Ursus the Unbearable
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A larger-than-average brown bear gets the evolution of a lifetime after attacking and snacking on a powerful archmage and an even more powerful magical artifact.
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Reading through this, I'm a bit disappointed to see it at the top of the listings. There's a number of problems I have with this story.
For one, a lot of the word-count is being inflated by the 'character sheet' at the end of the chapter. To put this as professionally and objectively as I can, this is an extremely cheap trick - it pads the size without having to come up with more than a line or two of new information, allowing you to shove on an extra couple hundred words for nearly every chapter. It was bad when it started on FFN with 'responding to reviewers', and it's worse now - because at least review responses actually were original.
Secondly, beyond the initial joke of 'magic sapient bear' (which I see as a fairly hackneyed derivative of the old 'Mr. Bearington' tabletop anecdote), there is very little noteworthy or even interesting about the story.
Bear gets magic and sapience, beats opponent it shouldn't be able to, gets more magic and sapience. This is just another xianxia story with extra steps, with the added baggage of having to justify each new character thinking a magic bear is noteworthy in a world where magic exists - in such a world, a magic bear stretching their suspension of disbelief in itself stretches the suspension of disbelief of the reader.
The execution is not abysmal, but it's far from good. I would be be among the first to say that any idea can be interesting if written well - but for a one-off joke idea like this, it would have to be written excellently, and it is not. In terms of Story and Character, none of the characters feel very 3-dimensional, and none of the plot development has managed to impress me yet.
There is nothing wrong with the grammar here, which I would count as the fundamentals.
If I had any recommendations - the author clearly understands the basic building blocks of story-writing. Where they need development is execution and originality, and most of all, they need to shed training wheels like 'character sheets'.
TL;DR: It's a simple litrpg about a murderhobo bear eating its way through an interesting blend of western and chinese fantasy, but it has a bunch of issues with its grammar and word use.
In terms of worldbuilding, I've read two chapters so far, and while there is an annoying spelling of magus (magos. It's like daemon, except just a bit worse, because with daemon you at least have the excuse of wanting to seperate it from its religious origins), there's also a cool concept that I haven't really seen anyone properly explore yet; a blend of western and Chinese fantasy. And no, I don't mean "wow look, chad wizard goes to virgin xianxia land, look how dumb the meditating brutes are!", I mean a proper integrated world with both cultivators and wizards which I can't believe I haven't seen yet.
Now, here's where we get into my main grammar nazi gripes....
The author doesn't seem to know where to put their commas, the story flops between past and present tense at least thrice each chapter, and the author uses the word 'sweetness' fifteen times in the first two chapters. This number goes up to 25 if you count all the variations that include 'sweet'. 'Sweet' is admittedly the... worst... offender, but it's far from the only one, and it's just... a damn... thorn... in... the eye.
Did the overuse of ellipses get on your nerves? Then don't read this book, because they're everywhere! In chapter two, over ten percent of sentences have ellipses, though half of them are concentrated in three sentences, looking much like the ending of my last paragraph (except that's an exaggeration, but you know what they say about that and knowledge. Or maybe that's only Danish proverb.... Anyways, it's "exaggeration furthers understanding")
Also, Ursus? Come on, don't tell me you couldn't spare twenty seconds to think of a more original name.
It is not a bad story. It is an OK read. But it is certainly not a great read.
First, grammar is good. No claring issues I could see, besides some interesting formulations (look at the titles), were you can see why the mistake was made.
Characters. Well, its a bear. It does its thing. We do not really learn much about him, so nothing more to say here. There does not seem to be a true supporting cast, although we do see the perspective of others on occasion.
Style. I like it, but nothing to write home about. Continue on, author, you are doing great.
Story. Meh. It exists, and I honestly have mostly forgotten its there, directly after reading the chapter, so, you can forget it? But I also have no problems reading the chapter and having a clue whats going on, so Ok.
As I said in the title, it is not a story that will be my next favourite. But it certainly is something you can read and enjoy. But to be honest, to transfer the basic concept into something truly great would take some doing, would require true skill, so that is not actually something against the story itself.
I will be looking forward to more chapters.
I like how this story has started, though it's a bit bear-bones (heh) at the moment to give a fully fleshed-out (heh) review for. It is a fun, light read, and I'd recmmend it to a casual reader. There hasn't been a major plot hook yet, so if it continues like this my rating/review may get updated downwards, but it's great so far.
So far the author has written well, but they don't really have a distinctive style. The only thing that's stuck out to me is the judicious use of em-dashes, and for the most part, they're used well. Just nothing else remarkable, so I'd say the style is above average.
So far so good. At first I thought it would just be another animal-gets-OP story, but it's been humorous so far and it hasn't relied much on number-crunching for plot progression. I appreciate the side quests, and I like how the plot matches the MC's life goals.
Solid all-round, and the few mistakes seem to get acknowledge by the author in the comments section pretty quickly. I haven't actually seen those mistakes get fixed, but I don't hold that against them. No error has stopped me cold or broken my immersion yet, which is a plus.
Update: author has made a note that hey are working on fixing those mistakes, so grammar is now 4.5 :)
This early on it's hard to judge character development, but the MC has seen rapid development in their personality, and other characters have been made memorable despite there only being 9 chapters out when I wrote this review.
I'm very much looking forward to where this story goes, and I recommend it.
Not entirely sure what the other reviews are on about, I like the story so far, the humour is kind of "dry" though I'm not sure if I'm using that word correctly, All in all pretty good read, I'm interested in what the future has to hold for this bear with the whole Eldritch soul and psionic powers.
From the thumbnail and the abstract I was expecting a lighthearted punny adventure of an adorable bear.
Instead I got a brutal, bloody power-trip. Don't get me wrong, it does those things sufficiently well to be enjoyable. It's just that I didn't come here for that, and I feel somewhat misled.
Nevertheless the grammar is decent, the prose is unobstructive. The character growth and world building feels rushed, but if you're into OP protagonists you probably prefer it that way.
Overall, if you enjoy "law of the jungle" type monster survival stories, this will be right up your alley. If on the other hand you were looking for something punny to make you feel like the world isn't such a gray place after all, this probably isn't it.
I hope this review helps some of you go into the story with better expectations, and subsequently enjoy it more than I did.
This is one of the unique novel I've read. I wish for the 100 thousands of chapters for these.
Good work author-sama
Please do more chapters and keep refining this one. Readers will discover this gem and they will request patreon to donate coffee budget for you then BOOM. Writing Career
It's a bear.
It's magical now.
It's slowly becoming OP, God level...
It's still a bear, though.
IT'S FREAKING AMAZING!
You NEED to read this.
For those interested in more details: (be warned possible spoilers ahehad)
Imagine a cat on the internet. The average cat. That should be easy enough. Now make that cat big, fat, brown, furry and has the most soulful eyes you can imagine. That is the MC.
It's basically One Punch Man humor in a fantasy world.,.. but with a bear MC.
I know, right?
Well, if you aren't convinced by now, I doubt you'll like this. The parody elements are not for everyone, but if you don't mind this level of humor, it is good entertainment. I guess, don't expect a hidden To Kill a Mockingbird, or a Kafka with this one, but if you want some basic humor, then go for it.
The grammar isn't bad. English isn't my native language, but if you can understand this review, then you'll have no trouble reading the story, since the author has way better grammar then me. Overall I'd give it a 4/5 in general, but a 5/5 in pure entertainment. I'd recommend to binge-read this. Stuff like this is better read all at once.
There isn't much story here though.
But the author might add some more story to it. Adventure has been mentioned, just not much has been shown yet I suppose. Some, but not much.