In a world where monsters are dead, Almost Everyone's lv zero.
The world is at peace -- but for how long.
Everyone's either a blacksmith, a tailor, a butcher, or a soldier, but their level's zero.
Anyone who's none of the above, mainly jobless, is either a slave or a laborer, but their level is zero.
Mannat, born to a blacksmith wants to follow in his father's footsteps. He's determined. He's focused. He's stubborn.
There's just one problem.
He was born with 'Focus' and 'Analyze', both skills favor his mental attributes.
He found living in the village a tough task. Boys his age called him a freak, while the adults whispered behind his back. His parents loved him unconditionally, but he knew they feared for his wellbeing.
He was like a diamond in the rough. It takes a certain eye to find a diamond. Especially, in the dark. Fortunately, a Witch lived on the outskirts of his village.
However, why would an eccentric, diabolical, old hag, help him shine?
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Let me preface this review by saying I've read a lot of Litrpg and similar genres. I often enjoy the early parts of books, but lose interest as things go on. In the beginning, details matter. Every skill is used, and the numbers matter a bit. The characters struggle to get better. Then at some point they just zoom forward and that magical time is over. Hell, some stories have the the MC overpowered at the end of the first chapter, gaining levels by doing anything at all.
This is not a fast story. In fact it's very slow to develop. Much more enjoyable in my opinion. We Mannat and his parents. Learn about what he wants to do in life. We see how the world works, what level the technology is at. There is no magic, no heroes, nor rampaging monsters. It's in the title: "Everyone is Level 0". We get to see what that really means.
And then things start to slowly change. The boy starts growing up. We see how determined he is to follow in his father's footsteps. We get to meet a lot of the people in the village. The characters are a lot less one dimensional because of this. They aren't just a name.
There's a lot going on here, and it's in the small details. The witch is annoying and speaks in rambling riddles. But both the reader and the MC are slowly figuring out what she means. She's teaching the boy by making him figure things out, not by telling him.
Overall it's a good read. Grammar has a few problems here and there, but I've found that in any book. To really appreciate the story you need to read a good amount of chapters. You can't really judge it by a couple. I'm liking it more and more as I progress.
When everything moves so fast, it is very rare to found a waystation that was perspective. Everyone’s Lv Zero did just that.
Full disclosure this is both review swap yet at the same time also a fan’s review. Take it with caution both of the salt and rose tinted glass.
When Underload approached me for a review swap, I took a long look at the protagonist name descriptor — Mannat. I remembered that name. I heard that name. Where. Where. Where.
Turned out around a month ago, by the June’s afternoon, me and my not-made bed was scrolling down on the list of latest updates. Not here on RR, but on SH (Scribblehub), the cover and the title took me on an intrigue. Curiosity if you may. Unlike the pandered, obviously title-adjusted, understandable authorial choice that was made for you, RR’s audience, this novel originally titled in a more sophisticated, slightly fancier term — ‘Heir of Mana.’ And the picture of the girl reaching her hand to the cerulean sky just seal the deal.
And as I tried the first chapter, I understandably was expecting the same thing. The same same similars. A teenage boy in a blank slate who by the weaving of fate and innermost wishes of audiences to self-insert themselves, triumphed over a young-master filled world by being granted a cheat for no reason at all. You know, the standard brainless something. Your salted chips in the evening, enjoyable after a work even though you are aware of the fact that it had no nutritional substance and more likely to make you fat.
Ho, dear. How wrong I was…
Underload is a master, and I don't say this lightly, so I’ll repeat it once again with long preceding descriptor sentence to put how much I emphasized this conviction. Underload is a master of description and setting.
I grew up reading books. Loving books. Since the day that the available fiction to me was either twenty-thirty years old collection from my school’s library or cost at least two weeks of my allowance, I've been voraciously gulping and downing every fiction possible. Yet between those sparse collections, between those eight hour of enjoyable read, the one which I treasured the most and still are was the one who brought me.
Brought me to a journey of different life, where life was different, and stories was told. Brought me to a journey of different time, when it was honorable when someone was titled teacher, and respect was imposed by entire different section of language.
