An Unbound Soul

by cathfach

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 worlds 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 in to Erryn's new world and the subsequent struggles of himself and Erryn to understand each other.

Published here and scribblehub. Two new chapters a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. Join the discord at https://discord.gg/ZxmZWhTm4e

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cathfach

cathfach

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FlowerPothead
Overall

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!

 

Junduffer
Overall

A good part 2 to "A Lonely Dungeon"

Reviewed at: Chapter 15: Library

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.

Jordisk
Overall

Decent start, but it is early yet

Reviewed at: Chapter 5: Routine check-up

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.

RedPine
Overall

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.

FordPerfect
Overall

So far its good.  Set up is good, world building is good.  People have logical and believable reasons for their actions.   Gonna hold off on giving it the last star until I see how good dialog is between characters, so far it has mostly been internal dialog.

Plot so far is just the setup.  Thankfully it looks like the author isn't going for an overpowered protagonist.

Calavente
Overall

standard iseakai start.

but in a really interesting world.

I like that their is access to the Genesis of the world through "lonely Dungeon".

at chapter 2, there is not much yet to guess about quality, but it's currently well done.

(even if there were a few, quickly corrected, grammar incongruities in the prologue)

the isekaied guy, and his baby-side introspections are well done.

FakeMask
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Not gonna lie, I have mixed feelings about the story. On the one hand the author has a VERY good grasp of the language. The word choice is sublime, there are no repetitions and it manages to avoid most mistakes amateur writers make. Buuuuuut, on the other hand there are a few things that weren't handled as well as the grammar and in the end I had to stop reading.

The first problem is that this is a sequel and thus there was an attempt to make it similar to "A lonely dungeon" in terms of writing. This is a sensible choice, in theory the stylistic choice would allow readers to finish the first story and directly read the second without feeling like there is too much of a tonal shift between them. However I think that accidentally some of the techniques used to tell the story from Erryn's point of view ended up also being used for Peter, which is... suboptimal to say the least. A huge chunck of each chapter I have read before writing this review is internal monologue, this is a problem because instead of feeling like we're seeing things through Peter's eyes, it almost seems as if we're stuck inside his head.  In the prequel this wasn't a problem because Erryn was litterally omnipresent, since she could shift her entire focus in different parts of the continent in the blink of an eye and she had many projects she was working on simultaneously, we never felt like we weren't seeing enough of the world. But here? This is probably not going to be much of a problem when the main character will grow up and explore the world, but as of now he is in an infant body and we don't get to see anything beyond his house and the people that visit it, which is quite disappointing. I hope it can be fixed soon.  /// On a side note we have a similar situation in regards to the exposition, there is an attempt to deliver information through Peter's discoveries, but there is no need to? I mean, now that the world is no longer dead and there are sapient beings running around- there is no reason to not give most of the information through dialogue, which would feel much more organic than having the MC wonder about it constantly. At least in my opinion. You could still keep using the current method but it needs some fine-tuning, it feels quite artificial.

Second, the story so far has come off as a bit tropey. That is not inherently a bad thing but I am quite annoyed that the author just dangles a lot of interesting elements of the world building in front of my face and then pulls it all away, revealing that yes, there is an original and unique world out there, but I will have to get through all the standard-iseakai-bullshit before I get to see the most interesting bits. One of the things that I bring up the most about The Wandering Inn is how the fiction successfully manages from the very beginning to arouse curiosity in the reader. This is done by starting the story in one of the most esotic places of the world the author built. Now, does the fiction also have more standard-isekai-bullshit? Yes it does, but rather than being shoved down your throat right away so that you can later get to the "good stuff", it is instead intervowen into the narrative in a way that makes sense. This is what I feel needs to be done here, I don't see why the hell I should struggle to get trough the first part of An Unbound Soul, when the beginning could be as fun as the rest of the story. Sure the narrative needs a climax, but that doesn't stop you from making the parts of the story (set-up, confrontation and resolution) all equally as enjoyable.

