As multiple worlds and dimensions converged, humanity was met with the Unknown. A mysterious System forces it to play its part in a death game, and through the workings of a higher power teleports every human to a deadly Tutorial Zone. In order to save himself and others, Liam must reach his full potential as the last hope.
He must become the last shining star that guides his people.
This is the story of a man's desperate attempts to save humanity from certain extinction, as well as find out who's behind it all. He dreams of creating a fairer, more just reality and through the System, finds a ray of hope. Follow his journey as he struggles to build up his power while withstanding the trials of Fate.
*While the story is fast-paced, it is also a slow-burn in terms of character building and development. Characterisation happens as the story unfolds and different plot points come into play. Beware if that's not your cup of tea.
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Edit: Ayer12 is a very nice person and was very gracious in his reply to my review. I suspect he will revise this story, and if he does, I'll change my review
This is also not a condemnation of the story. It's absolutely still readable and enjoyable, and the early chapters have a lot of hiccups.
3.2 Rounded up.
Cards on the table: I am not the biggest fan of LitRPG, but I am trying to set aside that bias for the purpose of review.
I am going to address my issues with the story, starting with the smallest and ending with the largest.
Censored swearing: This is an adult story for adults. Putting an asterisk in the middle of the word still makes it swearing, and the fiction is already labeled for profanity. The author should consider not censoring the swearing, it's a very jarring decision that does not feel consistent for the dark content of the narrative.
Character thoughts should be in italics: Italics for character thoughts are pretty standard, and it's a little strange to have them indicated by single quotation marks instead.
Comic-Book Action Descriptions: Sometimes author uses things like "BOOM" on a single line to indicate an explosion. Just describe the badass explosion, it will add a lot more oomph and make the destructive/action-filled moments a lot more fulfilling.
Character age inconsistency: The main character, Liam, feels inconsistent age-wise. Not only does his dialogue cary wildly, it often-times feels age-innapropriate. For example, in chapter 2 he calls someone "little girl" in a sort of Santa Clausy way. There are ways to call someone "little girl" with phrasing that might be more appropriate for a 22, rather than Santa Claus. Up until that point the MC has also been referred to as a "youngster" (although, to be fair, was also referred to occasionally as a young man). Youngster feels like a misleading term, and I am confused why the author didn't use "young man" throughout those chapters. I was very confused as to why a 12-13 year old was wearing a suit and interviewing for jobs. Turns out he's 22.
Chapter 3 and 4: Okay. There's some weird stuff here. Game system just randomly introduced, and the MC's 6th sense for danger just tells him that it's dangerous and it's going to kill all of them. I liked how the world afterwards is going crazy, but I wish there was either a) more setup, or b) more time when things were crazy. Maybe in an alternate universe this could be the moment the story starts. I feel like it would cure the main problem I have with this story. Also the main character's friend is a billionaire who owns a private army. Why is he even job-hunting?
Liam's character: Okay, so he's a sex-god, hyper-stat, ubermensch who goes from the brink of suicide to literally one of the most powerful people in the universe by chapter.... (checks notes) 10, based almost entirely on his stats. The story states that the average human stat is 10, and he is literally above average at his lowest (int of 13). His statline gives him a 58 and a 40-something in constitution and strength, respectively, based entirely on a skill he recieves called "survive"
This is what it does:
Increases Strength and Dexterity based on user's will to survive. The higher the user's desire of self-preservation in the face of death, the higher the skill effect. There is a limit.
This is inconsistent with the premise of Liam's character. He goes from literally near-suicide, to being an uber-mensch at level 0, based entirely on his will to survive (which we should expect to be low).
Chapter 10 ends with him deciding that he's going to turn into God, and forge the world a happier and better place. Nothing in his character really tells me that's what he desires to do with his life. He just strikes me as a bum who doesn't care about anything.
Will you like this book?
If you like over-the-top power fantasy and litrpg, yeah probably.
How can the author fix these issues in future books/revisions?:
If you're still reading, then here's my advice for this author: Focus on one aspect of Liam's character. Currently, it feels like it does not matter who he was before he came into the system-world. I am not invested in his character by chapter 10. If his character were 1) described more consistently 2) was more consistent in how he viewed the world, then I would have some amount of character investment. As it stands, I don't.
As I stated in the title for the review, there are some really good and interesting ideas in this story. Besides being your rather typical system and world integration story, you can tell that the author is trying to do some different things to break away from the norm. Some of which work, and others...well, could stand to be removed or heavily altered (Fate).
The writing gets better as the story goes along, but there are still some consistancy errors in how dialogue and scene transitions are represented. If you don't pay attention you might lose track of a character perspective shift.
