The Primal Hunter

The Primal Hunter

by Zogarth

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

Book 1 now available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited & Audible

On just another normal Monday, the world changed. The universe had reached a threshold humanity didn’t even know existed, and it was time to finally be integrated into the vast multiverse. A world where power is the only thing that one can truly rely on.

Jake, a seemingly average office worker, finds himself thrust into this new world. Into a tutorial filled with dangers and opportunities. In a world that should breed fear and concern, an environment that makes his fellow coworkers falter, Jake instead finds himself thriving.

Perhaps… Jake was born for this kind of world, to begin with.

 

Release Schedule:

5 chapters a week.

Average chapter length: 2500

Tags and content warnings are mainly to give me creative freedom later on. This is my first novel ever, and English isn’t my native language, so go easy on me chaps. Any feedback is more than welcome, of course. Also, this novel is only posted on Royalroad, Patreon, and my Amazon releases, so if you are reading it elsewhere, it's pirated and you suck if you keep reading.

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Zogarth

Zogarth

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Table of Contents
263 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1 - Another Monday morning ago
Chapter 2 - Introduction ago
Chapter 3 - The tutorial commences ago
Chapter 4 - First battle ago
Chapter 5 - Big pig ago
Chapter 6 - Questioning ago
Chapter 7 - Training & rest ago
Chapter 8 - A wonderful night ago
Keep reading/listening on Amazon's Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and Audible! ago
Chapter 282 - The Power of Haven ago
Chapter 283 - Treasure Hunt? "Let's <CENSORED> Go!" ago
Chapter 284 - Treasure Hunt: A World of Mist ago
Chapter 285 - Treasure Hunt: No Flying Too High ago
Chapter 286 - Treasure Hunt: Fire & Ash ago
Chapter 287 - Treasure Hunt: History Lesson ago
Chapter 288 - Treasure Hunt: Armor of Mist ago
Chapter 289 - Treasure Hunt: The Girl & The Hawk ago
Chapter 290 - Treasure Hunt: Viscount & Count ago
Chapter 291 - Treasure Hunt: Annoying Boss Fight ago
Chapter 292 - Treasure Hunt: Count Down for the Count ago
Chapter 293 - Treasure Hunt: Thief! ago
Chapter 294 - Treasure Hunt: Judging Stuff ago
Chapter 295 - Treasure Hunt: Puzzle ago
Chapter 296 - Treasure Hunt: Collaborative Project ago
Chapter 297 - Treasure Hunt: Pure Ones ago
Chapter 298 - Treasure Hunt: Blood ago
Chapter 299 - Treasure Hunt: Broken Tower ago
Chapter 300 - Treasure Hunt: Root of Resentment ago
Chapter 301 - Treasure Hunt - Count Hunting ago
Chapter 302 - Treasure Hunt: Actual Speedrunning (mostly) ago
Chapter 303 - Treasure Hunt: Blades & Brothers ago
Chapter 304 - Treasure Hunt: Punching Back ago
Chapter 305 - Treasure Hunt: Invincible ago
Chapter 306 - Treasure Hunt: Unreasonable People ago
Chapter 307 - Treasure Hunt: Exchange ago
Chapter 308 - Treasure Hunt: Phase Two ago
Chapter 309 - Treasure Hunt: Vaults ago
Chapter 310 - Treasure Hunt: Out Of Place ago
Chapter 311 - Treasure Hunt: Arrogant Young Master ago
Chapter 312 - Treasure Hunt: Test of Character ago
Chapter 313 - Treasure Hunt: Rubik's Cube ago
Chapter 314 - Treasure Hunt: Valuable Asset ago
Chapter 315 - Treasure Hunt: Another Collaborative Project ago
Chapter 316 - Treasure Hunt: The Importance of Word Choice ago
Chapter 317 - Treasure Hunt: Not Extortion ago
Chapter 318 - Treasure Hunt: Spatial Storage & Parting ago
Chapter 319 - Treasure Hunt: Vault Run = Loot 5.0 ago
Chapter 320 - Treasure Hunt: Submerged ago
Chapter 321 - Treasure Hunt: The Depth of Water ago
Chapter 322 - Treasure Hunt: Be Like Water ago
Chapter 323 - Treasure Hunt: Boss Room, Please? ago
Chapter 324 - Treasure Hunt: A Scaly Intermission ago
Chapter 325 - Treasure Hunt: Serenity & Conflict ago
Chapter 326 - Treasure Hunt: Arrow Time ago
Chapter 327 - Treasure Hunt: The Final Stage ago
Chapter 328 - Treasure Hunt: Starting Shots ago
Chapter 329 - Treasure Hunt: Quite the Mix ago
Chapter 330 - Treasure Hunt: Proposition ago
Chapter 331 - Treasure Hunt - Target Prioritization ago
Chapter 332 - Treasure Hunt: Will of the True Ancestor ago