And Everyone’s Lv Zero, captured that. That different-ness essence. Caught, clutch, clung.
I was swept on the stream of dynamic. Of how the seemingly quaint living a village life was filled and filled with expectation of how you ought to be when you grew up. I was filled with the characters, sides as they were, were human with their own life, with their own right. The hunting scenes, the children’s playing together. It was alive. It was alight. It was beautiful and bright.
It was real.
Sure, some may say that the story is kind of glacial. And sure they may be right. After all only after 450 pages down, see that? Four hundred and fifty pages down, that the main character got his class and qualified for an apprenticeship. Qualified. Not Finished. Qualified.
But I’d argue that this — this glacialness is in fact the charm. Most of story I enjoyed here in this site was a stitch of scenes, it highlighted the exciting, and skipped the boring. But this — this is a moment by moment of life streaming by; uninterrupted, unperturbed yet at the same time wonderful.
Now as the advanced review rules demanded, I’ll talk through aspect —sections of story, character, style, and grammar.
The story was filtered through the eyes of all, but mostly the main character, Mannat. We are presented with a young boy so curious, so full of life, so responsible, so loving, so boyish, so clever, so considerate, so not considerate, so selfish, so principled, so hesistant, so understanding, so prejudiced, so everything —so human.
He made mistakes, he often made mistakes. He learned from his mistakes. He played with his friends, he had a good relationship with his friend. He loved and was loved back. He hated and try to hate back (it’s so adorable).
I have nothing to say here.
As for the story, so far there is only one overarching plot. Mannat was trying to become good enough magician to save her mother. Which what he was being doing. Relentlessly. There were also some other subplots there, the young adult subplot that again, was so adorable and pure. The details however left to you, the audience, as an exercise.
Next, the style. It’s good. It’s both clear clear and vernacular. The story was told in the very close, omniscient third person where the narrator was the author itself. And Like I said before, the author mastered the art of description. And ho boy, he didn’t mince word with his allusion.. For example I loved how he described the shopkeeper’s appearance with a bark tree’s skin among other things.
The only breaking things for me is that the author’s voice sometime slipped in into the dialogue, for example, when Moore said dime’s a dozen, that was a bit unsuitable since from the synopsis this was supposed to be other world of Jamaya (from the SH original synopsis), and considering both dime’s a dozen etymology and Everyone’s Lv Zero’s system of currency, that phrase shouldn’t even exist. Unless of course, it was a most subtle hint, a foreshadowing of the author that Jamaya was somehow a new name of original earth after a monster era attack (which was possible). So spoiler alert? Maybe?
As for Grammar, it is good. Safe for double en dash (--) that hadn’t been replaced properly with em dash (—), leftover unspaced paragraph (likely to be artifact from copying from writing software to RR), and Moore kept being interchanged with Moor. Other than that, it is good.
In conclusion, this is good book. A very good book. Please, please for the ever loving god, read it.
Disclaimer: This review was created as part of the swap with the reviewer story — Tales of Unlikely Wizard in accordance with the Royalroad Rules regarding Review Swap. Reader discretion is advised.
This story is my first review because I see promise for this story and I hope the author fixes a few issues. First off, I enjoy the premise of the story, and I hope the author keeps building on it.
There are a few issues with the story though. The first issue is that there are a few grammatical errors, but they are relatively minor and you understand what the author is at least trying to say, so it isn't really an issue. The main issua with this story is that everyone feels... off. It's like watching human animatrinics, they don't act perfectly normal. I can't really ly say what the issue is, all I can say is that the characters are off in both their speech and mannerisms, but I believe English may not be the authors native language, so it may be a translation issue if that is so. I just hope the author reads this and keeps developing his skills, bacause I can tell that they are getting better, so keep at it.
My biggest issue with this story, and what prompted me to write this review, is PLEASE stop with the uncomfortable, for a lack of a better term, sexualization of kids.