Third, the characters so far have been a bit difficult to find reletable. The problem is that most of them are living steretypes. The main character is the curious explorer, the mother is the good housewife, the father is a lovable bafoon, then there is the kind-hearted family friend and so on and so forth. None of them seem to have much depth. There wasn't a single time where any of them managed to surprise me even in the most superficial way.

Four, I can't help but think that the timing of the POV shifts is a bit awkard. When you go from one scene to another you have to be careful about how you do it and when you do it, but currently we have had a few occurences when the POV change is either sudden or uneccessary. This leads to the flow of the story being disrupted and the progression slowing to a snail's pace.

Last but not least, I am quite bothered by the fact that the author insists on focusing a lot on the game mechanics rather than the world itself. When I begun reading I was under the impression that most of the story would focus on the Law that Erryn imposed on the sapient spieces and that the story would be more based on character interaction and exploration. It seemed like the most logical conclusion as "A Lonely Dungeon" focused so much on subverting the genre and showing something different from what you would expect from a dungeon story. I believed the sequel would do the same. But with the focus on the system and Peter gaining skills together with some of the author's comments I am starting to realise that this is going to be a more mainstream action isekai and the story has lost a huge part of the appeal it originally had. This is not really something that needs fixing... I just feel like what I'm reading is not what I was promised by the synopsys and I wanted to mention that. You might want to rewrite it if other readers express the same sentiment.

In conclusion

I probably won't return to finish reading this story, even after it is completed. I personally don't think it's that bad, and I would advise any user reading this to check it out and develop their own opinion about it, but it is definitely amateurish in many ways and would need a rewrite before I decide to pick it up again.

WhiteBirdy
Overall

I'm trash for isekai, so heck it, five stars

Reviewed at: Chapter 1: Babies suck

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.

psy377
Overall

So, you might think I say "it's nice too" thinking of other isekai or other L-RPG but that's not it.
There is one very similar novel by the name "Magic-Smithing". Already at the 3rd chapter on "Unbound soul" and I was about to comment that the novels are similar but I read up to chapter 11 to make sure. And yes, they are similar but not the same, don't worry. This one is actually reminding me also the movie "The Invention of Lying". In any case, both novels are nice and i will keep reading both (as of now).

About reviewing the Novel (for both novels actually and anyone who read both correct me if I'm wrong)
-Both are happy and relaxing, easy to read.
-No repetition of sentences (which is good for me) (i think some people think it's better to repeat some paragraphs because you can show to others that you can write English in many ways, which I hate because I lose my time reading the same thing..)
-Slow-paced. It's good when there are a lot of chapters available, but waiting a week for the next one is awful.. 

I hope i see the MC being creative and bring to this world things from his world. (He should try to feel the mana from the water magic tool or something. Be creative)

Palton Hammerad.
Overall

Just writing this to tell the author to add some progressing emotional attachment. There is many stories that don't get the right emotional attachment that makes life worth living.

A great example of good emotional attachment done by the author was: In his story of a lonely dungeon, where he told of the hex bombs had killed all life on the planet and how the core cried for the abrupt way the prople died. For me that was emotional attachment that hooked me completely to the story. 

Now...bad emotional attachment would be: having 8 characters(could be girls) sorrounding the main protagonist...and having their relationship never evolve in any way. No withering or a growing love. No difficulties to get their attention the right way...or wwwwaaayyyy to many difficulties to get attached to the point the relationship looks more withered in the eyes of the audience.

I believe this is what stories nowadays need. A relationship formed uniquely to the style of the main character. A relationship that is born against all external expectations...but not internal. 

I digress. I'm on chap 2 and I have to clapp for the author. Your representation of progressing psychology is amazing. I recommend you add Freud's psychosexual development.

For those who do not know. Freud believed that all born start with powerful secual and agressive urges. In learning to control these impulses, children acquire a sense of right and wrong. There is more on it but I leave that to you to search. 

Anyways....gooooooddd luck. Loving the story man!

 

Edit: People didn't like my review...thank you!!!! Plllsss dislike more. Make me infamous. Hahahahahah. xD (I'm kinda masochist in rl)