Chapter 333 - Treasure Hunt: A Leveled Look at Power ago
Amazon Announcement + AMA! ago
Chapter 334 - Treasure Hunt: One Down ago
Chapter 335 - Treasure Hunt: Paths ago
Chapter 336 - Treasure Hunt: Countermeasures ago
Chapter 337 - Treasure Hunt: Holy Blade ago
Chapter 338 - Treasure Hunt: A Final Fight ago
Chapter 339 - Treasure Hunt: Vanity & Patience ago
Chapter 340 - Treasure Hunt: Limit Shatter ago
Chapter 341 - Treasure Hunt - The Duel Begins ago
Chapter 342 - Treasure Hunt: Passion ago
Chapter 343 - Treasure Hunt: Misconception ago
Chapter 344 - Springtime Advent ago
Chapter 345 - Peak of Humanity ago
Chapter 346 - Summer Rain ago
Chapter 347 - A (Potentially) Momentous Duel ago
Chapter 348 - To the End ago
Chapter 349 - After the Hunt ago
Chapter 350 - Reflecting On A Loss and the Question of What the Hell A Transcendence Is ago
Chapter 351 - Combat Styles ago
Chapter 352 - Travel Preparations ago
Chapter 353 - Road Trip Entertainment: Vampire Lore ago
Chapter 354 - Unexpected Visitor ago
Chapter 355 - Visiting Skyggen & Skyggen ago
Chapter 356 - Family Reunion ago
Chapter 357 - Exploring Relationships ago
Chapter 358 - Umbral Lotus ago
Chapter 359 - Sorting Time ago
Chapter 360 - To sell or not to sell, that is the question ago
Chapter 361 - The Auction (Read: Alchemy) Begins! ago
Chapter 362 - A Brief Intermission ago
Chapter 363 - An Epic Mixed Bag ago
Chapter 364 - A Cursed Intermission ago
Chapter 365 - Actually Buying Things ago
Chapter 366 - Bees, Pants & the Geopolitical Landscape ago
Chapter 367 - The Legendaries Cometh ago
Chapter 368 - Scammed ago
Chapter 369 - A Unique Encounter ago
Chapter 370 - You get an item! And you get an item! Everyone gets an item! ago
Chapter 371 - The Good Stuff ago
Chapter 372 - Soul Renewal ago
THE PRIMAL HUNTER BOOK ONE OUT ON AMAZON! ago
Chapter 373 - Time Wizard & Future Plans ago
Chapter 374 - Jake's Laboratorium & To-do List ago
Chapter 375 - Oh Gosh, It's a Time Skip! ago
Chapter 376 - A King Reborn ago
Chapter 377 - Jake vs the King (Rematch?) ago
Chapter 378 - Unique Lifeforms ago
Chapter 379 - A Truly Cursed Ritual ago
Chapter 380 - Hunger ago
Chapter 381 - Eternal Hunger ago
Chapter 382 - Progress Through Cursed Slaughter ago
Chapter 383 - Skills & Paths ago
Chapter 384 - Fumigation ago
Chapter 385 - A Path From Inferiority ago
Chapter 386 - First Contact: C-Grade ago
Chapter 387 - Underground ago
Chapter 388 - Onwards! To Haven! ago
Chapter 389 - A Good Eye For People ago
Chapter 390 - A Monumental Monument ago
Chapter 391 - Clearing Up Misconceptions Left & Right ago
Intermission 7/9 - Holyland: All By the Grace of the Holy Mother ago
Chapter 392 - Off He Goes ago
Chapter 393 - Designing the School Uniform ago
Chapter 394 - To Feel the Shroud ago
Chapter 395 - The Weight of Time ago
Chapter 396 - Finding the Purpose ago
Chapter 397 - A Shroud of Stars & School Life Dangers ago
Chapter 398 - School Preparations ago
Chapter 399 - A New Era ago
Chapter 400 - A Diverse Crowd ago
Chapter 401 - Dungeon: Order of the Malefic Viper D-grade entrance-test ago
Chapter 402 - You Win Some, You Lose Some ago
Chapter 403 - Elective Tests ago
Chapter 404 - Readiness Not Found ago
Chapter 405 - Angry Transmutation ago
Chapter 406 - Pretty Easy ago
Chapter 407 - Dominating the Test ago
Chapter 408 - Meeting Expectations ago
Chapter 409 - Extra Credits Hydra ago
Chapter 410 - Beast vs Man ago
Chapter 411 - A Legendary Warrior ago
Chapter 412 - Fangs of Man ago
Chapter 413 - The Human Has Fangs ago
Chapter 414 - Academy Entry Token ago
Chapter 415 - A Different TIme ago
Chapter 416 - An Uncertain Future ago
Chapter 417 - Rules & A Very Good Question ago
Chapter 418 - "The Positive Side" ago
Chapter 419 - Conversations Are Hard ago
Chapter 420 - Blaze It! ago
Chapter 421 - A Life of Punishment ago
Chapter 422 - First Lesson ago
Chapter 423 - Willpower, Flames & Dragons ago
Chapter 424 - Mysterious Senior ago
Chapter 425 - Soulflame & Exposed ago
Chapter 426 - A New Path ago
Chapter 427 - Windy Times Ahead ago
Chapter 428 - Bit of Dragon Lore ago
Chapter 429 - The History of Bloodlines ago
Chapter 430 - Relationships Are Hard. Oh, and Neurotoxins ago
Chapter 431 - Slow And Steady Wins the Race ago
Chapter 432 - Party Prepping ago
Chapter 433 - The Power of Booze ago
Chapter 434 - Outed ago
