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Winner of the 2022 Stabby Award!
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
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.
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Beneath the Dragoneye Moons is a 5/5 story if you can read it without thinking about what you are reading at all. If you start questioning any of the main or side characters actions, motivations, the human society or the world that they inhabit, you will find that many of them are not grounded in reality. I think that the core issue here is that the author wanted to write two different stories in one. First story is a fun LitRPG with a juvenile MC that goes around on adventures and has fun, and the second is a dark story with slavery and sexism, a never-ending war with an invasive species that is hellbent on destroying humanity. While this book is focused on the first story there are almost no problems. The world and the System are created with the first story in mind, but when the elements for the second story are just dumped in, without spending the effort to make it work, then the problems start to pop up everywhere.
Let’s start with the System. I would call the System here omnipotent. When I say that, I’m talking about the sheer variety of classes that have been shown so far. For every single conceivable activity there might be a related class. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone who has a dream of being a dog gets a class that helps him with that. I think that the author showed all of the quirky classes for comedic effect but they set a precedent for all of the possible classes that can be found in this world. Now, in the first type of story that wouldn’t be a problem, but in the second it is. Let’s say that there is a noble that likes to torture people. It wouldn’t be surprising for an organization to exist that provides that kind of service. There might be a person that has a class with skills whose effects would help while being tortured. Maybe a skill that offers increased regeneration while being tortured, pain nullification, pain conversion to pleasure, increased acting skill while being tortured, pain sharing, the effect can be almost anything. Something that is established in this book is that the more specialized the class for a certain situation, the more powerful it is in that situation. A high-level Farmer could have skills that multiply his stats while farming, increase crop resistance and yield. Imagine any activity and there will be a class that makes them excel at that activity. Now ask yourself a question, why would anyone buy a slave that doesn’t have a related class? A high-level Farmer, Gardener or a Maid would be a luxury, not a common commodity that people can buy in the market. They would be a time and resource investment that you would want to keep loyal. If you have two job offers and you know that one is better than other, then you would choose the better one. Maybe they are allowed by law to treat people like slaves and everyone obeys that law? But the law doesn’t shape the society, the society creates the laws. The administrators would be in charge of administering, the generals would be in charge of the army, healers would be in charge of the healing and so on. A simple soldier could never do a better job than a general, no matter their level difference, because the general has skills that directly help him with commanding an army. Rulers wouldn’t have combat classes, they would have classes that would make ruling better. You could say that people with combat classes would just kill everyone else in their way and overpower everyone, but rulers would have skills that would help them rule. Which means, skills that would make everyone fall in line, skills that would instill loyalty in their subjects. Human stupidity wouldn't be a factor when the skills do all of the work.
Again, when there are people specialized for every conceivable activity, why would anyone buy slaves? You would lose money like that. It would make a lot more sense that the nobles would have families, that they took care of, who had family occupations. Farmers, Miners, Masons, Architects, Teachers, Guards, you could be educated for that class by your family or there could be schools that offer teaching for a certain class.
This is just one example of trying to integrate a powerful System in the world. If this story was just a fun adventure, then it wouldn’t be a big deal if the author didn’t bother spending the effort and pages on boring societal structures but when it’s trying to tackle serious issues then that effort needs to be invested.
It makes me sad that the author spent almost no effort trying to integrate such a powerful System. The whole human culture would be shaped by it. Instead, we have a medieval society with fantasy elements thrown in the mix with almost no effort to make a cohesive whole that supports the rest of the story.
Something else that you should keep in mind about how people should be treated is the existence of people who could kill whole towns without too much effort. It would take only one to bring irreparable damage. Maybe a runaway slave managed to level up. Maybe a high-level adventurer fell in love with a girl, and while he was on a quest, she was kidnapped by a noble who thought he was untouchable. By the time that person was killed they would have enough time to destroy multiple towns. It would take one assassin to bring the half of the Empire to it’s knees.
Let’s go over the unending war a little bit. I might be wrong, but I don’t think that war was covered until later in the story. Maybe some small hints were dropped here and there, but I don’t really remember it. Imagine Vikings for a moment. Their whole culture is based on battle, raiding and killing each other. It was an honor to die in battle and be worthy of joining other warriors in Valhalla. Now imagine that there is a great, unending war. Children would be brought up with stories about bravery and valor of the army that is fighting that war. Considering how integral and important that war is for humanity there should be songs about warriors fighting on the front lines, children should be playing in the streets humans vs formorians, wives should be proud of their husband and sons going into the Great Fight, fighting for humanity. Maybe the most important piece of worldbuilding is glossed over until it becomes relevant to the MC. That would be the same thing like watchers of LotR movies learning about Sauron when Frodo reaches Mordor.
