Level Up Hero!

by GD_Cruz

In a world where the gods' gift a chosen few with great powers, Sam Shepard is among the weakest of the weak. His crappy healing ability can’t even cure minor injuries without having to drain Sam’s own life-force to do it. Hero society doesn't think he's useful, and after failing to heal those he was tasked to save, Sam couldn't help but agree. It’s why he quit. But it turns out that giving up the hero life isn’t easy, not when one’s caught in the machinations of the gods themselves. 

After Sam gets pulled into rescuing the hero, Thunder, he inherits a strange power from her; the training system that taught her how to become a top hero. It apparently holds the secret to leveling up one's power, a feat no one knew was possible. Not that it'll be easy to achieve...

A series of challenging missions and the occasional hero lesson from the system’s creator guarantee a lot of cuts and bruises in Sam's immediate future. But at least he finally gets the chance to go from zero to hero. Oh, yeah, there's also ghastly horrors and megalomaniac super-villains to contend with on Sam’s path to becoming the symbol of hope that humanity needs.

Release Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9AM or 10AM PST. And sometimes on Saturday too. 

Join the Discord server for my hub of stories: https://discord.gg/PB3nc3pvYY

Follow me on Twitter: @WhoisGDCruz

Cover by @OKAZE_ARTS

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GD_Cruz

GD_Cruz

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Origin Story, Part 1 ago
Origin Story, Part 2 ago
Save the Girl Save the World, Part 1 ago
Save the Girl Save the World, Part 2 ago
Gods and Monsters and Those Who Train Them, Part 1 ago
Gods and Monsters and Those Who Train Them, Part 2 ago
The Will of Self-Sacrifice, Part 1 ago
The Will of Self-Sacrifice, Part 2 ago
Starting Line, Part 1 ago
Starting Line, Part 2 ago
Powers and Bonds, Part 1 ago
Powers and Bonds, Part 2 ago
Solo Mission, Part 1 ago
Solo Mission, Part 2 ago
Goodwill Hunting, Part 1 ago
Goodwill Hunting, Part 2 ago
Facing Despair, Part 1 ago
Facing Despair, Part 2 ago
Lesson Number Eleven, Part 1 ago
Lesson Number Eleven, Part 2 ago
Into the Fire, Part 1             ago
Into the Fire, Part 2 ago
First Meeting of the Brave and the Bold, Part 1 ago
First Meeting of the Brave and the Bold, Part 2 ago
Mr. Moonday, Part 1 ago
Mr. Moonday, Part 2 ago
DECEMBER 2020 RELEASE UPDATE ago
Suiting Up, Part 1 ago
Suiting Up, Part 2 ago
A Starry Night Infiltration, Part 1 ago
A Starry Night Infiltration, Part 2 ago
STATUS UPDATE 2020: Important Chapter Edits ago
Midnight Madness, Part 1 ago
Midnight Madness, Part 2 ago
Going Delta, Part 1 ago
Going Delta, Part 2 ago
The Bow of Heracles, Part 1 ago
The Bow of Heracles, Part 2 ago
A Visit to the Healing Gardens, Part 1 ago
A Visit to the Healing Gardens, Part 2 ago
Broken Prophecies, Part 1 ago
Broken Prophecies, Part 2 ago
Boars and Walls, Part 1 ago
Boars and Walls, Part 2 ago
Blunt Force Trauma, Part 1 ago
Blunt Force Trauma, Part 2 ago
Lesson Number Ten, Part 1 ago
Lesson Number Ten, Part 2 ago

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yellingbrian2
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If Clichés Don't Bother You, You Could Love It...

Reviewed at: Solo Mission, Part 1

I'm a person who (generally) loves any Superhero/Supervillain novel with a new spin. But this novel has a lot of problems.

Mainly it's overreliance of clichés, almost to the point of Parody. For example, when possible this Novel will gladly contradict it's established lore to make a scene more emotional. Often times telling us the readers something only to prove the opposite latter that same chapter, thus creating a "surprising and emotional moment".

I want to prepare people for what they are about to read:

***WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD***

Fundamental inconstancies between the way we are TOLD the world works and SHOWN how the world works:

1) We are TOLD the MC(Main Character) is useless but SHOWN even from Day 1 him running into certain death battles, ignoring dangerous monsters to save people and how even 1 good heal could turn the tide of battle.

2) We are TOLD that an Alpha-Level monster takes 5 Alpha level Heroes to beat and are TOLD that an Alpha-Level is the HIGHEST of the 6 levels of Heroes but we are SHOWN that the MC a Zeta level (the LOWEST level) of Hero is able to critically damage the monster and 1v2 it with the help of one Hot girl...