Book 2 of the Primal Hunter now out on Amazon + Coins. ago
Chapter 435 - Political Maneuvering & Preperations ago
Chapter 436 - Presence of a King ago
Chapter 437 - Discussing the Future of Earth ago
Chapter 438 - Paths To A Better Future ago
Chapter 439 - A Good Chat & Hidden Agendas ago
Chapter 440 - A Case of Bad Communication ago
Chapter 441 - The Right Path ago
Chapter 442 - Golden Opportunities Only A Moron Would Waste ago
Chapter 443 - Vampire Visit ago
Chapter 444 - The Sentiment of Vampires ago
Chapter 445 - Vampire Hoarders ago
Chapter 446 - Heart of the Alchemist ago
Chapter 447 - Momentum + Wealth = Progress ago
Chapter 448 - Unexpected New Paths ago
Chapter 449 - Oras ago
Chapter 450 - Comprehending the Incomprehensible ago
Chapter 451 - Ambermill: A Quaint Little Town ago
Chapter 452 - Friendly Advice & Competition ago
Chapter 453 - Earth Elemental Prima ago
Chapter 454 - The Great Escape ago
Chapter 455 - Grand Mangrove River ago
Chapter 456 - Bend! ago
Chapter 457 - The Depths of the Grand Mangrove River ago
Chapter 458 - Making "Friends" ago
Chapter 459 - Port City Changlun ago
Chapter 460 - Crossing the Great Pond ago
Chapter 461 - City-Hopping ago
Chapter 462 - Tracking & Danger Bird ago
Chapter 463 - Paradise ago
Chapter 464 - Gambling Time ago
Chapter 465 - The Importance of Keeping Up Appearances ago
Chapter 466 - The Salvento Family ago
Chapter 467 - Peak Family Drama ago
Chapter 468 - A One-Sided Family Feud ago
Chapter 469 - Catharsis ago
Chapter 470 - The Morning After ago
Chapter 471 - Jungle Hunting ago
Chapter 472 - Skills, Statuses, & A Stealthy Future ago
Chapter 473 - Covert Wills ago
Chapter 474 - Stealth Archer Training ago
Chapter 475 - Phantomshade Panther ago
Chapter 476 - In the Jungle... ago
Chapter 477 - The Mighty Jungle... ago
Chapter 478 - The Hunter Sleeps Tonight ago
Chapter 479 - A Step Forward For the Universe ago
Chapter 480 - Seat of the Exalted Prima ago
Chapter 481 - Unrealistic Planetary Standards ago
Chapter 482 - Path of Myriad Choices ago
Chapter 483 - A Very Different Life ago
Chapter 484 - Understanding Thyself ago
Chapter 485 - A Lonely Existence ago
Chapter 486 - Profession?? ago
Chapter 487 - A Path To Survival ago
Chapter 488 - The Faint Line Between The Virtual & Reality ago
Book 3 the Primal Hunter now out on Amazon/Audible! ago
Chapter 489 - Internal Developments ago
Chapter 490 - Beneath the Stars ago
Chapter 491 - Meetings & Leaving the Seat ago
Chapter 492 - Great Wonders & Wondering What To Level ago
Chapter 493 - Not Blackmail ago
Chapter 494 - Learning Styles & Internal Struggle ago
Chapter 495 - Two Geniuses Making Plans: Me & Myself ago
Chapter 496 - A Counter+Intuitive Fighting Style. ago
Chapter 497 - "So, you want to join the Order of the Malefic Viper?" ago
Chapter 498 - Minor Misunderstandings & Dungeon ago
Chapter 499 - Oversharing & One More Beer ago
Chapter 500 - Spontaneous Decisions Are The Best Decisions ago
Chapter 501 - Girl Time & Guy Time ago
Chapter 502 - Mushrooms... So Many Mushrooms. ago
Chapter 503 - Truly Evil Dungeon Design ago
Chapter 504 - Heroes of the Ninth Floor ago
Chapter 505 - Mushroom Massacre & Friend Visit ago
Chapter 506 - United In Hatred ago
Chapter 507 - Reflecting On Stats & Supreme Final Boss ago
Chapter 508 - A Rude Interruption ago
Chapter 509 - (Un)expected Situation ago
Chapter 510 - Reika & the Insurmountable Task Of Trying To Explain Jake ago
Chapter 511 - Friendships & The Question Of Why They Are So Damn Hard. ago
Chapter 512 - An Offer Difficult To Refuse ago
Chapter 513 - A Teaching Moment ago
Chapter 514 - Two Very Different Fates ago
Chapter 515 - “You are never going to let me live this down, are you?” - Jake Thayne ago
Chapter 516 - A Real Anomaly ago
Chapter 517 - A Small Shopping Trip ago
Chapter 518 - Equipment For Him & Her ago
Chapter 519 - Something Wrong ago
Chapter 520 - In An Instant ago
Chapter 521 - Celestial Alignment of Yore ago
Chapter 522 - Across The World ago
Chapter 523 - Just Sand-Witch Things ago
Chapter 524 - Into the Ground ago
Chapter 525 - Making (Unpleasant) Business Deals ago
Chapter 526 - Painting the Desert Blue ago
Chapter 527 - A Sandy Sand Worm ago
Chapter 528 - A Whole New Worm ago
Chapter 529 - Searching for a Path ago
Chapter 530 - A Logical Conclusion ago

