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. It's a slow paced slice of life, and while there are pieces of action, don't expect any immediate grand conflict between Erryn and Peter.
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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of the novel is that a person is reincarnated into a world where everything is to perfect, and free will has been superceded.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 one was a good start. It built of the preceeding one nicely. But the direction the author is taking this one is kinda hit or miss.
The first initial chapters were great. It does struggle a bit with the age of our MC. But the slow reveal of plot and whats happening is both slow and fast.
There are weird moments (again with the age) but also cute.
Totally read the prequel and then give this one a chance, see if its for you. It was until it wasn't for me.
System is pretty neat.
Before I start the review I would like to mention the prequel A Lonely Dungeon. It’s not necessary to read it but it does provide some background and context to the world. It is also nice and short so you won’t lose anything by reading it.
The start of this book is good but nothing that we haven’t seen before. A person from Earth gets reincarnated into a body of a baby, has to grow up, discover the world and people around them and something that we all love, play around with the System. The System, again, is good but nothing special or revolutionary. Stats, Classes, Skills, Spells, Traits and Titles. They have ranks usually attributed with strength and/or difficulty of acquiring them. It’s complex enough to be fun and simple enough to be easy to follow along without difficulty.
The characters in this story are in my opinion quite average, bordering on bad. They have almost no depth. The interactions between the MC and most other characters are short and ultimately meaningless. Even his parents are completely shallow. If the author didn’t specify who said what in a conversation there would be no way to differentiate between characters.
But bad characters are not what holds this story back, because they are not the focus of this story. They are simply there to provide the MC with tools, knowledge and help that is required in that specific situation and are usually later forgotten until they are needed again.
While you are reading, both the reader and the MC will start seeing that people are behaving strange. They are too nice, too trusting and in some ways not behaving like people should behave. The reason for that behavior is explained in the book but I’m going to say what it is in the spoilers below. I honestly don’t think that it is a major spoiler and that it won’t impact too negatively your reading experience but it is such a fundamental part of the world that I need to say it in order to explain some of the problems that later become apparent.
Everyone in this world, except the MC, is subjected to one law. And that is to treat other people how you would like to be treated yourself.
That in and of itself is not anything bad, and I think that it is amazing. It gives this story something special. Something different that separates it from other stories. The bad thing that this creates is not from a psychological perspective, but from a storytelling perspective. Because of that and what it does to people and from the content that has been released so far, we can see that there is never going to be some kind of villain, some background driving force that pushes the story forwards. Because there is no bad guy and there is no pressure some of the MC’s actions do not make sense. Why is he risking his life going into the dungeon? Risking his life for apparently no reward. Getting stronger? But he can level up a lot more safely if he takes his time outside of the dungeon. He can work on his Skills, his Class and his Stats without putting himself in any danger. It’s going to take more time but he is in no rush. There is nothing making him risk his life for almost no reason. The penalty for failure of his quest
The MC as far as I can see isn’t characterized as a murder hobo who enjoys killing monsters. From everything I could see, he is someone that likes to experiment with magic. He wants to level up and become stronger but there is no reason to kill himself trying if there are better and safer options. This story really needs something that would explain his behavior. The only reason that I can see for his risk taking and his actions is that this way it would be more entertaining for the readers at the expense of the story. And I don’t think that is necessary. This story just needs something to push the MC forwards.
Another way the spoiler about the world that impacts negatively this story is how it affects people. They have no drive to improve themselves. They are not ambitious. They do not experiment with anything around them. But the MC is under no such constraints. So in the end the whole world will eventually revolve around the MC.
As I was reading this story I got the feeling that it was set up like a character driven book. Because of the spoiler every person is fundamentally different from the MC, and at the same time from us, so it would allow for a completely fresh and new story that I don’t think I have seen on RR before. We could see the effects it would have on society and culture, how the MC would interact with everything in this socially alien environment.
But the only focus of this story is MC getting higher numbers on his Status. Nothing else. And the reason behind why he is focused so much on getting higher numbers? I don’t know. Only reason I could see is because we, RR readers, like seeing them each chapter.
You might not see these things as negative, but I think they are because the only way for this story to progress is if the MC does something. The only way for people to do something different from usual is if the MC interacts with them or the world in some way. And when the only thing that MC cares about is leveling his skills the story stagnates.
