Interstellar Domination

by jacobk

Jonathan always dreamed of living life beyond the humdrum constraints of modern civilization. After his untimely death, he'll have that chance... but it's up to him whether it turns out to be a dream or a nightmare.

Jonathan was reborn into a world of interstellar civilization. A world of fantastic abilities. A world of great danger. A world where enormous mecha are the king of the battlefield. 

To become the king of mech pilots, Johnathan must climb to the top, step by step.

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jacobk

jacobk

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Adeen Dragon
Overall

I'm looking forward to seeing how the author handles all the different plot devices. There's the traditional "System", though that seems to be taking a back seat for a while. There's the implied Sci-Fi technology that comes from a setting including mechs, as well as Cultivation. 

I'm interested in seeing why melee attacks are so much more effective than ranged attacks; surely something that can easily break an opponents shield would cost an appropiatly large sum of energy?

Eadbald
Overall

A fun new tale in the mech/cultivation genre. The writing is good as can be expected from Jacobk. The chapters are also short, and while I'd prefer more it's pretty normal for an RR-hosted story (I'll just have to wait for a block of new chapters before returning). I am looking forward to seeing more of both the setting and Jon's rise to legend. 

rewinderon
Overall

Interstellar Domination review

Reviewed at: 9. On the Move

An unusual idea of mixing a cultivation story with a system with a mech plotline and that somehow works. Also great to see that the character can;t use other perks of the system right away and has to prove himself in the pod first, a good opportunity to see the character show their traits. The style is good, providing enough visual information but not too excessive. The rules of the story are interesting and the characters are solid, can't wait to learn more! 

Jamie Brewer
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Loving the story thus far, strong concept with an author that does well at playing with them. When writing fanfiction, Jacobk made solid stories where character development drove chaotic, novel plotlines, and I'm really excited to see more original settings from him.

While the number of tags on this story seems unholy, this is the kind of chaos that the author thrives in, taking elements from stories and combinging them in new and exciting ways. Expect cliche in the establishing shots, followed by new and interesting plot as they get into their element. I look forward to seeing the posibilities he sees in combining wuxia cliches, giant robot piloting, progression fantasy, higher education and reincarnation. He's made this kind of mashup in fanficiton before, but with the added freedom of a new (and fairly developed) setting, his brand of character-driven chaos looks set to appear front and center.

Right now the characters being a little bland. I expect that to improve as more of the setting is explored and challenges introduced. Establishing characters is likely to be the roughest part of this, with the author's bacground in fanfiction leaving this a little unpolished, but their track record for character development has been very strong. I'm predicting a rewrite of the first couple chapters to up drama/speed thigns along before it goes to print.

Style wise, it seems set for a pulpy, action oriented progression fantasy, where earlier chapters build into later chapters. Light reading for now, but expect things to ramp up in intensity, both in style and plot as the story progresses.

 

TL:DR This is a light read, with some cool ideas that are well developed enough to avoid fridge logic too much. There is a lot of cliche, but none feels stale. Grammar is solid.

Overwhelming Minority
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Dull, but not unenjoyable

Reviewed at: 11. Fight

This story has three issues- System bloat, a boring MC, and a lack of originality.

There are four systems in Interstellar Dominion- Mecha, cultivation, litrpg, and Isekai. Two would be fine, three would be hard, but it is nearly impossible to have four systems without having to water down details. And in this case, the only system still whole is Mecha.

Despite this story seeming to be about sorcerery combined with technology, there is disappointingly little about the cultivation; The only mentions are that the majority of the population cultivate a little and just end up using it as party tricks, with the stronger users becoming mech pilots or using their power to help the ships go FTL. There are also cultivations tiers, which are only mentioned once when the MC ranks up and gains a litrpg system.

Yes, he just randomly gets a litrpg system when he connects to a mech and experiences the epiphany that lets him raise his cultivation. The system helps him get his sync rate with his mech high enough to get him into the royal academy, then it immediately leaves the story because it only works with real Mecha and the academy uses virtual simulations. The MC has no idea why it happened, he doesn't know if the system is just part of life in this world and he doesn't care about investigating it at all. He doesn't even need to try and exploit it, just being concerned about WTF happened would be fine.

Then there is the Isekai. The main protagonist is a Mecha weeb who gets killed because robbers tried to steal his expensive collection, and yet the Isekai part of his identity frankly doesn't matter. He does not have any knowledge about anything, his morals are the same as the society he landed in, and he isn't genre savvy enough to be funny. The only thing his genre savvyness has done is made him extremely disinterested in everything that would be familiar to someone reading light novels, and extremely blase about being the top student at the academy due to the litrpg system in the first test. He is scared, but not curious about any of the lovecraftian world building elements that JacobK introduces. The cherry on top of this pile of problems is that the MCs obsession with mechs in his past life has had no effect on the plot whatsoever. Other than making him sign up for the mech corps (A group valued and awesome enough that anyone would want to sign up), there is nothing. When he sees miraculous technology, he marvels at it, then stops because he thinks that he looks like a rural bumpkin. He doesn't nerd out over anything, he doesn't especially care about models of mechs, he doesn't follow any news about famous mech fighters- Nor does he even try any of these things.

Frankly, the main character sucks. He is a polite, passive, and very forgettable MC. He has no negative traits other than ignorance, and his ignorance never causes him any problems. He is studious, determined, and non offensively bland. I would rather follow around a real country bumpkin OC with no past knowledge, that bumbles around and gets into messes. I would rather read about someone who is surprised and panicking about having to go to the royal academy, who is legitimately stunned at the differences between the capital and his home planet. Is it generic? Sure, but even a generic MC would be better than a boring one.

Then there is the story. Now, even with the system bloat, and boring main character, the world building is pretty interesting! Lovecraftian xianxia is not often seen, and the mystery surrounding the gate technology is legitimately intriguing. Unfortunately, the plot is not about that. The plot is about a generic shounen battle school. And unless there is a random time skip, it will stay like that for a long time. The absence of the divine litrpg system prevents the MC from blowing everyone else out of the water, but he is not really struggling (despite the average rate being in the 60s-70s and him being in the mid 50s). His room mate is a competitor for the top of the class, but he is chill and seems to want to be a friendly rival. There is another person attending the school, who is rivals to his room mate and has anger issues, who spits at the MC after the MC insults him. He is the unfriendly rival. There are no other characters. A set up this generic could work in a better story, but the other elements are also sub par.

It is more than 20k into the book, and barely anything has happened. Only 2 real characters have been introduced, the systems are still vague, and the MC is so passive that he has no goals other than to succeed.

TLDR: If you want something mindless, with good grammar, then this is fine. If you are looking for something more engaging, this might not be for you.

iolande
Overall

I really enjoy the story. The protagonist is a refreshing take on the Xianxia asshole protags that plague the genre. He's polite, but not a pushover, and overall sensible. You do really get the feeling the writer is setting everything up for the future and laying out a solid foundation for the story. I hope there will be more female characters though.

Jadedmagus
Overall

A very enjoyable science fiction, cultivation isekai with giant robots.  Perhaps the most compelling show/don't tell reason for why most of the characters other than the protagonist don't spend their time honing the basics to perfection that I have seen.  When there is both social stigma for taking too long as well as a number of explicit rewards for passing the free tutorial, the unstated benefit of free training segements is easy to overlook.