The characters are...well, some of them are real characters. You can tell what the author is aiming for with each character in regards to personality and motivations, but sometimes there is a great deal more showing than telling, and it can be dissatisfying when things are so blunt. Concepts are good, implementation could use work, which will come with practice and has been seen to improve as the story goes on.
The style, in my opinion, is perhaps the greatest source of problems for the story. Inconsistancies tend to exacerbate otherwise minor problems in other areas, making them seem much worse than they actually are. Some minor restructuring for sentence structure and paragraphs in relation to scene transitions and differentiating character dialogue, could do wonders.
Grammar seemed mostly fine, there were a few minor errors here and there, but the bigger stuff seems to be a style choice, although I can't be sure about that.
In terms of whether or not you should give it a shot, I would say yes, but, if possible, wait for an editting pass or minor rewrite on the 'first book', The second book has corrected most of the issues, so the author is obviously improving and proves it is worth a go. It is worth noting, that in spite of the problems, I still enjoyed reading it :)
I've read lots of stories that start with 'hero with dark past' sent to 'tutorial to be tested'. Most are actually an awesome power trip for a gamer. They beat up goblins, find magic, level up quickly and get OP. Their dark past is a minor betrayal, or they are poor, or something else minor. Not in this story.
The dark past is traumatizing, and it shows in how the character reacts to things. He's a better than average fighter at the start, but has very good reasons why this is so. He's scarred inside and out. It's sometimes tough to even think about what he went through.
The 'tutorial' is a nightmare scenario. He gets stronger pretty quickly, but the fights are horrible. He's always in danger. No fancy gear, food is burnt monster, prospects of survival are poor. A real meat grinder.
Very curious to see where things go.
Overall: The best way I can describe Rise of the Last Star is as a Hollywood blockbuster in written form. If you're a fan of fist-pumping action, you're going to enjoy this story a lot, provided that you're willing to suspend your disbelief.
Style: The writing is competent, with the author doing a good job of rising up to the demands of their story - introspection, action and mystery are all handled respectably. My one major concern with the writing style is that it can get repetitive. Certain elements of the plot, such as the protagonist's feeling of weakness, are re-instated frequently to the point when it can feel that the reader is being hit over the head. The main character is constantly referred to as “the youth”, and there is a lack of variety in the vocabulary which leads to certain words being repeated in the same sentence. Some of the attempts of making the writing edgier (i. e. the limited use of profanity) didn't really work for me.
Story: Rise of the Last Star bills itself as a fantasy action/adventure, but its beginning gives no indication of this. The first three chapters are very introspective, detailing the hopelessness of the main character and the darkness of his inner world. And I actually enjoyed this part of the story a lot: it’s well written, builds our protagonist and gets us emotionally invested. The pivot into an actual action/adventure story happens very abruptly at the end of Chapter 3, when we dive into a sort of battle royale game narrative that’s well-developed but feels very familiar. It’s at this point that the story begins to suffer for me. The emphasis shifts towards action sequences, which are well handled but don’t carry much suspense. Some of the main character’s abilities become overly exaggerated for my taste, even when taking into account that they’re probably augmented by the game. A lot of effort obviously went into designing the game system, but the world-building is comparatively lacking. This is probably my personal preference, but I would be far more interested in reading the story hinted by those first three chapters than I am in the one that actually unfolds.
Grammar: I didn't find much to fault here. There are typos and errors here and there, but it's neither rampant nor egregious.
Character: Liam, the main protagonist of the story, is by far the most developed character. He has an incredibly dark past that somewhat justifies his skills and abilities. For someone with such a genuine wish to rearrange the world into a place where no one has to suffer, I’d like to see him be more conflicted about taking the lives of other beings; there’s just a few lines in passing where he concludes he must do it to achieve his goal, and after that he seems to kill without hesitation (though he does question himself later on, which I enjoyed). There are many other characters in the story but they are comparatively underdeveloped. There are hints that they will receive more attention in the future, but for now it feels like a one-man show.
I didn't expect much at the start but after a few chapters I can see this actually going somewhere keep up the good work I usually hate reading,watching TV, even playing games but it grabbed my interest with how realistic it is explaining social media and how it feels to wake up in the morning
So obviously i doubt anyone reads this and clearly i'll update this as the story progresses and although there are aspect which have been used from other novels, this is not utilizing them in such a crude way some parts are like well why did he all of a sudden power up? But then again it could be counted as plot armor however this is not overused. The flow of events is consistant and realistic along with the MC's use of his abilities is well implemented. Keep this up and you will have an amazing Novel! Now some points he clearly started strong his foes have to be incredibly powerful for this to progress without it becoming somewhat drab or utilize him less like in OPM for example. Additionally some cases of where he got his power boost is somewhat questionable but comprehendable as those situations may stimulate his hidden potential. It is enjoyable that the MC is not arrogant or utterly stupid and proceeds with his intellegence instead of rushing in and planning as he goes. The MC is not famous or anything makes it down to earth as a kind of relatable person which makes people possibly get a connection to the character Liam. Now some questions for the future how will Arthur and Albert be able to assist Liam since he is naturally the Main MC will they be Like Recon Support or become assistants who are powerful but not Nearly as powerful?
