Beneath the Dragoneye Moons
- Sexual Content
- Traumatising content
Elaine is ripped from this world to Pallos, a land of unlimited possibilities made real by a grand System governing classes, skills, and magic.
An ideal society? What is this, a fantasy novel?
Adventures? Right this way!
A Grand quest? Nah.
Friends and loot? Heck yes!
Humans are the top dog? Nope, dinosaur food.
Healing and fighting? Well, everything is trying to eat her.
Join Elaine as she travels around Pallos, discovering all the wonders and mysteries of the world, trying to find a place where she belongs, hunting those elusive mangos, all while the ominous Dragoneye Moons watch her every move.
Hey! Beneath the Dragoneye Moons is my first writing effort, so please be kind, but don’t hesitate to point out the flaws.
The story starts off slowly, more like a slice of life than action-adventure, but it gets there!
I’m going to be posting M-W-F at first, but I hope to increase the posting rate as I get better at this.
I do know how the story ends, and I promise if it ever gets dropped, or I stop doing this, I will post the ending. There will be no random “this is the last chapter” out of the blue.
Cover art by Lee Kent: https://www.artstation.com/leekent
High-res image of the cover: https://imgur.com/a/7MDQQC6
This story is being published on Royal Road and Scribblehub.
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This is my first review so sorry if its unreadable or just outright confusing. Skip to the end if you want the short version of the review.
Let's start with the positive parts of this story, from my perspective.
The world itself is very interesting from what I have read. There is a war in the background that seems to be a threat that will come into focus later on in the story, but for now we only know that it seems to be a war with another species. The focus so far have been more on the nation and cities rather than the whole world/continent. There seems to be hints that there exists more nations with humans in them but so far we are only aware of the main nation and it's allied nation, which if I remember correctly was hinted to be more of a city-state.
What this story does very well is give off the feeling that humans are not the dominant species who rules everything. There are many stories around where the author has stated that humans are weak but have later on had problems following through on that and allowed humans to be nigh-unbeatable. In this story you will not find this flaw, as the author stated in the summary humans are not the top dog and every time the protagonist goes outside the city walls you can feel the untamed wilderness around them with dangers hidden in the surrounding. Of course there are dangers lurking in the shadows of the cities aswell.
Overall the author does a great job in conveying and really making you feel as if this is a proper world with many dangers. This is in my opinion the best part of the novel and I can barely get enough of it.
Now the negative parts.
Sexism without reason, read the review of Ziggy, unearned sexism from poor world building, I aggressive with what he is saying. Also remember this is a litrpg world where you can upgrade your stats and gain skills, classes and levels.
The characters. I do not like nor believe in perfect character, flaws are what makes characters go from archetypes to someone you wish was real so you could befriend or just chat with them, they are a necessary part in making character feel less like puppets following the authors demands and more of creatures who make their own decisions. The problem comes when the flaws are so many or so big that they overshadow everything else that the character is suppose to be, to the point one can only see the flaws in them. Another problem is when the flaws are directly opposed to the characters background and story.
Let me give you an example, someone in this world elite military unit has just gotten a direct order from their captain to protect another member of their team, this other member is extremely weak and has just spent the day healing people and by doing so essentially become a target for any slavers who could sell them at a high price or any other person desperate enough to try rob/kidnapp them. Now what should this elite member do?
A: protect the healer and escort them back to the rest of the team or any other safe spot like a guard station, and then go out in town to play around.
B: Ask some guards(or someone they can trust) to guide the healer to a safe spot, and after doing this go out to play around.
C: Abandon their duty to play around and let the healer walk home by themselves in the middle of the night while knowing full well that some people can hide from their perception skills.
I will give you a hint in what they choose to do. Let just say that the person in question does not seem to have had any sort of training to suppress their desires.
That was just a example of flaws but the most infuriating person is actually the protagonist who no matter what happens does not seem to grow up. When I made this review I had just read chapter 60. 60 chapters of very little real character growth for the protagonist does not make the future look bright for them.
