The Core: The First Guest (Book 1 of 3)

The Core: The First Guest (Book 1 of 3)

by Ken Raven

Hi! The First Guest is complete and I have started working on the second book in this series titled "The Hive Daughter". A big thanks goes out to all my wonderful readers!

Book two starts here:


Kevin was just a normal 10 year old kid until he saw a woman vanish right before his eyes.

This made Kevin just a little bit different. He paid more attention to people now.

Little did he know that this little difference would kill him the next time he encountered another alien about to return home. It would tear him apart, cell by cell, until he was unmade. His mind being transported away.

So distantly far away there is a race that advanced to the point where they built dyson spheres to house their civilizations. In their continual expansion, they seeded galaxies with pods and connection satellites. Over time they upgraded their dyson spheres into matryoshka brain Cores. 

Imagine a computer powered by a star.

Citizens of Cores no longer age once they upload their minds into the virtual living system of the Core. While they didn’t age, most still choose to cycle through life and death though at a different scale of time compared to our lives. 

Citizens can visit other planets and live there as if they were on a "vacation". Mercury is Earth’s hub connected to the closest Core and Earth is a remote vacation spot for wealthy citizens. 

When the main character was 10 he witnessed a citizen returning to the Core. The story continues 10 odd years later when he again witnesses a similar situation unfolding and manages to touch the person returning to the Core. This causes him to be swept up in the transfer as well and for his mind to join as a "Guest" user of the Core. 

As a Guest he has limited powers, a starting balance of zero cr or Citizen credits, and no idea how he can get home. He is the first human to ever become a Guest of a Core. 

Where money itself is the highest form of their science

This series is a work in progress. Major editing will be done after each book is complete, so there will be typos and parts that need further explanation. Please, please feel free to point out any of these things. I will attempt to keep readers apprised of all changes and big updates.

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Ken Raven

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
1. The stranger at the grocery store ago
2. Arrival at the Core ago
3. New and old faces ago
4. Xa the Third ago
5. Time to explore ago
6. Where to begin? ago
7. Bangkok Thailand and memories ago
8. Getting a job ago
9. Discoveries ago
10. What just happened? ago
11. Cha-ching! ago
12. Reality meet George my Alfred. Kevin meet reality. ago
13. History of secrets ago
14. Making Silver an Avatar ago
15. Nightmares ago
16. What dreams we dream ago
17. Choices ago
18. Loopholes ago
19. The sister who simulates ago
20. Knocked down ago
21. The plastic bag girl ago
22. The book of weapons ago
23. The other side of the coin ago
24. Sticky situations ago
25. Leaving ago
26. Lights out ago
27. Thrown into the sun ago
28. The Convict Games ago
29. Starting at the bottom ago
30. The hidden predators ago
31. In the mud and dirt ago
32. The first ripple in the pond ago
33. Collateral damage ago
34. Someone lost and something gained ago
35. The Brutal Judge ago
36. Sticks and tracking stones ago
37. A spark in the dark ago
38. 336 years later ago
39. Within the Lens of the Solar Citadel ago
40. Rain and imagination ago
41. Learning to wield power ago
42. The Alpha ago
43. Into the mound ago
44. The worst surprise ago
45. Phase two? What? ago
46. My own deadly playground ago
47. Sparks of power ago
48. Without imagination ago
49. Queen to Rook 5 ago
50. Body of the storm. ago
51. The Plasma Wyrm ago
52. Lurking out of sight ago
53. When you reach too deeply... ago
54. Epilogue ago
The Great Migration ago

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Interesting premise

Reviewed at: Discoveries

This is my first written review and I just had to post to let people know about this novel it has interesting premise with a lot of potential bit slow to start but picks up.

It has a plausible explanation for cartier motivation unlike some story where the main characters just gets isekai'd and is just ok with it or changes who they are with from one scene to the next.

I recommend giving a try hope the author continues


AI, Core and all the possibilities of CR

Reviewed at: 39. Within the Lens of the Solar Citadel

My first review here i think 🤔

I read this thinking it was dungeon core, read and read got hooked up until chapter 20 and wondered why is it still no dungeon core mentioned, when i check the tag, there is no dungeon tag. lol

But i still continue to read until the latest chapter, i think this is the case for me looking for copper and found gold.