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Owo1997
Overall

First of all, and one of the main reasons I love this novel: the "classes" the MC has. I read like dozens of novels and none had this particular combo, which paired with quite an interesting and somewhat balanced system makes it worth a read alone.

As regarding to the plot as it is I like it, I fear what awaits when the world will be explained further but I believe in the Author's skills.

Khalydor
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

To begin with, I do like the story and the world the author introduces. The class system seems interesting and the MC is a character I like.

That said I will not continue reading this story, even though I enjoyed my time with it for the most part (well, until I decided enough is enough)

If you enjoy very detailed descriptions of actions performed in combat scenes and of reasoning behind choices made, then by all means give this story a try.
Though if those points raise some concerns do continue reading this review, where I'll point out what I disliked about this story.

An often noted issue people have with this story is the heavy focus on characters that are not very likeable and even though I agree, this is NOT the reason for why I have to drop this.

It is the very detailed description of every little thing the MC does, his reasoning for his choices, his actions in combat, just everything is detailed out at every given point in time.
Every now and then, especially for important choices or strong enemies I appreciate a detailed description of what is going on, but reading every combat encounter in detail gets tedious and I do not see the point of giving a long reasoning for all his skill choices every time they occur.
A few important skills, difficult choices between two or similar skills, sure that's welcome, but not ALL and for sure not every time. 
Not only is it tedious reading everything happening with the MC in such detail it also reduces the pacing of the story to a snails crawl whenever the chapter has the focus on the MC.
As such, I actually welcomed the chapters focusing on sidecharacters because it usually means that there will be some progression at the point we switch back to the MC.

I would have liked if instead the pacing was faster and thus we would be further in the story, or focus more on the psychological side of what is happening to the people in the tutorial and how they come to the drastic decisions they make just days in the tutorial.

I mean, they kill each other just DAYS in the tutorial GUESSING that the tutorial gives better rewards for fewer survivors (it's only stated that it is based on the amount of survivors).

Instead this is sadly brushed aside and we only get insight into one particularly unlikeable character (we all know who I am referring to).

Now, the focus on the psychological side is only a suggestion for what could have been done with the freed up space form increasing the pacing on MC's chapters and would have required the author to do further research regarding this, so it only stands as a suggestion and not as critique.

Snakefist
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

This story is currently in the first place for popularity so I thought to give it a try and I honestly don't understand why it's placed so high. It just has so many problems that completely overpower all of the good and enjoyable parts. It keeps making the same mistakes with no signs of improvement or change, so if you don't like the beginning you will probably not enjoy the rest of this story.

On the other hand it is popular and it has relatively high rating so maybe I'm the problem. Take into account that this is just my opinion and that your reading experience might be different.

 

Let's go over some good things about this story.

Overall combat is good. In many fights MC approaches fights tactically, thinks how best to use his skillset against that specific enemy and doesn't just go into every fight axe swinging and wins through sheer stubbornness and plot armor.

System seems well thought out. Skills are interesting and can add additional depth to subsequent fights. Stats actually affect physical world and are not just numbers on a page. Upgrading skills requires more understanding into those skills and can even be influenced by MC discovering different ways to use resources and merging those effects into existing skills. So over time his skills reflect more and more his fighting style and his class is tailored specific for him and his, lets call it, way of life.

 

Something that isn't really bad or good and is more expected from this genre of stories.

Multiple times MC does risky, tough and often times things that should end in his death but somehow powers through them and in the end gets better and better rewards.

 

Now for bad things.

First and foremost POV changes. To say that they are done badly would be an understatement. In the tutorial arc alone (around 110 chapters), there are so many different POVs that eventually lead to absolutely nothing. I'm not kidding. Throughout that whole arc I thought that author is trying to build a villain that will eventually culminate in an epic fight to the death with the MC, but that is not what happend. This whole parallel storyline is entirely pointless and can be skipped completely. Everything that is important to the story MC finds out without all of those side POVs. And that is without even looking at that villain and the content of those chapters. Pure existence of those chapters hurts this story more than it adds anything to it. This is the first time in my life where I have read a story where a villain has a bigger plot armor than the MC. Multiple times, people that want to kill him decide against it with some poor excuses that no human alive would ever make. What is even worse, those people are supposed to be smart and when they act like idiots those chapter become even more of a joke.

If you decide to read this story I promise that you will have a better reading experience if you skip all side POVs from inside the tutorial. You can read Jacobs POV starting from around chapter 70 if you want to understand what exactly happend but even that is not really that necessary because MC will find out most of the important details that happend behind the scenes and you will most likely be able to connect the dots.

The only reason that I can see for those side POVs existing is that without them there wouldn't really be any other characters because MC doesn't really interact with other people throught this story that much.

This trend with side POVs unfortunately continues even after the tutorial is over. You are forced to read about characters that you simply don't care about. Some of those chapters get even worse by not really containing anything relevant to the story. They are just introspections about shallow characters that just add more word count and nothing else.