I will now tell of two major problems that I have with the protagonist, other than that she never grows up.
First problem is in how she acts to counter herself. She dreams of becoming a healer and after an unfortunate accident she vows to never hurt anyone and help everyone she can. This gives her a unique skill which makes her healing much better compared to others her level. But remember this is a dangerous world where she does not only have to protect herself from monster but people too, well I'm sure you see where the problem shows up. Not only does this limit it also hinders her teammates because she might need to heal their enemies, suddenly she is a very real hinderance in human fights. But she loves her freedom meaning she does not want to be restricted and she also wants to travel with them, so not only is she hindering herself she is also a huge liability to her teammates but she never questions if she should throw away the skill. As a side not, it's kinda hilarious how she wants to be completely free but she can't because of her skills restrictions.
The other problem comes into focus when she gains the chance to get another class. Instead of choosing something that compliments her healing making it more powerful or choosing something that negates her incredible weak self-defense. Because of her childishness she forces the system to give her a class that will be able to give her two abilities in the future even after being warned that it's not a suitable class for her. Ability one, the ability to fly. Ability two, the ability to throw fireballs (remember, she is sworn to do no harm). This puts into focus her childishness and her inability to grow up, as a note, this is after she has been put in danger many times already and she has lamented her own weakness.
I have already dragged out this review so my final sentence will be the following. With the exception of the baseless sexism, the setting and the authors ability to potrey it is amazing but it is unfortunately wasted on the character to the point of making me incredible sad after almost every chapter.
The author has made it clear they want to explore sexism in a litrpg setting. Which could be very fun and interesting to read about. There are a lot of fictions that take a unique look at sexism with specific magic and science in play with lots of interesting world building. But in this story, the sexism is tossed in without any reason given for it; making it feel nonsensical and unearned.
Things happen for a reason. Societies aren't sexist "just because." There are things that push a society to be so. Whether it's health related, greed, from the women mostly being kidnapped from raids, whatever. That doesn't justify it, but you can see how they get from point A to B and you think, "Okay, I can see how this happened." It makes sense.
However, in the society we're shown, we're never given a reason for the sexism. The author wants them to be sexist, so they are. We're never shown any kind of cultural, sexual, or darwinist pressure for this to happen. There seems to be absolutely no reason for it, it just is how it is. When women can attain skills to fling lightning bolts without consequences, it doesn't even make sense. It's completely unearned and unsatisfying.
Why is this society like this? How do you marginalize half your population when they're freely allowed to attain superhuman strength and cast magic? What are the ramifications of having x sexist action happen with a litrpg system involved? Cause currently, the ramifications are.. exactly like they are without the system. If you remove the litrpg, it just reads like a random, medieval, sexist society. The litrpg aspect would have huge and interesting impacts on this kind of stuff and society as a whole. The whole point of adding the litrpg is to add to the story and explore how it being present changes the world. But it feels like it's being written in as an afterthought with the world building of it almost completely ignored.
The story isn't terrible, but it's hard to get past constantly asking "why is it like this?" and there never being a satisfying answer. The answer is because the author wants it that way and didn't put in the proper world building for it. The end.
Edit: I have thousands of comments across hundreds of fictions. This is the only story I've been banned from commenting. I don't think they appreciate the problems and inconsistencies being pointed out, so don't expect the writing to improve.
This is obviously a first story and it shows in the writing. The MC is empty-headed a lot of the time for moments that she deems boring or uninteresting. Which, unfortunately, means that she misses out on important information.
But all is not lost! The author's writing is improving and the MC growing out of being a whiny child mentally (she's taking her sweet time, though).
Grammar is good with only a minimal amount of errors that I've seen the author fix.
Overall, I'm excited to see the story progress and I can't wait for the MC to mature.
Beneath the Dragoneye Moons is a story that I really really want to like, but that I am finding harder and harder to do as it goes along. This is for one reason: the main character.
