When Peter suffers a too-close encounter with a truck, he finds himself reborn in another world. At first glance it is a perfect fantasy land. There's magic to play with, elves singing in the forest and a hyperactive catgirl neighbour. There's even a System that lets him earn skills and level up. But it isn't long before he notices that the world is far too perfect. Just why is everyone so nice? Can Peter accept the alien morality of this world's self-proclaimed protector, or will he seek to overthrow her?
Set after the events of A Lonely Dungeon, a few hundred years after the rebirth of civilization, this is a story about an earthling falling into Erryn's new world and the subsequent struggles of himself and Erryn to understand each other.
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I loved the first fiction, and am keen to see how the author will write from our isekai protagonist's POV. It's an interesting litRPG system and I'm curious to see it explored more down the line.
It's still early days, but so far I'm loving it. I feel that it's a shoe-in for trending eventually!
This review will contain major spoilers for the entire story, and for the authors prequel A Lonely Dungeon. You have been warned.
I gave the style three stars because in my rating system, that means adequate. It doesn't get in the way, its not annoying, it isn't excellent and doesn't do anything particularly interesting. It's fine.
Story & Character
This is by far my greatest disappointment with the novel.
The fundamental problem with this novel is that the mysteries aren't interesting, and neither is anything else. The initial concept of the novel is that a person is reincarnated into a world where everything is to perfect, and free will has been superceded. This is an interesting concept. Not only do we get to explore questions around free will, but we already have the fact that Peter has been isekai-d, so the difference in upbringing can fully highlight the fundamental differences in freewill. You get interesting hints early on to the brainwashing of the world, which is kinda cool as Easter eggs for the audience, but nothing really happens, and instead you just get standard, bland isekai fare exploring the system, leveling up so on so forth. And that's alright, I figured it'd be a bit of a slow burn, but then soon we'd get into the philosophy and mystery and eldritch mind control and all that good stuff. But the author just doesn't. Then we get a perspective of Erryn, who is responsible for the mind control thing. And they just fully explain how it works. Worse, we know the exact intent behind it and have the knowledge that there is no real further mysteries. Furthermore, we basically get confirmation that no one in the entire world will do anything evil, the world is only three hundred years old and that there are no other forces at play. And so I think "What does that leave us with?". There are no mysteries and there is no antagonism. And the story just keeps on with its standard isekai fare, now without the allure of some payoff to make it all worth it. But I give it the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was a case of mistaken identity on my part. Maybe it's more of a slice of life novel, and I was just wanting something that was never meant to be. But in that case, its not a very good slice of life. Because we've been focusing almost entirely on the system, and kinda not at all on the characters and their relationships. There is just nothing of interest. And the world is bland. It is standard isekai with the knowledge that there are no real mysteries and oddities. It is a manufactured, perfect world. Then we get another chapter from Erryn's pov and a chat between Peter and Erryn. In it, it is explained that the one moment of danger and tension all series was actually never a concern, and also that the last mind control plot thread of Erryn slowly breaking down Peter's defenses in order to read his mind has been peacefully resolved oh and also that Peter can solve the mind control thing right here if he wants to. And Peter says no because he doesn't know what the right thing to do is, and we get a tiny amount of philosophy and that's kinda interesting I guess. And then Erryn tasks Peter with exploring the world and the races in it so he can make up his mind. The world I will remind you just feels empty. Its a shame because the actual writing is good, but the author decided to ignore the one interesting thing about their story and now they are just left with nothing. This story is just so empty, and unless you really want to read another system exploration, I don't believe this will hold the interest of even the most dedicated isekai fan.
Perfect, no flaws, must read.
This is a fantastic way to continue the story of "A Lonely Dungeon" and so far the story is holding up well as a standalone. The MC's limitations are relatable, the deadpan humor is solid, the worldbuilding is good, the progression is satisfying.
The characters feel fleshed out without the descriptions being exhausting. The exposition is blended nicely with the actual story, so it's not just an exposition dump. So far this fiction is doing great.
As RedPine said, this story lacks the overwhelming "Murder, Death, Kill" of many LitRPGs on this site and others. It is a little slow-going, but based on the author's previous story that will pick up.
