The Calamitous Bob
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The world of Nyil, with its monsters, its knights and its mildly sociopathic gods. Come and see! A soul flees and a soul arrives, blessed by luck. Will she survive? Will she thrive? Will she become a calamity?
After all, luck is such a fickle thing.
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The Calamitous Bob is by Mecanimus, the author of Journey of Black and Red. I knew I was in for a treat when I heard it announced, and Bob has delivered in every way.
The story follows Vivi... errr... Bob... as a capricious god decides to take her place on Earth, and on a whim, shoots her back to his original planet. Let the adventure begin!
System: I like 90% of the System I see so far. Fairly straightforward, not terribly complex, but with enough levers and "play" to it where there's meaningful discussion. The parts I dislike are "mental" attributes (Because of the implications of "willpower" as a stat, for example), and, up to where I've read, the lack of a seeming limit to the number of skill slots. The lack of limitation *tends* to go horribly awry in litRPGs, and the author has already needed to have a few round of "compress skills into one big skill", although those were only the initial skills. However, the author is careful about adding new skills, and it looks like it's not going to bloat too badly.
Style: I love the style. It's clear what's going on, who's doing what, and Mecanimus is a master of the language. The author can write in 10k words what it takes others to do in 100k words, without readers thinking they missed a thing. Compact but complete, every word Meca writes is brilliant.
Grammar: I've noticed no errors.
Story: I'm loving just about every moment! All the characters are busy running around following their own motives, and the story is engaging and gripping.
Character: Each character is well fleshed out, and well thought out. There's never any question who's talking, and character motives, wants, and desires are clear without ever being explicitly stated. Solfis especially is a real treat.
//Empathy Expressed. Returning to the main objective.
I first saw this fiction when a few chapters came out for preview in "A journey of black and red". I was instantly hooked, and I have been checking the author profile weekly to see when Princess Bob makes her formal debut. This is my most anticipated fiction hands down!
Style: Mecanimus has a great sense of style in the writing easy 5 stars. I love reading about Arianne's journey and can't wait to see more of Bob.
Story: A relatively standard isekai plot mechanic with a nice divine twist that hints and greater things to come in the future. We haven't seen too much of the world yet, but it feels real and lived in. An empire at its peak has a mysterious catastrophic end, and we are discovering that history likely for the first time alongside our heroine. Fun!
Grammar: Perfect 5 stars. No mistakes in spelling or punctuation spotted at all. There is nothing more jarring as a reader than poor grammar, and there is none to be found here.
Character: Bob is fun, we see a lot of her character shine in the banter with her golem buddy. Can't wait to meet more of the cast.
This is in my honest opinion without a doubt one of the best stories on RR. The MC while capable is not OP and eminently relatable. The world-building is fairly solid with the author showing us the world and, although she is still new to the world I have a better feel for this world than others that are 50+ chapters in. If I had to trim my 30+ follows down to 2 this and Beware Chicken would be the 2 I'd keep. Do yourself a favour - start reading it 5 minutes ago.
~Written at chapter 34.
A story you've doubtlessly read countless times on this site and elsewhere. A new world, a contemporary protagonist, fantasy, magic, you know the drill.
But if the premise is indeed frequent, it's been mangled and poorly executed in a plethora of other works. This is the exception to that rule. This story is competent, superbly executed and deliciously, deliciously fun.
Its best quality lies in how it effortlessly avoids most of the traps and exaggeration of the genre. The setting isn't comically GrinDerp, there's a decent safety net, acquired from the get-go. The protagonist isn't some average schmuck self-insert loser yet capable of miracles. She's a trained elite, with her own history, depth, issues and every other good tidbit of characterization. And while the narrative isn't yet pronounced due to its recentness, the immediate goals are sensible and the ever-growing cast interesting.
The protagonist is adaptive and inclined to introspection and actionable work-plans. She heeds counsel and warnings and her posse is quirky and delightful. She is gradually coming into the world and as such, the setting is progressively expanding at a good pace and the arrayed threats and antagonists are reasonable. Like the narrative, Viv is currently at the stage of building a solid core, a power base from which to grow and expand and it’s handled masterfully. Better yet, the prose and style coat it all with a generous comedic flair that is a joy to read. Bob is fun.
To sum it up, a competent narrative about a competent protagonist that manages to be grounded, hilarious and sweetly defunct of artificial drama and other frustrating tropes.
From the author of the best story (in my opinion, etc) on RR, Journey of Black and Red, another amazing story.
As a note, I am writing this review as a patron of Mecanimus's Patreon, which has up to chapter 59 currently posted, so while I'm technically reviewing "on chapter 6", I have actually read the story :P
The short of it is that this is an excellent story that I highly suggest for not just anyone who likes isekai or litRPG, but anyone who can tolerate it. The long of it...
Style: It's Mecanimus. The prose is a joy to read, with excellent descriptions and flair. The tone of the story is pretty jovial, for the most part, but it's not slapstick or a parody, the story takes itself seriously. Additionally, the writing is very dense (though perhaps slightly less so than JB&R) in the sense that though the chapters aren't that long, they never leave you feeling like nothing happened.