She frequently acts like a moron and seems incapable of learning from her previous mistakes. There seems to be little if any character growth; she demonstrates the same lack of wisdom as a late teenager as she does as a preteen. The author states that the MC has ADHD and feels/acts appropriate to the disorder; I believe that - it doesn't make the MC any more likeable. At least for me. She is socially inept on a scale that makes my own social difficulties look like a water drop in the ocean. Any one of these things wouldn't be a bother, but the combination of her character traits create at irritation level that far exceeds what the individual ones alone would. She reminds me of having a sharp stone in one's shoe; that sharp nagging pain that never goes away and gradually grinds away your resistance against it.
Other than that, the writing is excellent. There are few if any grammer/spelling errors, the magic/gamer system has some interesting unique elements, the setting feels well fleshed out with interesting characters. It is a story well worth reading... as long as you can get past the MC. I'm not sure if I can.
Please be warned, there may be spoilers ahead.
First, I would like to address other reviews on this book, as this lets me explain the reasoning for my rating a bit more.
As can be seen from numerous other reviews here, Elaine, (The main character) is initially infuriating and doesn’t show signs of improvement for many of the beginning chapters. However, my respect goes to the author for not only advancing her mindset and removing what most of us disliked, but also in a way that wasn’t immersion shattering, and was also done incredibly quickly- shortly after the complaints started rolling in.
There are also complaints about her being childish, and to those who think that; the main character is young, it is understandable she is that way. As much as wanting to shoot fireballs (a violation of her oath) and flying may be not optimal, I believe that it is reasonable considering her age, and although she may have experience from her previous life, it is both not from a magic world, and it appears she lived a relatively sheltered life then. Another ‘problem’ created with her childlike tendencies was the rash decision to flee her birth city with no preparation. Although most certainly rash and stupid, I completely agree with that, it fits her character and was also a panic decision, meaning she did not have time to prepare in the first place, she had to catch up to a few characters I won’t name before they left.
Finally, beginning my actual review.
Grammar: Finding stories with good grammar on RR is often a difficult task, but this book steps up to the task very well. I am yet to see any grammar issues that remained for more than a day, due to the efforts of patrons (a number I plan on joining, goodbye paycheck, it was nice knowing you) and commenters alike finding and reporting errors they find.
Story: A great plot for those enjoying a mix of slow and fast pacing, never too slow to bore you, never too fast to make you wonder if you aren’t reading a book, but actually breaking the sound barrier. There are two easy to see plotlines that may appear in the future, whether that be Elaine’s constant dismissal of Papillons (I feel like I spelt that wrong) classes, or the invasion of another race. Selkie is yet to step into any major plot holes, and I am grateful that they are avoiding any bland tropes.
Character: due to Elaine being a large annoyance at the beginning of the story I am obligated to not give it 5 stars, but due to the major improvements I will be giving it a nice 4. I am not the greatest at finding shallow characters, that I admit, but I have not seen any in this story, and for that I am thankful.
Style: I still have no idea what style means, I think it’s in regards to 1st person, 3rd person, etc but I am unsure still, (someone please tell me I keep having to leave it out of my reviews >-<) so I will be throwing in a 5 star because the book is great.
Overall, an excellent book if you are fine with a somewhat annoying MC for the initial chapters (it’s not a long period, I swear), and I fully recommend it.
Quick note for the author: I really hope you keep writing this, it's excellent! Thank you very much as well for the large amount of art, and remember you don't actually have to listen to those of us in the peanut gallery (me included) if you don't want to. Have a great day!
This is an overall really good story. There are sometimes minor mistakes or unclear passages or parts of the world and the readers might think the characters actions are questionable, but that is only one of the aspects that make it so very believable and engaging that coupled with the Lead Character being a healer, I find it somewhat reminiscent of Azarinth Healer just without the Overpowered Lone Wolf Archetype.
If you haven't read this yet you really should otherwise you are just missing out.
Heavy info dumps in the first few chapters and the transition from arc 1 to arc 2 was a little rough due to having a bunch of status changes that are implied but not explained until the later.