I'm guessing that the author wanted to add deapth and scale to the story but it simply falls flat. If i am supposed to care about anything other than the MC, than he should get involved with those characters. Why should I care about some random character if the only thing that the MC cares about is fighting stronger beasts and getting stronger.

The second really bad thing about this story is the pacing. In the first arc I don't think that there is enough content for even 50 chapters. Every time the MC gets to choose a skill he usually gets offered around 5 skill options and every single time there is an overly long description of those skills with an in depth explanation of how MC thinks those skills work and why he doesn't want to pick them. This is made worse by those skill usually consisting of 4 weak or useless ones and 1 good, so there isn't really any choice or question of which skill he will pick. Chapters are constantly plagued by inner monologues of choices, decisions, thoughts about every conceivable thing that you can think of, that in the end just stall the story and bring the pace to a snails crawl.

If the author went back and removed all of the uneccessary parts, there might be 40 chapters left out of 110. Just so you understand how empty this story is I'll add in the spoiler below overall content in the first arc, I'm not going to say what happend but it might spoil the story a little bit and I might miss some things.

First you have the introduction like in every other isekai or post system apocalypse story, nothing special. One challenge dungeon, some alchemy, four normal dungeons and a final boss of the tutorial. There are some character interactions, not many, maybe four chapters worth after the introduction. There are as far as I can remember six enemy types with some of them having elite or boss variants without counting the final boss. I might have forgotten some but not many. Outside of the dungeons there are a few fights, mostly in the beginning. And that is it.

The reason why I gave it such a low rating, at least for RR, is that all of the problems continue after the tutorial arc. There has been ample feedback, some more rude which is not OK than other, in the comments but nothing seems to be changing.

Overall this is not a bad story. It can be fun if you skip or skim all of the unimportant content. And that is in my opinion the most grievous mistake an author can make when writing a story. There are whole chapters that you can straight up skip and not feel lost when reading further. There shouldn't be a single paragraph that you should be able to skip in a story without feeling lost.

 

I don't want to get too much into characters but they are your RR average even though a lot of chapters are devoted to side characters. Considering the effort put into side characters they should be a lot more fleshed out. MC is your typical psychopathic protagonist.

 

In closing I would recommend reading this story once a month, just so you can skip all of the filler and get some progress out of it anyway, which isn't really possible if you read chapters as they come out.

lolzmonster
Overall

I've lurked for years, and its always nice to stumble along a hidden gem. I found this just casually browsing, and really wasn't expecting too much, but so far, the plot and lore have been interesting, the characters have good depth, although a little bit of plot armour, but the story is fantastic and has been a really engaging read. This is the reason why i search through royal road for novels

JSalz
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

The Primal Hunter (PH) is, at times, a notch above the deluge of LitRPG/System Apocalypse stories on RR. Not a bad thing since I love the concept no matter how often I’m disappointed by the execution. As a light hearted read, it’s fairly entertaining and contains a bit more depth than the other LitRPG/SysPoc giants on RR. 

Nonetheless, I believe PH's quality degraded after the introductory arc (the tutorial) while slowly drowning within the stylistic issues present since the beginning.  

 

===== Story & Character(s) ===== 

--- Tutorial Arc:  ---

The Tutorial arc of Primal Hunter is a controversial section to a number of reviewers. To some, the tutorial is an odd split of priorities between diverging plot lines which isolate the MC from a more engaging series of events. Others might see meta-symbolism that exemplifies the characteristics of our MC which sets the tone for how the strongest individuals rise to power in PH's new-world-system.

As a fan of multiple-POV's and dynamic plot weaving, the narrative structure of the Tutorial arc places me firmly into the latter group. Regardless of the complaints, the plots do come together – and quite spectacularly at that. Misunderstandings, deceit, paranoia, delusional maniacs, and tragedy preemptively set a grand stage before the MC heads off to a challenging and well-fought boss battle. It feels complete – like a well-earned reward. The result is as much a standalone package as a setup for the larger narrative. 

The secondary characters feel distinct yet reasonably flexible in this arc as well:   

  • Insane Guy is insane but has a heart 
  • Boss/Friend Dude is a socialite and trusts others to an unhealthy degree yet gets burned and learns from it  
  • The Big Strong Guy is big and strong but has a heart 
  • Casper is not a ghost but has a ghost friend 
  • and so on 

For real though, each side character displays strong traits that are rarely rigid, often unravelling when tested or broken. The MC is the only downside. While his traits work thematically, I found his persona either blasé or off-putting. His views are milk-toast, typically circumnavigating difficult discussions or mature perspectives. Luckily, the MC is somewhat cognizant of his faults and plans for them when necessary.  

Tutorial Arc Scores:

  • Story: 5 poisoned arrows out of 5.  
  • Character(s): 3.5 boss battles out of 5. 

 

--- Post-Tutorial Arcs: ---

The Post Tutorial arc is something else entirely. 

Gone is the content of interesting side characters that create tension and rivalry for our stupidly strong MC (who, by the way, lists “stupidly strong” as his only defining trait on Tinder). 

