Automage Adventures - A LitRPG Story
- Sexual Content
- Traumatising content
As a university freshman in the fictional nigh-third-world country of Broica, Sean, finds himself falling into a bottomless rabbit hole as the "System" integrates Earth into itself, allowing for him to see the world as it truly is. He soon finds out that his girlfriend, family, and even hometown aren't as they all seemed --a conflict between vampires, werewolves, hunters and mystical forces rages in the Undercity as alien forces try to overtake the City Above, all the while Sean struggles to understand even a tiny bit of what is happening. And he wonders... had the System changed his life, or had it simply made the transition faster?
Volume 1: Chapter 1 - 15 (Integration)
Volume 2: Chapter 16 - Current (Darkest Nights)
Release Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (GMT +8)
Average Length: 3k - 5k Words
Discord Link: https://discord.gg/kScZ5fsWH7
Disclaimer: MC isn't nice.
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The MC in this story is a first year University student granted a System and then thrust into a trial to determine which class, and which rewards, he will get.
The only issue is that the MC isn't really a first year University student. Instead, he is apparently the hidden reincarnation of the god of Instincts. He gets a vaguely useful power? A day later, it's Instinctual to use it at any and every oppurtunity. He chooses to study a branch of magic that has supposedly cause scholars to end their own lives out of frustration? No problem, his insticts have got his back, and he picks up the basics in a day and change. Have to learn magic that the book you're learning from says you have no chance of pulling off yet? Don't worry, he just knows he can do it. RIP to those scholars, but Sean is just built different I guess.
There is no gradually getting used to new situations. There's no reaction to being required to kill things. There's no trial and error period with what I'm assuming is a difficult branch of magic - given that people have literally died rather than figuring it out. It feels a lot like the author wanted to write a character that was already halfway through a powerup arc and used to the new state of things, but also decided they wanted an origin story, and somehow got those two muddled up in the process.
The grammar isn't amazing, and has errors thrown in here or there, but nothing that a quick editing pass couldn't fix. The style is mostly unremarkable, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
The story isn't anything trailblazing, but it also has potential to be interesting enough to not be immediately boring. Just, for the love of god, let the MC work for something rather than just being good at it first time.
Maybe I'm just tired, but I find this story confusing. At times it drags on and on going from one psycological extreme to the next, and nothing seems to really happen, people just confusedly talking with each other. Then there's action and it's all over in a couple confusing words.
In general the story thematically seems to heavily rely on mysterious/confusing and terrifyingly strong monsters. So, much like a horror movie, where the monster is completely unkillable... until the the suspense peaks and it suddenly dies. Then repeat all over again for the next monster.
Quick summary - 'Magic user' in a 'World of Darkness' type world with a litrpg system and possibly world merge(s).
The world building is pretty expansive at this point, with hinted semi-unique factions operating independently of the MC POV. Not to mention the potential other worlds, aliens, gods etc.
The main character is reasonably relatable and if not necessarily logical has a reason or seems to for his actions, thoughts and decisions.
Some other characters that we see in the 'interludes' seem a little one-dimensional so far but hopefully with further worldbuilding and character interactions this can be fleshed out further. For example the 'Villainous'(?) factions seem a little evil for evil sake so far.
The MC's abilities seem a little unclear and hand wavy but with a story called "Automage Adventures" it is somewhat expected.
In terms of grammer, seems pretty decent, though a small amount of sentences that have unclear meaning need a little work.
Overall a pretty decent story, premise and world building from a new(?) author and I am looking forward towards the future plot and world building.
This review was written as of Chapter 4 (which is a pretty good point to give an overall review). This may be prone to change.
Style: So far, the Style seems to be excellent, if not a bit too focused on the main character's inner monologue. The description is on point, and for the most part, "Show, not Tell" is applicable but the pacing to content ratio is a tad bit sluggish (which is surprisingly a thing on Royal Road despite the numerous rushed stories). Perhaps a bit less pondering could do, but the pondering itself is one of the things that lead the readers into understanding. So there goes half a star.
Grammar: Perfect so far. Spotted a few semicolons here and there, but don't know how they're correctly used so no idea on that front. Definitely doesn't hinder the read. Dashes are generously used, but the writing style is so that dashes are preferrable to periods.