The worldbuilding is very barren. If you’ve read the prequel than you might know a little bit more about the history about the world. But aside from that we have seen so far only his village and a nearby city. We know that there is an Elven city and a Dwarven hold nearby. Some minor details about the history of this world and that is it.
The last bad thing and this is just for me personally, the pacing is too slow. It has been a little bit more than 600 pages and he is I think 8 years old, aside from going into the dungeon and leveling his skills he did one other impactful thing that took maybe around 5 chapters in all and that is it. The only content of most chapters is the MC thinking about his Status and repeating actions to level skills up.
In closing I would just like to say that this is not an overly bad story. I had fun reading it from time to time. It has the one thing that I think most readers care about and that is power progression. But the bad behind the good is that there is almost nothing in this world for the MC to use that power on. If you run out of stuff to read give this story a try. It’s not the best but it’s definitely not among the worst out there.
Having blitzed through A Lonely Dungeon, the prequel to this story, in about 4 days, I was honestly excited to start the sequel.
Now, as of chapter 55, I can't muster enough enthusiasm to continue. The slow, plodding, gradual pace of the previous story makes a return here, and sadly it does not work anywhere near as well. For all the progress our main character makes with the system and levelling, there is no feeling of progress in the story itself. We are left spinning our wheels amongst a cast of characters who all have the same voice for over 50 chapters as we slowly, agonizingly slowly, inch our way toward the one source of narrative tension that has been hinted at- and then have it immediately neutered come chapter 53. At this point we are left with... Nothing. We have no conflict, because none of the characters are capable of true conflict. We have no attachment, because the overwhelming majority of the characters are so flat that they manage to give the impression of woodenly reading from a script in a text medium. We have no mystery, because even if you didn't read the prequel, the story tells you the answers in the various interludes from other POVs. Most damningly of all, we have no goal, beyond the MC leveling up effectively for the sake of it.
At the end of the day, it seems the answer to the question "so what's the point?" is, and will continue to be, a blank look of incomprehension. I genuinely wanted to enjoy this story, but if I can't even find a reason to continue reading myself beyond sunk costs, I cannot recommend this to anyone else.
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!
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.
I see a lot of people talking about how the story feels purposeless and I really strongly disagree. I'm of the opinion that in a lot of fiction whatever purpose is usually in play feels very forced - character motivations are too strong and perfect and precisely defined, with a tailored tragic backstory and the author's hand visibly dragging the protagonist in the direction of the plot. Sometimes, in fact the vast majority of the time, people just do things because they think it's fun and they like it or because they have vague, general feelings about the matter.
Peter does not need a war to fight against the Law and the god of this world to motivate him, he's introduced into an incredible and magical world with new ways of doing things and some difficult moral quandaries at play and he spends a lot of time exploring that and learning to look past pre-conceptions and ingrained beliefs while exploring the boundaries of the new world and life that he has been given.
You might think from some other reviews as well as my own that the story has bad pacing (as this is normally the case in stories that people consider purposeless) but the story is actually quite well paced, events do not overstay their welcome and things move forward rather quickly, I've never felt like anything dragged on and new discoveries are constantly being made.
Characters are also much better written than they are given credit for. Peter himself is an exceedingly well written protagonist, who engages in a lot of introspection and learning as the story goes on. Other characters are interesting in their own ways for how their personaility expresses itself through their limited circumstances, or for their unique perspectives.
After having read this story for nearly a year it remains one of a small handful that I am still excited for every single update. I really recommend you give it a shot.
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.
Found this after reading the story prior
Enjoying the flow of this and interested in where it is going , love the difference in seeing how everyone fits together.
Erryn is odd but enjoyable , complaining how he didn't go out of the system and then realising how she was still stuck with a large amount of the same issue
Looking forward to the changes that will be happening and how this causes different issues for the everyone
This story is very well made. I love how Peter has limits when he is still a baby, too many authors made they mc do push-up when they are toddlers, come on. It's impossible and unhealthy.
The progression is linear so far, without a huge power-up. It's early and there will be one, but through training and not given by a superior power. It isn't the author's style.
The relationship between Peter and Cluma is adorable, She is so cute. We all need a dose of hugs by Cluma. They will warm your day.
I prefer a system that doesn't limit the number of skills one can get, but this is very well made.
I hope Peter will have more mage-like magic. Lightning bolts, Ice fields, etc. I love his use of it, I understand why. he doesn't have the affinities, but hope is the last to die. At least space and time magic offensively.
This novel is a must-read.
I need 200 words.
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