Very solid everywhere else. Grammar and spelling in particular are praise worthy compared to the vast majority of web serials.
Honestly think it's great overall. The characters and their dialogue is great. The story is funny and I look forward to reading every chapter. The system is unique enough to be interesting.
The main flaw is that the worldbuilding, and story as a whole, feels very rushed at the beginning. A lot of it feels like it could have been done better. The childhood arc in general is very confusing with the MC acting like a wierd fusion of child and adult and it's not really explained fully how the mentality came about. Exposition can also feel forced sometimes, the best examples would be the fact that despite being in the world for 5 and 8 years respectively for the introduction and unlocking of the system, the MC has very little knowledge of what to expect which seems very unrealistic. Clearly this is done so that the exposition of how the system works can be given to the reader but it took me out of the situation more than it immersed me.
There are definitely more examples of the author taking shortcuts in creating the world/setting as well. However, depite these flaws I still really enjoy the story so far and I think the Royalroad rating is well below what it deserves.
There's a lot in this story that I am a fan of, definitely recommend it to any readers looking for a Litrpg. The leveling/class and magic systems are both easy to understand, one of the better litrpg systems I've seen.
Grammar is super solid throuhgout, have yet to really notice any issues.
Update speed is impressive, decently sized chapters updated as rapidly as this story are rare, but somehow Selkie pulls it off.
The beginning was definitely rough, the childness of the MC feels overdone, to the point of annoyance honestly. It does definitely get better as the story goes on though, after the first couple of chapters the MC matures to the point where they are less obnoxious. Becomes a playful character that you can enjoy.
That does bring up one point of contention however. The way that Elaine treats the rangers, Julius in particular, can be somewhat jarring. There are very abrupt jumps from playful camraderie to a super uptight, soldier who has been beaten into respecting the position of command, stand at attention attitude. It feels rather jarring, especially since Elanie has been with the crew for a short period of time. I feel like she would definitely respect them, and having her understand that there are times that she needs to be serious makes sense. However, the jumps to seriousness feel a bit overdone and sort of break immersion.
Worldbuilding is still pretty rough, we've gotten info. over the rangers and some general societal things, but as for the actual world itself theres been very little information given. Another review mentioned it, but this lack of concrete world building makes a few things stand out, primarily the sexism. It's established that the world is extremely patriarchal, but there hasn't really been a reason given for it. Pretty much all the older civilizations had sexism present, but there were reasons for it, women being less phyiscally powerful, stuff like that. The sexism here seems to be of the same sort, but there hasn't been really anything explaining why women aren't citizens or anything like that other than the whole ancient civilization=patriarchy. Especially with the litrpg elements, presumably women could become just as powerful as men with levels and classes, which would cancel out the phyiscal advantage that men have.
The story itself isn't something that's never been done before, but it is very well done and a fun read all throughout. So far looks like it's going to be mainly adventuring which is always fun.
Litrpg that's lots of fun. I'm a sucker for the type of class the MC picks, so that gets bonus points from me.
The beginning is just okay. The "reincarnated as a baby but retaining all my memories" trope is nearly impossible to pull off well. Thankfully the author doesn't drag it out forever and uses some judicious time-skips to establish some character and world building while still getting us to the meat of the story relatively quickly. Once that gets going, the quality continues to improve with each subsequent chapter.
Style is good. First person POV of the MC. The System is logical and makes sense while having it's own unique twists over the standard litrpg system. I like it a lot.
Story starts off 'fine' and has made it to 'really good'. Like I said earlier, early childhood stuff is hard to do well, but the author does a good job of getting through it while still making it impactful to the MCs development and decisions. Nothing in the plot is revolutionary, but it's all handled well.
Grammar is great, no issues there.
Characters are pretty good. The MC can be easily distracted and impulsive, which can get a tad annoying sometimes, but that just makes her feel more real. Supporting characters are fleshed out more or less depending on how important they are to the MC
All in all, an enjoyable read that just keeps getting better. I definitely recommend.