Following his ‘death’ at the hands of a vicious magpie, Brock is rescued by the machinations of the newly instated, all-powerful System and thrust knee-deep into a brutal world catered only to the strong. Fluctuating between two states of being and quarantined within a city ravaged by time, he is told to either seek out the mysterious ‘Source’, or die trying.
He just hopes he can do it without scuffing his expensive suit in the process.
Honestly, I've just always wanted to write a story. I had a crack at it a few years back, but the entire thing fell apart before it even began. At The Precipice was originally written as a way for me to destress and play with System elements and characters, but eventually I decided that if I was gonna write, why not post it too? Writing's just a hobby of mine, so don't expect this to be at published novel level, I guess, or even anything of relative polish.
Updates every Mon-Tues-Wed-Thurs-Fri
Average chapter length is 2000 - 3000 words
What to expect:
- A semi-comedic/light tone, mixed in with a gritty world and brutal survival (not ever grimdark though)
- An MC that thinks about what he's going to do and why he'll do it, even if his internal logic is lacking. Is a rather rational person, not often influenced by his emotions, but can be in extreme situations.
- A plot heavily focused upon the MC, but one that will branch off to envelope the other characters in the world at times. Often, it's just other people's perspectives of him.
- A story of power growth. While the MC is certainly going to be powerful, even over 100 chapters in from what I've written, he still isn't the strongest being on Earth, let alone the entire Multiverse.
- Lots of gore, vivid fight descriptions, and often times deaths of people, some even somewhat important to the story.
Things this story will never have:
- An edgy, villainous MC
- An MC that does jackshit about things for 'plot reasons'
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The author states that Defiance of the Fall was an inspiration for his story, but the similarities are a bit too much at the start. I decided to work past that and it does diverge into its own story. Unfortunately, the story is just not for me. The answer to everything is because plot. Getting eaten, phase through it. Unbeatable boss, here's a potion. Another dire situation, phase through it. Later the way people are relocated and the trials they run into are not explained. Everything that occurs is just because plot.
I am no longer following this after the MC faces his childhood nemesis and then just decides to overlook everything he is doing. I don't get it. He instantly forgets that the guy was going to kill him and his friends, along with stifling an entire city, because...
This may make ok YA fantasy, but there is just too little reason for most of what occurs. That said, the author is continually rewriting this story. The grammar and actual writing are good. The setting is interesting if not original. This may be a good story for others and I am sure it will improve over time.
Not a pro in making reviews (or anything else), but this story deserves a push so I'll do my part.
First, you won't find any problem about grammar or anything, just some rare errors, which are swiftly corrected once you point them out.
The story uses a common trope to give Brock (the mc) an opportunity to get an edge on others, while also making things really hard and dangerous for him. Which is what (I think) most readers want.
The pacing is good, you won't be bored at all and reach the last posted chapter pretty fast (disclaimer : argument invalid from march of 2022 onwards).
You'll find some fine Australian humor, mostly based on danger pigeons and other things making Australia the survival mode of life.
I just don't recommend reading the story if you want some guy doing a perfect run at everything. Brock makes mistakes, the System makes mistakes.
I could go a lot more in depth on this, but I'm tired. The writing isn't bad, but it all just feels wrong and fake. I couldn't immerse myself and certain things come off as completely random.
Mc's state of being between life and death was deemed super important, that it gave him great potential. But in reality it's only used a few times. The system constantly fucks him over intentionally, sometimes small, sometimes big, but we're never given a reason or anything to make up for it. Mc gets decent Titles and boosts, but they are completely separate from his life/death situation and the boosts are given despite the system hating him, for unknown reason.
All in all, if you don't relate to the MC and wanna see someone suffer, with all the realism of reality TV, this is it.
A very harsh review, ik. Might come back and add actual advice for the author, idk. It's 3am and im tired. Only advice I have now is that you need to balance how the MC is treated. Like some of the comments said, if you're going to offer a Reward for something, actually follow through in giving it, instead of taking it away on a whim because it's funny (because it's not funny, just upsetting). Or at least give him something else in exchange.
The chronic problem with this genre is the protagonist has no long-term goals aside from "survive" and "get stronger." This is by design, because these are goals that can never actually be accomplished: One can only bat away at an endless series of small-fry antagonists trying to ruin the MC's day, and thus the same story can go on forever. Inevitably, after 50 to 100 chapters or so, these stories always start to spin their wheels and turn into a slog. The story will have done everything interesting that it's going to do and the rest is just rinse and repeat. Maybe up the stakes by having the protagonist start over in another setting with stronger opponents once they outgrow their starting location.
