Apocalypse Unleashed - A LitRPG Story
[Participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]!
Summer approaches and, with it, so do final exams. On the day of Aiden and Olivia's math final, things take a surprise turn - the end of the world.
But not everything is hopeless. There's a small light in the dark - a way for them to survive.
A game-like system that changes everything.
This story starts off very slow. It was a Writathon project that I really enjoy(ed) writing, but that also caused the beginning's pace to be a bit slower than what comes after.
What this story will include: An interesting system that doesn't have levels or defined boundaries (experience and learn it as the characters do), complex characters with their own motives, Town-Building, Questing, and interesting dynamics between natives of the new world and the Immaterial Realm.
Follow the twins on their journey every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!
Cover art created by Asviloka!
She writes Trickster's Luck and Trickster's Chance!
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The style of writing is pretty good, as with the author's other stories. Words and sentences don't seem out of place, and there is a fluidity in writing. That said, there are a lot of unnecessary descriptions where it doesn't matter and lack of descriptions where it matters. The descriptions of combat are bad.
The story is ok, with the traditional skill tree progression with enough leeway which is mentioned. One hole which I found was the lack of limits. There is a system and it seems that skills can ve spammed back to back after cool down. There is no limiter to power like mana capacity or arcane fever (other than bodily exhaustion till now). Everything seems too easy. Easy rewards, easy upgrades, equal opportunities... There is no threat, difficulty or luck at all.
The grammar is excellent and is near to professional standards. Maybe 2 or 3 per 20 chapters or so.
The characters are mundane and don't really develop along the lines described earlier in the story. The descriptions of the characters vary to much from the actions the characters take. As someone else pointed it out, we know that the MC's sister is supposed to be smart, but takes stupid decisions. MC is supposed to be good and leader like but is more of a loner. And switches love interests fast.
Apocalypse Unleashed, formerly titled Wholesome Unleashed, is a story about two twins in a LitRPG System apocalypse. It is a well-written story with a lot of interesting mechanics, LitRPG aspects, and just the general magic system, which is probably my favorite part of the story. I am really looking forward to the way the MC can grow, and not just the MC but other alternative builds and characters and pathways.
Now, onto the various components.
Grammar: No complaints, there were next no mistakes I could find here.
Style: I'm going to start off with the strong points. The story does well moving things without wasting any time. Right from the start things had started happening, and they happened in quick succession and kept rolling ahead into one another. The story has quite a few action scenes at this point, and there is always a sense of tension that is driving the story, so you will never be bored by it.
Characters: I liked the characters, although I was a bit surprised by their actions sometimes. At chapter 6 it is difficult to talk about growth and personality too much but none of the characters are blank slates. The side characters were also well written, although at moments they felt not as fleshed out as the MC and her sister, besides that, the characters were all well defined.
Story: The story felt a bit slow-paced to me. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. It was well handled in how it showed various aspects of the system and the world and introduced new interesting mechanics in quick succession, but at the same time, things could've been proceeding at a faster pace where we could see and learn more about the nature of the apocalypse and the monsters that spawn, etc.
Overall, this is a well-written story. It has fast updates, and it plays to its strengths. A good read, and one I would recommend.
I've binged all the available chapters before writing this review, so here's what I think, with little to no spoilers.
- Overall : 3.5 stars. It's 'only' 131 pages in, may change my vote later. No glaring issues but there's no real hook beyond people surviving in a school and the pace feels sluggish at moments. Interesting game mechanics with a lot of paths to pick. There's potential for plot-related improvements. At its current state, this story is midly entertaining and is good enough to pass some time.
- Grammar : Very good, haven't noticed any mistakes or weird sentences yet.
- Prose : Readable. I binged it with almost no issues so I can't deny that. It's not perfect but it's readable, which makes it very good in comparison to what you can normally read on RR-not-best-rated fictions.
You can make it better by avoiding repetitions and wasting words on describing mundane stuff, I'll come back to it later in Pace.
- Characters : Basic characters. I don't think I can say much about them. The twins seem to have a pretty good relationship. Adam is a walking representative of the leader trope, Olivia is the only one to have a goal beyond surviving. She's also supposed to be the smart one but makes questionable decisions. Can't understand that.
She literally chose her path to power randomly, followed by an awkward explanation on how it let her blow some steam... Did I mention they were in a life or death situation, with no escape in sight?
Aiden seems power-hungry but everyone is at the moment so it doesn't really count. It's the beginning and the others aren't worthy of mention. That's about it. Most of the characterization is done through tidbits between and during the fights.
- Pace : 131 pages in, and they're still fighting in the school hallways. It may be just me but the pace felt slow. I had to read some paragraphs diagonally since there was a lot of words and nothing significant happening. In my opinion, there are improvements to be made, or at least ways to make the reader more invested beyond the quick and dirty progression and the blue boxes. You could profit from making mysteries build up and giving some more details about the outside world, its state or about the characters.
Ok to start off Im going to say its a great story. Its has a some of my favorte things in a Litrpg these being a Skilltree and a concrete magic system.