A Good Novel, In my opinion, its a very great novel, I enjoyed it, I had fun with it, a very good novel, thank you for creating this, I really liked it, it was a fun novel to read. ((I'm just going to extend this cause 50 words long is what the goddamn review want))
Overall/TL;DR: It's a great read as of currently how I am reading through it, great job! :)
The only problem I see is that the plot is sometimes maybe a bit confusing or could be a bit better? I guess I'll figure it out and tell yopu what when I find it :). Keep at it, it'll become a great read and you're a great author.
Style: I love the way you portray the protagonist, and the way you write around them and all that happens within the plot, it is an interesting read and I like to see how this protagonist developes throughout the story.
Story: It may or may not move a bit fast for my liking, but readiong it at my pace and soaking in everything I cna say it'd be a great short story written, nbut as this is a novel it can be improved in some ways such as the structuring of the events and the storyline is greatly done keep at it champ :).
Grammar: Almsot nothing to say, you definitely used a spellchecker or you're naturally fgreat with writing! The written structure flows and liocks together solidly and the spacing and pauses is enough to leave me on the edge of my seat.
Character: Now this may be a bit harsh, but I do believe your story needs a bit more character developement or a bit less, I am currently on the gate with this and it's basically depending on how I read this story to be honest. Although you could maybe wittle down the numbers it is great how your story flows around the protagonist.
It's actually very rarely that I'm drawn into a story on this platform, but I really was with this one. Finished everything that had been done so far in one go,
So style, first off. The language isn't tremendously complicated, but its easy to read. The story pulls you in fast and the action scenes are especially well done.
The grammar is largely fine. Speaking very critically, there are a few mistakes here and there, and some of the formatting surrounding dialogue could have been done a little better, but by and large the text is very professional, and certainly some of the best I've encountered on this site.
As with any fiction, the story is what really matters. Last Star pulls you in with an action-driven plot, suitably surrounded with deeper themes of philosophy and absurdism -something that is very much up my alley! The main character spends a lot of time on the brink of death, and the treatment of this is refreshing, focusing on the thought processes behind what the character is encountering. This feels very real and helps to draws the reader into the moment, lending them a lot more investment into the character. The action scenes are captivating in general, as a matter of fact.
The one thing I would say -and this is entirely a matter of opinion- is that I disliked the RPG/game stats aspect of the story. I felt like presenting things as a video game (and hanging on that during the crescendo moments of action scenes) seemed to rob the situation of some of its gravity and drama.
For example seeing a character do something like lay aside their self destructive tendencies in the midst of battle, seizing instead hope and the will to live, and then having that defined as an in-game ability sort of... Cheapens the moment, in my eyes.
Of course, this is probably entirely subjective to me, and fans of the genre will likely enjoy the extra layer it provides. Others should likely learn to read the story tags more carefully before they are surprised by certain inbuilt elements!
Characterisation, of the main character at least, is fantastic. Relatable, well drawn and empathetic, with a spine-chilling backstory to match, the protaganist certainly feels real. I can't really say the same for the side characters at this stage of the story, but hopefully this will change as we go onwards -Albert certainly seems very promising!
Only thing I found a little hard to swallow was how quickly all of the characters were in figuring out the world/individual skills/rpg system elements. Seems like the sort of thing that would take a while to adjust to, perhaps with some of the side characters voicing a little more scepticism, or not quite landing on the official nomenclature. Perhaps a larger time gap would fix this?
I'm also genuinely quite interested to learn more about other character's perceptions of what had happened -If the translator is universal, does it put the system into terms that individuals could better understand? More than anything, their general reaction to the whole situation ought to tell you droves about a particular character.
So in summation, check out this fiction, and do it now! It is one of the best I've had the pleasure to read on here -and I have a natural aversion to the very genre- that certainly ought to speak to its quality! I hope the author has plenty of more material ready for release!
The story goes from 0 to 100 mph way to fast. The main character is set up to be far above average for humans in the tutorial, but the second said tutorial starts he is struggling to survive. Unless the Main Character just so happened to spawn in the most dangerous location, then any human who isn't a special snowflake likely died within seconds.