Dungeon of the Old Gods
Injured on the road, adventurer John Younger found his way to a tavern, hoping to find shelter for the night and a place to tend his wounds. Instead, he found himself taken against his will to a Dungeon of the Old Gods, and within it, John must navigate the floors and delve within if he is to survive.
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So, I'm torn on this story. I reallly want to love it, but right now I have to settle for just liking it.
First, this story gives me great vibes that remind me a lot of the game Darkest Dungeon (except for a lone MC instead of a group). The dungeon is gritty, the monsters tough, and best of all the dungeon presents morally questionable choices to the MC that force the MC on a particular path with consequences that affect the story.
If you've ever played Darkest Dungeon, there is a narrator that comments on what's going on. This story has something very similar where each floor has a voice that almost acts like a secondary narrator that gives direction and motivation to the story.
The action is something that this story does very well also. It's very direct, and there are no last second "I pull my ultimate weapon from literally nowhere" moments or plot mcguffins. The MC starts off competent, but not OP, and is able to progress without just overpowering challenges, which was a big plus for me.
The thing that makes me give this story a 4 instead of a 5 is that there is not yet any exploration of why he's in the dungeon or why it matters. Everything else is done well; the action, the tone, the progression, but there is not yet any explanation of the "why" of it all that would reaaaalllllyyyy hook me hard. There is so much room to reel me in with a well done mystery subplot.
I'm pretty sure the author plans to do a revision, so I'm going to keep my eye out for that.
Style: I love the style. It reminds me of the game I already mentioned and the gritty style and tone really do it for me. The prose is direct/straight forward without a lot of flourish.
Story: I already mentioned why this is a 4 and not a 5 for me. Right now it's a very linear dungeon dive with good action and some other cool ideas that pull you along. That mystery subplot though... it really needs to happen.
Grammar: There are typos, but nothing major. The grammar overall is good, nothing dumping me out of the story or anything.
Character: Character is ok. There are times where the MC is flat and I wish there was some more exploration of character, but the story is primarily driven by the MC having to be reactive to the dungeon, so it's hard to do a lot of in depth characterization, which is fine.
I happened upon this story because of the cover. The theme was interesting and the writing held my attention. Look forward to continuing and giving a final review at completion of the novel. I came over from S tier adventurer. Glad I did. And thanks for posting this for free. Cheers.