As far as sexism is concerned, the only thing that I can say is that I don’t know why it’s even in this story. The only influence of sexism in this story is in the beginning. It’s the main factor for MC leaving her home to start her adventure. That is, it. We constantly hear how sexism makes life difficult for women in this world but that is never truly shown after the beginning. Being female never got in the way for the MC to do whatever she wanted. Sexism in this story is as follows: MC meets someone and tells them they are doing everything wrong, they answer that MC doesn’t know what she is talking about because she is a woman, MC shows them that she knows what she is talking about, they accept. There are some minor exceptions to this but in most cases it’s like this. You might find that when a teenager comes to a professional and tells them that what they have been doing their whole life is wrong, gender isn’t really a factor in that equation. None of the side characters are sexist, MC’s gender is of no influence to the story, you might even forget it exists until the author sneaks up on you and slaps you with a sexist stick in the face out of nowhere and for no reason. The consequences that sexism exists are so minor that there is no point in it even being in this story. And of course, the world that the author has created doesn’t support sexism in any way, but enough reviews have gone over why that is the case so I’m not going to repeat them.
All of the dark and gritty elements of this story maybe constitute 5% in all. Sexism is important in the beginning and later on is almost forgotten, it’s usually MC saying how a life for a woman is hard and nothing else. Slavery is mentioned a few times but is ultimately pointless. My only problem with the war is that something that important is not really set up correctly, but in the end it’s not a huge issue. Almost all of this story is written like a fun adventure. Yes, there are sad and difficult moments, but the MC is the same naïve, bumbling idiot from the beginning. I don’t know why the author decided to put in all of the darker stuff in, they are not a big part of the story, they are not explored in any way, and the only thing that they do is hurt the fun adventure that is the 95% of this story.
Aside from that small percent of stuff that doesn’t belong in this story, everything else is a good, fun LitRPG story. Some of the fights are honestly not that great in my opinion. They are usually dragged out because we are stuck in the MC’s head during the fight. Tons of introspection. Upgrading the class is one of the worst parts of this story for me. It usually takes multiple chapters where nothing is happening. Instead of getting a list of classes and getting it over with, we get class after class that the MC knows she won’t pick even before looking at upgrades. Classing up is not done very often so it’s not a huge issue, but those chapters are completely skippable, which should never be the case in a book.
Unfortunately, after the extremely boring first 20 to 30 chapters the quality of arcs goes up and down. Most are great, few not so much, but you can power through them. The bad parts are not too bad, just a little bit boring.
Characters are serviceable. There isn’t really any character growth for the MC. Even when she grows up, she still behaves like a kid. A kid that killed quite a lot of people, but I guess murder doesn’t change you in fantasy land. Considering that we are stuck in MC’s head for most of this story, side characters are quite decent.
Grammar is ok.
Almost every great thing in this story is tainted by something bad, be it worldbuilding, the story or the characters, but if you can look over all of the bad parts, you are left with a really fun and entertaining story.
So, I've been reading this pretty much all of my free time for the last few days and finally caught up to the current chapter. I'd have to say I definitely like it and I'm looking forward to more.
Style: I've got no real complaints. The exp notifications can sometimes be difficult to read, but that is just a litrpg thing. The colors of skills can sometimes be difficult to interpret.
Grammar: I've caught a few spelling errors, but nothing terrible, just typos I think. I haven't once found myself wondering if English is their second language :D
Story: It's fun and engaging, occasionally sad/dark.
Character: Really like the main character and her motivations. Her ADHD is sometimes distracting, but so is having ADHD :D As a fellow mango lover, I look forward to seeing what she gets into next.
I don't know how many words I've already written, but apparently it wasn't 200. Maybe this will bring me over the limit. Sheesh, I'm a reader here, not a writer. Nope. Still not enough. What do you want from me Royal Road!?! This is why I don't do advanced reviews, but the author asked so nicely for them in like every single chapter's notes. So I'm trying to get this to submit.....
Overall a quality story, Decent world building, not just cookie cutter LitRPG fantasy world Inetesrting background characters, although many in the middle of the book seemed excessively detailed for the amount of use they were actually put to in the story (here I'm mainly talking about the other trainees at the school, Now I presume they'll pop up later in the tale, but there weren't really enough connections made between the Main Character and the other students whilst she was there)
the main character is occasionally irritating, but that's the way she started, and you can see her developement although it is occasionally judderingly slow. however it is all internally consistent and fits together without relying on standard tropes. So individual enough to truly interesting, not someone who had me sat thinking "Oh god, here we go again"
The Grammar and style are both excellent, with the occasional error, but no more then the majority of published books. the rythm of the word use storytelling is excellent. and any novel where the main character is getting annoyed because they're being talked into quoting huge sections of Homer once again for the entertainment of the others has a few more layers than standard hack / slash / zap / burn storytelling
I've read this book for a long time, far longer than I should have.
One thing that is very consistent in this book is it's ability to disappoint. It builds up so many great ideas, plot points, romantic interactions, possible fight scenes, mystery, possible world shaking encounters and so much more and then completely and utterly fails to deliver on any of them.