Instead, the audience receives little more than a monotonous MMORPG EXP Grind – bundled in an excessive dose of over-simplified task summaries and ruminations. Toss in a half-baked kingdom/base building motif – explored just enough to piss off anyone who actually enjoys the genre – and what's left feels like a hollow cash-grab of redundant proportions. 

Luckily, Zogarth is graceful enough to supply the audience with hints of intriguing characters: 

  • Some chick over here who punches things 
  • Some old guy over there who has a sword 
  • Maybe others, I don’t remember 

However, they are rare and only serve up timid or subservient reactions to MC's presence before dipping out to SomewhereWithEngagingPlot-Land so the MC can return to the Grind.  

 

The rest of the cast are typical runaways who need a bigstrong man to save them in coincidentally desperate situations. They're immediately inducted as citizens of the Primal Paradise, simply farting out the occasional “thanks” and “hello” before shuffling away (probably to die of scurvy in some damp, utilitarian hovel) while the MC lives the reclusive masochist’s dream of running away from forced leadership responsibilities.  

Now then, we have the Kingdom Building element. Why? It’s such a poor choice relative to the MC’s modus operandi. He wins the Tutorial through individual strength and grit. He took the lone-wolf path and overcame the challenge. Dank. Why would he ever involve himself in a kingdom at all? Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing reclusive characters break out of a shell to leave The Comfort Zone. It’s a great mechanism to explore. Complex interactions are guaranteed - and it’s a chance for the author to show comprehension of the characters. Is that what happens in PH?  

No.  

 

But it could! 

 

So, what are we left with?

The mopey, go-hunty, Mr. “DontTalktoMe” Pants, who spends chapter after chapter doing the same handful of mundane tasks with the same boring monologues and impressions that add little to the story or reader engagement. More on this in Style. 

Post-Tutorial Arcs Scores

  • Story: 1 primitive cave painting out of 5.  
  • Character(s): 2 cardboard cutouts out of 5.  

 

===== Style & Grammar =====  

Zogarth leans heavily on the MC’s “insights” for the bulk of PH’s content. MC finds something, spends several paragraphs looking at that something, thinks about the things the something can do, etc. The package is a blast of egregiously banal impressions through a Frankenstein combination of narration, character thoughts, and bland summarization.  

If someone made a movie of PH in its current form and removed the audio, a disturbing amount of screen time would be dedicated to the MC staring at an assortment of magical things, unmoving like a sloth frozen in super-cooled molasses. 

In fact, this is the ultimate issue with the big LitRPG/SysPoc giants on RR. So much of their content is wrapped up in the pink-slime equivalent of narrative flow. We're drowned in a passive, unengaging, and unappetizing buffet aimed at mindless consumption. Based on the success of PH – I'm know that plenty of people absolutely love this, but it’s something I can only stomach for short bursts - and rarely will I finish the meal. 

 

---- Interlude Note ---- 

When I read a story, I’m like an ethereal, transcendental pixie on a set of tracks in a world I only - “see” - but cannot interact with. It’s like a pixie-roller-coaster-ride. What I “see” is hand-selected and mind-crafted by the author... and is usually one of several things: 

  • the quality of the character(s) 
  • the quality of the world 
  • a character’s interactions with the world or other characters, and/or
  • the thoughts of the character 

So here I am, a pixie on the tracks, watching a character sit down to stare at arrows, and I get a main-line injection to him thinking... about arrows. The scene, the image in my mind, is a dude sitting down and staring at stuff. SUPER BORING! 

The scene isn’t moving. It’s frozen. It’s a scenic pause -- and the scene blows. My ride is parked, and all I see is the operator who’s three puffs shy of hitting the filter on his Camel Blue, staring at the fading light of a late-autumn sunset, thinking about the all the choices that made him the operator of the pixie-roller-coaster-ride at the Family Dollar store. 

It’s not fun. He’s not having fun. I’m not having fun. And I have to ask, “What’s the point of this ride?” 

---- 

 

Finally, the grammar in PH is not particularly bad. It's rarely flowery, distinct, or bold, but it's easily readable and certainly one of PH's stronger elements.  

The only thing that stands out to me is the passive voice – a general problem for RR novels (and my own writing) - but the slog is real. The biggest offense, and my greatest pet-peeve, is the word “had.” 

I'll pick a random chapter as an example (63, “Arrows”). 

Chapter 63 contains forty-four instances of “had” in 2800 words. That means that for every 200 words - “had” shows up an average of three times. A word which rarely adds anything to the context. Here’s the first paragraph of Chapter 63:  

By now, the entire valley was thoroughly cleaned up. Herbs, lockboxes, even beasts were all gone. It had taken hours, and the sun had gone down quite a while ago, but Jake was more than satisfied. While he had managed to get another level, it was the loot that made him most pleased.

53 words. Three “had” instances. That's four times the average for this chapter – in the first paragraph! Seriously though, it’s an obnoxious filler that dilutes meaning with a minor debuff to engagement.  

A pretty easy fix too: 

By now, the entire valley was thoroughly cleaned up. Herbs, lockboxes, even beasts were all gone. It took hours, and the sun set quite a while ago, but Jake was more than satisfied. While he managed to get another level, it was the loot that made him most pleased.”

Honestly, small potatoes --> and a bit high-horsed of me to call out considering that, I too, fall into passive structures.

