- Sexual Content
- Traumatising content
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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This is a difficult story to review -- for the first 200 chapters or so, this was one of my all-time favorites on royalroad. But then it's also a story I've dropped multiple times for various reasons/annoyances. In the past, I've managed to pick it back up after a little while, skimming through the chapters that irritated me until I liked it more again, but I've had trouble doing that recently, so it's looking like I might have dropped it for good at this point.
The good: One of the all-time greats when it comes to transmigrated to a system world. Really interesting and well-thought-out system and world, with a plausible, if somewhat contrived, reason for the OP-ness of the MC. The MC is quirky and fun, but not to the point that she becomes annoying, and the style and writing is great -- no issues there.
The bad: There's nothing really I can say that is objectively bad in this story, but there are quite a few nit-picky criticisms that really annoyed me. Most of them have already been covered in other reviews -- the moralizing chapters, the time-skip, and the dragging pace when learning about the system in excruciating detail in certain areas -- so I'll expand more on those few that I don't see mentioned as much.
The MC seems to get irrationally fixated on certain things that, to me, don't fit with her character and are only there to push the plot. At one point, the MC feels absolutely compelled to end sexist governmental policies, despite being in a position of power in the government for years before then without making any effort to do so. But the one that sticks with me the most is her complete obsession with and excitement about an immortality-granting skill, despite her being only 20-ish and having a full expectation that she won't die of old age (there are multiple chapters talking about how there are hardly any old sentinels/rangers, which she accepts for herself).
My other big pet peeve is Iona. She's introduced in massive interludes (essentially their own, separate hundreds-page-long story) that I really didn't enjoy. After reading the first few and seeing how they had no impact on the main story, I decided to skip the rest -- but then, at around ch. 300, she's added to the main story as an immediate love interest. I have 0 desire to go back and read all the interludes, and there really isn't much endearing me to her character without doing so.
And finally -- tying in with the previous point -- are the romantic relationships. I enjoy a good romance in many stories, but all the romantic interests in this story are about as painful to read as I've ever experienced. And while there are hardly any in the first 300 chapters, after Iona is introduced, pretty much each chapter has a bit of that painful cringe.
Overall, there are still pieces of the story that I'd be excited to read about in the future, things that have been hinted at in the recent chapters, but the intervening chapters aren't enjoyable enough for me to push through. But, considering how much I enjoyed the first 200 chapters, I can't in good conscience give this anything less than 4 stars.
So, let me start this off with I really enjoyed the story. Great world, the litrpg elements didn't stink up the plot.
Characters that were fun to read about, developed and fleshed out quite well. I like the main character.
The school arc and combined tournament arc... wow. If I had started reading the story with this part, I'd have dropped it. I've powered through based on momentum from earlier and the promis of escape... which is not fast even with their posting speed.
Yes, some things are being set up here but the story could have easily just timeskipped past it all and referenced anything that happened after. This would have been a lot less of a drag.
Ever since the great time skip the story has become boring. A time skip to a later era of Remus or even shortly after its fall would have been better than this 23,456 year time skip. By moving Elaine so far into the future she has become disconnected from almost everything she did in the prior books making feel them like a too long prelude. But if the first 7 books are but a prelude then the next books (#8 & #9) are a lot of filler plot as often found in the second book of a trilogy.
Ever since mid-book 8 started the story feels as if you are essentially reading Beneath the Dragoneye Moons v2. Please note that this not part 2. Oh no, this is version 2 and it is a worse version that what came before.
The story has become mediocre.
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.....
If I just reviewed the first arc, through about chapter 300, I'd give this 4-5 stars, easy. Since then, I've just been kind of paging through, hoping to get back to the original style and content. I read a wide range of stuff, but it's frustrating to get 300 chapters in to a world, and have the rug yanked out from under you. I thought the transition to the new arc was done pretty well, but why would the MC have suddenly just abandoned her close friends? There's other stuff that led me to stop reading on this particular date, but I won't post spoilers.
edit: Not sure why it won't let me edit the typo in the title (should be fantastic, not fanatic). I agree with another reviewer, if the author
stopped where the family kept putting the mango in the dish until they no longer remembered who it was for, that would have a better ending. A terribly depressing one, but better.
It's always a pleasure to find Litrpg where the game mechanics supplement good writing rather than compensate for a lack thereof. The story starts a bit rush and awkward, but the author really hits their stride after a few dozen chapters, and even the early ones are still decent.
The author's handling of sexism grows more nuanced and natural with the rest of their writing. Elaine (the protag) faces a nice mix of personal and systemic problems. She's a bit scatterbrained at the start, but it's kinda hard to tell whether that's on purpose or part of the author learning to write.
The worldbuilding, what little we've seen of it, is well done. Armies fighting an eternal war against monster ants makes a lot more sense than paying poorly regulated mercenaries to keep your country safe (*cough* adventurers *cough*). Julien's reaction to Elaine talking about dragons sells their danger and mystique better than any trite info-dump could have.
Er... two hundred words... The system is a nice mix of original and familiar. The worldbuilding takes some of the practical consequences of certain people being massively stronger/faster/tougher than others into account.
Advice for the author... try to keep the big picture in mind. We haven't encoutered much by way of economics and politics because Elaine hasn't and isn't terribly interested in it, so it's hard to tell if you have a long-term plan or not. I'd recommend the occasional interlude from another character's perspective - lots of opportunity for context and to fill in certain things that the protag just doesn't care about.