Before anyone gets their pitchforks, nothing sexual has happened in this story at all, especially pertaining to kids, but my issue is that there are uncomfortable events where it's hinted at between kids between the ages of 12 and up, and it has become quite uncomfortable to me at this point. An example of this is during the most recent chapter that I've read where the main character is being treated by his love interest/fiance for bruises, and the author mentions another girl's around 14/15 hearing moans and grunting through the door and is essentially turned on, on top of the "heat" building between the Mc and his girlfriend, who are both twelve. I have no issue for these two characters to show interest in each other, but I wish it stayed young and naive, like when they kissed and it was a big deal for them and embarrassing. On top of this example, I'm OK with the misunderstanding between his father and the girl's grandpa over this, because that's all that was, a misunderstanding from a lack of proper communication and it becomes plot relevant, on top of the girlfriend not understanding the misunderstanding because she is too young, that's played well in my opinion. But these uncomfortable scenes where the author writes about how attractive these kids are and how they get heated by each other is just plain uncomfortable. Just write a kids romance while they're young and if you want to build it into something more mature, please do it when they age up and they mature both mentally and physically.
Im saying all this because I truly enjoy the premise of this story and what the author could do with it, so if he fixes a couple of these issues, especially the big ones, it would help the story tremendously.
I want to be clear, I enjoyed reading this story and as mentioned by other reviews, Underload has written an inventive and quite refreshing Litrpg story exploring the genre through a new angle.
The style of writing is mostly fine, but at points I feel confused Underload’s way of describing things. This may seem random but when there is a conflict between how an action in a certain situation normally is done and how Underload describes it, it becomes jarring to me? That hopefully makes sense somehow.
Dialogue varies between working well and being stiff.
I mostly have praise for how the story itself is constructed as this mostly is different from a more traditional Litrpgs. The way that everyone is stagnated at lvl. 0 and so on is quite exciting. There is to a degree a good linear story progression, meaning that the points that Underload jump to makes sense in terms of advancing the plot and so on.
Grammatically there seems to be quite a few mistakes, or at least confusing sentence structures, that made the reading experience for me less enjoyable. I don’t know if this is me being picky, but this is an area that I feel could be improved. There aren’t a ton of mistakes, but the way of writing and choices made narratively (narrator only giving information that the characters realistically would know) makes grammar more important to me, as what might be a grammatical mistake (god or gods) could also have narrative importance if intentional.
When characters are not necessarily trustworthy in terms of information, narrative conciseness or precision becomes much more important (in my opinion), and throughout a large part of the story this works, but at times it blunders.
Characters are okay, but in terms of describing realistic people and creating believable relationships I found them to be quite one-dimensional. The described relationship between the mother and father seems somewhat forced, and the character of the father unrealistic. This might just be me though.
The last issue is maturity, all the supposed children characters display a maturity far beyond their given age and are diving into topics and feelings that children that age simply do not give thought to(?). Furthermore, the relationship between the authoritative characters (the parents) and the children also varies wildly between being very one-sided to open discussions around life choices.
Despite my critique I would recommend you give it a shot, because I enjoyed the story despite the issues I’ve portrayed above.
This is a very slow, glacially slow, steady sort of read. Blue boxes are at a minimum, and beyond some drama, there doesn't seem to be much action.
I would say that the setting feels rather sparse. We know that people have stats, the stats can go up, but this doesn't seem to be all that important to the plot, nor does there realy seem to be a need for the litrpg tag. The same plot could be told without adding game stuff to it, and it honestly feels like it heavily distracts from the story and implies something very different from what you actually read.
The story is a litRPG low fantasy (as of now) and focuses on a village boy called Mannat and his adventures.
Style: The prose is above average considering RR and the writing is from third person which is a welcome change. The plus point is that there is no loss of emotions even while in third person which is usually not the case in RR. Character expressions and inner turmoil are drawn out pretty well. Can improve with time and experience. Paragraphs are on the short side and the chapter length is not consistent throughout. The pace is slow, and sometimes too slow, but doesn't get boring.
Story: Very good. Village life is captured in all its beauty and its simplicity. The simplicity part becoming evident from chapter 11. The initial setting is good, with the synopsis actually being the prologue. Could be developed in later chapters for better world building imo. The world building has just started and we already know that some form of townships exist, but it hasn't been mentioned. Also, traders/merchants were mentioned and skipped. Might be because of the MC being a child and isn't capable of knowing, but it would give a completeness to the village life.