Anyway,

  • Style: 1.5 insights out of 5. 
  • Grammar: 3 alchemy potions out of 5.  

   

End Results with Averages:  

  • Story: 2.5 stars  
  • Character(s): 3 stars  
  • Style: 1 star 
  • Grammar: 3 stars 
  • Overall: 3 rounded-up stars 

 

===== End Note ===== 

I certainly unloaded a lot on this story (which I feel is justified), but if this discouraged you from reading PH, then consider this:

PH is incredibly popular – and that's not really a fluke. Like I said, it’s readable and the author knows how to set up a wild ride with complex plots. There’s always that hope that the scattered pieces of the new arc(s) will come together to blow people away again.

I just can’t get past the stylistic fluff when the recent plot complexity fell off a cliff.

maelos61
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Too many details, not enough character

Reviewed at: Chapter 67 - Infused Powershot

TL;DR: Style is too much detail and repetition which leads to skimming, grammar is fine, characters are mostly flat and clichéd and don't seem alive/real, story is nothing original up to where I've read (chapter 66). It's a mediocre LitRPG that you'll likely only enjoy if you've never read another mediocre/good LitRPG before. It's 'good', but only in the way that it's a decent amalgamations of all the current stereotypes and gives you a good idea of the 'average' LitRPG story.

If you go down a page or two in the reviews (at the time of this review; sorting by 'top'), you'll see one of the first reviews to actually be critical of the story. Before that it's just a bunch of people for whom this is likely the first decent LitRPG novel they read. I get the feeling. I think most of us have been there, where you really like this new genre, you find your first decent story in that genre and then you sing its praises. It's like falling into the rabbit hole that is xianxia. It only takes your first mediocre xianxia-novel to make you think 'This is great!.'. Then, with experience reading more of the same troped clichés and overused story aspects, you come to see it for the mediocre story it is. This is one of those stories. Is this story good compared to some of the top stories online, like 'The Wandering Inn', 'A practical Guide to Evil', Wildbow's stories? God no. It is a mediocre story, though written in such a way that it'll win in popularity with 'newcomers'.

Anyways, I mentioned a critical review and I must agree on the point it makes on the style: too many details. I've read this story up to chapter 66 by now and I have skimmed at least half, if not more of those chapters. Because they're filled with tedious details. Stretched out fight scenes, huge detailed sections with the MC's thoughts and reactions and large descriptions of items, classes and skills. This doesn't necessarily have to be boring and tedious, but do you really care about 'basic warrior class X' or 'upgraded archer class Y' that the MC will in no way shape or form ever choose? Do you really want to hear his every detailed thought about why he doesn't take said class? Maybe at the start it's interesting, but later on it just gets tedious. The fight scenes are also relatively well-done I guess? They're detailed? But when literally every chapter has one or more fights, it gets really, really, really, really damned boring. You can only read archer going pew pew and woosh woosh with every muscle fiber being detailed before you get bored and start skimming. That's what I did. I started skimming until something new and interesting happened. Like meeting new characters or something...

That brings us to the characters. They're subpar. The sad thing is, I can barely even talk of three-dimensional characters to give some kind of proof. The only people we've really given any attention to up until chapter 66 are: Jake (MC), Jacob (MC's manager), Richard (Security company boss guy), William (Failed psycho-character) and The snake god bro. TL;DR: They're not entirely flat, but they're still boring.

Jake is the most fleshed out obviously, as he's the main character. Even he's kind of flat though. What we know of him: loner, curious, likes archery, emotionally muted, fearless (?), 'ambitious' (in the way somebody who's never seen an ambitious person might describe it). The problem is: he doesn't feel real. Even after all the monologuing, he still feels like the author's self-insert with a bit of background story. One important critique to start with: where are his flaws? I swear, this man is pretty much perfect, no? I mean, he's a loner, which some might see as a flaw, but it isn't necessarily. And he isn't a 'flawed' loner. He can be social and he can interact with people, so he's not broken. No, this man has no flaws. He isn't human. We've been in his head for 66 chapters and he still doesn't seem the slightest bit human. Everything in the story has pretty much been propping him up to be the good guy and nothing else. We find out some new things about the character, but he doesn't really change or grow in any way besides the RPG numbers.

Jacob is even worse. He doesn't really change at all, he just stays the same static character he always was: 'the one good guy who's popular and isn't a meanie to the loner MC'. Once again, he doesn't feel real. No real big flaws, nothing that elevates him out of being a stereotype. He's boring.

Richard... Ah yes, the first antagonist? Kind of? He's badass because he's the leader of a security company. I mean, sure, he could be interesting even if it's cliché, but he isn't. He's kind of the opposite of the MC and Jacob: no redeeming features. He's just a conniving, cunning asshole with leadership capabilities. Literally his whole character is that. His motivations? Getting the good shit from the tutorial obviously... because power... and strong = good. Monke like motivation. Dear god, tell us more about this character if you want us to care...

William... Oh dear god, William. He's a stereotypical psychopath in the worst way. He's the boring regurgitated trope brought to life and then some time into the story he turns out to still have a tiny bit of a heart left. How original and organic it went too. Some guy gives him stuff, tells him about his sob story and he feels tinges of human emotion. What about the people he's killed so far? Why would he care now? Plot reasons obviously. If you want even an inkling of a decent psychopath character, read a story on RR called 'Rend'. That's how you write a psycho character that is actually interesting.