I really enjoyed BTDM in the beginning despite the heavy-handed moralizing and political correctness (of which the author is vocally proud, just check his comments on his most controvertial chapters).
The story starts off with a reborn medical student going through childhood, running away from home, and exploring this new magical world and somehow surviving with more luck than an 8 legged rabbit.
Of course the country of Remus (Magical Fantasy Rome, get it?) is beset by a deadly foe that features later on. Spoilers: the foe is vanquished in an very enjoyable-to-read way.
Now the end of this arc would have been quite a good place to end Elaine's story, but there is still some entertainement to be had later on. The dwarven arc is interesting enough, as is the dragon arc.
Once you get the elf arc though, watch out. The lowest point of this series in my opinion is the dual chapters titled "The sex talk" where Elain sits her new elf beau down and then forces him to sit through the worlds worst human resources lecture on relationships in the workplace. Elaine berates the poor elf for daring to even look at her with lustfull thoughts without first obtaining her enthusiastic vocal consent (barely an exageration) and before the poor elf can say "red flag!" she tells him to pretend to be a brutish elf that won't take no for an answer (quite literally, I wish i was making this up).
You can just skip those two chapters. They bring nothing to the story other than the author's preaching (he's quite proud of his preaching based on his comments on such chapters).
After the elves comes the body-snatchers, which was decent enough but too easily resolved, followed by the return to Remus and the fey arc. Elaine's pet apprentice August grew on me in this part of the story, which is unfortunate because after Elaine is thrust into the far future with August and two more companions, Elaine just dumps them and goes "ladeedaa I'm gonna join this magic school yolo!"
This could have been an interesting arc, but it falls flat on so many levels. The minor characters were forgettable and forgotten, Elaine gets her new viking girlfriend (the unwanted protagonist of the most irrelevant and poorly placed interludes I have ever read on this site.), and the author continues his preaching by having his main character perform a radical sex change on a minor (13ish? something like that) with zero parental consent or even notification. The final nail in the coffin were the 7 (and counting) yawn-inducing chapters of Elain thinking about how she's going to change her body with biomancy to make herself even more unkillable than her immortal butt already is. As if the tension and suspense wasn't low enough already with a MC that can survive multiple subsequent beheadings. This last part was why i also dropped Azarinth healer.
Oh and if you're wondering about the name of the series? So far after 300+ chapters there is a throwaway line where Elaine learns that "whatsherface" gave the moons their distinctive look, but not why, and is pretty much irrelvant to the story at this point.
It is entirely possible that several of these issues will be solved later, but I doubt they will be, so I have moved on to greener pastures.
In summary, I think most people into the rebirth fantasy type will enjoy at least the first 200 or so chapters. I know I did.
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.
The story has shifted to slice of life, which is fine, but the plot has almost completely stalled.
When Elaine entered the school, there were so many things to be excited for, like her identity as the author of the healing manuscripts, her scholarship as part of the combat team, trying to get in touch with Night, and her roommates backgrounds.
Instead, she's now been in the school 3 years, there's been only passing mention of her revealing her identity, we haven't seen a single combat competition, she has made no effort to contact Night, and her roommates are mentioned so rarely it's difficult to remember who they are. That wouldn't be so bad if there were other things happening, but aside from her relationship with Iona, you could have skipped the last 30 chapters and not really missed anything of note.
The story just feels so shallow now. Any possible conflict is swept away the next chapter.
I'm somewhat grumpy about lost potential, so it could seem that there are more cons than pros, but it is actually wrong and author did good job. But I know he can do better.
TLDR: The writing itself and start of the story are pretty good, had great potential to be really entertaining read, a shame it becomes stale without proper chracter growth. At least up to 315 chapter story was interesting. And. It. Is. Many. Long. Chapters.
Writing is easy to read, descriptions are vivid and there are no problems with distinguishing between character dialogues.
Roman-style country in tropics with dinos in fantasy is pretty novel and world building is to my liking.
Plague and formorians arcs are actually really really great and I even had some problems with sleep due to how interesting they are.
Character growth is nearly non-existant: I can fully understand that physical body can strongly influence mind, but MC stays the same on core level even after childhood, at least through 350+ chapters - immature, barely learns anything outside of her field of expertise and makes same mistakes over and over again, even though these mistakes could be practicaly fully mitigated with expierence and knowledge from past life. It can be explained with MC being stupid, but she is clearly not. And it can't be explained with ADHD - it is about attention and hyperactivity, not about low intellect and inability to learn (she actually learns just fine in first school arc). No, "alergy" on "social" skills is not really great reason either. Hard times actually make children mature fast and MC somehow stays immature even after many-many close-to-death and shocking experiences.
The problem is relatevly small or nearly non-existant while MC is solo or in small party in wildness, but is really pronounced in society and during "political" arcs. Secondary characters have some growth, but barely pronounced.
Theme of sexism is mostly used as plot device, forgoten for most of the story, totally ignored then it is convenient, resurfaces sometimes to force MC or other people do stupid things to move said plot. Basically, if the theme is implemented, better to stick to its premise and be consistant. Or don't bother with it.
Timetraveling is basicaly used as 'reset button' to everything and I personally think was badly thought through - every single plot vanished, only some characters stayed and everyone survived tribulation practically didn't get anything out of it, even though story was previously consistent with equation danger/stress = level/expierence, also
MC did know about possible time trap, but just straight left most dear people to die of old age, even though she could have prolonged their lifespan significally. Yes, they still would have died of old age, given how much time passed, but she didn't even tried.
After timetravel it is completely new story with some old characters. Don't think I'll read it.