by David North
Across the world of Aster Fall, there are unique classes, but not all of them can be trained. They require quests and accomplishments that simply don't exist in the world. Some say the World Law itself is broken and that the world is falling apart.
In comes Sam Hastern.
His family has been cursed by one of these classes for the last fifty years. No one has ever managed to level it, condemning them to the lowest paying jobs and life in a barren village.
The class is called Battlefield Reclaimer.
There's one more little problem.
Sam's about to have it even worse, when a dungeon exploration leaves him looking distinctly non-human.
*In this work, you'll find leveling, crafting, experience-based progression, rare classes, evolving classes, and strange races.
The world runs on mana crystals, beast cores, spirit veins, alchemical pills, and enchantments. The environment is hostile and filled with monsters and elemental storms.
**Updates: I'll try to do thirty chapters in thirty days, so for the whole month of July. Let's see if I make it!
**Seven advance chapters are up on Patreon for you, as well as a Discord link. I'll add more as possible.
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Great Worldbuilding idea. Lite LitRPG. Good few characters so far. Tons of potential.
Flawed System. Generational Family Class Inheritance. Glitches. Power Overwhelming. Is it the word limit yet? Worlds within worlds. Town guards kids are idiots everywhere. ROUS continue to be an issue the multiverse over. Limit reached yet? If someone took a drink off your soul, what would you taste like? I assume a good portion of our generation would taste like Caffinine.
Battlefield Reclaimer follows the story of Sam and his father Jeric, who have been cursed with a hereditary class that they've been unable to unlock for generations. My TLDR is at the bottom.
Italics for internal thoughts would be useful. Boxes for the announcements instead of bolded text would be easier to read, but that could just be personal preference. The switches between perspectives and from third person omniscient are very jarring. There are times when Sam will be speaking, and then a line of text will follow that represents what he's thinking, followed by a few sentences of exposition. It's not presented well and can sometimes break immersion.
There are some overused descriptors and characterisations that become repetitive. Then there are some that just don't make sense, like when Jeric smiles quietly. We've seen burning eyes, blazing eyes, glinting eyes, sparkling eyes, crystal tears, glistening eyes... there are other ways to convey the intended emotions.
The idea of everyone inheriting a class and being able to level it up is quite interesting. I liked how it was described, and it was interesting to hear how some families are made and others are broken on the back of the classes they get or inherit. The world building is very lacking with only a few location names thrown about. There are a lot of questions left to answer, but instead of it feeling like there's a whole world to discover, it feels quite empty. We've only a few characters, talking about different seals and realms, but ultimately there are only two locations we've been given any sort of description of which is the Plains and the Caves.
The levelling system is interesting and the evolutionary paths and build strategies are very interesting. From a crafting perspective, it's really well done and I quite like the pace of progression. The descriptions of runes is one of the best I've seen in stories, so I genuinely enjoyed those moments in the later chapters.
The relationship between Jeric and Sam was initially heartwarming and really resonated with me... but after a few chapters, it lost its charm. Maybe it's Jeric constantly reiterating how he wants to give Sam the opportunity to be better than him and succeed, or maybe it's Sam's constant groaning about how they were never given a chance. I can't help but feel that Jeric is a plot device rather than a character. It feels like we're being set up to align with Sam's anger when Jeric eventually passes. I'm probably in the minority that would rather read the whole story from Jeric's perspective rather than Sam's.
Overall quite good, with no spelling errors that I noticed or broke me out of the story. Ellipsis are used wrong a few times, but that's the only thing I've noticed.
When characters are introduced at the beginning, they were great with distinctive personalities. The childhood friends and his family were easy to visualise through their actions and words. Later in the story we're given introductions like: 'Four humans, and one female dwarf. Pretty woman & Stern woman. Level 35 and Level 9. Our first time hearing their names is when they spoke to each other, but the Author insisted on using 'Human' and 'Dwarf' to separate them. It was quite confusing. How they were all introduced felt like a completely different story to how we were introduced to the family at the beginning. I don't know if it was to build intrigue, but it didn't flow well for me.
There are other characters that are introduced later, and they're described as human in appearance with some distinct differences, which are their eyes. That's it. The rats got a better introduction and description. The lack of consistency could be from the fact that the story hit trending and the author is pumping out chapters. I imagine that there's a lot of improvements to be made down the line, but as it stands, there's not enough in the later characters for me to care about them or even be curious about them.
The concept was enough to hook me, some of the characters are likeable. The gradual power increase is well written, and the systems and levelling is done well. There are some aesthetic improvements that could be made in presentation and some revisions to eliminate repetitive descriptions, but overall it's worth checking out. #TeamJeric
What to say about this idea. It is still partially in the Universe building stages, yet at the same time we see that something is seriously wrong. Then we realise that the World that the MC lives in is used as a prison and that there is a prison break that makes things that aren't supposed to happen happen. And just when you think your going to loose the support character to the MC is when the story really starts to happen. Great read and great idea.
I feel like this story is off to a really good start. It seems like a fairly straight-forward premise thus far, but with the potential for some cool twists and turns along the way. The MC is a portrayed as an underpowered character from a small villiage, and the story seems to be about his journey to make the most of his (seemingly) underpowered class.
I've already become very attached to the main character, seeing his interactions with his father really helps to give the reader a chance to grow to like the character and understand his motivations. A little more back-story may have been eye-opening, but jumping right into the "action" really helps to engage the reader and hook us in quickly. There might be some good opportunity for flashback chapters, IMO.