Story: Honestly, quite a fresh take on the LitRPG genre (from the summary alone) with how the world is special even before the System drops. The fact that it's on modern day Earth with the Main Character not knowing of anything supernatural is a testament to the world having lots of mysterious to uncover. If unraveled correctly, they'll most likely be awesome. But if they're poorly executed, the score in the review may be decreased. In most stories, it's either the world becoming special because of the System dropping, or the world being already fully integrated into the world by the time the story starts.
Character: More or less realistic. The Character is dropped into the story in such a manner as for his reactions to be more or less realistic. He wanted an ordinary life, which he calls 'mundanely adventurous' (or was it the other way around?) with the girl of his dreams, but then he assumes he is dreaming. And after Chapter 4 dropped, we get a deeper insight as to why exactly he isn't panicking and why exactly he's so intent on fighting them even if he has an easier way out. He is, at heart, what we will most likely become if something like this happens: somewhat happy, still afraid and worried about what happens if everyone becomes System-enhanced and even compares it to America and how 'dangerous' the country sounds like, which was either intentionally or unintentionally foreshadowed in the very first chapter with the professor comment. If this was intentional, kudos to the author. If it wasn't, it's still a decent reaction.
Warning: This is one of the first GameLit/LitRPG I have ever read so I may not be a good judge of the genre.
So far, this is an extremely engrossing book that has left me wanting to read more. As a gamer, I enjoyed the style and use of LitRPG elements.
Style: As a whole good but there were some strange word/phrase choices (e.g. a whole another deal) which meant I had to reread a couple of lines to work out what was meant. As someone who doesn’t reach much of the genre (but is a gamer), I found the LitRPG elements easy to understand and didn’t feel that they were overused.
Grammar: There were a couple of missing commas and run on sentences but it isn’t bad enough to interfere with enjoyment. It might help to turn on reader suggestions so that these can be picked up and changed easier!
Story: The story is honestly interesting so far. Sean, a university student, finds himself transported to a seemingly fantasy world that is much more technologically advanced than his own where he must complete tasks (such as kill a giant) in order to advance. I’m looking forwards to learning more about the system and the new world.
Characters: There is a small cast of characters so far (Sean, Clara, Fillmore) but it gives a good insight into Sean. Hints about his history and background are sprinkled in very naturally but so far, I am missing something. I know from other reviews that after Chapter 4, we get more of an insight into why he is strongly relaxed about being dropped into this world but it might be world considering adding this sooner because it struck me as strange. Clara feels a bit flat but she is only in the first chapter (so far) so it makes sense that her character doesn’t feel fully developed yet.
World building: I felt that the world building was worth noting specifically because it is such a great combination of showing and telling than flits between the two seamlessly.
Overall, this was very well done and I’m looking forwards to reading more!
Automage Adventures is the first LitRPG I have read. I aplologize for my lack of knowledge of the genre, but it was a unique experience for me and I will continue on with the novel. I am not familiar with the stats and blue screens that are presented, but I like how the author explains some concepts, such as releasing mana, for example. Just providing this information gives readers as myself who are new to the genre a clear picture of what the character needs to do to reach his goal.
Style: What can I say? The prose for this fiction is well done, being told in the third person perspective. Scenes are described with great detail, but just about enough to pull the reader in without overwhelming them with exposition. Also, the character interactions are natural, and dialogue is smooth, although there isn't a whole lot of it. We are shown more towards what is happening to the main character in each scene, and his thought processing as he tries to work his way through this fantasy world.
I feel like a little bit more dialogue would make it balanced with exposition. Often at times, I feel that we are stuck in Sean's head, and more interaction with characters does help. To the author's credit, he does hold more conversations with the side characters in the later chapters.
Story: We are introduced to college student Sean, who is fed up with the school life in his home country Broica during modern times. After leaving his friend/gf Clara behind to catch up on some algorithm homework, he is suddenly caught up into an earthquake and taken away from everything he knew.
There is this artificial intelligence called TI-O, or a system. It is unique because it's not described as a person, but as a voice that lacks emotion, like a robot. Sean learns that his own home planet had been chosen to be part of a system, and I'm assuming that what has happened to him also happened to everyone else as well. Sean is sent to the mountains in the freezing cold, or not so cold, since he is learning more about himself and his stats. He is presented with a quest to slay the giant Helthur.
It gets a bit technical with the statistics, and while I wish I had the knowledge to provide more of a critique on them I do not, but Sean eventually does improve his stats as the story goes on, which is interesting to see character progression. He demonstrates his mana in front of a group of people in a village, also in front of children. Now here was one part of this scene that I found interesting.