The last 'character' is the god. I called him snake god 'dude' because he's just a 'dude'. He's an all-powerful divine 'dude'. He talks like a 'dude', acts like a 'dude' and doesn't go further in character than a 'dude'. Want a decent immortal/long-lived character? Read more stories where they're done properly. On the one hand, it seems to have been on purpose. The Hall master Lady also seems to find his 'dude'-ness strange. That doesn't make it better though. He doesn't act at all like you'd expect from an immortal godly being and he doesn't 'break the mold' in an entertaining way either. He's just a surfer bro stereotype.

How do you want people to care about your story, its world and inhabitants when they're boring stereotypes you can read in any of the other 1000 garbage cliché stories on this website? Well, sometimes a good story can save that. Here it doesn't. The story up to this point seems as average and cliché as it gets. A battle-royale type tutorial with people being transported after being incorporated within a new system? Woooh, never seen that before... Our MC being one of the ones who can 'adapt' and thrive, while most others are useless? Woooh, truly riveting originiality. To be fair, most people would likely fail to adapt properly in such a scenario, but still. Every single time in every single one of these stories, the MC turns into a soulless and characterless puppet that just morphs into the perfect LitRPG-survivor. It's overdone, it's unoriginal and worst of all: it's boring. I'm not sure where the story is going, but judging by the beginning of this fiction it isn't trailblazing anything.

So yeah, all in all I only recommend this story if you've never read a LitRPG before. This can be your first and most cherished LitRPG, but if you've been around for a bit, you'll likely find it clichéd and boring.

mousehowl
Overall

I've read 200+ chapters and followed this story through every update for months, its clearly readable and a decent distraction. However my enjoyment has slowly diminished and my excitement at a new chapter is gone. Now I'll let a few collect and skim instead of read as they release.

 

Why? The story lacks a plot to drive it forward. Six of every 10 chapters are a senseless fight, 3 are alchemy mixing things yet again for a boost, and the 10th is either a conversation to hint that maybe a plot might come around or it's a level up chapter for massive gains.

If you've read 10 chapters, you've read everything you'll ever encounter in this story.

rubycona
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

If you turn off your brain, it's quite enjoyable

Reviewed at: Chapter 104 - Limit Break

Everything happens for a reason. In this story, that reason is always the same: plot. Characters make decisions according to what suits the plot, not their actual motives - if they have enough depth of personality to have coherent motives. The consequences of a decision always suit the plot, not what makes sense. A character makes a straight up stupid choice, and it works because the author wills it so.

There's other challenges, besides. Biggest is that the author is big on "telling" instead of "showing," and based on some author comments, I suspect that the author doesn't entirely have a grasp on the difference yet.

 

Still, all that being said, if you turn off your brain completely and just go along for the ride, it's enjoyable enough. Not amazing, but enjoyable.

I'd say that this author actually has a great deal of potential. My guess is that they're quite young (a teenager is my guess) - and if that's true, they're downright brilliant. The technical skill (grammar, etc) is far from perfect, but still solid. Regardless l If this is early writing, without a proper editor - it's good stuff. Early attempts at writing are never good in the scheme of things.

So I don't want the author to be discouraged. And, again, if readers can turn off their brains, it's a fun ride. Still, the author needs a lot more practice, and this is a good way to get it.

MattMcCormick
Overall

A few others here have made points about plot or rather it's absence and lack of character development. I like PH, but I struggle to disagree. What was a strong start soon turned into a carousel of hunt, level, alchemy, level. There is zero personal conflict and the NC has not been in any real danger since the tutorial. My other bone of contention is thr MC seems to be actively turning into an obnoxious douchebag (see recent curse related activity)... It was almost a plot point . But took a hard left into 'just another example of MC bring awesome' and it was a missed opportunity for character growth. Honestly it made me take a look MC's past behaviour in that light an maybe he was just obnoxious all along.

Despite nosediving into another being another Dragonball Z reskin LitRPG I did enjoy the audiobook and you don't binge 300 chapters if you get nothing out of it. The world building is great and the 'system' is implemented nicely. I am crossing my fingers for some rewrites going into the commercial releases going forward. PH has the bones of something great but needs some work (plot, conflict, character development and editing). 

Skyblue
Overall

A decent story that's padded too much.

Reviewed at: Chapter 211 - Matriarchs

The title says it all. The story is decent; the world is cliche enough, a combination of apocalyptic modern world with litrpg system. The system, though, is quite interesting and original (as far as I know.)

The story started very good, with the plot moving along with characters' progression (emotional and stats-wise). But the more popular the story gets, the more padded it becomes. Lately, even the author themselves seems to acknowledge it.

"Want to read the next plot moving part? Join my Patreon!"

Or something like that. It's getting worse lately. He's hunting monkey right now, it's been six chapters, and I don't think we're even close to the middle of it. The monkey-hunting story got so padded that it almost as long as a story arc.

Again, the story is decent enough. I'd recommend this, but don't get your hope too high.