Grammar: Can improve, however the errors aren't glaring or annoying. You may even miss the errors if you are skimming.
Characters: Well fleshed out, has development. Parents behave like parents and children behave like children. Even the supposedly adult MC is just a smart child. Kudos to the author. The slow pace contributes to the development, but just of the MC and friends. Other characters could be mentioned more and the pace must improve.
“Everyone’s Lv Zero” is a litRPG story about an unusually intelligent boy named Mannat who is born into a backwater village. He is determined to follow in his father’s footsteps in order to become a blacksmith despite his stats leaning far away from that being a viable option. However, fate seems to have its own plans for the boy, as the witch who lives in the nearby forest takes an uncanny interest in him and his future from a very young age. As he grows older, pressure mounts and the boy is forced to make a heavy choice.
The story itself is interesting once you get into the flow of it. It goes a bit left and right and there are a few time-skips in the early chapters as we watch Mannat grow up, but it catches itself pretty quickly. The characters are well written. The story mostly focuses on Mannat, but we see a lot of his father and his best friend who are both likable enough to not be annoyed at seeing. LitRPG wise, there aren’t a lot of tables, but there are enough to keep you going if that’s what gives you your kicks and the ones that are there are well detailed. Mannat himself is a good kid and I find him very sympathetic.
The writing itself is decently strong. There is sometimes a sort of stiffness to the prose depending on what novels you are used to reading, but at the same time the author finds very powerful words to make a few killer sentences. I was really impressed by a few of the descriptions of places/feelings/etc in particular. Mostly near the ends of the chapters and stuff.
Apparently the story has been rewritten as of this review if I saw correctly. I’m not sure what was going on before, but I am pretty happy with what I read. All in all, I think this is a fun story but not for the typical reasons. If you’re looking for something new to try out, then give this one a fair shot! =)
I enjoyed the story, it has a charming tone and strong conveyance of character.
The strongest element of the story is in its descriptions. The author has a tendency to use unconventional descriptions that remain charmingly evocative, the curtains 'giggling' comes to mind. Along with this, the descriptions are very physiological and experiential. You are often invited to feel the sensations of what is being described. The effect is very absorbing.
The character of Mannat is well delivered by his dialogue. The idea of a child genius is pretty well presented in a stilted style of dialogue which is especially apparent when in conversation with other characters.
The story has a good grounding, but I would like to see the general conceit of everyone being 'level zero' explained earlier within the text, instead of it being religated to the synopsis.
In terms of grammar, there are a few minor mistakes in word choice, but don't detract from the story at all. The more significant problem is a tendency to head hop during dialogue. If one wanted to keep the asides some characters make, then it would be better to mark perspective shifts with paragraph breaks.
Overall, a good read that invites you to push on.
Really enjoying the story so far and look forward to much more to come:
Style: The writing really puts me in the world. The descriptions are on point and I feel the ominous vibes of the situation. The forest feels dark and dangerous and a little eerie when the group is debating to enter. The pull that our MC feels is tangible and real. You can feel the peril in your mind.
Story: Just starting to get into the story so not much to say here but it is an intriguing premise.
Grammar: It is clear the author had put a lot of effort into making sure the grammar and writing are correct, a few typos and errors sparsely apparent does not detract from the story in any way and I still found myself enjoying it immensely.
Character: The characters are clear and well defined, I found them separate and individual. I am sure and excited to see what more will be revealed in the reading.
Overall I am excited to have found another stellar piece of writing. Certainly eager to read more of the fantastic descriptive language in this story and certainly something to experience and learn, as someone with a very vivid imagination this is a story that really allowed me to exercise that.
I do like the storyline. This could be a good book except for how it is written. There are grammar or spelling mistakes nearly every paragraph. The story is grossly inconsistent even within chapters. For example, they go deer hunting, don't kill any deer, then drop the dead deer off at the butcher. I understand not every writer has a grasp on every aspect. But if an author is going to focus on something (hunting, gardening, smithing, butchering, cooking, ect) then a little effort and study is required to make it feel real. The author fails at that on everything.