Style Score-5/5- The style flows together really well. The pacing isnt too slow or too fast its at just the right speed. There are only a few pov changes and they unlike some arent obtrusive and dont really break the flow.
Story Score-5/5- Its got a gripping story that really makes you feel like you are there. The storys pacing makes it so you can really feel how long it takes for things to happen.
Grammer Score-5/5- There isnt much to say here there are very few mistakes and those that do crop up are quickly fixed.
Character Score-5/5- The characters are well thought out and dont feel like just cardboard cutouts of people. They have there own feelings and thoughts contrary to the main characters own goals. The main character for once isnt some lone wolf that turns super powerful. You can see where he gets his power, Its not just some plot armor chance thing.
All in all Its a 10/10 story that easily ranks in the top 5 of my favorite stories. Its a great take on a System Apocalyspe story.
So I am a little frustrated because I came into this expecting a wholesome sweet story about two twins in a litrpg apocalypse. I mean the picture and title pretty much give you that expectation. Instead what we find in this story is just highschool horror in a litrpg apocalypse, full of teen angst and drama. So be warned.
The brother seems to be the main character of the story, and I don't understand some of the comments making him out to be some nice guy. He is obviously a selfish anti hero type, with a sweet spot for his sister. Which is fine honestly, though some of the characterizations in this story aren't true to themselves, showing a lot of inconsistencies in behavior from what we would expect. Like the smart sister acting confused and making impulsive decisions, the idiot brother acting smart and going the magic path (though really if you had access to magic most would go for it so I agree with his choice there).
I also am not a big fan of all the switches in points of view, makes it all kind of drag in my opinion. It wouldn't be too bad if it was just the siblings, but it seems to be quite a few characters, so the story lost me there.
All being said though it's a good story for what it is, with an interesting take on the system. The story pace is pretty slow, and some of the decisions of the characters don't make much sense, but eh kids you know.
I'd reccomend giving it a read, it's a good story if you don't mind any of the things mentioned above.
I have to say, there are three things that I really like about the story up front:
The first is the magic system. It's totally an RPG skill tree magic system with unlocking tiers, which would make you think it's a hard system, but there have been hints and a few demonstrations that there is a large soft component to it that will allow for a ton of individuality and skill, and not just locking the characters into rigid archetypes. This leaves a lot of room for things like characterization and conflict, the two main things I look for in a story.
The second is that the author didn't spend a lot of time on setup up front. We get some "before the action" character development, but then we just get dropped straight into the apocalypse. Instead of long, drawn-out character backstories and exposition, we get to see what the characters are like when they're dumped into an impossible situation and forced to make hard decisions that are morally ambiguous.
The third is the conflict. Not just the system apocalypse, but the conflict between the various characters, the conflict within themselves, the conflict with the system. It's all very well done. Even though they're still in the school, I haven't been bored because there is always some kind of conflict keeping the story moving or keeping it interesting.
Between these three things I think the story has a really punchy start that could carry it a long way.
Not much to say here. I don't think I was knocked out of the story at all by poor grammar, so as far as I'm concerned that's a major success.
The premise is familiar, the system apocalypse messes with earth, but I feel like the execution is pretty good. The author took some familiar things and made them his own, with some unique characters and situations. The particular setting the author chose is very supportive of the kinds of conflicts and hard decisions the themes of the story take so far. It was also a perfect setup for a "defeat the first boss" type of arc.
Having been on RR for a long time, there are a lot of phrases that you see pop up all the time that are are a mix of translated cultivation lingo and specific ways of phrasing things that are super common here. I call these RR bookisms, things that people don't say in real life, but you see on RR all the time. I see a bunch of these peeking into the writing here. It's not necessarily bad, but I feel that the author has a distinct style that needs to shine through and these bookism break it. Otherwise, the writing is clear and straightforward and pleasing to read.
I really like the two main characters. Aiden is constantly being forced to measure their survival against the needs of others, with predictable results. He's a very well defined character, and so is conflicted Olivia. My issue with the characterization in the book isn't with the two main protags, but with the side characters. There were a few instances where conclusions were jumped to, or emotional extremes reached too quickly and specifically, purely to drive the plot forward. I'm not sure if it's bad, but it was noticeable to me, and a little jarring. On the other hand, these instances really did push the plot forward to keep the situation from waffling too long, so I guess that's a plus. I guess I would recommend a few revisions to try to figure out how to smooth these few instances over so they're less abrupt or obvious.
That being said, pretty much every speaking character so far in the story has been unique and written as if they were real people. Adam in particular is a character I already know that I love to hate. If you can get me to enjoy hating a character, you've done a good job.
Overall, I think it's a very solid first 20-ish chapters with a few minor things that irk me. I like the direction the story is taking, I like the characters, I especially like that everyone is forced to make tough decisions that leave a bad taste in your mouth, and not just a bunch of empty headed murderhobos.
First "Advanced" review from me, so it's pretty basic, lel.