3) During the first battle with an Alpha-Level Monster (a city killing threat, who has already killed 23 Heroes, leaving only 3 alive) Sam's internal dialogue has almost NO focus on the monster itself JUST on the hot girl. Seriously we barley even get a description of what the "Terror" or what it's doing. But we get to know how Thunder's (the hot chick's) costume differs from her pin-up version and how awesome she looks.

4) The MC's a firkin HEALER even an 'useless' one should be able to make a six-figure salary at the local emergency-ward. WTF is he working as a reporter?

Somewhat depressing reason I'm bothered by this:

As someone with now 2 family members with chronic conditions and I've had 2 other family members die in the emergency room, I am truly bothered that someone with the power to heal wouldn't do so.

UNLESS we are making the assumption that every American has 24/7 access to healers better than Sam (including the poor and emergency patents) the surely a hospital would love to have a extra Healer on hand, even if that Healer didn't know anything about medicine...

And even if he can only heal one person per week if that person is a Alfa-Level Hero that's INCREADBALY useful! He wouldn't even have to go into battle he could just sit in the side lines or wait at a local hospital...

.

A number of clichés that I 100% hate are prominently feature in this story: 

1) The opening chapters usually tell the audience what they can expect and look forward too from this novel. Here is a simplified description of the first ark:

  1. The MC is the lowest of the low, know as a Hero drop out, coward, and the weakest type of Hero
  2. A city destroying threat has rampaged all other Heroes are down.
  3. A woman is calling for a Healer, Sam is the only healer on scene! None of the police are able to do anything, and his "body just moves" to save people.
  4. The "Terror" patently waits for Sam to finish healing the one foe able to go toe to toe with it. It also waits for Sam to talk about how useless he is (while ironically being the most useful person around).
  5. Low and behold the 1 girl Sam was healing (who is also an attractive single girl Sam's age) happened to also give Sam her "Hero System" able to boost Sam's power to (eventually) turn Sam's life around and make him into the ultimate Hero!
  6. Sam picks what stats to level up, and luckily gets rewarded the exact abilities he needs for this situation!
  7. By sacrificing his life force in a near suicidal move he slams the "Terror" with his hammer!
  8. His's strike is able to turn the tide of battle, the Monster is defeated, and the city is saved!
  9. Sam falls into a comma for X days, before recovering with no other consequences. Unfortunately the Girl gets struck with a final curse that removes her (temporarily) from the story, until Sam becomes more powerful and save her.
  10. No one acknowledges that Sam did a good thing or was useful. Sam will now have to work his way up to the top of Hero society one level at a time!

I believe the author first MAKES emotional moments, THEN thinks backwards on how to make those moments happen. And the background of those moments doesn't always make sense when you think about it from other perspectives.

2) These lines in particular:

When challenging an opponent far more powerful than you, a single chance or two may be all you’ll get…

These were the words the master had said earlier.

…but these kinds of odds are what will make your actions truly shine.

Sam grasped Onus with both hands.

Thunder was just beginning to get back on her feet. The Terror was about to land right next to her with sharp-nailed fingers outstretched.

In that millisecond of time before their fates would be decided, Sam recalled the last piece of advice the master had given him.

So grit your teeth and unleash all the resolve hiding in your heart…

He swung the hammer forward just as the Terror reached out for Thunder’s back.

…Go beyond even the extraordinary — and become super!

3) The moral of the novel seems to be "Believe in yourself and you will succeed!" but honestly reads more as "Recklessly go into danger without a plan and you will succeed because this over-powered Gamer-Ability gives you all the skills and tools needed to win!"

This a prevalent issue with any "Gamer" fiction: Is the MC badass or is the "System" badass? And in this case it is 100% the SYSTEM that's badass:

  • The System is fully sentient and makes choices for Sam
  • It force "Quests" onto Sam and even give penalties if Sam doesn't do them correctly.
  • And it'll tell Sam how to train, mentor Sam, and even council Sam.
  • It'll tell Sam when to strike and how to defeat his opponents.

I'm 100% sure eventually the System will take more of a back seat in Sam's journey to become a great Hero. But I fully believe that Sam would be a regular Joe-Smo without the system and the System would make any OTHER Joe-Smo to become an ultimate Hero. And I think that's a problem.

4) The MC is named Samuel Shepard because even with a Greek Pantheon of Gods, you can't escape the on-the nose Jesus metaphors in your MC...