Anyways This is about advance civilization, that decide to make themselves AI like entity, living on the other fabric of space.. And our MC here got dragged to this world due to his curiosity and accidents.

At the first chapter onward to 10 maybe boring for others but when MC adapted a little to this environment it becomes more interesting now coz a lot of possibilities in this world.

Anyways it was a great read hope the author completes this book. 

Guys try this one, my only regret about this one is it's new here not a lot of chapter yet. 


Promising concept, needs work

Reviewed at: 54. Epilogue

Interesting start. Interesting system and ok plot. 

Needs a lot of work. Chapters have no flow, plot feels forced. MC needs more depth. It's has no character.

I see a lot of potential, but it's not quite up there. I would love to read a rewrite or future works from this author 

Entitled Infracaninophile

Nice and crazy aliens, nanotechnology, space, sufficiently advanced technology indistinguishable from magic, friendly AIs galore, no typos nor grammar issues, a sympathetic intelligent main character who doesn't take himself too seriously but cares about his independently thinking side kicks, a well flowing story that makes sense and develops in a fun way, a responsive author... What else should a discerning reader wish for? Solid recommendation!


Creative scifi adventure mystery

Reviewed at: II-1. A eye of darkness

Am I going crazy or is my imagination just running wild? Why don't I know the difference? That's not important right now. What is important is that this story had me glued to my screen as I was reading it. Which I think automatically earns my five stars. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's perfect. It's got some awkward phrasing at some points. But it's giving me exactly what I came here for. A great fucking story. I hope y'all enjoy reading it too. 

Clown crafter

Possible maybe?

This is my first review too. 
Possible spoilers warning.
I agree with the other comments and reviews that this story starts slow. To me it is as if Kevin is trying to figure out what everything means, how to interact with his new environment, and learning what questions to ask. I think Tutor is starting from square one with him too.
Having it start slow really was helpful because the author keeps introducing new ideas, building steadily off of new terms in previous chapters. This story is totally not a litRPG or Dungeon style like I was expecting. There's is progression, it is just subtle and you don't know what the possibilities are into later. Little nuggets that I don't fully understand until a later chapter. 
The MC does begin to try new things part way into chapter 5.
Chapters 6-7 seem to link to a way later chapter with who the MC wants to be. 
Things pick up when he gets a job in chapter 8. He finally starts to get out of his shell and to begin to experience what life could be like as a citizen of the Core. 
I love the progression. The rewrite of the beginning of chapter one (1st paragraph) made a better hook and explained where the story might be heading. 
Hope you keep writing!

Costly Hornet

Exemplary premise and world building

Reviewed at: 18. Loopholes

I usually don't like to write reviews, however I wouldn't be doing this story justice if I let it as is.

You'll notice I gave it overall 5 stars, even though the average is 4. I decided that while the story can be improved, even as it is, it goes above pretty much every other story I've read on this site.


While the writing style, in my opinion, does not hold up to the greats, it is more than good enough. Only once did I feel the illusion break and I got back into it fairly quick.


I love the story and world building going on. There is constantly tid bits of information thrown in that make you wonder what the limits of this world are, how everything works, and how exactly the society came to power. 

There are a few unnecessary power jumps and the chose one vibes, but I wouldn't say I ruins the story in any real way.


There weren't any faults I spotted while reading and that's good enough for me. The wording's clear and I could understand everything the author wrote.


The one thing I do kind of find unrealistic about this story are the characters. You would think that aliens who live hundreds if not thousands times or more longer lives would act more alien or detached, however, the characters we have been shown so far seem quite human in nature and I do find that a bit unbelievable. Other than that, they all feel quite real and the flow of conversation is natural. The main character themselves also feels like a real human being so good job on that.


My criticism is quite nit picky and I do whole heartedly recommend this story to anyone who has already clicked this story's page. It's definitely a good read.

Thank you for the good work so far author!


Gary Sue in a power fantasy.

Reviewed at: 47. Sparks of power

As much as I want to like this story... I can't.

Story itself is interesting, with little to no grammatical problems, but.

It is as if we were watching a ten-year-old have a fantasy, about magical aliens. Not to say there is anything wrong with magical aliens, just that the sheer amount of plot armor in the Gary Sue of the main character starts to overwhelm the actual story experience. MC finds new stuff, ten minutes later he is an inventor and the best at everything in relation to said new stuff. 

I'm so sorry, but I can't force myself to continue any longer.