Grammar: I mean, no problems? No persistent or repeated issues. Occasional typos, sure, but they're relatively infrequent.
Story: Despite the name, I would not describe The Calamitous Bob as a comedy. It includes plenty of humor but it is humor placed on top of a story, not a story driven by painful or "comedic" misunderstandings and slapstick. Expect earned, satisfying progression (it is a litRPG), a talented MC well suited to their initial hellish environment, long term plans, and, well... it's in the title. The story takes a very exploratory/non-expository approach to worldbuilding, but it seems consistent, well-designed, and pretty cool. Mecanimus also goes pretty light on litRPG elements, which is a matter of preference, but progress happens more through training and actual breakthroughs then just mindless repetition and XP for killing things.
Character: The main cast consists of a French army medic driven by pride, a psychotic terminator made of bone, ancient technology, and malevolance, a tiny vicious dragonling becoming less tiny and more vicious at what might be an alarming rate, and [Redacted]. Characters outside of the MC have goals, desires, etc. The cast is varied (though perhaps not that varied) and consistent, and I love them all.
Overall, this is one of my favorite stories, ever, and an examplar of the litRPG and isekai genres without falling for any of the standard pitfalls. I highly, highly suggest it!
Well I won't rant like in every review I've ever done, because I'm tired af. Mostly because I ate through all of Bob on the Patreon and now I'm a level beyond sleep deprived... Or even one beyond that.
You know... I was kinda mad, that I just joined the patreon for journey and now there is this taking up space and all that (how dare you)... but after reading all that, oh hell yeah.
I mean Mecanimus is great. One of my new favs on RR.
With Bob I got the feeling like we once again have something totally different from what everyone else is doing, that just because of that I'm going to like it (at the risk of sounding like a hipster).
Anyways. This is great. Style is awesome... And I have no clue where RR currently is, so I'll just leave it at that.
The story only gets better, when it already started intriguing and interesting.
Grammar... Well I'm really fn tired. So who actually knows? I sure as hell don't.
And the characters... whew! A doozie. Doozy? Vsauce. The characters are great... Some ofc have more depth than others, but it flows great as we get about as much depth as the mc could know about each given mc + sometimes a little snippet from our favourite pet dragon.
Anyways. Bob is worth your time if you like Journey. If you don't like journey this is worth your time. If you don't have a clue why I want to leave my fatherland, to go to russia to fight bears bearhanded, this is still worth your time... (something something journey).
Tis great, you won't regret it.
This was a rant after all wasn't it?
grammar/style: great. Often I end up needing to look up some fancier word and no or minimal errors
character stuff: present. Not too many characters for now to have dynamics between, but they're there, and what I love is that not just the protag's personality changes.
magic system: can't say it has any ruly unique gimmicks for now, but I like it. Not that far into the story so I'm guessing it'll become more advanced eventually. At least the foundation so far allows it to get more complex
logic: so far didn't need much suspension of disbelief, or didn't have moments where the protag acted irrationally for the sake of progressing the story. The story is still young so I'll see if it'll continue to be logical
overall, good stuff. I usually think this of every work I recently started reading, but this is my favorite
(ead up to chapter 23)
I really love when an autor can make beliaveble characters. Normaly you get a heroic hero or a villanous villain, it is so rare that you get a really grey character.
The few characters that were presented up to the chapter that i read had motivation for doing what they did. I also love the humor present in this.
The title of this review is all you need to know about this story.
Read it for the golem.
No more spoilers here.
Better than Journey of Black and Red Vampire story, which was good.
Title put me off from reading until I was very bored. Regret. Golem good.
I have a habit of looking through first handful of 'best rated' pages. One day there appeared 'The calamitous Bob', just a couple of chapters, not even a thousand of followers, fresh like a new born baby. So what that newbie did in there? It even has have a nice cover, so of course that I had to check it out. It pretty fast skyrocket to one of my favourites, so I decided to first time ever write an advanced review to help Bibienne skyrocket in ranking as well.
Style: OMG it is so fun! I'm mostly tired at this point of blue boxes, but in this story it's just right. It is applied in a proper way, definitely not a main focus of the story and I can again enjoy this way of measuring character's progress. I was quite taken-aback that story is by the same author (Mecanimus) as journey of black and red, because style is definitely different. It's cheerful, funny, and easy going. With few darker brushes for better taste. A bit 'to lighten the mood' panacea. I had no Idea Mecanimus was such a versatile author, but I am happy for this and keep fingers crossed for future stories.
Story: Journey isn't a classic RR story, while Bob decisively is. I had no idea that there was anything to explore in the genre left. It's so cliché, and yet so enjoyable, that I evidently was wrong. It's nice to be wrong like that. It's still a beginning of the story, so I will recheck this later, but for now I see a bright future.
Character: just normal girl. Not an exercise freak, not a killing psychopath, not a magic genius. Just a girl with healthy mind which stayed healthy because she had luck and found someone to talk to. Golem seems a bit alien and with ulterior motives which is good because it is a golem and not a person.
Grammar: it's nice place for people like me who are not a native and learn English through stories. Sentences are correct. Language is mostly quite simple with some interesting words popping out here and there that I added to my vocabulary.