5) At the end of the first battle with the City killing Terror, NATURALY all credit goes to the already famous Thunder girl, and she also chooses to not get people to help Sam become a Hero or share any money with him. Despite the fact that Thunder will DIE if Sam doesn't get strong enough. Thus forcing the MC to be starved of Heroic resources thus having to go through a cliché "from rags to riches" story line, as he climbs Hero socety one level at a time....

6) Thunder choses to give Sam the Gamer-Ability so she herself could get healed and survive, it now seems Sam's primary character motivation is now healing Thunder this of sickness that she got in the first battle... It feels INCREADIBLY forced.

7) The main character will ALWAYS view his actions in a negative light, I think this is supposed to make me feel sorry for him but I just felt annoyed at his delusions of failure.

.

EDIT: This review has been updated as of 12/14/2020.

The author IS constantly trying to improve his work. He's been messaging me back and forth about what he's doing to fix issues, both acknowledging and working through criticism of his novel.

He has been incredibly polite and constructive in regards to any issues found.

Here are some of the issues that he's fixed:

  • Sam's reason for quitting being a Hero has been made more constant (originally there were a few contradictory explanations).
  • The hot girl no longer kisses Sam to transfer the System, she now recites an oath.
  • The Terror is now heavily injured at the start of Sam's fight, better explaining why Thunder was able to mostly solo it.
  • Thunder now stands up for Sam and tries to give him some credit.
  • We are now told the Terror has the ability to curse people before it happens to Thunder, it came out of left field before.
  • And a number more I don't remember.

I would not be surprised if he makes even more corrections over time, and the different issues I've listed end up going away. 

While I have plenty of issues with the story itself, this is something I will 100% praise GD_Cruz (the Author) for.

.

Final Review:

I ended up dropping the story fairly early as I've only read half the published chapters. MAYBY I would love this novel after chapter 15, I just don't think that's likely.

I didn't see any Grammar issues, my main issues were with the style of story telling and (in my opinion) somewhat lack luster characters. There have only been 3 characters introduced so far and 2 of them seem to only have 1 static emotional state.

I like the idea behind the world being based off the Greek-Gods in the modern world (with other Pantheons living in other cities) but aside from that it just doesn't have anything I haven't seen in other novels...

I think a number of people can and will 100% like this novel as clichés are common because they do WORK. But your enjoyment will drop dramatically if you (like me) are genre-savvy or if you aren't willing to overlook any logic issues.

It TRULLY feels like the author intentionally tried to cram as many clichés as possible into this story. It would only require the MC to become more sarcastic to make this a Parody (I'm being 100% serous)...

a_man_in_black
Overall

It's decent but very very childish. It would fit very well in the third grader section of the school library. Very well written but definitely comes across as a children's book and not even a teen or young adult story. Still entertaining, just not what I'm lookin for and reviews must be fifty words long

gtroc
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

This is just a quick review as it is still early days for the story. 

Short version...I like what I have read so far and look forward to reading more in the future.

 

The characters are well written and distinct, there are hints at a much larger and more complex world. The power system seems interesting, though as I said early days and all. There's a consistent style and voice to the writing and the grammar and spelling are solid. I am always a little nervous about the trope of the singular level up system. I would love to see a way to help every hero level up, over just a singular person with the ability to advance. That is just a personal preference of mine, though. I understand that there is a lot of folks who like the single weak hero eventually being the most powerful and all. enough said about that. I find that I am most interested in the setting and I look forward to finding out more about the world an why things are the way they are. 

 

It is modern-day greek heroes mixing it up with some sort of eldritch horrors, what's not to like? check it out.

 

I may edit this review as the fiction goes forward.

TurdTurtle
Overall

Weak superhero gains a system. Obviously it's going to be a touch corny, but it's well written so far and a pretty fun read.  The author has clearly put some thought into the world building as well.

I strongly recommend giving it a read based on what little there is so far!

sabazurc
Overall

One of the best reads among fantasy(supernatural)/action on this website. The action and fantasy parts are good, characters seem to have personality. What I find most interesting is that the world's lore is a mix of mythos and modern superhero comics. Gods of North, Ancient Greece, and so on exist and they bless ppl with superhuman abilities, add to that some litrpg elements, nice plot and you got a very interesting story.

P.S. Some noob compared this to Solo-leveling...and dared to mention bland characters...dared mention bland characters while talking about Asian novel...Solo-leveling has one of the blandest characters I have ever seen(at least action is not bad). There is one similarity between 2 stories but it ends there, outside of that they are no more similar than any other action/fantasy.

Lilhyz
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

I am following this author wherever he goes! All of his novels are action-packed, just like this one. I like the details he put in every action scene. His choice of words makes me paint the picture in my mind. It draws me in like I was there to see for myself! The flow and GD's writing is easy to understand. For me, he narrates things at just the right pacing. I hate stories that drag!