Although system apocalypse has become more common over the years, the author has managed to put a unique spin on it. I like the fact that he can't pick everything, and must pick what to gain, and what to lose, that's what seems to be packing in many of these stories is that the main character seems to be able to respc constantly, or pick all the options. Him being somewhat locked into his path and having to choose what he gives up for the path he chooses seems to be really cool.
The story has an ok start, it's not exactly new as far as these stories go, but the twins aspect has added a new twist. The characters a somewhat flat at the moment, but we are early in the story and the side characters do have some hints of side goals and personalities forming. I have high hopes for them. Expecting super 3 dimensional characters this early means that we would have had a massive lore and background chapters, which are boring if you have to read them to understand the story.( Nice bonuses of the writer needs a break)
I don't care much about Grammer and didn't look for it. the story flows and is easily read, and that's what matters to me.
This is an early review, and it's worth a try.
A good system apocalypse story, having none of the usual loner MC who becomes uber-OP due to luck/unique encounters. You will probably like this story if you enjoy:
-wholesome sibling relationships
-unique power systems (less big numbers, more skill trees and cool magical synergy)
-MCs who are not overly altruistic and have realistic weaknesses/strengths, and are powerful without being so far ahead of the curve they don't show up on the graph
-authors who are active in the comments section and will clear up things you may be confused about
Grammar: I've seen very few typos/errors (~0-2 per chapter), and they get fixed if you comment with edit suggestions.
Style: Could be tightened up a little, sometimes there are sentences with awkward structure, but overall good. Easily readable.
Story: Good so far. We're still in the beginning stages (at the time of this review, they have just made it out of the area they started in), but I have confidence that the story is headed in an interesting direction, and we've already seen some hints about why the apocalypse is happening. The pacing is good and there has always been a driving force.
Characters: A strong point. Aiden is definitely the main character so far, but we've also had chapters from the viewpoint of Olivia, his twin sister. The twins have a realistic sibling relationship (they love each other and mostly get along, but they're not the same person and have disagreements). Aiden cares deeply for his sister and his main goal is for them both to survive, and he won't suffer people who won't work to get srtonger in order to survive. There's also a decent-sized cast of supporting characters that have received at least some characterization, which I expect will be expanded on as the story progresses. There are also realistic conflicts - not everyone just goes along with what Aiden says, nor does Aiden let himself get dragged along with things he doesn't agree with. Sometimes characters act in ways I don't totally expect them to, but I'll chalk that up to their characterizations still being solidified.
The System: One of my favorite parts. Instead of XP and level-ups you've got Essence and Essence Allocation, and the Essence can be put into many different things. You can upgrade your base stats, your skills, and your specializations, and there's plenty of opportunity for unique builds. The characters can't always get everything they want from the options available, so they've got to decide what they think will synergize best. I especially liked the 3 Mastery options Aiden got in Chapter 22. There was also a feat performed where many authors would have just rewarded some sort of stat-boost title, but in this case the reward was something that pushed the story forward and
a pet dragon.
All in all, a good, entertaining read. I'm excited to see where the story goes, what cool abilities the characters get, and how the relationships develop between the characters.
The style is extremely enjoyable, and one of the few things that drew me to the story. It's written in a fun manner, it's fluid. There isn't any questionable wording, and it's easy to devour. It has no absolutely no downfalls I care about, but still feels unique enough. Just great all around, even if it's nothing special.
Grammar is impeccable. I haven't encountered a mistake so far, so five stars. Nothing complicated there.
The story is good, if a bit slow. The exploration of the effects of the apocalypse is done in a fluid manner, everything makes sense. Pacing is the only downfall I could see. I can only hope it gets better with time, which is quite likely - the author is very accepting of feedback.
Characters are where this shines. Even if physical descriptions are scarce, which I actually consider a good thing, the development is on a whole other level. You get a very good idea of who the characters are very early on, and those early impressions remain incredibly consistent throughout the story. Interactions are great, sensible and evident. If someone has a motivation, they have that motivation and that's it. They won't suddenly just become an idiot to advance the story, which I appreciate greatly.This is the main reason of why I think the story deserves a five star rating.
I've really enjoyed the story so far.
The blurb is spot on and you pretty much get what you expect off the back of it - action, magic and game mechanics!
I think this is one of the areas the author does very well. By the time I was halfway through ch1, I had a pretty good grasp of the type of people the protagonist and his twin sister are. Their personalities come through nicely - particularly during conversations with each other. They come across as realistic, fleshed out individuals, which is nice :)
I've enjoyed following the twins and seeing their reactions to the dangers of the new world. Aiden comes across as caring and protective of his sister. His priorities make sense and are well presented.
I haven't been able to spot any mistakes so far - so that leaves me no option other than giving full stars here.
The author has clearly put time and effort into creating the world the story takes place in. It is reasonably fast paced (most of the time). There is lots of action, interspersed with game mechanics and magic advancements. Everything so far has made sense, from the interactions between people to the way magic was introduced!
I really enjoy the authors writing style. It is smooth to read and makes sense. Interactions are vivid and engaging. Enough said.