The writing style and grammar in this story is great. I'm a stickler for good grammar and flow in a story, as it helps to keep you in the mind of the story without breaking you from the picture that the author is painting with his words. This one has been great so far, and I appreciate the attention to detail.
I don't want to write too much only being at the beginning of the story, but I definitely look forward to more.
This book has an excellent concept and good pacing, and it is an engaging Bildungsroman (about a young man growing up and learning the ropes, figuring out who he is and how he fits into his family and the world, etc). It's also very well written mechanically. And it's always fun to smash level one giant rats! The book will remind you of the joy of role-playing games and of character progress, with the added pleasure of figuring out a new magical system and exploring a familiar/unfamiliar world. A lot of the fun in these chapters is in the systems the author imagines, which dig into some of the things most books or games take for granted (the making of scrolls, the learning of spells, the tactics used to kills giant rat (!), and so forth). I think you should give this one a shot if you're debating it. The author's River of Fate series is also excellent, so check that one out too if you haven't yet. You'll see a lot of overlapping themes in the young hero and in the power/system progression. Why are you still reading this review? Go read chapter one instead! You won't be disappointed!
UPDATED at ch 32.
So.. I was hoping it would get better and I was disappointed. Simpleton characters, no human-like normal reactions, jumping from one thought/action to another, repeating parts of previous chapters or "I SHOULD GET STROKA", ridiculous luck and predictable development (read as copy-paste from tropes) just killing my joy even as time killer.
Disclaimer: Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the story. It's just there is nothing brilliant too. Story is your average litrpg with common problems: typical characters, tropes, author has no common knowledge about physics/biology/chemistry/phycology outsite school program... So I can't in healthi mind rate this story any different than just "okay". I don't dis it, but I can't praise it too. And story still on Follow, so.. read conclusion.
Style: a lot of unimportant repeated ideas/sentences: you can skip third of chatper and all combat scenes and didn't miss anything important/pleasant. It's like I'm reading something written withAmerican style - too many repeated info makes me feeling like Author think I'm dumb enough to understand concept from first try. In same time, it didn't make me drop story, so it's nos something too annoying, I just skip odd paragraphs from time to time. Partly because of that, story don't flow, but in same time it didn't struggle. So overall it's just.. okay. Average.
Story-wise, it's better than average. Not common but not unique plot seasoned with dead-and-reanimated-yet-again tropes make a narrow road from making readed disappointed and be curious. This is the single reason why I set 4 instead of 3.5.
Characters are predictable, no depth at all, somethimes copy-pasted and just painted in different colour. But in same time, they are not yet "walking notifications", and praise to our god Odin there is no romance. Sadly, yet, cuz his future madame in distress already moving to his spot, and he's already have his crush.
Conclusion: So... overall, I'll recommend this story as pleasant time-killer, but personally almost certainly will drop when single hook (story plot) will dry or when I get tired from too predicable tropes and inevitable pathetic social/romance struggles.
This story started out REALLY interesting. The premise, the setting, the first few chapters... idea after idea was fun, cool, and all seemed to be knitting together to make for a really interesting read. That was my impression of the story from around, of chapter 8-10.
Every chapter after has been nothing but "oh look, another cool totally unjustified thing just magically falls into the MC and Pa's lap."
I forgave it the first 5 times it happened. But after it was occuring every other chapter, with literally no other development occuring but continually stacking more and more random buffs, and developments onto our MC and his Pa... I became incredibly uninterested.
Even the bits of worldbuilding we get are incredibly forced, and result in, obviously, another big-old bump in POWAR.
If the author had taken half the time spent on these chapters to actually progress SOMETHING in the story or the characters I'd be more forgiving for the stat-dumping and random power ups. But each chapter seems to read as a "Here is my newest cool power-up idea, let me spend 2000k words justifying it and repeating the same thing I've just said in the paragraph or chapter before but as the characters thoughts instead of narration because that's character development right?"
Basically it's a case of a whole pile of otherwise fun ideas, excecuted pretty terribly. I really, really REALLY want to like this story because I appreciate creativity. But when I see an update on the follow tab I just think "oh well, eventually they've gotta get out of the bloody cave right?"
Not exactly the sort of excited response an author should be going for.
Interesting idea, well-polished first few chapters, kind of fell apart after. I wasn't too upset about the OP power-ups, but there were a couple of anime-style rumination chapters which I hate (what could this action mean? are there going to be consequences for my actions? how am I feeling about this change in my life? is it me or is this new power awesome? etc.,etc., ad nauseam). Also, they just massacre innocent sentients to power-up and that is a hard no for me. (Yes, the author, in the last chapter I read, slipped in a no-true-Scotsman reason that the gnomes are monsters and deserving of death, but it was late in this thread and the MCs attacked first. Imagine, living peacfully in an underground village, when first the outer patrols start going missing, then the search parties vanish, then the INNER patrols are massacred. You'd be feeling scared and violent too.)
I like the world building and character development you have ongoing here. Especially the father son duo is fun and relatable to read. The unique twist you gave to the world and the fact that it isn't isekai also makes it even better in my opinion.
If there is something to improve then perhaps to explain the pov changes a bit better or leave them until later. Still no idea what relevance the adventure group has since they didn't appear again.
I can't recall the last time I read the MC going on an adventure with his parent. The author does a wonderful job exploring this parental dynamic while allowing the MC to grow and mature. I also enjoy the magic system, and the MC's burden over his family legacy. If you enjoy a gradual weak-to-strong progression story, read this one!