But like with romance novels, if you like this kind of story, then you don't mind that it's just the same dozen tropes remixed into the same ad-lib template. Indeed, one is always hungry for fresh stories, to read those 50 chapters and experience that honeymoon phase before it hits the slump and loses its charm. Indeed, if all you want is to reread the start of Defiance of the Fall or Randidly Ghosthound, this will scratch that itch for you just fine. As that seems to be the author's intent, I can only say, "mission accomplished."
However, I also have to deduct a star, because I think that for a story to really stand out and be special in this genre, you need to accomplish more than that. The story needs a compelling mystery, a unique setting, a strongly characterized protagonist, and an atmosphere that drips off the page. Ideally, all of the above. This story... has none of them. This is not necessarily a problem but it does mean I'm unlikely to want to continue reading this once it hits the slump and, in all likelihood, neither are you.
Style: I really enjoy 'At The Precipice' style and take on the litRPG and apocalypse genre! The author does a really good job at portraying the world at it's affected state, and I personally enjoy how he builds the world and portrays the system. Overall, the writting style feels invinting and really entertaining!
Grammar: It's honestly really good! There weren't many mistakes and the author is ever so willingly to correct something when it's pointed out in the comments! English is not my first language and I had a really easy time enjoying it (plus, I love the word Harbinger... Don't ask me why!).
Story: The pacing feel adequate to what the author wants to show us. It's a really good take on an apocalypse caused by a system, in which our protagonist thrives at costs that make me wonder if he's really winning in many situations. The power spikes Brock receives aren't really exaggerated by any means, and his abilities take their sweet time developing, in a manner that only feels natural for what he's living through (but does he suffer... GOD, DOES HE SUFFER)
Character: I honestly really like the characters! The author didn't introduce that many of them, but the ones present up until the point I've read (chapter 46) more flashed out and well-built! Most of the characters have a well defined personality and manneirisms that make them really believable!
Overall, it's a great story that has his own unique take on what a system should portray when acquiring a world into it's litRPG multiverse (even though we haven't had that many alien interactions)! If you're into this type of tales, and enjoy kicking some butts in an apocalypse, suit up (tee-hee) and jump in!
A joy to read. Good characterization; the system seems balanced and still allowing for a degree of mystery as to how Brock will grow; doesn't feel repetitive; enjoyable combat; and good, frequent updates. My few complaints are that I'd like to see more characterization from other characters (maybe more interludes?), some more worldbuilding into how the world has been changed, and that chapter length is somewhat short, though that's pretty understandable.
So far, At The Precipice is a real comfy fit in the modern day fantasy LitRPG genre. The author has said that Defiance of the Fall was one of their influences and it isn't hard to see. This doesn't make it some boring copy however as the personality of the mc shines through very well, and while he has a somewhat OP start compared to the regular earth citizen, it's not some insane gap either. The lore of the system so far seems more fantasy and Lovecraftian then the average system novel which also helps it to stand out. Overall a really interesting setup, I just wish for more direct dialogue scenes so far as I find the MC to be honestly hilarious and I feel like that could have more room to shine outside his own head or through descriptions of conversations.
This story has everything needed for a great story, it can make you laugh, cry, question your life choices, be absolutely afraid of Australia, be absolute afraid/hateful of magpies. It has amazing fights, amazing character development, the most cryptic opening quotes that we are not even sure what it's talking about and the absolute most hateful system(I'm absolutely sure that if the system from this novel saw the mc on fire and it had a bucket of water it would kick him on the balls and use the water to refresh itself while watching him burn).
The system can sometimes go a bit too far into pettiness and being an absolute asshole but we readers still don't really know what's up with the system and why it acts like that sometimes so for me(even if in one specific occasion it was really really REALLY frustrating and disappointing) it's just one of the storie's quirks and Quan already said that he's toning down the pettiness a bit so it's all fine and everything will be okay somehow someday. Another weak point is the low number of side characters, what is understandable with the plot and more characters were already introduced in the late chapters so I think that will soon not be a problem at all.
Anyway thank you for writing and for being so attentive to ours comments and critics and random ramblings in the comments, Quan ! Hope you have a really nice year and keep up writing !