MC is a failure, most side characters are the same. Even the adorable phoenix is currently a failure world building is the same, same with the system and so much more.
Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the book at least not anymore but I this point I have come to realize the problem I have with this book is that it is not particularly good at anything but starting ideas.
So at the end of the day it is like 80% of the books on this site a failed potential.
What started off as a happy go lucky fast paced story has slowed down to a crawl, I’ve unfortunately had to downgrade my rating from 4.5 to a 4.
While i havttaken any personal objection with the recent direction the author has taken that others have commented on; I am sitting looking at the most recent chapter on my follow list thinking “can I be bothered to read this? Is it going to be entertaining? Eh, I’ll read it later.” While I’m not dropping the series Its definitely lost it’s lets read this every day appeal.
Examples include a 4 chapter fairly uninspired ethical analysis by the protagonist. A chapter of descriptions of loot, a two chapter sex ed talk, which have turned what was a show don’t tell story in to the reverse.
There are still many great things about the story. The sense of danger high level opponents give off, the characters relationships in Remus, the feel of a pseudo roman society with levels.
But I’ll definitely take a break on this one and try a catch up binge in 6 months time.
As I said in the title, the MC is annoying and the author seems to be really hung up over the gender inequality in this novel over other more general things such as poverty or class gaps but the story is solid with a good system and LitRPG aspects that keep me very much entertained.
Dropped after chapter 35
Perhaps my rating would have been higher if I hadnt had expectations going into it, but seeing it touted as one of the strongest LitRPGs on the platform and getting this felt like it was all a grand joke I wasnt in on.
The MC feels completely blank, with the only intrigueing thing about her why she acts like a five year old when she was at least a teenager when she reincarnated and has lived 15 years since.
The worldbuilding consists of exposition dumps, all of which happen at the wierdest times, i.e. after 10 years of living here she has never once asked basic questions about the system and the world they live in to their parents, instead it all gets dropped in all at once in the most unnatural and forced manner possible.
And speaking of forced, the plot, it doesnt read as 'this is the natural way a situation would play out' rather 'how can I twist the world to shoehorn in encounters and events to move things forwards', case in point:
The death of her friend, happens out of nowere in an obvious attempt to push the protagonist towards healing, but falls flat in terms of drawing any empathy out of the reader because of how shoe horned it is
Its possible the book gets better as you go on, but if I need to spend hours being bored with the promise of future enjoyment then a novel has failed in my eyes
Perhaps this review came of as a bit overly negative, but after looking forwards to it after reading other reviews, only to be so dissapointed I found myself wishing there had been reviews that more closely mirrored my experience with this fiction to properly set my expectations with, which is what this review is supposed to provide for prospective future readers
The start is a bit rocky, with some inconsistencies, especially in how the characters interacted with each other.
Improved massively after the first 20-30 chapters and it's now one of my most liked stories on RR at the moment.
I especially liked how the author stopped the MC from throwing modern knowledge everywhere and start a nuclear arms race in a fantasy world. A very ingenious way to solve it with a sort of Hippocratic oath. Never seen that in a story before.
I saw this series recommended on a discord channel while I was struggling to find something decent.
This series of 3 books is outstanding. Yes I'm sure theirs some critiques. If you are looking for something to read. Read this. It's good.
Female MC, gamelit with stats, MC is a healer it's a great change of pace and hit the right spot with being something different to read. Theirs only so much time loop, OP MC, or harem I could do. Expand your mind man. This book made me think their was a reason people were into TV shows like House, ER, Greys Anatomy. No love interest so far with MC. the philosophy on making medical decisions can provide the same action sense a battle does.
characters are real, grammar is fine, story is outstanding, style hit the spot.
I rarely log into RR. Normally I read logged off on my phone at work. This is one of the few books I logged into and reviewed. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
how many more words does a review need holy mangoes. By the way I signed up to authors patreon I was hooked and didn't want to stop
oh my god, more words?! This is why I don't do reviews. I'm at work and don't have time for this. Typing paragraphs on my phone is annoying as well.
I'd like to be able to point some kind of flaw with the story or author, but it is a solid and consistent novel. The pace is rather slow, but the characters and world are fleshed out, you can really come to care about them, most times feeling like you're hearing the tales from a friend. On that same note, the main character is no Mari sue or know it all reincarnator, her mental age grows with the passing of the story and she commits mistakes, but more importantly, you can feel pride from seeing her learn. When coming to the game like elements, it is simpler to compare the world itself to a wuxia novel, everyone is special in their own area of speciality, but the system does not restrict learning, instead encoraging it through the amount of skills and the way with which it guides most actions.
On another topic, the first patreon tier is one dollar and allows for five chapters in advance, so if after reading the novel a lot you still feel like you don't see that as a great news, than it just isn't for you. ( I myself became the 500th patreon, yay).