Grammar wise, the story is very well written, and clearly, he puts time in writing his craft. As expected of GD.

The plot is compelling and reminds me of my many favorite hero movies. Who doesn't like an underestimated hero that could save the world? And gets the girl in the end too? (I hope). The story seems to suggest that romance will most likely happen too. 

For me, the characters are well developed. I especially like the mystery behind Sam's decision to leave his life as a hero. I look forward to Sam's progress in this story, his past, his fears, and his increasing power!

I for one am looking forward to some face slapping! Whoever looked down on Sam before can gulp in their own spew! (please make it happen, GD!)

Last,  hope that author-san gets more fans!

To all those who are thinking twice, give this story a chance and you will not regret it! Best of luck to GD!

Dreamer of Nightmares
Overall

It has the setup of a great story, solid backstory, weak yet great potential for growth, mental struggles, solid progress towards goals, strife and struggle, and realistic characters.

Obviously some of it is a bit cliche but a cliche wouldn't have become cliche unless it was good enough to become a cliche.

Reavermonkey
Overall

Early stages but a good read

Reviewed at: Mr. Moonday, Part 1

I'm enjoying this quite a lot so far, reminds me of the mangas "solo levelling" and "the gamer" though I'm hoping it doesn't flounder as much as those for direction towards the end. 

There's nothing more guilty plasure than reading a superhero rags to riches story, and I'll happily say that I'm currently finding this a pleasure to read.

MC is weak super-powered who gave up on being a hero, and decided to be a medic (Still a hero in my book, look at the medical profession in our world at the moment).  During a nasty battle hears a dying call for help, and can't stop himself from going into danger. Level up ensues...

Thank you for the story so far GD_Cruz keep it up!

Phan_Of_Wafflez
Overall

All The Quality of a Great Anime.. But in Writing!

Reviewed at: Goodwill Hunting, Part 2

To start off, this story is very enjoyable. The cast is incredibly humorous and you can expect roughly one pop culture reference per chapter. I have been binging chapters all night and I was entertained throughout the entire timeframe.

The author has a great understanding of American-English grammar/syntax, as would be seen by a native speaker of the language. The writing it at least at the standards of the University level and I was hard-pressed to find any mistakes throughout the chapters.

The main character shows growth just about every chapter - whether it be emotional, physical, or mental. Sam (the MC) is handed the tools to gain power, yet the actual power is gained through his own hard work and accomplishments.

The supporting cast of characters are highly life-like with three-dimensional personalities. Not only do they show a steady grasp of humor and joking-qualities, they can be serious when the moment calls for it. Characters have also expressed flaws that are fitting within the context of the situation.

The overarching plot so far consists of the MC gaining in strength/power. But sub-plots and minor goals appear to keep the MC on track and keeps the story flowing nicely. The writing does not suffer from the mistake some authors run into, where the author does not know how to proceed with the story so they push out a large amount of filler chapters to stall - and inevitably make no progress in the story. Progression is present in every chapter.

Usually I will read every chapter that has been posted before I leave a rating or review, but the author is incredibly engaged with their audience (replies and converses with almost every comment that readers post). So I felt the quality of the story and the engagement of the author warranted a review a few chapters early.

I was not able to find any cons while thinking of this review, and pairing that with the high entertainment level that I experienced while reading the story, I can safely recommend this work to new readers and label it with a personal rating of five stars.

Thank you for taking the time to read this review.

Mash_Potatoes
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Characters: Not many characters have been introduced as of yet, but the ones that have been are all well-written and consistent, with believable motivations and desires. No over the top nonsense where the MC instantly wants to be the Hero of the world the moment he gets 'the system' for some nebulous reason that is never mentioned, just because they can, to get a harem or to get revenge on the 'unknown enemy' who caused the MC to live a miserable life that is also equally unknown to the reader beyond bits and pieces. Point is, the MC of this story has a clear and defined goal where most others (especially on this site) don't and I like that very much.

Story/Style: The story follows the basic superhero story formula but is far enough from the cliche to not be called totally generic but close enough to be familiar and likeable all the same. However, so far the due to the strong focus on character development, world building has suffered as a result so beyond what little the author has revealed everything else about the world is unknown or vague at best. The world itself seems to be a mix of modern world, superheroes and greek mythology so if you prefer stories like BNHA/MHA or Danmachi where the MC goes from nothing to something then this is the story for you.

Grammar: Almost no problem whatsoever when it comes to spelling or grammatical errors.