A little girl asked him, "How did you learn Magic?"
Sean responds, "I don't know, I always knew."
I don't know if it is intentional or not, but if a character arc is developed to have Sean going from prideful to humble, I would love to see more of it here, since he has the ability to clearly influence others as well. It is established with the audience that he is a very hard worker, but it would be clever to incorporate some sort of contradictions to his beliefs--that hard work will always guarantee success, which could be interesting character development. And this is merely a suggestion that the author can freely leave behind or take, but perhaps having Sean slowly change his mindset over his own personal power and achievement would be a great idea as well. Not overpowered in the sense, but having him a humble outlook on life. And maybe this is wrong because the game allowed him to be good at magic, but just a thought. You could play around with this. How much he has to defeat and succeeds at over and over in the game, making him feel empty and confused. You could really challenge the idea of success and being a hero, and what he has that the others who were in his shoes before do not. What makes him believe that he will be seen as different from Fillmore.
Grammar: Grammar is excellent. No errors that I could see, or typos. Very strong writing, and everything was easy to read. I also like how blue screens are used accordingly.
Characters: There are a small host of characters, but due to the fact that this story is in its infancy, that may change.
I feel that for Sean's character, I need to know a little bit more about him. Him as an individual outside of the quest that is assigned to him. More about his home life, his daily life as a student. The relationship between his family. We see him interact with Clara in the beginning, but I think showing a view of his own personality and flaws would help. While he does think about home, it's seen as brief moment. To me, at least, he seems a little too calm to suddenly wind up in a white room with a AI. I feel like him having more of a severe panic attack would be a bit realistic, that he may never be home again or forget about where he came from. Something does seem off about the system in whole, I can sense, in a more darker tone, but I will just have to wait and see.
Clara : At this point where I am right now, she sounds like a confident, sassy character with a lot of personality, but we know very little about her, although that is about to change. In the chapter I'm about to begin now, the author cleverly decided to switch from Sean's perspective to her own, as she is getting ready to go through the same process that our main character had gone through.
Fillmore: He's portrayed more of a mentor, but I would like to see him and how he lives in this fantasy world, and more characterization. I would like the conversations he has to be less centered on Sean and also more on him.
Ashley: She's friendly toward our main character, forming a strong enough bond to him to the point that he stands up for her in the book.
I have started reading this novel and its looks it is up to a great start. The background setting was nice and the way the character was dropped into the midst of everything was exciting as well.
Style: I liked the overall story and how the status messages are used. The various skills and progressions are very good as well. The only thing I would suggest to improve in the story is that in some places I felt the story could be more concise. Again that's just my view.
Story: I think the story is to a good start. Though similar to some of the other stories, you could make out that it has its uniqueness and will develop along the lines. So definitely looking forward to it. Some of the differences can also be spotted early, which looks interesting
Grammar: Grammer looks good as I couldn't spot any errors. So kudos on that :)
Character: Good introduction to the character and his interaction with others. The monologues also help with knowing him more and understanding his thoughts and approach.
Overall a good start and would look forward to reading more of this.
Will suggest to my friends as well :)
Automage doesn't do anything new in terms of the litRPG genre, which may be a turnoff for some, but I find this novel to still be captivating as I binged all the chapters so far. It is your classic litRPG goodness.
Pacing is really good in this novel, everything happens at a good speed. Some lines can be a bit clunky at times and paragraphs can be a bit too long. It would be best to trim some stuff to make it more concise.
Very well written prose. I didn't come across any typos or errors.
The setting, Story and Plot are all something we are familiar with. The protagonist's world merges with The System, and he has to navigate his way across the new world. Nothing new here. So if you want more of that, this novel is perfect for you, although personally, I would have liked to see at least some novel elements.
I like the character of the protagonist, Sean, a lot. He is a clearly flawed individual with being a bit prone to anger and somewhat of a coward. It's interesting to see him interact with other characters and his dialogue is fairly good. What I dislike about him is how his top priority is to reunite with his girlfriend (who's not really his girlfriend). I feel an intelligent character like him would not really worry about something like that.
Most of the side characters are interesting, like Fillmore, the farmer who has seen countless others come before the MC. And Brandon, a berserker boy. Other character's like Clara are shown briefly and not too developed.
Overall, this story is basic and doesn't really reinvent the wheel. But with decent writing and good characters, it can be quite gripping.