Also, last but not least I would really like to have that damn bird being trialed for murder !!! If Australia has gone to war against Emus why not taking that damn magpie to trial ? So that's it thanks for reading my random ramblings after the actual review lol !
Style: The style is good. The delivery of the story was nice and the pace was stable, though a bit slow (maybe that's just the word count speaking). I love the narration, it's serious with a twist of some comedy here and there but not enough that it takes away the tense post-apocalyptic atmosphere of the story. The length of the chapters is good, though it drags on a bit longer than necessary for some chapters. All in all it's just a great style for an equally great story. 5/5 keep up the amazing work!
Grammar: I'm not an English teacher or professor so with what grammar knowledge I know it's pretty perfect! Super understandable and doesn't have that many difficult words so people that don't speak English as their main language can appreciate it. Kudos to you!
Characters: I don't know why, but I just can't really like the MC, maybe it's their attitude or just the way they act. Not saying the character is unrealistic, it just doesn't click with me for some reason, and I think it's more to do with what happened in the first chapter. He already knows that there are dangerous and bitchy magpies and the chance of a very bad accident happening is very high, and yet he still decided to go up there. Again, not saying that the character is unrealistic, I just didn't really click with him. More often than not I ignore my nitpicks when rating but I just really feel that there's something wrong or missing with the MC, just can't pinpoint it. 4.5/5 cause the MC is written very well, I'm just being super immature.
Story: It's the perfect blend of LitRPG and Post-apocalypse. It's really good! I don't want to spoil anything for the story but I do think that the story has a lot of potential that it's definitely using, a normal everyday-office worker with minimal knowledge of LitRPGs plunged into another earth and suddenly becomes a part of a LitRPG system. It's not perfect and I think the MC is being abused a bit too much, but it's still very good, the storyline isn't like one of a kind but it has its own twists and turns and I absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for a good post-apocalypse LitRPG.
Overall, great job author person! Absolutely amazing story with a realistic and well-written MC (even though I personally really don't like him for seemingly no reason I don't know why.) Keep going and keep blooming!!!
*Trying for a no spoiler review*
‘At the Precipice’ is a LitRPG with a focus on survival of its main character Brock as he tries to navigate revival after death and the heavy-handed inclusion of the ‘System’. It is a breath of fresh air, with a welcome mix of light-hearted humour, system attributes and survival of the more suitable. One thing for certain, it doesn’t pull punches!
Style + Story:
The style of the tale is a predominant mix of LitRPG, rebirth and survival elements. A very welcome aspect is a strong hand on the implementation of storytelling instead of falling back to and relying on the ‘Stats’. The system is used to support the story and to provide a silent character for Brock to play his frustrations off against as he works out what has happened to him.
There is a great presence of world-building and exploration of the surrounds that lends itself to the overall feel and helps to create an immersive atmosphere. I am really enjoying how the framework for the story digs deep into the everyday and how it is twisted to the system’s demands. It sets a believable ‘post-apocalyptic’ vibe that makes this story so accessible.
I am thoroughly enjoying the novel-like pacing, allowing time to get to know the character and build knowledge of the surrounds and what happened. Such as exploring and allowing the reader to build our own ideas before discovering the little truths as they are uncovered by Brock. This style of pacing is perfect for this tale, allowing time for readers to build their own conclusions before offering a peek behind the curtain.
The main character… He is such an average, everyday Aussie office worker… And that is what makes this story so easy to get into and connect to. The main character is a normal, awkward person, not some born-to-rule power fantasy that always has the answer, or JUST enough power to overcome the odds no matter how overwhelming they are. He grows into his power with plenty of mistakes on the way. A very welcome change.
Grammar and spelling, there are a number of small errors that I attribute more to auto-correct than lack of accuracy. These errors do not harm the flow or readability of the story. Considering how welcoming the author is to suggestions and how quickly they are fixed is welcoming.
Overall, ‘At the Precipice’ got me at the very first line, the first two words of this piece of genius sum up the thoughts of most of my neighbours, ‘F*$%ing Magpie…’ deadly little winged devils. This tale is loaded with Aussie humour and I could not stop smiling at the colloquialisms and speech patterns that I grew up with. The story is well written, has great pacing and stands nicely on its own. I will say one thing, try it out, I recommend it, it’s a great piece of fun and a genuinely intriguing story. Forget truck-kun... Magpie-kun is the scariest thing out there!