Because of the few number of chapters, we don't have a lot of the lore built in yet, only hints. These hints are more noticable if you have read Cathfach's other story, and the prequel to thsi one, called "The Lonely Dungeon".
All in all, a decent start, and I look forward to more.
I look for two things in stories. 1) Makes me smile, think, chuckle, and/or cry. 2) Doesnt make me feel sick afterwards due extravagant war crimes (example: Overlord, Azarinth Healer, Everybody Loves Large Chests, Warhammer 40k).
This story passes both tests. The characters are not evil, but they dont exactly agree on what it means to be good either. This is a promising setup for interesting conflicts that dont rely on cartoonish villainy to be dramatic.
Update: due to being a new fiction with few chapters, my tentative review was 4 stars. With the consistent updates im bumping it up to 5, as the author has a good track record of finishing his stories. Objectively there are a few writing mistakes and awkwardly worded scenes, but subjectively this is easily 10 out of 5 stars.
tl;dr: Solid start, the future beholds greatness.
I noticed a few people gave talked about the start being boring or because they didn't think it was that unique or very special. The thing is with these kinds of stories, the beginning is usually just a blindfold covering our eyes, and it just takes time for the showman to build up his act so that once he takes the blindfold off, we would be truly shocked. There's already been a revelation in the inner workings of the current world, which changed the entire perception of the story. Won't spoil it, but it's all uphill from here.
The character development is really well toughht out. The writter POV's from several differennt chharacters views. It adds a unique depth to the story. I am enjoying thhe read and think this will turn innto an amazing book once completed. Well, it's already amazing, but you know what I mean. The system is done well, and I'd love to live in this world. Danger and all.
The premis is also refreshing and is well thhought out. It takes into account the pre-conceptions and outsider would have entering this new world to them. The fears and suspicions of an adult in a childs body.
.. with only complete mind control to enforce it! Nothing serious, I promise! :)
This is a very curious novel in that depending on if you have read "A Lonely Dungeon" You will likely have a very different gut reaction to what is happening. Regardless there's satisfaction to be had both ways.
Without prior context you get to quake in your boots and figure out a mind control mystery. It's scary how oblivious everybody is and how they are incapable of (by force!) understanding your common sense.
But knowing all about Erryn it's a totally carefree utopia with a a system admin rooting for you. And You will basically be giggling waiting for what sort of nonsense will happen once she makes direct contact with MC.
I would best describe it as a slice of life novel, but with a slow transition to more traditional adventuring. There is overarching plot though, so it's not just a feel-good read. Significant developments are afoot and the MC is slowly being drawn in.
The characters are distinc and interesting with relatable motivations and feelings. Most of them act kind of oblivious at times, but In the context of explicit mind altering magic at play the types of deviations make perfect sense. Overally everybody behaves in a consistent manner to their character and circumstances which is good to see.
There are no glaring grammar issues or awkward sentence structures that I have spotted so far (though I can kind of read over them at times, so grain of salt and all that).
This is the story that, of all that I follow, I most look forward to updates of.
The spelling and grammar are so good that I don't notice it, the characters are believable (and cute) and the dramatic tension never entirely lets up. The plot advances steadily despite the improbably young age of the MC. The action scenes are playground oriented, with his other friends in the village. And if the existential dread intrudes too much, a flying tackle hug is always the right answer.
And if the early childhood development isn't quite persnickety with what I'm familiar with, that's a minor flaw at worse. The exploration of a new interesting world with strange and sometimes seemingly nonsensical rules takes center stage.
This is a litrpg isekai story, with the protagonist bring essential someone from our world of born in another. Unlike other litrpg style stories, this one actually has an in-universe explaination for why the system exists, and I look forward to our unwilling but curious protagonist gradually unraveling the mystery.
Read the prequel for spoilers if you desire. I found this story by following the link at the end of the prequel, so I didn't get that choice. Certainly hasn't ruined the story for me, but your results may vary.
There's only 1 chapter, and it seems like a standard isekai, but since I know this is set in the lonely dungeon world, well, I am very excited to see Peter explore (and ruin) the perfect world Erryn has made.
I hope you'll go fast over the baby years though. It's always cute to read about the bonding between a baby and its parents, but it's been done a lot.