killing the mini-boss. What the hell ! Who in their right mind will give free stats to a stranger (that you don't trust) when you can have it to yourself and when this impact your survavibility ! Moreso when you are a women that have been more or less forced to be under a "bad guy" and is now free. The first thing that you will want it's to do everything in your power to never be in the same situation. So more stat for yourselve and not a stranger/former ennemy.
Forth event and last straw for me, the choice of the class. Remember, your live is on the line. You have a choice between two really good and versatile class but one of them give you 100 % more of a stat PER LEVEL. The MC tell us everytime that he found telekinesis "cool" (power of that class). Moreover, the class that give him more stat is exacly how he used his power since the start. The other one is situational and make trap. Better when you can have a lot of mobility. MC with his one foot doesn't stop saying he need something that doesn't need mobility, but you know what, the trap class seem more "fun" and I have ideas how to use that power so I choose that ! Come on... How do you want me to feel tension or fear for the MC when he "play" like he is in a video game.
In short, 2.5 star, maybe 3 if it's supposed to be a comedy (need the tag). The character doesn't make sense and the story is classic.
Macronomicon's system apocalypse. That should tell you what to expect going in. An unconventional magic system with well thought out rules that is immediately exploited by the MC. It was originally posted as a joke on his Patreon but everyone liked it so much he made it a thing.
A version of "The tutorial is too hard" in which the MC chooses the difficulty Impossible / Hell. Well, nothing new under the sun.
This one is rather well written, even if it is well below the original. But for RR it's not so bad, despite the obvious trousers in the plot and the feeling that people other than the MC are all less intelligent. (Let me believe that he is the only one who thought of making the same choice. My ass)
I guess the author has relied on his readership of his old fiction to get to the top of the trend.
MC also starts with PSTDs, but as soon as it appears, it is never mentioned again, as if by magic. It's making fun of the syndrome itself and spitting on everyone who has it. Will alone is useless against this, but it doesn't even affect the CD anymore.
RLY? The first character trait of your MC went in the garbage just like that?
In conclusion, the writing isn't bad, rather logical given that this is the author's fourth book, but the fights are still soft and a bit fuzzy, and a harem will probably come sooner or later.
An excellent example of the magic versus combat quadratic and linear power scaling and why it happens and how magic works as technology and as anyone who has read any good scifi knows "any Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a really big gun"
I read most of it on Patreon first, and skimmed here since I follow the author from his other works, but he's pretty good and I've only ever noticed minor things if there are any issues.
The characters feel like how people would behave in overwhelming situations and are good examples of how you can judge people's character by what they do when given power. It also shows how survival gets pitted against power and morals in extreme situations.
I also really like the different Utility v. Spell styles of magic that the two different main magic users employ.
so i'm reading your books .... first can you define a safe zone for me ... stealing and use of weapons doesnt really fit ... does it?... i love meta and the little things ... insert joke here ... but i can't stand when something is out of place ... i know you cant go back and fix mistakes but try harder in the future.... cheers
So far it's a great story. Writing style is easy to read and flows super well, magic is well described and interesting, if a bit vague regarding uses and arbitrary regarding powerscales
Class selection and telekinesis in particular. Not to say the Magic Batman stuff isn't interesting and great, but it also feels like the TK combatant class was given a bad rap, considering that WITHOUT it he can fly around at 120 mph and drop bombs etc, I can only imagine what he could do with it. Multiple 'hard air' shields to cover him, dropping 50 ton 'rods of god' from space onto the turtle? Instead we have a magic programming thing, which is definitely interesting too, but.
Writing this I've realised I'm not going anywhere, so ill leave it with saying that I felt unsatisfied, and that the author could have just as easily munchkined either option, and that because I would have liked the other one more, I'm salty :P
That said, while the story and setting so far IS great, it's also a Macronomicon story...
A great start is expected, but I'm more worried about what comes next. After chapter 100 of Outer Sphere I feel honestly hesitant to even follow this story.
If the author stopped trying to make is stories go on FOREVER and instead allowed for some kind of end goal I think he would be a LOT better off. Outer Sphere just became a whole different story at chapter 100 because Macro was bored of the setting but didn't want to end his story, and it killed it. Wake of the Ravager likewise was interesting to start off with, but around chapter 100-150 it suffers from some serious plot fatigue. Things *happen* but it never GOES anywhere. It feels like there's no ending in sight, and that means that the reader loses perspective on the whole story.
I dunno, I feel like Macro would be a much better writer if he started these stories with a clear endgoal in mind and a set of steps on how to get there. There's a reason 1000 chapter long Wuxia is considered a trash genre no matter how many series come out, and another reason EVERY successful book has an ending. Please macro, please, please, please have an ending in mind for this story and take us there before starting a new one, or I swear I won't read it and set myself up for dissapointment again.
PS Apocalypse Trifect was trash because EVERY character was a shit head. All the 'other' people are asshole and the MC was an empty headed, people pleasing, moron. The writing itself was great, the setting was fantastic, and the action was a thrill to read. The characters were also believable and dialogue was well done. But every character was an asshole. And the main characters character was the worst kind of floorboard, inviting those assholes to walk all over him. Definitely too much Japanese light novel or anime influence, I'm glad to see later protagonists were better. Though they could have also done with less anime style harems and some of the shitties soft core porn romance ever, glad to see that's also improving in this one, so far at least.
Only 2 chapters are out and it's only a day old but it's one of my new favorite fictions. Character is funny but not obnoxious, story is dark but not depressing, and most importantly the titles have names and they're not just numbers like seriously why do people do that it takes like one minute to think of a title.
Following on Patreon.... you guys are in for a treat.
This is a generic system novel that that is done so well that it flips the genre on its head. You know what to expect when you read one of these.... the only thing different in this case is the excellence in which it is done. The protagonist is relatable and comes in to his power with all of the grace of a bull in a China shop. Nothing is easy but a cheeser will cheese and you will not be able to stop reading. Give it a shot and you won't be disappointed .....